The question has come up multiple times recently, can you have too much protein powder? The answer is yes, but not for the reasons that you might think.
For too long, people have been regurgitating this lie that your body only absorbs a certain amount of protein at a time.
That is a lie, and it is very misleading to people trying to learn about protein powder. Your body is going to metabolize everything that you put in your body if it is calories to consume. That is just how your body works.
But there are a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to eat too much protein powder, and we will go over those reasons in this article.
Now, let’s talk about some of the reasons that you don’t want to consume too much protein powder.
Possibility of kidney stones with too much protein powder
I covered a lot of the details of this concept in my article: can pre workout cause kidney stones. The answer is yes, of course this could be a concern, but why?
The main answer here is that if you consume anything in excess, there could be a problem.
If you are consuming a few scoops of protein powder per day, there is probably nothing to worry about. But if you are consuming 10 scoops per day, then yes, there is the possibility of kidney stones.
This is because your body has to process all of the protein, and if you overload the kidneys on a regular basis, it is going to miss some things. This of course adds up over time and what ultimately causes kidney stones.
Take things slowly and don’t overload your system. If you drank a gallon of milk in one sitting, what do you think would happen?
Chances are, you would probably vomit, right? That is because your body physically cannot process that much milk in one sitting. Similarly, your kidneys cannot process an immense amount of protein powder.
Just use common sense when you are thinking about how much protein powder to consume.
At the peak of my bulking phase, I was drinking 4 scoops of protein powder per day. 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. I never got kidney stones, because that would be an example of a good portion.
Knowing this, can you have too much protein powder? By now, our answer is becoming a little bit clearer.
Normally, protein powder is used to supplement someone’s diet in order to ingest more calories or more protein. It becomes a problem when their whole entire diet revolves around the consumption of protein powder.
Think about this, if all I drank was protein powder, my body would probably revolt. I would be having digestive issues, kidney issues, and probably more.
The thing is, our bodies are not meant to drink that much protein powder throughout the day. And if that’s all we drink, day after day, it will cause problems.
Be sure to only use protein powder as a supplement, not a replacement.
This is why I am always skeptical of meal replacement protein drink diets. You have seen them, right? The ones where they send you a box of protein drinks. Instead of eating real meals, you just drink the protein shake at predetermined times of the day.
There is a reason that these types of crash diets never work. There is no balance in that diet. It is all about rigid schedule eating. Or drinking in this case.
As I mentioned in the previous section, while I was bulking, I drank 2 protein shakes per day. But I also ate a healthy lunch, a healthy dinner, and ate healthy snacks in between. Doing this will make sure that your body is getting the nutrients and fiber that it needs.
Make sure you know your ingredients
Look at the ingredient label on your protein powder. Does it contain a bunch of artificial ingredients? This might be a sign that you want to move on from that protein powder entirely.
I made that mistake for years, and it can have long term negative effects that are currently unseen.
There are just too many unknowns when it comes to artificial ingredients, which is why I always shy away from them. You might enjoy our list of best naturally sweetened protein powders.
You will find that it is completely worth it to get protein powders with minimal ingredients, but that still tastes good. Lucky for us, there is so much competition in this space, that we have a lot of great protein powders to choose from.
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame are known to have many side effects. I always completely avoid anything artificial. Sure, your protein powders might cost a little more, but it will be completely worth it in the long run for your health.
Always look at the ingredients list with anything that you buy, really. If the list is longer than a phone book, then you can be sure that it’s probably a bad idea to consume it.
Companies are catching on that people are now realizing that artificial ingredients are no good. And they are making positive changes in their products to better suit the market.
Let your decisions guide the market and we will have food products that are great for our bodies and natural.
Main Point: Can you have too much protein powder?
By now, we understand the answer to our question, can you have too much protein powder? The answer of course is yes you can, but why? In short, every detail about your diet makes a difference.
Therefore, if you decide that you are going to drink 20 scoops of protein powder per day, that might cause some issues.
It is all about balance here. And if you drink your protein powder in moderation, you should be fine.
Remember not to overload your kidneys with protein powder. Your kidneys process protein, so if your kidneys get backed up, you are creating an environment in your kidneys for kidney stones to grow.
It is also important to not only drink protein powder. Switch it up with other things like a solid meal and snacks. Don’t fall for the trap that tries to tell us the only way to hit our goals is by the use of protein powder. Protein powder is a supplement, not the end all be all of muscle building.
Lastly, I encourage you to make sure what you are drinking is not overloaded with artificial products and sweeteners. It is not difficult to see what is in your protein powders. Simply look at the ingredients list on the back.
If you start to see a bunch of formulas that you have never heard of, it is probably a bad sign.
Just use common sense, and you will be well on your way.