Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

High-Protein Diets Cause Dehydration


WebMD Health News

April 22, 2002 -- Even super-fit endurance athletes can become dangerously dehydrated while adhering to popular high-protein diets, new research shows.

Researchers presented their findings today at the Experimental Biology meeting in New Orleans.

William Forrest Martin, graduate student in the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut, and colleagues watched what happened to trained athletes when they consumed diets containing low, medium, and high levels of protein.

Based on a 150-pound person, the diets contained 68 grams, 123 grams, and 246 grams of protein, respectively, and were adjusted for each athlete. The athletes remained at each protein level for four weeks.

The researchers tested each athlete periodically for blood urea nitrogen, a measure of proper kidney function that also indicates how well someone is hydrated.

Although all the athletes drank about the same amount of fluids, their hydration level went down significantly as their protein intake went up.

What this all means, the researchers say, is that athletes and regular folk alike should drink plenty of water when they're eating a lot of protein, whether or not they feel thirsty. In fact, most of us could all do with a few more glasses of water each day, they say. Even slight dehydration increases the likelihood of heat illness and other disorders and impairs cardiovascular function.

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections