Protein Powders and Supplements – Necessity or Casualty?


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Recent passing away of Merely 40 years old, Fitness Freak and Bollywood star ‘Sidharth Shukla’ has shaken the world and has left many of us in shock. Cardiologists too are continuously talking about deaths in younger ages. 

So let’s deliberate a bit on this. 

Fit Doesn’t Mean Healthy

This has to be clear to everyone. 

Going to the gym can make you fit but are you healthy from within? I am not saying “don’t go to the gym,” I am merely saying you have to be healthy from within. Remember, 80% of being healthy depends on your diet, lifestyle and 20% on your exercise. Most of the people, especially younger generation, these days are following their idols and trending towards gymming, 6 pack abs and body like their fitness gurus have. 

Protein powder on a white background

In a hurry to achieve that, they are swaying towards different kinds of supplements, protein powders, pills and what not. Unfortunately, most of the countries do not regulate the supplement industry and this means, we don’t know what we are consuming in these powders and pills, if the information on the label is correct or not and have the clinical trials been undergone or not?

A little research goes a long way in guiding us but most people just go with the trend without even thinking what they can consume.

Hidden Sugars

That not only spike your sugars but can also lead to insulin resistance, diabetes and many other diseases. 

Hidden Ingredients

That can cause major damage to kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and heart. 

These powders and pills have their own dark sides – An excerpt from the studies conducted in 2010 and in 2018 show that these supplements contain heavy metals like ARSENIC 

“Industry experts and nutritionists have debated the overall safety of protein powders for years (F-Factor 20/20 Fiber/Protein Powder being the most recent product to come under scrutiny). A 2018 report from a nonprofit called Clean Label Project found heavy metals like arsenic and lead in many leading protein powders. Plant-based powders had more contamination than those with whey and egg protein, and organic powders actually had higher levels of contamination than conventional. (It’s important to note that the Clean Label Project sells “approved” products from their site.) Tests done in 2010 by Consumer Reports showed similar results.”

In another study, “Shou J, Chen PJ, Xiao WH. The Effects of BCAAs on Insulin Resistance in Athletes. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2019;65(5):383-389. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.65.383. PMID: 31666474.”

“Epidemiological studies have shown that increased circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). This may result from altered energy metabolism or dietary habits.”

People consume these considering them as a one stop shop for majority of their nutritional needs to have that body of their dreams but we don’t know their side effects, interactions, contradictions of these with prescription or over the counter medications. 

Do We Really Need Protein Powder Supplements?

The answer is – NO. 

We have had Wrestlers, MMA Fighters in the past when these didn’t even exist and they had great physique with healthy food only. So, why do we need them now? Because they’re a trend? Easy to take in the form of pills or bars? Because they are available? Or because they are promoted by fitness gurus?

If everyone knew about the harmful effects, no-one would even consider taking them. In the last few years we may notice the increasing rates in:

  • Infertility 
  • Birth defects 
  • Cardiovascular diseases 
  • Diabetes 
  • Gastrointestinal diseases 
  • Metabolic syndromes

the guy is holding protein powder in a measure cup and pills in his palms

We can’t blame just stress and environmental factors. Stressors might be different but each age and each era has had their own share and types of stresses. So what’s changed?

  • Our diet
  • Our lifestyle 
  • Increased consumption of protein powders, pills and processed food

Have you experienced that when you eat something, for eg, McDonalds and then you keep on craving this food day after day? That’s not only because of highly processed foods and high GI but also due to the additives in them which addict us to them. 

In conclusion, I’d like to emphasize the importance of healthy food, cooked in a healthy way without preservatives and additives if we really want to be fit and healthy. 

Remember, it’s important to be fit but it’s more important to be healthy and there is a world of difference between being fit and being healthy. 

Author’s Bio

Dr. Poonam Dua – Celebrity Lifestyle Health & Wellness Consultant. Using Nobel Prize Awarded Techniques to Reverse Diseases with Food. Reach her at

Tel: +61421972753