Whey protein is one of the most common forms of supplement used by individuals seeking to boost their protein intake without having to consume a large amount of high calorie food. This is often appealing to people who are trying to follow a high protein diet, people who are attempting to enhance their physical performance during workouts, and people who are trying to build muscle mass. It may also be taken by people who are trying to address certain nutritional deficiencies.
It is sourced from dairy products and is obtained as a cheese making byproduct. This particular type of protein offers users a considerable quantity and range of essential amino acids that are required by the body in order to function properly.
Whey protein supplements are typically sold in powder and are consumed by mixing them into liquids to make a shake, or soft foods such as fruit purees. They’re also common additives to smoothies in order to give their protein quantity a boost.
Taking whey protein supplements is typically considered to be safe. While the average person following a healthy diet with a lot of variety will be able to effectively obtain enough protein, some people struggle to reach their daily protein needs and should talk to their doctors regarding whether or not supplementation is appropriate. The reason is that obtaining the protein through healthy foods is preferable to supplementation.
If additional protein supplementation is required, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor about whether or not whey protein is the right option. Though most people tolerate it very well, it is not appropriate for individuals who have a daily allergy.
When taken in the amounts recommended on a quality product’s package, it looks as though whey protein is safe to use. This is true provided that the individual taking it does not have a dairy allergy. That said, it should be noted that there is some research that indicates that whey protein use could lead a user to experience certain gastrointestinal discomforts.
These discomforts include issues such as nausea, bloating, thirst, cramps, increased bowel movements, decreased appetite, headache and fatigue. Occasionally, limited studies suggest that long term use of whey protein could cause issues with bone density, the kidneys, the liver, the cardiovascular system and others. However, these are typically limited studies or may involve research that isn’t accurately replicated.
Still, that may or may not be the only issue as the research conducted on the use of this type of ingredient is limited. There is also only a limited amount of data collected regarding the side effects of taking an extraordinarily large amount of protein through the combination of food and supplements regardless of whether they are made of whey protein or another source.
Equally, some potential interactions have been identified. If you’re taking any of the following medications, you should likely avoid taking any whey protein supplements unless you’re being directed to do so by a doctor who is aware of the fact that you are taking those drugs at the same time. These mediations include:
• Albendazole (Albenza) – This is a parasite killing drug. That said, if you take whey protein at the same time, the supplement could reduce or delay the effect of the medication.
• Alendronate (Fosamax) – If you take whey protein supplements at the same time as this osteoporosis drug, you could boost the drug’s absorption altering its effects and placing you at risk of unwanted side effects or other reactions.
• Some forms of antibiotics – Even if you’re just taking antibiotics to fight some form of infection, those within the tetracycline or quinolone categories may not be decreased as well if you’re taking whey protein, too.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist that you’re taking whey protein if you are prescribed any of these medications. You may need to stop the use of your supplement during the time that you’re using the medications. If you’re already using these drugs, you will likely be advised against taking the protein powder until your prescription is complete.
Even if your doctor does recommend this type of supplement, it is a very good idea to remember that not all products are created equal. While some are of very high quality, others are laden with chemicals, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, sugars, artificial colors, preservatives, anti-caking agents and others. In most cases, the shorter the ingredients list, the better.
That said, even once you find a good quality product, it can also be difficult to find one that has a flavor you enjoy and a texture you find pleasant. Some thicken more than others. Some have a sandy or gritty texture.
As with all kinds of nutrition, it is generally recommended that you obtain it through a healthful diet. That said, as is the case with multivitamins and other nutritional supplements, whey protein can be helpful on occasion, though is not necessarily recommended as a daily long term food substitute.