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Whey Protein Insomnia


I have isolated the Webber Naturals brands of chocolate whey protein I purchased from Costco as the source of my major insomnia. It took a while to figure out but am now 100% sure of it.

Now, what exactly could be responsible for this? It occurred even if I took only one scoop in the morning. Could it be the cocoa powder? Stevia? Or is it the abundance of glutamic acid that may result from manufacture?

What are the chances that I will still have this insomnia if I purchased a clean 100% pure whey isolate CFM cold filtered without any added sweeteners?


I don't know what might be responsible, but I had exactly the same experience with whey about 2 years ago. It only stopped when I stopped using it. Try a whey/casein blend - I haven't had any problems thus far (touch wood.)


If you switched to a low carb diet, that could be the cause of insomnia.

If you are taking any new supplements, that could cause insomnia.

If you are very sensitive to caffeine, then sure, chocolate may cause insomnia.

If you eat something that generates a lot of energy in your bloodstream as you are trying to sleep, that too can cause insomnia.


Thank you both for your informative posts. It's reassuring that this has happened to someone else. At first I thought it was the cocoa powder because I am sensitive to caffiene. However, I can eat some chocolate in the evening and still sleep, which leads me to believe it's either a sensitivity to stevia (this stuff hasn't been proven safe) or the whey itself.

Could it be a large part of the free form glutamic acid that is a by product of making the stuff? Regardless, I guess it's just safer to stay away.


I forgot to add that I have cut my carbs substantially around the same time but as soon as I stopped the whey I was ok. Actually, I even had insomnia the day after as well (didn't take whey). The insomnia sucked...it wasn't like I couldn't fall asleep forever, and then when I could actually sleep some, it was the lightest worst quality sleep of my life. And then I couldn't even "sleep in" in the morning.


Generally speaking there is no Caffeine in Chocolate or in particular cocoa powder. Its another Methylxanthine, Theobromine. Unlike caffeine its effects are milder but longer.

Some of the business about taking cocoa or hot chocolate at night are therefore erroneous, but Theobromine does suppress some nervous function which might help sleep.

Interestingly some folks meatbolise theobromine slower than others. Dogs don't metabolise it very well and it can cause liver damage.


so does anybody have any ideas what it is about whey that may cause insomnia? because i have bad insomnia and i take whey all the time, and before bed, so this is very interesting to me.


Uh, all the above posts contain pretty good ideas. It could very possibly be your whey. When I eliminated it my insomnia went away. I now have in the mail some unflavoured unsweetened whey, casein, and milk protein, so am curious to see if the whey affects me.

It could be the sweeteners or flavourings in your product. It could also be the whey itself as it is extremely insulinogenic and maybe that's why you can't sleep. Maybe it gives you too much energy or something. Could also be free form glutamic acid which is stimulating you since it's neurotoxic.

Definitely stop using it for a few days or a week and report back here.


Hey guys-
I came across this board while trying to figure out if protein powder and my son's lack of sleep were correlated. I switched from GNC to SportPharma because it was 1/2 the price. Anyways- something interesting to note that I found while searching around is that MSG can cause insomnia and apparently A LOT of foods have it even though it's not listed as a separate ingredient. Whey Protein was listed as one of these foods on a particular webpage I found. I don't believe it's true for all of them, but I am willing to bet this lower priced version has it. I never saw any problems w/ the GNC whey.


CRAZY this is exactly whats been happening to me. I first thought it was the carbs but I increased those for the last two weeks. Somewhere subconsciously I thought it was the shake, but than no way I figured.

Now I think about it the nights I had a shake as my last meal with some oil and good fats those where the nights I slept like shit, I mean not at all. I went to bed at 11 and didn't sleep a wink.

I even took melatonin and it didn't help. I really think the brand of whey casein I have is crappy even though its expensive.

Let me know what has helped you. HEY MAYBE BARRY BONDS IS RIGHT THEY PUT JUICE IN THE SHAKES ha ha.


Protein powders give me insomnia too. It’s strange because I eat meat all the time and never get insomnia. I have found that if I start off with a 1/8th scoop and increase over a period of a week or two till I get to a whole scoop, then take regularly at the same time each day, I don’t get insomnia.

But, I’ve been doing some research and I’ve read that protein blocks the production of serotonin.


Also, I’ve read that tryptophan (found in high concentrations in some meats) can help increase Serotonin and make you sleepy. But, tryptophan may not cause you to be sleepy as much when eaten with meat because it has to compete with other amino acids.

Also, when I read my protein powder jar, it says “contains no added L-tryptophan”

So, as a guess, I’m thinking if that these amino acids are not in balance, you will either have insomnia or become too sleepy.

I’m going to try taking L-tryptophan as a supplement with my protein powder and see if it makes my insomnia go away. I will post my results here. If any one else tries it or has tried it, please let me know if it works.


I’ve been eating nothing but turkey leftovers (which has L-tryptophan) the past three days and have had insomnia. I question whether L-tryptophan alone really helps you sleep.

I get insomnia for one week every month. It’s weird…I don’t understand why. Has anyone else experienced this? My mom is also a poor sleeper and often times can’t get to bed. I often notice that if I workout I find it hard to sleep, which seems weird. Even if I workout 10 hours before I sleep it still can effect me.

My sleep has gotten better, but like I said there’s at least one week per month where I have trouble sleeping. The rest of the time I average 5-6 hours and on rare occurances I’ll get in 7-8 hours of sleep.




Never had any problems with Whey.