Doctors flag excessive consumption of protein powder as cardiac risk

Bengaluru Health Lifestyle

‘Intake of protein should be only though food’

Excessive use of protein powders could result in a person suffering a heart attack, doctors say. While a spoonful may seem healthy, not many people know the implications behind it.

Dr G. Vivek, a cardiologist, informed The Observer: “When it is about protein powder, it depends on what kind of supplement is being consumed. If the intake is on a higher level, there are chances of the person getting a heart attack, but this can only be proven after a full health checkup.”

Silky Mahajan, a nutritionist, said: “Trainers at gyms are not doctors, so protein powders are never advisable to consume unless you consult a doctor or nutritionist. Implications could be many after consumption, but the key requirement for any person should be carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and a proper protein diet.”

If a person wishes to lead a healthy lifestyle, he/she should either consume protein powders moderately, or never consume at all.

Vignesh K, manager at, a fitness centre chain, said: “Usually trainers never suggest people to consume any kind of supplements. The management has instructed clients, managers and trainers to refrain from recommending or consuming protein powders as it is harmful.”

Kritika Kristen, sales executive at Volt Fitness Club, said: “…we are aware of… protein powders affecting a person’s health. No supplements are issued unless it is prescribed by doctors or nutritionists. The trainers here ensure that clients undergo a proper checkup and BMI so that the trainers are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of clients.”

Suraj Raghuvanshi, center manager at Multi Fit, a fitness studio, said: “When it comes to protein supplements, it depends on the client’s wish. Basically, the whole scenario revolves around lifestyle. Usually for the ones who are going through a health condition, we suggest they go and get a medical checkup. Unless there is any instruction provided by health officials, the gym or its trainers do not suggest protein powders that could cause harm to health.”

Protein powders have hidden dangers that are unknown to many. Over-consumption can affect a person’s heart activity.

Mohammad Faizulla, a resident of Bengaluru studying internal medicine in the US, said: “Protein supplements are injurious to health. If people wish to consume proteins, then it must be through the food that everyone eats, and not through artificial means. After knowing that excess consumption of protein causes heart ailments, I started to stick to my regular diet.

 “Companies producing protein supplements don’t have a good name. With researchers discovering facts about these supplements to the body, manufacturers need to do thorough checks before selling them…. I observe people consume (protein supplements) because they want to build muscle. Often, their body becomes puffed up, the face starts to transform.”

Shilpa Jakhar, an IT professional, said: “I am aware of the consequences of consuming too much protein powder. Neither do I consume any supplements nor do I recommend anyone to consume protein shakes. Before a workout, trainers ask people to adopt a more healthy lifestyle. Thus, I have been consuming only what is prepared at home and avoid having anything extra that could pose a danger to me and my family.”

Debolina Reza, who works in the services industry, goes to the gym with her husband. “For older adults, proteins should be in the form of the food that we consume in our daily life, not through whey protein powders. We ensure we live healthy and suggest our family members to lead an active life, rather than a sedentary one. Today’s youth may be wanting to build their body, but they don’t know what the future implications could be,” she said.

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases have become the leading cause of deaths. Experts advocate research on the consumption of protein powder to reduce cardiac risks.

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