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By Austin Perry

There’s a common question I keep seeing throughout Google and other forums regarding certain supplements on the market.

Is protein powder bad for you?

Listen, we’ve all heard these outlandish, ‘propaganda-like’ messages that somehow involve protein powder being considered dangerous.

Let’s answer this question once and for all.

No, protein powder is not dangerous. But we have to figure out why this is a common misconception regarding this specific topic.

Why do people think taking protein powder is such a dangerous thing to do?

There are a lot of misinformative based articles on the internet that stray you to believe that kidney damage and overall toxicity are the main reasons as to why you should not be taking protein powder.

Let’s break this down into several different points to why you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Related – What Type of Protein Is Best For You?

 

What is Protein Powder?

 
First off, we need to cover exactly what protein powder is and define this in more detail. Whey Protein specifically, is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey found in dairy products. [1] There are also many different types of protein powders that include:

• Isolate: Cold filtered and contains less lactose or lactose-free in certain scenarios
• Whey Protein Concentrate: Contains a bit more fat but typically will provide the best flavor overall
• Hydrolysate: Advanced breakdown using enzymatic hydrolysis and creates a faster digestion process
• Caseinate: Slower digesting protein derived from dairy
• Plant Based: Consisting of high protein, plant-based sources for a vegan friendly product

Often times, you’ll also see a lot of protein powders on the market formulated with a biological matrix blend that takes multiple protein sources to create a better option for advanced muscle recovery. By using the benefits of each source, you can really get creative with flavoring and the overall science behind it.

For example, IsoFit from Nutrex Research is a great fast-digesting Whey Protein Isolate product of the highest quality and in my opinion by far, the best-tasting one on the market with it’s amazing gourmet flavors. Furthermore, it is low in lactose creating an easier digestion process for those with a dairy problem.

Nutrex also offers an advanced multi protein blend consisting of whey protein concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzed whey protein for a slower digesting but longer-lasting effect on muscle recovery with Muscle Infusion.
 

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Nutrex Research also offers a brand new Plant Protein product consisting of Yellow Pea Protein, Brown Rice Silk Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein and Sunflower Seed Protein for an advanced all-natural matrix for vegan friendly users.

 

Common Myths About Protein Powder

 
I couldn’t begin to tell you how many things I’ve heard about how bad protein powder can be for you and how it can cause multiple different health problems from self-proclaimed “doctors”.
 
Protein powder causes kidney damage: Researchers have debunked this myth proving that there is simply no evidence related to high protein-based diets (such as consuming too much protein powder) and kidney damage. [2]

 
Protein powder can stunt growth in young adults: FALSE. At no point is this true by any means. Think about it, protein is in food. The only thing protein powder is doing is allowing you to get the extra intake in that is needed for your daily diet without having to consume a food source. Protein is actually great for young adults and kids! Contrary to popular belief, they actually need more protein as it is beneficial to their rapid growth.
 
Protein powder causes you to gain weight: Every time you workout, your muscle tissue is broken down and needs nutrients to help repair the muscle group for faster recovery. Protein powder is essential for helping you repair the muscle group and also helps build strength quicker. With increased strength and muscle gains, a fluctuation of the scales is bound to happen. Protein powder is not necessarily going to be the main cause for weight gain.

If you are in a caloric surplus while consuming protein powder on a daily basis; guess what? You’re going to gain weight. [3]

If you’re in a caloric deficit and consuming protein powder on a daily basis; you will lose weight.

This is not bro science, this is facts.

How you tailor your daily diet and training regime will be the main effects of what you see when you step on the scale each time.

 

Deaths Linked to Protein Powder?

 
A recent case showed that a 21-year-old musician died from a protein shake gone completely wrong. This story surrounds the bizarre and horrid accident that occurred when Lachlan Foote, who was intoxicated at the time and confirmed by the coroners report, decided to mix up a quick protein shake after a long night out with friends on New Year’s Eve. [4]

Lachlan made the decision to also mix in caffeine powder that a friend had given him according to a Yahoo! News UK report. That decision ended up being a fatal accident.

According to the article, there was no label on the caffeine powder or recommended serving size. What Lachlan put into his protein shake ended up being the equivalent to 50 cups of coffee. Lachlan was pronounced dead the next morning due to a caffeine overdose.

