Smoothie with a straw

Too Much Protein? Optimize Diet and Function

Protein is vital for optimal performance and health maintenance. The main sources of protein in our diet are meat and dairy. As a result, many companies have even started to highlight the amount of protein in their products. However, with these high-protein optional available, how much protein is too much?

Strawberry Smoothie in a glass diet

Excess Protein In Diet

Research shows that excess amounts of protein, specifically branched chain amino acids, may be harmful. Furthermore, excess branched chain amino acids decreases the amount of serotonin levels in the blood. Serotonin is important for sleep and a positive mood. It’s commonly referred as the ‘happy’ hormone. Serotonin is decreased when excess branched chain amino acids block tryptophan. Tryptophan stimulates serotonin production.

Vary Your Sources

Based on these findings, it is important to vary your protein sources to make sure you are not getting excess branched chain amino acids. Soy, lentils, edamame, chickpeas, nuts, quinoa, and chia seeds are great sources of plant-based protein. Even more so, a balanced diet of vegetables and fruits is of equal importance.

Are You Active?

It is important to remember; the amount of daily protein required varies in everyone. Consequently, an active individual will need more protein than a sedentary person. The recommended baseline without variables amounts to .36 grams of protein per pound.  One egg is 6 grams of protein while 1 cup of chicken is 38 grams of protein. Most of all, it’s important to vary your sources of protein for optimum health.

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