Supplement Savvy: Protein Powders by Dana Angelo White in Nutrients to Know, October 4, 2011
It’s a common misconception that you must take an extra protein supplement to build muscle. Most folks are getting plenty of protein from food so there’s no need for more from a supplement. But if your diet is too low in muscle-building protein, then a supplement may be a good idea. The question then becomes — if a protein supplement is warranted, are how can you be sure it’s safe and effective?
Walk into any health food store or vitamin shop and you’ll find a mountain of powder-filled canisters promising to help you bulk up or lean out. Unfortunately, the majority of the protein powders on the market come loaded with a variety of other vitamins, minerals and herbs. These can be dangerous when taken large doses or in combination with certain medications or other supplements. If you’re on any medication, always check with your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements.
Too much protein can also be a bad thing – mega-doses can cause stomach upset, dehydration, and in severe cases, kidney problems.
When choosing a brand – simple is best. Check labels for a source of protein (see examples below) along with some flavoring – that’s all you want in there!