Looking to bulk up for the beach, little guy? Might want to think twice about that Muscle Milk© and MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Hardcore™ powder. That is, unless you don't mind a little extra lead and arsenic floating around inside your body.

The July issue of Consumer Reports has a study of popular muscle-building protein powders and drinks just in time for the onset of summer. Besides getting jacked up on extra lead and arsenic, you can also set yourself up with raging diarrhea (weight loss!) and protein headaches (proof it's working) and kidney failure (black market organ transplant?). And did you know that the government doesn't really care what these companies put in their products? From Consumer Reports:

But federal regulations do not generally require that protein drinks and other dietary supplements be tested before they are sold to ensure that they are safe, effective, and free of contaminants, as the rules require of prescription drugs.

Whatever. We all have that stuff inside our bodies anyway, so what harm could a little more really do? You can trust these companies with your life because they're in the business of making people healthy and getting you totally fucking ripped, bro. Promoting healthy living always trumps profit in America. NPR contacted Cytosport, Inc., the company that makes Muscle Milk©, and the company's founder, Greg Pickett, said metals found in protein drinks are a natural occurrence:

Pickett says that his products clear independent testing standards and "do not reflect the concentrations" in the Consumer Reports article.

A muscle powder trade group official told Consumer Reports that humans can consume as much protein as they want, with no ill effects, as long as you balance it out with other nutrients. So you're all set: Load up on a few cases of Muscle Milk© every day ($40.99 online for a twelve pack), balance it all out with a meal or two and you'll be ready to flex those biceps in no time, right?

Not so, says Kathleen Laquale, a licensed nutritionist and certified athletic trainer. "The body can only break down 5 to 9 grams of protein per hour, and any excess that is not burned for energy is converted to fat or excreted, so it's a ridiculous waste to be recommending so much more than you really need," she says.

Hmm. Who to believe? Here in America, its better to put your trust in the hands of free enterprise first, because we know that these "experts" always have some hidden agenda.

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