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Muscle Mac Review - 13 Things You Need to Know

Muscle Mac is a protein-rich macaroni and cheese alternative. It packs quite a calorie punch for what may be, for some, a small portion size. This product is not for weight loss but may help with muscle growth and recovery because it contains both protein and carbohydrates.

Our researchers wanted to learn more about Muscle Mac to see if this protein meal is worth giving a try.

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Overview

What is Muscle Mac?

When you want to get creative with your protein intake, Muscle Mac may work. This mac and cheese alternative contains 20g of protein per serving. The protein is added to the pasta and cheese sauce. The company considers Muscle Mac to be “performance nutrition” from a quality pasta company.

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Who Makes Muscle Mac?

We were unable to find information on the company behind Muscle Mac. We assumed the company name is the same as the product. From there, we researched every possible avenue with no luck.

Muscle Mac Customer Service

We found no official website or contact information for Muscle Mac. Many retailers sell the protein macaroni and cheese, but nowhere is there information on who is behind it.

Muscle Mac Customer Testimonials
Claims

Muscle Mac Claims

Muscle Mac claims to be “performance nutrition.” It is:

  • High-protein
  • Non-GMO
  • Supplies protein to help rebuild muscle mass
Ingredients

Muscle Mac Ingredients

The ingredients in Muscle Mac are broken into two – pasta and cheese sauce. To get the protein count up to 20g, they’ve chosen to add a plant protein to the pasta.

Muscle Mac Pasta: durum wheat semolina, pea protein isolate, glycerol monostearate, salt

Cheese Sauce Mix: cheese, whey, nonfat milk, butter, salt, natural color

Details on Ingredients

The following ingredients make up this muscle pasta, but are these ingredients any different from other high-protein pasta? Better yet, can the ingredients actually support muscle growth?

Durum Wheat Semolina: All traditional flours, including semolina, are derived from wheat. So, the name Durum Wheat doesn’t imply a healthier alternative to white flour. Semolina is a coarse-ground flour commonly used in pasta.

Pea Protein Isolate: Pea protein is a plant-based protein sourced from split peas. The protein, like all proteins, is rich in amino acids. However, pea protein is deficient in methionine, according to AICR, so it is not recommended that this be the primary or exclusive source of protein in a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Pea protein, according to research shared in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, works better to improve muscle thickness than whey protein.

Another study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says pea protein may reduce high blood pressure in humans.

A study in the Journal of Food Science supports antihypertensive properties.

Glycerol Monostearate: This ingredient is nothing more than an emulsifier. It is commonly used in food products, especially flour, to improve texture, according to research in ScienceDirect.

Whey: Whey, in this case, shouldn’t be confused with whey protein. The whey in Muscle Mac is included as cheese – we believe. It is officially the liquid that’s a byproduct of cheese production. Depending on the type of cheese, whey takes on a different taste. For instance, whey from certain cheeses, like cheddar and Swiss, take on a sweeter flavor.

Now, if the whey was supposed to be listed as whey protein, that’s a different story. Whey protein improves protein synthesis, which could help with muscle growth, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Sciences.

A second study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports these results.

Nutrition

Muscle Mac Nutrition

Though Muscle Mac isn’t created for weight loss, building lean muscle requires lean foods with clean sources of protein. What are the nutritional facts for the protein pasta?

One serving – or ½ a box, contains:

Calories: 370

Total Fat: 9g

Saturated Fat: 4g

Cholesterol: 25mg

Total Carbohydrate: 54g

Dietary Fiber: 2g

Sugars: 6g

Protein: 20g

Sodium: 490mg

Side Effects

Any Muscle Mac Side Effects?

The only side effects that came up in research were stomach-related. These side effects included:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
Weight Loss

Muscle Mac and Weight Loss

Muscle Mac is not designed for weight loss. The portion size to calorie load (how many calories the food provides) is low. You don’t get to eat much before the meal is gone, so hunger may be an issue.

If you take the calorie load out of the equation, we do find that protein-rich diets tend to help extend fullness longer than other types of diets. Research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition both support using protein to increase metabolism and decrease hunger.

How to Cook Muscle Mac

To cook Muscle Mac, boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes. Drain, but do not rinse. Mix ⅓ c milk with cheese sauce and mix. Add pasta to cheese sauce and stir gently to coat.

Cost and Where to Buy Muscle Mac

You can purchase Muscle Mac from major retailers like Walmart, GNC and Amazon. The price runs between $2 and $3 for a two-serving box.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

What is the final take on Muscle Mac? Is this protein-rich pasta dish worth a try, or is it nothing more than expensive hype?

Pros:

  • The price is much better than comparable meals.
  • The overall sugar content is low.
  • Contains no trans fats.
  • Good source of protein.
  • GMO-free.
  • 20g protein.

Cons:

  • Mixes plant-based protein with whey and cheese – not vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
  • The taste may not compare well to traditional boxed mac and cheese.
  • The portion size is small for an entire meal.
  • Not designed for weight loss.

What Users Are Saying

It’s got a bit of a powder taste when compared to normal Mac and cheese but it’s not too noticeable and tastes great, plus I love the macros!”

Extremely mediocre product for this price. There are lots of other high-protein meals out there that tastes a lot better than this.”

Taste isn’t too great. Cant eat what doesn’t taste good.”

Muscle Mac Ingredients
Bottom Line

Bottom Line on Muscle Mac

Muscle Mac may be a tasty, protein-rich alternative to high-fat, low-nutrition mac and cheese. The taste isn’t on point for some people, and an aftertaste seemed to happen in some cases, but overall, this is a creative way to get in some extra protein.

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Muscle Mac Review
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