More and more people are consuming protein drinks to help with their weight loss goals, supplement their diets, and achieve improved athletic performance… but are they safe?
What kinds of protein are available?
|Sedentary||0.8-1.0g per kg (0.36-0.45g per lb)|
|Recreational exercisers||0.8-1.0g per kg (0.36-0.45g per lb)|
|Serious resistance athletes:early in training||1.5-1.7g per kg (0.68-0.77g per lb)|
|Serious resistance athletes:established training program||1.0-1.2g per kg (0.45-0.55g per lb)|
|Serious Endurance Athlete||1.4-1.6g per kg (0.64-0.73g per lb)|
|Teenage Athletes||1.5-2.0g per kg (0.68-0.91g per lb)|
SO.. are they safe?
An investigation by Consumer Reports found traces of heavy metals in all of the protein drinks tested. Of the fifteen protein drinks tested most had low to moderate levels of heavy metals; but three drink products (EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate Shake, Muscle Milk chocolate powder, and Muscle Milk vanilla crème) had high enough levels to cause concern. Consuming three servings a day of these three drinks could cause unsafe exposure to three substances — arsenic, cadmium and lead. Consuming these kinds of protein drinks on a regular basis can in some cases create the risk of chronic exposure, even at low levels, to heavy metals such as cadmium and lead that can pose health problems, particularly to vulnerable people,” says Andrea Rock, the Consumer Reports editor for the investigation. Among vulnerable people are children under age 18, pregnant women, and people with diabetes or chronic kidney conditions, she says.
According to Greg Pickett, founder of CytoSport, which makes Muscle Milk, “The substances tested in the report are naturally occurring in the environment, it would be uncommon, if not impossible, not to detect the trace amounts reportedly found in any agricultural product, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables.”
What’s a little scary? Protein drinks are considered dietary supplements, so the makers are not required to test the products before sale to ensure they are safe and effective. eeek.
More is not always better. Over-doing it with protein can be very detrimental to your health. Experts say too much protein can lead to dehydration and digestive problems, increase your risk for osteoporosis, and for some people, cause kidney problems. Please notify your MD of any changes in your diet.