15+ side effects of protein powders you should know

Protein Powder can have several side effects that can make you question whether or not you should take them.

The body’s daily protein needs are met with protein supplements. Additionally, they are easy to ingest. However, taking too many protein supplements can have negative health effects.

This article covers the side effects of protein powder and their potential drug interactions.

What is Protein Powder?

Protein powders are powdered protein sources derived from plants (soybeans, peas, brown rice, rice, hemp), eggs, or milk (casein or whey protein).

Other substances present in the powders include added sugars, artificial flavors, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein content per scoop can range between 10 and 30 grams. Supplements for muscle building contain more protein than supplements for weight loss

Side Effects of Protein Powder

The following are some negative effects of consuming protein powders:

1. May Cause Liver Damage

A diet high in protein supplements and low in carbohydrates might cause the body to enter the state of ketosis, which uses fat as its main energy source.

This results in elevated blood acidity levels. It is well-recognized that chronically increased blood acidity impairs liver function and can cause serious liver diseases.

Additionally, consuming too much protein powder without working out might cause liver inflammation and raise your risk of suffering a significant liver injury.

2. May Affect Kidney

The body creates ammonia by using protein. The urea is then produced from the ammonia and excreted from the body through urine. The reasoning is clear-cut.

A person will make a lot of urea if they consume a lot of protein. It increases the pressure on the kidneys since they have to filter out a lot of urea and calcium from the blood.

There is a higher chance of developing kidney diseases when significant protein supplements are eaten over an extended period.

Kidney failure, kidney damage, and kidney stones are possible side effects of taking too many protein supplements.

3. Might Reduce Blood Pressure

Protein powder taken in excess can reduce blood pressure. Always get medical advice before including protein powders in your regular diet.

However, this may be encouraging for those who have high blood pressure.

These vitamins can help lower their blood pressure. But before consuming it, you should always visit a nearby physician.

4. May Affect Digestive System

Whey protein and casein are the two most well-liked protein powders sourced from milk. These are high in lactose, a sugar naturally found in milk. As a result, lactose-intolerant people should not choose it.

Additionally, increased bowel motions, bloating, and nausea can result from consuming too much of these proteins. Other negative impacts include bloating and diarrhoea.

5. Unbalanced Nutrient Composition

It is believed that they have a variable nutritional composition when comparing protein powders to natural sources like meat, milk, and eggs.

Consuming protein powders, which are more protein dense, may lead to an imbalance in the body’s nutrient balance.

6. Abnormal Weight Gain

This negative effect defeats the original intent behind creating protein supplements. Protein supplements can make you gain weight if you take them in surplus. 

Unused calories are turned into fat when your exercise routine and protein intake are out of balance. This fat accumulates day by day, causing you to gain weight quickly. It is undoubtedly a bad sign.

7. May Cause Acne

Gastrointestinal issues can cause inflammation. Hormones and bioactive peptides in protein powders like whey protein can boost sebum production. Taking protein supplements can make acne more common.

8. May Lead to Hair Loss

Keratin, a protein, is the building block of our hair. Consequently, eating extra protein makes sense, doesn’t it? Well, perhaps not.

This is because protein powders also raise testosterone levels, which causes the blood to release a chemical called DHT. This substance frequently results in hair loss.

This indicates that the chemical created throughout the process rather than protein causes hair loss.

Even lifting too much weight might result in a rise in testosterone levels and hair loss. As a result, you should also prioritize aerobic activity.

9. Can Destabilize Gut Microbiota

The type of milk known as “whey milk” contains high sources of certain chemicals.

Antibacterial components in whey milk, such as lactoferrin, can disrupt adult gut flora. This may result in digestive issues and upset the stomach.

10. Hormonal Disruption

Regarding soy-based protein supplements, hormonal disturbance is the main problem. Soy is high in important amino acids, but it also contains a lot of phytoestrogens.

When consumed, phytoestrogen mimics the estrogen hormone and can cause your endocrine system to experience ups and downs.

In addition, up to 95% of the soy used to create protein supplements is genetically altered.

A substance called glyphosate, which causes hormonal instability, miscarriage, and even birth abnormalities in newborns, is present in genetically modified soy.

Men who consume soy may experience erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and larger breasts due to the soy compound daidzein and genistein. One of the Top Side Effects of Protein Powder is Hormonal Disruption. 

11. May be Toxic

Experts advise bodybuilders protein powder consumers to choose products from trusted brands.

Some companies that produce these protein powders use very dangerous metals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury, in their products.

The effects of ingesting these hazardous metals on your body might be very negative. They may result in pain in the muscles and joints, fatigue, constipation, and headaches.

12. May Boost Insulin Levels

Plasma levels of postprandial insulin and basal insulin-like growth factor-I can rise after using protein powders containing whey protein. After exercising, protein powders may help the body’s insulin levels rise.

13. Can Result in Heavy Metal Poisoning

According to a Consumer Reports article, protein powders can include dangerous heavy metals, including arsenic and lead.

It goes without saying that using excessive amounts of protein supplements over time can make you ill.

People who consume excessive protein supplements may become exhausted and experience additional problems, especially if they have diabetes symptoms or chronic kidney disease.

15. Drug Interactions

If you are on osteoporosis treatment, you should avoid consuming whey protein because it may reduce drug absorption.

Additionally, whey protein may interact with NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medicines), antiplatelet drugs, and anticoagulants, raising the risk of bleeding.

Before getting on board with the protein supplement trend, one must research the numerous drug interactions. It’s acceptable to take protein supplements as directed by a physician.

When you go overboard, complications arise. Before stocking your kitchen shelf with expensive protein supplement jars, it is best to df speak with your doctor.

16. May Increase Cancer Risk

Certain protein powder products may include heavy metals that raise the chance of developing cancer. However, this is merely a slight possibility.

Whey protein can shrink tumors and stop the spread of cancer. As a result, see your nutritionist about this.

17. May Result in Dehydration

Diets high in protein can cause dehydration. People who follow high-protein diets must consume much water for this reason.


  • Protein powders are excellent dietary additions. Also, it can be mixed with various recipes.
  • However, you should also be mindful that too much of something is worthless. Likewise, There are side effects of Protein Powder, If you consume it too much.
  • Before adding any foods or supplements to your diet, you should always speak with your doctor.

Avoid the usage of expired protein powders.

Protein powder side effects can include digestive issues such as bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and allergic reactions in some people. Excessive protein intake may cause kidney damage, liver problems, and dehydration. 

Additionally, some protein powders may contain harmful additives and contaminants. So choosing high-quality, reputable brands and consulting a doctor before taking protein supplements is important.

Drinking protein powder daily in moderation is generally safe as part of a balanced diet. However, choosing a high-quality protein powder and not exceeding the recommended serving size is important to avoid side effects such as digestive issues or kidney damage. 

Consulting a doctor or a registered dietitian can also help determine the appropriate amount and type of protein supplement for an individual’s needs and goals.

Research suggests protein powder has long-term side effects when consumed in restraint and as per the recommended dosage. 


However, extreme protein powder consumption may lead to kidney damage, digestive issues, and dehydration in some people. Therefore, it is preferable to consult a doctor before adding protein powder to your daily diet.

Generally, protein powder does not cause kidney damage in healthy individuals. You must consult a doctor before taking protein supplements if you have pre-existing kidney problems.

Whey protein is generally safe for most people when consumed in proper doses. However, some individuals should not consume whey protein without consulting a doctor.

It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor before adding any new dietary changes to your routine to ensure they are safe and fit for your needs and health situation.

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