Protein supplements go hand-in-hand with your health and fitness goals.
If you need to lose weight, a daily supplement can help maintain your satiety between meals and make it far easier to create a calorie deficit. If your goals involve gaining muscle or toning up, supplements make it easier to increase your daily protein intake and will help your muscles recover from strength-building workouts.
Even if you just want to maintain your health as you get older, protein supplements have clear benefits.
Yet, you have to think about the potential downsides to using protein powder supplements. Even if you use the highest-quality whey protein isolate, some professionals believe there are dangers. It is important that you are aware of these potential whey protein isolate dangers so that you can make an educated decision regarding your health.
The Purity of Protein Isolates
The purity of whey protein isolate is an interesting issue. On one hand, you will hear many people claim that whey isolate is the purest form of whey protein because the protein has been isolated from all other natural components of milk. Your body receives only the protein you need, so in that sense it is pure.
On the other hand, you will hear some people claim that whey protein isolates are not pure at all because they go through excessive chemical processing. Whey protein concentrate is created first during the cheese-making process. That concentrate is further processed to isolate the protein, and in that sense, it is no longer a pure, natural food source.
Both of these assertions are correct. If you are thinking about the content of a protein powder, whey isolates are purer because all other nutrients have been removed. Yet, it takes extra processing to isolate the protein, so it is no longer as natural as whey concentrate.
When you hear about potential whey protein isolate dangers, you typically hear about this extra step of processing. If you follow a whole foods diet or try not to consume highly-processed foods, you may consider whey concentrate more in line with your dietary needs. If you are concerned about a purer form of protein, then whey isolate may fit your needs best.
There are some clear advantages to using a pure whey protein isolate supplement, but have you ever questioned what you give up when you isolate the protein? Many people will use protein concentrate because they want to benefit from the nutritional co-factors that are removed during the processing required to make whey protein isolate.
Whey concentrate contains the following co-factors which have health benefits in addition to the benefits obtained from the protein:
When you remove these co-factors from the protein, you miss some of the nutritional benefits that come from consuming whey protein. If you are only interested in increasing your protein intake and get your vitamins and minerals through your meals, you may not think much about losing these co-factors. Yet, you will hear some people claim that there is a danger in consuming too much whey protein isolate because it is highly acidic.
Whey protein concentrate is more alkaline and blends into the human body well. When you remove the alkalizing minerals from the protein, you create a more acidic compound. While most people have no problems due to the consumption of other alkalizing foods, it can be dangerous when the protein powder is consumed in large quantities. This is not just true of whey protein isolate but of all foods that are on the acidic side.
More Is Not Always Better
If you consume too much whey protein isolate, you are likely to suffer one or more of the following side effects:
- Stomach cramps
- Excessive thirst
This does not come from an allergic reaction to whey protein but excessive consumption. If you want to increase your protein intake substantially, it must come through a mix of protein-rich foods and protein supplements. You can also use multiple supplements to avoid using one to excess. For instance, you may use a whey protein isolate powder to make after-workout shakes and a high-quality protein bar for an afternoon snack or breakfast.
How to Use Whey Protein Safely
You can use whey protein supplements safely, but you should follow these guidelines to protect yourself from potential whey protein isolate dangers:
1. Shop for protein supplements according to quality rather than price. Cheap protein powders are often cheap for a reason and may not help you achieve your goals in the end.
2. Read protein powder reviews to determine the quality of a powder before making an investment. Look for information beyond how it tastes or how easily it mixes. You want to know if it is high quality and if it has helped other people reach their health and fitness goals.
3. Know the difference between whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Isolate powders are considered purer and higher in quality, but concentrate powders receive less processing and contain more nutrients. You have to know the difference so that you can select the best protein supplements for your needs.
4. Don’t go overboard on whey protein consumption. Remember, it is a supplement rather than a primary food source. You need to obtain the majority of your nutrition from your meals and snacks. Your supplement is there for convenience sake and should help increase your results, but your supplement is not solely responsible for creating your results.