You Don’t Need The Extra Protein Or The Heavy Metals Our Tests Found
The promises are enticing. Whether you’re looking to shed unwanted pounds, get a quick energy jolt, build muscles, or fight the aging process, protein drinks are being boosted by some supplement makers as a scientifically proven way to quickly achieve your goals.
The products, sold as ready-to-drink liquids or powders that you mix with milk, juice, or water to make shakes, attract not just athletes and body-builders but also baby boomers, pregnant women, and teenagers looking for a shortcut to a buff body.
Some ads say that protein supplements, in flavors such as strawberry and vanilla cream, can be a nutritious and time-saving snack or meal replacement.
In a testimonial for BSN Lean Dessert Protein Shake, “fitness celebrity” Jennifer Nicole Lee says, “Being a busy mom with 12-hour workdays, I rely upon my Lean Dessert Protein to get adequate amounts of protein without wasting time on creating complex meals ….”
Another product, Muscle Milk, boasts on its website: “Designed after one of nature’s most balanced foods: human mother’s milk ….”
Can Lead To Heavy Metal Poisoning
One journal by Consumer Reports indicated that protein powders are laced with harmful heavy metals like arsenic and lead . Needless to say, prolonged consumption of excess protein supplements can make you sick. A person gorging on protein supplements can experience exhaustion and other issues more so if they have diabetes symptoms or suffer from chronic kidney conditions .
Are There Better Protein Sources Than Whey
Protein quality is determined by the amino-profile and absorption rates of the source.
Generally, animal proteins contain all essential amino acids. Also, a large percentage of the dietary protein in those foods is bio-available. While most plant sources have poor amino-profile, and not all of the protein is fully absorbed.
However, if your diet is varied enough and you consume enough protein-rich foods, you can cover your requirements. That being said, protein quality is rarely a problem.
Back to whey, its actually one of the best protein sources out there. Mostly because its a dairy product. And the high level of processing does increase its absorption rate.
Takeaway: whey protein is one of the best protein sources.
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Signs Of Protein Deficiency
Protein deficiency is rare amongst Americans, but it does happen. To avoid deficiency, calculate your ideal daily protein intake and track how much protein youre getting in a single day. If you think you are suffering from a protein deficiency, you might notice symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, change in nails, mood swings, viral or bacterial infections and constant food cravings. After identifying any of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor to see if you do have a protein deficiency and allow him or her to help you devise an eating plan to help avoid this issue in the future.
What Is Whey Protein
Whey is one of the proteins found in cows milk and other dairy products. If you recall the nursery rhyme, Little Miss Muffet, you may remember that she sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey. Whey is the liquid byproduct of the cheesemaking process. To make whey-based protein supplements, the liquid whey is processed into a powder form. During this process, some of the lactose and fat is removed to render a product thats about 90-95 percent protein.
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You May Become Bloated
Eating too much whey protein in one sitting can leave you feeling bloated and even give you bad gas. This is especially the case for those who have irritable bowel syndrome as well as lactose sensitivities. Whey protein powder is a dairy product, so it does contain lactose: a type of sugar many people have a hard time digesting. Common side effects of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.
For a list of foods that have the opposite effect, be sure to check out 21 Easy Ways to Debloat After Overeating.
Whey Protein Side Effects Dangers And Risks
Harvard Medical School says that one of the possibleside effects of dairy-based proteins like whey is digestive distress.
People with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder.
A 2020 review published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism said:
Chronic and without professional guidance use of whey protein supplementation may cause some adverse effects specially on kidney and liver function.
Another study found that long-term high protein diets, particularly those high in meat and dairy protein, led to increased incidences of:
- Bone and calcium homeostasis disorders.
- Renal function and liver disorders.
- Coronary artery disease.
Obviously whey protein should be avoided 100% of the time in people with known allergy or sensitivity to milk or milk products. Allergic reactions have been reported with exposure to whey.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whey protein may interact negatively with certain drugs, including:
- Albendazole . Avoid using whey protein if you are taking this parasite-killing drug. The supplement might delay or hinder the drugs effects.
- Alendronate . Use of whey protein with this drug used to prevent or treat osteoporosis might decrease absorption of the drug.
- Certain antibiotics. Use of whey protein with quinolone or tetracycline antibiotics might decrease your absorption of the drug.
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Protein Powder Can Be Part Of A Healthy Diet In Moderation
While protein powders are not a replacement for real food, they can complement a healthy, varied diet.
Its important to remember that no one food or meal determines our health, Rumsey said, which is also why all foods can fit and support a healthy diet, including protein powders.
One benefit of protein powders is their convenience: Theyre shelf-stable and can be consumed on the go in a smoothie or a shake.
They can be a great on-the-run snack and be key to helping you get enough good quality protein throughout the day, LaFata said. Total daily protein should come from whole foods, however. If you tend to skip meals or you know youll be out running errands, for example, having your favorite protein powder on hand with a shaker bottle is a great option.
