My Personal Story With Kidney Damage And A High Protein Diet (Part 2)

This is part two in my article series about high protein diets.

In part one, I revealed clinical results for:

  • Short-term, high protein diets and how they affect your kidneys
  • What type of person should NOT eat a high protein diet
  • The negative effects of protein on kidney stones

High Protein & Kidney Failure

Years ago, I had a business partner. He was a bodybuilder. He was about 20 years older than me. He had more experience than me and I respected and trusted him at the time.

And he would always tell me that I need to eat more protein if I want to gain more muscle.

Especially, “lean muscle” …

 My Personal Story With Kidney Damage And A High Protein Diet

He said I need a minimum of 2 grams per pound and 3 grams would be even better.

I weighed about 200 lbs and thus, he wanted me to eat at least 400 grams to 600 grams of protein daily.

That’s a lot of protein. I was eating around 200 grams at the time. 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.

However, I decided to go on this journey.

I first doubled my protein and went to 400 grams daily. This was really hard, but I managed to do it for a month.

I decided to eat 50 grams, with 8 meals daily. At least half of them were protein shakes made with whey protein.

After 30 days, I noticed weight gain – which was probably just from the extra calories. However, I was very bloated and tired.

But, I made a commitment and starting the second month, I went to 600 grams of protein.

To make a long story short, I stopped two weeks later. So, I was on it for a total of 6 weeks.

Basically, I felt like crap. I was slow and tired. My blood pressure was also higher.

high blood pressure


And keep in mind that the two major causes of kidney damage are high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels.

And having that much protein, especially whey protein – also increases your blood sugar levels too.

Don’t forget, excess protein converts to sugar and fat.

Yet, my business partner did this daily. 100 grams of protein, 7-8x daily. Half from whey protein and the other half from animal sources (chicken, beef, fish, egg whites). He was
big and lean.

And yes, he took steroids.

Fast forward about 10 years later, he ended up dying of kidney disease and kidney failure. He was on dialysis for a few years and finally died.

Was it because of the very high protein diet? I don’t know….

I was no longer in contact with him for many years.

Who knows what else he was doing.

But I can guarantee that having that much protein, year after year, for sure added stress to the kidneys.

One of my original mentors who was a doctor and a bodybuilder was also very much into high protein. He would tell me to eat a tub of cottage cheese every night – which was about 100 grams of protein.

Of course, I couldn’t do that because I’m lactose intolerant.

But he did. And years later he also died of kidney failure.

And I’ve had a few other bodybuilding clients who have been on very high protein diets, who also have kidney problems.

And no, it’s not from the steroids and they weren’t taking pain meds either.

The reality is that you should have enough protein to do its job – which is to repair and build.

Anything extra will just put stress on your organs and turn into body fat.

In fact, too much protein will also increase oxidation and thus, does the opposite and decreases protein synthesis.

How Much Protein?

So, how much protein should you be eating daily?… Assuming you’re working out with weights?

I honestly think about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight is all you need. So if you weigh 200 lbs, eat 200 grams.

And if it’s coming from good quality protein – such as whole eggs, bison, salmon and of course, whey protein isolate is one of the highest biological values. Then you probably need even less.


If you’re taking lots of steroids and similar drugs, you can eat a little bit more.

And the average person who doesn’t exercise much, they just need about half of that – 0.5 grams per pound of weight.

What Are The Best Protein Sources?

I’ve done an article about this in the past. The best proteins would be pasteurized whole eggs, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed bison, and grass-fed beef.

I think chicken is a crappy source of protein. I’ve done an entire article about this and there’s a link below at the end of the article.

I’m not a fan of dairy because milk is for babies and cow milk is for baby cows.

However, small amounts of whey isolate from grass-fed cows are okay. It has the least amount of fat, sugar, and lactose.

Forget the cheap, gas-producing, Whey Concentrate. It’s used in many products to save money. So, read the labels and avoid whey concentrate.

And the best vegan source of protein would be non-GMO white rice protein.


Personally, over the past few years, I’ve lowered the amount of protein I eat, especially from animal sources. I have probably half my protein from vegetable sources now and the animal protein is only of the highest quality.

And I haven’t noticed any negative changes in my body. And I have more energy.

In summary,

  • High protein diets will put extra stress on your kidneys, definitely if you already have kidney problems.
  • They do increase your risk of kidney stones.
  • Excess protein will simply turn into sugar and body fat.
  • You only need a maximum of 1 gram of quality protein, per pound of bodyweight.
  • For maximum protein synthesis, eat no more than 40 grams per meal. So, if you’re eating 200 grams, that would be spread over 5 meals. Less protein more often is better.
  • The better quality of protein, the less protein you need.
  • Higher and higher protein diets will eventually cause a decrease in protein synthesis and increase oxidation – you do NOT want this.
  • Very high protein diets also accelerate aging and can cause earlier mortality and death.

Now, below if I have other important links about proteins:

  1. Why Chicken Is Worthless & Bad Protein
  2. Everything You Want & Need To Know About Protein Powders
  3. How To Use Whey Protein For Maximum Muscle and Fat Loss
  4. Best Time To Have Whey Protein For Max Muscle & Fat Loss
  5. Eat NO Protein To Gain MORE Muscle
  6. What To Eat On Protein Fasting Days For Gaining Muscle & Losing Fat
  7. Best Vegan Protein Powders – For Health, Muscle & Fat Loss
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