Regardless of whether you’re a sedentary individual or championship bodybuilder, protein is an essential part of everyone’s diet. Protein can be considered the building block from which all life forms exist. It really is that important.
When it comes to exercise, with particular reference to those who undertake strength training, the importance of protein takes on a whole new meaning. Protein is required for recovery and repair processes as well as the laying down of new muscular mass. In a nutshell, without adequate protein you will fail to recover adequately and fail to enhance your percentages of lean muscular mass.
With all this in mind, surely the more protein you consume the better right? Surely, there can’t be such a thing as too much protein when it has all these positive benefits right? Wrong! As with everything, too much of a good thing can impact negatively on your body. As a result, this article considers the tell tale signs and symptoms of too much protein.
Although initially it might not seem obvious how excess protein consumption could cause lower back pain, its effect is quite clear cut. All proteins contain amino acids and when excessive amounts are consumed your body breaks them down into ammonia. This ammonia is then converted into a waste product called urea, which in higher amounts can affect the kidneys and create a pain response in your lower back region.
This next symptom follows on nicely from the first. Quite simply, the more protein consumed, the more water lost through these 2 mechanisms. The reason for this is the urea by product, mentioned above, needs to be excreted to be rid from your body and this process utilises water. Be sure to alter your water consumption levels with your protein intake to avoid any unnecessary fluid loss and dehydration.
Last but by no means least, the consumption of high protein with low carbohydrates, which is often the case, can result in a combination of these symptoms. Research suggests that the lack of carbohydrates within a diet reduces energy, including that required to breakdown food. Eventually your body starts to utilise fat as a fuel source which can result in harmful effects on your liver and a reduced appetite for food.
So there you have three tell tale signs and symptoms that you might be consuming too much protein in your daily and weekly diet. This list is by no means exclusive and there may be other signs, unique to your body and your regular dieting patterns.
So if there’s a limit to how much protein is required in your diet, how can you work out your optimal requirements to prevent overloading your body? Research has indicated that endurance athletes require approximately 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight per day whilst the protein requirements of individuals undertaking weight training, depending on their training intensity, can range from 2.0 – 2.6 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
Although the above is only an approximate guide, it does help you to monitor your protein consumption and assist in preventing the signs and symptoms of too much protein. Why not consider your daily requirements today and ensure your diet is as optimal as your training.