Muscle Milk’s Dirty Secrets

Fooducate

Sep 2016

Stephen Curry is a well respected and beloved athlete. Due to his achievements, he makes a lot of money not just from shooting hoops, but also by representing brands in ads. One such brand is Muscle Milk, which has engaged Curry to be its presenter along with the tagline “Stronger Every Day”. Muscle Milk sells a variety of protein shakes, including PRO products that “provide protein and essential nutrients to help recover and build muscle after hard training”, but can also “be used before or after your most grueling workouts or as a high protein meal option or snack”. Marketing aside, we decided to dig deep and take a look at the chocolate flavored “Mega Protein Shake” to see what’s actually inside. The idea behind muscle milk is to emulate human milk without using any actual milk in the product. It is a mix of proteins from milk, vegetable oils, flavorings, vitamins, and minerals. Here is the ingredient list:

WATER, MILK PROTEIN ISOLATE, CALCIUM SODIUM CASEINATE, ALKALIZED COCOA POWDER, LESS THAN 1% OF: MALTODEXTRIN, INULIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, CANOLA OIL, SUNFLOWER OIL, SOY LECITHIN, SODIUM HEXAMETHAPHOSPHATE, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, CELLULOSE GUM AND GEL, POTASSIUM CITRATE, ASCORBIC ACID, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, FERRIC PYROPHOSPHATE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SUCRALOSE, CARRAGEENAN, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, DL-ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, D-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, NIACINAMINE, ZINC OXIDE, COPPER GLUCONATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, FOLIC ACID, BIOTIN, POTASSIUM IODIDE, CHOLECALCIFEROL, CYANOCOBALAMIN.

What can we learn from this ingredient list? * Muscle milk is a heavily processed product * It is artificially sweetened with Acesulfame Potassium, a sweetener that has been linked to cancer. And sucralose too. Read more about the problem with zero calorie sweeteners here * In order to thicken the watery product, questionable carrageenan is added * And of course, all the flavor comes from the addition of natural and artificial flavors Additionally, in tests conducted by Consumer Reports, Muscle Milk Products were found to contain high levels of heavy metals. The bright side: It’s nice that there are 32 grams of protein in this 11 ounce drink, compared to 12 grams in an equivalent amount of milk. A 5.3 ounce serving of Greek Yogurt has 17 grams of protein.  However, most Americans get much more daily protein that they need. There is nothing in Muscle Milk that your body can’t get from alternative sources. Finish your workout and have a nice breakfast instead.

KISS Fact: Don’t buy into any “too good to be true” products because they probably are just that.  Just because a famous person say it good does make it true.  Famous people are used all the time to sell products.  Just be aware of the motifs of these selling practices.  I questions everything before I will promote anything.  So next time is sounds too good, it just may be.

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