High protein rich foods – are you getting enough or too much?

Bodybuilding is one area that you want to target enough protein in your system to build muscles. It is essential to get an adequate amount of protein into your systems because without enough protein, you will not be able to build a substantial amount of muscle.

Today we will be looking at high protein-rich foods, and you should ask yourself, are you getting enough or too much protein in your system? Not enough protein can keep you from making the muscle gains that you desire.

Another thing that I see all too often is bodybuilders will have a sense of urgency to take in more protein than what is needed. When you take in more protein than what your muscles need, anything more is just excess.

How much protein do you need?

How much protein you need generally goes by a guideline in grams of protein per pound of body weight. There have been different theories behind how much protein you should typically take in per pound of body weight.

The amount of protein you need depends on factors like your age, weight, activity level, and overall health. For healthy adults over age 18 are recommended a dietary allowance of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. That means a healthy 40-year-old woman, weighing 160 pounds, would need a minimum of 57.6 grams of protein per day.

For adults over 60, experts recommend that you should consume more, about 0.5 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. So a healthy 60 year-old woman weighing 160 pounds would need about 80 grams of protein per day.

It’s also important to spread out your protein intake throughout the day. Getting 20 – 40 grams with each meal can help maximize protein synthesis and preserve muscle

But these guidelines stated are based on what the general person would require to maintain their muscle. The amount of protein intake for an athlete interested in building muscle will naturally require a much larger daily protein intake.

In order to successfully build muscle, you will need to determine how much protein you need per day based on your age, weight and activity level. One general guideline is one gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Another good guideline to go by is 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Say for example if you take an 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, if you weigh 200 pounds, then you will need to take in 300 grams of protein a day.

How do you know when you are getting too much?

For the general person there can be side effects from consuming too much protein, but for the typical weight trainer/bodybuilder that consumes large quantities of protein in a day will likely go without seeing any side effects because of their activity level and the requirement for protein that the muscle needs.

For the typical person that doesn’t engage in any weight training activity and consumes large quantities of protein over long periods may suffer from symptoms associated with high protein consumption.

Symptoms associated with too much protein may include irritability, headache, diarrhea, nausea, intestinal discomfort and dehydration. There can be serious risks associated with chronic protein over consumption including cardiovascular disease, seizures, liver issues and possibly even death.

Doctors have also linked certain conditions to chronic protein over consumption such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.

For someone who is accustomed to training their muscles are used to breaking their muscle fibers down on a regular basis and need an adequate amount of protein to rebuild the muscle. Bodybuilders can take higher amounts of protein without seeing any negative results because the excess protein is being consumed by the muscle.

When should you increase your protein intake?

Especially when you are in the stage of building muscle, you will need to make sure that you are getting an adequate amount of protein in your diet so that you have your best chances of encouraging muscle growth.

It’s not a good idea to cram your protein intake into a couple of large meals in a day, you should split up your protein intake within 5-6 smaller meals a day and you should make it a point to take in a serving of lean protein after a workout.

Especially after a grueling workout, your muscles are in need of protein and carbs because the carbs will help your body’s energy source, and the protein will help repair muscle and encourage muscle growth.

Don’t be too worried if you can’t get food into your system immediately after exercise, building muscle is not only about what you do post-workout, it is about what you do with your overall diet.

What are the best sources of protein?

Your best sources of protein are going to be from white meat sources such as chicken, fish and tuna because of their lower fat content. If you want a lower fat content in your diet, you will need to avoid red meats like steak and hamburger which are much higher in fat.

Red meat is an excellent source for protein, if you are in a stage of building muscle and are not too worried about fat intake, then I wouldn’t worry too much about the fat content, but if you are concerned about fat intake, then I would try to keep it down to the white meat which has lower fat content.

Other great sources of protein are cottage cheese, eggs, milk and Greek yogurt. There are many other great sources for protein consumption, so make sure to keep your diet new and exciting so that your progress will be a more continuous path to success without disruption.


As you can see, protein is a necessity for building muscle, if you work your muscles and train them hard, you will naturally need more protein than the average person that doesn’t train. It also stands to reason that if you over do anything, even if it can be a good thing, there are always boundaries that you should follow.

For example, the subject that I used earlier, if you have a daily allowance of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight and weigh 160 pounds, you will need a minimum of 57.6 grams of protein per day, but if you consistently take in 2.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and you don’t work your muscles, your muscles won’t need all that protein so it will be excess.

If you continue to take in an excessive amount of protein every day for a long time, it stands to reason that you will eventually suffer mild to severe symptoms of some form.

On the other hand, if you are a 300 pound bodybuilder that’s in the gym training hard every day, it would be safe to say that your muscles are going to use that 2.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and it will be highly unlikely that you will have any negative effects from it.

I hope that you have had something positive to take away on this subject and can use it to benefit you for your future training.

Along with a healthy diet and plenty of lean protein in your diet, sometimes it can be beneficial to supplement your diet to fuel your training to the max.

You can check out some protein supplementation products in this review and click on a link to purchase.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible.


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2 thoughts on “High protein rich foods – are you getting enough or too much?”

  1. Being a fitness enthusiast, protein is a MUST in my daily meals. I really like the protein intake calculation that you wrote in your article, it does help me to prevent me from consuming too much protein.

    However, I’ve got a quick question for you: Do you prefer soy protein or whey protein? Because I think that whey protein might be a little “unhealthy” compared to soy protein, but I heard that soy protein doesn’t perform as well as whey protein, and it has higher pricing.

    So I don’t know what to choose now.

    • Thanks for stopping by. The source of the protein you choose and how it’s purified during the manufacturing stage may affect how well your body can use it. Although it’s best to get protein from your diet, supplementing it with a combination of whey and  casein is a good choice, as long as you tolerate dairy well, because both come from milk.

      Soy protein is a good option also. It’s a plant-based protein. It can be just as effective as many animal sources of protein, Soy is also rich in nutrients. Basically it comes down to how well your body can handle it, some people can’t tolerate dairy, so their choice would be a soy product.


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