Find the Best Protein Powders, Shakes and Drinks

Learn More About Protein Powder, Shakes and Drinks


In ConsumerLab's experience, elevated cadmium in protein powder tends to be due to chocolate flavoring with cocoa powder a known source of cadmium , not the protein ingredient itself. It is otherwise unlawful to print, download, store or distribute content from this site without permission. Your message has been sent. The use of supplemental vitamins and minerals is recommended for gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients, and sometimes for gastric band patients. However, some studies have found rice protein and pea protein equal to whey in increasing strength and muscle when taken after resistance exercise. Although arsenic can also occur in rice bran oil, it is believed to occur in much lower concentrations than in whole rice. The phrases ' mad as a hatter ' and "mad as a March hare" were common at the time Lewis Carroll wrote was the first publication date of Alice.

Government Agencies


For more information, see the Glutathione article on ConsumerLab. Also see answers to the following questions: What is the best protein supplement for vegetarians and vegans? As discussed in our review of protein powders , two very good sources of protein — whey and casein protein — are both derived from milk, so products that contain these may be suitable for vegetarians but not for vegans.

Whey and casein are both complete proteins, meaning that they contain all of the essential amino acids. Whey protein is particularly high in branched-chain amino acids, which are important to replenish after exercise and are needed for maintaining muscle.

If you prefer plant-based protein or are vegan, protein powders made from soy, rice, pea and hemp, or a mix of these sources, can be good choices. Soy protein is a complete protein, and is considered the most "heart healthy" -- but should not be taken if you have a soy allergy or thyroid condition. Rice and pea proteins can also provide all of the essential amino acids, and some studies have found them to be equal to whey in increasing strength and muscle when taken after resistance exercise.

Hemp can also provide all of the essential amino acids, and is particularly high in the branched-chain amino acid arginine, although there is little research on its use for muscle building or sports recovery.

Be aware that although these plant-based proteins provide all the essential amino acids, the ratios of these vary by protein source. Consequently, it's generally recommended that a mixture of sources be used, such as combining a grain-based protein, like rice, with a legume-based protein like pea protein. Arsenic contamination is a concern in rice-based products -- see the Warning and Quality Concerns for more about this; however, ConsumerLab. See the ConsumerTips section of the Protein Powders Review for more about these different types of protein.

Also see our Top Picks among supplements made from each protein source. To be sure a protein supplement does not contain any added ingredients which are non-vegetarian or non-vegan ingredients, you can check the full Ingredients List provided for each protein supplement tested by ConsumerLab. Which supplements can help lower or control my blood sugar? Many different supplements may help lower or control blood sugar in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes who experience hyperglycemia when blood glucose rises higher than normal.

These supplements are discussed below. More details about each, including dosage, drug interactions, potential side effects, and ConsumerLab. Due to the seriousness of hyperglycemia, it is important to consult with your physician regarding use of these supplements. Cinnamon supplements may modestly improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not well controlled with medication.

Keep in mind, however, that only certain varieties of cinnamon have been shown to have this effect, and long-term safety studies have not been conducted. Curcumin from turmeric may improve blood sugar levels, according to preliminary studies, and one study found curcumin to dramatically lower the chances of prediabetes in middle-aged, slightly overweight men and women with somewhat higher than normal blood sugar levels.

Alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, although it may only slightly reduce levels of glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1c. Chromium picolinate may help some people with type 2 diabetes decrease fasting blood glucose levels as well as levels of insulin and glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1c. However, be aware that high doses may worsen insulin sensitivity in healthy people who are not obese or diabetic.

Having adequate blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of insulin resistance in people who are obese. There is some evidence that a certain blood level of vitamin D is needed for normal glucose metabolism in women who are overweight and obese but not diabetic , but it is not clear whether any further benefit is gained with higher blood levels.

In healthy people, consuming a moderate amount of olive oil with a meal has been shown to reduce increases in blood sugar after the meal compared to the same meal consumed with corn oil. In people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, olive oil may improve glucose metabolism.

