Protein powders are powdered forms of protein that come from plants, eggs, or milk. The powders may include other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavoring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. According to Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, Protein powders should only be used under medical supervision.
Protein powders may cause digestive distress among people with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose [milk sugar] They can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder. Protein powders high in added sugars and calories causes weight gain because surplus protein in the body is stored as fat. It also leads to an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.
Too much protein can increase the risk of kidney stones, and can decrease calcium retention and thus increase the risk of bone fractures. A report released by clean label project about toxins in protein powders showed that protein powders contained heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A, pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions.
There are many ways to get protein rather than protein powder. You can find protein from whole foods: nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese), legumes (beans, lentils), fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat. But if you have to take protein powder it should be under medical supervision.
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