Protein Powder Side-Effects: Consumer Reports Warning

Bodybuilder (photo by La Fondinto)

Bodybuilders require increased amounts of amino acids to repair and build muscle tissue. While many get this from egg whites, lean chicken breast and other natural sources; others turn to whey, the liquid that’s left over after milk has been curdled and filtered. Typically, the supplement is available in dehydrated form, which athletes use to make a liquid shake. When it’s pure, this supplement offers bodybuilders a fast, efficient way to meet their dietary needs. Unfortunately, when it’s not, consumers could be in for real problems. If you’re worried about potential protein powder side-effects; a recent study by Consumer Reports should have your full attention.

Disturbing Test Results

Recently, Consumer Reports magazine tested several popular brands of protein powder to see if they contained high levels of contaminants. Disturbingly, some of the hottest sellers tested positive for high amounts of toxic metals, including mercury, lead and cadmium. When consumed in even low doses, these toxins can cause all sorts of permanent side-effects, including kidney and brain damage.

Which Products Had the Highest?

In conducting its examination, Consumer Reports looked at 15 popular products. While some passed the test with flying colors, others weren’t so lucky. Tests confirmed that three servings of EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate Shake contained levels of arsenic and cadmium that exceeded USP limits, which define how much of these toxins a person can safely consume each day. Additionally, Muscle Milk Chocolate powder tested positive for four toxic metals in addition to arsenic. According to Consumer Reports, Muscle Milk faired worst out of all the supplements it tested, which is especially disturbing since the product is one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements on the market today.

Better Ways to Meet Your Needs

If you’re worried about protein powder side-effects, there are a variety of natural ways you can meet your nutritional needs. According to Consumer Reports, lean chicken breast, egg whites and milk not only provide as much protein as popular supplements; they tend to be a lot cheaper. Additionally, most experts agree that average, everyday consumers have no need for supplementation if they are eating a well-balanced diet.

That said, bodybuilders do tend to need substantial amounts of amino acids, and it may seem unreasonable to consume large amounts of meat and eggs several time throughout the day. If you are looking for a safer whey protein powder, consider Solgar Whey to Go, Jillian Michaels Natural Whey Vanilla Cream Shake or SixStar Muscle Professional Strength French Vanilla Cream – all of which passed the Consumer Reports test with flying colors.

By Jake Weathers (13 Posts)

Jake Weathers is's weight-loss and bodybuilding expert.

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