Protein is one of the most important nutrients that is required for the proper functioning of our body. Combined with fats and carbohydrates, it constitutes an essential food group, known as macronutrients, which are responsible for sustaining our growth and development. It helps in reversing the oxidative damage exerted on the organs, and boosts the growth and development of muscle and bones. However, just like how it is with carbs and fats, consuming too much rich protein foods can have a negative impact on our health, and can often lead to a condition known as protein poisoning.
Protein poisoning often occurs when our body has an excess intake protein but fails to match it with the necessary carbs and fats for prolonged periods of time. People often tend to consume copious amounts of protein while following specific protein-based diets while trying to lose weight and fail to consume other essential nutrients. While the recommended protein intake may vary from individual to individual based on their body composition, the general rule of thumb to avoid protein poisoning is to ensure that these rich protein foods do not constitute more than thirty-five percent of your daily nutritional intake.
Let us understand more about protein poisoning and the signs that indicate it.
Signs Of Consuming Excess Protein
Here are a few signs that indicate that you may have been eating too much of rich protein foods:
Consuming a lot of protein can cause your body to enter into a state of heightened metabolic activity called ketosis. The increased breakdown of protein in the body can lead to the production of ammonia, which is primarily exhaled through the mouth, causing you to have bad breath. This is commonly observed in people who follow ketogenic diets, which require you to consume large amounts of protein while restricting carbohydrate intake, and is often referred to as ‘Keto Breath’. A good way to get rid of this bad breath is to increase your water intake, consume more carbs and gradually bring your protein intake back to normal, or consider shifting to vegan protein sources.
Consuming too much protein can have an abnormal effect on your body’s blood urea nitrogen, an essential component that is used to gauge the functioning of the kidneys. Having an unusually high level of high blood urea causes the body to flush out the excess nitrogen with its fluids and water reserves at a higher frequency, which can cause you to experience symptoms like dizziness. At the same time, consuming more protein can also have a negative effect on how much water your body absorbs in the first place, as it has little to no impact on hydrating. A good way to prevent this from happening is to up your water intake and evenly distribute it throughout the day.
Most people, especially bodybuilders and gym-goers tend to consume a lot of rich protein foods such as red meat and dairy foods in order to adhere to their high protein diets. This can potentially lead to the development of several cardiovascular diseases owing to the high levels of saturated fat, carbohydrates, and cholesterol present in these foods. Red meat has also been found to boost the production of a chemical called trimethylamine inside the gut, which can lead to angioplasty. A good measure to take to avoid this from happening is to switch to healthier sources of protein such as fish, nuts, or vegan protein foods.
While consuming protein is beneficial in aiding the growth and development of our bones, consuming excess protein can cause unwanted consequences such as the depletion of calcium in our body, which can potentially lead to conditions such as the weakened muscle coordination, poor cartilage formation, decreased bone health, and disorders like osteoporosis wherein the bones are brittle, weak and prone to deformation. People who follow specific diets such as the Atkins or Ketogenic diet are at a higher risk of experiencing a several calcium loss in their bodies due to the excess supplementation of protein.
Having an excessive intake of protein can have an adverse effect on the kidneys, especially among people who have already been diagnosed with some form of kidney diseases. As proteins tend to boost the body’s blood urea nitrogen to abnormal levels, our kidneys have to work twice as hard to eliminate the excess nitrogen and metabolic waste that are found in the body, making the process extremely taxing.
It is important for you to consider these consequences before consuming too many rich protein foods. Always make sure to consult your medical health practitioner to find out how much protein your body needs and adjust your intake accordingly. You can also invest in healthier sources of plant protein such as HealthKart Plant Based Protein, an all natural, vegetarian protein source which can help meet your protein requirements for the day.