I’ve been drinking at least one to three protein shakes a day since High-school. As much as I love my protein powder, after reading this article in the latest Consumer Reports, I’m seriously considering eliminating all protein powders from my diet. This recent study on protein powders absolutely shocked me!

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Here’s an overview of the Consumer Reports investigation into some of the most popular and widely used protein powders on the market today:

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“We purchased 15 protein powders and drinks mainly in the New York metro area or online and tested multiple samples of each for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury”

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” All drinks in our tests had at least one sample containing one or more of the following contaminants: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Those metals can have toxic effects on several organs in the body.”

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“The results showed a considerable range, but levels in three products were of particular concern because consuming three servings a day could result in daily exposure to arsenic, cadmium, or lead exceeding the limits proposed by USP.”

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“Here are the average amounts of metals we found in three servings of these protein drinks. The maximum limits for them in dietary supplements proposed by the U.S. Pharmacopeia are: arsenic (inorganic), 15 micrograms (µg) per day; cadmium, 5 µg; lead, 10 µg; mercury, 15 µg. Amounts at or exceeding those limits are in bold. Experts said three servings a day is common.”

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“The amount of lead in a single daily serving of eight of the protein supplements we tested would require that the products carry a warning in California. State legislation known as Proposition 65 mandates that manufacturers notify consumers when products contain toxic substances at levels the state says pose even a low cancer or reproductive risk.”

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“But federal regulations do not generally require that protein drinks and other dietary supplements be tested before they are sold to ensure that they are safe, effective, and free of contaminants, as the rules require of prescription drugs.”

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“Protein drinks are helping fuel the growing sales of sports-nutrition products, which now top $2.7 billion.”

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“A 2005 study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that protein powders and shakes were the supplements most commonly used by those aged 12 to 18.”

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“Meeting your daily protein requirements through a balanced diet rather than supplements is best for both your health and your wallet.”

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Better, cheaper ways to bulk up!

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“According to federal health survey data, Americans get an average of 82 grams of protein per day from their diet.”

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“You can find the protein content for a wide range of foods athttp://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR18/nutrlist/sr18a203.pdf. Because foods can also be a source of exposure to cadmium or other heavy metals, you can find out the levels in many different types of foods by viewing the Food and Drug Administration’s list atwww.fda.gov/downloads/food…totaldietstudy/ucm184301.pdf.”

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Go here to read the full Consumer Reports article on Protein Powder. After you read the article, come back here and tell us your thoughts and comments!

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