OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Monday, May 11


QUESTION: Okay.. I have a weird question, but is weight lifting and drinking protein shakes bad for your health? Like you'll look great when you're young now but won't you develop joint problems and stuff in the future? I want to start weight lifting, just scared 'cause joint problems run in my family.


  1. Well, to be frank, weight lifting (not any weights, I'm talking the competitive end here; moderate weight lifting is good to keep muscles and tendons strong to support your joints) is very hard on your joints, and having a high protein diet, especially artificially supplemented through protein shakes, etc. is really hard on your kidneys.

    Osteoarthritis is the manifestation of your joints wearing out over time, and is almost universal in the elderly. Don't confuse it with inflammatory forms of arthritis like rheumatoid and psoriatic, which don't have high-impact exercise as a risk factor.

    Things like osteoarthritis, kidney function and the like usually aren't going to come up in discussions with your doctor until you're in your late 30s though ;)

  2. no protein supplements don't have crazy side-effects. protein is protein. You don't even need them if you get enough from your diet. But if you do take them, dont worry (they are not hard on your kidneys either, whatever that means). Weightlifting is hard on joints but not in a destructive manner, although you didn't specify your family's problems. Ask a doctor about that.


      I'm not saying "avoid protein", OP asked about possible harmful side effects of large amounts of protein consumption so here you go.

  3. Quite the opposite, lifting is extremely good for your health.

    In regards to your direct concerns, when done properly, lifting will only strengthen your muscles and tendons around your joints which will only benefit you in the long run. I'd actually recommend it for you, and your family too- again, stressing done PROPERLY. You can really mess up your knees or back if you do ANY lift improperly.

    As for protein supplements, a protein shake once a day won't harm you. If you only drink protein shakes, it most likely will cause harm. Most lifters take protein supplements because it is needed to build muscle = get big, and is also convenient. In various macro splits protein powder is used to meet daily protein goals (but don't let that confuse you). Do your research and see if/what type/brand of protein supplements sounds the best to you. It is a supplement- supplementing your diet, like vitamins would. If you're still uneasy about it, you can always just eat a protein-rich meal after a workout.

    Good luck and may the gains be with you!

  4. If you're taking all the pre, intra and post-workout supps, make sure to drink a ton of water throughout the day cause they kill your kidneys.