The Youthful Body
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How Safe Is Your Protein Shake?

Many health conscious individuals across race and culture are very attracted to protein shakes, supplements and powders because of the promised benefits they will gain from them. Who doesn’t want to lose weight and develop sleek muscles so easily, hey? Protein shakes are basically a healthy meal replacement and you could buy them from health […]

protein shake drink

Many health conscious individuals across race and culture are very attracted to protein shakes, supplements and powders because of the promised benefits they will gain from them. Who doesn’t want to lose weight and develop sleek muscles so easily, hey? Protein shakes are basically a healthy meal replacement and you could buy them from health shops and other stores that sell supplements. However, are you certain that your protein drink is safe? Sadly, the food business is making a kill by selling products, like protein shakes, with degraded protein content, highly processed chemicals, additives and other preservatives. In fact, many of the protein shakes in the market today are hardly real food anymore. Although not all processed products can be bad for us, understanding what ingredients are added in our protein shakes help us decide whether we continue consuming it, change it or discontinue using it all together. So, today, why don’t you take a moment to check the back label of the protein shake you’re drinking and see if it contains ingredients that aren’t good for the body?

Common Ingredients in Protein Shakes and Powders

The following are popular protein brands in the market today:

  • Designer Whey
  • Body by Vi,
  • EAS Myoplex Shakeology
  • Slim Fast
  • Herbalife
  • Ensure
  • Special K, Pure Protein
  • Isogen
  • Atkins
  • Vega
  • Muscle Mlik
  • Gatorade Recovery.

Although these ones are popular, it is essential to emphasize that none of these are certified organic and Non-GMO. This means that these brands may contain GMO’s and pesticides that are possibly harmful to the body in the long run. Increased exposure to these types of toxins is associated with nerve damage, birth defects, and cancer. The president of the Cancer Panel has advised against consuming food sprayed with pesticides regardless of the amount. Protein shakes are already expensive and consuming one with dangerous chemicals in it just doesn’t make sense.

Replace Your Protein Shake if it Contains Any of these Ingredients: 

Soy Protein

Most protein drinks have soy protein concentrate mixed with other proteins. Looking at it from a larger scale, it gives an impression that it is packed with plant-based protein, fibre and essential amino acids. While it may be true, 90% of most soy products that are being produced now is Genetically Modified. Not only that, it is generally hybridized, turning the amino acids indigestible. As a result, consumers may develop digestive issues and eventually allergy to soy. The worst part is that the protein state of soy becomes relentlessly denatured, causing hormonal disruptions due to its high estrogen level content.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic can be found in some protein powders. EAS Myoplex for example, was tested and found out containing 2 heavy metals in greater amounts, way above the USP limit of daily exposure. Muscle Milk on the other hand has the highest content of heavy metals among all brands tested. In an investigation report, it was noted that cadmium can damage the kidneys. What is more surprising is that it can take 20 years to eliminate even half of this metal from the body. The director of Environmental Cancer Initiative at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Royal Oak, Michigan, Michael Harbut, M.D., says, “This is a highly toxic metal, and while there are some cases where decisions have to be weighed against relative risks, accepting that you have to be exposed to any cadmium at all in your protein drink after your workout is definitely not one of them. A toxicology consultant to federal and state government agencies says that, “When these toxic heavy metals are combined in a product that is marketed for daily use that raises serious public health concerns, especially for pregnant women, children, and young adults.”

Maltodextrin

This ingredient is a substitute to carbohydrate. It is used to manufacture an additive like fibersol, which can be found in the Body by Vi Shake brand. When making fibersol, the maltodextrin is heated at very high temperatures while being treated with acids and enzymes to make a fiber that our body can’t digest easily, making us feel falsely full.

Acesulfame K or Acesulfame Potassium

This is by far the most common type of artificial sweetener in most protein drinks and other processed foods being sold today. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), this substance isn’t safe for consumption. Using lab mice in an experiment, the result suggests that acesulfame-K might cause cancer. However, the FDA has not addressed this issue and has approved the use of this additive on soft drinks. Additionally, a large dose of acetoacetamide is reported to impact the thyroid in dogs, rabbits and rats. This noxious sugar replacement can be found in Pure Proteon, Isogen, EAS Myoplex, Muscle Milk and Atkins.

Whey Protein Isolate

Unlike whole protein concentrate, whey protein isolate is largely processed. Starting from the state of conventional milk, which is ultra-pasteurized and has growth hormones and antibiotics in it, the source of protein is then subject to acid processing to strip off the alkalinizing minerals and naturally occurring lipids and vitamins. This processing turns whey protein isolate acidic. Habitually consuming whey protein isolate without balancing it with suitable alkalizing foods, can cause the body to acidify. Over time, it will increase our susceptibility to degenerative disease. Whey protein isolate can be found in many protein drinks, but sold under generic store brand names like Gatorade called “Recover.”

Better and Healthy Sources of Protein

The truth is, you really don’t need to take protein shakes to have extra energy for your workout. You could make a smoothie at home with nut butter as your base and add a banana for potassium. Or, get your protein naturally from: Meat like poultry, beef, fish, pork, poultry, cheese, yogurt and eggs. It is essential to buy organic products to make sure that you are eating healthy and safe food. Vegetables like legumes (lentils, dry beans and peas), seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter), whole grains (quinoa, oatmeal, pasta, brown rice), green leafy vegetables, and a few fruits like avocado. Are There Any Safe and Healthy Protein Drinks? Fortunately, there are! If you feel you still like to take protein drinks, choose:

  • Juice plus shake (vanilla or chocolate, actually used by athletes
  • Tera’s Organic Why, Warrior Extreme
  • Nutiva’s Hemp Protein.

These don’t have any toxic chemicals and are considered as “real food.” So, if you are buying protein powders or shakes, make a conscious effort to check the back labelling to see what ingredients it is made of.    

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Aude Seynt Martin

Written by Aude Seynt Martin

Aude is an ex corporate Lawyer with a passion for health, self development and independence which lead her to give up her former career to help others through health.


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