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Side Effects From Consuming Protein Shakes

Updated on March 20, 2012

Protein shakes are one of the most common supplements on the market, and usually, there the first supplement that most people experiment with. With all of the different varieties and manufacturers, choosing the right protein shake can be confusing. On this hub I’ll give you a rundown of everything you need to know when it comes to choosing the right protein shake for you.

Eggs are a great source of Protein
Eggs are a great source of Protein

Are There Any Side Effects from Consuming Protein Shakes?

Most of the time when people ask me this question, what they really want to know is: “are there any negative side effects”, “can I take too much”, or “can you overdose on protein shakes”. I’ll go into more in-depth explanations later, but the short answer is no, you can’t overdose on protein.

Why Can’t You Overdose on Protein?

This is kind of a touchy one, because I know even as I’m typing this, someone, somewhere, is yelling “yes you can” at their monitor. Technically, you can overdose on any substance (even water), but the amount of protein you would need to “overdose” would be physically impossible to ingest. The real reason you can’t overdose on protein, is because all protein that your body takes in gets broken down into amino acids. So in all actuality, there isn’t really any protein to overdose on.

Can I Take Too Much Protein?

Absolutely. Regardless of the source, whether it’s from your diet or supplement (such as a protein shake), your body can only metabolize around 40 to 50 g of protein at once. This amount will vary based on your metabolism, and your current fitness level, but a good rule of thumb is to keep servings of protein around 40 g.

How Much Protein Should I Take a Day?

You wouldn’t believe some of the theories I hear every day about how much protein people need. Some of it gets pretty crazy. Let me set the record straight once and for all, and clear up a popular misconception. If you’re looking to build muscle and get in shape you need to take in 1.5 to 2 g of protein per pound of lean body weight, per day. The key word in that phrase is lean, not total body weight.

The amount of protein you need is pretty easy to figure out. Simply use one of the many free online BMI (Body Mass Index) calculators to get a rough idea of your lean body weight. Multiply that number by two, and there’s your protein requirement. Most digital scales even have a feature to calculate your BMI when you weigh yourself.

Are There Any Negative Side Effects from Consuming Protein?

As I explained earlier, there are no negative side effects from consuming the protein itself, you will however, want to watch all of the extra calories if you decide to start taking a protein shake. Look for low-calorie, fat-free alternatives when shopping for supplements, and you should be okay.

Dietary Protein is always best
Dietary Protein is always best

What Kind of Protein Should I Buy?

Before I answer this question, let me say that dietary protein (that means protein that you get in your diet from meat, dairy, poultry, etc.) will always be better than a protein supplement. That being said, it’s really just a matter of taste, and personal preference when it comes to which supplement buy. Over the years I’ve tried dozens of different righties, and I found one that I like (I’ll put a link to it in the Recommended Products section below). I would advise that you stick with the vanilla when it comes to flavoring. I usually add fresh fruit to mine (bananas, strawberries, etc.) for flavor.

Recommended Products

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Delicious Strawberry, 5 Pound
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Delicious Strawberry, 5 Pound

Optimal nutrition is my personal favorite when it comes protein supplements. It’s not loaded with needless calories, or fillers, and it actually tastes pretty decent on its own. The protein levels are perfect for what I need, and overall, it’s just a great supplement.



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    • profile image

      Kate 2 years ago

      BMI is not a measure of lean body weight - it's a ratio. Your BMI does not tell you your lean body mass!

    • profile image

      brandon 3 years ago

      @ mamakim soy protein has been linked to cause breats cancer in women and men. Stick with whey

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 4 years ago from Southeast USA

      I know I don't get enough protein from my diet so I take a shake daily. Work out with weights regularly. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      As a woman I've always stuck with soy protein shakes as it's better for our bodies. It tends to keep our "crazy" hormones in check ^_^

    • Billy Hicks profile image

      Billy Hicks 5 years ago

      @liveandlaugh EAS is pretty decent. Once Bill Phillips left though, they took the company in a new direction that I haven't really been a fan of.

      Dietary protein is always the best choice (and a much better tasting one in my opinion).

    • liveandlaugh profile image

      liveandlaugh 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for writing this, it cleared up a lot of things I wasn't sure about. I used to take the EAS protein but I don't really like taking supplements. I'll stick to my dietary protein unless I decide to bulk up again, which is unlikely.

    • Billy Hicks profile image

      Billy Hicks 5 years ago

      @Num Synthetic proteins are essentially the same as their natural counterparts, the only difference is the chemical makeup of the base amino acids. Natural is always better, but synthetic can be a cheaper alternative is price is an issue.

    • profile image

      Num 5 years ago

      I bought proparat sythetic protein frm marke now it's confusing bcz it's synthetic one wht to do?