Protein powder is a great and tasty way to reach your desired protein goals for the day. It also provides many other benefits that will be discussed in the post.
I’m sure you’ve heard of some benefits and that’s why you added it into your diet. However, if you’ve noticed an increase in urination you may be asking why.
Why Does Protein Powder Make You Pee?
Protein powder is harder to digest, so it is often advised that you drink more water when taking it. It also leads to the formation of urea in the body which results in more frequent urination. Here are 5 reasons why you’re urinating more frequently after taking protein powder.
1. Large Amounts of Protein Have A Diuretic Effect
What exactly does this mean? Diuretic refers to an increased passing of urine. Nitrogen is a bi-product of protein metabolism and is also toxic. High amount of protein breakdown leads to increased amounts of toxins in the body. This causes the body to pull water from tissue to flush it out, resulting in freqeunt urination.
However, once your body becomes accustomed to this, your thirst and urination levels will normalize.
2. You’re Taking In Too Much Protein
A high protein diet has many benefits, even for those who aren’t working out. Increased muscle mass and weight loss are results of eating protein.
Digesting protein releases hormones in the gastrointestinal tract that send satiety signals to the brain. This causes your body to feel more full. When our central mesolimbic reward system is activated in our brains, it generates good feelings. This means that eating protein makes us feel better and happier.
Protein builds strong bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin. Even your hair and nails are composed mostly of protein. Your body also uses it to build and repair tissue. Your muscles cannot grow without it. They also cannot recover properly after a tough workout without it.
Your red blood cells require protein to operate properly. They contain a protein compound which carries oxygen through the body. This will help supply your body with the nutrients that it needs.
1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight is ideal for those looking for an increase in weight loss. Serious athletes or those who are frequently weight lifting can aim for 1.4 to 2 grams per kg for optimal muscle growth.
Now what happens if you’re taking in too much protein? Eating too much can crowd out other food and nutrients that your body requires. If you aren’t an athlete or bodybuilder, there’s no reason to be eating more than 2 grams per kg of body weight a day.
Excess protein places strain on your kidneys and can lead to dehydration. Also consider spreading protein consumption throughout the day as your kidneys can’t break down a big amount in one sitting.
The type of protein that you’re eating is also a factor. Red meats and fried or processed meats should be avoided whenever possible. Studies have shown that they can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes in both men and women.
Lean poultry, fish, and eggs are the best sources of animal protein. Also consider adding plant protein.
3. You’re Simply Drinking More Fluids
When you make a protein powder shake, you are mixing the powder with liquid. Usually water, milk, or juice. If you’re having 12 ounces of liquid with your shake that you wouldn’t normally drink. This could simply be the reason why you are urinating more.
Maybe you’re also mixing pre-workout and BCAA’s into your shaker cup before the gym. If you have just started using these, maybe you haven’t taken into account all the extra liquid that they’re adding.
4. You’re Cutting Out Too Many Carbs
When starting to eat healthier, many people think that cutting carbs is also a good idea. This is because cutting carbs reduces appetite and causes weight loss.
Your body’s storage form of carbohydrates is glycogen. Glycogen holds water in your body, which we release through urination. When depleted of carbohydrates, your body will not be retaining water, but rather flushing it out quickly.
This can be a problem because it can lead to dehydration and loss of electrolytes.
Solution? If you’re planning to cut carbs, drink plenty of water! And expect to be using the washroom frequently. You can increase electrolytes by eating more sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade will also help.
5. Increased Amino Acid Intake
Protein is made up of amino acids that the body must break down in order to make them into the proteins that make up the body’s tissues. They also circulate blood and other fluids.
Digestive juices and enzymes are used to break down protein into smaller pieces until their individual amino acids. These amino acids travel through the bloodstream to the liver. Amino acids contain atoms including nitrogen. When nitrogen is broken down, it releases ammonia, which is toxic. So, the liver converts it into urea.
When protein intake in the body is normal, there isn’t a high demand for urea excretion. However, increased protein consumption leads to an increase in urea excretion, meaning more urination.
Do You Need To Take Protein Powder?
Your body does not require protein powder. It is used by those who are trying to reach a high amount of protein and cannot achieve it by just eating food alone.
Whey protein is clean, quality protein and contains all the essential amino acids. It is also very digestible and absorbed by the body quickly.
Protein powders contain leucine, which is the most growth promoting of the amino acids. It is shown to be effective in preventing age-related muscle loss and increasing strength.
Whey protein has been shown to be effective at moderating blood sugar which increases levels of insulin and the sensitivity to its effects. This means that it can help fight against diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes as it will help reduce blood sugar.
Increased protein consumption is an effective weight-loss strategy. This is possible because increased protein consumption suppresses appetite, helps boost metabolism, and helps maintain muscle mass while losing weight.
Does Protein Powder Have Risks?
High doses can cause side effects such as nausea, upset stomach, reduced appetite, bloating, tiredness, and headaches.
The most important thing is to research the brand of protein you are buying and look up the ingredients. Make sure that it is a well studied brand, so that you are avoiding any dangerous ingredients.
Some people may treat protein powder as meal replacements, or think that they do not need to consume much protein other than their shake. You still need to include other important nutrients in your diet. Protein powder is only used to add extra protein, it does not replace any other essential macro nutrients.
As stated in this article, there are many negative impacts to consuming too much protein. Make sure you are tracking your protein intake and not taking in too much.
Unless you’re a bodybuilder or athlete trying to eat a high amount of protein, you probably don’t need protein powder. Make sure to research brands of protein powder so that you aren’t taking one with added preservatives. As long as you’re taking a trusted brand, protein powder is safe to take. Without also strength training, protein powder will not magically increase muscle.
Let me know if you learned anything and if you have any questions or comments.