Whey Protein Powder with Side Effects and Benefits [2023]

Protein is one of the popular supplements available. It is one of the three macronutrients required by our bodies to function effectively.

Many different kinds of protein powders are available on the market, and whey protein is the most widely used.

According to data from Statista Research Department, the worldwide whey protein market was estimated to be worth 10.3 billion US dollars in 2021 and is expected to grow to 18.12 billion US dollars by 2029.

This article helps you understand everything about whey protein powder.

What is Whey Protein?


Whey protein is one of the major types of protein present in dairy foods. It is a by-product of producing cheese.

Whey protein contains significant amounts of the essential amino acids required for proteins to carry out their functions in the body.

It is the protein supplement that is most commonly consumed globally. It may increase the nutrients in the diet and positively affect the immune system.

People frequently use it to increase their strength and improve athletic performance.

Whey protein is a collection of eight proteins present in milk. From the highest to the lowest concentrations, these proteins are,

  • Beta-lactoglobulin.
  • Alpha-lactalbumin.
  • Glycomacropeptide.
  • Immunoglobulins.
  • Bovine serum albumin.
  • Lactoferrin.
  • Lactoperoxidase.
  • Lysozyme.


Nutritional Facts of Whey Protein


The nutritional benefit in one scoop (32 grams) of whey protein powder contains the following:

Nutritional FactsEstimated Values
Calories113 kcal
Protein25 g
Fat0.5 g
Carbohydrates2 g
Sodium50 mg
Potassium160 mg

The contents of whey protein include significant amounts of branched-chain amino acids and other important amino acids.

The bioactivity of these proteins gives whey protein its abundance of health benefits.

Cysteine is a rich source of amino acids in whey protein. It is incredibly beneficial since it raises glutathione levels, a crucial antioxidant that can aid in lowering the risk of cancer and other conditions brought on by oxidative stress.

These branched-chain amino acids help tissue maintenance and reduce muscle damage during exercise.

Health Benefits of Whey Protein

Whey protein powder has several great health benefits because of its vitamins and macronutrients. Unsweetened whey protein is a great calorie-efficient source of protein.

Protein promotes the development of strong bones, muscles, hair, and organs. Furthermore, it has the following health benefits:

Improves Muscle Growth:

An essential measure of overall health is muscle mass. Protein is necessary for muscle mass maintenance and growth.

Your body can grow new muscle and repair damaged muscle tissue with the amino acids found in protein.

It has been shown that whey protein promotes strong muscles more effectively than protein supplements derived from plants.

May Reduce Blood Pressure:

Hypertension is a primary risk factor for heart disease. The intake of dairy products has been associated in numerous studies to lower blood pressure.

This impact has been related to a class of bioactive peptides in dairy known as angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors).

Whey proteins may help patients with high blood pressure to lower it. This is caused by ACE inhibitors called lactokinins, which are found in whey protein.

May help to treat Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition indicated by high blood sugar levels and reduced insulin action.

Insulin is a hormone that promotes blood sugar absorption into cells, thereby keeping it within normal limits.

It has been discovered that whey protein is efficient at regulating blood sugar by raising insulin levels and improving the body’s sensitivity to its effects.

Whey protein powder controls blood sugar levels, particularly when consumed before or with high-carb meals.

Especially people with type 2 diabetes may find it more beneficial.

May Reduce Cholesterol Levels:

Whey protein may aid in reducing abnormal cholesterol, specifically bad cholesterol (LDL).

Lowering your cholesterol into a healthy range can provide significant health benefits because high cholesterol is linked to a greater risk of stroke and heart disease.

May Reduce Inflammation:

Inflammation is the body’s reaction to injury. Short-term inflammation can be helpful, but in some cases, it can become chronic.

Chronic inflammation poses a risk for many diseases and can be dangerous. It might be an indication of underlying medical issues or unhealthy lifestyle choices.

High dosages of whey protein have been proven to lower C-reactive protein levels in the blood, showing that it can significantly lower inflammation.

Helpful for Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammation of the digestive system lining. It refers to both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Whey protein supplements may be effective in the treatment of IBD.

