Protein is necessary for bodily functions such as growth and tissue repair. A diet high in protein is often used to achieve rapid weight loss and may be used among athletes to improve performance. A high-protein diet involves side effects, including sweating, that can contribute to potential health dangers. Consult your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise program.
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A high-protein diet includes foods rich in protein while limiting your intake of carbohydrates like cereals, grains, vegetables and fruits. Top sources of protein include fish, poultry, red meat and dairy products.
According to Vanderbilt University, your body excretes water to dispose of urea, a substance formed in protein breakdown. If you consume high amounts of protein, your body will excrete more water than usual, which can result in sweating and excessive urination.
High-Protein Diets and Athletes
MedlinePlus, the online medical encyclopedia of the National Institutes of Health, explains that some people falsely believe that athletes need to consume a high-protein diet for muscle growth. Athletes already sweat during performance. In fact, MedlinePlus reports that the amount of sweat lost during athletic performance can exceed several liters in one hour. Excessive water loss that results from a high-protein diet can be particularly dangerous and lead to dehydration for an athlete who is already sweating.
In addition to sweating and water loss, a high-protein diet prevents other potential dangers. A high-protein diet typically consists of a lot of red meat and full-fat dairy products, which can increase your risk of heart disease, dietitian Katherine Zeratsky writes for the Mayo Clinic's website. A high-protein diet can also lead to nutritional deficiencies and place you at higher risk for osteoporosis and kidney and liver problems.
If your doctor advises you to go on a high-protein diet, you can reduce the side effect of sweating by avoiding caffeine, a diuretic that promotes fluid loss. If you are going to be exercising or participating in athletics, be sure to hydrate before, during and after your exercise.