A quick research on the internet seems to suggest that 1/g per lb to 1.5g per lb is ideal for body building. I am currently consuming around 160g of protein per day for my bulking routine (most of it through protein powder). I am interested in understanding the potential side effect of my diet. If I continue this diet will I run into potential kidney issues or other organ issues in the future?


Most of the recommendations that I see on the internet are in the 1g-1.5g per kg of bodyweight, not per pound. However, there is no real specific "You must eat this" number for protein that is correct for everyone.

The basic recommendation currently in the US is 56g per day for the average sedentary man or woman, based on a 70kg body weight. As you exercise, that requirement goes up. However, based on your own age, body makeup, type of activity, it will vary some.

This study compared leucine and nitrogen balance in both sedentary and strength athletes, using a range from .8 to 1.8 (rounded) g/kg of protein, and tested the nitrogen balance. The low end of the scale was sufficient for sedentary, while the mid-high levels were sufficient for strength athletes.

This study on endurance athletes suggests that for low-moderate training levels, the sedentary protein consumption was adequate, provided that carbohydrate levels were high enough. For high training levels, then higher protein intake was indicated.

For the long term, many of the problems that can occur may or may not be related to the protein, but also to the excess fats and the quality of the protein. Here is a good writeup on a review of self reported problems in an Atkins type diet (High protein/fat, low carb).

At 160g/day, you are at a level that I would consider sufficient for around a 220 lb man that is actively engaged in strength training (You do say you are bulking). Since you also state that your primary source is protein powder, I would be more concerned about possible heavy metal contamination, or some of the side effects of whey protein (gout, kidney stones) in the absence of adequate hydration. There have been also some reports of feminization (gynecomastia, loss of sex drive) in males that consume excess soy protein/products, but there have not been any definitive studies in that area that I am aware of. Whenever possible, get your protein from real food and you will be much better off.

Side note: There is also some concern regarding aspartame in protein drinks/powders, which breaks down in the body to formaldehyde and formic acid, but again, no definitive studies that I have seen yet.

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