May Strengthen the Body’s Antioxidant Defences:

Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent the body from oxidizing.

This implies that they decrease oxidative stress and reduce the likelihood of developing certain chronic diseases.

Glutathione is one of the most significant antioxidants in people.

Unlike other antioxidants you consume through foods, it is a type of antioxidant your body makes.

The availability of numerous amino acids, including cysteine, is necessary for the body to produce glutathione.

Foods high in cysteine, such as whey protein, may strengthen the body’s natural antioxidant defenses.

Helps to Reduce Appetite:

Whey protein has a greater satiating (filling) capacity than other types of protein. This makes it a helpful addition to a diet for losing weight.

Helps with Weight Loss:

Eating a lot of protein can help you lose weight quickly. Increasing your protein intake may aid in fat loss by,

  • Lowering calorie intake by reducing the appetite
  • Increasing metabolism, which helps in calorie burning
  • Helping to keep muscle mass while reducing weight

Whey protein is highly effective and may have the edge over other protein types relating to satiety and fat burning.

Healthier for the Bones:

More protein-rich diets are associated with greater bone health and a significantly lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures as people age.

Types of Whey Protein


The following are three major types of whey proteins,

  • Concentrate
  • Isolate
  • Hydrolysate

Whey Protein Concentrate

The amount of protein, lactose, and fat in products using whey protein concentrate varies greatly. Many protein drinks, bars, and nutritional foods contain whey protein concentrate. Additionally, it is used in infant formula.

Whey Protein Isolate:

This variety consistently has more protein than fat or lactose. It’s possible to find it on the packaging of protein supplements like bars and drinks.

For lactose intolerant people, whey protein isolate might be a good option; however, if you have a milk allergy, you shouldn’t attempt any of these.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

The most easily digested form of whey is hydrolysate, also known as hydrolyzed whey protein. It’s easy to digest because its long protein chains, known as peptides, have already been broken down into shorter ones.

Hydrolyzed whey protein is frequently used in specialized infant formula. It could also be found in dietary supplements prescribed by doctors to treat nutritional deficiencies.

Risk Factors of Whey Protein powder

When taken in high dosages, whey protein can be harmful since it can cause cramping and gastrointestinal aches. Some persons who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk may also be specifically allergic to whey. Whey protein powder usually has no negative side effects when consumed in moderate amounts. But taking very high dosages can lead to,

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Fatigue

Acne may also result from regularly taking high quantities of whey protein. Except for a few individuals, most people tolerate moderate whey protein supplements.

How to Consume Whey Protein Powder?

Whey protein is best consumed in the morning, as part of breakfast, mid-afternoon snacks, and just after exercise.

Approximately 30 minutes after a workout, consume one scoop of whey protein to enhance muscle recovery. Consuming whey protein 30 minutes before a meal can also be beneficial. This will increase satiety and is intended to prevent you from overeating.

Mix one scoop (32 grams) with eight ounces of liquid, such as water or unsweetened almond milk, to use whey protein powder. When the powder is combined with a liquid, it is regenerated. The powder is more easily mixed and produces a creamy or frothy texture without clumps when using a blender or bottle shaker.

Make a whey protein smoothie in a high-speed blender with liquid, fruit (fresh or frozen), and possibly ice for the greatest experience. You can use it in various protein smoothie recipes. Also, you can mix it into yogurt or oatmeal.


Whey protein powder contains protein, lactose, minerals, immunoglobulins, and fats. It has a high concentration of essential and branched-chain amino acids. 

There are many flavors of whey protein powder on the market. The most popular flavors include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, cookies, and cream.

This protein powder has numerous advantages. It would be best to choose a whey protein powder that is all-natural or organic and does not contain gluten, hormones, pesticides, artificial additives, or genetically modified organisms. Also, stay away from processed whey protein.

See also: Casein protein powder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whey protein is generally safe and even beneficial for most people, but consuming excessive amounts of it may cause digestive issues. There is also a concern that it may cause kidney damage, but this is a myth unless you have pre-existing kidney problems. Some whey protein products may also have heavy metal contamination, which is a concern. However, in general, whey protein is not “bad” for you as long as it is consumed in moderation and you choose high-quality products.

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