How much protein is too much?
A frequently asked question when discussing protein is how much is too much? This is a fantastic question but let’s first talk about how much protein is recommended for daily consumption and the formula used to achieve that amount. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein for the average individual is .8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Being that here in the U.S we use pounds instead of kilograms, the RDA for protein would be converted to .36 grams per pound of body weight. This means protein intake is determined by one’s weight (1 kilogram = 2.2lbs). For example, an average 150 pound individual should consume approximately 54 grams of protein per day by RDA standards (150 pounds X .36 = 54 grams per day). While studies claim .36 grams of protein per pound is sufficient for a non-exercising individual, athletes and weight lifters have higher recommendations. An athlete or an individual trying to maintain muscle mass should consume .54-.59 gram of protein per pound of body weight while a bodybuilder should aim for .63-.81 grams per pound (estimated figures). A Higher consumption of protein is a must when trying to achieve muscle hypertrophy.
Now to the main question of how much protein is too much? Well far as I know there’s no concrete answer to this question. The information that I have seen warns of consuming upward of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This is due to the potential use of protein over-stressing the kidneys and causing kidney problems. Also there have been claims that excessive amounts of protein can cause negative affects on the liver. I myself consume high amounts of protein and have had blood work come back with abnormal enzyme levels pertaining to my liver. Further test showed no issues with my liver but it’s something I won’t over look. The fact of the matter is, too much of anything can be harmful. So the best advice I can give in reference to high protein diets, is to be sure to drink plenty of water. Hopefully this will help keep those kidneys and liver flushed and functioning properly.