What Protein Powers Brands May be Toxic According to the Research

Fit shirtless man and woman about to take a drink of out of protein mixers, questioning if their protein is toxic.

Is your protein powder toxic? Are you worried about what is in your protein powder or if it is even healthy?  Here are the brands that produce safe and potentially toxic protein powders.

The Study

Clean Label Project conducted a study on 134 powders from 52 brands and found that several of these brands sell protein powders that contain toxins that can harm you and your health.  The study tested for 130 toxins and contaminants, including antibiotics, heavy metals,  pesticide residues, and BPA/BPS (plasticizers).  The lab found high levels of BPA, heavy metals, pesticides, and among other toxins associated with disease and cancer.  The study focused on over 130 toxins, testing both plant and animal-based protein powders.  Additionally, more than half of the protein powders had detectable levels of Bisphenol-A or BPA.  BPA is a chemical linked to cancer and infertility that is used to manufacture some plastics. 

Organic Products and Plant-Based Proteins are Some of the Worst

Surprisingly, powders labeled as “Organic” were not found to be better or safer.  In fact, some of the highest toxicity levels were found in brands labeling their protein as organic.  The organic powders tested in the study had more than twice the average heavy metals than non-organic labeled powders.  Specifically, the levels of arsenic, lead, and cadmium were higher in organic powders.  Additionally, almost 75 percent of plant-based powders tested positive for the heavy metal lead.

How to Choose the Best Protein Powder

Clean Label Project provides a break down for each of the 134 Powders they tested from the 52 brands.  They give an overall rating for each protein tested.  Not all products from the same brand were found to be in the same rating category.  Many Brands have protein powders that have ratings in all categories.  The overall rating provided by Clean Label Project is either 5, 3 or 1 stars; they do not give overall ratings in between.

Clean Label Project - 2018 Protein Powder Testing

Brands Broken Down by the Clean Label Project Ratings

Bellow, we have grouped the 52 brands tested into ratings based on where their individual products fell out in the Clean Label Project Study.  The brands that only had 5-star ratings at the top, you may want to stick to these brands. The brands with the highest protein powder toxin levels are the 1-star brands at the bottom of the page.

5-Star Rated Brands

  • Biochem
  • Bulksupplements.com
  • Evolve
  • Met-Rx
  • Momentous Absolutezero Veracruz
  • MRM
  • Musclegen
  • Naked Nutrition
  • Puori
  • Pure Protein
  • TGS Nutrition
  • Wilderness Poets
  • Universal Nutrition

5 and 3-Star Rated Brands

  • Jarrow Formulas
  • Jay Robb
  • Natural Factors
  • Performix
  • Reserveage Nutrition
  • Tera’s

3-Star Rated Brands

  • Designer Protein Aria
  • EAS
  • Labrada
  • Metagenics
  • Muscle Milk
  • Natures Plus
  • Paleo Protein
  • Plantfusion
  • Raw
  • Sunwarrior
  • The Genius Brand
  • Vital

5, 3 and 1-Star Rated Brands

  • Ancient Nutrition
  • Body Fortress
  • Bodylogix
  • BSN
  • Optimum Nutrition

5 and 1-Star Rated Brands

  • Nature’s Best
  • Nature’s Bounty
  • NOW Sports

3 and 1-Star Rated Brands

  • Aloha
  • Beverly International
  • Garden Of Life
  • Musclepharm
  • Quest
  • Vega

1-Star Rated Brands

  • 360Cut
  • Dymatize
  • Jym Supplement Science
  • Nutiva
  • Orgain
  • Sunwarrior

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