The Protein Supplements You Should Avoid — Here’s Why They’re Bad for You

Protein supplements are a quick and easy way to reach your daily protein needs, especially if you're looking to build muscle or if protein is lacking in your diet. But supplements do not have to be proven to be safe to the Food and Drug Administration before they're marketed. Some protein supplements may contain ingredients hard on the digestive system, indirectly lead to weight gain or have potentially detrimental effects on health. 

Read more: Your Yoga Pants Might Be Bad for Your Health

Here are some of the ingredients in protein supplements (both dairy and non-dairy) you may want to watch out for.

Soy protein: Soy, in general, is hard on the digestive system, let alone soy-based protein powders. Moreover, 93% of soy in the U.S. is genetically modified, according to Nutritional Weight & Wellness

High consumption of soy can mess with the thyroid and potentially increase the risk of breast cancer, though studies haven't outwardly proven that yet.

Vegan protein supplement brand Vega offers a solid alternative to soy protein with protein powders made from pea protein. 

Dairy protein supplements: Both whey and casein dairy protein supplements, two of the most popular, are made up of milk protein and can cause digestive issues, including constipation and diarrhea, for those with lactose intolerance.

Casein is a dairy protein that, unlike whey protein, usually contains whole milk powder that can lead to heavier weight gain and bulking. Casein is recommended for those really looking to buff up. 

Artificial Sweeteners: Protein powders may contain sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame potassium (Sweet One) and artificial flavors. Studies suggest that artificial sweeteners can indirectly lead to weight gain as they perpetuate our sugar craving and dependence. 

Source: Giphy

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jessica Eggert

Jessica is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at jessica@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.