What’s In Your Protein Powder??

A picture of a bodybuilder flexing his left bicep and looking at it.

Wanna get jacked? Drink protein!

Wanna get stronger? Drink protein!

Gotta have protein! At least a million grams/day!

If you don’t drink protein you’re wasting your workout!

…I’m sure you’ve heard it all and probably just in one muscle magazine.

Regardless of the fact that Johnny Juicehead typically endorses a protein powder claiming that it’s all you’ll need to get strong and muscular (when we all know he’s taking more than just a couple scoops of protein a day), there is actually a lot of solid research proving the effectiveness of a high protein diet.

However, have you ever stopped and thought about what you may be putting in your body?

This is a bit of a dated report (2010) but I remember the first time I saw it. I was shocked to say the least. (Here’s a link to the report.)

A screenshot of a Consumer Reports study on protein powders.

It’s kind of blurry, so again, check out the link above to view the report. It shows a variety of heavy metals found in some well known protein powders and pre-workout mixes.

Big deal, right? What are a few micrograms of heavy metals going to do to me?

Well, let me tell you…

For those of you who don’t know, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis over the Summer of 2009. Back then I was still training as a competitive powerlifter and was regularly ingesting various protein powders.

Anyway, with the UC comes lots of blood work. Fortunately it was all coming back normal for the first few months.

However, during the winter I switched to a different protein powder and that’s when things started to get scary.

The Time My Liver Almost Quit On Me

A month or two later I had some routine blood work done and was pretty startled. My Doctor informed me that 2 of my liver enzymes were 3 times above the normal range!

He explained to me that I’d have to get weekly blood work done to monitor the situation because if things were to get worse, it could mean that my liver was failing.

I went about getting my weekly blood work done like a good boy.

And each week I got bad news from the Doctor- the enzymes were still very high.

After a few weeks my Dr. suggested I stop taking the protein I was using. So I did.

However, the next week there was still no improvement.

In fact, it got to the point in the 8th week when my Doctor told me that if my enzymes didn’t show improvement by the 10th week that I’d have to get a biopsy.

Fortunately it all worked out in the end. On the blood work I got in the 10th week, the enzyme levels started decreasing.

Is Your Protein Powder Killing Your Liver??

Listen I’m not here to point fingers or create a conspiracy.

Instead of blaming a cause, I’d like to suggest a solution: Strengthlete (formerly Heavy Athletics Nutrition).

I’ve been using 1-2 scoops a day of both the Pro Blend and Whey for almost a year now. This, after not using any supplement other than a vitamin for close to 2 years.

And as you may have guessed, I’ve had some blood work taken during that time period (at least 6 that I can think of).

The results- everything is in normal ranges.

Keep in mind too that since the Liver scare, I started a new drug called Mercaptopurine which is an immune suppressant (UC is an auto-immune disease). This drug is typically given to cancer patients to lower their immune systems so that Chemotherapy can be more effective. So as you can imagine, my Liver is a little more sensitive than it was when I was initially being treated.

Still, everything has been great.

A bag of Heavy Athletics Nutrition protein powder.

So, if you’re worried about what you may be putting into your body.

If you can’t pronounce the ingredients in your protein powder.

Or if you’re just looking for possibly the best tasting protein available.

Check out Strengthlete when it comes time to restock.

PS- I’m required by law to state whether or not I’m “in bed” (receive free product or money in exchange for promotion) with HAN, or any other product or service I endorse on this site. I’m not. Joe and Sam (the two owners) are genuinely good guys who make a great product and I highly suggest you check it out.

Related Posts:

Your Ultimate Guide To Recovery

Gaining Weight In-Season

Best Post Workout Meal

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion

Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.


Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.


Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.


2 Comments. Leave new

  • Shane Casserly
    January 9, 2013 5:56 pm

    you also have to realize that the tests were done with a 3 servings each, which is a ridiculous amount in one go, but spread out evenly through out the day all that maagnesium and lead will be flushed out

    • That’s true with the 3 small servings tested. Although I’m not 100% sure on how well things like that are flushed out of your system; definitely something worth looking up but hopefully that’s the case. Thanks for leaving a comment, Shane.


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