Many bodybuilders and athletes report that protein supplements help them gain muscle and strength, and also recover from training faster. But protein supplements also have potential side effects, some of them serious. To safeguard your health while you build your strength, learn what the possible side effects are, before taking protein supplements.
Protein supplements are not as closely regulated by the FDA as standard drugs or food, so reporting of side effects may be more anecdotal than scientific.
Protein supplements contain milk, egg or soy proteins. Immediate side effects vary according to how an individual tends to digest each of these protein types.
The most commonly reported side effect of protein supplements is excess gas, though this may diminish over time as your body becomes accustomed to the supplement.
On average, an active human body cannot utilize more than 2 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight each day, whether the protein is from supplements or food.
Any protein you eat, either from supplements or natural food, that is not used to build and repair muscle, skin and other body tissues, is converted to fat.
When your body is forced to convert excess protein from supplements or food into body fat, your blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels rise and your hydration level decreases, possibly leading to dehydration.
Protein supplements may cause accelerated loss of kidney function in people who have kidney problems, even when total daily protein is as little as 1.3 grams per kilogram of body weight.