14 Unexpected Whey Protein Side Effects

Whey protein side effects liver or whey protein side effects kidney? whey protein side effects, benefits of whey protein supplements.

Unexpected Whey Protein Side Effects

Whey protein side effects liver or whey protein side effects kidney? How safe are whey protein supplements? Okay, in this article, you will learn whey protein side effects as well as the benefits of whey protein supplements.

Do you have whey protein? If so, how much of it do you have on a daily basis? Whey protein is undoubtedly healthy and has benefits, but it does come with its own set of side effects.

Would you like to know more about the side effects of whey protein ? Go ahead and read!

When it comes to protein, a variety of it is known. However, one of the most popular ones would be ‘whey’ protein.

Whey protein is one of the proteins predominantly present in milk. It is known for its rich variety of amino acids which can be easily absorbed by the body.

While a lot of people consume whey protein in the form of protein shakes, many people don’t know the side effects that can come with it.

Prolonged consumption of whey protein can lead to some long-term side effects which might prove to be harmful for your body.

Benefits Of Whey Protein

Although whey protein is consumed as a supplement, it is much more than that. It is a functional “super food” that helps immensely in the regulation of your body weight. It also helps in increasing muscle mass and comes with many other health benefits.

The health benefits that this nutrient provides are linked directly to the amino acid profile it has. This complete protein is also highly rich in antioxidants, making it an effective fighter against various diseases and a great promoter of overall health.

Here is a look at some of the benefits that you can gain by moderately consuming whey protein supplement of high quality on a regular basis:

  • It helps in promoting weight loss.
  • Increasing muscle mass in the body.
  • In the treatment of cancer.
  • Reducing the symptoms that come with HIV.
  • It helps in increasing the levels of glutathione in your body.
  • Lowering triglyceride levels in the body.
  • It helps in lowering cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol or HDL.
  • Boosting the proper function of the immune system.
  • Increasing power while playing sports.
  • Lowering recovery time and the symptoms that come with over-training.

As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to gain from whey protein intake. The trick is to make sure that you do not take too much of it. Instead of gaining its goodness, you can end up with side effects that may not seem too severe but can be highly uncomfortable.

If you have kidney, liver or heart problems, it is especially important to moderate your intake of whey protein and also get your doctor’s advice before you start making it a part of your daily diet.

When Should One Take Whey Protein?

This is a question that is often asked by many people who are interested in consuming whey protein but do not know how to go about it properly. It is not tough to learn when to take this protein to reap its benefits.

Firstly, if you want to take whey protein on your own, you should do it within half an hour to an hour after a workout that is based on strength training. This is because this protein gets digested very quickly.

During other times, you should eat it with other foods so that digestion can be slowed down. For instance, for extra protein in your breakfast without food like eggs, you can add whey protein to your oats in powder form.

Secondly, if you want to have a healthy snack while you are in the office, you can have a whey protein-shake combined with a bit of fish oil or nuts. This will help in slowing down the digestion process of the protein.

The fat combination is what helps slow down digestion, and this in turn benefits you greatly by allowing the levels of insulin in your body to stay even. It also aids in the stimulation of CCK, which is a hormone that lets your body know when it is full.

Protein that is digested after a workout gives your body the amino acids that it needs for the repairing and building of new muscles.

According to experts, consuming whey protein as soon as you complete a workout could be especially beneficial as it has rich content of Leucine, an amino acid that is easily absorbed by the body.

Whey Protein Side Effects

Although whey protein has many benefits, it does come with quite a few side effects as well. Here is a look at fifteen of the adverse effects that this protein can have on your body:

1. Kidney problem

Whey protein consumption can hamper the regular functioning of your kidneys by increasing the plasma urea content, urinary calcium excretion, and urinary volume. This overburdens the kidneys and can lead to kidney stones. If you are consuming whey, don’t forget to increase your water and fibre intake to neutralize the same.

2. Gastrointestinal issues

Consumption of whey protein can lead to depletion of good bacteria in your gut and can increase bad bacteria which may cause stomach pain, constipation and gas. Your body may even find it difficult to digest dairy products or dairy proteins naturally.

3. Liver problems

Whey protein can also lead to liver damage over time if one consumes it without being in the habit of exercising. While it is known to aid muscle synthesis, it can act very differently and result in undesired outcomes if one consumes it without exercising. In that case, the protein goes to the liver for processing and hence, can damage the liver over time.

4. Heart diseases

Overconsumption of whey protein can affect heart activity and lead to heart arrhythmia, cardiac arrest and other heart problems. Since experts have linked high-protein sources with higher levels of saturated fats, increased blood sugar levels and higher blood acidity, whey protein can affect heart functioning.

