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Consumer Reports: Alert Protein Drinks

Posted Jun 11 2010 5:22pm

My Uncle Frank emailed me an article from Consumer Reports yesterday about the hazards of Protein Drinks.   Click Here to read the article or just sit back and continue reading and I will briefly summarize the finding for you .

This is an interesting piece because both my wife and I supplement our diets with Whey Protein Shakes.  We wake up and have 48G of delicious protein shake each morning.  The reason being that we both are athletes and need to take in about one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.  We have stuck to this theory and have had success with both weight loss and muscle recovery with this diet.  I figured since mostly endurance athletes read this blog you may find it interesting too.   So when Consumer Reports comes out with an article titled
Alert: Protein drinks
You don't need the extra protein or the heavy metals our tests found

This was disappointing. Darn Consumer Reports why do always have to ruin everything?  I still remember the dark day they came out with a report that said the Mashed Potato Fried Chicken Bowl from KFC was "not healthy".

Seriously Consumer Reports, you crusher of joy ... what is next?  You going to tell me puppies are bad for my health?

Anyway, As any lover of protein shakes and committed blogger would do I sat down and read the 4 page article in it's entirety.  Yes, I am  that committed to excellence over here at the Carrot!

Here is an excerpt from the first page

Okay, so the title says "Alert Protein Drinks" and then you go onto to report, "For most drinks we tested, levels of those contaminants were in the low to moderate range, when we could detect them at all. "


Hmmm..... so most of the drinks are not that bad but you still felt the need to title your article with "Alert"?  And then CR continues with, "Nutritionists and trainers say they commonly see people who consume three servings a day."  


Okay Consumer Reports, let us have a little talk.  You are telling me that you are going to base this entire report on the assumption that Nutritionists and Trainers say they commonly see people consume three servings per day?  Wow, that is some crack reporting if I have ever seen it.  Way to really delve in to this one guys.  Oh, Consumer Reports, Nutritionists and Trainers have been known to advise people to follow the Atkins Diet too. But I digress ....

Now to continue on with the rest of the report.  Basically if you read the next 3 pages the article goes onto say that "some" people may abuse these drinks and that the manufactures do not have warning labels that say taking too much could be harmful.  They also fear that teens maybe abusing the drinks based on the marketing   by the manufacturing companies.

The take away from the article is don't over do it.  Really that is it.  These drinks have small levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury and if you drink a crapload of Protein Drinks per day you will be exposing yourself to these heavy metals.

Here is a breakdown of the actual lab tests for each of the 15 drinks that CR tested
In my opinion, Consumer Reports was driving the sensationalism bus down the exaggeration highway.  But by today's media standards I guess that is pretty much par for the course.

If you are using a drink a day to help supplement your protein intake because you are an athlete then this report is all smoke and no fire.  If you are the parent of a teenager who is drinking six Muscle Milks a day then this report has some use.  If you are heavy and trying to lose weight and drinking these shakes as replacements for all of your meals you need to stop and eat whole foods.

Really, just like everything in life, Protein Drinks should be used in moderation.  Consumer Reports could have saved the trees this article was printed on and just Tweeted:  Use Protein Drinks in Moderation.


Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

**Disclaimer:  I am not a nutritionist, trainer, doctor, nurse, chemists or employee of a protein drink company.  Everything said here is my opinion and could be completely wrong, but since I am an American that is cool.  If you use protein drinks do your own independent research on that product..**
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