But it turns out it has one surprising side effect that’s rarely talked about: acne.
Most powdered supplements contain whey protein, a milk by-product that’s rich in the hormone IGF-1 that encourages growth and repair. This is awesome for building muscle mass, but not so great for our skin.
Recent studies have established that these hormones can trigger a spike in insulin, causing increased oil production and inflammation in those who are already susceptible.
The result? Breakouts.
A paper recently published in the Brazillian Annals of Dermatology also made this connection. Researchers monitored 30 participants who all consumed whey protein supplements. Over time, it was found that the women, including those with no prior history of acne, suffered from breakouts during the course of the trial.
It’s not all bad news for protein-lovers; this side effect won’t necessarily affect everyone. And for the rest of us, there are heaps of vegan and whey-free options on the market.
Here are a few of our faves: