5 Protein Powders To Avoid Now — Eat This, Not That

Protein powders can provide quick and convenient nutrition before or after a workout, when you’re on the go or when you’re hungry between meals. However, not all protein powders are created equal. In fact, some artificial flavors may contain hidden health risks in the form of thickeners, added sugars, and other shady ingredients. To make matters worse, a 2018 Clean Label Project investigation found that most popular protein brands contain dangerous levels of lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and BPAs.

Protein powder is considered a dietary supplement, meaning manufacturers, not the FDA, control product labeling and safety.

“Because the supplement industry is largely unregulated, it’s important to choose well-known brands with third-party testing standards for safety,” he says. Rachel Fine, RD.

With that in mind, here are some protein powders you’ll want to avoid when you head to the grocery store or order online.

RELATED: 4 Yogurt Brands to Avoid Right Now

Respect for the goal

In terms of health, there’s nothing special about Natreve’s “moo-less” protein powder: in fact, this well-balanced protein is non-GMO, gluten-free, contains no sugar, and no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.

However, if you’re buying this protein specifically because it’s vegan, like most Natreve consumers, it’s worth noting that the product has been recalled because it was found to contain undeclared milk. Due to a manufacturing error, the containers in both lots contained milk-based ingredients that were not on the label.

For people with allergies or severe milk sensitivity, consuming this protein powder can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. And for those who are lactose intolerant, it can still cause some very unpleasant digestive symptoms.

Bulletproof Chocolate Collagen Protein Powder
bulletproof

Collagen is a special type of protein that serves as the building block for all of your body’s connective tissues. Collagen protein powders have become very popular in recent years, promising impressive potential benefits from increasing muscle mass to improving bone health. but the Christine Dreyer, RDdoes not recommend.

“Collagen protein has been touted as good for hair, skin and joint health, but there is no valid evidence to support these claims,” ​​he explains. “Collagen is broken down into amino acids before being absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestion and absorption process. The body then uses these amino acids to build the proteins the body needs. There is no guarantee that the amino acids will regenerate into collagen. In fact, they probably won’t.”

Not only that, but Dreyer says collagen is a poor muscle-building protein because it lacks nine essential amino acids, especially leucine, which is important for the muscle-building process.

But the concerns don’t stop there. A Clean Label Project study of leading collagen supplements found that 64% tested positive for measurable levels of arsenic, 37% tested positive for measurable levels of lead, and 34% tested positive for trace levels of mercury.

Specifically, Bulletproof’s Collagen Protein (Chocolate flavor) topped the list of worst offenders, containing 2.1 mcg of arsenic, 9.17 mcg of cadmium and 1.33 mcg of lead. Review in 2022 Journal of King Saud University They found that ingesting excessive amounts of these heavy metals can cause serious damage to every organ in the body, leading to an increase in cancer, neurological defects, respiratory disorders, osteoporosis and other conditions.

bsn syntha-6 protein powder
BSN

Bill Bradley, RDThe CEO of Mediterranean Living recommends avoiding this protein powder because it contains a handful or two of corn syrup and sucralose, an artificial sweetener.

“Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners are bad for your gut, and corn syrup can lead to diabetes and obesity,” says Bradley.

And that’s not the only reason to avoid this product—the ingredients include another artificial sweetener, acesulfame-potassium. Although the FDA considers this ingredient to be safe in limited amounts, studies have shown that consuming large amounts of it can increase the risk of cancer and metabolic syndrome, and can cause changes in brain function.

arbonne feelfit pea protein shake
https://www.arbonne.com/us/en/shop-all/nutrition/protein/feelfit-pea-protein-shake—vanilla-flavor/p/2070US

The first ingredient in this product is Arbonne Protein Matrix Blend, which contains 56% pea protein. The Clean Label Project found that plant-based protein powders, including pea protein, may contain higher levels of heavy metals than their milk-containing counterparts. Not only that, but almost all cocoa powder—another ingredient in this powder—has been found to contain cadmium.

It should also be noted that these parts contain phytic acid. This antinutrient binds to important minerals like iron, calcium, and zinc, preventing them from being absorbed by your body as they pass through your intestines.

Arbonne’s protein powder also contains thickeners, which are known to cause gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

Adaptogen science flavored chocolate whey protein powder
Courtesy of Walmart

There are many reasons to stay away from this protein powder, including harsh thickeners and artificial flavors.

First, it contains partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which produces large amounts of trans fats during the hydrogenation process. Trans fats increase “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower “good” HDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Adaptogen Science protein powder also contains sucralose, which is extremely damaging to the bacteria in your gut.

Draaer recommends avoiding protein powders with artificial sweeteners and lightly sweetening your shakes with fruit, or a little honey or maple syrup.

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