The Hidden Dangers Of Protein Powders

HEALTH

Adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie may seem like a simple way to boost your health. After, all, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. And many older adults don’t consume enough protein because of a reduced appetite.

Protein powders are powdered forms of protein that come from plants (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp), eggs, or milk (casein or whey protein). The powders may include other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavoring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals.The amount of protein per scoop can vary from 10 to 30 grams. Supplements used for building muscle contain relatively more protein, and supplements used for weight loss contain relatively less.

There are numerous risks to consider when using a protein powder. Among them:

1: A protein powder is a dietary supplement. The FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products. So there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains what manufacturers claim.

2: We don’t know the long-term effects. There are limited data on the possible side effects of high protein intake from supplements. It may cause digestive distress.

3: People with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose[milk sugar] can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder.

4: It may be high in added sugars and calories. Some protein powders have little added sugar, and other shave a lot (as much as 23 grams per scoop).

5: Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.

6: Researchers screened 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many protein powders contained heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, which is used to make plastic), pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions. Some toxins were present in significant quantities.