Do you know what I find interesting in my profession? Trainers and clients will take such good care of their bodies with exercise and recovery. But when it comes to nutrition, the ingredients/ chemicals they put into their bodies is shocking.
I know cause:
- I see it daily.
- I hear about it daily.
- I was one of those people for many years of my life.
My first problem came from an energy drink in my 20s. The ingredient, Chromium Picolinate really jacked up my system and may have been the cause of my sped up metabolism and later thyroid issues.
The ultimate responsibility falls on us. Do the research people! Don’t just take supplements because:
- My trainer told me to.
- They taste great.
- They were on sale.
- They work for my family and/or friends.
- The celebrities use them.
Those reasons may get you to a few scenarios I went through a few years back:
- Increased hair growth on legs, arms, bikini area.
- Stained teeth from the coloring.
- Mood swings.
- Jittery, jumpy, heart racing, etc.
- Running to the bathroom constantly.
- Headaches. (I lived on Motrin. Now I don’t take any.)
It’s widely known that personal trainers, and health officials are some of the worst eaters. In fact, when trainers and members at the gym ask about products, I take note of what they are using and when I get to a computer, I research the ingredients and literally cringe at the chemicals / artificial sweeteners they are putting in their bodies.
My research has lead me to an abbreviated list of the ingredients you should not have in your supplements.
Sucralose; high fructose corn syrup; food or drink
containing (1) both caffeine & ginseng (2) high sugar +
supplemental sugar; high caffeine content; maltodextrine;
According to Precision Nutrition, here are a few tips to follow:
- Consider what you hope to accomplish when using a protein powder before making your selection.
- Establish digestibility before choosing a protein source. (You may have to experiment.)
- The method in which the protein powder is used will also influence your selection (e.g., shakes, puddings, bars, pancakes, etc).
- You get what you pay for. By choosing a “cheap” protein powder, you’re likely to get higher amounts of lactose, fat, fillers, and so on not removed during the isolation process.
Ingredients to watch for & why (according to Mindbodygreen.com):
1. Casein + WPC
These are also known as whey protein concentrate and caseinate. WPC’s and casein protein sources are high in lactose, which can often cause bloating, flatulence, and gastrointestinal distress in some people.
Food sensitivities to gluten can elevate inflammation in some people and cause a range of health problems including hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, fatigue, mood swings, and headaches.
These ingredients can raise glycemic load, which may contribute to fat storage. They can also cause gastrointestinal distress in some people.
4. Artificial sweeteners
Common artificial sweeteners used are sucralose, splenda (955), aspartamine, equal, NutraSweet (951), or saccharin (954). Several negative side effects can come from ingesting these unnatural ingredients, including headaches, migraines, gastric distress, depression, and weight gain.
5. Skim milk powders/milk solids
Skim milk powders and milk solids are often used as a cheap bulking agent in less quality powders. They are high in lactose sugars, which can cause bloating, gastrointestinal distress, constipation, and loose stools. The protein is poorly absorbed into the body, making it harder for you to reap all of its benefits.
6. Soy protein
Most soy proteins come from genetically-modified sources with high pesticide use, and contain the chemical compound phyto-oestrogen, which may cause hormonal disturbances and suppressed thyroid function in some people.
7. Vegetable oils and fats
These ingredients are often added to many weight loss and protein supplements to increase richness. However, these fats are often derived from hydrogenated sources that contain trans fats, which are thought to be more harmful than saturated fats.
Trans fats raise levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol.
8. Thickeners and gums
Thickeners and gums, including xanthan gum, are manufactured from soy or corn and can cause bloating and gas.
Fillers are often added to bulk up the protein and save money for the manufacturer. Some fillers include ingredients such as coconut flour or psyllium, which can cause gastric distress in women who are susceptible to digestive issues, such as constipation or bloating.
Adding to the list (from Livestrong.com), artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame or saccharin, or sugar alcohols, which may appear on the ingredient panel as sorbitol or maltitol.
Bottom line as I’ve said before and will say again. Do the research! Find reputable sources. Don’t just buy those methaphorical magic beans.
Be careful, read labels, research, and talk to your doctor or health professional. Take care of your body both inside and out. It’s the only one you’ve got.