With a smoothie, you can blend in additional ingredients along with the protein powder and your liquid of choice like milk, unsweetened non-dairy milk or water to make it a more well-rounded meal. Adding some nut butter , seeds like flax or chia and some fruits and veggies will provide energy, beneficial nutrients and keep you feeling full longer.
Can It Damage Your Liver
No evidence shows that too much protein can damage the liver in healthy people .
In fact, the liver needs protein to repair itself and convert fats to lipoproteins, which are molecules that help remove fats from the liver .
In a study of 11 obese women, taking 60 grams of a whey protein supplement helped reduce liver fat by approximately 21% over four weeks.
Moreover, it helped reduce blood triglycerides by approximately 15% and cholesterol by about 7% .
One case report implied that a 27-year old male could have suffered liver damage after taking whey protein supplements .
However, he was also taking a variety of other supplements. Doctors were also unsure if he was taking anabolic steroids, which can damage the liver .
Considering that thousands of people take whey protein without liver problems, this single case provides insufficient evidence that whey protein can damage the liver.
Although, a high protein intake may harm people who have cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease (
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Who Is Susceptible To Breakouts From Whey Protein
Though your first guess may be that only people who are sensitive to dairy can break out from whey protein, thats actually not the case. Dr. Lancer says, just about anyone that consumes whey proteins can develop testosterone spikes that can lead to blemishes, and that whey induced breakouts can impact adults, teenagers, men, women, and people across all different ancestries. Because the testosterone production issue of whey can also occur with casein, if whey protein makes you break out then casein protein presumably will too.
If you notice that you have acne more often when you consume whey protein than when you dont, the simplest solution is to stop eating or drinking it. Dr Lancer suggests that limiting your dairy intake can be helpful in reducing the testosterone spikes that can cause breakouts. Its worth noting that not all dairy products are associated with acne, though. The American Academy of Dermatology says that while cow’s milk may increase the risk of developing acne, no studies have found that products made from milk, such as yogurt or cheese, lead to more breakouts. So, feel free to hold on to your cheddar, but try putting down your whey protein shake if your breakouts bother you
Who Are Shakes Good For
Protein shakes are clearly beneficial for athletes and those who work out to build muscle, lose weight, or increase endurance.
When it comes to weight loss, protein shakes can even be a highly convenient way of maintaining a high protein diet without unwanted calories.
They can be made simply from water and a powdered protein supplement, making them very convenient for people on the go with busy lifestyles. Other people who may benefit from protein shakes are those who dont have time to consume a full meal and need a protein source on the go, or those who are strict vegans or vegetarians, who may struggle to get enough protein from their diet alone.
Consequently You Could Have Stomach Pains
Whey protein concentrate may also cause GI discomfort in those with severe lactose intolerance, as most dairy protein powders are made from proteins in milk whey, which contains lactose. Still, the Whey Protein Institute claims that whey protein concentrate is said to contain very little lactose, so just be sure to read the label before purchasing!
Athletes Complain About Protein
Protein powders have been under scrutiny before. In 2005, National Football League running back Michael Cloud filed a lawsuit against MuscleTech. He claimed that after he temporarily substituted MuscleTech Nitro-Tech powder for the protein powder he normally used, he tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, because of the presence of ingredients in Nitro-Tech that were not disclosed on the product’s label.
According to Cloud’s legal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, an independent laboratory analysis of the Nitro-Tech powder he used revealed the undisclosed ingredients norandrostenedione and androstenediol, steroid precursors that would cause the positive test results. A similar complaint was filed by Olympic bobsledder Pavle Jovanovic.
Both cases were settled out of court. Jamie Moss, a spokeswoman for Iovate, the company behind Nitro-Tech and other MuscleTech dietary supplements, says, “At no time have banned substances been confirmed to be found in any Nitro-Tech branded product.”
In the U.S., supplements aren’t generally required to undergo a pre-market review, as are prescription drugs health claims are not assessed for validity and a requirement that makers comply with good manufacturing practices is just being fully phased in as of June. In Canada, supplements undergo pre-market testing.
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Effects Of Overconsuming Protein Powder
Relying too heavily on protein powder as your main source of the macronutrient has some adverse side effects, including digestive issues. But, the biggest issue with protein powder overconsumption is that you are also likely creating nutrient holes in your diet. This means that youre relying too heavily on protein as your main source of sustenance without incorporating other vital nutrients. Remember the rule about keeping protein consumption to about 10 to 35 percent of your total calorie intake. This guideline will help you to incorporate different foods such as legumes, grains, high-fiber items, as well as fruits and veggies, to give you a well-rounded diet.
