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[Report] 20% Of Protein Powder Products, Incl. Shakeology & Optimum Nutrition, Mislabeled And/Or Contaminated

[Report] 20% Of Protein Powder Products, Incl. Shakeology & Optimum Nutrition, Mislabeled And/Or Contaminated

Muscle milk is laced with arsenic, cadmium, and lead (aka heavy metal). Arctic Zero and Weight Watchers ice cream have up to 68% more calories than labeled. The latest debacle involves a cluster of protein powder products, including big brands like Optimum Nutrition, Dymatize, Shakeology.

Quality tests published by ConsumerLab.com (6.11.2013) found that 5-out-of-27 protein powder products — nearly 20% — were either mislabeled with higher-than-reported, cholesterol, carb, or sugar counts, or contaminated with lead.1

Impacted products include:2

    • Shakeology Greenberry — contaminated with 12.7 mcg of lead/scoop. Keep out of the mouths of children; they’re vulnerable to lead poisoning at just 6 mcg/lead per day.
    • Prolab Advanced Essential Whey, Milk Chocolate — had 68% less protein than labeled, coming in at only 7.3 g of protein per scoop — NOT 23 g. It also packed 16 g more carbs and 3.4 g more sugar than claimed.
    • Nature’s Plus Spiru-Tein, Vanilla — contained 4.2 g more sugar than labeled (12.2 g, not 8 g), 6.7 g more total carbs, and 26 additional calories — that’s a 50% increase in sugar content; 26% increase in total calories.
    • Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein, Smooth Vanilla — contained 10.2 mg of cholesterol, 1.2 g of sugar per scoop; claimed 0 g of both.
    • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Egg, Rich Chocolate — contained 14.2 mg of cholesterol per scoop; claimed 5 mg. That’s nearly 3x more than labeled.

 

The Takeaway


While some offences are more egregious than others (i.e. Prolab), this isn’t mindblowing, considering that the FDA doesn’t regulate the supplement industry. More concerning is that the tests only cover 27 products, leaving the majority of the protein universe unvetted by 3rd-party companies.

Your best move: Unless you’re a Prolab Advanced Essential Whey or Shakeology chugger, don’t throw your whey into a bonfire — the majority (70%) of products tested were completely clean, healthy, and consistent with their labeling. BUT, given so much uncertainty, it’s best to eat within the industry that IS regulated as much as possible — REAL FOOD.

For health, performance, and body composition goals, we recommend 1 — maximum of 2 — protein shakes per day.



 

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References, Notes, Links

  1. ConsumerLab.com — Protein Powder Review, 6.11.2013 []
  2. The 12 clean-sheet, ConsumerLabs approved products include: Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Isolate, EAS 100% Whey Protein, GNC AMP Wheybolic Extreme, GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey, Jay Robb Whey Protein, Marked 100% Whey Protein Complex, Muscletech Nitro Tech, Six Star Pro Nutrition Whey Protein, Solgar Whey To Go, Pure Protein Shake (Can), Genisoy Soy Protein Shake, The Biggest Loser Protein Powder, Endurox R4, Marked Mass Gainer, Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions, Twinlab Whey Fuel, Atkings Day Break, GNC Total Lean Shake, Metagenics UltraMeal, Met-Rx Engineered Nutrition Meal Replacement, Slim Fast 3-2-1 Plan []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  • Corey

    what about the other shakeology flavors? If the green berry has lead, can it be assumed that the other flavors probably are contaminated also? I drink it ever day….perhaps I should stop?

    • Typically CL only tests 1 flavor per brand. I wouldn’t necessarily assume that the other flavors definitely do, but it’s highly possible. I’d recommend switching, and not just because of the metal content — there are so many other protein powders that are higher quality and MUCH more inexpensive (i.e. better value); and that have no connection to heavy metals.

      Use our full protein powder guide to pick whichever brand is best for your own personal needs. http://www.leanitup.com/review-protein-powder-buyers-guide-150-popular-protein-powders-shaken-graded/

      • Corey

        ya….I like that it’s not just straight protein though. Vitamins and minerals and probiotics along with the protein. But I’m searching to find something similar. Thought about getting Garden of Life Raw Meal….but I read about them containing heavy metals also. :/ Guess I’ll just have to try to eat more real food.