Protein shakes and bars may promise muscle growth and weight loss, but most Americans already consume more than enough protein in their normal diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Along with shrinking your bank account, protein supplements may also come with health risks, and most people are better off avoiding them.
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Protein contains calories, and eating too much of any type of calorie leads to weight gain because your body stores the excess as fat. Protein overconsumption can also cause dehydration, as your body expels protein byproducts through urination. This is especially risky for those who exercise heavily and lose a lot of water through sweat. In addition, the American Council on Exercise reports that high protein intake is linked to calcium loss through urine, which could lead to bone weakness. With all of these risks and no clear benefit, it may be wise to focus on eating a balanced, healthy diet rather than to consume protein supplements.