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Discussing: Protein Supplements

15th February 2019

Protein supplements* have always been a controversial issue in the fitness and nutrition industry. They are predominantly used amongst athletes, fitness enthusiasts and people wanting to build muscle or lose weight.

What is protein used for?

Studies by Institute of Food Technologists show it can help you recover from exercise, build muscle and strength. It can even contribute to weight loss by reducing your appetite and boosting your metabolism.


Whey Protein inhibits a complete source of protein, so it contains all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot provide these crucial amino acids - therefore it’s fundamental to get enough of them from your diet. When your body is absent of amino acids from periods of not eating or oxidative stress due to exercise it causes a negative shift.

Consuming a protein shake can contribute to revitalising your body back into a positive balance required for optimal muscle growth.

Taking supplements aids our bodies to feeling fuller for longer, which can influence certain individuals to eat smaller portion sizes and snack less frequently. This was uncovered in a 2017 review that stated supplementing with Whey Protein might decrease body weight and total fat mass in people who are overweight or obese. It may also subside blood pressure, total cholesterol, and other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

For added nutrition, people who struggle to reach their daily intake of protein - perhaps some vegans and vegetarians – may find that protein powder offers an easy solution to the problem.


The NHS has brought the dangers of illegal sport supplements to our attention. This is amidst an eye-opening study a few years ago, that discovered numerous protein powders on the market exhibiting dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals – specifically arsenic, cadmium and lead. It can be identified that this was due to protein powders being classified as a supplement, so they weren’t regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

Possible dangers that can be encountered when consuming too much Whey Protein consist of stomach pains, nausea, cramps and bloating when consumed at high doses. The NHS discusses how this can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and can also determine kidney problems.

So, what’s the verdict?

The moral of this article is to know your limits, and your purpose for using Whey Protein – too much of any food source can be damaging to your health. This can be carried out by research, or asking someone with industry knowledge – such as a PT.

*We will mainly be referring to Whey Protein in this article – one of the most popular protein supplements. It can either be consumed by simply mixing it with water or a liquid of your choice.