While adding a scoop of protein powder to a smoothie or glass of milk may seem like a straightforward method by which you can boost your health, it can be very harmful and create health risks. Protein is an essential nutrient for maintaining and building bone strength and muscle and works on numerous bodily functions. And after a certain age, many adults stop their protein intake because of reduced appetite and lack of attention. Many registered dietitians don’t recommend protein powder to their clients. Despite its many health benefits, protein powder has many controversies that have surrounded its health and safety. Many have claimed that consuming a high amount of protein can damage your liver and kidney and even cause osteoporosis. This article will note all the side effects and health risks that protein powders can cause.
What is Protein Powder?
Protein powder is a protein in the powdered form obtained from eggs, milk, and plants like soybean, hemp, potatoes, and rice. The powdered protein also includes other significant ingredients like added sugar, artificial flavoring, minerals, vitamin, and thickeners. The amount of protein per scoop of powdered protein may tend to vary from 10 to 30 grams. Supplements available in the market for strengthening and building muscles contain a relatively higher protein amount than the supplements available in the market for weight loss.
What are the Side Effects?
Protein powder is quite a rage supplement now. It indeed has many benefits and helps your body meet its daily protein intake, but the intake of an excessive amount of protein can cause harm to your body. Listed below are the side effects of protein powder:
Upset Digestive System:
The two top-rated and common supplements are casein protein and whey protein; these two powdered proteins are derived from milk. These protein supplements are highly rich in lactose, a type of sugar you would naturally find in milk. Therefore, consuming these protein types is considered a wrong choice for those who are lactose intolerant. Consuming powdered protein in large amounts can cause bloating, an increase in bowel movements, and nausea. Apart from these, an individual can also suffer from diarrhea and flatulence.
Can Cause Unhealthy Weight Gain:
Causing unhealthy weight gain is one of the side effects that beats the primary purpose of inventing powdered protein in the very first place! If an individual consumes it in excessive quantities, it can cause him to gain unhealthy weight, fat. When your workout routine doesn’t match your protein intake, the body converts the unutilized calories into a form of fat. This unhealthy fat gets piled up rapidly, which is not a good sign. Losing unhealthy fat can be quite tricky in comparison to other types of fat.
Lower Blood Pressure:
Some studies and research related to powdered protein show that among different types of protein, whey protein especially can cause lower blood pressure. However, in some cases, it can be quite useful. Individuals who are on medications for high blood pressure must be quite careful while using such supplements as they can rapidly lower your blood pressure.
Might Damage Internal Organs
As protein is a necessary nutrient and your body highly utilizes it, it can produce ammonia acid as its by-product. Your body converts ammonia acid into urea, which can be disposed of out of the human body through urination. While performing this process, higher pressure is laid on the kidneys, as their primary function is to filter calcium and urea from blood and dispose of them out of the human body. If an individual is consuming a high amount of powdered protein for an extended period, there are high chances of developing renal disorders. Kidney stones, kidney impairment, and significant renal failure are the substantial and dangerous side effects of consuming protein supplements in high quantities.
Following a protein-based diet with no carbs can put your body in a ketosis state; ketosis is a state where the body utilizes the stored fat in the form of energy. This can increase blood acidity levels. Consistency in an increase in blood acidity can damage and impair liver functioning and cause severe liver damage. Also, if an individual consumes excessive protein without following a proper workout routine, it can lead to severe liver injuries and inflammation.
Can Disrupt Hormones:
Protein powder made from soy can cause significant issues like hormonal disruption. Soy is a rich source of essential amino acids and phytosterols. Phytosterols are found in plants’ cell membranes, and when you consume phytosterols, they mimic certain hormones like estrogen and harm your endocrine system. About 95% of soy used in a protein powder is proven to be genetically modified by researchers. Therefore, soy contains glyphosate, which can cause hormone imbalance, cause congenital disabilities, and can even cause miscarriages. Apart from phytosterols, genistein and daidzein are two other components found in soy that can cause significant health problems like enlargement of the breast in men, erectile dysfunction, and diminished libido.
Can Cause Hair Loss:
Human hair is made up of keratin, which is a form of protein. So, you might be thinking that consuming a high amount of protein can work wonders for your hair growth and texture, right? This assumption can be entirely wrong because different protein types boost and increase testosterone levels, which can produce DTH, a chemical in the bloodstream. DTH can be responsible for hair loss and poor hair texture, so as you might have understood that it is not the protein but the specific chemical produced due to protein consumption that can cause significant hair loss. Even lifting heavy weights and performing a heavy exercise can increase testosterone levels that can cause hair loss. Therefore, you might want to focus more on aerobic exercise.
Protein is an essential nutrient for the human body. In fact, it is vital to building and strengthening bones and muscles, but as we have often heard that “anything in excess is a position.” Similarly, consuming an excess of powdered proteins can cause many harmful health risks. So, always keep a check on your protein intake. Ensure you get an adequate amount of protein required for a day, but anything more than that can do more harm than good.