Increasing dietary fiber , especially insoluble fiber from cereal and grains, is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes and has been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose and modestly lower HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes Martin, J Nutr ; Post,J Am Board Fam Med In people with type 1 diabetes, 50 grams of dietary fiber per day has been shown to significantly improve blood sugar control and reduce hypoglycemic events Giacco, Diabetes Care The American Dietetic Association states that "diets providing 30 to 50 g fiber per day from whole food sources consistently produce lower serum glucose levels compared to a low-fiber diet.

Ginseng , both American and Korean Red ginseng from Panax ginseng , may reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, according to preliminary research. Drinking whey protein before a high glycemic meal may help to lessen increases in blood sugar after the meal in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Silymarin, a component of milk thistle , may decrease blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c in people with type 2 diabetes, and reduce insulin resistance in people with coexisting diabetes and alcoholic cirrhosis.

Inulin, a type of prebiotic , may improve measures of blood sugar control in women with type 2 diabetes, although it did not improve blood sugar levels or insulin resistance in a study of prediabetic men and women. Berberine a compound found in plants such as barberry , Oregon grape and goldenseal may reduce blood sugar levels in people with metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, according to a few small studies. Fenugreek may help to lower blood sugar, according to preliminary studies, and one study found fenugreek extract to significantly improve some measures of blood sugar control and insulin response in people with type 2 diabetes.

D-ribose , often promoted for energy or sports performance, may also lower blood sugar levels Fenstad, Internet J Nutr Wellness White mulberry Moruns alba or Morus indica has been traditionally used in Asia to help treat type 2 diabetes, and there is some preliminary evidence to support this use. Mulberry leaf extract species not given may lessen increases in blood sugar after ingestion of table sugar in healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes Mudra, Diabetes Care There is mixed evidence as to whether CoQ10 may lower blood sugar.

To be safe, people with diabetes or who take medication to lower blood sugar should consult a physician before using.

Preliminary evidence suggests certain other supplements, including aloe , ashwagandha , ginkgo , green coffee bean extract , glucosamine , black cohosh , rhodiola , reishi mushroom and tart cherry juice may lower blood sugar. While there is not enough clinical research to support the use of these supplements for this purpose, it's important to keep this in mind, as they could enhance the blood sugar lowering effect of other supplements or medications you may be taking.

CLA conjugated linoleic acid , a popular supplement for slimming, may worsen blood sugar control in diabetics and in obese people without diabetes. Also note that high doses of vitamin C may increase blood sugar or interfere with certain blood sugar tests. I am having trouble sleeping. I regularly take a multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium, calcium, vitamins D and K, and a protein supplement.

I also take a low-dose blood pressure medication. Could any of these supplements be causing my insomnia? Among these supplements, vitamin D seems the most likely cause. Multivitamins , fish oil , magnesium , calcium , vitamin K and protein supplements are not generally known to cause insomnia. High doses of vitamin D, as well as high blood levels of vitamin D have been associated a deterioration in sleep quality — and you seem to be supplementing with both vitamin D and a multivitamin that likely provides more vitamin D.

High amounts of vitamin D may interfere with the body's production of melatonin. Be aware that beta blocker medications, such as atenolol Tenormin and metoprolol Lopressor, Toprol XL that help lower blood pressure may also lower your body's nighttime production of melatonin and interfere with sleep.

A small study suggests that melatonin supplementation may improve sleep in people taking these medications. However, be aware that melatonin may increase blood pressure in people taking another type of blood pressure lowering medication. Does soy affect the risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer?

The relationship between soy or soy isoflavone intake and the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer is not clear-cut. Soy contains compounds called phytoestrogens , such as isoflavones, which have weak estrogen-like activity. Soy and soy isoflavones may have varying effects depending on age, estrogen status and type of cancer.

