Protein Powder Health Risks: Why You REALLY Shouldn’t Use Protein Powders
Protein powders have been a popular health aid, especially among athletes and bodybuilders. Followers of these people have become consumers of this fad supplement as well. Protein powders are exactly what their name implies: protein extracted from several sources like casein, whey, and soy.
The powdered products have been marketed as a quick and convenient supplement to boost fitness. However, people usually miss the fact that such products are only necessary and helpful when you are a professional athlete or have a protein deficiency.
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Precautions for Protein Powders
Protein powders are highly processed products. They may be from natural sources, but producing a packet for consumption undergoes manufacturing procedures like the addition of artificial colors and flavoring. Some products may also include preservatives.
There are numerous protein powder health risks. These include:
As mentioned, the three common sources of protein powders are casein, soy, and whey. As these are derived dairy products, it is possible for some users to have an allergy to food that list them as an ingredient. People with milk allergies must avoid protein powders regardless of the animal milk source (cow, goat, mare, or sheep).
Some people have reported allergic reactions to whey exposure including diarrhea, infant colic, rash, and vomiting.
Strain on the Kidneys
One known side effect of excess protein consumption is a strain on one’s kidneys. High-protein levels caused by excessive intake of protein supplements or protein sources lead to more acidic processed food load that passes through one’s kidneys. This, in turn, harms kidney functions and may lead to higher risks of kidney stones formation.
Disrupting Calcium Metabolism
Another of the major protein powder health risks is a disruption in calcium metabolism that presents an overall bone health risk. Incremental increase in protein uptake also increases the excreted calcium in one’s urine. Lesser calcium in one’s system then leads to increased risks in bone loss or osteoporosis.
Other Overdose Side-Effects (particularly with whey-based products)
Protein deficiency can be a health issue, but the other extreme end featuring excess protein through overdose of protein powders does not offer better scenarios. Remember that anything in excess can also be bad. The following are possible side effects from overdosing in protein powders (especially whey).
- changes in cholesterol levels
- abnormal heart rhythms
- liver damage
- increased diabetes risk
- stomach or intestine symptoms (acid reflux, constipation, cramps, bloating, gas, movement problems, increased bowel movements, reduced appetite, swelling of limbs, nausea, and upset stomach)
Better Protein Supplement Choices
The best way to achieve bodybuilding goals and basic healthy living is a balanced diet. Eating a balanced meal protects one from deficiencies like low protein count. Under normal conditions, the body will not need extra nutrients through supplementation when they are sufficiently addressed by daily diet (except for certain vitamins that are expelled daily by the body), especially for those nutrients that can be stored for a long time in the body like proteins.
Natural sources of protein include eggs, fresh dairy products like fermented yogurt or kefir, organic meat, fresh fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, avocados, beans, and coconuts.
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