Can you overdo protein?

Increased your protein intake, and now started to worry you might be overdoing it? It's very unlikely you are eating too much protein says Jon Hodgkinson, nutritionist for Triathlon Coaching UK. Here is his top advice

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Restricted protein intake is often recommended for people with kidney or liver conditions as the reduction can slow the speed of progression for the conditions.However, for healthy people, protein intake is not shown to be a problem.

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From experience, overdoing protein intake is not something I’ve come across all too much; if anything, the opposite is true.Consider that for very active/endurance-based athletes you should be aiming for around 1.4-2.2g protein per kg of bodyweight. E.g. someone weighing 12st (76kg) would aim to consume between 105-165g protein per day.

Breaking this down into meals, and possibly supplementation, will make you realise just how much you’ll have to think about your protein intake to actually hit the numbers required. Here’s what I suggest:

  Start by calculating your protein range using the numbers above.

  Spend a few days tracking your food intake and analysing what the diet actually looks like (MyFitnessPal is free and easy to use).

  Aim to start your day with protein included in your first meal to get a head start and build momentum. Try combining your protein sources to increase the numbers and gain a good complement of amino acids (protein building blocks). E.g. meat, fish, poultry or eggs with lentils, beans, rice or quinoa.

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Jon Hodgkinson is a nutritionist for Triathlon Coaching UK and founder of Real Food Function

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