In women, high soy consumption early in life may help to lower the risk of breast cancer but there is concern that high doses of isoflavones may not be safe in women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and may also slightly increase the risk of uterine cancer. In men, higher soy intakes are generally associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer, but higher intakes of soy isoflavones are associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Also see the Encyclopedia article about Soy Isoflavones. I do moderate exercise for about an hour a few times a week. Which supplements might help me? When working out, nutritional needs to consider include hydration and electrolytes, energy, and protein. As long as you are fairly healthy and eating a balanced diet, if you work out for an hour, you only need water to recover; you don't need an "electrolyte" supplement.

This was shown in a study which compared water to coconut water and a rehydration sports drink as discussed in the Coconut Waters Review. Only when doing strenuous exercise for long periods of time i. However, after a long-period of strenuous exercise, a drink or food which provides some sugar energy may help restore blood sugar levels.

Extra protein from a powder or drink can help athletes build muscle and older people prevent or reverse age-related loss of muscle strength when used in conjunction with resistance -type exercise such as free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or your own body weight — as with squats. If you are not doing resistance-type exercise, extra protein won't help. Evidence for Other Supplements: Branched-chain Amino Acids BCAAs may help reduce muscle breakdown during exercise and reduce soreness from long-distance intense exercise, but BCAAs do not appear to have performance-enhancing effects.

BCAAs may reduce muscle loss due to inactivity, such as around the time of knee surgery. Creatine may improve muscle strength and endurance during repeated high-intensity exercise of short duration, such as weight lifting and sprinting.

It is not of benefit in purely aerobic exercises. Curcumin from turmeric has reduced muscle soreness due to intense exercise in some studies, but not all. Fish oil has been shown to help increase strength from training in women but not in men. For details see the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Vitamin D supplementation helps increase strength from training among people deficient in vitamin D. In Turkey camel hair was used for felt material, and it was discovered that the felting process was speeded up if the fibers were moistened with camel urine.

It is said that in France workmen used their own urine, but one particular workman seemed consistently to produce a superior felt. This person was being treated with a mercury compound for syphilis , and an association was made between mercury treatment of the fibers and an improved felt. Eventually the use of solutions of mercuric nitrate was widespread in the felt industry, and mercury poisoning became endemic.

But Lewis Carroll did not invent the phrase, although he did create the character. The phrases ' mad as a hatter ' and "mad as a March hare" were common at the time Lewis Carroll wrote was the first publication date of Alice. The phrase had been in common use in , almost 30 years earlier.

The earliest mention of a ' mad hatter ' appears to refer to one Robert Crab, a 17th Century eccentric living at Chesham, England. He gave all his goods to the poor and lived on dock leaves and grass. Carroll, however, seems to have based his mad hatter not on Robert Crab, but on a certain Theophilus Carter , not a hatter but a furniture dealer, who was known locally as the Mad Hatter , partly because he always wore a top hat, and partly because he was quite an eccentric and produced some wacky inventions.

Makers of felt hats would indeed often drool, tremble, talk to themselves and have bouts of severe paranoia, for reasons that only became clear later. Both in Europe and North America they were the eccentrics and madmen of the clothing trades, which gave rise to the phrase as used today. Lewis Carroll frequently used common expressions, songs, nursery rhymes, etc.

The origin of the phrase, it's believed, is that hatters really did go mad. The chemicals used in hat-making included mercurous nitrate, used in curing felt. Prolonged exposure to the mercury vapors caused mercury poisoning.

Victims developed severe and uncontrollable muscular tremors and twitching limbs, called 'hatter's shakes' ; other symptoms included distorted vision and confused speech. Advanced cases developed hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms. Regionally, the " Danbury shakes " were a commonly recognized series of ailments.

On December 1, the United States Public Health Service banned the use of mercury in the felt industry in this country. Although it has been suggested that the expression ' mad as a hatter ' and the character portrayed in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland may have other origins other than mercurialism among hatters, few can resist making this apocryphal analogy. Danbury Connecticut has always been known as "The Hat City". It was the hat making capital of the world in the 19th century.

At the peak of the industry, five million hats a year were produced in 56 different factories in Danbury.