Protein Powders: Bad for Kidneys?

Published on September 05, 2012 by Chantal Ann Dumas

There is no scientific evidence that high protein intake causes kidney problems in healthy individuals. I know many bodybuilders who have been consuming up to 500g of protein per day for extended periods of time.

I would be more cautious in recommending high protein intake in people with abnormal kidney function or kidney disease. The one thing we have to keep in mind though is that it takes a lot of water to metabolize protein. So in order to avoid dehydration, it is important to increase your water intake proportionally to your protein intake and exercise level. I always recommend water that is as close as possible to 100 ppm total electrolytes to which you can add your own trace elements in order to replenish the electrolytes lost during exercise.

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  • Jordin

    Thanks alot for posting this! I always wondered this in the back of my mind since I, myself, consume above average protein (although more closer to 200-230 rather than 500+).
    I was wondering, though, have there been any conclusive, repeated studies that show how much protein per day athletes and those who frequently lift weights actually need? The RDA of 65g seems awfully low, however, I think 500g is extremely high as well. I've heard the 1g/lb "rule" but I don't know if thats just something people made up for simplicity or if there's actual science behind this.
    Most of the studies I look at are only on a few day, or week or two basis which isn't nearly enough time to see any differences in muscle mass changes in a natural.
    Thanks very much,


    Hi Jordin,
    According to the <strong><em>International Society of Sports </em></strong><strong><em>Nutrition</em></strong> (ISSN), exercising individuals need approximately 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kg/day, depending upon the mode and intensity of the exercise, the quality of the protein ingested, and the status of the energy and carbohydrate intake of the individual. In its position statement, the ISSN conclude that : 'concerns that protein intake within this range is unhealthy are unfounded in healthy, exercising individuals'.
    I hope that is helpful.
    Reference:  International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. <em>Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition </em>2007, 8:4  <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>