Runner’s Zen: Hey You! What’s In Your Protein Powder?!

article-new-ehow-images-a04-uo-78-drink-protein-drink_-800x800I was getting my lunch together just like a normal Monday morning and I knew I was going to do a resistance training workout for my work out that day, so I packed some of my protein powder. I use organic Sun Warrior protein and I had a little bit of protein left that I bought at a health food store that isn’t all organic and pretty and it kind of made me think – what’s the difference really? I did some research and for a supplement that I know a lot of avid gym goers and health nuts use, it seems to contradict those who claim to live the healthiest of lifestyles. Why would something so processed and so unnatural would be so popular among this crowd?

The first thing I found was something I’d never really thought about before. I try my best not to use artificial sweeteners as I know how bad they are for the human body, but I didn’t put two and two together when it came to my protein powder. There are a lot of artificial sweeteners in protein powder, and of most concern is aspartame. When human’s consume this chemical, it is broken down in our body and converted into formaldehyde which is a toxic preservative. NoSignAspartame can cause nerve damage in the brain, eyes and the nerve cells that control body movement. Isn’t this something that weight lifters and bodybuilders try to avoid? (source)

In my research I also found that a lot of different protein supplements are loaded with different heavy metals. According to findings at ConsumerReports.org many of the popular protein supplements contain anywhere from 0.6iu – 16.9iu of Arsenic, 1.6iu – 5.6iu of Cadmium, 1iu – 13.5iu of Lead and 0.2iu – 1.1iu of Mercury.

Most forms of arsenic found in foods have been found to be acceptable when ingested by humans, however there are other forms that can be very poisonous. Too much arsenic can cause blurred vision, constipation, cough, darkening of the skin, dry eyes/mouth/skin, nosebleeds, swelling, edema, chest pain, weight gain and more symptoms which can be read about here.

Cadmium is Chocolate protein powdertoxic to the body even in low doses and some side effects of ingesting too much are nausea and vomiting, lung hemorrhaging, kidney damage, cancer and other complications including lung diseases which include bronchitis and emphysema. For more on this you can click here.

People who have high levels of lead in their blood won’t usually show any symptoms until they have a dangerously high amount in their blood. Signs that you might have too much lead in your blood include high blood pressure, decline in mental function, pain/numbness of extremities, muscular weakness, headache and more which are found here.

Mercury is found in a lot of household items such as thermometers, light switches and batteries, but too much in your system can have serious complications. Learning disabilities, stomach pain, muscle weakness, and organ damage are all The-Organic-Wheyside effects of too much lead. To read more on this, please click here.

If you’re like many others and use protein powder after every workout, make sure you pay the extra money for the clean, organic protein powder that you can find at your local health food store. Make sure to read the ingredients before purchasing and ensure it’s the best type of protein for you and your body.

Stay healthy.

Happy Lifting!

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3 comments for “Runner’s Zen: Hey You! What’s In Your Protein Powder?!

  1. December 24, 2012 at 5:03 am

    When it comes to protein powder, or any supplement, there is an abundance of serious garbage out there. Unfortunately a lot of it is the big name brands. There are alternatives. Regarding protein powder, the easiest way to remove artificial sweeteners is to get unflavored. Regarding muscle building or fat loss supplements – reading the label may not be enough. Supplements are largely unregulated, and many have been found to contain other ingredients that aren’t listed.

  2. Carlos Flores
    December 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, truly a great read and an eye opener for alot of people.

    Sadly health and fitness are not the same. I am not condoning people’s decision to chase their desired physique. However I do question their perspective of “Health”

    Everyone has a different goal, and I respect that. People misconstrue size and muscle mass with being healthy. That is a problem especially when their idea of health leads them to a supplements that are processed. Even worse is that this industry is ever expanding with no regulations in place.

    It’s scary because health is the goal we originally set, only to stray farther and farther from it in our pursuit of it.

  3. December 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Good stuff again Sarah. This is actually something I was thinking about recently. Seems like most of the stuff I use lists all the stuff I always try to avoid like the plague. I guess I should really do some research to see what else is out there!

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