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The Horrible Stuff In Protein Powder (Is it in yours?)

My favorite protein powder got recalled. And you’re never going to guess why…

Unlike most recalls, it wasn’t contaminated with an allergen… And they also didn’t find some deadly bacteria in it…

Nope, it was much worse.

Okay, maybe not worse, but I was completely disgusted.

They found rat droppings in it. Gross, right?!!

This was years ago, before I really got deep into investigating food. I’ve since learned that rat droppings are not the only crazy, disgusting (and super unhealthy) substance found in protein powder.

After I did a deep dive into protein powders, I realized that most of them were full of nasty things that I never want to eat.

Which is really surprising for something that’s considered a health food, right?

Almost everyone has a tub of protein powder in their house, do you? Go grab it and let’s go over what to watch out for…

Top 15 substances to avoid in protein powder:

1. Soy Protein Concentrate or Isolate

Over 90% of the soy produced in this country is GMO and contaminated with Roundup herbicide. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s another reason why you should avoid it:  

When soy is isolated to just its protein state, it becomes severely denatured and can cause hormonal disruptions because of the excessive amount of estrogen contained in it. Soy also contains an abundance of phytic acid, which leaches calcium and other vital minerals from your body. There are healthier forms of plant-based protein, which I’ll get into later in this post!

2. Whey Protein Isolate 

Whey protein isolate is highly processed, and that’s why I suggest you avoid it. Here’s how they do it:

Most whey protein isolates start from ultra-pasteurized “Monsanto Milk” raised on GMOs, antibiotics, and other drugs. This milk is then exposed to acid processing, which strips out alkalizing minerals and naturally occurring vitamins and lipids.

This processing makes whey protein isolate overly acidifying in the body. And, chronically consuming whey protein isolate without appropriate balance of alkalizing foods can acidify your body, which over time can increase your vulnerability to degenerative disease.

3. Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavors are chemical mixtures made with synthetic (not natural) ingredients in a lab. They’re produced by fractional distillation and chemical manipulation of various chemicals like crude oil or coal tar. Artificial vanilla flavor can be made from wood pulp. Want your protein drink to taste like strawberries? Blend it with some real strawberries!

4. Natural Flavors

Natural Flavor is practically the exact same thing as Artificial Flavor, but it’s derived from substances found in nature (plants, animals, etc). But that’s not all! Flavors typically contain preservatives, emulsifiers, solvents and other “incidental additives”, which can make up 80% or so of the formulation, even the “natural” ones. None of these are disclosed on the ingredient list. All of the top 10 plant-based protein powders on Amazon contain natural flavors, so this is hard to avoid… but I’ll show you how, keep reading!

5. Refined Sugar

Sugar is addictive, makes you fat, tired, depressed, age faster, makes your skin dull, weakens immunity and when consumed in excess causes all sorts of diseases. It’s added to protein powders in many different forms – you’ll see ingredients listed like corn syrup solids, fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, and sometimes just sugar. The good news? You don’t need sugar to make a protein drink taste sweet. Real food does the trick too… read on for more info on that!

6. Artificial Sweeteners

Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose are the two most common found in protein powders. Although they have no calories, research finds they stimulate your appetite, increase sugar cravings, and promote fat storage and weight gain. Both of these additives have been linked to cancer in animal studies too, so it’s really not worth the risk.

7. Erythritol

To make erythritol most manufacturers start with genetically engineered (GMO) corn and put it through a complex fermentation process to come up with chemically pure erythritol. Sugar alcohols like this can harm healthy gut bacteria and function, which leads to a whole host of diseases and if you’re trying to lose weight or stay slim, keeping your gut healthy is vital! Erythritol is also known to cause diarrhea and stomach upset.

8. Carrageenan

This thickener and emulsifier is widely known to cause digestive problems and intestinal inflammation. It’s also linked to cancer, as tests have found as much as 25% degraded carrageenan in “food-grade carrageenan” (the kind used in protein powder and other foods). Degraded carrageenan is classified as “Possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

9. Cellulose

This anti-caking agent and thickener is usually made from wood, because it’s cheap. Research links consumption of this additive (not naturally occurring when found in whole food) to weight gain, inflammation and digestive problems.

10. Vegetable Oils

Refined vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil are added to many protein powders as a defoaming and thickening agent. These oils go through an insane amount of processing with chemical solvents, steamers, neutralizers, de-waxers, bleach and deodorizers, and unless organic, are extracted with the neurotoxin hexane – it’s literally bathed in it.

11. Brown Rice

Brown rice is often contaminated with arsenic, a highly toxic substance classified as “Carcinogenic to Humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Arsenic is even found in organic brown rice, so you need to be very careful about the source and make sure it’s been tested. You’ll find brown rice in many plant-based protein powders, but there are safer plant-based protein sources, which I’ll tell ya all about in a minute! 

