Whether you want to shed unwanted pounds, build muscles, or fight the aging process, some protein drinks tout they're a scientifically advanced way to quickly achieve these goals.
Consumer Reports says be aware-if you drink too much of these drinks, you could get more than you bargained for.
Scott Baker turned to protein drinks to bulk up and quickly learned that extra protein isn't always good.
Baker says, "The stomach issues and diarrhea-it just didn't agree with me for the most part, having so much."
Scott cut back on the protein drinks and his stomach issues went away.
But plenty of people see protein drinks as a nutritional and time-saving snack or meal replacement.
And why not, companies make them look very enticing.
Myoplex suggests you, too, could look like a model.
And Muscle Milk's website says one of its products is "designed after one of nature's most balanced foods: human mother's milk."
But is this how you should get your protein? Consumer Reports conducted an investigation, including tests at an outside lab of 15 protein powders and drinks.
Multiple samples of each were evaluated for arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.
Andrea Rock of Consumer Reports says, "Our investigation found that some of these drinks can pose health risks, including exposure to potentially harmful heavy metals if you drink them too frequently."
Three drinks were of particular concern-the EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate Shake, and two Muscle Milk powders-the Vanilla Creme and Chocolate.
Consuming three servings a day could give you more arsenic, cadmium, or lead than health experts think is advisable.
Rock says, "At high enough levels, all of these metals can have toxic effects on several organs in the body."
Consumer Reports says a balanced diet is a better, less expensive way to meet your daily requirements, with foods like milk, eggs, and grilled chicken.
Federal regulations generally do not require that protein drinks and other dietary supplements be tested to ensure they're safe, effective, and free of contaminants.