Last week we talked about the importance of protein in your diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. However, the other common question that we get asked when it comes to protein is the flip side of the coin. Is having too much protein bad?
This question is a little bit harder to answer because unlike things like sugar, fats or even vitamin B, protein excess can’t be specifically linked to certain diseases.
Do you sense the ‘but’ coming?
Yes, having lots of protein is good for you, except there’s the caveat to that. First of all, when eating lots of protein, it is important to switch up the kinds of proteins that you are eating. Specific sources of protein can have very different effects on the body.
When is it bad to have too much protein?
For example, soy protein in excess can have different effects on hormones in women. Usually if you’re trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breast feeding then limiting your soy intake is necessary. That means you shouldn’t be eating more than around 10 grams of soy protein each day. (For those curious, there are 2 grams of soy protein in the IdealShake)
Red meats, the most common source of protein, means you’re also getting a high amount of LDL Cholesterol. LDL is the kind that builds up in your arteries, and raises your cholesterol levels. So eating only red meat would be less than ideal.
Also, protein is calories for your body to burn. If you eat more of it than your body can process, it will just get stored as fat.
So, how much protein is good for you?
Well, for women, on average, you want 12-16 grams of protein per meal on regular days. If you are doing intense exercises you can bump that up in the meal before and after as your body uses that protein for muscle repair. In men, it’s usually around 16-22 grams of protein on average because men usually have a higher BMR than women.
In the end, is it bad to have too much protein? Nope. But it’s not really great for you either. Anything in excess and all that.