Many people want to get in shape and look great, so they regularly visit a gym, consume a lot of protein, and generally work really hard to achieve their dream body. And although they might be getting their dream bodies, some of them are also getting breakouts. It can become a really frustrating dilemma to have. It is really unfair to work so hard and get acne in exchange, so why is this problem happening, and how can we solve it?
The most used protein powder products usually contain whey because it is a beneficial ingredient that can help you build muscle mass. One serving of whey protein usually contains around thirty grams of protein, which can help develop your muscles tremendously and increase the results you see after your workouts. Although it is amazingly effective, recent studies have started showing that whey protein is directly linked to acne somehow. That can be one reason you or your friends who are supplementing with whey protein powder are breaking out.
As you may know, acne is prevalent, especially in teenagers, but adults have it too because it can affect anyone. This common skin disorder can cause spots, redness, inflammation, pimples, and other imperfections on various parts of the body. Unfortunately, the exact proven cause is pretty much unknown, and most people go after what they have heard from others. During puberty, the reasons are thought to be the hormonal change or the specific genetics of the person we are talking about.
The leading cause of acne is usually a hereditary one. Basically, you are most likely getting your acne because your mother or your father or maybe one of your grandparents had it when they were young. Even so, people who have never had acne before are starting to get it only after they begin to work out regularly.
Of course, whey protein is not the only thing that can cause acne after workouts, either. It can be from other things like a hormonal change, for example. Suppose you have never been a person who does a lot of physical activity until now. In that case, there might be a hormonal change because your body is not used to working out every day. If this is the case, you are quite lucky because all the acne should be gone in a few weeks after all the toxins are out of your body and after you start getting healthier.
Acne can also start appearing, or in case you already have it, it can start getting worse because of the sweat you are experiencing at the gym. In this case, try not to touch your face too much (another possible pimple producing cause) and shower right after you finished work out.
Many studies had similar results about milk and dairy products, and those showed that it is directly linked to acne, and whey product is basically a dairy product. They contain the insulin-like growth factor and other hormones that can increase sebum production in some people, making it easier for the body to produce acne.
There are not many studies about whey either, unfortunately, but a few small studies have discovered that supplementing with whey protein powder can definitely lead to acne. For example, in one research about three years ago, thirty people who were not suffering from acne started including the whey protein in their diets in moderate amounts. Almost all of them noticed a change for the worse in their skin. Women were the ones who were getting acne the most, same with the ones who have never suffered from acne before.
Those who did have acne as teenagers still saw this effect but not as prominently. Another study published about four years ago asked five males who were using products with whey to cut them out of their diets. All five males had acne, and after they gave up whey protein, all of them saw results.
All of the males have seen improvements in their skin. Still, not all of them got completely rid of acne forever, unfortunately. This shows that everyone is different, and what may work for you cannot always work for you or vice versa.
So we should definitely avoid whey protein products, but what is the exact cause? Why does whey produce acne? Whey is a part of milk, and dairy products have been proven to cause acne because they raise the insulin-like growth factor one, also known as IGF one. This hormone sustains muscle growth, and it can help you a lot in that department, but it also makes your skin produce more oil, which will always contribute to acne. The hormone can also spike insulin production, which makes the skin cells multiply much faster. That might sound like a good thing, but it is not because the overgrowth of skin cells can lead to various inflammation problems and excessive oil production. It is also a hazardous product and definitely not recommended for those who suffer from severe acne cases like cystic acne, for example, because using it can lead to acne lesions and ruin your skin forever.
Do not be fooled by huge labels that say that this whey protein product is better than the other whey protein product or brands that say it will not give you any harmful side effects. The studies that I mentioned above tried a variety of twelve different products in total. All of them contained whey protein, and all of them had the same effects. So when it comes to acne and breakouts, a more expensive product with a label that says “the best product on the market” or “all-natural, no side effects” will not make a difference.