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Here’s Why Drinking Protein Powder May Not Be Good For You

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Protein powder supplements are a trend these days. They certainly have advantages – they help the body meet their daily protein requirements. And that too, in an easy way. But excess consumption of protein supplements often does more harm than good.

Side Effects Of Protein Supplements

1. Lead to Unhealthy Weight Gain

This side effect surpasses the very objective of inventing protein supplements in the first place! If taken in excess amounts, protein supplements can make you gain weight. And by weight, we mean fat. When your workout routine does not meet up to your protein intake, the unutilized calories get transformed into fat. This fat gets accumulated day by day, causing you to gain weight quickly. It is surely not a good indication.

2. Might Affect Kidneys

As protein is used by the body, it builds ammonia as a by-product. The ammonia is then transformed into urea, which is excreted from the body through urine. If a person takes high quantities of protein, they produce large amounts of urea. It puts greater pressure on the kidneys as they filter out extensive amounts of urea and calcium from the blood.

When large amounts of protein supplements are consumed over a sustained period, there is an increased danger of developing renal disorders. Impairment of kidneys, kidney stones, and renal failure are the presumable side effects of taking protein supplements in excess amounts.

3. Can Lead To Hair Loss

Our hair is made of keratin, which is a protein. So, it only makes sense to glut on more protein, true? Well, maybe not. This is because whey protein is also known to increase testosterone levels, which produce a chemical called DHT in the bloodstream. This chemical can often cause hair loss.

This just means that it is not protein but the chemical that is produced in the process that causes hair loss. Even lifting excess weights can lead to an increase in testosterone levels and consequent hair loss. Hence, you must also focus on aerobic exercise.

4. Upset Digestive System

The two most common protein supplements — whey protein and casein protein — are obtained from milk. These are high in lactose, which is a kind of sugar normally found in milk. Therefore, it is not a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant.

Excess consumption of these proteins can also cause increased bowel movements, bloating, and even nausea. Other side effects including flatulence and diarrhea.

5. Can Lower Blood Pressure Too Much

Studies show that whey protein especially can lower blood pressure. Though this can be good news in most cases, people who already are on medications for high blood pressure must be wary as whey supplements might lower their blood pressure too much.

6. Can Cause Acne

Whey protein is known to increase the production of a hormone called IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor. This can trigger sebum production and cause acne.

7. Can Disrupt Hormones

Hormonal disruption is a major issue when it comes to soy-based protein supplements. While soy is rich in essential amino acids, it is also packed with phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogen, when ingested, mimics the estrogen hormone and can send your endocrine system on a roller coaster ride. Not to state the fact that up to 95% of soy used to obtain protein supplements is genetically modified. The genetically modified soy contains a chemical called glyphosate, which is responsible for hormonal imbalance, miscarriage, and even birth defects in newborns. The daidzein and genistein found in soy can cause diminished libido, erectile dysfunction, and enlarged breasts in men.

8. May Cause Dehydration

Research shows that high-protein diets can make one dehydrated. This is one reason people on high-protein diets must drink enough water.

9. May Increase Cancer Risk

The presumable heavy metals in certain protein powder brands can increase cancer risk. But this is just a vague possibility. Other investigations suggest how whey protein can decrease tumor size and check cancer proliferation. Hence, consult your nutritionist in this regard.

10. Drug Interactions

It would be notably wise of you not to consume whey protein if you are on medicine for osteoporosis – as it might limit the absorption of the drug. Whey protein can also interact with anti-platelet medications, anticoagulant drugs, and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), thereby increasing the risk of bleeding.

There is a huge list of drug interactions, which one must study before encompassing the protein supplement fad. A supervised approved intake of protein supplements is okay. The problems set in when you go overboard. The best way ahead is to ask your physician before piling your kitchen shelf with jars of expensive protein supplements.

11. May Cause Liver Damage

Having a diet of protein supplements, with no carbohydrates, can force the body to the state of ketosis, wherein the body uses fat as the main source of energy. This leads to high blood acidity levels. Regular high blood acidity is known to undermine liver function and may result in critical liver disorders.

Also, consuming excess whey protein without working out can lead to liver inflammation and increase the risk of severe liver injury.

12. Can Lead To Heavy Metal Poisoning

One review by Consumer Reports showed that protein powders are laced with harmful heavy metals like arsenic and lead. Needless to say, extended consumption of excess protein supplements can make you ill. A person glutting on protein supplements can feel exhaustion and other issues – more so if they have diabetes indications or suffer from prolonged kidney conditions.


Protein sure is important. It is the building block of life. But taking it in excess is not advisable. So, keep a check on your protein intake. Assure you get enough of it, but don’t go overboard.

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