Choosing a protein shake (Ready to Drink or Powder)
A quick glance method to determining if something is even worth a further look is to look straight at the ingredients listed on the label. The fewer ingredients listed, most likely, the better it is for you.
If you see more than 5-10 ingredients then you should most likely just put it down and walk away. That being said, some companies will list every single vitamin and mineral in the products so sometimes our 5-10 ingredient test needs a closer look. AND even if there are only 5-10 ingredients, you need to be on the lookout for unnecessary chemicals and additives. Here are a few ingredients that should send up some red flags when searching for a clean protein supplement.
Corn Maltodextrin – May elevate blood sugar levels.
Acesulfame Potassium – Caused tumors and elevated blood level of cholesterol in animal studies.
Carrageenan – Gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers, cancer, inflammation.
G-amine – One of the ingredients used in Muscle Milk has been shown to elevate levels of a compound known as homocysteine in the blood. This has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
L-Glutamate – People suffering from diabetes should be careful when consuming L-Glutamate (also found in muscle milk & Labrada products) because it can have some unpredictable effects on blood sugar.
Crystalline Fructose – Can cause bloating and gas.
Sucralose - An artificial sweetener. A recent study from Duke University (also see researcher notes below) found that the consumption of Splenda in rats over a 12-week period caused “numerous adverse effects” including: a 50% reduction in beneficial bacteria in intestines, increased pH levels of intestines, and increases in body weight. In addition, it affects the P-glycoprotein in the body in such a way that prescription drugs could be rejected instead of absorbed as they were intended.
The above ingredients are only a fraction of what’s actually found in some of the most popular shakes on the market. But I think it gives you a good idea of how dangerous just a few of the things they put in these supplements can be. Combine all of the terrible ingredients and consume once or twice a day over time and you could really be setting yourself up for some serious potential health concerns.
After much research – the only protein supplement that I can currently stand behind 100% is Jay Robb’s Whey or Egg White Protein Powder. Sorry Muscle Milk Fans!
Want to check to see what’s lurking in your favorite protein shake or powders enter each ingredient from the label at: