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Heavy Metal Protein Drinks?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
A Consumer Reports review in the July issue highlights their recent laboratory findings regarding protein drinks. They tested fifteen drinks using an outside laboratory and discovered some disturbing results. Since we previously provided a review of muscle milk, we thought it would be important to provide you with the recent findings so buyer can be aware.

Performance enhancing supplements remain big business and in some cases, protein supplements are beneficial to augment a balanced nutrition plan. The Consumer Reports review noted that sports nutrition product sales have exceeded $2.7 billion and protein drinks are the category leader. While they may prove beneficial in supporting some fitness goals, if there is an increased health risk when using any product, care and caution are definitely in order. The Consumer Reports review of fifteen protein drinks found increased risk of heavy metal exposure especially with significant supplement use for such metals as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

The lab results revealed there were various amounts of metals present in the three serving samples per protein supplement reviewed. Some samples exceeded the U.S. Pharmacopeia recommendations for safety. Safe intake for arsenic is believed to be 15 micrograms (ug) per day or less and tests on three servings of EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate liquid shake revealed 16.9 ug. EAS Myoplex also contained high levels of cadmium in three servings with 5.1 ug, which meets the maximum recommended safe limit of 5 ug/day. Muscle Milk Chocolate powder also exceeded the maximum level of recommended safety for cadmium providing 5.6 ug in the three serving sample. Muscle Milk chocolate powder was also high in lead with 13.5 ug in three servings compared to the maximum recommended limit of 10 ug/day. Muscle Milk Vanilla Crème powder was also high in lead providing 12.2 ug in three servings.

The Bottom Line

More and more people are using protein supplements in addition to their nutritious diet to help them meet specific fitness goals. This recent finding by Consumer Reports provides an awareness of risk and caution related to what and how much of a supplement you are consuming. If you only use a protein supplement occasionally, there may be little reason for concern. However, if you consume three or more servings of a protein supplement daily or you are pregnant or have children or teens that are using protein supplements on a regular basis, you may want to take a closer look at the report findings to evaluate personal risk.

Why do you use protein supplements? Have you noticed a significant benefit since using them?