When you decide on a protein powder, you probably make a few assumptions. Specifically, you likely assume that that powder is going to give you everything you need nutritionally to support your workouts. You naturally will also think that your protein powder is going to be good for you and free from anything that might do you harm.
Unfortunately, this is not always true. Not only are most protein powders loaded with potentially harmful additives, but studies have found that there could be even more insidious contaminants in your protein powder.
What They Found
In 2010, Consumer Reports went out a bought 15 popular protein powders and ready-mixed beverages. Each of these products was then tested for levels of the harmful heavy metals mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Most of the products tested contained at least low levels of one or more of the target metals.
In some cases, though, the concentrations were surprisingly high. Even worse, several of the products are intended to be taken three times each day. If this recommendation were followed in these cases, your intake of those toxic heavy metals would significantly exceed the recommended, safe dose.
How'd They Get There
But how do these metals get into so many protein powders? In large part, this can be caused by poor practices – either in the farmer's treatment of the animals or the manufacturer's processing of the protein source.
Of these two factors, the farming conditions is much more likely to contribute to contaminants making it into your protein powder. For example, a 2014 report from the Chinese government – where many protein powders are sourced – found that at least one-fifth of the farm land is polluted with these heavy metals.
So, what can you do to make sure that you're safe? Since farming conditions can have such a major impact on the end-product, this should be an aspect that you consider when selecting a protein powder.
Look for organically grown and sourced protein powders from the United States. If your protein powder is whey, casein or otherwise cow-based, select a product that comes from grass-fed cows. To keep you safe and healthy, Naked Nutrition adheres to all of these guidelines so that our products are free of these heavy metals.