The Harmful Side Effects Of Whey Protein
True athleticism isnt about being stronger or fasterits about longevity. Some shine bright and fizzle out quickly, while others can keep going for years. Its not about how good you are in your prime, its about how long you can stay in your prime. Many professional athletes have discovered that a dairy-free diet is key to enhancing their performance and maintaining their peak for years past their expected retirement age. These leaders are moving the needle toward plant-based fuel in sport, but the misconception surrounding dairy and performance nutrition still lingers. Whey is still the most commonly used protein supplement by athletes and trainers according to a just-released paper, Whey protein supplementation and its potentially adverse effects on health: a systematic review. Per the reviews title, whey protein is not the healthy muscle-maker that marketing makes it out to be.
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Do You Need Protein Powder
Some people can get all the protein they need from food alone. But many others try to do this and discover that it’s expensive, inconvenient, and just plain uncomfortable to eat that much. That’s when protein powders can be a big help.
The recommended daily allowance of protein, as established by the National Academy of Medicine, starts at a low of around 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for sedentary adults 18 and over, or about 0.36 grams per pound of body weight.
But several factors can make it preferable for you to consume significantly more, including:
- Increased activity level and athletics
- Preserving muscle mass while dieting
- Training to add muscle or strength
- Age-related muscle loss
In regard to age, Layne Norton, Ph.D., notes in the article, “How to Eat for Maximum Muscle Growth at Any Age” that bodies become less sensitive to protein as they age, and, “Consuming a diet rich in proteinâspecifically, the amino acid leucineâcan help prevent the age-related decline in muscle protein synthesis.”
If you’re aiming to increase your protein intake, a shake or smoothie is an easy way to get 25 grams per serving, or more, as a simple snack, post-workout treat, or alongside your breakfast or another meal.
Is It True That Protein Powder Expires Faster When Combined With Other Ingredients
A bag or box of dry powder may be stored in a cold pantry for up to two years, but what if you utilize that protein powder in a shake? How long can you safely keep your protein shake out before drinking it?
The quick answer is that if you mix your protein powder with your preferred liquid, you should drink it straight away. You can probably keep a protein shake in the fridge for a few days, but if you leave it out in a warm or hot setting, you wont want to drink it after a few hours.
So, if you made a drink, set it down, and then forgot about it for a few hours, you should dump it and start again. Start with a clean shaker bottle or container and a new protein shake.
The expiration dates on protein powder packaging refer to the dry protein powder, not the protein shake. When you combine it with other food products, especially perishables like milk or vegetables, the powders expiration date no longer applies.
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S For Using Protein Powder Before It Expires
Protein powder isnt only for shakes and smoothies. Protein powders blend nicely in a wide range of recipes.
Bonus: Using protein powder in a baked treat or snack might actually improve its nutritional profile, especially if your favorite foods are high in carbohydrates.
Protein powder may be mixed into baked goods, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, pizza crust, frittatas, quinoa breakfast bowls, peanut butter balls, and other dishes.
Sneaking a scoop of protein into your favorite dishes is a simple way to use up your protein powders before they expire while also improving the nutritional makeup of the item.
You may also seek the advice of a nutritionist for additional suggestions or methods of utilizing any surplus protein powder before it expires.
Whey Protein May Weaken Bones
Weakened bones are also one of the whey protein dangers that can occur when consumed every day for extended periods of time without balancing out the acidity with alkaline food.
The acidity of whey protein in the bloodstream can cause alkaline minerals, like calcium and magnesium, to be leached from your bones and used to buffer the pH of your bloodstream.
In the long run, weakened bones may result in serious orthopedic injuries. It may also affect people in their old age.
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Side Effects Dosage And How To Use It
Whey protein is very easy to incorporate into your diet.
It is sold as a powder that can be added to smoothies or yogurts, or simply mixed with water or milk. There is a wide selection .
A commonly recommended dosage is 25-50 grams per day , but some products will include other recommendations on the packaging.
Keep in mind that taking too much protein is not beneficial. Excessive consumption may also cause digestive problems, such as:
Some People May Be Allergic To Whey Protein
Because whey protein comes from cows milk, people with a cows milk allergy may be allergic to it.
Nevertheless, cows milk allergies are very rare in adults, since up to 90% of people with cows milk allergies outgrow them by the age of three .
Symptoms of a cows milk allergy may include hives, rashes, facial swelling, throat and tongue swelling and a runny or stuffy nose .
In some cases, a cows milk allergy may trigger anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction.
Again, its worth remembering that a cows milk allergy is rare in adults, but it can have severe consequences.
Moreover, an allergy to whey protein should not be confused with lactose intolerance.
Most allergies occur when the body produces an immune response to a protein. However, an intolerance is caused by an enzyme deficiency and does not involve the immune system .
If you have a cows milk protein allergy, try a non-dairy protein powder, such as soy, pea, egg, rice or hemp protein.
If you are unsure whether your symptoms are due to an allergy or intolerance, its best to check with your doctor.
Summary: Those who are allergic to cows milk may also be allergic to whey protein. Nevertheless, cows milk allergies are very rare in adults.
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