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Muscle Milk Review - 19 Things You Need to Know

We’re hearing a lot of buzz about Muscle Milk. So, our in-depth review focused on the side effects, ingredients, customer care and scientific studies. Furthermore, we picked apart hundreds of user comments and customer feedback. Then, we summarized and refined to give you the info you need.

Muscle Milk can be purchased through their Official Site.

Muscle Milk Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!

Muscle Milk Video Review


What is Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk is a non-dairy protein shake that contains a blend of high-quality proteins. These shakes are specifically designed to provide sustained energy to athletes and those who lead an active lifestyle following a workout or athletic event. The entire line of products (shakes, protein powder, bars) are intended to supply a protein boost to users, but the added protein also results in added calories, which means a consumer of the products may gain weight.

Before we jump too far ahead, we want to give you a brief look at what the research says about protein shakes, muscle growth and performance.

  • Frontiers in Nutrition – “There is robust evidence which shows that consuming protein pre- and/or post-workout induces a significant rise in muscle protein synthesis.”
  • Journal of Dietary Supplements – However, not all research shares that excitement. Other times, it is suggested that protein come from whole foods, not supplements. “It is suggested that the required protein intake should be obtained from natural food sources and protein supplementation should be resorted to only if sufficient protein is not available in the normal diet.”
  • Nutrients – It appears the only thing journals can agree upon is that more research is needed. “We are opening the debate about the current protein intake recommendations, with an emphasis on evidence-based effects on intestinal microbiota and personalized guidelines regarding protein and amino acid supplementation in sportspeople and lifestyle consumers.”

Muscle Milk and the BBB

Cytosport is the parent company for Muscle Milk and has an “A+” rating with the BBB.

Muscle Milk Customer Service Information

You can contact Muscle Milk customer service the following ways:

Address: Cytosport, Inc. 555 West Monroe Chicago, IL 60661

Phone: 1-888-298-6629

Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm EST

Chat or Contact form: https://contact.pepsico.com/musclemilk/contact-us

Muscle Milk Competitors

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
Pure Protein
Other similar products: NutraBio

How Did Muscle Milk Start?

Muscle Milk was started by CytoSport, an American, sport-focused supplement producer that has revolutionized the concept of ready-to-drink forms of protein supplement. Muscle Milk is a lactose-free, non-dairy beverage free of trans fats, and it does not contain high fructose corn syrup. Muscle Milk is known for its milkshake-like taste and is available in all the favorite flavors of milkshakes – banana, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla.

In April 2019, Hormel Foods sold CytoSport to PepsiCo, which included the Muscle Milk brand.

Muscle Milk Customer Testimonials

Muscle Milk Claims

Muscle Milk claims on its label that an individual can drink Muscle Milk as a complete supplement instead of a meal. Dieticians think that it might not be as simple as that. The company also claims Muscle Milk contains special ingredients that are body-building nutrients that help develop lean muscle mass.

CytoSport markets its product as “lean,” even though people have found that it makes them gain weight. Muscle Milk allegedly contains a protein formula that is very similar to that of human breast milk.


Muscle Milk Ingredients

Here is a list of the Muscle Milk ingredients:

Calcium Sodium Caseinate

Sodium caseinate is the scientific name of casein. This can be found in the milk of mammals and is a rich source of protein. Casein is used as an additive to food for industrial purposes. It is the main Muscle Milk ingredient. Some people can have allergic reactions to this ingredient.

According to the Human Kinetics Journal, it may be more beneficial to drink your casein before bed for optimal results.

Milk Protein Isolate

Milk protein isolate is used in supplements, energy drinks, and bars to boost protein content and improve flavor and texture. It is also added to milk and yogurts to improve their nutrition levels. Research in the journal Nutrients shows that milk protein isolate digests at an intermediate speed with casein digesting slower and whey digesting faster.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Studies show that when wheat protein is ingested during strength training, it gives increased muscle size and helps create a lean body mass.


Lfcin is released from the protein Lactoferrin. Lfcin has strong antimicrobial and weak antiviral properties. Lactoferrin also has immunological and anti-tumor properties, according to the Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.

Other ingredients include sunflower oil, canola oil, and medium-chain triglycerides. There are also artificial colors and flavors added.

muscle milk claims

Does it Work

Does Muscle Milk Work?

None of the company’s claims have been scientifically proven, but there is general agreement on the muscle-strengthening properties of some of the supplement’s main ingredients, according to Nutrients.

Protein promotes a sense of satiety, which helps keep a person from overeating, but this doesn’t warrant the company’s claim that this supplement aids weight loss. This supplement is not necessarily a better choice for healthy eating than real food sources of protein.

