Need Help

Submit your question to our team of health care professionals.

Current Question

See what's on the mind of the community right now.

Meet the Team

Learn more about our world-renowned team.

CWD Answers Archives

Review the entire archive according to the date it was posted.

March 9, 2008

Exercise and Sports, Other

Question from Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland:

I am a 29 year old type 1 blind diabetic and have had the condition for 20 years. I have been going to the gym for five months. My progress is good and I am excelling with the leg press and free weights. I was speaking to one of the other clients and he suggested that I use protein supplements. Can I take a protein supplement without having any diabetes problems, i.e. no reduction in blood sugars? I have already learned the hard way with my blood sugar dropping dramatically during the night, which I have managed to keep control. If there are going to be no complications with protein supplements, can you suggest one(s) would be best for me?


From: DTeam Staff

There are no studies that I am aware of that show excess protein can cause damage to organs such as the kidney. Although, physicians routinely work with dietitians to encourage patients who present with kidney problems to cut back on protein as part of their treatment.

Most of us consume enough protein in our diets and do not need supplements. The average person needs 0.8 kg of protein per kg of bodyweight. Strength athletes may consume more (1.0 to 2.0 kg/kg of body weight). Any protein excess is excreted out of the body via urine or stored as body fat. Protein is needed for repair and is beneficial after workouts. The typical guidelines are 4 grams of carbohydrates/1 gram of protein.

A good way to determine whether or not you are getting the proper amount of protein is to do a three day diet analysis. Go to a web site, such as Calorie King, to log in three days of food consumption. See if your daily protein intake is above or below the recommendations.

My guess is most people will have adequate amounts of protein in their diet and, besides most protein, foods have a lot of fat associated with them, too.