Are Too Many Amino Acids Harmful?

AminoAcidProducts | September 21, 2019 | Health

Can you overdose on protein? You might have heard that eating too much protein can cause health issues like weak bones and kidney damage. However, as always, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Many times, these myths are spread but they might be partly or completely untrue. If you’re taking amino acids like BCAAs then you’ll want to know: if too many amino acids are a thing. This is an important issue so you’ll know how much protein you should be taking and whether or not you can consume too much protein. This is especially true if you’re an athlete or weightlifter.

There’s no question that amino acids are important. They’re the building blocks of protein so if you want to build lean muscle mass, you’ll have to make sure you’re getting your “aminos.” There are different sources like food including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. However, if you want to supplement your intake or boost protein more conveniently then you should definitely consider amino acid supplements. This can help to make sure you’re getting enough aminos/protein. Protein not only is important for muscles but also other body functions involving their ligaments, hair, skin, etc. So, you can get many benefits.

Protein, Aminos, and the Human Body

Amino acids are the building blocks, so it’s important to keep in mind the several benefits of protein. Before talking about whether or not you can have too much of the stuff it’s critical to take up what it’s all about. Why do we need it?

Protein is actually made of big molecules that are critical to the human body can work correctly. Amino acids are part of the process since they are the so-called building blocks of this macro-nutrient.

These are amino acids that are weaved together in lengthy chains. Proteins are critical because they’re critical for all living things on Earth. In a sense, they function like natural machines that construct living things like microbes, plants, insects, shellfish, and humans.

The human body is one of the most complex “machines” on Earth. That’s because it has about 100 TRILLION CELLS. Besides that, each cell has lots of proteins. They help each cell to function properly. In a way, the proteins are like super-tiny machines that help the cell to function properly.

Our bodies need protein for their form and function. Without enough proteins, our bodies can’t function properly. That includes different parts including the body cells, muscle tissues, and vital organs. In fact, lots of body parts need protein including skin, muscles, ligaments, bones, and so on.

Another key function of proteins is sending signals between the brain and body. This is critical because it helps to maintain an effective central nervous system (CNS). In a sense, this is the highway that helps cells to “talk” with each other.

The 20 amino acids in humans help to build proteins. They can be tweaked in various ways to produce tons of various proteins. Each one has a unique body function. Their structures are based on how the amino acids are strung together.

Are Too Many Amino Acids a Thing?

Theories are floating around the health/fitness world that if you get too much protein it might cause symptoms like weak bones. So, the question is: how much protein do we need?

A baseline is 1g of protein per 1kg of body weight. This can differ based on various factors like whether you’re a weightlifter/bodybuilder and other factors. However, this isn’t an exact science. The reason is several factors can affect whether someone needs more or less protein. They include age/gender, physical activity, as well as pregnancy/breastfeeding.

There are online charts and calculators to help you determine exactly how much protein you should be getting. These are helpful tools since they provide info about whether or not you’re on the right track. Some situations require more or less than the baseline amount.

There are other factors as well. For example, seniors’ bodies usually produce fewer substances like protein. In this case, it’s helpful to boost your intake to make sure you’re getting enough amino acids.

So, here’s the thing. It really depends on the amount of amino acids/protein you’re consuming. Studies show that generally there won’t be any serious issues if you consume 2g of protein for each kilogram of body weight.

There are also some exceptions. For example, world-class athletes might need 3g or more of protein for each kilogram of body weight. However, few of us fall in that category.

In fact, scientific studies tend to show that consuming over 2g of the macronutrient per body weight can actually increase your risk of various health issues. Some possible issues include nausea, dehydration, exhaustion, LBM, headaches, and others.

You might also see high-protein diets that some people follow. It’s recommended that protein only make up a maximum of about one-third of your total calories. If it’s much higher than that then you risk developing certain health issues.

Outstanding Sources of Amino Acids

1. Eggs

Are eggs high in cholesterol? They are but it’s the good kind. Unless you have high total or bad cholesterol then you should consider eating 1-2 eggs per day. In fact, most of the nutrients are found in the yolk including protein, amino acids, and good fat.

2. Meat/Fish

Is red meat bad for you? The studies are mixed but it’s worth noting different meats have different amino acids. So, if you want to get enough of each type you should consider getting amino acids from different food sources. This includes red meat as well as chicken and fish.

Interestingly, many of the world’s healthiest cultures consume fish and chicken sometimes during the week and just a little red meat. Red meat like beef is a good source of saturated fat and certain amino acids.

3. Grains/Seeds/Nuts

These are other good sources of amino acids. No-grain diets have been trending recently. The problem with this approach is it’s tough to get all your nutrients when you swap out an entire food group. Unless you have health, conditions try eating more whole grains, plant seeds, and tree nuts.

4. Beans/Peas

This is a good source of many different amino acids. Beans are high in protein/amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Make sure to consume different ones so you get different nutrients. Another key benefit of beans is they’re a heart-friendly food. So, if you have issues like high blood pressure then eat more beans.

5. Supplements

You can find many dietary supplements on the market like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are popular among weightlifters and bodybuilders and can boost levels of three amino acids that are believed to help with building muscle mass.

It’s important to watch how much of the supplements you consume. This can help to avoid potential health issues from too many amino acids.

top view of raw fish beef and chicken on gray stone

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