Side Effects of Too Much Protein

We all know that our bodies need proteins. It is impossible to live without them. Proteins are found in our bones, muscles, hair, skin and other parts of our bodies. Proteins are large biomolecules that are consisting of amino acid and they perform different functions within our bodies. They are important for our growth and development. You can use proteins from both animals and plants. Animal proteins are more easily absorbed than proteins from plants. But, eating too much protein may have some adverse effects.

Have you ever heard that you can overeat protein? Do you know that too much protein can be detrimental to your health?

In this article we will tell you which are the potential side effects of eating excessive protein. Also, we will tell you how much protein you should consume in order to stay healthy.

How Much Protein is Too Much?

It is not easy to tell how much protein is too much. It depends on your age, weight, sex and also physical activity. It is recommended that adult women should eat 46 grams of protein daily and adult men should eat 56 grams per day. Persons that are more physically active need higher amount of protein.

Also, pregnant women and aging people should consume more protein than others because in such conditions protein requirements are raised. Also, under certain circumstances, such as a period of sickness, we need more protein. Now we will see which are the potential side effects of eating too much protein.

Weight Gain

Eating too much protein can lead to weight gain because you will add excessive calories to your diet. Actually, if you eat more protein than you need, most of the calories will be converted to sugar and fat, which can increase blood sugar levels. Many studies have shown that people usually eat twice the amount of protein they need every day, which is not good for their health.

Kidney Disease and Dehydration

Many studies have shown that large amounts of protein may also lead to kidney damage and dehydration of the body.

Actually, if you eat too much protein, your body must remove more nitrogen waste products from your blood, which can be very stressful for your kidneys. It is especially dangerous for people who already have some kidney disease.

Also, it can result in chronic dehydration of the body.

Heart Disease

Protein diets are not as safe as you have believed. Most of protein comes from animal sources which are very high in saturated fats and can lead to a heart disease.

The Risk of Cancer

As we have already said, eating too much protein will increase blood sugar levels, which can cause pathogenic bacteria and yeast to develop, as well as the growth of cancer cells. A research has shown that high protein intake can cause prostate cancer at men.

Nutrient Deficiencies

It is also possible that you will not get enough of other nutrients if you focus only on proteins. It is known that high protein diets can increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies. For example, if you eat too much food that is rich in protein from animal sources you won’t get enough dietary fiber that is contained in plant proteins. In this case, you may have symptoms such as constipation and other digestive problems.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Cottage cheese or chicken breasts are excellent sources of protein and they are great for building muscles, but they will not provide you any fiber that your digestive system needs. If you substitute whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables for animal proteins, you will not get the recommended dose of fiber. It can result in constipation, bloating and other gastrointestinal problems.

Bad Breath

One of the potential side effects from eating too much protein is also a bad breath. If you are on a protein diet, you will cut the carbohydrates to the minimum, which can result in a state called ketosis. In this case your body starts burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. It can help in weight loss but it can also produce a sour smell in your mouth. Brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth won’t help that much.


As you have seen in this article, protein diets may be unsafe so you should be careful. Too much protein can have some adverse effects, such as dehydration, heart disease, weight gain, nutrient deficiencies or even cancer, as we have explained you above. These are some of the most common side effects from eating too much protein.

However, there are also many experts who consider that high-protein diet is absolutely safe and that all these side effects are only myths. But, as long as you eat protein in moderation, they will be beneficial for your health.