How Much Protein Is Too Much?

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We all know that protein is an essential macronutrient, but did you know that too much protein can be harmful to your body?
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How does the body convert protein to muscle?

When you eat protein, your stomach uses its acid and enzymes to break it down into its building blocks– amino acids. These molecules are transported into the bloodstream by special cells that line the small intestine and are then delivered to various parts of the body.

But your small intestine only has so many transporter cells, which limits the amount of amino acids that can be infused into your blood every hour.

Although the amount of time is different for different types of protein, the rate at which the intestinal tract can absorb amino acids from dietary proteins is between 1.3 and 10 grams per hour. Certain proteins are absorbed very slowly while others are processed fairly quickly.


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What happens when protein levels are too high?

Due to the production of nitrogen from protein metabolism, excessive protein consumption is particularly taxing on the liver and kidneys. In addition to liver and kidney troubles, too high of a protein intake can result in a myriad of health and wellness issues. Among them are:

  • Fat increase
  • Weight gain
  • Bad breath
  • Increased thirst
  • Shorter life span
  • Nausea

Don’t believe us? Check out this Eat This, Not That article.

So what’s the right amount of protein per day?

Instructor and nutritionist Sammie Mack said:

Too Much
High protein diets often advocate excessive levels of protein consumption, equating to about 5g per 2.3lbs of body weight for the individual.
Too Little

Industry standard for calculating individual daily protein requirements is typically 0.8g per 2.3lbs of body weight for the individual. However, this equation is solely based on structural requirements and “ignores the use of protein for energy metabolism,” which would ultimately result in a protein amount too low for the average active individual.

Just Right
According to a PubMed review of dietary protein intake requirements in humans, approximately 25% of energy requirements, or 2-2.5g per kilogram body weight per day using the following equation 2g x kg(-1) x d(-1) is an ideal amount of protein.
While there are many other variables to determine an individuals exact protein requirements according to their weight loss or weight gain goals and level of physical activity, the range 2 to 2.5g per every 2.3lbs is a safe balance between the typical industry standards.
How do I translate this into my life?

The right amount of protein for an active 130 lb. female is between 115 to 150 grams per day and 160-200 grams per day for the active 180 lb. man.

Is it healthy for me to get most of my protein in one meal?

Short answer: No.

“The rate at which the intestinal tract can absorb amino acids from dietary proteins is between 1.3 and 10 grams per hour,” said Sammie. This means that anything over 10 grams per hour is going to have the same effects as having too much protein and one day and will ignite protein loss, deficiencies, and fat storage.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]


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