Food and Nutrition

Tests of Protein Powders and Drinks Show Some Lead Contamination

| by ConsumerLab

New tests by found most protein powders, shakes and drinks to meet their nutrient claims, but two products were contaminated with lead (6 to 18 mcg per day) and a third product contained four extra grams of sugar. The report provides test results for twenty products including those used for body building, meal replacement, sports recovery/endurance, and dieting.

"What sets these products apart from other types of supplements and energy foods is protein — typically about 10 to 30 grams per serving," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of Adults need about 60 grams of protein per day and more if physically active. “Fortunately, none of the products were found to contain melamine, a cheap and toxic substitute for protein, but lead contamination and undeclared sugars were an issue with some products.”

The new report became available today and provides results and comparisons for twenty products — seventeen selected by and three that passed's Voluntary Certification Program. Products include those made with whey protein (concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates), soy protein, and rice protein.  Reviewed are products from ABB (Mass Recovery), Allmax, BioPlex Nutrition, Body Fortress, BSN Syntha-6, Cytomax, EAS, Endurox, Genisoy, Gold Standard, Jay Robb, Metagenics, Nature’s Plus (Spiru-Tein), NutriBiotic, Power Bar, Reliv, Slim-Fast (Optima), Solgar, TwinLab, and Universal Nutrition.

The report also provides information regarding nutritional requirements and the relative pros and cons of the various types of protein used in these supplements. is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.