Are Protein Supplements considered Steroids?: Common Myths of Whey Protein

The use of protein supplements like whey protein powder is often criticised. This is because many believe that protein supplements are steroids. Due to this belief, those who plan on using the best whey protein supplements in the market are having second thoughts. As a result, they end up not getting the amount of whey protein they need.  

So, to help debunk the common myths about whey protein, we’re providing some of the most relevant information about it. Read on!

What is Whey Protein? 

Whey protein is a type of protein derived from whey, the milk’s watery portion that has separated from the curds while making cheese. The substance is used as a protein supplement and believed to boost the nutrient content of a person’s diet. Also, whey protein is presumed to impact the body’s immune system. 

Whey proteins are also believed to be better than the other protein types. This is because they come with essential amino acids that the human body absorbs quickly. Many studies conducted claim that whey protein is helpful in weight loss, muscle buildup and increasing strength.

Whey protein does not taste good. This is why protein supplements rich in whey protein are offered in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavours. 

Taking whey protein supplements is the most convenient way to take in proteins to meet one’s recommended daily protein intake. This is among the top reasons why individuals such as gym enthusiasts and bodybuilders who need more proteins have this as essential part of their diet. 

Is Whey Protein Good? 

For the past few years, whey protein has been the centre of many studies conducted by health experts. The majority of these studies were intended to determine the benefits that whey protein provides. These are also aimed at determining if the protein is capable of causing undesirable effects to the human body. So far, all these studies have concluded that whey protein is good for the body and offers the following benefits.

  • Serves as a high-quality protein source
  • Helps promote muscle growth 
  • Might help lower blood pressure
  • Might help in the treatment of type 2 diabetes
  • Might help reduce inflammation
  • Might help enhance the antioxidant defenses of the body
  • Helps in reducing hunger
  • Helps in weight loss

  • Does Whey Protein Contain Lactose? 

    Whey protein is a popular option for most athletes, gym enthusiasts and bodybuilders because it is a complete protein source. It was found out that the protein contains all the essential amino acids that serve as the building blocks for muscles. Also, whey protein can be quickly absorbed and utilised by the body.

    But since whey protein is derived from milk, it contains lactose, a common source of problems for lactose intolerant individuals. This is because the lactose in the protein supplements they take could cause them to experience bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and flatulence.

    Fortunately, most of the supplements that provide whey protein in Australia are now available in different versions, and these are the following.

  • Whey Protein Concentrate

  • Whey protein concentrate is created by drying the liquid whey into powder form. The concentrate is usually subjected to several procedures to boost its protein content. When measured using its weight, the powder becomes 80% protein while the remaining 20% contains fats and carbohydrates. The whey protein concentrate also comes with more lactose or milk sugar and the best flavour.

  • Whey Protein Isolate

  • Whey protein isolate is created like that of the concentrate. However, the isolate version is subjected to different processes. Due to this, the isolate offers a higher amount of protein that can reach 90%. It also comes with a lower amount of carbohydrates, fat and lactose. 

    The whey protein isolate is sold at a higher price. But despite that, it remains a top option for athletes and bodybuilders who are lactose intolerant. Also, it is the preferred choice for individuals who want to increase their useful protein intake significantly.

  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate

  • The whey protein hydrolysate is also popularly referred to as the hydrolysed whey. It is the pre-digested version of whey protein and is absorbed by the body faster. Many studies revealed that hydrolysates could cause a 28 to 43% spike in the body's insulin levels compared to what the isolate does.

    Can Whey Protein Help Lose Weight? 

    Many studies revealed that whey protein is beneficial in losing weight. Whey protein does this by providing more protein responsible for boosting the body’s energy expenditure by about 80 to 100 calories per day. Also, proteins help reduce a person’s calorie intake by about 441 per day.

    Furthermore, increasing protein intake by taking whey protein supplements reduces calorie intake by cutting the food cravings by about 60%. The reduced food cravings also cut the person’s desire to eat late-night snacks by about half. Thus, significant weight loss is highly possible.

    Other Whey Protein Myths 

    Whey protein is among the most studied substances that people take in the form of food supplements. Many studies are conducted to understand the protein’s effects on one’s body further. Also, many of these are intended to debunk the most common myths, especially the following.

  • Whey protein is a steroid

  • Whey protein is not a steroid. Although it helps in better muscle development and aids weight loss, this protein is derived from the processing of milk to create cheese. Taking this protein does not lead to abnormal body cells and tissue growth, just like what steroids do.


  • Whey protein places the liver and kidney at risk
  • No studies have shown that whey protein intake could lead to liver or kidney damage. Whey proteins are proven harmless and do not trigger any side effects as long as they are taken in prescribed amounts.

  • Whey protein causes poor digestion

  • Whey protein does not cause poor digestion. Instead, the condition is caused by unabsorbed whey protein in the body due to insufficient water intake. Thus, those who take whey protein supplements are advised to drink more water regularly.

  • Whey proteins are not appropriate for women

  • Whey proteins are not only valuable for men. The protein is also proven to cause many positive effects on women. However, it is strongly advised that whey proteins should be taken in recommended amounts and coupled with practices that ensure adequate water or fluid intake.