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Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

By Sara Butler

High protein diets are all the rage right now. And while it is true that your body needs protein to function at its very best, it is possible to get too much of a good thing. Here are a few signs you're getting too much protein and what you should do to fix the problem and balance out your diet.

Why You Need Protein

Protein does a lot for you. It helps you to feel full when you eat, it helps your body to build and repair muscle, it supports a healthy immune system, assists in the processing of other nutrients, and gives you energy. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of your body's tissues such as blood vessels, nails, skin, hair, and muscles. It also supports the proper production of hormones and enzymes your body needs to function optimally.

It's important to get a variety of protein in your diet so that you capture the different amino acids available in each, which is especially true for vegetarians and vegans. Plus, if you're a regular at exercise, you need protein to rebuild and maintain muscle mass. Needless to say, protein is important to your good health.

How Much?

So, how much protein do you really need? Adult women and men need between 50 and 62 grams of protein in their diet per day to prevent protein deficiencies. But what most people tend to get is between 110 and 140 grams per day -- which is a lot but still within the safe limits.

Signs You're Getting Too Much

If you're going protein crazy in your diet, then you may start to notice a few less-savory effects. These include:

  • Bad moods - If you're eating too much protein, then you may notice your mood takes a nose dive. Remember, your brain needs sugar from carbohydrates to function well. If you've traded in carbohydrates for more protein, then your mood can tank. Try to find balance by including complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, into your diet.
  • Slow thinking - Because your brain needs more than protein to function well, too much protein can mean some serious brain fog. The solution? Add some of those carbs back into your diet.
  • Excessive thirst - A sign that you might be getting too much protein is that you're always thirsty. This is due to the fact that your kidneys may be working overtime to help your body process all that protein and remove waste from your body that is produced as you metabolize protein. Drink more water and try to cut back on the protein a bit!

Protein is a building block, so you need it to be healthy. Just don't go overboard!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Madison, Wisc.

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