Is Whey Protein Bad For You?

Protein powders are widely consumed by many athletes and non-athletes for an extra easy boost of protein during the day. They can be mixed into smoothies, added to baked goods, and can be found in many high protein products such as bars, breads, tortillas, and other snack items. Despite whey proteins’ health benefits and popularity, it’s not the best protein choice for everyone, and many warriors are asking “Is whey protein bad for you?” Let’s explore why some of us may wants to steer clear of whey products and focus on other protein powders for that protein boost.


What is whey protein?

Whey and Casein are two major proteins found in cow’s milk (lactose is the carb). Whey protein is produced during the cheese making process. Special enzymes are added to milk causing fats, carbs, and proteins to separate. The curds left behind in this process are used to make cheese. The liquid portion left behind during the separation process contains the whey. This liquid whey is then pasteurized and dried into a powder for various uses such as protein powder.


Why Whey Protein Is Bad for Some Diets:

Acne Promoter

Whey protein and other dairy products may promote acne. Researchers debate the exact cause of the correlation between acne and dairy. Some believe the rise in the hormone insulin after consumption of dairy makes the skin more prone to breakout. Others think hormones given to dairy cows may interrupt our hormone levels. Another theory is that the growth hormones naturally found in dairy promote the inflammatory skin reaction.  Regardless of the cause, researchers have found a link between the two. If you’re struggling to keep your complexion clear try omitting all dairy including whey products from your diet.


Gastrointestinal Upset

People who are lactose intolerant (meaning they can’t breakdown the carb/sugar found in milk efficiently) may want to avoid whey products. Even though many claim their whey protein powder is lactose free, some lactose can remain. It’s estimated up to 70% of the adult population have some degree of lactose intolerance. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. If you’re experiencing any of these you may want to try skipping the dairy or whey and go towards another alternative.

Consuming too much whey at one time may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort, whether you have lactose intolerance or not. High doses can cause stomach pains, cramps, reduced appetite, nausea, headache, and fatigue. As with anything stick to your moderate portion and don’t over consume.


Dairy Allergy

Since whey is a component of dairy milk, individuals with dairy allergies should completely avoid whey protein. Those with dairy allergies may experience severe reactions varying from hives, rash, swelling, to anaphylactic shock. For some individuals even coming into contact with whey may cause a reaction.


Drug Interactions

Whey protein powders can interrupt the absorption of some prescription medicines like Alendronate, used to prevent osteoporosis, and certain antibiotics. It’s best to avoid whey and choose other protein powders when taking these medications.


Not for Vegans or Plant-Based Eaters

Whey protein is an animal-derived product making it a no-go for those living a vegan or plant based lifestyle.

Protein powders are a convenient way to bump up your daily intake of protein. They’re easy to swirl into drinks or smoothies, add to chia seeds puddings, oatmeal, and baked goodies. It’s important to select a powder that meets your needs and lifestyle. Health Warrior is big on plant based living which is why we created the Health Warrior Superfood Protein Powder providing a clean mix of proteins found in superfoods such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds. This carefully crafted superfood mixture provides 20g of plant based protein. Following a plant based diet (or at least largely plant based) has proven to have significant health benefits including reducing your risk for cancer, increasing energy, aiding in weight loss, promoting healthy weight maintenance, reducing risk for chronic disease such as diabetes and health disease, and is anti-inflammatory aiding in recovery from exercise and reducing joint pain. We’re happy to help you meet your protein, plant,  and superfood needs with our line of protein powders.