Perhaps, Muscle Milk might be a useful option if someone cannot ingest natural food protein due to other health conditions.

Benefits & Results

Muscle Milk Benefits and Results

If the goal is to gain muscle, calorie-dense Muscle Milk nutrition is worth a try. Two scoops of the product contain 310 calories, and many users have expressed satisfaction with the effectiveness of this shake. Many have opined that Muscle Milk could replace a skipped meal (and was easier since it is ready to drink).

muscle milk weight loss

Details on Muscle Milk and Weight Loss

There is no evidence that Muscle Milk is a supplement that aids weight loss. Some users have complained of weight gain. The low-calorie, no-sugar version, Muscle Milk Light, was introduced as a better choice for those who want a high protein supplement intake without gaining weight. One can potentially reap the Muscle Milk benefits but still lose weight by using this shake as a meal replacement.


How to Take Muscle Milk

The product is available as a ready-to-drink supplement and also in protein powder form.

The beverage is available in many flavors such as:

  • Banana Creme
  • Cake Batter
  • Chocolate
  • Real Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate
  • Cookies ‘n Creme
  • Strawberries ‘n Creme
  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla Creme

muscle milk side effects

Side Effects

Potential Muscle Milk Side Effects?

Each serving of Muscle Milk contains an average of 330 calories, though the actual caloric amount will vary depending on the flavor. For example, the chocolate flavor is 280 calories.  As these protein shakes come in handy ready-to-drink containers, they are convenient to carry around and drink whenever one is hungry. This can cause a gain in weight.

Muscle Milk RTD and all other types of this shake contain 88 I.U. of Vitamin D, and 1,100 I.U. of Vitamin A. Excess of these vitamins cannot be excreted easily. Vitamin toxicity can occur, resulting in nausea, headaches, and vomiting.

Gas, diarrhea, stomach cramping, and bloating have been reported.

Protein drinks such as Muscle Milk are reported to have worrisome amounts of cadmium, lead, and other heavy metals. When consumed regularly, these protein drinks can pose serious health issues to vulnerable people such as pregnant women and children under 18.

Excess cadmium can be harmful as it can accumulate in the kidneys. Too much protein can also damage the kidneys. The bad news is that since protein drinks are regarded as dietary supplements, makers don’t have to test them and ensure that they are safe. Except for Six Star Muscle Professional Strength Whey Protein, which mentions a daily intake limit, none of the other products have any prescribed limit. This could lead to the consumption of excessive levels of a product.

Many athletes tend to use protein supplements such as Muscle Milk to add nutrients to their daily diet. When more nutrients than necessary are consumed, the nutrient will not improve performance. The body will either increase excretion or store excess nutrition.


Any Muscle Milk Lawsuits?

There are quite a few lawsuits against Muscle Milk. CytoSport, the company that makes Muscle Milk, has frequently been sued. Nestle USA claims that the product’s name itself is misleading; it is wrongly named and marketed as “milk,” but it is a non-dairy drink that does not contain milk.

According to Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph, Nestle contends that the name Muscle Milk misleads the general public as does the company’s claim that it is a nutritional shake. The term shake immediately conjures the image of a tall, frothy milkshake when the product is water-based without a trace of milk.

In response, CytoSport argued that it had never marketed protein Muscle Milk as dairy milk, but it had modeled its products after another milk. The high-protein products are all made with nature’s best-balanced food in mind – human mother’s milk.

In 2013, the company was served with a class-action lawsuit for false advertising claims. The Muscle Milk products are labeled as “lean” and are said to contain “lean lipids,” giving consumers the wrong impression that they have lower fat than products made by the company’s competitors, but this is far from true, Top Class Actions reports.

Muscle Milk products are fortified with canola and sunflower oils, which are sources of fat.

According to Top Class Actions, the proposed class-action suit was partially certified in September 2018.

In January 2015, the maker of Muscle Milk and other supplements was served with another lawsuit that alleged that the company engaged in deceptive marketing tactics to persuade consumers to purchase its range of products, The New York Times writes.

According to the lawsuit, the company gives its customers the false impression that its products do not contain an excessive level of fats and oil by classifying some of the Muscle Milk products as “lean.” This creates the impression that protein Muscle Milk products have less fat than other similar products.

The plaintiffs also complain that Muscle Milk Protein Powder, Muscle Milk Nutrition, and Muscle Milk Light, and other similar Muscle Milk products do not contain the ingredients advertised. The company further advertises that the Muscle Milk products’ protein blend includes an amino acid, L-Glutamine, that helps muscle recovery, but the lawsuit alleges that the products do not contain the amino acid in any appreciable amount.

