Protein Powder Intake By Teens: Facts and Side Effects


Protein powders have gained popularity amongst teens. But the fact is that they are not needed. Even teens that are into athletics and games do not need protein powders to boost their muscles. In fact some of the protein powders are even dangerous.

Teens should not have protein powders unless advised by the doctor. According to the Institute of Medicine teen boys need around 52 grams of protein on a daily basis whilst girls require 46 grams. The fact is that most of the American kids get this amount of protein from their daily diet. Barring some special cases protein supplements are absolutely not necessary for American teens. (Goston, 2010)

Guide for Protein Supplements for Teens

protein powder intake by teens

When is protein supplements necessary?

It is true that in some cases protein shakes do become necessary. If your child is medically diagnosed as underweight then protein shakes can be given to him or her. However, do make sure that you only give your teen the protein or calorie shakes as prescribed by your doctor. These protein shakes are rich in nutrition which will benefit your child by a great extent.

Along with protein they also contain minerals and vitamins. Medical professionals often recommend these drinks before and after meals. But do remember that protein shakes are just supplements and not replacement of normal foods. You should not stop giving your teen normal protein sources when he/she is having the supplements.

Concerns with Supplements

Whilst the supplements are extremely beneficial for the underweight teens they have some serious impacts on the others. Only intake protein supplements which are prescribed by the doctor. (Goston, 2010)


The dietary supplements which are available in the market are not well regulated by the Food and Drug Administration of America. The FDA only bans some of the supplements which are being reported of any adverse side effects. (Goston, 2010)

Apart from that there are other concerns surrounding the excess intake of the supplements by the teenagers.

Protein Toxicity

Though it is true that protein is needed for the growth and development of a teenage body, excess protein is sometimes quite harmful. As the rate of metabolism amongst normal teens is higher than the adults it is easier for them to consume excess proteins. (Goston, 2010)

Protein toxicity can actually cause very fatal consequences. They can lead to the formation of metabolic byproducts in the blood vessels. This might even lead to the death of the teen. A recent study on this subject reveals that the excess protein in the body can cause serious side effects like diarrhea. The teen can become nauseous due to the blockage in the blood vessels. Anything excess of the necessary amount will result in health related problems in teens.

Threat of Contamination

According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency the protein supplements might contain prohibit substances. These substances are used for just adding weight of the product but not adding any nutritional benefit.

These prohibits contain steroids which temporarily boost up the muscle strength of the teens but eventually they get them addicted. There are also severe long term consequences if your child constantly consumes these steroids. It might damage their liver and kidney and might make them suffer throughout their lives. (DeKlotz, 2017)


Lack of Regulation

As mentioned before the FDA does not regulate the quality standards of these protein supplements. Thus according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency there are no guarantee that these products will actually contain the ingredients mentioned in the label.

This puts the thing in some kind of muddy water as without any regulation your kid might end up consuming something which might damage their system for life. This is the reason why it is important that the teens only intake protein supplements which are prescribed by the doctors.

Causes Nutritional Deficiency

Might sound ironical but it is a fact that excess drinking of protein shakes might cause nutritional deficiency in your teen. Normally a well balanced diet enriches a teen’s body with all the necessary minerals and vitamins.

But once the blood starts to consume excess protein it might stop absorbing the other minerals and vitamins. Teens that are regularly having protein shakes are likely to have serious calcium deficiency. Whilst the protein shakes tend to strengthen the body they also weaken the bones and teeth of the teens. (DeKlotz, 2017)

Moreover, if your teen is having protein shakes then he/she might get dehydrated quite easily. Protein requires a lot of water to get digested and that is the reason why they tend to make the body dehydrated at frequent intervals. The shakes also create problems with the digestive system. The teen might face constipation and problems with bowel movement. (Millman, 2003)

The supplements also impact the kidney of your child. The prohibiting substances which are added in the mix often cause dangerous sedimentation on the kidney of the child. This might lead to kidney stones in the future. Blockage in kidney might trigger other serious ailments as well.


Solution for Teens

Teens tend to be stubborn and they would not listen to you if you go straight and tell them that he/she cannot have protein shakes from now on. That is why it would be proper if they are given an alternative.

There are many nice and easy way by which you can make a healthy and scrumptious homemade protein shakes for your teen. Make a perfect blend of milk and yogurt with fruits and plenty of nuts. You can also add a bit of cashew butter into the mix.

If your child is in dire need of protein you can make the shake with Greek yogurt and powdered milk. To add to the flavor you can obvious add the twist of oatmeal in the protein smoothie and also can use frozen yogurt as per the choice and preference of your child.


Commercial protein shakes are not good for your teen. If your child is diagnosed as underweight (that the doctor can only tell) then he/she might have protein or calorie intake shakes. However, only purchase the shakes which are prescribed by the doctor. Do not rely on the other brands selling the protein shakes as they are not approved by the FDA.

Also do remember that excess consumption of protein shakes can bring about fatal consequences for your teens and it might even cause death. That is why it is better to rely on homemade protein shakes. They are healthier and safe.