Protein Supplement Danger: Are You Poisoning Yourself?
Chances are, you or someone close to you lifts weights and/or exercises regularly. And of these people, many use a protein supplement.
But what most people don’t know is protein supplements can pose a health-risk and can actually be dangerous—SERIOUSLY. I’ll get into that in a moment… but first, a quick backstory:
I started taking protein powder in my early-twenties. All the big guys at the gym would drink their protein before and after lifting weights and naturally, I wanted to drink protein as well.
I went to the local GNC Store… and was clueless.
And that is exactly what happens to a lot of folks. So in turn they’ll either buy the most expensive protein they find, thinking it will be of a higher quality (which is often not the case), or they’ll buy the cheapest protein powder supplement (also a bad idea as the cheap supplements are just that—cheap).
Cheap and often dangerous…
Think I’m being dramatic? Well, I’m not.
In fact, Consumer Reports Magazine did a study (published in July of 2010) based on dangerous heavy metal levels in popular protein powders and guess what—many of the protein powders tested performed badly.
Ever hear of MUSCLE MILK? You probably have, as it’s one of the most popular protein powder supplements currently on the market.
Want to know how it performed in the test? Well, here’s what Consumer Reports stated (and I quote):
“The samples of Muscle Milk Chocolate powder we tested contained all four heavy metals, and levels of three metals in the product were among the highest of all in our tests. Average cadmium levels of 5.6 µg in three daily servings slightly exceeded the USP limit of 5 µg per day, and the average lead level of 13.5 µg also topped the USP limit of 10 µg per day. The average arsenic level of 12.2 µg was approaching the USP limit of 15 µg per day….”
Scary, eh? And imagine the many thousands of people who are cluelessly drinking Muscle Milk each and every day thinking it’s healthy and nourishing their muscles.
And it gets scarier as the report also states: “Cadmium raises special concern because it accumulates in and can damage the kidneys, the same organs that can be damaged by excessive protein consumption. And it can take 20 years for the body to eliminate even half the cadmium absorbed today.
This is a highly toxic metal, and while there are some cases where decisions have to be weighed against relative risks, accepting that you have to be exposed to any cadmium at all in your protein drink after your workout is definitely not one of them,” says Michael Harbut, M.D., director of the Environmental Cancer Initiative at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Royal Oak, Mich.
“When these toxic heavy metals are combined in a product that is marketed for daily use, that raises serious public health concerns, especially for pregnant women, children, and young adults,” says Burns, who has been a toxicology consultant to state and federal government agencies.”
And Muscle Milk isn’t the only offender (or sadly—the worst) as EAS Myoplex Original Rich Chocolate Shake was reported as containing a WHOPPING arsenic score of 16.9 µg with cadmium levels at 5.1 µg.
Yet when it came to lead readings Muscle Milk was the highest on the list (an astounding 13.5 µg in Muscle Milk Chocolate).
How is this even legal? How can they sell this poison to millions of unsuspecting consumers who believe they’re being healthy by taking this supplement?
Well, unlike prescription drugs, federal regulations rarely require protein drinks and other dietary supplements be tested prior to being sold to ensure they are safe, effective, and free of dangerous contaminants.
This is all pretty depressing, right? But you should feel relieved you came across this article because there is good news as THERE ARE HEALTHY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS OUT THERE!
I will be the first to admit that the healthiest protein supplement powders aren’t exactly the best tasting.
This is mainly because they’re healthy and aren’t heaped in sugar. Why do you think Muscle Milk tastes so delicious? It’s because of their extremely high sugar content as well as the chemicals they use to make their product taste so good!
But let’s get one thing straight—we don’t drink protein powder supplements because we want deliciousness—we drink protein powder supplements to repair our muscles so we grow stronger and larger (well, men want to grow larger—most women merely want some definition/a toned look to their body)!
So an effective whey protein powder supplement that’s also HEALTHY is what we want. And the very protein powder supplement product I use is SUPER HEALTHY but more importantly SAFE and it also tastes pretty good (I prefer the Rocky Road flavor).
And the beautiful thing is it’s highly-rated on Amazon (4.5 out of 5.0), it ships for free (I LOVE having Amazon Prime), and only has two grams of sugar per serving!
Seriously—check out the ingredients: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Peptides), Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Lecithin, Salt, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium. Enzyme Blend: Aminogen, Lactase (Standardized to 100,000 Fcc Units/G).
I won’t keep you in suspense any longer—
In closing, a lot of people go by the rule of consuming one gram of protein powder per pound of body weight. But unless you’re a bodybuilder, .7 grams per pound of body weight is more than enough. For most healthy diets you’ll get most of your protein from actual food; personally, I only consume two scoops of whey protein daily (the first is ingested a few hours prior to working out and later on I have one scoop within 30-45 minutes after my workout).
Also, it should be noted the body can only break down five to nine grams of protein per hour and any excess that isn’t burned for energy is converted to fat or simply excreted, so it’s a complete waste to be consuming excess protein.
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