DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s a trendy product, seen in health food aisles at your local store – but now local doctors are sending a warning about protein powder use by student athletes, dubbing it a “disturbing trend.”
Dayton Children’s Hospital Medical Director of Primary Care/Sports Medicine, Dr. Lora Scott says protein powder is unnecessary for teens and excessive consumption can lead to kidney problems.
“A lot of times, coaches will encourage them to take it. But they don’t need it,” Scott said. “The kidneys are only made to filter a limited amount of protein and if you’re taking more than you need, it’s all just going to go straight through the kidneys and can eventually lead to some kidney failure.”
She said there are some things young athletes, their parents and coaches should know about the protein powder craze. She says kids with a healthy diet – don’t really need it.
“Protein powder by itself, there’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just usually unnecessary so most athletes get enough protein in a regular diet that they don’t need the extra powder,” Scott said.
According to Dayton Children’s Hospital: the average teen only need around 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight, per day.
For example, a 120 pound teen for needs around 48 grams of protein. For a 160 pound teen, that number is closer to 64.
For a teen athlete, that number is a little higher. They’ll need 0.5 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight, per day.
Scott said this protein can be found in a healthy diet.
Foods like fish, yoghurt, beans, oatmeal, or a cheeseburger can provide the necessary protein a growing teen needs.
“If you suspect you’re part of that small population that could benefit from [protein powder], it’s best to speak to a nutritionist to get an idea of how much you need for your body type and your exercise demands,” Scott said.