It is the striking declaration of Pieter Cohen, M.D., an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and supplement researcher. If it’s about fitness supplements and not food, the FDA doesn’t verify whether their content is exactly what the label says it is. It’s the manufacturer who chooses to call its product a supplement or food. If it is a supplement, then the FDA’s regulation will go easy on it.
The main problem with fitness supplements is that they can do a lot of damage. Since they are no longer exclusive, and athletes or patients with special medical needs are no longer the only ones using them, supplements’ hidden vices become a matter of public awareness. One should be aware of the risks when he decides to add supplements to his diet.
One of the main reasons people decide to ingest supplements is the need for protein. Protein is in a co-dependency relationship with the body muscle-mass. The way to calculate the protein need of a body is by multiplying the total weight with 0.4.
It is the necessary quantity of protein per pound of body weight. That rate might change depending on the body’s needs. Athletes have nutritionists and experts telling them what the diet course should be. It is the same with patients in need of protein. It is the same with people in need of protein supplements due to a physical condition. But if you are neither of these categories, you are exposed to lots of risks.
The threats of fitness supplements
Overloading with protein
If you are not aware of the protein deficit in your body, and the necessary amount to add according to your daily physical routine, you might end up in protein excess. Protein’s metabolites are cleared out from your body by your kidneys. With the protein you already ingest through your regular diet, it might be challenging to keep track of the exact quantity of protein you ingest. And that can put a lot of pressure on your kidneys. What’s more, is that you might have existing kidney damage and not know it. So, you should make sure your kidneys can take it.
Most of the protein supplements aren’t just protein. To obtain the protein in the lab and to make sure it doesn’t degrade and that it also tastes goon, a lot of harmful ingredients are added. Artificial flavors and colorings, excess sodium, inulin, or carrageenan, are ingredients that can cause digestive upset, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, among other ailments.
Heavy Metal Contamination
Arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and toxins such as bisphenol A were found in these products. They aren’t mentioned on their labels, but to obtain just protein form otherwise, very complex whole foods, a lot of dangerous chemicals are being used. Chemicals that leave detectable traces in the products you are ingesting.
Up to 13 grams of sugars in two scoops and 26 grams in a bottle of fitness supplements can be found. That’s more than a cup of ice-cream. If it is not sugar, then sweeteners such as stevia and sucralose, or sugar alcohols such as erythritol, can be traced.