Protein is the gatekeeper to maximizing muscle and minimizing diet-damaging cravings. But too much of the stuff has been linked with harming your organs, crippling your fat loss, and even causing cancer. Can you really have too much of a good thing?
Let’s start with the numbers: The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.4 grams of protein for every pound of body weight per day (that’s about 65 grams for a 175-pound guy). But a study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that that number should be more like .6 grams to build lean muscle mass. A high-protein diet takes it a notch further and loads you with 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
Why is the macronutrient so important? Protein and its amino acids are the primary building blocks for your muscles and bones and are crucial for healthy hormone production. The skepticism about high-protein diets comes from the question of how your body processes the excessive nutrients and potentially dangerous amino acids, like nitrogen.
Check out whether these six commonly spouted risks are actually fact or fiction.