Every time I visit the Gym can’t ignore the sight of every second person sipping on the whey protein supplement post workout. Somehow it seems to be the most important ‘post workout schedule’ especially with the Youths.
What exactly is Whey Protein?
It is simply the protein contained in whey, the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese. It is considered as a good quality ‘complete’ protein as it contains all the 9 essential amino acids.
Here’s the Clincher– Does each and every one of us really need this every day?
The Answer is a Big NO. Yes Protein is important for everyone. But there are other natural complete sources of vegetarian proteins like skimmed milk, curds, low fat paneer, soy chunks, soy milk, tofu(soy paneer). Sprouts, dals, whole grains, nuts also give enough proteins for the day if diets are well planned. So the vegetarians need not worry for not getting enough proteins in the diet. Other non-veg sources of protein include eggs, chicken, fish and red meat (but high in fat).
You need to understand one thing is that whey protein is not a natural product so it put some load on the digestive system for using it. It also disturbs the harmony the body with respect to other nutrients. Here is what could happen if whey protein is not well tolerated by the body
- Gout- Imagine if your bodybuilding regimen led to your not being able to exercise at all. That can happen if you develop Gout, a form of arthritis caused by the buildup of hard, painful crystals of uric acid in the muscles, joints and tendons of the legs and feet. These lead to inflammation, stiffness and tenderness.
- Ketosis- A condition which stresses the liver and causes destruction of muscle tissues. Also, kidney stones and even kidney damage as the kidneys have to work overtime to handle all the amino acids you can’t use.
- Intestinal Irritation- Diarrhea, acid reflux, constipation, cramps, gas, increased bowel movements, nausea, reduced appetite, swelling of limbs, upset stomach, and thirst. Oh yes, the Bloating is probably the cause of that Big Belly. Imagine that!!!
Increased excretion of calcium through urine- excess protein can cause increased calcium excretion. If left untreated it could lead to increased risk of fracture and osteoprorosis
- Furthermore, Whey protein may lower blood sugar levels, increase risk of bleeding, cause low blood pressure, drowsiness or sedation.
Now as we all know too much of a good thing can end up being a bad thing. Yes, Intake of Whey Protein might actually lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Your Dietician will tell you it is a component of many a weight-gain regimen.
If you don’t change your lifestyle by making other necessary changes in the diet and add whey protein to the mix, you probably end up gaining weight. However, if you don’t exercise, there’s no way that whey protein will magically turn into muscle. The body will do what it does with excess carb, fat or protein- Make fat.
A proper dietary planning with natural protein sources according to your requirement and physical activity remain the foundation of any weight loss or muscle building program. Neither Whey protein nor any other supplement is going to lose the weight for you. It has to be well monitored. You still have to do the work. Just make sure your nutritionist helps you hasten the process.