Consuming whey protein may have a negative effect on normal kidney function, as it increases plasma urea content, urinary calcium excretion, and urinary volume. This overloads the kidneys and can lead to the formation of kidney stones. Eating too much whey protein can put a strain on your kidneys, potentially causing cell damage. If you have already been diagnosed with kidney disease or kidney stones, taking whey protein may worsen the condition.
If dietary approaches are not enough to meet your training goals, whey protein supplements are an option to increase your protein intake. However, despite the many health benefits, taking too much whey protein can cause side effects such as digestive issues, kidney dysfunction, and even liver damage. Fortunately, there are many whey-free protein options that are widely available and equally effective in increasing or preserving muscle mass and helping you lose weight. When you eat whey protein, your body responds by producing histamine to protect you from infections.
Plant-based protein powders do not contain whey, meaning they don't contain whey protein, making them the safest protein powder option for health and athletic performance. Studies have shown that excessive consumption of whey protein can increase plasma levels of postprandial insulin and baseline insulin-like growth factor. Whey protein supplementation has been found to decrease beneficial bacteria and increase harmful bacteria. Other studies have linked whey protein to the aggravation of aggression, the presence of acne, and the modification of the microbiota.
When analyzing a collection of studies on whey protein, the authors of the review found parallels between findings that presented several adverse effects of consuming whey protein. Whey protein supplements have the potential to alter the electrical activity of the heart and contribute to the development of irregular heart rhythms. The serum also contains antimicrobial compounds such as lactoferrin that can cause gastrointestinal problems. The data presented support the need for future studies that correlate the use of different types of whey protein with and without exercise to better understand its impact on human physical health.
If you have gout, which is an inflammatory condition caused by high levels of uric acid in the body, you may need to avoid whey protein. Taking whey protein supplements after exercise can increase insulin levels in the body, which is harmful if you're at risk of developing diabetes. In general, however, whey protein is safe to consume and can help you gain muscle mass while boosting your metabolism.