3 Major Muscle Milk Side Effects

Muscle Milk has become a ubiquitous nutritional supplement drink. It’s found not only in supplement stores, but also at most corner markets.

Its ingredients, according to its website, include calcium and sodium caseinate, milk protein isolate, maltodextrin, fructose, potassium citrate, and vitamin mineral blend, among others. But because you can’t pick “vitamin mineral blend” or some of the other ingredients from a tree, many people are wary of Muscle Milk and wonder if it’s safe for them.

Natalie Stephens, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, acknowledges the food label on Muscle Milk products can be a bit of a tongue twister for the average person.

But are there any known ingredients in Muscle Milk that people should be concerned about?

“While there aren’t any ingredients that are outright harmful, this question really depends on the individual consumer,” she says. “People with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, kidney issues, or sensitivity to food dyes or sugar substitutes may want to read closely or even ask the advice of a qualified health professional before consuming.”

Other experts disagree with Stephens due to Muscle Milk containing acesulfame potassium and sucralose. These two artificial sweeteners are known to interact with gut bacteria and may promote weight gain and insulin resistance.

Felice Kosakavich, MS, RD, CDN, has a son who plays college basketball and uses Muscle Milk as his protein supplement of choice.

“With excessive weight training and practices he feels it is a good price, excellent taste, and meets his needs for additional protein,” she says. “He is comfortable using it and, after much research, feels it is reputable.”

Kosakavich says athletes like her son could benefit from Muscle Milk. “The composition of high-protein, low-carbohydrates will provide the extra protein needed pre and post workout for recovery,” she says.

But that doesn’t mean the supplement drink comes without concerns for specific people.

Muscle Milk has built a name for itself in the weight-lifting and body-building community, but is it justified? With such a crowded marketplace it is hard to sift through all of the different products and know which one is the right one to go with. Just because Muscle Milk has managed to secure itself a lot of shelf space at GNC it does not necessarily mean it’s something you should spend your hard-earned cash on.

What Exactly Is Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk is a nutritional supplement drink that is available in various forms. It is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate composition. The product is made by the company CytoSport Inc.

What Is Muscle Milk Used For?

Muscle Milk is a nutritional supplement drink that can be used for various purposes. The most common reason people choose Muscle Milk is to build strength and help with recovery time during workouts and weight training. Although there are many that use this product and benefit greatly from it there have been some issues that the company had to overcome regarding it. Mostly were marketing claims that they ended up being sued over.

For Injury Recovery

However, I personally have used this product when I broke my jaw and couldn’t eat solids. My jaw was wired shut for 12 weeks and this product got me through this most difficult time. I received the following benefits from it:

  • It offered me a variety of different flavours so I didn’t get sick of drinking the same thing.
  • It virtually tastes like a milkshake and sustained my appetite.
  • I was impressed by all the nutrients I was getting from these great protein drinks.

From time to time, I still buy them to keep on hand when I don’t have time for breakfast. It is a quick and convenient way to get the vitamins and minerals that you need. My favourite is the banana flavour. It’s delicious.

What Varieties Are Muscle Milk Products Available In?

Muscle Milk is available in a fine line of products. Products which are available are:

Genuine Protein Shakes – Contains 25g of Protein

  • Ready to Drink – Protein Shake – Banana Creme
  • Ready to Drink – Protein Shake – Chocolate
  • Ready to Drink – Protein Shake – Cookies ‘n Creme
  • Ready to Drink – Protein Shake – Strawberries ‘n Creme
  • Ready to Drink – Protein Shake – Vanilla Creme

Also available in variety packs of 10 and 12.

Pro Series Shakes – Contains 40g of protein

  • Ready to Drink – Go Bananas
  • Ready to Drink – Intense Vanilla
  • Ready to Drink – Knockout Chocolate

Smoothie Yogurt Protein Shakes – Contains 25g of Protein

  • Ready to Drink – Blueberry
  • Ready to Drink – Strawberry Banana

Coffee House Protein Shakes – Contains 20g Protein, 120mg Caffeine

  • Ready to Drink – Cafe Latte
  • Ready to Drink – Mocha Latte
  • Ready to Drink – Vanilla Latte

Also available in a 12-pack variety pack.

