Seven years back, when I first picked up weights and kicked a spiraling line of dominoes down a path of unadulterated obsession with fitness, I basically had zero idea what I was doing. Shoulder-press-on-the-leg-press-machine clueless.
I knew two things for certain: 1) I needed to lift heavy things up of all shapes and sizes and put them down, and 2) I needed to drink protein. That’s what magazines, movies, and common culture drilled into my brain.
To address point of knowledge #2, Muscle Milk was my jumping off point on the protein front, and I suspect the same for many other beginners. In retrospect it makes sense — it’s the most instantly recognizable protein drink on the market, and the only one I can think of that runs HEAVY consumer marketing campaigns beyond Men’s Health and other niche fitness magazines/websites. Drink. Evolve…it’s everywhere!
When you’re just starting out or not heavily invested, different varieties of protein powder and bottled protein shakes all merge into one mental bucket — PROTEIN. But when you really dig into the varying ingredients and macronutritional profiles, and compare Muscle Milk vis-a-vis other protein products, it easily falls to the bottom of my list. It’s a fat-laden, carb-heavy, artificial mess, and it’s far from ideal when it comes to optimal post-workout recovery.12
Muscle Milk Nutrition Label
If you’ve ever had a Muscle Milk, it’s impossible not to notice that it has a funky, metallic, iron-flavored aftertaste. I was naive and thought that it was just the taste of non-refrigerated faux chocolate milk. I wasn’t crazy, though — there’s actually HEAVY METAL in Muscle Milk, and a lot of it.
Unless you’re Tony Stark, this is a very, very bad thing.
A study conducted and published by Consumer Reports Magazine tested arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury levels in 15 popular protein products.34 Results below —
Consumer Reports -- Heavy Metal Levels In Protein Products
Muscle Milk tested EXTREMELY high for all four metals in its various flavors, approaching daily limits for arsenic and exceeding them for cadmium and lead (Arsenic – 15 µg per day, Cadmium – 5 µg per day, Lead – 13.5 µg per day, Mercury – 15 µg per day). Additionally, EAS Myoplex tested high in arsenic and cadmium. All four metals are toxic and have health risks at elevated levels in the body, but Cadmium, specifically, can cause major damage to the kidneys. Needless to say, ingesting these chemicals has serious long-term negative health effects. Avoid them.