Too Much Protein

Contrary to what most people think, too much protein can create problems with health and performance. Jasper, an aspiring bodybuilder, chowed down on chicken and beef yet avoided pasta and potatoes, much to the detriment of his athletic aspirations. He tired easily and asked me if this high-protein diet might be hurting his performance. Here's what I told him:

  • If you fill your stomach with too much protein, you won't be fueling your muscles with carbohydrate.
  • Protein breaks down into urea, a waste product eliminated in the urine. Anyone who eats excess protein should drink extra fluids. Frequent trips to the bathroom may be an inconvenience during training and competition.
  • A diet based on animal protein takes its toll on both your wallet and the environment. You can save money and the environment by eating smaller portions of beef, lamb, pork, and other forms of animal protein. Use that money to buy more sources of plant protein (beans, lentils, tofu) and more fruits, vegetables, grains, and potatoes.
  • A diet high in protein can easily be high in fat (juicy steaks, bacon and fried eggs, pepperoni pizza, and so on). For the sake of your heart and for improved athletic performance, you should reduce your intake of the saturated fat found in animal protein. This kind of diet may also reduce your risk of certain cancers.

I encouraged Jasper to reduce his meat portions at dinner to one-third of his plate and to fill two-thirds with potatoes, vegetables, and whole-grain bread. Within two days, he noticed an improvement in his energy level. He then changed his breakfast from a four-egg ham and cheese omelet to cereal and a banana, and lunch became chili or pasta rather than burgers. His diet gradually became a winner. "I'm amazed," he now says, "at the power of food. Eating carbohydrate-based foods that fuel my muscles definitely enhances my sports performance!"

The Bible of Body Building

The Bible of Body Building

Our lives have come a long way from the Stone Age, and we are quite thankful for the variousĀ  technological advancements that have brought us so far. We still have a long way to go, but the place we are right now is quite commendable too.

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