In this episode, we’ll be discussing the world of protein powders. With so many options available, we understand that it can be overwhelming to determine which type of protein powder is right for you. We’ll be giving an overview of the types of protein powders that we prefer, as well as highlighting some of the concerns when it comes to selecting the right protein powder for your needs. We’ll also be addressing a common issue where fitness professionals recommend powders with questionable ingredients, and what you can do to avoid this. While we believe that protein powders can have unique benefits, we want to stress that they are not a necessity, and that getting your protein from whole foods should always be your first choice.
When it comes to plant-based protein powders, there are some concerns that consumers should be aware of. A study conducted by the Clean Label Project found that plant-based protein powders were the worst offenders for containing heavy metals, BPAs, and pesticides. Approximately 75% of the plant-based protein powders tested had measurable levels of lead, and on average contained twice the amount of lead per serving compared to other products. In addition to lead, these powders also contained mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. This is due to the contaminated soil from which the ingredients are sourced and even certified organic products average twice as much heavy metal contamination. With concerns like these, it’s no wonder that people are questioning what they should eat, but it’s important to stay informed and make the best decisions based on the information available.
We also discuss the various qualities of whey protein, collagen, and soy. When it comes to ingredients to avoid, you want to keep an eye out for:
- Soy protein (due to estrogenic effects and potential impact on thyroid function)
- Sugar alcohols (such as sorbitol, maltitol, and erythritol) which some people may not tolerate well
- Sugars like agave and corn syrup, which can be added to protein powders
- Seed oils (including soy, corn, and canola oil)
- Artificial colors and dyes (such as red 3 and blue) which serve no nutritional purpose in protein powders.
However you choose your protein powders, it’s important to take into account what’s right for you and your goals, as well as your personal preferences.