What Happens to Your Body When You Take Protein Powder Every Day

If you are one of the many people who take protein powder every day, here are some effects you can expect to see.

For people who want a protein boost without having to go through the effort of cooking a steak or simmering a batch of lentils, protein powder can be a lifesaver. By simply adding a scoop of this powder to smoothies, beverages or recipes, you can benefit from as much as 25 whopping grams of this vital macro in your diet in one fell swoop (or scoop).

If you regularly use protein powder, know you are not alone. With the protein supplement market consistently growing yearly, per Statista, it's clear that including protein powder in many diets is a trend that isn't going away any time soon. If you are among the many people who include this supplement in their diet daily and wonder what effects this habit can have on your body, read on to learn some surprising potential outcomes.

a container of protein powder with a scoop coming out
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What Are Protein Powders?

Protein is one of the three macronutrients your body needs for proper functioning. You can get protein from various food sources, including milk, eggs, tofu and peas. Besides food sources, protein powders can also be a source of protein. As a concentrated form of protein processed and sold in powder form, protein powder is a source of protein that is easy to include in a slew of recipes.

Some of the more popular types of protein powders include:

Whey Protein

Whey protein comes from dairy milk and contains all the essential amino acids. It is typically digested quickly and can mix well with many liquids.

Casein Protein

Casein protein is another protein from dairy milk containing all essential amino acids. But, unlike whey protein, casein protein is absorbed at a slower rate. This feature can benefit those looking to feel satisfied for a long time after consuming protein powder. However, if you have an allergy to casein, be sure to avoid its powder form.

Pea Protein

Made from the yellow pea, pea protein is a vegan-friendly protein powder that contains all of the essential amino acids (although it is low in the amino acid methionine). This protein powder also contains fiber and various vitamins and minerals, including iron.

Hemp Protein

Hemp protein is made from the seeds of a plant of the Cannabis sativa species, but it is free from THC (the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychoactive effects). This protein powder contains fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, micronutrients and antioxidants.

Egg Protein

Egg-white protein powder is made by removing the yolks from eggs, then dehydrating and pasteurizing the whites. Egg-white protein is considered a high-quality and highly digestible protein source, providing all of the essential amino acids.

Soy Protein

Soy protein powder is made from the humble soybean. This popular protein powder choice is vegan-friendly, complete and versatile.

What Happens When You Take Protein Powder Every Day?

Taking protein powder every day is a solution that many people lean on. From busy folks who make it a habit to enjoy a protein-packed smoothie to help them meet their macro needs, to bodybuilders who need the extra boost protein powder provides, including this powder in a daily diet serves a wide variety of people.

If you are one of the many people who take protein powder every day, here are some things that may happen.

You May Have Healthy Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, which puts them at an elevated risk of stroke and heart attack. Results of one smaller 2019 study published in Food Science & Nutrition showed that people with pre‐ and mild hypertension who consumed 30 grams of whey protein powder daily for 12 weeks had decreased systolic blood pressure.

You May Maintain a Healthy Weight

According to a 2022 review published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, some studies have demonstrated the positive effects of protein supplementation on improving satiety, which may support weight-loss goals. It is important to remember that weight loss can result from many factors, not just adding this supplement.

You May Gain More Muscle

Protein is needed for muscle development. And according to a 2022 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, increased protein intake has been linked to greater lean body mass accumulation. Adding protein powder to your diet is an easy way to increase protein intake, which may result in this positive outcome, especially if you exercise regularly.

You May Be Exposed to Heavy Metals

Reports, such as one published in 2020 in Toxicology Reports, suggest that heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead, may be present in certain protein powders. Chronic exposure to certain metals is linked to the development of renal disease, thyroid disruption, weakened bones and neurological dysfunction.

What to Look for in a Protein Powder

Since protein powder is classified as a supplement, it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration like food is. And because of this, it's important to choose a protein powder that is third-party tested. Look for certification of third-party testing from a trusted source, like USP or NSF, when you're buying supplements.

Verifying that a supplement brand follows Good Manufacturing Practices helps ensure that the product's identity, strength, quality and purity are accurate. Even though all manufacturers are expected to follow GMP guidelines, being GMP-certified means that they have actually followed them.

Additionally, evaluating whether certain ingredients found in your protein powder are right for your own needs is important. Some powders can contain added sugars, fillers, allergens and herbal solutions that may not be appropriate for each individual.

Finally, consider which type of protein powder you are choosing. Those who follow a vegan lifestyle will be best off choosing a pea, hemp or other plant-based protein powder. And people who prioritize a protein powder that provides all of the essential amino acids should not choose options that do not meet this need, like hemp (unless it is fortified).

How to Use It

You can use protein powder in a variety of ways. From smoothies to overnight oats to even your favorite baked goods recipes, the options are truly endless. Try adding some protein powder to your coffee to start your morning with a dose of protein, or add it to your creamy soup to make it more protein-rich.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What type of protein is the best?

There is no one "best" type of protein. Different protein powders meet different needs, so each individual should evaluate which type will help them reach their health goals.

2. How much protein powder do you need?

The amount of protein a person needs depends on a few factors, including how much protein they consume from other sources, their activity level and their current weight. Many people add one to two scoops of protein powder to their diet every day. Working with a registered dietitian to determine how much protein powder you need can be helpful.

3. Are protein powders good for you?

Protein powders can be a healthy part of a balanced diet. As long as you're taking in an appropriate amount, you're using the right protein powder for your own needs and you're opting for a brand that is third-party verified, it can certainly be a positive addition to a balanced diet.

4. Who should avoid taking protein powder?

Protein powders are generally recognized as safe for healthy people. Too much protein powder should be avoided by people with decreased kidney function. And for those with an allergy, protein powders made from that triggering allergen should be avoided.

The Bottom Line

Protein powder can be a positive addition to a balanced diet, especially for people who have difficulty consuming enough protein. As long as appropriate serving sizes are being observed, the right protein powder is chosen to meet your individual needs, and the brand used is third-party tested, adding a scoop to your morning smoothie, your breakfast pancakes or other recipes can give your diet the boost that it may need.

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