The macronutrients are the three main nutrients that your body needs to survive. You need to consume relatively large quantities of carbohydrates, dietary fats and proteins to ensure that your body functions properly. However, there is a limit to how much you can safely consume and exceeding that limit can have a number of adverse effects.
In this article I will be expanding on this topic and discussing four of the negative side effects associated with macronutrient overdose.
Eating too much protein has been linked with dehydration. A study from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology looked at five endurance athletes who consumed low (63g per day), moderate (123g per day) and high (246g per day) levels of protein over three periods of four weeks. They found that as protein consumption increased, hydration levels went down. Dehydration can have an adverse effect on your health and put you at risk of a number of heat related illnesses.
2) FLUCTUATING ENERGY LEVELS
Consuming too many carbohydrates causes your blood glucose levels to increase rapidly and then fall dramatically. Eating high levels of omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) has also been linked with elevated blood glucose levels. Your body uses blood glucose for energy so any fluctuations can have a direct effect on your energy levels. One minute you may feel full of energy and then the next minute you will feel as though all the energy has been sucked from your body. This makes it extremely difficult to concentrate and function properly throughout the day.
3) INCREASED LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (LDL) CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Eating high levels of saturated fat has been linked with increased LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol builds up in your artery walls causing blockages. This restricts the flow of blood to your vital organs which can lead to both organ damage and heart disease.
4) WEIGHT GAIN
Weight gain is probably the most common symptom associated with macronutrient overdose. If you eat too many carbohydrates any that are not required for energy are stored as body fat. Consuming too much protein has exactly the same effect with any excess being converted into body fat. Overindulging on dietary fats can also lead to rapid weight gain as they contain more than twice the calories (nine calories per gram) of carbohydrates and proteins (four calories per gram).
Whilst the macronutrients are essential for life and good health you need to keep an eye on how much of each type you are consuming. To ensure that you are not eating too many macronutrients you first need to check that the daily amount of calories you consume is in line with the amount your body burns.
Then you need to ensure that no more than 70% of your daily calories come from a single macronutrient (so having 90% of your daily calories come from carbohydrates would be too much). If you stick to these rules you should be avoid the negative symptoms discussed in this article and enjoy all the benefits that the macronutrients can offer.