Muscle Milk underwent legal action again in 2020 for mislabeling of their ready-to-drink products. In this lawsuit, Muscle Milk was successfully charged with mislabeling certain products as having lean protein, lean muscle protein, or lean lipids when they did not have such ingredients, according to Top Class Actions. The case ended with a $12 million settlement, though the company denied the allegations made in the suit.

muscle milk alternatives

What Are Muscle Milk Alternatives?

There are several alternatives to Muscle Milk on the market. Muscletech Premium Gold Whey is manufactured by Iovate Sciences. It contains whey, but in its hydrolyzed form, which is very easily absorbed. It is less expensive than Muscle Milk, but it contains soy, lactose, and artificial sweeteners. It also doesn’t have any digestive enzymes.

Pro Jym protein is the brainchild of Dr. Jim Stoppani, a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology and a senior writer in this arena. This protein shake has 24 gm of protein. It is a slow-digesting shake that can be consumed at any time and has high micronutrient levels, especially calcium.

What Is the Muscle Milk Pro Series?

The Muscle Milk Pro Series contains a huge serving of protein, almost 50 grams. This powerful protein powder is intended to be an excellent source of protein for building muscles and for fueling recovery after strenuous exercise. This powder mixes easily with smoothies, milkshakes, and other recipes. The drink can be consumed before exercise, after a workout, and before bedtime. To take full advantage of this protein, an individual must take this powder 30-60 minutes after a workout.

Is Muscle Milk Light Available?

Muscle Milk Light is available on Amazon and in many online stores. Muscle Milk Light has 0 gm of sugar. These light protein shakes contain a blend of proteins that provide energy and strengthens muscles. The shakes are available in two flavors, vanilla and chocolate. This protein shake has 150 calories with 0 grams of sugar and a negligible 1.5 gm. of fat. While the fat content is low, the drink still provides 28 gm of rich protein. It is available in 500 ml ready-to-drink containers.

Muscle Milk vs. Whey Protein

muscle milk vx whey protein

In Muscle Milk, whey protein is an ingredient in the form of whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, and whey protein concentrate in addition to casein. Several scientific studies have proved the efficacy of whey protein in contributing to lean muscle gains, better body composition, and fat loss, says Nutrition and Metabolism. Though Muscle Milk also makes similar claims, they have not been verified by the FDA or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Whey can be digested very quickly to promote muscle protein synthesis and is called a “fast-acting” protein. Casein, on the other hand, contains a different group of amino acids and is a “slow-acting” protein. It promotes better recovery following endurance exercises. When following a recovery plan, the National Strength and Conditioning Association suggests that an individual is better off using a combination of both these proteins.

However, it is worthwhile realizing that neither form of the protein is guaranteed to transform the body. The effect of each will depend on several factors such as age, weight, sex, diet, and the level of physical activity.

Is Muscle Milk Organic Available?

The organic version of Muscle Milk ready-to-drink protein shakes are available and are advertised on Amazon. These shakes are certified organic and are sweetened with organic cane sugar and organic stevia. The shakes contain almost 20 grams of high-quality protein per serving. This is a gluten and soy-free formula.

What Is Muscle Milk Gainer?

Muscle Milk Gainer is a high protein supplement powder available in three delicious flavors that are favorably rated. This supplement is intended for those who wish to gain weight. The flavors are Chocolate and Vanilla Crème. The 5 lbs Muscle Milk Gainer contains 32 gm of protein, 650 calories, and 109 gm carbs per serving. It is gluten-free, contains no banned substances, and is enriched with 20 essential minerals and vitamins. Users have reported moderate weight gains.

How Are Muscle Milk Reviews?

Customers’ overall view using Muscle Milk products is that they do not quite live up to the hype surrounding them. Muscle Milk contains excessive sugar (three types of sugars are used – sucralose, acesulfame potassium, crystalline fructose). Still, even all of that sugar cannot mask the bad taste, according to one review.

What Users Are Saying

What Users Are Saying

“Good price, good flavor, and good product.”

“Personally, I did not enjoy how it tasted. It contains milk ingredients but no actual milk. It is super thick and just overall unpleasant.”

“I’ve tried a lot of protein shakes and I’d rate this one just OK based on taste. It’s a little chalky for me compared to some of the other ones I’ve tried. As far as nutritional content it’s one of the best. Great value too.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Muscle Milk

So, does Muscle Milk work for weight-loss? Well, we like that it contains a few natural ingredients and that we found some favorable customer comments. Also, we’re a bit skeptical due to customer reviews talking about the poor taste, especially from the artificial sweeteners.

If you are looking to lose those extra pounds, we suggest going with a clinically-tested program made to help its users make healthier choices and lose weight along the way.

