Whey protein is one of the most popular supplements, especially for working out as you try to gain lean muscle mass.
Despite its many health benefits, there has been some controversy surrounding its safety. There are claims that overconsumption of whey protein can damage the kidneys, liver, and even cause osteoporosis.
But what if you consume a lot of whey protein? Are there any side effects and is it a safe option? To alleviate concerns, let’s take a deep dive into evidence-based reviews of the safety of whey protein.
Why It’s Hard to Nail Down Whey Protein
Different supplement manufacturers utilize various processes and standards to produce their proprietary blends. This makes it difficult to gauge the whey protein’s purity and absorption rate.
As the name suggests, whey protein is created from whey, a byproduct of cow’s milk. Manufacturers must dry, filter, and refine the whey, and differences in these processes result in three distinct types of whey protein supplements.
Three Different Types of Whey Protein Supplements
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
The best whey protein concentrate generally contains about 70 to 80% protein. It’s the cheapest and most common type of protein, containing more minerals, lactose, and fat when compared to the other types.
The whey concentration method filters the whey, eliminating small amounts of fat and lactose. The quality of concentration process whey can vary considerably. Ultimately, concentrating protein yields a purity that ranges between 34% to 80%. In a 30-gram serving of 80% whey protein concentrate, you’d get 24 grams of pure protein, and the remaining 20% would be composed of lactose, fats, and other milk protein substrates.
Because whey protein concentrate is high in lactose, people who suffer from milk intolerance and allergies can experience some side effects including bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
Whey protein isolate is a well-established supplement that contains the most amount of protein and amino acids. It is typically between 80-90% protein content, WPI is low in calories, fat, lactose, carbohydrates, and sugar. For those who work out frequently and desire a pure whey protein isolate,
Isoflex from Allmax is a popular choice as it contains 90% protein per serving or 27 grams per 30 gram serving..
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH)
Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) is a pre-digested protein powder that makes it easy for the body to absorb. However, a disadvantage to the supplement is the harshness with which the formulation of whey protein hydrolysate takes place.
This procedure denatures the protein and disrupts its structure, eliminating alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptides, and other essential bioactive protein structures that give many health advantages.
Which Type is Best?
Choosing which whey protein to incorporate into your diet depends on the results you’re looking to achieve.
WPC is the cheapest and most well-rounded protein supplement because it contains a healthy amount of nutrients and protein. However, its high lactose content may have adverse effects on those with milk allergies and intolerances.
Whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate would be a more suitable option for those that suffer from the side effects of milk.
The Many Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein is a potent and complete source of protein. It can increase recovery rates, metabolism, and promote muscle growth and weight loss.
Furthermore, many studies have shown that whey protein can lower blood pressure, combat type-2 diabetes by increasing insulin levels, decrease inflammation by reducing C-reactive proteins, and minimize oxidation by increasing glutathione levels. Whey protein is also helpful in treating asthma, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Whey protein, especially whey protein isolate, contains macronutrients and vitamins that have several health benefits. Unsweetened whey protein isolate is a great low-calorie and lactose-free protein source. In addition, isolated protein can promote bone, muscle, hair, and organ function.
Besides athletes, seniors can benefit from protein supplements as they can help slow down muscle and bone deterioration. Although further research is necessary, whey protein may have positive cancer-fighting qualities.
Whey Protein Is Generally Safe
Scientists and researchers have shown that whey protein is generally considered to be safe when consumed in moderate amounts. However, some people are still skeptical and have raised further questions about the potential damage it can cause to the body.
Contrary to popular belief, the overconsumption of protein does not cause constipation and nutritional deficiencies; a diet lacking in fiber-rich foods does. Fruits and vegetables promote bowel movements
because they are high in minerals and fiber. It’s important to maintain a well-balanced diet so that the body can function optimally and work out effectively.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that high-protein meals such as protein shakes and protein bars do not harm healthy kidneys when consumed in appropriate amounts. Similarly, there is no evidence, across numerous studies, showing that whey protein damages the liver. People with pre-existing liver diseases, like cirrhosis, should be careful with high-protein products.
Highly refined whey protein supplements are very low or free from lactose. Although there may be some difficulties for people with milk allergies or severe lactose intolerance, it may still be possible to use whey supplements safely and effectively if you are not highly allergic. It’s important to recognize the difference between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance—in which there is an enzyme deficiency. Allergies occur when there is an immune response to a protein.
Recent research has revealed that calcium loss can be managed by increasing calcium intake. If anything, protein can sustain strong bones when supplemented with a balanced diet that includes calcium-rich foods.
What to Do About Whey Protein
Moderation is essential in every area of life, and that applies to the consumption of whey protein as well. It’s important to consume the supplement as instructed, and with guidance from a medical doctor, as necessary.
On our website, allmaxnutrition.com, you can pick the ideal whey protein supplements. At Allmax, we provide a wide range of professional-grade workout supplements that you can rely on, including whey protein, Isoflex protein, essential vitamins, weight loss and weight gain supplements, and much more.
Whey isolate protein powder V:8100 KD: 63
Isolate protein V:1000 KD: 40
Whey protein concentrate V:1900 KD: 49
Isoflex V:2000 KD: 48
Whey isolate protein V: KD: 44
Whey protein isolate V: KD:46
Allmax V:1000 KD: 51
Weight gain supplements V:8000 KD: 64
Lactose-free protein powders V:2900 KD: 29
Workout supplements V:6000 KD: 73
lactose-free protein shakes V:3000 KD: 34
 Martin, W. F., Armstrong, L. E., & Rodriguez, N. R. (2005). Dietary protein intake and renal function. Nutrition & metabolism, 2, 25. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-2-25M
 Deng, Y., Misselwitz, B., Dai, N., & Fox, M. (2015). Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary Management. Nutrients, 7(9), 8020–8035. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095380
 Burke, D. G., Chilibeck, P. D., Davison, K. S., Candow, D. C., Farthing, J., & Smith-Palmer, T. (2001). The Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation with and Without Creatine Monohydrate Combined with Resistance Training on Lean Tissue Mass and Muscle Strength, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 11(3), 349-364. Retrieved May 9, 2022, from https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/11/3/article-p349.xml
[4Nowak-Węgrzyn A. Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome and allergic proctocolitis. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2015 May-Jun;36(3):172-84. doi: 10.2500/aap.2015.36.3811. PMID: 25976434; PMCID: PMC4405595.