Do You Really Know What’s in Your Protein?

It is not unusual to find unwanted ingredients mixed in with your protein powder.  There have been numerous cases including the one pictured below where people have found high doses of lactose (and other contaminants) within their protein powder leading to allergic reactions and other unwanted harmful effects. Read more to find out what we … Continue reading Do You Really Know What’s in Your Protein?

By Strength Editorial Team July 1, 2019
Posted in  Supplement Knowledge


It is not unusual to find unwanted ingredients mixed in with your protein powder.  There have been numerous cases including the one pictured below where people have found high doses of lactose (and other contaminants) within their protein powder leading to allergic reactions and other unwanted harmful effects. Read more to find out what we were shocked was found in this big brand protein….

Supplements aren’t regulated like drugs. Their makers don’t have to prove that they’re safe or effective. Let’s talk about some of the pitfalls of choosing the wrong brand of protein powder and how to avoid them.

We want to draw attention to some of the details (sorry it can be a little dry)…

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education (“DSHEA”), is a 1994 statute of United States Federal legislation which defines and regulates dietary supplements. Under the act, supplements are effectively regulated by the FDA for Good Manufacturing Practices”.

“By law (DSHEA), the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that its dietary supplement products are safe before they are marketed. Unlike drug products that must be proven safe and effective for their intended use before marketing, there are no provisions in the law for FDA to “approve” dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer.

This fact shows how many proteins entering the market can contain inferior ingredients and that are not vigorously tested for quality.

Manufacturing facilities have different standards and often can lead to production runs of multiple proteins on the same production line, causing mixing of formulations and ingredients that can be harmful to the consumer.

Unfortunately, despite what you may think, many protein powders do not always contain in them what is promoted in their marketing and on their labels.  What’s more, they may contain ingredients that are NOT listed and could be potentially dangerous or harmful…

For athletes, it’s a particularly bad problem: some sports supplements carry an extra kick from drugs that aren’t on the label, and that could disqualify athletes under doping rules if those drugs show up on a test.  IF you are an athlete and have to be concerned with doping rules look for products that are NSF certified for sport.  NSF certification ensures that the product has gone through rigorous and expensive quality controls measures and testing AND is certified banned substance free.

In fact, some meathead working out of his parents basement could likely find a smaller unscrupulous manufacturer to create a small run of protein powder for him and have his own protein powder brand inside four weeks.  Some of  our team of industry experts at have over twenty years of industry specific experience and are true industry insiders.  We have heard horror stories of inferior protein powder products…  Everything from use of lower quality proteins such as soy, rice or even gelatin to replace the much more expensive whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.  We are even aware of instances where some companies have spiked their powders with illegal steroids in an effort to increase efficacy and gain market share. Our protein is tested often for quality control and holds the highest certifications and standards in the industry.

This is why it is imperative that you do your research and choose only protein powders from reputable brands that place importance on product quality and deliver on their marketing and label promises…   So how do you do this??  Here’s some insight into how you, the hard training athlete can ensure that your hard earned protein powder budget does not do to waste.


Buy only from reputable companies.  How do you tell if a company is reputable??  One way is the number of years that they have been in business.  If a company has been selling protein powder for over twenty years there is a good chance that they are not cutting corners when it comes to product quality…. Although this is NOT always the case.  Some large, well-established companies like Designer Protein, CVS and Giant Sports have been caught “spiking” their products with inferior protein sources to reduce their costs and thus increase their profit. Look out for certifications and transparent labeling, chances are if you have not heard of an ingredient on the label you shouldn’t be taking it .

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when buying:

  • To start out, buy 100% whey protein…  this is the highest quality protein (biological value) when compared to other powders and thus a great option for building and repairing muscle.
  • When choosing your protein powder, you want to select a protein that has minimal other “fillers”…  Low carbs, low sugar, low sodium, low fat…  the higher the percentage of protein the better.  You can find this information on the label.
  • Don’t always shop on price, it’s your body and deserves to be treated right. You can substitute price on a chocolate bar but the fuel for your body like protein should not be compromised for a few extra dollars
  • Like the flavor?  Then buy in bulk or on subscription as you will often be able to get a better price.

So you are asking yourself what he found in his Protein… The truth is scary and we want you to hear this…

We recently opened up a pack of protein (one that we can not name, but can say it is from a supposed “reputable company”) we found traces of fertilized plants… yes that is right we were eating pesticides in our protein. We could not believe this to be the case but we went through vigorous testing protocols to confirm this was the case. Not only was this dangerous but it was a direct violation of labeling laws. Be careful what you are putting into your body

A absolutely horrifying experience was recently found in which a consumer found a rat in their protein… check out the image below? How does this happen?

Choose a product that is one hundred percent whey protein… grassfed whey is the ultimate when it comes to purity and quality for whey protein.  Look for companies that use third-party lab analysis, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification and put a focus on product quality and efficacy.  The higher the percentage of protein in the product the more filtered and pure it is.  Athletes and those concerned with banned substances and contaminants should look for products that are NSF CERTIFIED.

At the end of the day, do your research, educate yourself and take the time when it comes to choosing the protein powder that’s right for YOU.

Now read this