It's not unusual for people to be a little cautious around supplements, even common things like whey protein.
But is there actually a solid reason to worry about whey protein? What are some common side effects associated with whey? Should you really be concerned?
Whey, and the related protein casein, is extracted from milk. Generally, this is done by either applying heat, acid or some other curdling agent to milk and skimming off the solids that form. The remaining liquid whey is then dehydrated and powdered as the ever-present protein supplement.
Why does that matter? Because it helps to remember that whey begins life as milk. As such, it contains the sugar lactose. Although this is not an issue for many people, others do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase needed to break it down.
This condition, called lactose intolerance, can cause digestive upset and other symptoms.
Bloating and Other Issues
Similarly, but for entirely different reasons, whey protein can also cause bloating and other digestive problems in some people. Usually, however, this has more to do with the high protein content than the source of the protein.
The much-loved macronutrient can often cause cramping, bloating and other digestive problems if taken by itself in large doses.
Summing It Up
Really then, the side effects associated with whey protein are fairly minor. In fact, unless you are lactose intolerant, you probably won't even experience any issues.
Of course, it's important to point out that these potential side effects relate only to real whey protein. What does that mean? Plenty of supplements out there contain a lot more than just whey, including flavorings, dyes, preservatives and other protein sources. Researchers have even found that some popular whey supplements contain high levels of dangerous heavy metals.
To avoid these more serious complications, be careful about where you buy your whey protein. Select only organically sources, minimally processed whey with as few ingredients as possible.
Naked Nutrition, for example, uses only the highest quality whey possible and adds virtually nothing to it – except for the occasional organic flavors.