Protein powder is a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders, but it can also interact with medications. Whey protein, in particular, can interact with antiplatelet medications, anticoagulants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), increasing the risk of bleeding. It can also decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. To avoid this interaction, it is important to take antibiotics at least two hours before or four to six hours after taking whey protein. In addition to drug interactions, whey protein can also affect energy intake, appetite, gastric emptying, and plasma concentrations of intestinal hormones.
Studies have shown that whey protein preloads are more beneficial than soy protein preloads in regulating appetite, calorie intake, anthropometry, and body composition in overweight and obese men. Whey protein supplements have also been found to increase lean body mass and improve performance in Division III college basketball players. Conjugated linoleic acid combined with creatine monohydrate and whey protein supplements during strength training has been found to be safe and tolerable for up to six months in sarcopenic older adults. Long-term supplementation with serum proteins has also been found to increase the plasma levels of glutathione in HIV-infected patients. It is important to note that there is a long list of drug interactions associated with whey protein supplements that need to be studied before adopting the trend of protein supplements. To ensure safety when taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines, it is best to consult a doctor or pharmacist for advice.