Health Benefits

Side effects of Whey protein: 11 things you must know

In this article, we will be discussing the side effects of whey protein. But first, do you know what is whey protein? Let us talk about it too. Protein is a building block of our body. We need protein for many different functions in our body. Protein can be obtained from many different food sources like eggs, meat, milk, dairy products, lentils etc.

There are many over the counter protein supplements available too. Many popular protein supplements contain whey protein as their main ingredient. Whey protein is obtained from milk during the process of making certain dairy products like cheese.

Two types of protein are obtained from milk, and they are the casein and whey protein. Whey protein is the liquid mixture which is separated from the milk when making dairy products like cheese.

Benefits of Whey Protein:

Side effects of whey protein
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Whey protein has many benefits over the body. That is the reason many people use whey protein as a food supplement. But, it has some side effects too which are not known to many people.

So, we shall discuss the side effects of whey protein. But, before discussing them, let us first talk about the benefits of Whey protein:

  • Whey protein increases the levels of good cholesterol in our body, which is called HDL or High-density lipoprotein.
  • It also reduces the levels of bad cholesterols like Triglycerides and LDL Cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein.
  • It helps in building muscles.
  • It assists in losing weight.
  • It helps to enhance your stamina and helps to remain strong when playing sports.
  • It helps in recovery of the strained muscles after playing sports or after doing gym activities.
  • It increases recovery from certain health ailments and infections.
  • It improves your overall health.

Side Effects of Whey protein:

Although Whey protein is very beneficial for our health, it has certain side effects too. We need to be aware of both its benefits and side effects before using it. Let us see the side effects of whey protein:

Formation of renal calculi:

When you consume whey protein regularly, there are increased chances of formation of renal calculi. If you happen to have kidney stones already, it might play a role in worsening it.

So, in case you have renal calculi or kidney stones, you need to take advice from your physician whether to consume whey protein or not and in which quantity. You also need to drink plenty of water when taking whey protein to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Gaining weight:

Whey protein has some amount of carbohydrates or sugars. So, some people tend to gain weight when taking whey protein supplements. So, always try to purchase whey protein supplements which are sugar-free or contain a very low amount of sugar.

Lactose Intolerance:

Like we mentioned earlier, whey protein is a derivative of milk. Milk contains a sugar called lactose. Some people are not able to digest lactose. So, they develop a problem called lactose intolerance when taking milk.

For example, they can have indigestion, abdominal bloating, diarrhoea, nausea when taking milk. Such people develop the same symptoms when taking whey protein too. So, people with lactose intolerance may need to avoid taking whey protein.


In people who cannot digest whey protein properly, they can develop diarrhoea, nausea, etc. They may make you lose electrolytes or salts through diarrhoea. This might make the affected person feel weak or tired.

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Heart problems:

If you happen to suffer from any heart ailment, you need to exercise caution when taking whey protein supplements. Whey protein can have undesirable effects on the functioning of the heart and can affect the rhythm of the heart.

Kidney ailments:

Kidney needs to filter out all the toxins from the body. So, if you consume an excess of whey protein, it can affect the functioning of your kidneys and can impair it. So, people with kidney problems need to take medical advice before using whey protein.

Liver issues:

If you already suffer from any liver problems, whey protein intake can worsen it. So, limit the intake of whey protein if you have any liver issues.

Bone problems:

Excess intake of whey protein can cause thinning of bone called osteoporosis. If you develop osteoporosis, you become prone or susceptible to fractures as the bone is thin and fragile.


If you cannot digest whey protein due to any reason like having lactose intolerance or any other digestion issue, you can develop diarrhoea. You also become weak due to diarrhoea.


Ome people are allergic to whey protein. If such people consume whey protein, they can develop red itchy rashes on the body, swelling of lips or around eyes. Some people can also develop breathing difficulty due to anaphylaxis if they have a severe allergic reaction to whey protein. So, such people need to avoid whey protein at all costs.


Some people develop increased uric acid levels in the body due to the consumption of whey protein. This increased uric acid level s can lead to pain in multiple joints along with their swelling which we call gout.

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