Is Protein Powder Safe For Teens

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Is Protein Powder Safe For Teens


In the world of athletics, protein powder supplements have long been popular. Protein powders are consumed by some athletes owing to a shortage of protein in their diet, others in the hopes of gaining muscle mass, others as a meal substitute for convenience, and yet others because social media tells them they should. What about adolescent athletes? Is it important for teenagers to use protein powder? Is it secure? Is it really helpful, or is it just a waste of money? Read on to find more about teen protein requirements, when and why to use protein powder for teen athletes, and which protein powders are best for teen athletes.


Protein is a necessary macronutrient that aids in muscle contraction, increases hormones that aid in muscle healing and growth, and boosts immunological function. The amount of protein you require is determined by your age, gender, weight, degree of exercise, and strength training intensity and frequency.

Athletes require more protein than inactive people, but research has shown that there is a protein intake threshold, and that eating more protein than your body requires does not result in greater muscular development or strength.


The precise amount of protein required by athletes is a hotly disputed topic. Adults should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, according to the new 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, however it is widely understood that athletes require (presumably) much more. Teen athletes require between 1.0-1.4 g/kg body weight of protein each day. Most athletes are capable of meeting, if not exceeding, these standards.

When it comes to protein, more isn't necessarily better, contrary to common assumption. Although there is still debate on how much protein young adults (and likely teen athletes) should consume in a single meal, current evidence suggests that levels greater than 20-25g of protein each meal provide no additional benefits. Furthermore, research reveals that for maximum muscle protein synthesis, protein intake should be dispersed throughout the day in levels of 20-30g each serving rather than consumed all at once. Athletes are also thought to recover faster if they eat protein within 30-60 minutes of doing out.


Even for juvenile athletes, protein supplements are typically considered safe when taken carefully and effectively. The "grey" portion of this statement is that protein supplements are not regulated by the FDA and hence may contain contaminants we don't want in our bodies, such as heavy metals, BPA, and other potentially harmful contaminants. Furthermore, many protein powders contain up to 23 grams of added sugar per scoop, although the American Heart Association recommends keeping daily added sugar intake between 25 and 36 grams.

Choose protein supplements that have undergone third-party testing and study the label and ingredients list to ensure that you, your child, or your athlete are ingesting a safe product. If a supplement business makes it difficult to discover the Supplement Facts panel on their website, hides the amounts for their primary ingredients with proprietary mixes, or cites research that has nothing to do with their supplement, these might all be red flags for the supplement's safety.

Contacting a Registered Sports Dietitian is another way to ensure the correct dosage and safety of the supplement.


Many athletes have been persuaded by the media and advertising that they need to take protein supplements to be the best. This is simply not the complete story. Protein supplementation is advantageous for athletes, however it is not a requirement or necessary for all athletes. Food, which is also regarded the best source of protein, can provide athletes with all of their protein requirements.

However, there are times when the benefits of protein supplementation are reasonable and undoubtedly beneficial. Protein supplements have been shown to help teen athletes in the following situations:

  • They are restricted in their diet, have allergies, or have extreme food aversions.
  • They follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
  • Their appetite is poor, weak, or unreliable.

School, sports, and other activities keep people too busy to prepare and transport full meal options throughout the day.

For the amount of protein they need to ingest, protein supplements can be cost effective in some situations. It is critical for parents and guardians to weigh the costs of purchasing protein-rich foods versus supplements. Protein bars, for example, are a convenient way to eat on the go, but a protein shake may be far less expensive per serving.


When choosing the best protein powder for your teen athlete, seek for products with the fewest components possible. A protein drink mix can contain a wide range of ingredients, although not all of them are necessary or of excellent quality.

Whey isolate is the most popular protein powder since it goes through more processing than whey concentrate, resulting in higher protein concentration and lower fat and carbohydrate content. It is especially beneficial for recovery because it is the most rapidly broken down and absorbed protein in the body. Even though it comes from dairy sources, it has a decreased lactose level, which may be useful to lactose intolerant people.

Another protein derived from dairy, casein, is a suitable "bedtime" protein alternative because it digests slowly and continues to aid in muscle growth throughout the night. This is especially beneficial if your teen athlete didn't get enough protein during the day. Casein is also present in entire foods such as cottage cheese and yogurt.

For teen athletes with dietary constraints, soy and pea protein isolate with a short ingredient list are excellent vegan options.

Is it permissible for a teenager to consume protein shakes?

Although protein smoothies can help teens reach their RDA for protein, dietary supplements are not generally suggested for children and teenagers. Teen athletes may require more protein than non-active teenagers, according to TeensHealth, but most teens obtain all of their protein from diet.

Is protein powder safe for children under the age of 18?

Protein shakes and other nutritional supplements are intended and evaluated for adults, so their effects on teens who are still growing and developing are uncertain. As a result, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises against teen use of protein supplements.

Is protein powder OK for a 14-year-old?

Protein powder supplements aren't necessary for most children because they get plenty of protein from their meals. As a result, Cleveland Clinic specialists believe that adding extra protein will cause more harm than good. Protein consumption in excess can have unforeseen health repercussions.

Whey protein is safe for 15-year-olds.

It's a healthy complement to your kids' diet. However, making whey protein a regular part of their diet or drinking too much of it can have negative consequences. As a result, even when using whey protein, urge youngsters to eat a balanced diet.

Protein powders: Are They Harmful?

Protein powders are generally thought to be safe, though excessive consumption might cause gastric problems.  Dairy-based protein powder might cause stomach discomfort, bloating, and gas if you're lactose intolerant or otherwise sensitive to lactose.

How much protein should a teen consume?

In general, adolescent boys require 52 grams of protein per day, whereas adolescent girls require 46 grams.

Do protein shakes have any negative consequences?

When administered orally: When consumed correctly, whey protein is probably safe for most adults. Increased bowel motions, acne, nausea, thirst, bloating, reduced appetite, exhaustion, and headache are all possible side effects of high doses.

Last Word

If you're a teen athlete who gets all of your protein from food, a protein supplement isn't necessary. Taking too much protein from high-protein supplements might strain your kidneys and induce dehydration. The greatest place to begin is by increasing your intake of whole food protein sources such as lean meats, eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, and seeds. After you've increased your intake of these high-quality meals, consult a sports dietitian about adding a protein powder supplement to help you meet high protein needs, get you through a busy schedule or season, or make it easier to ingest the nutrients you require.

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