Protein is a vital part of everyone’s daily diet. It helps build muscle mass, provides vital energy, and helps burn calories. But getting too much protein can cause problems of its own. What happens when you consistently eat too much protein? Keep on reading to find out!
1. You’ll get bad breath.
If you’re eating lots of extra protein because you’re cutting out carbs, your body will eventually start to burn fat and protein for fuel, through a process called ketosis.
This may be good news for those looking to shed some extra pounds – at least at first – but it’s bad news for anyone in proximity to them; ketosis causes an awful smell, which no amount of brushing or flossing can mask(1).
2. You’ll gain weight… eventually.
High-protein, low-carb diets are popular for those looking to lose weight fast, but the long-term effects of these diets can actually cause people to gain weight, according to recent studies(2).
3. You can damage your kidneys.
Protein dishes like chicken and steak contain nitrogen, which, when consumed in small to moderate amounts, can be excreted by your body with no problem.
But when you consume more protein than your body needs, your kidneys need to work overtime to handle the excess nitrogen(3).
While this isn’t a problem for short-term diets, in the long-run it can cause permanent damage to your kidneys.
4. You’ll be dehydrated.
All that extra nitrogen has another side effect – it will leave you dehydrated and feeling thirsty. You can counteract this side effect by upping your water intake or simply cutting back on your protein intake.
5. You might get gout.
When you eat a lot of protein, the fat and protein is converted into nitrogen. That nitrogen can put a strain on your kidney, which causes it to release more uric acid.
6. You’ll experience nausea.
Too many eggs and protein shakes can be taxing on your digestive enzymes, leading to indigestion and nausea, as anyone who’s even eaten an excess of these foods can attest to.
7. You could die sooner.
Here’s a nasty downside to a high protein diet – it increases your risk for cancer(4). Diets rich in animal protein can raise your risk of cancer significantly, and individuals on high protein, low carb diets are at particular risk.
How Much Protein To Eat?
The average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight a day, which comes out to roughly 56 grams of protein a day for men and 46 for women, according to the Institutes of Medicine.
If you’re looking to lose weight fast, a high-protein, low-carb diet might be good in the short term, but these diets weren’t meant to be carried on for longer than a few weeks at most, as these side effects illustrate.
Be cautious when embarking on any new weight loss diet and educate yourself about possible adverse effects – especially when it comes to the long term. Lots of “crash” or fad diets simply weren’t designed for long-term use.