Muscle Milk Review
I've tried a couple protein shakes over the years and I've decided to start posting my own two cents on the web. This review is on Cytosport's MUSCLE MILK.
The powder form of Muscle Milk will be judged in five categories; effectiveness, taste, safety, cost, and mixability. Does it deliver? Does it taste good, or is it even edible? Are all ingredients used safe? Is it overpriced? The questions that one needs answers to in order to make an informed decision. I will also cite other people's thoughts on the protein powder's effectiveness.
The Product at a Glance
Muscle Milk protein is one of many protein blends on the market. The reviews from users are mixed and average about an 8.5/10 for effectiveness (based on 200 user reviews).
There are two considerable product details. First, Muscle Milk has about 32 grams of protein per serving (enough for most for a morning or post-workout shake). The 32 grams of protein come from mainly three sources, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate (Casein protein), Milk protein isolate, and whey protein isolate. Casein protein helps in recovery as it is a slow digesting protein and will feed the body for up to eight hours after you drink the shake. The Whey protein is rapidly absorbed by the body for the quick repair needed after your workout. Muscle Milk also contains extremely useful amino acids that help build new muscle and help recover after a workout.
All in all, the whey, glutamine peptides, and free form BCAA's make the product anabolic (thus a post workout supplement). And the milk protein isolates combined with casein make this product anti-catabolic. Basically, you have the fast acting whey protein combined with the slow acting milk protein.
The product also contains 20 different vitamins and minerals. However, this aspect is unimportant, as a cheap multivitamin already provides your body with the same and more vitamins and minerals. If you are working out, you should already be taking a multivitamin.
Finally, the product contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s), which are fast burning fats for after a workout. However, in my opinion, Muscle Milk powder is too high in fats. One serving has 30% of the Saturated Fats you need in a day. If you are in the bulking stage, this may not be as much an issue for you, and may benefit your goals.
All in all, I give the effectiveness a score of 8.5/10. I decreased the score because the protein to fats ratio is below average.
Muscle Milk is known for its taste. It was one of the first tasty protein shakes in the market. The best tasting flavors are: Chocolate Milk, Cookies ‘N Crème, Brownie Batter, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I would stay away from the Strawberry and Crème flavor. Please comment below you're experiences with different flavors if you’ve already tried this protein shake as well. My favorite flavor at this time is the Chocolate Milk.
I repeat myself, the taste is good.
The taste receives a 9/10.
Reviews do not cover this aspect of protein supplements. I will provide a run through of the ingredients and let you know of any questionable ingredients.
Here are the ingredients:
Protein Blend (Calcium And Sodium Caseinate, Milk Protein Isolate And/or Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate And/or Concentrate, Whey Peptides, Lactoferrin, L-Glutamine, Taurine), Lean Lipids Blend (Sunflower Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Canola Oil, L-Carnitine), Maltodextrin, Soluble Corn Fiber, Crystalline Fructose, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Vitamin Mineral Blend, Potassium Bicarbonate And/or Potassium Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Salt, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Soy Lecithin.
For the Vitamins and Minerals they added Tricalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Ferrous Fumarate, Niacinamide, Vitamin A Acetate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Gluconate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Cholecalciferol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Chromium Polynicotinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, D-Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Cyanocobalamin.
All ingredients are safe. Look at the corresponding picture for supplement facts.
However, it is important that you are made aware that a Consumer Report investigation found that Muscle Milk products contained levels of heavy metals very close to or exceeding levels set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Of the various different protein shakes tested, the Muscle Milk Chocolate powder contained four heavy metals, and three of the metals were found in the highest levels of all the drinks tested. The USP limits cadmium to 5 micrograms per day and lead to 10 micrograms per day. The cadmium level in Muscle Milk was found to be 5.6 micrograms, and the lead level was found to be 13.5 micrograms if three servings were drunken in a day (as recommended on the box). I point this out just to make you an aware and informed consumer. If you drink less than three servings, you should be more than fine. Furthermore, this report was filed in June 2010, and Cytosport has responded to these claims.
Recently, there has been a somewhat growing misconception that this product contained MSG. It does not.
As a final Safety note, for those of you that are lactose intolerant, this product is lactose free. It is one of the few protein shakes in the market that has milk isolate and casein, and yet is lactose free.
I give this product a safety score of a 7.5/10.
Reviewers agree that this product is fairly priced. A tub at Amazon (about the cheapest place to buy it; no sales tax for most States, and free shipping), is around $20. However, the price is not the most important decision when deciding whether to purchase a health drink. Remember that this product, although it contains a good amount of protein to greatly aid in recovery, is also high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Cytosport (the same company that makes Muscle Milk) has recently released a new protein blend, called Monster Milk, that has more protein, and less fats and Cholestrol. It also has ph buffered creatine. You can check out the review for Monster Milk here:
Again, although Amazon is the best place to get it, you can always mosey on over to a nearby GNC and pick one up (just don't let those greedy GNC salespeople sell you their GNC protein powders), or you can head on over to Rite Aid, etc.
The all natural form of Muscle Milk. No artificial sweetners (uses Stevia), however about same calories and saturated fats (two scoops is about 300 calories), etc.The taste is different, much stronger chocolate taste. I think original is better.
We have all tried protein shakes that we just can't seem to be able to mix. There's clumps left no matter what we do. However, do not fear this with Muscle Milk. I have been able to mix Chocolate Muscle Milk with Whole Milk with minimal clumping. With water, mixing it for 30 seconds is good enough. I usually mix 2 scoops with 12 to 14 ounces of water (I don’t like it too concentrated; the packaging recommends six to ten ounces). Just be sure to pick up a blender bottle if you do not have one already.
All in all, this is a solid protein supplement. It receives a 8.3/10 from me. This is a great shake, and if the little above average saturated fat content doesn’t bother you, you should definitely buy it. You can of course get a better protein powder, but at a higher price. Regardless, remember to also check out Monster Milk before making up your mind! Both are made by the same company.
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Here is the RTD version for comparison. I always get the powder form because it is much less expensive and has better nutrition.
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