Many people know that eating enough high-quality protein is necessary to build muscle mass, maintain normal hormone production, create antibodies, produce enzymes, and avoid losing muscle mass while cutting.
However, some people don’t know how much protein they need. Because of that, many folks who live in economically rich countries suffer not from protein deficiency but from protein overconsumption.
For instance, in the USA most citizens consume up to three to five times more protein than they need while not getting enough complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, which are important to stay healthy and live a long life.
After a longer period of time, this can result in getting too little fiber, which is important to keep the digestive system healthy by regulating bowel movements and making sure your microbiota is thriving. At the same time, it stops harmful microorganisms from staying too long in your digestive system.
Also, over consuming protein-rich products may lead to weight gain because if you eat too much protein, it converts to sugar and if this sugar isn’t used to fuel your cells, it is stored as body fat. Moreover, this increases blood sugar levels that feed yeast, pathogenic bacteria, and cancer cells.
Another problem of protein overconsumption is that it requires your kidneys to work much harder to remove nitrogen waste products from your blood. So, this may cause dehydration and a feeling of a constant thirst.
How Much Protein Do Yo Need?
For people who don’t exercise, eating 40-70 grams of protein daily is enough. Yes, so little is enough if you work in the office and sometimes go for a walk. However, if you exercise a lot, compete in bodybuilding or fitness, or want to build muscle mass, you should increase your protein intake to at least up to one gram of protein for every pound of your bodyweight.
So, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should at least consume 160 grams of protein. The amount of protein you need also depends on your gender, age, genetics, and related things, so it’s useful to experiment and learn how much protein is good for you.
Best Protein-rich Products
While there are many sources of high-quality protein, eating a diet that has both plant-based and animal-based protein products will allow you to avoid amino acid, mineral, and vitamin deficiencies. So, it’s important to eat a huge variety of products ranging from chicken to wild rice and nuts.
But if you’re looking for products that are super rich in minerals and vitamins, then incorporating foods such as chia seeds, spirulina, bee pollen, and hemp seeds can help you to avoid nutrient deficiencies and help you to become a better athlete by providing your body with everything it needs.
Also, it’s rarely recommended for athletes to eat only plant-based protein foods like vegetarians and vegans do because it may lead to calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Yet, it doesn’t mean that vegetarian and vegan diets are harmful. The primary problem is that you have to know a lot more about where to find specific nutrients so that you could stay healthy while avoiding animal-based foods.
So, while protein is important to not only become a great athlete but also to stay healthy, eating too much protein may lead to serious problems that may not only stop you from achieving great results in fitness but also damage your health by increasing the chance of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and kidney disease.