T Nation

How Much Protein? Too Much?

Being a “hardgainer”, I’ve been trying to increase my food intake. I’d like to try to get about 1g of protein per pound or make it 30% of my caloric intake, whichever is greater.

The problem is when I get my protein up there, about 1/2 the time, I get a headache that doesn’t go away with any pain releviers and I get a funny taste in my mouth. My crp smells like Windex when this happens, too. From what I’ve read, this is what happens when you have too much Urea in your blood because you’re breaking down protein faster than your kidneys can clear it out (except I’ve never read about Ammonia-smelling crp).

I get a little worried about it and cut down the protein and the problem goes away. I’ve never had a kidney or liver problem or any type of serious illness. I talk to my doc and they say “cut the protein, eat the foot pyramid” but when I press them for reasons, they have no specific reason and have never done a Urea test so I’m not sure they know what the heck they are talking about.

Is there something I’m doing wrong. Can this happen if the protein isn’t spaced out right or if I’m under-hydrated for clearing out the Urea during certain times of the day. Is there any dangers from doing this? Is there a “best method” for spreading out protein intake and matching water intake to clear our Urea?

  1. Yea, drink more water. Your pee should be almost clear at most times of the day.

  2. Mabey you are using low quality protein, or too much from one source. Try a variety of protein, and if you are using powders, switch them up.

  3. There is a small chance that you could have a kidney problem, which a high protein diet could affect.

[quote]T Ham wrote:

  1. Yea, drink more water. Your pee should be almost clear at most times of the day.

  2. Mabey you are using low quality protein, or too much from one source. Try a variety of protein, and if you are using powders, switch them up.

  3. There is a small chance that you could have a kidney problem, which a high protein diet could affect.[/quote]
    These are all good, valid points. If I can expand…

  4. Shoot for a gallon of water a day. Water you drink during your workout doesn’t count towards this total. One gallon is a general guideline. I usually fill a gallon jug with tapwater in the morning, and make sure it’s empty before dinner, at the latest.

  5. It might also be a food allergy. Are you eating alot of protein from one source, either mostly red meat, mostly chicken, or mostly protein powders? Generally speaking, you don’t want more than half of your daily protien to come from powders.

And try to get a poultry meal (chicken or turkey), a dairy meal (egg or milk), and a meat meal (anything cow or pig-based) each day, instead of focusing on any one of those.

  1. Go get a general physical with bloodwork done. You’re probably due for a check-up anyway. :wink: That should completely rule out (or point out, hopefully not) any pre-existing issues.

[quote]Minotaur wrote:
3. Go get a general physical with bloodwork done. You’re probably due for a check-up anyway. :wink: That should completely rule out (or point out, hopefully not) any pre-existing issues.[/quote]

Definitely get an full physical. If you aren’t satisfied with your doctor, then find another one. If your doctor can’t explain a recommendation, that would bother me.

And drink more water.

-folly

This is somewhat off topic but… CHANGE YOUR NAME. It can become a self fulfilling prophecy.