What’s In Your Protein Powder? Kidney Stones?

Protein is good for you? Right?

We all know that increasing the amount of protein in your diet can dramatically increase your workout results. It helps with retaining muscle and is great for use when dieting. There can be problems though… especially if you take too much or buy an inferior brand.

A short while ago, I was working hard at the gym, taking my supplements and a good helping of protein powder in the form of shakes, bars and meats. Out of the blue I was hit with a crippling pain in my lower right side, just below my ribs – after an emergency dash to the A & E, it turned out I had kidney stones! I had no idea that something so small could cause so much pain – I was in agony.

After many blood tests and scans it was determined that I had a 6mm stone stuck between my right kidney and my bladder. It was going to have to make it’s way out (I’ll save that story for another time – too many painful memories).

So what had caused the kidney stone to form?

It’s difficult to pinpoint but one big contributor to kidney stone formation is excess protein and too much of the wrong type of calcium – both of which I was consuming daily for months as I was getting gym fit. The body can only use as much as it needs of all the supplements and nutrients we throw down our neck – but there is a point when it can’t take any more and it has to get rid of it. Most of it is sent down the toilet, but some of it gets clumped together in various places around our bodies. In my case, the excess calcium had combined with other chemicals in my body to form bloody painful kidney stones.

A few days after stopping taking protein powder my symptoms began to ease off a bit. It was time to give my body a chance to recover. I cut back on the red meat and turned to chicken instead. I couldn’t work out at the gym due to the pain – so went for walks instead. The biggest factor I discovered was water – turns out I had simply not drunk enough of it. Forget all those high priced sugar based energy drinks – water is vital!

You must increase your water

To allow our bodies to cope with the excess amounts of things we consume, water is an essential element. Water is key to helping your body eliminate waste. I have now upped my water intake from around 1 litre to 3 litres a day – and I feel great for it. Knowing that I am prone to kidney stones means I will probably never use protein supplements again – but rather get my protein from fresh organic sources. Red meat is back on the menu, but only once or twice a week.

I am not against using protein powders, shakes or bars.

Only choose quality branded protein products and don’t get fooled by the cheaper stuff that seems to be everywhere. You wouldn’t put an inferior petrol into your car, so why do it your body?

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