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Is there such a thing as too much protein in your diet?

By July 28, 2014 - 2:48pm
 
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My boyfriend is always looking to "bulk up" and is constantly researching his protein, carb and fat intake. It seems like he has protein at every meal. Is this healthy? If you can have too much protein what are the side effects and symptoms?

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Guide

Hello saradietz! Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community! With so much information on the Internet these days, good diet advise can be hard to find, not to mention confusing.  Many of our community members ask the same question about how much protein is too much?Hopefully I can help shed some light on your question.

Dietary protein is an essential nutrient that builds and repairs muscles, bones and organs. It also regulates hormones and aids in maintaining immune system function. Your age, sex, weight and physical activity level definitely plays a part in how much protein is ideal.

 Some experts suggest that 0.6 to 0.9 grams per pound per day is ok if you are an athlete or an adult who wishes to build muscle mass like your boyfriend.

I always suggest that people eat a balanced diet, one that incorporates all of the food groups. If you eat mainly protein-rich foods that come from animal products, you could be depriving your body of dietary fiber from plant proteins, which could lead to digestive problems, constipation or diverticulitis.

Consuming more than 200 grams of protein daily can put people at risk for a variety of different health conditions. Conditions you and your boyfriend should be aware of are:

-hyperaminoacidemia- an excess of amino acids.

- hyperammonemia- an excess of ammonia.

- hyperinsulinemia nausea- an excess of insulin.

Saradietz, I don’t think it’s bad to have protein at every meal as long as he is measuring how many grams he is actually eating over a 24 hour period.  More isn’t necessarily better.

I am glad to know that he is researching carb and fat intake. Again, all are necessary to be healthy. If he is depriving himself of some nutrients and only eating others in an effort to “bulk up”, then I would be concerned.

It’s obvious that you care about your boyfriend and want what’s best for him.  You might even be feeling a bit helpless if he is spending a lot of time at the gym and buying into the latest diet hype. On an interpersonal level, maybe join him at the gym a couple days a week so you can take an active role in helping him achieve his goals. This might also give you some insight about where and who he is getting his information from. Also, suggest to cook meals together and make sure they include a healthy balance of nutrients.  

Here is an article on 6 healthy foods that you can add when meal planning with your boyfriend:

http://www.empowher.com/community/share/eat-right-six-foods-add-your-diet

Sometimes these conversations can be sensitive, I know they are with my husband who is a cyclist. Approach the conversation with concern, you don’t want to come across like you are judging him or non-supportive.

Hope this helps saradietz. Let me know how the chat with your boyfriend goes! 

July 29, 2014 - 12:47pm
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