While this death isn’t directly linked to protein powder precisely, it should raise the focus of buyer awareness and knowledge regarding supplements alike.
Buying products from trusted sources and brands is crucial as well as adhering to the label facts on each container. Recommended serving sizes and label warnings are sometimes easy to overlook but are also the most vital to study before purchasing a product.

 
Newsweek Tweet

Caffeine powder was stacked with the protein shake at a lethal dose.

Another recent death most notably linked to protein powder involves a young mother who wanted to better her lifestyle by changing her diet, working out more often and using supplements. What she didn’t know was that she had a medical condition that caused her body to not be able to digest higher amounts of protein like the normal person.

It was unknown at the time that she had this type of disorder and was unaware that there was an underlying issue related to protein intake. [5]

While there have been some headlines in the news regarding protein powder and deaths, the answer is: No, protein powder cannot kill you.

Medical conditions should be taken seriously. Make sure to contact your physician before starting any type of new diet and/or supplement regime if you’re not entirely sure of your health background.

 

Benefits of Using Protein Powder

 
Protein Powder Helps Build Muscle:
According to numerous studies regarding protein powder and the effects of muscle building, protein powder has been shown to provide an increased role in helping the overall muscle recovery process. [6]

Protein powder contains an advanced amino acid profile that helps increase protein synthesis. In turn, providing your body with these branched chain amino acids helps build additional strength and preserves glycogen levels that are depleted during training. [7]

As your muscle tissue begins to break down during your workout, a high protein intake is necessary to hit within the 30-minute anabolic window post-workout. Taking in roughly 50g of protein in one sitting is not always the easiest thing to do with food.

Enter, protein powder.
Nutrex Research IsoFit contains up to 25g of protein per serving and can help assist you with the additional intake that’s needed for post-workout recovery.
 
Protein Powder May Reduce High Blood Pressure:
A research backed experiment from 2003 shows that the bioactive peptides in fermented milk has proven to reduce higher blood pressure in certain patients. [8]

During the controlled study, patients were shown to have a difference that substantially lowered blood pressure when using the fermented milk containing bioactive peptides. [9,10]

Bioactive peptides have taken the industry by storm in the mid 2010’s due to the advanced protein synthesis production that further ensues. [11]
 
Protein Powder Helps with a Deficient Diet:
A lot of us might not realize it but you might not have enough protein in your diet that you should be getting daily.

For those with low appetites, protein powder can be very beneficial by providing you with an easier and faster method for protein consumption without having to rely solely on foods.

Being able to supply your body with the necessary protein intake is most important because of the benefits it provides you with.

Medical patients who have lost weight and are struggling to put back on any size are typically given supplements that include a higher protein per serving to help recovery time and build up strength that was lost with the excessive weight reduction.

 

Final Takeaways

 
If you’re one of those individuals who searched “Is protein powder bad for you?” and you landed on this article, you can rest easy knowing that protein powder is not going to kill you.

Instead, take in the above information and try to incorporate more protein powder into your everyday lifestyle, especially if you’re an active individual and are looking to help take the healthy approach to your diet.

There are many different benefits and assets that come with taking protein powder and you may find that the only negative side effects are the dreaded ‘protein farts’ or some small digestion issues from whey protein concentrate. If digestion issues are something that’s been bothering you, make the switch to a whey protein isolate product for a dairy free experience as it is much easier on the stomach.

 

References

1. Kris Gunnars, BSc. June 29, 2018 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whey-protein-101#what-is-it
2. McMaster University. November 5, 2018. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-high-protein-diet-affect-kidney-function.html
3. Int J Exerc Sci. 2017; 10(8): 1275-1296. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786199/
4. Ross McGuinness July 8, 2019. https://news.yahoo.com/father-issues-facebook-warning-after-musician-son-21-dies-of-caffeine-overdose-from-drinking-protein-shake-110238353.html
5. Miranda Larbi July 15, 2019. https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/9509052/mum-protein-shake-warning-daugther-diet/
6. Center for Human Nutrition, School of Medicine February, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5852800/
7. J Nutr. January, 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16365096
8. Am J Clin Nutr. February, 2003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12540390
9. Am J Clin Nutr. February, 2003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12540390
10. Am J Clin Nutr. February, 2003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12540390
11. Leticia Mora, 2019. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/bioactive-peptides

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