People who are trying to build muscle and bulk up treat protein like it is their secret weapon. These athletes may start at the morning with an egg, enjoy a protein shake after their workout, have some salted chicken breast for lunch, then round out the day with a steak for dinner. Is it really necessary to eat this much protein if you want to build muscle?
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that overloading on protein is wasting their money, and it that high protein levels can even lead to strain on the kidneys. Additionally, the Herald says that adding considerable amounts of extra protein to your diet is only advisable in times of high physical stress, like running a marathon or undertaking an extreme weight lifting routine. And even in these strenuous times, a diet with extremely high protein levels should only be followed for two to four weeks at most.
High Protein Levels And Your Kidneys
Our kidneys are designed to filter waste from the bloodstream. When someone doses up on high protein levels, the kidneys are tasked with removing all the excess proteins in the blood. On average, the kidneys remove about 2 quarts of waste product per day, most of which is the waste byproduct of protein synthesis called urea. An extremely elevated protein level in blood leads to excess urea, which means excess work for the kidneys. While the occasional strain on any healthy organ is not likely to do any lasting damage, people who already have decreased kidney function may find themselves in trouble. An appropriate amount of protein is .36 gram per pound of bodyweight, unless you are engaged in very strenuous weight lifting or exercise. In this case, your protein needs may swell to .73 gram to .82 gram per day. No matter what, protein consumption shouldn’t exceed .91 gram or you will begin to risk kidney stress or weight gain.
If you’re eating a lot of protein to bulk up or are following the Atkins diet, make sure to keep your protein levels under check. No amount of muscle is worth harming your body.
- “The high-protein myth”, The Sydney Morning Herald
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