The consumption of whey protein can hinder the normal functioning of the kidneys by increasing the plasma urea content, urinary calcium excretion, and urinary volume. This overloads the kidneys and can cause kidney stones. Some say that excess whey protein can damage the kidneys and liver and even lead to osteoporosis. Protein powder is not harmful to the liver or kidneys, as long as they are free from damage or disease.
If you have liver disease or another health problem, be sure to check with your doctor before taking protein supplements, including whey protein. People who consume whey protein supplements may not feel the effects at this time, but because of liver and kidney function complications, they may suffer from serious health problems later in life and not even know that they are related to their days of consuming whey and going to the gym. If whey protein supplements cause digestive side effects, you might consider trying whey protein isolate or an alternative to non-dairy protein. 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.
In addition, some research suggests that whey protein may help overweight and obese people lose weight. Many young people who go to the gym fall into the whey protein mentality and, as a result, exacerbate their skin problems in adolescence. Based on their findings, the authors of this systematic review concluded that the consumption of whey protein was more associated with negative side effects when taken in “high” doses (40 g or more) over a long period of time. More studies are needed to understand the potential long-term effects of high protein intake and, specifically, the effects of whey.
Whey protein is found in meal replacement shakes and other diet-related food products that promise to lose weight or increase muscle mass with food alone. The researchers found that when you didn't exercise, the proteins from the whey supplement ended up going to the liver for processing instead of being used for muscle synthesis. According to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, protein powders are an effective supplement. The best way to get protein is through diet: eggs, lean meats, low-fat dairy, nuts and beans.
If you're experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, consider eating protein-rich foods instead, or try switching to whey isolate powder or non-dairy protein powder. As for the dose, the authors found that 40 g or more of whey protein per day produced these adverse effects. Whey protein is generally believed to be safe for athletes who want to increase their protein intake, although more studies are needed. According to the title of the review, whey protein isn't the source of healthy muscle mass it purports to be in marketing.