Is whey protein dangerous? | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Is whey protein dangerous?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about your brand. Let us do the heavy lifting.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident fitness software decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. Our partners do not influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: The Editorial Team at is dedicated to providing fair, unbiased information about the fitness industry. We update our site regularly and all content is reviewed by credentialed fitness experts.

Get the Basics...
  • Whey protein is not dangerous for the average person to consume.
  • It is rare to be allergic to whey protein, although some lactose-intolerant people cannot take it.
  • You can overdose on whey protein, but the effects are usually not serious.

Whey protein can be dangerous if it is consumed in excess, but there is nothing inherently dangerous about it.

How much protein a person needs in their diet depends a lot on lifestyle, though. People who regularly participate in sports, lift weights, or have very active lifestyles will need much more protein than the average person with a sedentary lifestyle.

Furthermore, it would be difficult to eat too much whey if you maintain a balanced diet.

However, the addition of whey protein supplements could potentially cause issues if you don’t carefully follow dosing instructions.

Whey is a form of protein that is produced from the leftover liquid when cheese is manufactured. From this liquid, a dry powder that is high in protein is produced. This is what is known as whey protein.

For more on what whey is, please watch below!

Whey protein supplementation is pointless if you don’t have a well-designed workout plan to pair it with. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more

Can You Be Allergic to Whey Protein?

Because it is made of a dairy byproduct, anyone who is lactose intolerant may have a difficulty digesting whey. Occasionally, people on gluten-free diets have reported having allergic reactions when consuming whey protein supplements.

Gluten, like whey, is often used as a filler in many food products. Although these two ingredients are often combined, pure whey protein contains no gluten.

A very small minority of people have been shown to have allergies to pure whey protein. There may be many more people who have been improperly diagnosed as allergic to whey, as whey protein is contained in many different dairy products.

Whey protein allergies can only be diagnosed by a dermatologist, gastroenterologist, or a doctor who specializes in identifying food allergies.

How Much Whey Protein Should Be Consumed?

There are literally over 1,000 different types of protein, and everyone needs to consume varying amounts, based on things like age and fitness level. For the sake of simplicity, we will focus just on complete and incomplete proteins.

Fewer grams of protein need to be eaten if your diet consists mainly of complete proteins. Because incomplete proteins are missing some of the nine essential amino acids that are present in complete proteins, they need to be consumed in higher amounts.

Whey protein is a complete protein that is high in nutritional value.

Nutritionists recommend people eat a varied diet in order to get their protein from multiple sources. Whey can naturally be found in cheese and other processed foods, but higher concentrations can be consumed if you take whey protein supplements.

Who Should Not Consume Whey Protein Supplements?

It would take a concerted effort in order to avoid whey protein altogether, however, some people should not consume it at all.

Unlike whey protein that is contained in food products, whey protein supplements contain extremely high levels of protein.

WebMD recommends that expectant mothers and nursing women avoid taking whey protein supplements. This is because extensive studies detailing the potential dangers or side effects of whey protein on infants is not currently available.

Get More Out of Your Health and Fitness Routine. Go PRO!

Sign Up

How Much Whey Protein Should Be Taken Daily?

Although around one gram of protein per pound is sufficient for maintaining optimal health, weightlifters and people with higher metabolic rates will need more.

Because lifting weights puts a tremendous strain on the muscles, bodybuilders and people who do regular workouts will need more protein in order to build and repair their muscles.

There is no pre-set amount of whey protein that should be taken every day — as long as you pay attention to your body and look out for possible protein overdose.

It is important to consult your doctor before starting to take a whey protein supplement. You don’t want to have any negative effects.

The amount of extra whey protein you take will depend on your weight and your workout schedule. If your end goal is to add on more bulk, you will need to consume more protein in addition to more carbohydrates and healthy fats.

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Too Much Whey Protein?

Occasionally, people can take too much whey protein when they don’t pay attention to the recommended amount of protein they need and disregard supplement dosage instructions. Still, healthy adults who consume too much whey protein don’t usually experience severe side effects.

Mild side effects such as headaches and constipation may develop. In some instances, more serious kidney disorders can occur.

Because the internal organs of children continue to develop until adulthood, the ramifications of whey protein overdose can be more severe. Severe kidney problems and even death can occur in a child who consistently consumes too much whey protein.

Ultimately, having your protein levels checked is the only way you can be certain if you believe you have been ingesting too much whey protein.

And don’t forget that taking a protein supplement is just part of total body fitness. Check out our PRO Plan today to see how we can help you stay motivated and focused on your fitness all year long!

Learn more about Fitness Business Management Software.

Schedule your demo today.