5. Digestive Problems

Lactose is present in whey protein, and if you are sensitive to it, you could end up having problems with digestion. It is not only people who are lactose intolerant that suffer from this problem. If you do have digestive problems, opt for a whey protein concentrate as it does not contain as much lactose.

6. Increased blood acidity

Whey protein decreases the pH level of our blood, which should ideally be between 7.35 to 7.45. Whey protein powders which are made from animal milk can be quite acidic in nature, increasing our blood acidity. When our kidneys find it burdensome to process extra protein, our blood becomes acidic.

7. Ketosis

When people consume whey protein, it sure does fill them up, but it can lead to an imbalance in their diet if not used as a supplement only. A low-carb, high-fat diet which weight loss enthusiasts generally follow leads to the breakdown of fats for energy but also creates ketones which over time puts a lot of pressure on the liver.

Whey protein can act as a replacement for carbohydrates and, hence, boost ketosis. Ketones being acidic in nature, also result in an increase in the blood acidity level.

8. Fatigue And Weakness

Due to the digestion problems that some people suffer from when they consume whey protein, they can also go through adverse effects such as extreme fatigue as well as weakness.

They may also suffer from bloating, gas, cramps, etc. This is because some people’s bodies can’t process or break down the protein that they consume.

9. Osteoporosis

Excessive intake of whey protein results in a mineral imbalance in the body. It can affect bones by reducing bone density which can further lead to osteoporosis.

10. Diarrhea

Another side effect of excessive whey protein consumption is diarrhea. It is a part of the effect that this protein has on the digestive system. There can even be blood in the stool, especially among infants.

11. Gout

Many people suffering from gout have experienced an increase in their pain while consuming whey protein. One should always consult a doctor before starting to consume protein supplements so that their side effects could be eliminated or at least minimised.

12. Swelling Of Throat, Mouth, Lips

Another symptom that comes with an allergic reaction to whey protein is the swelling of the throat, mouth, and lips. Although it may not be painful, it can be extremely uncomfortable, and it is best to see a doctor to make sure that no severe damage has been done.

13. Nausea

This is one of the common side effects of taking whey protein. In quite a few cases, people also suffer from vomiting. The key to avoiding this uncomfortable side effect is to cut down on your intake of the protein.

14. Weight gain

When people work out to gain muscle mass, they tend to eat more protein rich foods. By consuming protein rich foods in their regular diet along with protein-loaded supplements, they can actually surpass their daily threshold of how much they should consume protein.

How Safe Are Whey Protein Supplements?

Are you aware of the serious side effects of whey protein supplements? It has been established that the amount of whey protein supplements you consume has a direct influence on whether you gain from its benefits or not.

Over-consumption of this protein is the reason many people suffer from adverse effects. In fact, excessive consumption of any protein is bad for the body as it gets stored in the body in the form of fat. This in turn increases the risk of dehydration.

There is also the chance that whey protein may have an interaction with certain medications. For example, it has been found that supplements made with this protein can reduce the effectiveness of Levodopa, which is a drug used for Parkinson’s disease.

Whey protein supplements may also lower the effectiveness of Alendronate, the drug prescribed to patients with osteoporosis. It may lower the body’s ability to absorb the drug, thereby making it less effective. It may also have an adverse effect on the effectiveness of the antibiotics Tetracycline and Quinolone.

And it should also be noted that diabetic patients may experience blood sugar changes when they consume protein supplements.

To make sure that whey protein supplements are safely consumed, experts recommend moderate doses on a short-term regimen. This way, the body gets the benefits of the protein without the risk of suffering from any of these whey protein side effects that have been mentioned above.

They also recommend whey protein supplements for athletes or people who are physically active than for those who are not. This is because athletes or people who work out on a regular basis require more protein than people who are not physically active.


As with all health or dietary supplements, it is important that you consult your doctor before you start taking a whey protein supplement. This will ensure that it is safe for you and will not interfere with any medication that you may be taking.

While whey protein may work wonders for someone you know, there is no guarantee that it will provide you with the same results. In fact, you may worsen any condition that you may be suffering from.

It is also important that you stick to the proper dosage when you start taking whey protein. Remember that it is not the protein itself that is harmful, but its over-consumption. Many people make the mistake of taking in more than the recommended dose as they believe that it will provide them with quicker results.

It is important to know the whey protein benefits and side effects thoroughly before you consume it. The better it is for your health as you avoid all the side effects that come with it.