Muscle Milk is a popular bodybuilding supplement, manufactured by CytoSport. It has been embraced by several consumers, not only to help develop lean muscle, but also to help burn fat. Muscle Milk is a good supplement to increase muscle mass. However, as with any other product, if it is consumed in excess, it may pose certain side effects. If taken with caution and proportion, it, indeed, has benefits to offer. This supplement is known to have ingredients similar to those present in a mother's breast milk, which the manufacturers claim are important sources of nutrition for a healthy body and for muscle-building. Muscle Milk is available in powder form, protein bars and ready-to-drink formulas.
Side Effects of Muscle Milk
It is important to note that Muscle Milk is most beneficial, when consumed while following a healthy diet and a rigorous workout regimen. It is not a weight-loss supplement as some people assume. Here are some possible side effects of Muscle Milk.
Some people might experience gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and abdominal cramps after consuming Muscle Milk. It contains medium chain triglycerides which causes these problems. Diarrhea and abdominal cramps might become more pronounced after drinking this supplement on an empty stomach.
If vitamins and minerals are taken above the required amount, then there is a high possibility of having vitamin toxicity. Some vitamins, particularly vitamin A and vitamin D (both fat soluble vitamins), if taken in high doses, tend to accumulate in the fat tissues of the body. These accumulated vitamins cannot be cleared by the kidneys, and it can lead to fatigue, irritability and muscle weakness.
Heavy Metal Toxicity
According to a July 2010 report by Consumer Reports, Muscle Milk has been found to contain very high levels of heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. This can lead to potentially unsafe levels of exposure to these heavy metals. This can in turn lead to damage to kidneys and liver as well as impaired cognitive functions and emotional stability. Here's an extract from the magazine:
The samples of Muscle Milk Chocolate powder we tested contained all four heavy metals, and levels of three metals in the product were among the highest of all in our tests. Average cadmium levels of 5.6 µg in three daily servings slightly exceeded the USP limit of 5 µg per day, and the average lead level of 13.5 µg also topped the USP limit of 10 µg per day. The average arsenic level of 12.2 µg was approaching the USP limit of 15 µg per day, and the average for mercury was 0.7 µg, well below the USP's 15 µg-per-day limit. Three daily servings of Muscle Milk Vanilla Crème contained 12.2 µg of lead, exceeding lead limits, and 11.2 µg of arsenic. A fourth product, Muscle Milk Nutritional Shake Chocolate (liquid), provided an average of 14.3 µg of arsenic per day from three servings, approaching the proposed USP limit.
As mentioned earlier, Muscle Milk works best as a bodybuilding supplement, not as a weight loss supplement. However, because the 'weight loss' factor is given more importance, people believe that by consuming it they are going to lose weight. It has to be understood that Muscle Milk provides the body with extra fats and protein that are expected to be burned while working out. When the body does not get as much exercise, the Muscle Milk you drink is definitely going to add up to those calories and cause weight gain.
Imbalance of Nutrients
Some experts suggest that because Muscle Milk has hunger-suppressing properties, it is possible that you may not receive the necessary nutrition from natural food that you are expected to consume daily. This can lead to an imbalance of nutrients in the body which may further result in other side effects.
Though a lot of bodybuilders recommend it, consuming Muscle Milk at bedtime can cause restlessness because this supplement enhances the body's metabolism and energy levels. It is therefore suggested that the ideal time to consume Muscle Milk is before and/or after a workout to avoid any side effect.
Gas and Bloating
Due to the presence of crystalline fructose and maltodextrin in Muscle Milk, it can cause gas and bloating. These two ingredients can also result in elevated insulin levels if consumed in excess. Muscle Milk is not meant for children and diabetics.
It is best to get advice from an expert regarding how much Muscle Milk you should be consuming, and when you should be consuming it. Once you have ascertained this, you can have this supplement without any problem.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of an expert.