T Nation

Long Term Effects of Too Much Protein?

I had a question about the amount of protein we are all getting on this website and if its safe. Obviously, if you get say .6g protein/lb of body weight, youre not gonna get sick, you will probably be healthy, but of course, you are not going to gain any serious muscle.

I assume that many members of this website get any where from .9-1.5g protein/lb of body wieght, probably even more than that.

Are our livers and kidneys built to filter such high amounts of protein, over such long periods of time? Is this safe? How much can drinking a lot of water actually do for you, in terms of helping the digestive process?


There is no scientific evidence that larger protein intakes than the RDA cause any health problems. This is assuming you are not one of the idiots who tries to throw back 3 or more times their body weight in protein as if no other nutrients are important. If you already have kidney problems, then it can cause even more problems, simply because your body isn’t running efficiently in the first place. This same concept is why you read often that “creatine MAY cause kidney damage”. No studies show creatine to cause any kidney problems when added as a supplement. It makes sense, however, that someone who already has kidney damage should avoid it. The average person will always believe the slightest rumor of poor health when it comes to anything that has to do with building size and strength. If someone stated on CNN today that lifting weights MAY cause health problems, every sedentary person across the country would focus in on it (regardless of being bullshit) and use this as the reason why they don’t exercise. People want to believe this…so you will always hear the myth and rumor spread. If your diet is balanced, there is nothing to lose sleep over. As far as water, there is no study that shows the exact amount of water that all humans must consume daily. If all you do is sit on your ass all day, chances are you don’t need that gallon of water everyday. If you are hard training athlete/weightlifter/bodybuilder, you need more water than the average person. I probably drink a gallon a day simply because I’m thirsty. Not all of the fluid is directly from water though.

check out JB’s article called protein prejudice. If I remember that contains lots of good info on this topic.