Protein overdose. The effects of too much protein .

protein shake

There is a certain tendency to overeat with proteins in the diet . Whether due to poor dietary planning, monitoring of dietary protein or lean muscle. We are increasingly using food supplements to improve performance in sports. Specifically, protein-rich supplements are the star in gyms, but their overdose can be very harmful to our health.

Proteins are necessary for muscle growth, and are the cause of the formation of new fibers. We find them usually in the foods that we consume daily, although in phases of muscular increase many of us take hold of preparations that contain proteins. These products should be consumed in moderation, as abuse can have serious consequences .

In sedentary people it is recommended to consume 0.8-1 grams of protein per kilogram of weight (0.8-1 g / kg / day), while in athletes, especially those who want to increase their muscle mass, up to 2 -2.5 g / kg / day.

Although at specific times our diet does not adapt to these values, an excess of protein prolonged in time carries health risks . Eye, a hyperproteic diet does not mean based on proteins. You can have a diet with greater intake of hydrates and fat while still being hyperproteic by the amount we consume with respect to our body weight.

Metabolic consequences of excess protein

When there is an overdose of proteins, the body does not have the option of storing them like fat (we would like to …). There is nothing left to eliminate the excess of proteins , which on the one hand implies a metabolic alteration by lowering the pH and on the other, the overload of some vital organs to counteract that lowering of pH and the elimination of catabolites.

By oxidizing the amino acids of proteins to remove them, plasma ammonia (NH4 +) , a toxic metabolite that alters the pH and turns it acidic, increases. This is the great problem of proteins, which acidify the environment affecting neuronal, cardiovascular and respiratory functions.

The body reacts to the ammonium toxicity and on the one hand in the liver this compound is transformed into urea , less toxic but in any case must be eliminated. Now it is the turn of the kidney, which has no choice but to increase the volume of urine by holding more water in order to eliminate this excess of urea and ammonia. This leads to a certain degree of dehydration .

On the other hand this ammonium is also neutralized with phosphates in order to excrete it, in particular with calcium phosphate, either calcium from the diet or directly from the bone itself, so there may be risk of bone decalcification . This has immediate consequences, especially in the sportsman: risk of fracture .

In short: the excess of proteins causes a decrease in the pH that leads the body to deploy mechanisms that alter the metabolism, the functions of the liver, renal and put at risk the health of our bones . There are also hormonal alterations due to the acidosis of the medium. A lesser, though annoying, evil is the strong smell of ammonia that sweat or breath.

Fruits, vegetables and dairy are essential in a hyperproteic diet

You will have noticed that until now we have put as the main problem of the hyperproteic diet the decrease in pH. Anyone who knows some chemistry will think that if we eat foods that generate basic or alkaline environment , everything is solved because it balances. Although it is not as simple as that, something is certain.

The excess of meat and fish are the major responsible for the occurrence of acidosis . In contrast, fruits, vegetables and dairy (excluding cheeses) are foods that we can consider basic or alkaline. Let’s say these foods are going to be the dampers of the side effects of the hyperproteic diet. Shown is that including 4-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day will reduce calcium excretion through urine, one of the problems previously named.

The diet considered western is already being seen that tends to be high in protein, at least for what the majority of the population needs. Its side effects are noted by an increase in the consumption of meats and above a decrease in fruits and vegetables, which could alleviate the effects.

Uric acid, another problem of too much protein in your diet

If you thought that with eating fruits and vegetables the problem of excess protein would be solved, none of that. Uric acid is still there. A hyperproteic diet based on meat products leads to a rise in purine levels .

The problem of purines is that when they are metabolized inside the cells they become uric acid, a metabolite that runs the risk of crystallizing inside the joints causing what we know as gout. It can also cause stone formation or stones at the urinary tract (something really uncomfortable).

What About Protein Supplements overdose?

We have said that if we have adequate food, the diet may be enough to meet your protein needs . That does not remove so that in certain sports or times of intense training can be used to ensure the proteins daily or that these are of a high biological value. It must be recognized that taking supplements is more comfortable than planning a good diet, especially if you do not have much knowledge.

With protein supplements we take away the problem of uric acid that can be caused by hyperproteic diets based on meat. Although if we continue to screw up with proteins when taking supplements, those that come in the diet of meat and fish can cause us the acidosis that we have already mentioned previously.

Excessive protein is the cause of numerous diseases such as cardiovascular disorders . This is because most proteins, specifically those of animal origin are accompanied by saturated fats that will help increase our cholesterol and thereby clog our arteries. It is also a way to worsen the blood circulation and with it the irrigation of our body.

Obesity is another of the effects derived from excessive intake of protein supplements, and is that this fat that accompanies it is the cause of an organic malfunction in terms of assimilation of fats.

Continued consumption of proteins can cause an overload in the body. The kidneys and liver can be affected , as they are responsible for eliminating waste substances that generate proteins such as ammonia, urea and uric acid. In addition, animal protein helps the formation of kidney stones, because it removes much calcium that is purified through the kidneys and remains accumulated stones.

Conclusions on consuming too much protein


  • Fruits, vegetables and dairy are fundamental in the diet . Not only for what they contribute, but for what they can help in the prevention of certain metabolic maladjustments.To avoid this loss of minerals it is important that we consume many fruits that balance the ph of our body avoiding the demineralization, because they give us the basic alkaline substances that our body needs in order to function correctly.


  • diet based on meat and fish is the one that will have the most negative repercussions.


  • Protein supplements are not bad or will make us have a hyperproteic diet, we simply have to value their consumption and fit well with the diet we carry.


  • If you want to consume an optimal amount of protein, you have to do a good dietary planning , not to stay short or exceed the limits considered healthy.


Advantages and disadvantages of chewing gum

Living near fast food outlets linked to weight gain in primary school children