Aug 3, 2018Too Much Protein
Doctors at Dayton (Ohio) Children’s Hospital recently issued a warning against excessive protein intake for teen athletes. They were pushed to act after seeing an increase in the number of high school athletes visiting the emergency room due to protein powder over-consumption.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Lora Scott, MD, the hospital’s Medical Director of Primary Care/Sports Medicine said that while protein helps build and repair muscles, it has no benefit once the daily requirement is fulfilled. Although excess protein is expelled in urine, it still can cause problems.
“People think, ‘Oh, if a little bit’s good, then a lot’s better,’ and that’s not the case,” Dr. Scott said. “The kidneys are only made to filter a limited amount of protein and if you’re taking more than you need, it’s all just going to go straight through the kidneys and can eventually lead to some kidney failure.”
According to an article on wdtn.com, teen athletes only need 0.5 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, per day. Dr. Scott says most teenagers get enough protein in their daily diet, so they do not need to consume protein powder.
“A lot of times, coaches will encourage them to take it. But they don’t need it,” she explained.
If lieu of protein powder, Dr. Scott said there are many alternative ways of getting protein, such as beans, cheeseburgers, fish, and oatmeal.
“If you suspect you’re part of that small population that could benefit from [protein powder], it’s best to speak to a nutritionist to get an idea of how much you need for your body type and your exercise demands,” she explained.