Among the best weight-loss apps we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. The program includes human coaching, customized health information, food tracking, personalized meal plans, and more to help its users live a healthier lifestyle.

Also, Noom is so confident in their program, they’re offering a free trial offer to Dietspotlight readers for a limited time.

Learn More About Noom »
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Muscle Milk

What is Muscle Milk?

As a high-protein supplement, Muscle Milk is a brand that aims to increase protein intake and is used in protein bars, powdered mixes, and shakes. It can assist athletes with increasing their caloric intake to gain weight.

What are the side effects of Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk side effects reported by users include upset stomach, nausea, irregular bowel movements, bloating and gas.

How much does Muscle Milk cost?

The cost of Muscle Milk depends on the product you purchase.

  • Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder, Banana Creme Naturally & Artificially Flavored, 4.94 Lbs Amazon: $47.99
  • Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder, Banana Creme Naturally & Artificially Flavored, 39.5 Oz: $26.99
Can you drink Muscle Milk with milk?

You can drink muscle milk by mixing it with milk to increase the number of calories, protein, vitamin D, potassium, and calcium that you consume.

What is the protein in Muscle Milk?

The protein in muscle milk is derived from milk, which contains, calcium caseinate, milk protein isolate, whey protein and milk protein concentrate.

Where can I buy Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk can be purchased using their Official Site.

Who makes Muscle Milk?

MuscleMmilk is made by Hormel Foods Corporation in Walnut Creek, CA.

Is Muscle Milk vegan?

Although Muscle Milk offers lactose-free products, none are vegan. The company behind Muscle Milk instead created a new, seperate brand for vegan protein needs called Evolve.

Can you lose weight by drinking Muscle Milk?

Meal replacement shakes are a popular option for many weight-loss diets and meal plans. However, Muscle Milk acts more as a protein supplement than a meal replacement shake. Additionally, Muscle Milk does not sell any products specifically to aid in weight-loss.

Does drinking Muscle Milk build muscle?

Muscle Milk protein products may be able to help users build muscle is used correctly. However, this is highly dependent on the individual’s daily activity, body type, and more.

Is Muscle Milk good for your body?

According to Muscle Milk, their products can help keep the body in a positive protein balance” while providing energy and enhanced exercise recovery.

When should I drink Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk products can be used for workout recovery, healthy snacks, on-the-go meals, appetite suppression, pre-workout fuel, and more.

77 Muscle Milk Reviews

  • Provided good information about muscle milk
    rod at muscle milk side effects (Verified Purchase)

    Very detailed article about muscle milk the problem I have with muscle milk is that I’m lactose intolerance and the side effects can be pretty bad side effects because of the milk content, and when I do take any kind of protein drink I have to mix it with water, not a very good taste….not sure if my post went through so I posted again…sorry admin

    • Anonymous

      They have Muscle Milk Soy ( non lactose ) it’s in every grocery store.

    • Your Name

      I mix my whey into maple sugar oatmeal makes the chocolate peanut butter fast great with no milk

    • Veronica

      Try silk almond milk it’s the best with it with few cubes of ice

      • Anonymous

        yes do this! Tastes great!

  • Product is so effective
    Dale F Stockstill (Verified Purchase)

    I am 65 years old and was in a very bad industrial accident 3 yrs ago that left me with a smash up right leg. I lost 50 lbs and was down to 143 pounds. My daughter got me started on Muscle Milk and I have been able to regain 20 lbs back to 163 lbs in 6 months. So the produt can be used in more ways than one.

    • Amber

      Hello Ms dale … I’m trying to gain my weight back as well and I would like to know how many times a day did you take the muscle milk? And did it affect your kidneys after the 6 months was over ?

  • Muscle Milk has "metal"
    Bj smith

    Muscle Milk has “metal” in it can it cause my muscles in my legs to hurt?

  • Read my full comment am I doing wise?
    sam doucette (Verified Purchase)

    I’m wondering if the sweetners in muscle milk meal relacement will hinder my weight loss? im using 1 scoop in the morning for breakfast and 1 scoop in the afternoon for lunch….. is this wise?

    • Anonymous

      U wAnt to try the protein meal replacrment shake i been using for the past 5 months its tastes sooo good not only is it exellent for protein and a satifyin meal replacement it also helps wir weight loss cuz it helped me loose 19 in less than a month and i gained around 13 pounds in muscle

      • Tiffany

        What meal replacemrnt shake helped you shed 19 pounds in one month? Please tell.

        • Iolava

          Can Muscle Milk make you gain weight?

          • Veronica

            Hi Lolava! Muscle Milk may lead to weight gain if you exceed your daily calorie needs.

        • Your Name

          Read before you speak, 19in not 19lbs

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