The Truth About Protein Powders

The truth about protein powders

Australia, America, and the UK spend billions of dollars on nutritional products with the most popular being protein powders. They are purported to be the magical ingredient for building muscle mass and also assist with fat loss and weight loss. Health and fitness practitioners abundantly promote its usage but is this another out of control money-making fad or is there truth to all the highly-publicised claims?

Many protein powders unfortunately contain MSG, as well as a multitude of additives, sweeteners, and other chemicals! So it is not really the health food it is often thought to be.


MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a flavor enhancer and preservative often added to processed food, and yes, protein powder is a processed food! MSG is the salt form of the amino acid glutamic acid. Glutamic acid (and not MSG) is found naturally in our bodies and in food protein sources. MSG is made when a salt combines with a hydrolysed glutamic acid molecule, which occurs during many food manufacturing processes.

Unfortunately, many protein powders contain hidden sources of MSG. How do companies get away with not listing MSG on the ingredients label? If an ingredient is less than 99% pure glutamate, then the FDA does not require the manufacturers to list MSG on the label! If MSG is produced as a result of protein hydrolysis or a byproduct of protein processing, the FDA does not require MSG to appear on the label. Moreover, a product labeled “No MSG” may still have MSG or free glutamic acid as a result of protein processing, as long as pure MSG was not added. The truth is that protein-hydrolysis-based glutamates or MSG are found in just about every highly processed food. Even “health foods.”

Click on the following link to see a full list of Hidden names for MSG and free glutamic acid

If you feel you cannot live without your protein powder (I come from a weight-training background so I know protein powders are like oxygen to most body builders) then look for one that is ‘undenatured’ or ‘cold processed’. Most protein powders are exposed to extreme heat when they are being processed. Protein powders contain the normally healthy glutamic acid, which becomes a problem when it is exposed to heat. When protein powder is manufactured, it is generally exposed to extreme heat, which converts glutamic acid into free glutamic acid or MSG.

Look at the product’s ingredients list. Do a bit of research and check to identify what it actually contains. Many have neurotoxins and other undesirable additives. If it has a long ingredients list full of confusing names then avoid it! Also try to find a protein powder where the milk comes from organic grass-fed animals. Grass-fed milk has an impressive 5X more conjugated linoleic fatty acid and contains more vitamins than its grain-fed competitor. Lastly, a protein “concentrate” is healthier than a protein “isolate” which are devoid of many nutrients.

I personally do not recommend taking protein powders and have never done so myself, BUT if you must consume them then be selective and do your homework. I have researched a few and the following “seem” to be healthier options for those who cannot do without them: One World Whey, Upgraded Whey Protein Powder, Mercola Pure Power Protein, and Miracle Whey. Unfortunately, many protein powders contain forms of soy and whey protein that will always contain processed free glutamic acid so it can be difficult to find a protein powder that does not potentially contain them. So focus on one that has lower concentrations of glutamates.

“At the end of the day protein supplements (including bars and drinks) are a processed food product and many of the ridiculous claims made on the ones with a whole load of extras added have no scientific backing. Often a glass of milk would be just as good.” Dr Joanna McMillan – Dietitian

Try not to be conned by products where the marketing is ahead of the research. My tip? Eat your protein from proper food sources and keep them as natural as possible.

Is your comfort zone working for you?

Is your comfort zone working for you?

I often hear people tell me they feel flat and need someone to help motivate them – but motivation comes from within. When we hear something “motivational” it is because the words resonate deep within us and we relate to what is being said in such a way that it drives us to action. The “trick” to staying driven is to frequently seek out things that push us forward. WE need to do the work on a daily basis. Remind ourselves “why” we chose our goals and if we have sparked within ourselves a strong enough desire….. then we act. Ask yourself, “Is what I am doing right now WORKING for me?” If the answer is “no” then do something that DOES work for you. I know it sounds as though I am over-simplifying things but it is just learning a new habit and this takes a little time and persistence. We need to shift our mindset so that it works for us, whether it be for weight-loss, health, fitness, or just to take that much needed time out and rest our minds.

A work colleague of mine read me an excerpt from “Baron Baptise: 40 Days to Personal Revolution” and I thought it was perfect for today’s post, and I also recommend you visit the website I hope these words find their way with you as they did with me.

“Law 3: Step out of your comfort zone.

The question for anyone on a transformation journey is not “Will I survive if I step out of my comfort zone?” The real question is “Will I survive my comfort zone?” When we choose our comfort zone over growth we get stuck, because ultimately we are either awakening and growing or numbing and soaking downward. Life is never static-we either grow or we die. A comfort zone is a state of mind, body and soul that we reach out to when we find ourselves unable to deal with the pressures of the world. It’s a place we can go to coast in life and not have to face the challenges that arise. The doorway to the comfort zone is anything that affects us emotionally – confusion, anger, fear or the primal need to escape. But by escaping into a comfort zone, we render ourselves vulnerable to all kinds of sabotaging behaviour, addiction and stagnation. Stepping out of our comfort zone means dropping the patterns and stories of the past. Our patterns don’t have to go on forever; we can leave the past behind us if we are truly willing. If we don’t step out of the known – the comfort zone – we bring yesterday’s limited thinking into the present, therefore dooming the present to be just like the past. We will keep repeating and doing the same things again and again, getting the same results and then complain “Nothing ever changes in my life”. We gather evidence to justify all the things that we bring into the present with us. We seek proof of why we can’t change, and all the reasons why we won’t let go of our dramas, stresses, resentments, fears or self-destructive ways of being. So many of us would rather cling to the familiar than risk the unknown. But we must push forward in order to grow. Often stepping out of our comfort zone has more to do with the simplicity of forgiveness and self – honesty than it does with a grandiose breaking out of some box.

Often we veer away from taking the journey inward and therefore out of our comfort zone not realising that the way out is in. Once we’ve gone inward, we can then step out beyond our comfort zone and find the courage to flow from our hearts. Going out on the ledge of our existence we have no choice but to be real and drop the lies and phony stuff. It can be tempting to keep our masks firmly in place, maintain the status quo and hold firmly to the boundaries of our comfort zone. Life is about letting go of everything and anything that blocks wisdom from shining through. We cannot transform without leaving our comfort zone; there’s no secret escape from this basic law.”