Muscles love protein—a scientific fact that has been known for centuries. As such, many swear by it when looking to build lean mass.
However, it has also been known to cause some unwanted effects. Whether you are using plant based protein powders (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp) or the more popular dairy varieties (casein or whey), you should probably know that these might be causing some adverse effects to your body.
What are protein powders exactly?
Protein in the form of powders are often used to build muscle and/or lose weight. They are a supplement to be used in conjunction with your everyday diet.
But in addition to containing protein, a lot of these muscle building powders have significant amounts of sugars, artificial flavours, thickeners, vitamins and minerals. They should not, however, be used as meal replacements as some beginner and over-zealous gym-goers have a tendency of doing.
When it comes to whey and casein protein powders, some undesired symptoms can come about especially for those who have an intolerance to dairy. As a result, reports of digestive problems have been known to arise, which can include: diarrhea, constipation, bloating and general stomach discomfort.
As some protein powders contain high amounts of sugar, this can very well be conducive to weight gain, high blood sugar and sometimes even acne. For this reason, you must be aware of the kind of protein powder you are consuming as a study conducted by a nonprofit group called the Clean Label Project found traces of toxins in these powders.
A considerable percentage of the 134 products that were screen for 130 different types of toxins contained heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury.
The best way of going about protein powders is to consult a nutritionist or medical expert to advise you on the most suitable product to add to your diet and fitness goals.
If not, a more natural alternative would be to consume higher amounts of whole foods rich in protein such as: nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese), legumes (beans, lentils), fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat.