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Does Protein Powder Stunt Growth? (Is It Safe For Teens?)

At the time of publishing this post, there’s no evidence to suggest that whey protein powder can stunt your growth.

Whey protein is in fact a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. Since amino acids are responsible for growth and repair, whey protein may even help you grow more.

What Is Whey Protein Powder?

Whey is a type of protein found in milk.

(With the other common protein called casein.)

It’s believed that around 20% of the protein in milk is whey protein, with casein making up the other 80%.

Now, to get whey protein powder, the whey is separated from the curds when making cheese from milk. It’s then processed in a manufacturing unit with emulsifiers (and sometimes flavors) added before being packaged.

Whey protein digests fairly rapidly, sometimes taking as little as 45 minutes to be absorbed, making it the perfect post-workout supplement.

Casein, on the other hand, takes much longer to digest which is why many people supplement with casein before bed.

Why Whey Protein Powder Won’t Stunt Your Growth

It’s a common misconception that whey protein is solely found in cow’s milk.

But interestingly, breast milk is high in whey protein, with the American Pregnancy Association claiming that 60-80% of the protein found in breast milk to be whey-based.

The fact that breast milk – which is highly nutritious and helps young children grow – is high in whey protein tells us that this nutrient is very unlikely to stunt your growth.

You could even argue that it’s essential for growth.

Benefits of Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein powder offers many benefits to teens, none of which cause stunted growth.

Whey protein is a complete protein. In other words, it contains all the essential amino acids an adolescent needs in their diet.

It’s high in cysteine too, which helps boost the immune system.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Stunt Your Growth?

Many whey protein powders include artificial sweeteners such as Sucralose and Acesulfame K, especially flavored powders.

At the time of publishing, there’s no evidence which suggests that artificial sweeteners can stunt your growth.

However, a review of the literature of artificial sweetener consumption in children concluded:

“In order to recommend consuming or avoiding artificially sweetened products as a weight control strategy, more studies evaluating the effect of artificially sweeteners on hormonal and metabolic response and on sweet craving must be conducted in children.”

5 Most Common Causes Of Stunted Growth

Stunting can have various causes. Here are some of the most common causes.


Kids who are deficient in essential amino acids, like BCAAs, often experience stunted growth. So, it’s important for kids to eat sufficient protein for normal, healthy growth.

Turner Syndrome

Turner syndrome is a rare disease which affects females who are missing an X chromosome. It causes your body to misuse growth hormone, which can stunt your growth.


Hypothyroidism is the term given if you have an underactive thyroid. In healthy individuals, the thyroid releases hormones which contribute to normal growth, but those with an underactive thyroid often have lower levels of hormones which can cause stunting.

Growth Hormone Deficiency

Most kids have sufficient growth hormone levels which helps the growth of bone and tissue. But those with a growth hormone deficiency may experience stunted growth.


If your parents are small, then you’re more likely to be small too.


In summary:

  • There’s no evidence to suggest that protein powder can cause stunted growth.
  • Protein is essential for the growth and repair of bones and muscles, so is vital for growth and development.

That’s all for this article, but does mass gainer have steroids? Or will mass gainer make you fat?

Hope this helped!