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Protein plays a number of vital roles in the human body, especially for those who want to gain lean muscle mass in short order. However, like most things that people consume from day to day, too much of a good thing can have some undesirable effects. In particular, too much protein can cause significant side effects, but there are ways to mitigate them.
According to some online leading sources, the average human body needs about .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. As such, in order for a 200-pound man to maintain his existing muscle mass and provide the protein necessary for the creation of hormones, antibodies, neurotransmitters, and more, he would need to consume about 72 grams of protein per day. However, there are plenty of studies that show this is simply not realistic for anyone, and there is evidence to suggest that especially active bodies need much, much more in order to put on muscle mass. Most often 1 gram per pound of body weight is ideal.
Simply put, those who lead very active lifestyles need more protein than those who are sedentary or who only exercise three to four times per week to stay fit.
Too much protein in the human body can cause some fairly significant side effects. First, if you’re consuming a lot of protein from animal sources, then your body may be missing out on plant proteins and the dietary fiber that comes with them. Believe it or not, conditions like hyperaminoacidemia, or an excess of amino acids, and hyperammonemia, or excessive ammonia in the body, really do exist. What’s more, nitrogen, which is a byproduct of the breakdown of proteins, can overwhelm your kidneys and cause damage. This can also lead to mild to severe dehydration, which negates much of the positive effects of excess protein in the diet.
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Although it is certainly possible to consume too much protein, there are several steps you can take to ensure that the extra protein you consume via your diet or a protein powder benefits you rather than harms you.
Although too much protein can certainly cause problems, you can mitigate almost all of the risks by adjusting your diet and water intake. If you have certain health conditions, especially those that affect the kidneys, a high-protein diet and protein supplementation may not be right for you. Always talk to your doctor before adjusting the amount of protein in your daily diet if you have preexisting medical conditions.