Protein bars. Protein shakes. Protein brownies. Protein yogurt. Protein, protein protein. It’s safe to say that protein has been a bit of a buzzword for a long time now. But can you get too much of it? Let’s explore protein: How much is too much?
Don’t get me wrong, protein is very important (as are all the macros!) but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be necking your protein shake the minute you re-rack your barbell. The myths surrounding the anabolic window are something we will discuss at another time, however, it is common practise for many gym-goers to be sipping their protein shakes and microwaving their protein bars (let’s be honest, microwaved protein bars are lush!).
Your protein requirements will be very much dependant on your goals and a lot of the studies talking about the dangers of too much protein are not without their flaws, so it is important to take things with a pinch of salt and make sure you’re well read. However, excess protein could come with risks, for example: When you eat protein, you also take in nitrogen byproducts that your kidneys are then responsible for getting rid of. If you’re eating a ‘normal’ amount of protein you’ll just pee it out, no sweat. But, if you’re eating too much, you force your kidneys to work harder than usual to get rid of all the extra nitrogen, which has the potential for causing kidney damage. Too much protein could also mean other macros are being sacrificed and that means the important jobs done by carbs and fats are not being ticked off the list. This could mean a lack of energy, low moods, bloating and even bad breath. Not good.
So, how much do you actually need? Well, like I said this is difficult as everyone will have different protein requirements and every body will respond differently. HFE recommendations are as follows so this might be a bit of a guide if you’re looking for a place to start. So, here are the grams per KG of body weight they recommend:
SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE (Not doing any or doing very little exercise):
ENDURANCE TRAINING (Higher reps at a low intensity):
STRENGTH TRAINING (Lower reps at a high weight):
ELITE POWER TRAINING (Super duper strong, like competition level strong):
Here’s a handy little infographic for you guys. Save it so you’ve got all the information at hand:
My insta is no longer @jljfitness_- instead you can find me @jenkinsleejamie but it’s me I promise!!
So there you have it! Protein is very important but, just like everything else, it is important that it is consumed in moderation and that you’re sensible with your intake. It is also better to be getting your proteins from foods rather than food supplements, and in most cases this should be easy enough! Remember, protein is not just meat. A vegan diet has provided me with my protein requirements so be a bit adventurous with your sources and try something new.