CytoSport Muscle Milk is a high-protein meal-replacement supplement which is widely used by endurance athletes and bodybuilders.
In 1998, CytoSport was founded by the son/father of Mike and Greg Pickett as an American manufacturer of sports-oriented supplements or nutritional products, based in Benicia, California.
One scoop provides about 16 grams of protein (whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate, L-glutamine, L-carnitine, whey peptides, taurine), 150 calories, 6 grams of fat (of which 2g is saturated fat), 9 grams of carbohydrates (2g sugar and 2g fiber), calcium sodium caseinate, plus, other additives are included for texture and flavor, such as – maltodextrin, canola oil, sunflower oil, fatty acids, corn fiber, soy lecithin and the sweeteners – sucralose, Ace K, and fructose.
In addition, a few products of this company contain heavy metals in quantities which are considered unsafe, according to tests conducted by Consumer Reports in 2010.
The lab testing established that the chocolate version contains lead, cadmium, and arsenic, and the vanilla version contains more than 12 micrograms of lead (lead poisoning may cause severe physical and mental impairment) when three servings were consumed.
This supplement is available as a ready-to-drink shake, powder, and bar, and it is recommended to consume before, during, or after a physical exercise session, or at any time, since is thought to increase speed recovery from physical exercise and strength.
Is Muscle Milk Good For You?
Before 2013, this supplements claimed to contain “healthy fats,” however, it contained as much saturated and total fat as Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
In 2013 the company agreed to pay $5.3 million in a class action lawsuit due to its marketing language using the word “healthy.” Looking at the ingredients, you will notice that these supplements are not healthy for humans. Below we present a few detailed reasons:
Casein is the most important protein in cow milk, with more than 75 percent of all the amino acids contained in it. It is known as the “slow” protein because is the slowest digesting protein there is, and this is why this protein is not recommended for the meals around your physical exercise session.
Moreover, this protein is known to stimulate the release of IGF-1 – insulin-like growth factor-1. One of the most usual side effects from the use of this hormone is hypoglycemia, a disorder that occurs when the level of blood sugar in your blood drops below normal.
At the moment, it is one of the most popular types of protein used in supplements worldwide. Even if it has some health benefits, there is a lot of controversy regarding its safety.
For instance, from a nutritional point of view, this protein does not have a natural equivalent. Also, a regular intake of this protein may cause acne. Also, lactose (the sugar found in milk) is present in whey protein, and many people will have digestive problems (according to statistics, about more than 50 percent of people have lactose intolerance).
In addition, while there is no conclusive study that whey protein causes kidney stones, it definitely doesn’t seem to help prevent them, plus, it can worsen this painful condition if it is already present.
It is an additive which is commonly used to emulsify, thicken, and preserve drinks and foods. Side effects include – intestinal tumors and lacerations as well as substantial laxative effects (because it is made from seaweed).
Acesulfame Potassium was discovered in 1967, however, it wasn’t approved by the FDA as a general sweetener until 2003. Consuming foods and drinks containing Ace-K can lead to numerous adverse side effects, like – liver complications, headaches, cancerous developments, mental confusion, visual impairment, and some renal diseases.
This supplement requires sodium content as a preservative agent (it contains about 540mg of sodium per shake). An excess of sodium in the diet has a negative effect on our health. For instance, cutting salt intake lowers the risk of strokes or heart attacks, especially in patients with high blood pressure, according to a meta-analysis of 7 studies which was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
More importantly, if we regularly consume too much sodium, the skin may start to dry out due to the dehydration.
One shake has approximately 330 calories. Too many calories can lead to unwanted weight gain because of not enough fat burning and a high-calorie intake. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adult men need 2,000 to 3,200 calories a day, and adult women need 1,600 to 2,400. Therefore, having 330 calories just from a single protein shake is probably too much.
It is a mixture of phospholipids which are derived from the processing of soybeans. Even if it has GRAS status, this food additive may not be as safe as food manufacturers make it out to be.
For example, side effects of consuming foods with soy lecithin include – nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, increased salivation, and hepatitis. Furthermore, it contains fenistein, a compound which may have an adverse effect on reproduction and fertility. Also, some soy lecithin is made from genetically modified soy.