San Francisco, CA – November 7, 2013 – Consumers will spend over $8 billion this year on protein supplements promising to help them add muscle, lose weight, and feel healthier. But many of them are unwittingly adding something else to their diets – spoonfuls of excess sodium.
Labdoor recently purchased popular protein powders and ready-to-drink (RTD) formulations and performed analytical chemistry analyses to find out what’s really inside.
Among the 50 protein supplements analyzed by Labdoor, 47 were found to contain higher sodium content than their Nutrition Facts claims. On average, the 50 protein powders and drinks exceeded these claims by an alarming 91.7%. Cytosport Muscle Milk RTD was the worst offender, understating its actual sodium content by over 350%.
“These errors go way beyond simple ‘manufacturing variance’,” said Neil Thanedar, CEO of Labdoor. “It is clear that supplement companies have chosen to misrepresent their health claims. And without any pre-market regulation by the FDA, they have gotten away with it until now.”
Protein shakes have long been a staple among professional bodybuilders and athletes. However, supplement companies are increasingly targeting men and women of all ages, with new brands advertising weight loss, meal replacement, and muscle gain benefits.
“Many protein powders promise rapid muscle growth. Excess sodium at these levels can cause significant bloating, and may temporarily trick consumers into believing the marketing hype,” Thanedar said.
There is some good news though – for the first time ever at Labdoor, all protein powders tested in this batch passed heavy metals screens for arsenic, lead, cadmium, bismuth, antimony, and silver (below 1 part per million).
“Many of the positive benefits of protein supplementation, including muscle gain, appetite suppression, and weight loss, are supported by significant scientific evidence. However, without an accurate understanding of the actual content of their protein supplements, many consumers have been forced to risk their health on dishonest products,” Thanedar noted.
All of Labdoor’s product testing is performed in FDA- and USDA-registered analytical chemistry laboratories. Research funding is provided through direct consumer purchases on Labdoor.com, affiliate links, and angel investments from Mark Cuban, Rock Health, Band of Angels, and others.
Labdoor’s full report on protein supplements is available at https://labdoor.com/rankings/protein.
- Header Image: Nomadic Lass (Flickr)