There are no side effects with eating protein, it is a vital nutrient that we all need. Protein is the raw material needed
for building and repairing muscle tissue. A diet that contains plenty of protein will help you build muscle and
maintain good health. Generally 1-2 grams per pound of bodyweight each day is needed for building maximum
muscle size and strength.
Side effects of proteins
But have you ever thought about the probable side effects of protein supplements as you sip on that delectable chocolate-flavored protein shake before the workout every day? If not, read ahead to know about the not-so-scrumptious spin-offs of protein supplements:
1. Upsets Digestive System:
The two most popular protein supplements—whey protein and casein protein—are derived from milk. These protein supplements are rich in lactose, which is a type of sugar naturally found in milk. Therefore, it is not a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant. Consuming whey protein and casein protein can cause abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and vomiting in lactose intolerant people. So much for building a hot body!
2. Unhealthy Weight Gain:
This side effect beats the very purpose of inventing protein supplements in the first place! If taken in excess quantities, protein supplements can cause you to gain weight. And by weight, we mean fat. When your workout regimen does not match up with your protein intake, the unutilized calories get converted into fat. This fat gets piled up day by day, causing you to gain weight rapidly. It is surely not a good sign.
3. Disturbs Blood Sugar Levels:
If it weren’t for different flavors, protein powders would be absolutely unpalatable. Protein powders, laced with flavors of chocolate or vanilla, contain additives and artificial sweeteners, which may cause an undesirable spike in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, whey protein is known to bring down the blood sugar levels. Research studies suggest that soy protein, whey protein and casein protein can actually bring down the systolic blood pressure. This is an area of concern when we talk about people suffering from diabetes or low blood pressure.
4. Kidney Disorders:
As protein is utilized by the body, it produces ammonia as a by-product. The ammonia is then converted into urea, which is eliminated from the body through urine. The logic is simple. If a person takes high quantities of protein, they produce high quantities of urea. It puts higher pressure on the kidneys as they filter out copious amounts of urea and calcium from the blood. When large qualities of protein supplements are consumed over a longer period of time, there is an increased risk of developing renal disorders. Impairment of kidneys, kidney stones and renal failure are the probable side effects of taking protein supplements in more quantity.
5. Bone Loss:
Protein plays a vital role in bone growth and development. However, it turns out that protein can also make your bones weak! Protein supplements derived from non-vegetarian sources, such as eggs and beef are acidic in nature. Consumption of such proteins can increase the blood acidity to adverse levels. In order to neutralize the high blood acidity, the body releases alkaline substances such as calcium and phosphate. Do you know where do these alkaline substances come from? Your bones! This is how you gradually lose your bone mass every time you get high on animal protein supplements, leading to osteoporosis and brittle bones.
I would add some more side effects.
Our hair is made from keratin, which is a protein. So it only makes sense to gorge on more protein, right? Well, the answer is no! When you are working out in the gym and thriving on protein supplements, you are actually cutting back your vitamins, fat and carbohydrate intake. Insufficient vitamins, carbs and fat make it difficult for the body to maintain healthy hair, triggering telogen effluvium characterized by heavy hair loss and balding.
Hormonal disruption is the major issue when it comes to soy-based protein supplements. While soy is rich is essential amino acids, it is also loaded with phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogen, when ingested mimics the estrogen and can send your endocrine system on a roller-coaster ride. Not to mention the fact that up to 95% of soy used to make protein supplements is genetically modified. The genetically modified soy contains a chemical named glyphosphate, which is responsible for hormonal imbalance, miscarriage and birth defects in the newborns. The daidzein and genistein found in soy can cause erectile dysfunction, diminished libido and enlarged breasts in men.
Having a diet of protein supplements, with no carbs, can push the body to the state of ketosis, wherein the body utilizes fat as the primary source of energy. This leads to high blood acidity levels. Consistent high blood acidity is known to impair liver functions and may result in severe liver disorders.
Heavy Metal Poisoning:
In the year 2010, a research was released, which indicated that protein powders are laced with harmful heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and cadmium. Needless to say, prolonged consumption of protein supplements can make you sick. A person gorging on protein supplements can experience exhaustion, throbbing muscles, aching joints and digestive disorders.
No matter how innocent that fat jar of protein supplement sitting on your kitchen shelf looks, it has the ability to wreak havoc through the way of drug interaction. It would be extremely wise of you to not consume whey protein when you are on medication for hypertension, which is also meant to bring down the blood pressure levels. Whey protein can interact with anti-platelet medications, anti-coagulant drugs and NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), increasing the risk of bleeding. There is a long list of drug interactions, which one must study before taking a plunge into the protein supplement fad. A supervised, recommended intake of protein supplements may carry little-to-no risks. The problems set in when you go overboard. The best way forward is to consult your physician before stacking your kitchen shelf with jars of expensive protein supplements.