Best Protein Powder for Men and Women – Forbes Health

“For most people, there’s little direct harm from consuming protein powders, and there may be a time and place for the convenience and simplicity they offer,” Harbstreet says. “Depending on lifestyle, budget, and performance or training goals, [protein powders] can be one of many useful tools.

However, she adds that protein powders carry a risk of heavy metal contamination. In fact, one study found that 40% of 133 protein powder products tested had high levels of heavy metals. Finding a brand that uses third-party testing for its products can alleviate this concern. Additionally, regularly consuming more protein than necessary can carry its own set of risks, namely an increased risk of kidney stones.

A 2021 review also found that chronic use of whey protein supplements without professional guidance can lead to adverse health effects, especially on liver and kidney function. Experts also note that extra calories from protein powders can add up quickly, which can lead to weight gain.

“Another consideration for collegiate and elite athletes is the potential for banned substances in protein powders or other supplements,” Harbstreet says. “It may pose an eligibility risk if an athlete is subjected to drug testing.”

If you’re considering adding protein powder to your daily routine, ask your doctor or dietitian to help determine the best and healthiest option for you.

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