Yes, there is a thing of too much protein. Eating too much protein can lead to kidney damage, coronary artery disease, liver problems, bowel issues, and weight gain.
Are You Eating Too Much Protein?
The average person needs about .5-1 gram of protein per lean body mass. The higher end of that would be for males looking to gain more muscle mass who are actively training for that goal. A female looking to gain more body bass would be towards the center of that range, and maintenance will be on the lower to middle end of that range depending on body type and metabolism.
Shakes and supplement are part of a multi-billion dollar industry that are pushed onto people for the idea of fat loss, weight loss, muscle growth etc. It is labeled as healthy, when in fact can be detrimental to your health if you are consuming too much on a daily basis. Protein supplements are just that… supplements. They are use in place of when you cannot get enough protein by eating natural wholesome food. They can also be used for convenience when you don’t have enough time to cook or sit to eat. This would be ideal for vegans or vegetarians who are not consuming meat, poultry or fish. Take note that if you are vegan, most powders are made from animal sources so you would need to look for a plant based supplement. If you eat a healthy well-rounded diet, and are getting in the close ballpark of your needed macros then you most likely don’t need all these supplements.
Let’s take a look at how much protein you really need. Meat, poultry and fish have an average of 6-9 grams of protein per ounce. If you are eating an average of 4 ounces of meat per meal that can be 24-36 grams per meal. An average female weight 150 lbs who is 20% body fat (healthy/fit range) would have 120 lbs of lean body mass meaning she would need between 60-120 grams of protein per day based on her body type and metabolism. So if she is eating 3 square meals with 4 oz of meat per meal she is already at 72-108 grams of protein without counting in vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, or anything else you may be consuming throughout the day.
Here is a list of average grams of protein per food category:
- Cooked grains have about 5 to 7 grams per cup.
- Red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood have an average of 6-9 grams per ounce.
- Seeds and nuts contain about 4-8 grams per 1/4 cup.
- Eggs contain about 6-8 grams depending on size.
- Cooked beans have about 7-8 grams per 1/2 cup.
- Most vegetables contain 1-2 grams of protein per ounce.
Put down that protein shake and enjoy real food! Nourish your body with nutrient dense food that you enjoy and get moving.