12. Synthetic Vitamins

Vitamins are healthy, right? Not if they are made in a lab from a variety of sources like coal tar, petroleum or GMOs. These vitamins differ from their natural counterparts, in that they aren’t believed to be absorbed by your body as well as naturally present vitamins that you get from whole food. You’ll see these listed on the ingredient list like: Vitamin A Palmitate,Thiamine (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), and Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C). Want vitamins in your shake? Blend in some leafy greens and berries. Real food is always best.

13. BPA

Most protein powders are packaged in plastic tubs that contain toxins like bisphenol A (BPA), which can leach into the food. This was evidenced in recent tests that found BPA in 55% of protein powders. This substance is linked to birth defects, cancers, and neurological disorders. What kind of packaging does your protein powder have?

14. Pesticides

Most protein powders on the market are not certified organic. That means they likely contain GMO ingredients and most definitely are tainted with synthetic pesticides that are potentially toxic with long-term exposure. Pesticides used on conventional farms are hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, or reproductive toxins which are strongly linked to many diseases and health issues. The whole basis of organic farming is to produce food without the need to use toxic pesticides. Crops are managed in a way that prevents the need to use these risky chemicals. This is why choosing certified organic protein powder is very important.  

15. Heavy Metals

Heavy metals (like lead, cadmium, and mercury) accumulate in the body when you are repeatedly exposed to them and are highly toxic, particularly to the brain. This isn’t an ingredient that you’ll find on an ingredient list because heavy metals are substances that contaminate ingredients, similar to pesticides. Certain ingredients are more likely to be contaminated with heavy metals, and plant-based protein sources are often contaminated… and not always labeled as such on the packaging. I know this from personal first-hand experience (keep reading, as I’ll tell you what happened!)

What’s the best brand of protein powder on the market?

Remember how I told you they found rat droppings in my old favorite protein powder? At the time I remember thinking, “Maybe one day I’ll make my own protein powder.”

Well… That day has come!

Truvani Plant-Based Protein Powder is here…

Truvani’s new protein powder is made with 6 simple ingredients…

In this short video, I explain what makes these ingredients so special…

Our unique protein blend of organic pea, hemp seed, and pumpkin seed protein creates a complete plant-based protein that is easy to digest and is smooth (not chalky and lumpy like the other brands!)

We also avoid the plastic tubs that other protein powders use to avoid BPA contamination.

Let me tell you, creating this clean protein blend has been an exhaustive process… it was near impossible to find plant-based protein sources that met my standards. Even though so many of you asked me to create a protein powder, I actually thought we’d never be able to create this product. Here’s why…

We have strict criteria each ingredient supplier must meet before we’ll consider using them and then we hold them accountable by independently testing their ingredients. For instance, our ingredients need to be not only be certified organic and non-GMO, but they need to pass heavy metal testing as well. 

We reached out to 52 ingredient suppliers and most of them failed our initial questioning. The few that did pass sent over a sample for testing… and each source failed the heavy metals test.

And there was one ingredient in particular that gave us the most trouble… Organic Pea Protein. Every sample was coming back contaminated with LEAD.

I couldn’t believe it.

This was a COMMON ingredient found in many other Plant Based Protein Powders. Why was it so hard to find a clean version?

I felt so defeated. Pea protein was essential to the protein blend I wanted to create and so we kept searching and testing. I’m happy to say that my tenacity paid off! We FINALLY found a pea protein that passed. Can you imagine how relieved I was? 

And, you’ll NEVER guess why it passed!

I explain how our pea protein is different and passed the heavy metals test right here. 

The bottom line is: No one tests ingredients like Truvani does.

And that’s good news because that means our protein powder is the cleanest you’ll find anywhere.

And unlike other clean protein powders you may have tried in the past, it tastes GREAT– even when it’s just mixed with water!

But don’t take my word for it. Here are real reviews from people who had the opportunity to taste it:

“The fact that my 2 year old loves it should say everything about this product! He kept asking for “mo.” – Corinn T.

“I’d give 2 thumbs up to this chocolate protein powder – all natural, very minimal ingredients, no artificial sweeteners and yet it tasted sweet and delicious. I’d definitely be happy to drink this for breakfast every morning!” – Stefani M.

“I’ve tried a lot of vegan protein powders and I am very impressed with Truvani protein powder. It taste great, mixes well and the texture is nice. I’ve had protein powders that tasted chalky before and was pleasantly surprised to find that this one is not chalky or gritty at all.” – Melinda A.

I know it tastes great. And that’s why we also offer a no questions asked “Love The Taste” Guarantee. Meaning, if you try our Protein Powder, and dislike the taste, just email our team and refund your order. Easy.

