Is it pos­si­ble to eat too much protein?

Men's Health (Australia) - - Ask Mh - sk

As the macro of the mo­ment and so-called build­ing block of mus­cle, protein is fetishised as much by su­per­mar­ket gi­ants as it is by pneu­matic gym bros. While de­vour­ing a whole chicken in one sit­ting has long won you ku­dos in some cir­cles, now you’re be­ing ex­horted to chow down on protein-en­riched ice creams and ce­re­als. Sadly, it is pos­si­ble to have too much of a good thing.

Ac­cord­ing to a con­sen­sus of nutri­tional au­thor­i­ties, you need 0.75g of protein for each kilo­gram of your body­weight, so an 80kg man re­quires around 60g a day – roughly three salmon fil­lets. But the greater the phys­i­cal stress placed on your body, the higher its de­mands. For a man of the same size who trains hard, the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Sports Nutri­tion rec­om­mends 112g per day. Ex­ceed this, how­ever, and the ben­e­fits are soon negated. One study found those who ate more than 1.62g of protein per kilo of weight (around 130g, or two juicy steaks) built no more mus­cle than more mod­er­ate din­ers.

Shakes, steaks and (for­ti­fied) ice creams all have their time and place, of course. But if you’re eat­ing three well­bal­anced meals a day, you’re un­likely to fall short. It might even end up where you don’t want it. “Your body strug­gles to di­gest ex­cess protein,” says nu­tri­tion­ist Rhi­an­non Lam­bert. “It may sim­ply wind up be­ing stored as fat.” In a nut­shell, don’t over-egg it.


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