Does whey protein really cause acne?

Person taking whey protein

Getting Tired of Whey Protein And Acne?

What is whey protein?

Dairy products contain two types of protein called whey protein and casein protein. In fresh milk, the protein contents break down to about 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein. Technically speaking, both the proteins are converted into powders for supplementary consumption but whey protein is used on a larger scale. It is a natural by-product of cheese production and is a strong source of high protein that contains all essential amino acids. It is crucial in building and repairing muscle strength. It is also known to support weight loss. Compared to other proteins, whey protein is easily digestible. 

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Types of whey protein

In the market, there are multiple types of whey protein powder available. It is available in various flavours. Moreover, it can be mixed with milk or water too.

Whey protein concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is the most common type of whey protein available in the market. In addition, it is also the most recommended type for bodybuilding. This concentrate has about 80% protein and low levels of protein and low levels of fats and carbohydrates. 

Whey protein hydrolysate

Whey protein hydrolysate is easily digestible. It is a pre-digested protein which is dexterously absorbed. It is also an accompanying ingredient in food formulas for infants.

Whey protein isolate

It has a 90% of protein concentration and a lower amount of fat. Unfortunately, the essential nutrients that are found in whey protein concentrate are astray in whey protein isolate.

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Benefits of whey protein

Whey protein powder is used in milkshakes, meal replacements, and protein bars, and it has several health benefits: 

Fabricate muscle strength

Whey protein is favoured among bodybuilders and weight trainers as it assists in building and repairing muscle strength. It releases certain hormones that boost muscle growth. Whey protein supplements are most often used to increase muscle growth and strength.

Promotes weight loss

A high-protein diet can be a pillar for weight loss. Consuming more proteins reduces appetite and naturally forces an individual to consume fewer calories. It speeds up the metabolic process and eventually burns calories. 

Decreases cholesterol

Whey protein plays a positive and vital role in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Especially bad LDL cholesterol. Since high cholesterol is directly proportional to higher strokes and hence heart-related issues, reduced cholesterol results in numerous health benefits.

Effective inflammation reducer

When there is any injury or damage to a part of the body, the response is inflammation, redness or bleeding. While short-term inflammation isn't a big deal, chronic inflammation may indicate serious possible conditions. Consuming whey protein supplements are known to be highly effective for lowering body inflammation.

Why does whey protein cause acne?

However efficient whey protein could be for muscle building, one might want to balance the benefits against a high chance of breakouts. Whey proteins are known to cause severe breakouts if not consumed congruously. The cause is excessive production of testosterone. Whey protein influences the testosterone spike production which results in blemishes. Testosterone has great benefits such as keeping the bones strong. On the downside, it will increase sebum production. Sebum is the waxy oil produced by the sebaceous glands and excess of it tends to cause clogged pores and acne. 

Moreover, the proteins present in milk can hamper the blood sugar processing ability of the body, hence resulting in skin inflammation. This causes severe redness and inflammation around the acne. 

There's a common myth surrounding the relationship between acne and whey protein, it is that people sensitive to dairy break out from whey protein. When in reality, it is completely false. Just about anyone that consumes whey proteins develops testosterone spikes that result in breakouts. 

Usually, plant-based proteins do not cause acne. Moreover, plant-based or vegan proteins are labelled to be healthier and rich in nutrients when compared to animal or whey proteins.

The miscellaneous side effects of whey protein

  • Stomach ache
  • Kidney related issues
  • Constant fatigue 
  • Osteoporosis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Allergic reaction 

Alternatives to whey proteins

Limiting protein intake can assist in reducing the testosterone spikes which result in a breakout. Anyone who notices that whey protein is causing them an excessive breakout, will be better off choosing the other ways to receive protein. Here are certain top choices:

1) Bone broth protein

It would be worth mentioning that bone broth protein tastes absolutely nothing like bone broth although it offers the same health benefits as collagen and amino acids. It comes in flavours such as chocolate, and vanilla. 

2) Pea protein

Pea protein is a popular plant-based protein. Its texture is smoother and finer than other vegan proteins and its taste is milder. It does not taste like peas and it is formulated from yellow peas and not green.

3) Brown rice protein

Brown rice protein is another popular choice among individuals due to its neutral flavour. It's allergen free and often available sprouted. Other plant-based proteins include hemp, sunflower, soy, chia etc

4) Egg white protein

Egg white could be a great source of protein. Egg white proteins are formulated using egg whites and are extremely rich in proteins. This supplement does not taste like an egg and is available in various flavours such as chocolate, vanilla etc making it super easy to consume. 

The recommended dosage for whey protein 

Commonly, health experts recommend around 1-2 scoops of whey protein which is around 25-50 grams daily after the workout. However, one must be aware of their regular diet as well. If the latter contains high protein content, the supplement can be avoided. Since whey proteins are a high source of protein intake, they shall be consumed only if the everyday diet lacks it.

Take Away

Adding whey protein supplement to the diet is healthy and beneficial in numerous ways, especially in bodybuilding. It works wonderfully in building and repairing muscle strength. Additionally, it is also helpful for people who want to shed a few kilos from their body weight. Unfortunately, it is widely known to cause acne and blemishes. On consumption of whey proteins, if one experiences a break-out, it is recommended to switch to another source of protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take whey protein if I have acne?

You should always avoid consuming whey protein if you suffer from acne since some individuals are particularly sensitive to its effects and may not be able to take it.

How does whey protein prevent acne?

You should reduce your whey protein intake. You may experiment with reducing the amount or frequency to see how it works. If there is no improvement, discontinue use and look for an alternative.