10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Protein Every Day
Whether you’re dieting or training for a marathon, the word “protein” comes up frequently. Proteins are an important part of staying healthy. A balance between proteins, fats, and carbs is considered a healthy diet.
But is there such a thing as too much protein? In the same way that you can consume too much fat or too many carbs, you certainly can overdo it on the protein. It all depends on what you’re eating, and how you’re preparing it.
Here are 10 things that happen to your body when you eat too much protein.
You could get indigestion
One of the first things you’ll notice when you have too much protein in your diet is that your stomach becomes unhappy. High concentrations of protein can make you feel bloated, like your whole stomach has a lead weight in it. That’s why doctors recommend fiber, either in your diet or from supplements, should you go into a high protein regimen.
You may become dehydrated
Protein-heavy diets have a major drawback when it comes to hydration. The protein overload will make you lose water more quickly. This can lead to dehydration. Drinking more water can help with the water loss, especially if you’re not drinking water regularly in the first place. It’s a good idea to stay hydrated when you’re making diet changes.
You could become exhausted
Of all the food types, protein is the hardest for us to digest. It takes extra work from the stomach to break it down. Believe it or not, that can make you unexpectedly tired. A high-protein meal seems on the outside to be really healthy, but it comes with a price if you overindulge.
You may get constipation
This is the downside to a high-protein, low-carb diet. You can get blocked up really easily. Taking fiber can alleviate that, but you’re better off swapping some of those proteins for vegetables and other easier-to-digest foods. You definitely need protein to have a healthy diet, but keep the ratio on the side of fibrous, plant origin foods and you’ll feel a lot better.
You could get diarrhea
This seems to be a contradiction. How can something that causes constipation also cause diarrhea? It depends on how you’re taking proteins. If you’re consuming a lot of dairy-based products, this can happen. The solution again is to ramp up your fiber consumption and cut back on both proteins and fats.
You may develop bad breath
This is a side effect of a low-carb, high-protein diet. When you decrease your carb intake to almost nothing, your body is said to go into “ketosis,” which means your body is switching to burning fat already stored on your body rather than the incoming carbs, and the by-product of the fat burning is bad breath. Brushing your teeth more often will not help, so just pop a breath mint and drink more water.
You may see some weight gain
One of the biggest dieting myths is that eating protein will convert into muscle, not fat. That’s not how it works. Eating too much of anything will probably store as fat rather than muscle, and that includes protein. If your calorie count is too high, it doesn’t matter if the calories come from protein or fat or even vegetables, you will gain weight.
You may have an increased risk of heart disease
You would think that a diet high in protein would protect you from heart disease, not contribute to it. Well, in the case of red meat, you’d be wrong. If you’re needing to protect your heart, you would be better off with lean meats such as chicken and fish. That way you get the benefit of protein without the heart-related drawback. Eating less red meat will also lower your intake of saturated fats and cholesterol.
You could suffer from kidney damage
If you already have kidney issues, then red meat consumption is probably a bad idea anyway. There is too much nitrogen in red meats for healthy kidneys to break down efficiently, so if you’re having kidney problems you are just making them work even harder. You should ask your doctor if you are having kidney issues for a list of foods to be avoided.
You may have an increased risk for cancer
Overdoing it on red meat and full fat dairy has been associated with several types of cancers, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. This may be due to the concentration of hormones present in the meat. Lean meats do not have the same association. This is not to say that eating meat causes cancer, but if your history makes you susceptible to cancers this is one risk factor you can avoid.