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How much protein do you really need?| Why Overdosing on Protein Can Be Dangerous

The belief that we need enormous amounts of protein to be healthy and strong is one of the most pervasive myths.

In fact, overdosing on protein is one of the reasons we’ve become so unhealthy.


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High protein intake also means ingesting excess calories and placing strain on your kidneys. Eating too much protein in one sitting over and over again can stress your kidneys which could lead to dehydration.

Studies show that as protein consumption goes up, so do the rates of chronic disease. In truth, protein deficiency is virtually nonexistent in industrialized countries.

How much protein do you really need?   - Crazy Sexy Cheat Sheet by Kris Carr


Protein Overdose 


A varied plant-based diet of whole grains, vegetables, and beans can easily meet your daily protein needs, without the risks of animal products.

Plant protein is the most beneficial source. A study published in 2020  found that replacing red meat with high-quality plant proteins such as beans, nuts, or soy may be associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

Another recent study found that eating plant-based protein from sources such as bread, cereal, and pasta instead of animal protein reduced the risk of death from heart disease by up to 12%. Research published in BMJ also shows that plant-based protein reduces risk of early death from any cause and from heart disease.


Is protein important? Absolutely! But as you just read, in large quantities it could actually harm your health.

The trick is to upgrade the proteins we consume and to make safer choices on a regular basis.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine advocates for moderating your protein intake, noting that long-term, high-protein diets can be associated with increased disease risk. 

According to one study published in 2013 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," men who strength trained and then ate protein got the most benefit from eating about 20 grams total; their bodies were not able to effectively use more than that at a single meal. That means if you eat three or four times a day, your body is likely only able to use 20 grams of protein at each meal or snack — and any more than that means you're overdosing.


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