We’ve all seen protein shakes advertised as a way to become leaner and stronger, especially when combined with resistance exercises, but is the extra protein necessary? Are protein shakes even a healthy choice?
The answer, according to several medical sources, remains inconsistent. The results of testing on dozens of powdered protein brands showed many of them contained unhealthy levels of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and even BPA — the chemicals in plastics. The study revealed that the contaminants were found in the products through environmental contamination and/or packaging.
While there have been published benefits of consuming powdered protein such as weight loss, anti-cancer and the lowering of cholesterol, Medical News Today points out that many of the studies used to back the benefits of powdered protein have been single studies and that more evidence is required before making a decision.
However, a dietitian and sports nutritionists explains that although there are circumstances when people may want to consume powdered protein, for most, it’s normally not necessary for those who have a healthy diet.
On the other hand, since the FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of their products before marketing, it can be difficult to know exactly what’s in the protein powder you’ve chosen.