Promotion of HLS, proper nutrition and physical activity as an unchanging component of life is, of course, a positive phenomenon. However, excessive passion for anything can lead to negative consequences. So, the more often you visit the gym, the more frequently you wonder “What if I help myself lose weight with protein cocktails?”.

Protein powders, which are incredibly popular among fitness instructors, fitness models and girls, which in social networks are referred to as the “fitness bunnies”, require prudence in application. Let’s figure out how they affect health and why not every person will benefit from using them.


You probably read the story of the Australian bodybuilder Meegan Hefford, for whom the consumption of protein cocktails in conjunction with a rare genetic disease ended in a tragic way. But do we have to worry about using protein shakes if we do not have any health problems?

It turns out that people should be cautious with protein shakes in any case. In contrast to harmless milkshakes (which, incidentally, can also be called protein shakes), protein powders are not tested as medicines, though they should be, experts say. Thus, you can not always be 100% sure what they contain.

In an interview with WebMD, Wayne Campbell, a professor at Purdue University, points out that he is not so much concerned about protein and its amount in such cocktails, as about other components of the shakes.

Some powders may contain unstudied ingredients.The problem is not that they are dangerous in themselves, but that we simply do not know how they will affect the body in the future,” he says.

In 2010, Consumer Reports tested 15 protein shakes for heavy metals, such as:

  • cadmium,
  • lead,
  • arsenic,
  • mercury.

The researchers thought that they would not find either of these in the protein powders. However, three shakes tested have shown a positive reaction.

At the same time, ConsumerLab specialists made a statement that almost one third of the 24 protein powders selected for other testing did not meet the declared quality standards. So, two of them contained a potentially dangerous amount of lead, and the rest contained times more cholesterol or sodium than indicated on the label.
*In 2015, Brazilian researchers similarly tested 20 protein powders. Eleven of them contained significantly less protein than claimed.


According to experts, it is more correct to worry about how much protein you eat, and not about where you get it. People with kidney disease or a family history of kidney failure should be especially careful.

If you get about 30 grams of protein per meal, you provide your body with the maximum amount of protein that it can absorb, process and digest at that particular moment,” the University of California at Los Angeles (UKLA) comments on this topic.

However, there are people for whom protein supplements are not simply useful, but necessary.
I work with a lot of older people who have protein deficiencies because they eat less protein foods or have difficulty chewing and swallowing,” says Isabel Maples, a nutritionist from Washington. “So, protein powder or powdered milk will be an excellent supplementation to their usual menu.”

In addition, if we are talking about age-related changes in the body, protein supplements help maintain the tone of muscles, which eventually lose their functionality in a natural way.

Studies show that protein shakes can also be useful in terms of weight loss. So, an experiment held in Australia in 2014 allowed saying that a diet with a high protein content helps to curb the appetite of people with overweight and obesity in a more effective way, than any other nutrition system. However, all this should happen exclusively under the guidance of an experienced nutritionist.

In general, before you start using protein shakes or other protein supplements, experts advise you to ask yourself a simple question “Does my menu contain enough protein?” If each of your meals contains a protein product, protein supplements will surely be excessive.

Protein powder