Taking Protein Supplements To Lose Weight And Build Lean Muscle? Beware Of These Negative Side Effects
Fitness is an all-time concern for the youth today and a majority of millennials follow a strict health regime and diet. They track their fitness through apps and diet charts and tap into the latest trends in exercise to accomplish their fitness goals. A common trend observed in people indulging in heavy physical exercise is the consumption of protein powders which are dietary supplements aiding weight loss and muscle building.
Essentially, these proteins are derived from plants (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes), eggs, or milk (casein or whey protein). They may contain added sugars, artificial flavouring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. Protein powders are available in the form of shakes, bars, and capsules and are usually consumed in between or alongside meals. Many protein powders are now sold specifically to women looking to burn fat, tone up and improve strength.
Types of protein supplements and their constituents
There are numerous types of dietary protein powder made from different sources, however, the two main kinds are – whey and casein. They are extracted from milk and are excellent sources of amino acids. Whey protein is the most common protein supplement that gym goers and bodybuilders consume. It is a fast digesting protein whereas casein is a slow digesting protein. However, whey protein contains globular proteins which can harm the body as opposed to benefitting it.
Side effects of consuming protein supplements
According to Dr Sushila Kataria, Director of Internal Medicine, Medanta -The Medicity, you should consider numerous risks when using a protein powder, and among them:
* Consuming protein powders can lead to an increase in insulin levels in the body.
* Some powders contain highly toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. These can result in headaches, fatigue, constipation, and pain in muscles and joints.
* Protein powders have an unbalanced nutrient composition as compared to natural sources of protein such as milk, meat, and eggs. They are denser and can create an imbalance of nutrient composition in the body.
* Consumption of these supplements can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis (bone weakness) and cause renal damage over a period when people consume excessive amounts of unsupervised and poor-quality supplements it can damage vital organs of the body
* Whey protein contains some hormones and bioactive peptides which can increase the incidence of acne. Some whey supplements contain extra carbs in the form of sugars which increases fat than cutting it down. Excess intake of whey is also linked to heart disease risk.
* The intake of certain concentrated components of milk protein can cause gastrointestinal and stomach problems.
* People consuming these supplements generally ignore other crucial aspects of a healthy diet like water intake, vitamin, minerals, and fibre which are important for overall health.
Recommended alternate diet to avoid diseases
The benefits offered by protein powders can alternately be obtained from a diet rich in natural proteins such as:
* Dairy products, meat, chicken, eggs, and fish.
* Protein-packed muscle snacks such as pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almonds, Greek yogurt.
* Fruits such as apricots, avocados and guavas.
* Plant-based proteins like soybeans, quinoa, black beans, chickpeas and chia seeds.
Most people consume protein powders on the advice of fitness trainers and experts who don’t have formal training in nutrition science. Proteins are generally taken along with steroids for quicker results and this is not safe and effective medically. In fact, protein powders do not contain all essentials nutrients which are required for a wholesome diet. Hence, it must be consumed in limited quantities. One should consult a medically qualified dietitian before purchasing any supplements and check the ingredients/constituents of these powders to watch for ingredients such as creatine, high salt content and high sugar content. However, natural foods in moderate quantity and proper exercise is the best way to lose weight as well as keep and look healthy.