Protein supplements, such as whey, are extremely popular among the fitness community, helping them to gain muscle mass among other things. However, what some people do not know is that there are potential side effects from taking protein supplements. The short-term effects, such as lactose intolerance and diarrhea, are common complaints of people who regularly take supplements. The long-term effects, though, are more alarming.
They can make you gain weight
Many weightlifters and gym goers get excited when they step on the weighing scale and see that they have gained a few pounds days after taking protein supplements. The usual notion is that they are already on their way to generating muscle mass. In truth, however, it is just as likely that the weight gained is due to fat and not muscle. According to StyleCraze, if your protein intake does not match your workout regimen, the calories from the protein supplements will eventually be converted into fat. This can cause weight gain within a few days, due to supplements being high in calories. Furthermore, supplements contain a lot of artificial sweeteners, which can add to the amount of calories they have in them. This can also become problematic for diabetics.
They can lead to kidney problems
Kidneys are responsible for breaking down protein. SFGate warns that consistently going beyond your recommended daily requirement of protein can put a strain on your kidneys and can even damage them in the long run. This is because too much protein consumption will force your organs to work overtime in order to remove the excess waste by-products. This is the reason why individuals who have preexisting kidney problems should avoid taking protein supplements.
They can cause palpitations
Drinking protein supplements may also lead to palpitations. E-Medicine Health discussed how too much protein can disrupt your heart’s electrical system by causing an electrolyte imbalance. An increase in heart rate may also mean that the body is having to work too hard which on its own can be a cause for concern. Health IQ explains why a low resting heart rate is an indicator of good health. For the most part, it means that the heart is healthy enough to be able to keep the blood flowing around the body without have to work extra hard.
They can leave you prone to certain kinds of cancer
An article by Livestrong revealed that taking protein supplements, particularly those that contain soy protein powder, can make you more prone to certain kinds of cancer. The substance is essentially a concentration of phytoestrogens, a plant-based biochemical that has a similar composition to human estrogen. A high level of phytoestrogens in your body makes you more prone to certain kinds of cancer, such as breast cancer.
They can cause heavy metal poisoning
Darwinian Medicine cautions weightlifters to check the nutritional information on the label before purchasing protein supplements. Some have been proven to contain high levels of heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium. If taken regularly, they might eventually lead to complications later down the line.