Have you ever talked about bodybuilding supplements with your family and friends, only to be assailed with ridiculous questions about their supposed dangerous side effects? Have you ever mentioned protein powder or creatine to someone, only to hear claims such as, “I hear they hide steroids in that stuff?” Do you yourself worry that drinking some protein shakes is somehow going to be damaging to your health and well-being? Read on to find out why “protein powder side effects” are an utter myth.
Where Does it Come From?
If you want to know about the possible side effects of any substance, you should probably start with finding out what it really is, no? The most popular type of protein for bodybuilders and other weight lifters is whey protein, and whey is simply a dairy byproduct of cheese production.
That stuff that runs off the top of a new container of cottage cheese? – Whey! The liquid left in the bowl when an Italian grandmother makes her own mozzarella? – Whey! What Little Miss Muffet eats along with her curds? – Yea, whey. Protein companies simply treat this protein-rich liquid with chemical processes to get most of the carbs and fat out and turn it into a convenient powder. If you’re going to fret over protein powder side effects, you should probably start making a fuss over cottage cheese and milk, as well.
Steroids in Your Powder?
Even more ridiculous than worries over the side effects are the claims that some supplement companies add steroids to their protein powders. This is insane for a number of reasons. First, if that were true then everybody who used protein powder would start getting bloated, muscular, and acne-ridden in record time – not the case.
Second, every athlete who uses protein powder would start testing positive for performance enhancers. I don’t know how many professional athletes supplement their diet with protein powders, but I’m willing to bet it’s a lot more than the number who have tested positive for steroids. Seriously, the “steroids” line about protein powder is harder to believe than Barry Bonds’s claim that all he used was flaxseed oil.
Finally, putting steroids in protein just wouldn’t be cost-effective for the companies! Professional bodybuilders spend thousands per MONTH on their juice! Claiming that supplement companies put steroids into their proteins is kind of like claiming the Nestle company adds pure cocaine to Pixy Stix.
It’s Just Protein!
It’s amazing how many people who worry about protein powder side effects fail to realize that it is JUST protein! The same people never make a fuss over eating a few extra pieces of meat or a few extra eggs to get more protein. Why should whey protein be viewed any differently just because it’s taken in powder form? It’s just a convenient, cost-effective way to get more protein when eating extra solid food isn’t an option.
The Real “Protein Powder Side Effects”
Having said all of these things in favor of protein powder, I must confess there are some minor “side effects,” if you can call them that. Do you get indigestion from drinking milk or eating cheese? Are you highly intolerant of lactose? If so, then all but the most pure and filtered forms of whey protein might give you some gas and bloating. Nothing to write home about, after all.