I 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. Aspartame 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 toxic 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 side 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.
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