Can Protein Powder Damage Your Liver?

Examining Whether Protein Powder Can Damage Your Liver

Protein powder is one of the most popular supplements in the world, and this product has been used by countless millions to improve their health and athletic performance. While our bodies require this macronutrient in order to build and maintain our muscles, many specialists are concerned that this supplement can damage the kidneys and liver. They believe that consuming too many amino acids will produce an excess of urea in one’s bodily waste. Here is a closer look at how this supplement works, what it does to your body, and the steps you can take to remain safe while using it.

Can Protein Powder Damage Your Liver?

The Importance of Amino Acids

Protein is made up of 20 different amino acids, and our bodies require all of these acids in order to function properly. Every single cell in your body contains at least a few amino acids, and that includes your hair and nails. They are vital building blocks of hormones, bones, muscles, cartilage, and natural chemicals. In addition to carbohydrates and fat, it is one of the three primary macronutrients that must be consumed daily. Unlike fats and carbohydrates, however, our bodies cannot store these amino acids. Once they have been metabolized, we must eat more of them in order to continue producing new cells.

The Popularity of Amino Acid Supplements

While many amino acids can be taken as separate supplements, most people consume a powder or beverage that contains all of the vital proteins. In many cases, athletes and fitness enthusiasts consume these supplements because they are not getting enough amino acids in the foods they eat. Various meats, dairy products, nuts, and legumes can become extremely expensive when an individual has to double or triple their intake of amino acids. While small doses of these supplements are generally not dangerous, consuming too much of them can put a strain on one’s organs.

Removing Waste From Your Body

As your body converts food into energy, it produces waste in the form of urine and feces. The macronutrients must go through a kidney or the liver so that all of the vitamins, minerals, and calories can be extracted from them. When an individual consumes too much of any single macronutrient, it will put an incredible amount of strain on their organs. That is because the organs create a byproduct known as urea, and this crystalline compound must be excreted immediately or it will damage any soft tissue that it stays in contact with.

How Much Is Too Much?

Determining how much of this macronutrient you need is a relatively complex process. Health enthusiasts generally take a close look at their current weight, ideal weight, and energy output. The only difference between a healthy supplement and a toxic supplement is the dose that an individual takes. As a general rule, a relatively active and healthy adult should have anywhere between 75 and 105 grams of this macronutrient per day. The vast majority of those amino acids should come from their food, but a small amount can come from a shake or powdered supplement as well.

It is also important to choose a high-quality supplement with very few additives. Many powders contain additional ingredients such as creatine and caffeine, and it is much easier to damage one’s body with those substances. Your powder should contain a good blend of carbohydrates and amino acids made from natural products such as whey, soy, or milk.