Original Protein Shakes – Contains 34g of Protein

  • Ready to Drink – Banana Creme
  • Ready to Drink – Chocolate
  • Ready to Drink – Strawberries ‘n Creme
  • Ready to Drink – Cookies ‘n Creme

Also available in a variety pack of 10.

Muscle Milk Light Protein Shakes – Contains 28g of Protein, 0g of sugar

  • Ready to Drink – Chocolate
  • Ready to Drink – Vanilla Creme

Muscle Milk 100 Calorie Protein Shakes – Contains 20g of Protein

  • Ready to Drink – Vanilla Creme

Collegiate Protein Shakes – Contains 18g of Protein

  • Ready to Drink – Chocolate
  • Ready to Drink – Vanilla Creme

Muscle Milk Protein Powders

Muscle Milk also produces a variety of protein powders which can be added to smoothies, shakes and other favourite foods and drinks. These are available in a multitude of flavours, for example, Cake Batter, and Peanut Butter Chocolate.

The protein powders are available in:

  • 100 Calorie Protein Powders
  • Genuine Protein Powders
  • Pro Series Protein Powders
  • Coffee House Protein Powders
  • Collegiate Protein Powders
  • Gainer Protein Powders
  • Whey Protein Powders

Muscle Milk Protein Bars

There are 15g protein bars in Peanut Butter Cookie and Cookies ‘n Creme flavours and 20g protein bars in Chocolate Peanut Butter flavour.

What Are The Basic Ingredients In The Muscle Milk Products?

Many of the Muscle Milk protein products contain ingredients such as:

  • Water
  • Milk Protein Isolate
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Soluble Vegetable Fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3

Depending on the product, there are other ingredients in it as well.

What Are The Benefits of Using Muscle Milk Products?

Muscle Milk products contain a high level of protein, something that helps you perform and live better. Those that are mildly active require 50% of their body weight in grams of protein per day. Those that are moderately active require 70% of their body weight in grams of protein. Those that are very active require 90% of their body weight in grams of protein. There are many benefits to using Muscle Milk products such as:

  • Provides a protein-packed breakfast
  • Provides the required fuel as a pre-workout protein
  • Provides faster recovery time post-workout
  • Provides many vitamins and nutrients when taken as a meal replacement
  • Provides a convenient on the go meal
  • Can be consumed any time of the day or night
  • Helps curb hunger
  • Helps to build lean muscle
  • Can be used to help with weight loss, instead of choosing high carb and sugar foods
  • There are a multitude of flavours to choose from, meeting everyone’s taste pallet
  • Can be consumed by adults of all ages

Muscle Milk Products are Reputable Products

Muscle Milk is the leading athletic and sports protein provider today. They are in many partnerships with world-class athletes, collegiate athletic programs and elite training facilities. To ensure the company produces the highest quality protein product they work closely together with sports dietitians, sports scientists and many other experts.

Customer Reviews

71% of Amazon customers that have purchased Muscle Milk have rated this product 5 out of 5 stars. Some happy customers have stated the following in their reviews:

“My go to vanilla protein shake post-workout and meal replacement. Tastes great. If you have clumps, put a little bit of liquid first in your shaker before you put the protein powder and don’t fill it to the top so it has room to dissolve while you shake it.”

“The great thing about this product is that it isn’t just whey protein like so many supplements are. Americans tend to eat plenty of protein in their normal diet–this contains a bunch of your daily required amount vitamins as well, for those of us who should eat a greater variety of vegetables and nuts than they do. In addition, you have a year to use the whole thing if you keep the contents dry, before the expiration date. It normally takes me two-three months to go through the almost 5 lb. container.”

Recommendations

If you are looking for a great tasting protein shake to help with your athletic performance and recovery time, this is the product for you. This product can also be used as a meal replacement and even as a snack. Find your favourite flavour and enjoy!

Options

No matter how good a product may be or sound to be it is always wise to do one comparison of it against another. In this case, you may want to look at 1235 Muscle.

Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder

Muscle Milk Protein Powder, 32 Grams of Whey Protein, 7 Flavors

Muscle Milk Protein Powder. Free shipping for qualified orders. 32 grams of protein powder per serving, only 160 calories per scoop. Muscle Milk comes in chocolate, plus six more delicious flavors. “Tastes amazing and mixes well.” Read more customer reviews!

Muscle Milk® protein powder is a great-tasting formula that supplies high-quality multi-source protein, carbohydrates, and 20 vitamins and minerals. What do our customers say? “Tastes amazing and mixes well.” “Thick and creamy.” “No clumping and wasn’t gritty like some protein powders.” “I tell you, it bulks you up!”

Muscle Milk powder gives your body the steady supply of protein it needs for fast recovery and new muscle growth. Each serving contains 32 grams of high-quality protein, 4 grams of fiber, and all 9 essential amino acids. All that for only 160 calories and 0 grams of sugar per serving! Muscle Milk is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as Glutamine. Plus, the vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in every scoop helps build strong bones. Muscle Milk is also gluten-free.

What is Muscle Milk and what does it do?

Muscle Milk is protein powder designed to help you build muscles. You don’t build muscle when you exercise—that’s when you tear it down. You build muscle afterward, when your body has a chance to rest and rebuild the muscle tissue that was damaged, and add new muscle. That’s where Muscle Milk comes in, giving your body the protein and essential amino acids it needs to build new muscle tissue and strong bones.

Is Muscle Milk good for you?

Yes! Along with a good workout plan, Muscle Milk protein is all you need to help your body recover quickly from physical activity and rebuild muscle. But it does more than that. It also helps your body manufacture the hormones, enzymes, cellular messengers, nucleic acids, and immune-system components you need to stay fit and strong.

Easy to mix, thick and creamy Muscle Milk doesn’t give you that gritty texture you find in other protein shakes. It’s affordable and comes in popular flavors including Vanilla, Chocolate, and Cookies N’ Creme. Ready to take a walk on the wild side? Try Banana Creme, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Strawberries N’ Creme, and Strawberry Banana.

Muscle Milk also comes in Muscle Milk Pro Series with 50 grams of protein per serving, and Muscle Milk Light with only 100 calories per serving.

When should you drink Muscle Milk?

Most people have a Muscle Milk shake soon after a workout. But you can also have a shake before a workout or at bedtime so your body can continue to build lean muscle all night. Drink a Muscle Milk protein shake 30-60 minutes after physical activity to give your body the essential amino acids it needs to build new muscle and replenish energy stores.

What kind of protein is in Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk powder contains whey protein isolate and casein, both made from dairy. Whey protein is quickly absorbed by your body, which is just what your body needs after a workout. Casein is absorbed much more slowly, making it the perfect kind of protein to repair muscle as you sleep.

What does Muscle Milk taste like?

Like our customers say, Muscle Milk “tastes amazing and mixes well.” “Thick and creamy.” “No clumping and wasn’t gritty like some protein powders.” Chocolate lovers love our Chocolate flavor, and we’ve got lots more flavors to choose from.

Is Muscle Milk gluten free?

Yes, Muscle Milk Protein Powder is 100 percent gluten free. It does contain maltodextrin, but the protein is removed during processing, leaving it free of gluten.

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  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

  • Sustained energy
  • Build lean muscle
  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Workout Recovery

MUSCLE MILK® products complement sound nutrition and hydration practices that, in conjunction with a smart exercise-training program,
may contribute to recovery from exercise, gains in lean muscle mass, and healthy weight management.

Chocolate milk vs. protein shake: Which is better after a workout?

The post-workout drink you never knew you needed.

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You’ve made it your mission to get fit, and you’re finally following through on it. You’ve got the time, energy and know-how to work out, but there’s only one problem — you’re spending a fortune on protein powder.

Supplements like protein powder are often marketed as necessary for any sort of fitness gains, whether you’re trying to lift heavier weights or run a longer distance. But the reality is, they’re not all that necessary for the majority of people. Instead, you can sip on a nice, tasty beverage after your workout that’ll give you all the same benefits: chocolate milk. Yup, you heard me right. The treat from your childhood may now be the key to athletic success.

Why is protein necessary?

