Dangers of High Bodybuilding Protein Diets

Surely when it comes to bodybuilding protein, the old mantra, "nothing succeeds like excess" must apply. But are there risks too?

Can you have too much of a good thing? Increasing your protein intake can meet the extra bodybuilding protein requirements for growth stimulated by strength or endurance training.

But is more better? Once your body has taken up the protein it needs to help rebuild the muscle tissue after training any extra will not be converted into muscle. The excess protein intake will not increase muscle size or strength in any way.

Everyone has different protein requirements, those new to training with weights, older people and bodybuilders all have specific needs, but, there are some handy guidelines you can use to ‘guess-timate’ how much protein you need.

Beyond a point any extra protein you eat will have no benefit at all. I don’t want you to waste your money on eggs, lean meat or protein supplements…because lets face it.........

Protein is expensive compared to the other food groups

Basically, studies have shown that for athletes or people involved in strength training…the muscle gains from taking a medium protein diet, of 1.4 gram protein per kilogram bodyweight are exactly the same as for those taking a high protein diet of 2.4 gram protein per kilogram bodyweight.

That said…researchers have also shown the protein needs of people who weight train are roughly twice those of sedentary people (Kent State University, Ohio…Lemon et al. 1992). So is it better to be better safe than sorry and eat more just to 'make sure' you get enough?

Well, basically, any excess protein will either be broken down by the kidneys or converted into glycogen, the body’s preferred energy source.

But is it dangerous to eat too much protein, I hear you ask? Again, this has been looked at in studies and found that.

Excess protein will not cause problems in healthy individuals

Although, if you already have existing liver or kidney problems it may be wise to consume a lower protein diet.

Dehydration…caused by additional protein intake. This is a real possibility and it has been found that the absorption of protein does require a higher fluid intake – this is because the kidneys process the nitrogen waste products produced in protein metabolism – but, as long as enough water is consumed there shouldn’t be any problems dealing with a higher protein diet.

There were some studies carried out 20 or so years ago that showed high-protein diets can cause calcium to be excreted possibly leading to osteoporosis.

More recently though, it has been found that there is no difference in calcium status between people on diets with up to 20% protein. However, it would seem that dietary protein and calcium loss in the urine are related…this means for female athletes especially bodybuilding protein intake and timing protein intake should be carefully considered to ensure only the required amount is taken.

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