It’s fantastic in recipes too and when you place an order for the new Truvani Plant-Based Protein Powder – It’s not just for smoothies and protein drinks. I’ll show you how to use it to bake protein muffins, pancakes, and even desserts. 

When you order this week, we will send you my new eBook “23 Positive Habits for a Healthy Life” when you buy a pack of Truvani Protein. It’s full of tips and recipes to help you eat healthy every day!

This free eBook is available when you order any Truvani Protein here.

Remember, we don’t compromise on ingredients. I created Truvani on the belief that we should have real food without added chemicals, products without toxins, and labels without lies.

Simple, really. You shouldn’t have to compromise on health. Or taste, for that matter. Other companies claim to be “clean” or “natural.” At Truvani, we really mean it.

Our new Plant Based Protein is:

  • USDA Organic
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free
  • Free of stevia
  • Free of additives or artificial flavors
  • 100% plant based (made from a unique blend of pea, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein for a complete amino acid profile)
  • Made from real protein (NOT an isolate)
  • Easy to mix – even in just water
  • Good for your cardiovascular health, a strong immune system, muscle growth, a healthy metabolism, and youthful skin

Lock in the lowest price and order our new Plant Based Protein powder with free eBook here 

If you know anyone who uses protein powder, please send them this Top 15 list of what to watch out for… it’s crazy that some brands are passing off their products as healthy shakes when they are anything but!



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24 responses to “The Horrible Stuff In Protein Powder (Is it in yours?)

  1. As I don’t really use protein powders, I will wait on this. The broth powder will get more use in my house. I also prefer vanilla over chocolate. I know there’s vanilla in the powder but it’s mainly a chocolate protein powder. Maybe down the road I might consider this as I have tasted pea milk when considering a non-dairy alternative. I use cashew milk instead.

  2. Hello, Vani! Thank you for all you do! I noticed you say no stevia in your new protein powder. Is Stevia bad for you? I’m really confused about sugars, sweeteners and I have been using stevia a lot as a sugar alternative. Can you shed some light?

    Thank you

      1. Yeah but I’ve found that Monk Fruit makes me constantly gassy after any protein I consume that contains that ingredient and also increases my appetite even more

    1. Free of stevia
      Free of additives or artificial flavors whats wrong with stevia?

  3. Your product looks sounds amazing and I bet it is. Right now the cost is a major factor and I just can’t see myself at this time purchasing a somewhat small pack of protein powder for over $50. Right now I’m spending about $40 for a 2lb pack of protein. It may not be as clean as yours but it’s as close as I can get right now. Hopefully your product will see the price come down a little I’ll be keeping my eye open in case it does in any case good luck with all that you do.

  4. I agree! I love Food Babe and appreciate all she does….but the price on this seems a bit much and probably out of reach for most people these days.

  5. Trying to place a one time order but the shipping doesn’t appear. I live in N.Y. if that helps. Very interested in your product but would like to try before committing to any subscription. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

  6. Mind boggling. Senior on limited income with thyroid issues and overweight. Recently had spine surgery and have been very sedentary for 6 months. Try to eat organic and grass fed and my holistic physician suggest a paleo diet. W I want my granddaughter to be healthy. Protein powder is expensive but I realize the cost of producing the product.

  7. ok…. but we ARE getting our protein right?? I domt care ahiyr eating rat or stuff just give me my daily protein intake

  8. WHAT IS THE EXTRACTION PROCESS USED? I know hexane is bad but your product doesn’t state how its extracted.

  9. Your product is fully Ayurvedic. Does your product contain whey protein? and Can i take this protein powder for weight loss?

  10. Hello, I am very interested in your protein powder. Do you offer free sample packets? $60 is a lot to spend with a possibly of not liking it or possibly it not agreeing with me.
    Thank you for all your nutritional information on your website>

  11. I’ve been using so true organic fermented protein and greens vegan superfood shake. It has 18 grams plant protein per serving fermented fruit and veggie blend digestive enzymes and probiotics. It’s organic vegan non-GMO and gluten free. It has brown rice protein, amaranth, mushroom blend (reishi, king trumpet, lions mane, cordyceps, himematsutake, turkey tail, Shirakawa, quinoa). Fermented grass blend (barley grass, wheat grass, Oak grass, Alfalfa grass), spirulina and Chlorella. Org mechanic fermented fruit and veggie ( Apple blueberry carrot cranberry broccoli kale parsley and spinach). Digestive blend: probiotics bacillus coagulans, enzymes blend protease amylase glucoamylase invertase diatase lipase. Other ingredients organic flavors, xanthan gum, rebaudioside A, from organic Stevia rebaudiana leaf. Citric acid. Other than xanthan gum is this not a good blend?

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