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 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.”
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.
= Initial product cost is less than $5
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= Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
= Initial product cost is $151 or more
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.
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
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.
Wheat Protein Isolate
Wheat protein isolate is particularly popular among bodybuilders and athletes because it is rich in protein but low in carbs. High protein can help in the growth of muscles, as per information in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
This ingredient is a byproduct of cheese made from cow’s milk. The lactose and fat are filtered and made into a powder. This is considered to be the purest form of whey powder. The Journal of Nutrition says why protein hydrolysate actually “increases amino acid uptake,” which is something we like to see in a muscle formula.
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.
This is one of the most abundant building blocks of protein in the body. Usually, enough glutamine is available in the body, but prolonged illness or stress or injury can decrease glutamine levels.
Other ingredients include sunflower oil, canola oil, crystalline fructose, and medium-chain triglycerides. There are also artificial colors and flavors added.
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).
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, vanilla, and chocolate.
Potential Muscle Milk Side Effects?
Each serving of Muscle Milk contains 330 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.
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
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 Cookies-N-Crème, 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
“This is my favorite flavor and protein powder. It tastes great and mixes easy with water. In fact it tastes great mixed with water, but I do enjoy adding some chocolate milk or sometimes almond milk for added thickness and flavor. I use it after my morning workout for recovery but it also keeps me full until lunch.”
“What is being said by everyone else is very true this product is completely different than it use to be. It mixes and taste like garbage and as mentioned you literally can smell and taste the awful additives (mostly chemical) that they have now added to this “new” formula absolutely disgusting.”
“So the drink it self had from what I can only describe as clumps? Particles? Something? In the liquid or maybe the liquid was clumping? Not a scientist but yeah over all ok just feels kinda weird drinking it with the lumps. Is it a new formula maybe? Anyways alright 7/10 does the job.”
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.
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. On average, the RTD beverage cost $8 and the powders run $28.
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.
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.