When giving nutrition advice and recommendations, I am often asked “Isn’t too much protein dangerous?” Sadly, this myth continues to perpetuate and is one of the main reasons why most people fail to achieve not only their fat-loss goals, but also their general health and wellness goals.
We’ve all heard the myths that too much protein will destroy your kidneys. However, there is no evidence or research which shows that in healthy individuals increased protein intake will cause any detrimental effects.
Researchers in 2015 found that increasing protein did require the kidneys to do more work; however, it did not cause any damage to them (no increase in microalbuminuria, which indicates damage). Your kidneys, like your biceps, will get bigger with more work, but that growth is not from any damage. They are just adapting to the stimulus placed on them.
And what about fat gain? Many people are often concerned that the increased protein (and therefore calories) will result in more fat being produced and stored. Well, a 2016 study gave participants overly high amounts of daily protein (500% more than the recommended daily intake) to determine the effects on body composition. The result? They didn’t get fat despite the increased calories. Nor did they see changes in markers of health (blood lipids, glucose, renal, kidney function etc.).
Out of all the things you could do to improve your health and body composition, worrying about too much protein is WAY down on the list. In fact, if you’re going to worry about protein at all, worry about not getting enough. Most people we work with achieve much better results by increasing their protein intake. So, relax and enjoy that well earned post-training shake, your kidneys won’t explode…