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Are Isopure Supplements Harmful?

by
author image Lisa Sefcik
Lisa Sefcik has been writing professionally since 1987. Her subject matter includes pet care, travel, consumer reviews, classical music and entertainment. She's worked as a policy analyst, news reporter and freelance writer/columnist for Cox Publications and numerous national print publications. Sefcik holds a paralegal certification as well as degrees in journalism and piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.
Are Isopure Supplements Harmful?
Isopure powdered drinks are used by bodybuilders. Photo Credit SamuelBrownNG/iStock/Getty Images

Isopure has been in the business of manufacturing high-protein drinks, smoothies and powders for more than 25 years. Isopure uses whey protein isolate, a favorite protein supplement among bodybuilders, in its products. Tufts Medical Center states that whey protein is presumed to be safe unless you're allergic to milk and other dairy products. However, medical experts caution you that the calories in some protein drinks can contribute to weight gain.

Whey Protein and Isopure

The whey protein isolate used in Isopure products is a food additive related to whey protein concentrate. The FDA accepts this additive as GRAS, an acronym for "generally recognized as safe." Manufacturers produce whey protein isolate by using specific processing techniques that remove nonprotein ingredients. Whey is one of two proteins in milk, the other being curds, or casein. Whey protein is highly digestible and is an excellent protein source; however, no specific health benefits are attached to whey protein.

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Whey Protein Safety

Isopure products contain whey protein isolate in varying amounts. The company's zero carb apple-melon favored drink has 40 g of whey protein per 20-oz. bottle. The company's berry-pomegranate fruit smoothie drink has 32 g protein per bottle. Two scoops of Isopure powder have 50 g whey protein isolate. Whey protein in itself may not be harmful, but Harvard University Health Services indicates that exceeding your daily protein requirements can be harmful because protein makes your kidneys work harder, increases your need for fluid intake and makes you lose more calcium. The average healthy adult needs 0.36 g protein for every pound of body weight. An individual who weighs 180 lbs. needs about 64 g of protein a day, while someone who weighs only 115 lbs. needs only 41 g. Harvard University Health Services indicates that endurance athletes and bodybuilders require more protein, from 0.54 to 0.77 g per every pound of body weight.

Protein Drink Concerns

One concern expressed by MayoClinic.com with respect to protein drinks is that some dieters use them as meal replacements. You might not lose weight on Isopure protein drinks, especially if you eat a regular diet, because some of these drinks are very high in calories. For example, Isopure Mass, a powdered drink, has 600 calories per serving. The company's other powdered drink mixes yield 210 to 330 calories per serving. MayoClinic.com also states that if you rely on these drinks as meal replacements, you might miss out on essential nutrients you'd get if you ate a varied diet. The American Council on Exercise states that whey-based proteins may be beneficial for athletes after a workout. However, consuming protein in excessive amounts isn't likely to build more muscle mass because your body can only use so much protein.

Other Cautions

Whey protein does come from milk, so if you're allergic to dairy products, avoid Isopure products. If you take medications, use whey protein drinks with caution. MayoClinic.com indicates that this protein can bind to medications and change the level of the drug in your blood. People with diabetes, hypoglycemia, low blood pressure and bleeding disorders also should use whey protein with caution. MayoClinic.com does not recommend whey protein for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding. If you have questions about Isopure's whey protein-based products and if the product might be beneficial to you, talk to your treating physician or a registered dietitian.

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