Protein powders provide an easy way to help supply your body with essential nutrients it needs to repair muscles and support healthy development. There are brands that fit into all types of diets from plant-based to Paleo. However, overdoing it on protein powder can have serious consequences on your health.
The dangerous side of protein powder
Sports supplements like protein powder, shakes, bars, and gels are some of the best inventions for health-conscious people. They provide a nutritious alternative to junk food, a convenient post-workout snack, and even an easy meal on-the-go. But convenient fuel is a slippery slope, and some people are actually relying on the supplements so much they’re neglecting whole food and harming their health in the process, says a new study presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention.
In a survey of 200 men, one in five said they regularly replaced meals with protein drinks or bars, and 40 percent said their use of the supplements was increasing, according to the study. Eight percent reported that they’ve been told by their doctors to cut back on the bars and gels and three percent have actually ended up in the hospital with kidney and liver problems because of their nutritional choices!
While the study only included men, fit females’ reliance on protein powders and energy bars is just as worrisome. A 2013 survey in The FASEB Journal found that 50 percent of recreational female endurance athletes said they use these types of products, with other sports showing even more useage—up to 100 percent for bodybuilders.
But is drinking a few too many protein shakes really that big of a deal? Well, the protein itself isn’t so much the issue, says Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist who specializes in sports supplements. Unless you have liver or kidney problems, it’s pretty darn difficult for excess protein to cause health problems, he says.
But you certainly can overdo it on all of the additives in sports supplements like vitamins, creatine, caffeine, fat burners, and energy boosters—especially if you’re combining products or taking more than the recommended dose.
Full Story: Are You ODing on Protein Powder?
thumbnail courtesy of shape.com