Protein powders are dietary supplements that deliver a high percentage of this important nutrient. These products are usually consumed by bodybuilders, athletes, and active people.
It is not uncommon for vegans and vegetarians to consume these products as well, in order to get enough protein without consuming meat and other animal-based sources.
We consider protein powders very useful, which is why these items are incredibly popular nowadays. But, these supplements have a dark side too.
Bearing in mind that supplements are made of natural ingredients, we feel confident and don’t consider them as a sort of threat.
The false sense of security makes it seem okay to use these products all the time and disregard the dosage. After all, they’re supplements and they bring no harm, right? Well, the reality is different.
Questions about the safety of powder supplements came up after the death of Meegan Hefford, 25-year-old Australian bodybuilder, who consumed a high-protein diet which also included intake of supplements.
The mother of two young children died due to a rare genetic disorder which reduced* the body’s ability to handle high dosages of protein. That wasn’t the only cause of her untimely passing. Hefford’s death certificate also lists “intake of bodybuilding supplements” as one of the causes.
The Use Of Protein Supplements Common In The Us
Nowadays, most people who go to the gym regularly also use dietary supplements that deliver important nutrients and help them reach their goal faster.
While these products are, indeed, useful and help you achieve a certain progress in a natural manner, they can also jeopardize one’s health if not used properly.
An industry trade group Council for Responsible Nutrition estimates that 11% adults took protein supplements in 2016.
Products Aren’t Regulated
Like other dietary supplements, protein powders are unregulated too. In fact, lack of regulation is the primary concern for doctors and nutritionists. The FDA doesn’t approve protein powder supplements and doesn’t test them like they do with “regular” medications.
Some manufacturers abuse this fact and take it as a great opportunity to include potentially harmful chemicals into their products and claim* they are entirely natural. That’s why you can’t be certain what is in the protein supplement you buy, despite the carefully designed label.
Nutritionists explain protein in supplements isn’t the reason to worry about, but we should be concerned about other components that are added to these items.
In some designed, proprietary supplements, there may be unfamiliar ingredients whose effects on our health aren’t elucidated.
We can’t know whether some ingredient will interfere with other medications or with a health condition of an individual.
This hidden danger is always a major source of concern and it only emphasizes the importance of stricter regulation that would oblige manufacturers to reveal all ingredients they use.
What Is In Your Protein Powder?
As mentioned above, due to the lack of regulation some manufacturers use ingredients that are potentially harmful to our health.
In 2010, Consumer Reports tested 15 protein powders and found that three of them had potentially dangerous amounts of contaminants based on federal safety guidelines. These contaminants included heavy metals like cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic.
In addition, ConsumerLab reported that about a third of 24 supplements they tested for quality assurance failed.
Two products contained a dangerously high amount of lead while others featured a higher level of sodium and cholesterol than they presented on the label.
In 2015, Brazilian scientists discovered that many protein supplements contain lower amounts of protein than they claimed on the label.
Protein powders add value to your athletic performance and help you in the mission to achieve a certain body goal.
To achieve these benefits it is essential to consume recommended dosage and to purchase a product that is reliable. Nowadays, it’s easy to do a little bit of research about a product and find out whether others experienced benefits from it as well or they didn’t.
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