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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The price is much better than comparable meals.
The overall sugar content is low.
Contains no trans fats.
Good source of protein.
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.”
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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