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Whey Protein Side Effects and Dangers

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Although whey protein is thought to be a supplement that is safe, it is best not to go overboard with it. When you drink it more than you should, it can lead to a number of health problems. This risk is even greater when your intake of carbohydrate is low. Milk comprises of two types of protein; one of them is whey protein. It is water soluble and is used to meet the daily protein demands. It also provides large quantities of L-cysteine, the amino acid. This amino acid aids in the alleviation of deficiencies that come with conditions such as diabetes and aging. Specialists call whey protein the “complete protein” as it is loaded in all the amino acids needed by the human body to repair muscles, tissues, organs, bones, etc. Other complete proteins are foods such as eggs, dairy, meat etc. One of the benefits of whey protein is that it is easy to digest fast.

Benefits of Whey Protein

Although whey protein is taken as a supplement, it is much more than that. It is a functional “super food” that helps extremely in the regulation of your body weight. It also helps in building muscle mass and comes with many other health benefits. The health benefits that this nutrient provides are connected directly to the amino acid profile it has. This complete protein is also highly loaded in antioxidants, making it an efficient fighter against various diseases and a great promoter of overall health.

Here are some of the benefits that you can gain by moderately drinking whey protein supplement of high quality on a daily basis:

  • It helps in promoting weight loss.
  • It helps in overcoming the symptoms that come with HIV.
  • It helps in the treatment of cancer.
  • It helps in lowering cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol or HDL.
  • It helps in increasing power while playing sports.
  • It helps in increasing the levels of glutathione in your body.
  • It helps in building muscle mass in the body.
  • It helps in boosting the proper function of the immune system.
  • It helps in decreasing recovery time and the indications that come with over-training.
  • It helps in lowering triglyceride levels in the body.

As you can see, there are quite a few advantages to gain from whey protein intake. The deal is to make sure that you do not take too much of it. Rather than gaining its goodness, you can end up with side effects that may not seem too critical but can be highly difficult. If you have kidney, liver or heart problems, it is very important to moderate your intake of whey protein and also get your doctor’s opinion before you start making it a part of your daily diet.

When Should One Take Whey Protein?

This is an issue that is often questioned by many people who are interested in drinking whey protein but do not know how to go about it correctly. It is not hard to learn when to take this protein to get its benefits.

Firstly, if you want to take whey protein on its own, you should do it within half an hour to an hour post-workout that is based on strength training. This is because this protein gets digested very fast. During other times, you should consume it with other foods so that digestion can be slowed down.

Secondly, if you want to have a wholesome snack while you are in the office, you can have a whey protein-shake coupled with a bit of fish oil or nuts. This again will assist in slowing down the digestion process of the protein. The fat combination is what helps slow down digestion and this, in turn, helps you greatly by allowing the levels of insulin in your body to stay even. It also helps in the stimulation of CCK, which is a hormone that lets your body know when it is full.

The protein that is digested post-workout gives your body the amino acids that it requires for the repairing and building of new muscles. According to experts, having whey protein as soon as you finish a workout could be particularly beneficial as it has a high content of Leucine, an amino acid that is readily absorbed by the body.

Whey Protein Side Effects

Although whey protein has many advantages, it does come with quite a few side effects as well.

1. Excessive Fat Gain

In many circumstances, whey protein supplements have extra carbohydrates in the form of sugars. There are some that have fats also. This means that weight can be gained in fat form, which is not healthy. You can also gain weight when you overeat while drinking whey protein at the same time.

2. Digestive Problems

Lactose is present in whey protein, and if you are receptive to it, you could end up having difficulties with digestion. It is not only people who are lactose intolerant that experience this problem. If you do have digestive issues, choose for a whey protein concentrate as it does not contain as much lactose.

3. Kidney Problems

Extreme intake of whey protein can cause renal problems, particularly if you already suffer from them. Experts suggest monitoring your whey protein intake and also discussing your physician before you start taking it. This way you can bypass any long-term harm to your kidneys.

4. Liver Problems

Consuming whey protein extremely can worsen liver problems. This is why it is crucial to make sure that you intake the protein moderately at all times. It is also desirable to ask your doctor before taking whey protein, as it may hinder with the effects of the medication you are taking for your liver condition.

5. Risk Of Heart Disease

Experts believe that having too much whey protein can have critical effects on people who suffer from heart disease. It can cause cardiac arrest, heart rhythms that are unnatural, and as well as total loss of heart functionalities.

6. Risk Of Gout

Although there is no confirmation that whey protein is a direct cause of gout, it can worsen the condition if you already have it. It is also sound to consult a physician before you start taking whey protein if there is a past of gout in your family.

7. Kidney Stone Formation

When you intake whey protein, there is a chance of kidney stone formation. While it may not be a primary cause, experts believe that this protein can make the situation worse if you are already suffering from it. To prevent this, you should take fair quantities of dietary fiber and water.

8. Blood Acidity Increase

Another side effect of whey protein consumption is an increase in pH in blood. When there is too much protein in your blood, the kidney has difficulties in metabolizing it. This results in an increase in blood acidity.

9. Development Of Ketosis

This is another typical side effect of whey protein consumption. This is a situation that occurs when abnormal levels of ketone bodies are existing in the blood. If you put yourself on a diet that is low in carbohydrate and high in protein, energy is consumed in the body using fat. When there is no fat, protein is utilized. This puts extensive pressure on the liver and causes damage over time.

10. Diarrhea

Another side effect of extreme whey protein consumption is diarrhea. It is a bit of the impact that this protein has on the digestive system.

11. Fatigue And Weakness

Due to the digestion problems that some people experience from when they consume whey protein, they can also go through unfavorable effects such as excessive fatigue as well as weakness. They may also experience bloating, gas, cramps, etc. This is because some people’s bodies can’t process or break down the protein that they intake.

12. Wheezing

Several people often have an allergic reaction to whey protein, particularly if they are lactose intolerant. Such people can have a problem with breathing and may suffer from symptoms like wheezing. If you go through this symptom, you should consult a doctor immediately.

13. Nausea

This is one of the usual side effects of taking whey protein. In quite a few cases, people also experience vomiting. The key to avoiding this annoying side effect is to cut down on your consumption of the protein.

14. Swelling Of Throat, Mouth, Lips

Another trait that comes with an allergic reaction to whey protein is the swelling of the throat, mouth, and lips. Although it may not be severe, it can be extremely uncomfortable, and it is best to see a physician to make sure that no critical damage has been done.

15. Development Of Osteoporosis

This disorder has been linked to extreme intake of whey protein. This is particularly risky with long-term intake of the protein. Consuming whey protein in large amounts can cause a mineral imbalance in the bones which in turn can lead to the deficiency of the density of bone minerals.


As with all health or dietary supplements, it is essential that you consult your doctor before you start taking a whey protein supplement. This will assure that it is safe for you and will not conflict with any medication that you may be taking. While whey protein may work miracles for someone you know, there is no assurance that it will provide you with the same results. In fact, you may worsen any condition that you may be suffering from.

It is also essential that you stick to the proper dosage when you start taking whey protein. Remember that it is not the protein itself that is dangerous, but its over-consumption. Many people make the confusion of taking in more than the suggested dose as they think that it will provide them with immediate results. It is important to know the whey protein advantages and side effects completely before you consume it, the better it is for your health as you avoid all the side effects that come with it.

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