© by likeablerodent

Weather it is losing body weight or gaining muscle mass, many athletes go on a high-protein diet for different reasons. What they don’t realize is that they need to adjust their water consumption as well when following a high-protein diet to prohibit decreases in performance. Otherwise, the new diet becomes more harmful than beneficial!

Protein consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. If one increases the amount of protein in the diet then the amount of urea (ammonia & carbon dioxide), a waste product the body produces, increases as well because urea is being used by the body to get rid off excess nitrogen.

In order to get rid off the urea via urine, the body uses water. Because the body needs the extra water to excrete the urea via urine, insufficient water reserves in the body cause dehydration, which impairs the body’s metabolism and hence decreases performance.

There are some athletes that use high-protein diets to lose weight, which is counterproductive because:

1. they increase the risk for dehydration, which impairs performance
2. losing WEIGHT (water weight) doesn’t mean losing FAT. Once they return to their “normal” diet they regain the water weight that is associated with carbohydrate storage

It is recommended to work with a Registered Dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet. This ensures that you use dietary compounds effectively to increase your performance.

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