Can Protein Shakes Increase Blood Pressure?

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Bodybuilders and athletes use protein shakes to increase their protein intake and to improve body composition. You can make the shakes at home or buy them as ready-to-drink beverages. Protein shakes normally contain whey or soy protein, both of which possibly have blood pressure lowering effects. Consult your health care provider before drinking protein shakes.

Blood Pressure

A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg, whereas high blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg. Hypertension often has no symptoms, but causes inflammation of your blood vessels. Over time, this reduces blood flow to the major organs in your body, including your heart and kidneys. Hypertension can increase your chances of developing heart disease and kidney failure, according to Mayo Clinic.

Whey Protein

Whey protein beverages might lower blood pressure, according to a study published in the November 2010 issue of the “International Dairy Journal.” Researchers at Washington State University discovered that young adults with elevated blood pressure who consumed 28 g of hydrolyzed whey protein for six weeks reduced their blood pressure, compared with those who had non-hydrolyzed whey protein.

Soy Protein

Soy protein shakes might also be effective for decreasing blood pressure. Scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine assigned perimenopausal women to one of the following groups for six weeks: 20 g of complex carbs, 20 g of soy protein containing 34 mg of phytoestrogens given in a single dose, or 20 g of soy protein containing 34 mg of phytoestrogens split into two doses. At the end of the study, which was reported in the 1999 issue of “Menopause,” researchers found that both soy groups lowered their blood pressure compared with those in the complex carb group.

Caution

Protein shakes that contain soy or hydrolyzed whey protein might be effective for lowering blood pressure in conjunction with a reduced-salt diet. Before you consume protein shakes, consult your health care provider, particularly if you are pregnant or taking medications.

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