It seems like people out there are finally starting to realize just how beneficial it is to go on a high protein diet. Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is one of the three main macronutrients.
First of all, it will make you feel more full than calories from fats or carbs and keep you full longer – making protein essential on a fat loss diet. Also, it takes your body a lot of work to process the protein you consume which means your metabolism gets a nice boost – you’ll be burning more calories throughout the day!
Finally and arguably most importantly it is the main building block for muscle growth. Without consuming enough protein you simply won’t build much muscle. And like every guys knows, testosterone increases protein synthesis, hence helps you build muscle mass faster.
Despite all the benefits of protein most state-sponsored nutrition guidelines still recommend a measly 55 grams of protein per day for an adult.
If you stick to this level you will be consuming a ton of calories from fat and carbs, likely leading to a softer, “dad bod” physique.
So why are these guys so against protein? Well for starters they claim that too much protein can actually be harmful for your health in many ways!
The so-called “risks” include kidney damage, bone degradation as well as increased risk of heart disease and cancer risk.
Today we are going to go through each of these and see whether or not the claims hold up.
The Anti/Low-testosterone crowd loves to throw the argument around that consuming high doses of protein every day is bad for the health of your bones and raises the risk of diseases like osteoporosis.
These claims are a result of old studies that showed diets high in protein lead to lower calcium levels which as we’re sure you know is very important to bone health.
What they don’t mention is that some newer studies have concluded that the correlation between protein and bone health isn’t so clear.
They found that when calcium levels are already low in someone’s diet then high protein diets can impact bone health.
However, when said person has enough calcium in their system then consuming lots of protein will actually improve bone health.
Therefore thanks to these updated studies we can conclude that this argument against high-protein diets is not very valid. The impact of protein on bone health is dependent on calcium levels.
However what we can conclude from these studies is that it is very important to consume lots of calcium so that you don’t have to worry about your bone health and you can consume all the protein you need.
Chances are a family member has already dropped this one on you – it’s one of the most popular arguments out there.
In fact, medical professionals still like to reach for this excuse when trying to convince you to change your diet.
So where did this argument come from?
There were many studies done showing that people who were suffering from kidney diseases were negatively impacted by high protein diets.
In fact, reducing protein actually helped them reduce the likelihood that they would lose even more function in their kidneys.
You can probably figure out why people started assuming diets that were high in protein were bad for your kidneys.
If they were bad for people with kidney diseases then they must be bad for the rest of us, right?
Thanks again to modern science numerous studies have investigated this claim and it turns out that there is in fact no risk in consuming high-protein diets for those of us with healthy kidneys. What’s surprising is that these studies are even showing that high protein intake can actually help make sure your kidneys keep running well.
Finally, in recent years with the increased popularity of high-protein diets there have been no overall increases in kidney-related issues in the population at large.
Heart Disease and Cancer
Yikes – these ones sound scary!
They are responsible for countless deaths every year and unfortunately protein has been linked to higher risk of both of them! People thought that this was the case because they are high in saturated fat.
Since foods that are high in saturated fat tend to be meats – which are also high in protein – people started to assume that consuming too much protein would lead to heart disease.
There are all kinds of issues with this claim.
First of all, you can’t assume that just because meat contains a lot of protein that it is the protein specifically causing these diseases. There are a number of other ingredients in meat including cholesterol and fat so any of these theoretically could be the cause.
Secondly is that just because red meat has been linked to heart disease doesn’t mean it is what’s causing it.
The same people consuming a lot of red meat also tend to eat pretty lousy diets and get very little exercise. Perhaps these are the causes?
Finally, several studies done on red meat show that it doesn’t necessarily increase the chances of getting these diseases.
As a result, heart disease and certain cancers are more likely about the person’s overall lifestyle or the fat content than about the protein.
How Much Protein Should You Consume?
Hopefully we’ve helped dispel these rumors about the negative impacts of a high-protein diet.
If you have issues with your kidneys then yes you should avoid too much protein – follow the diet recommended by your doctor. However, for those of us with no pre-existing issues we don’t have to worry about protein harming our kidneys.
As far as bone health goes, just make sure you are consuming plenty of calcium and you shouldn’t have any issues with your high-protein diet.
Finally, when it comes to cancer and heart disease – it is generally lifestyle choices and poor overall diet that lead to these, not protein.
In terms of maximum protein levels – it really depends on your overall daily calorie requirements. If you are eating tons of protein and it is causing you to put on fat then you are definitely eating too much.
However, if you are also eating so much that you are barely consuming any fats or carbs then that is also too much.
Major key = make the most out of the protein you already consume
A lot of people tend to consume a lot of protein because they want to make sure their muscles get what they need to grow. Not remembering that testosterone actually increases protein synthesis. Which basically means your muscles can use more of the protein you’re already consuming meaning they’ll grow faster even without you eating tons of more protein.
We’ve covered this before in great details in our test boosting guide here. – You can read that here.
If you want to make sure that your muscles get the nutrients they need you’ll need to monitor your t-levels to make the most out of your protein consumption.
Boosting your t-levels is easy.
The supplement industry has already developed safe and natural ways to boost your bodies own testosterone production.
But beware of companies that use ineffective fillers in their supplements. – You can see which ingredients ACTUALLY work in our guide here.