What Happens When you Consume too Much Protein

Updated on January 30, 2021

Having a regular source of protein in your diet, no matter if it comes from plants or other sources like animals, is very good for your health and your body. While the benefits are many and varied, protein is mostly known for building muscle, helping lower blood pressure, and repairing damaged tissue. But, like with anything, it is in fact possible to have too much of a good thing. Unfortunately, it is possible to have too much protein 

So what happens when you consume too much protein?

Counterproductive for weight loss

Consuming too much protein can actually cause you to gain weight rather than losing it. When your body consumes an excessive amount of protein, it gets stored as fat. Eating excessive amounts of calories on top of that will cause you to gain more weight, as opposed to losing it. Obviously, this is not what you want to have happen when you are trying to lose weight. So make sure you are sticking to a reasonable amount. 

What is that smell?

Another thing that can happen if you consume too much protein is that it will give you bad breath. This can be mitigated if you chew gum or brush your teeth a lot, but the only way for it to fully go away is to cut back on how much protein you are eating. While this particular outcome of eating too much protein is not as serious as some of the other consequences, it will not be pleasant for anyone around you. 

Won’t someone think of the kidneys? 

Excess amounts of protein can cause damage to your kidneys as well, especially if you happen to already have some kind of kidney-related issue or disease. Speaking of kidneys, eating too much protein can also put you at increased risk for kidney stones. Kidney stones are extremely painful and you want to avoid getting those if you can, so why do something that will increase your risk of getting one? 

The heart of the matter

One particularly major issue that can come from eating too much protein is your heart health. This is especially the case with red meat proteins like beef. Excess consumption of red meat can put you at much higher risk for heart disease due to the increase in cholesterol and saturated fats that come from eating red meat. This can be avoided by eating red meat infrequently.

It can cause diarrhea

Excess consumption of certain kinds of protein, especially if you have other conditions like lactose intolerance, can upset your stomach and cause you to have diarrhea. While another contributing factor to this is from lack of fiber, excess protein can make the problem worse. This can be avoided if you choose to eat proteins that are healthier for your heart, which includes things like fish, chicken, and nuts. 

You can also have the opposite problem of diarrhea when you consume too much protein. In some cases, it is possible to get a really bad case of constipation. 

Beware of cancer

Certain kinds of protein, mostly red meat, can increase your risk of developing colon cancer. Not only that, but it can also put you at risk for other types of cancer like prostate and breast cancer. This is less of an issue if you eat plant-based protein instead of red meat-based protein. 

All things in moderation

While protein is an essential part of life, it is important to practice moderation. While you have fewer risks to worry about from leaner meats or plant-based protein, you should still be careful with how much protein you eat. It is important to take all things in moderation, no matter how good it may taste. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.