Is Your Protein Powder Making You Sick?
What Do I Know
I competed in my first bench press contest when I was 16, powerlifting at 18, bodybuilding at 21. The last lifting competition I was in was in a 2007 IBP powerlifting event in Seneca SC. The last bodybuilding event I competed in was the 2007 Mr. Georgia over 50 competition in Atlanta. The last time I worked out was yesterday and the next time I will work out is in 2 hours, God willing. I have been an avid weightlifter and bodybuilder all my life. Along with lifting came protein shakes. I have gone from early in my career drinking 6 raw eggs in milk a couple of times a day, to every known protein powder at one time or another. I tell you this to say I have a point of reference unlike most people that write on this subject. I have been a life long consumer of protein shakes.
Recent Studies on Protein Shakes
A recent study has alarmed me greatly and has me asking “what is protein?” in that the protein you are ingesting may be not only bad for your health but could with long term use result in death! Consumer’s report recently purchased 15 brands of the most popular protein powders/protein shakes and tested each for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. What they found should alarm you in that every sample tested contained heavy metal! Some in much higher concentrations than others. The worse offenders are:
• Eas Myoplex (Arsenic, Cadmium)
• Muscle Milk-Chocolate (Cadmium, Lead)
• Muscle Milk-Vanilla Crème (Lead)
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Low lead levels in kids will cause the following side effects:
* Nervous system and kidney damage.
* Learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and decreased intelligence.
* Speech, language, and behavior problems.
* Poor muscle coordination.
* Decreased muscle and bone growth.
* Hearing damage.
* Seizures, unconsciousness, and death.
In adults high levels of lead in their systems can cause the following:
* Increased chance of illness during pregnancy.
* Harm to a fetus, including brain damage or death.
* Fertility problems (in men and women).
* High blood pressure.
* Digestive problems.
* Nerve disorders.
* Memory and concentration problems.
* Muscle and joint pain
Symptoms of Cadmium Poisoning
Cadmium ingested in high doses irritates the gastric epithelium. The symptoms of cadmium ingestion are:
* abdominal cramps and pain,
* diarrhea, and
* painful straining, during a bowel movement or urination
Symptoms of Arsenic Poisoning
* confusion and drowsiness
* changes in fingernail pigmentation may occur
* blood in the urine
* cramping muscles
* hair loss
* stomach pain
The organs of the body that are usually affected by arsenic poisoning are the lungs, skin, kidneys, and liver. The final result of arsenic poisoning is coma or death.
Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
From the Environmental Protection Agency
* Impairment of the peripheral vision
* “Pins and needles” feelings, numbness usually in the hands feet and sometimes around the mouth
* Lack of coordination of movements, such as writing
* Impairment of speech, hearing, walking;
* Muscle weakness
* Skin rashes
* Mood swing
* Memory loss
* Mental disturbance
What to do
I know you do not want to hear this but your body can only absorb 5 to 9 grams of protein an hour. If your taking more that it is either being converted to fat or taxing the kidneys and passing out of the body through excretions. I ignore recommendations on all protein labels knowing the limitations of my body. If your overloading your body with protein you not only waste your money but also risk ruining your health! I only take in 10 grams or less of protein per hour and I suggest you do the same. I try and get most of my protein through natural sources mainly eggs and nuts. They is no better source regardless of what the ads in the magazines lead you to believe. I do take protein powder but only one that has been tested and proved to be free of heavy metals. I only take pea protein, not whey protein, another subject for another blog on another day. You can go here to see the protein powder I use.
til next time,