Do You Know What’s in Your Protein Powder?

protein powder for women

Be a Picky Eater

Consumer Reports found unacceptable levels of heavy metals in randomly tested popular protein powder for women. This is a problem, considering protein shakes are often consumed multiple times daily. You know the program: have a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a healthy dinner. Labels in some states are required to carry warnings, and yet even then, not all producers are compliant. Even food and safety agency representatives don’t agree on what is and not acceptable. So it’s up to you.

Protein shakes are not your only exposure to toxins, but toxic protein powders are avoidable. You are exposed to heavy metals through foods to some degree, too. If you consume foods highest in heavy metals frequently, you increase your toxic exposure. For example, sunflower seeds and spinach, as well as shellfish, potatoes, and rice, can be high in cadmium, in part due to cadmium-containing fertilizers.

Decrease toxins and decrease your weight loss resistance. Those toxins get stored in fat, making fat more stubborn to lose. Important internal organs like your liver and kidney get overtaxed with heavy metal consumption. You are a finely tuned machine that wants to hum along with all cylinders firing. If anything slows down your metabolism, looking good and feeling great becomes much more challenging.

Review your diet and rotate foods frequently. Shop organic whenever possible. Rotate spinach with kale, microgreens, and other salad greens regularly. Flip your rice for quinoa.

This is a perfect example of “healthy” not always being healthy. Repeatedly eating the same thing again and again can rob you of the micronutrients that come from eating a variety of foods, and it can increase toxic exposure.

Check ingredients on labels carefully. Ask about testing of the products. Responsible producers are aware and will confirm third-party heavy metal testing. You can find the Food and Drug Administration’s list of food sources of heavy metals here.

Natural vegan sources of protein limit you. Beans, brown rice, quinoa, nuts, and seeds are good plant sources of protein. Imagine a half-cup each of beans and quinoa. The combination would be potentially very filling. Yet, it’s only about 14 grams of protein. You’ve got a lot of fiber filling you up. If, meal after meal, day after day, you fall short of protein, your muscles are likely to suffer.

Going the vegan route, consider adding a plant protein blend of brown rice, hemp, and pea-protein powder supplement to your meals. It’s not a bad idea, even if you’re a meat eater, to rotate a whey or soy protein powder for women out if you rely on them daily. The plant blend will include all the essential amino acids (2.5 grams of leucine per serving is particularly important), so hard to find in a single plant source of protein. Pumpkin seed protein powder for women can be stirred into smoothies or soups. Even those vegan powders for women have only 10 to 20 grams of protein, however. Plan carefully.


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