What is in your protein powder? - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

What is in your protein powder?

Apr 24, 2024 01:52 AM IST

A new study suggests that 70% of protein powders on the market might be doing more harm than good.

Whether it is to level up or simply trying to gain muscle, protein powder is the first thing fitness enthusiasts add to their shopping carts. Once strictly prescribed, protein powders have now become a must-have for the average gym-goer. However, a new study conducted by researchers from the Rajagiri Hospital in Kerala has worryingly revealed that 70% of Indian protein powders have inaccurate protein information. The team tested 36 protein supplements, of which 14% of samples had harmful fungal aflatoxins while 8% showed pesticide residue. With the health risks associated with consuming subpar protein powder and its popularity among youngsters, we speak to medical professionals about safe protein consumption.

The team tested 36 protein supplements, of which 14% of samples had harmful fungal aflatoxins while 8% showed pesticide residue.
The team tested 36 protein supplements, of which 14% of samples had harmful fungal aflatoxins while 8% showed pesticide residue.

WHAT IS PROTEIN POWDER?

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Protein powder is a mix of various sources of plant proteins — think hemp — and eggs or milk (casein or whey protein). Some powders also contain sugars, flavorings, as well as vitamins and minerals.

NATURAL SOURCES OR SUPPLEMENTS?

According to nutritionist Kavita Devgan, natural protein sources should be prioritized over their powdered counterparts. “However, if you’re considering supplementation, consult a nutritionist or dietitian. Research the brand you choose and watch out for added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives,” she says. “Some protein supplements available in the market are high in sugars and carbs, which when consumed without regulation can be problematic.”

Excessive amounts of protein can also lead to adverse effects, cautions Dr. Shri Ram Kabra, Director, Department of Nephrology & Kidney Transplant Medicine, Marengo Asia Hospitals, Faridabad. “Excessive protein intake can lead to kidney damage,” he says, adding, “Overworking the kidneys and excessive acid loads can cause renal failure in the long term.”

Age is also an important factor to consider when scanning the label. “Young adults may benefit from whey protein for muscle growth, while older adults might prefer collagen for joint health,” explains nutritionist and dietitian Nuupur Patil.

SCOOP IN MODERATION

Ginny Kalra, Head of Dietetics at Akash Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, tells us, “Most Recommended protein intakes vary by age, weight, activity level, and overall health. A moderate protein intake of 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight is sufficient for the average person, while athletes may require a slightly higher protein intake, ranging from 1 to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 18, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On