It is important to know that proteins are a fundamental building block for the body!
Protein is essential for the production/regulation of hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters and many other bodily functions.
On the contrast, consuming more protein than your body needs will result in added stress on your kidneys, as they have to remove more nitrogen waste products from your blood.
Consuming excessive amounts of protein throughout the day will also result in a constant activation of mTOR. For muscle building, this is good. For optimal health, not so much.
Clearly, protein plays a crucial role in optimal health – but how much is too much?
Not everyone will have the same requirements.
Daily protein requirements will vary based on variables like sex, weight, age, activity level, current/past health history and goals!
For example: Certain individuals such as seniors, pregnant women and people who are very physically active will have higher dietary protein requirements vs someone who is sedentary.
There is also a difference between consuming dietary protein for optimal health vs optimal muscle gains.
How much protein I recommend for someone who is looking to achieve optimal health:
For someone living a more sedentary lifestyle: roughly around 0.4 grams per body weight (example: 50 grams of protein for someone who is 125lb)
For someone who is a senior, pregnant and/or very physically active: roughly around 0.7 grams per body weight (example: 87.5 grams of protein for someone who is 125lb)
Of course – your goal should always be on quality over quantity.
The focus should be on whole food sources! It’s important to remember that you can get protein from sources other than lean meats and protein shakes. Consuming these sources in excess can put the body in a very acidic state (which is not what we want when looking to achieve optimal health)!
Just to put it in perspective – If you had a power bowl filled with quinoa (1 cup), spinach (2 cups), 3 tbsp of Hemp seeds and half of an avocado – you’re looking at 32 grams of protein!
Take home message: Focus on the overall quality of your diet vs solely the quantity of the foods you are consuming. By filling your diet with an abundance of antioxidant rich vegetables, fruits, legumes, healthy fats and lean proteins – you will be well on your way to optimal health!