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Prepare to laugh: Protein shakes aren't as harmless as you might think. Take a look at these men.

There's one way to get your protein, and then there's the right way. Warning: extreme satire ahead. Prepare to laugh.

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Organic Valley
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Hold up. Let me clarify.

I know protein powders and drinks aren't only for bros. I don't think we need to talk much about that, but before we go any further, I just want to make sure we're all on the same page. What you watched was a funny ad that plays on the stereotype of protein-drink consumers: swole dudes living the bro life — mostly in the gym — and taking giant bro swigs of protein drinks. But, like, dude, all types of of people enjoy protein drinks.


OK, where were we? Right. So, let's talk about protein sources.

Not all protein powders and drinks are created equal. Some contain GMOs, artificial sweeteners, toxic pesticides, synthetic hormones, and other stuff. Do you need any of that? Nah.

Heavy metals, dude.

Guess what else is in some protein powders and drinks? Heavy metals. Consumer Reports literally broke down 15 protein powders and drinks to find out what was actually in them. They looked for mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Most of the powders and drinks had some heavy metals, ranging from low to moderate. Three of them, however, had enough that "consuming three servings a day could result in daily exposure to arsenic, cadmium, or lead exceeding the limits proposed by USP," or the U.S. Pharmacopeia. It's a federally recognized authority that sets standards for health products.

Chill out, bro. There's an alternative!

Look at those peaceful cows. You can be like them. You don't have to drink heavy metals and other unpleasant stuff. Organic is always an option for your protein drinks. And if you go that route, you'll know what you're getting:

  1. More antioxidants and nutrients: Organic foods have more of the good stuff than non-organic. Research says so.
  2. No pesticides or synthetic fertilizers: They're bad for the environment and they're bad for you.
  3. No synthetic hormones: Skipping these means happier animals and healthier humans.
  4. No antibiotics: 'Cause who gets excited about antibiotic-resistant infections?
  5. No GMOs: Do we reallly know enough about genetically engineered crops yet to feel good about eating them? Up to you to decide, but you don't have to consume GMOs in your protein drink.

Save the bros — and yourself.

All of this sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. And while cleaning up your protein shakes might not, like, save your life, it could make you feel better about what you're putting in your body. So help a bro out and spread the word: #savethebros.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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