You can get plenty of protein from actual food.

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Protein is great to eat right after any type of workout because the amino acids help your muscles repair themselves. All exercises, from running marathons to weightlifting, create small microtears in your muscles. After you stop working out, your body sends blood and nutrients to heal the site — this is how muscles get stronger. It’s also why post-exercise fuel is vitally important.

However, protein’s role in this process may be slightly overstated. Many researchers say that we consume twice as much protein as we really should — the average adult woman only needs about 55 grams per day, and men need 65 grams. A single serving of protein powder has around 20 to 25 grams of protein, which is a bit of overkill for most people, considering you’re also likely getting protein from your meals.

What else should be in a post-workout drink?

What’s often overlooked in our post-workout recovery equation is carbohydrates. Working out also depletes your body’s glycogen, which is essentially stored energy. Eating carbs replenishes glycogen, and also helps cell maintenance and repair.

So, an optimal post-workout recovery drink would have a good mixture of both carbs and protein, with some electrolytes thrown in. Electrolytes are minerals like calcium, sodium and potassium that keep you hydrated and help balance your body’s pH.

Protein shakes are best if you don’t consume dairy.

Getty Images

Is chocolate milk or a protein shake a better post-workout drink?

The answer to this question partly depends on your personal preferences. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, a plant-based protein powder may be better suited for you. Similarly, if you’re trying to cut down on sugar, you may want to skip the chocolate milk — but beware, many protein powders and premade shakes have sugar in them, too.

Chocolate milk has been proven to contain a near-perfect ratio of protein, carbohydrates and electrolytes to help your body replenish its fuel stores after a hard workout. With 9 grams of protein in a cup, it’s suitable for drinking after both weightlifting and endurance exercise. It also contains potassium and sodium, so it’ll help you rehydrate after a difficult workout.

Even if you’re a weightlifter, chocolate milk as a post-workout drink has been shown to help people grow stronger. Multiple studies showed that drinking milk led to greater increases in muscle hypertrophy and lean muscle mass than drinking a standard sports rehydration beverage.

Plus, the cost of high-quality protein powder really adds up. A typical serving of protein powder costs anywhere from 75 cents to $1.31, while a serving of chocolate milk is usually around 25 cents. It may seem like a small difference, but the savings will show over time.

So, next time you’re at the store looking for something to refuel with after your workout, consider skipping the expensive protein powder and go straight for the chocolate milk instead.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

  • A new study comparing whey- and milk-based protein recovery drinks with a carbohydrate-only recovery drink found that neither protein beverage provided significant muscle soreness or recovery benefits over the carb-only drink.
  • The study concluded that “well balanced nutritional practices” might be the best recovery strategy.

The secret to strength training gains is all in the recovery process. Weight lifting breaks down your muscle fibers, so they can recover bigger and stronger and make you more powerful. Protein helps that recovery process, which is why many gym goers faithfully chase down heavy workouts with a protein-rich drink in the hopes of speeding up repair and staving off muscle soreness.

But how necessary is that postworkout shake, really?

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New research published in the Journal of Human Kinetics brings that practice into question, showing that high protein beverages are no more effective than plain carbohydrate sports drinks for promoting muscle recovery and assuaging soreness.

The study included 30 men between the ages of 20 and 30 who were experienced weight lifters. They were divided into three recovery-drink groups: One group of 10 lifters received a whey hydrolysate-based drink; another 10 got a milk-based drink, and the final group was given a flavored dextrose (carbohydrate) drink.

All the drinks contained about 530 calories; the protein drinks both contained about 33 grams of protein, 98 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fat. Neither the researchers nor the lifters knew who was going to be receiving which drink.

The men then performed strength and power assessments, including seated medicine ball throws and squat jumps, and an intensive resistance training session, including squat, bench press, deadlift, military press, and bench pull exercises.

When they were done, the lifters chugged their beverages and then came back for re-testing after 24 and again 48 hours later—when you’d expect delayed onset muscle soreness to have fully set in. And it had.

The researchers had the volunteers rate their levels of muscle soreness on a 0 to 200 scale, with 0 being not one bit sore and 200 being as bad as it gets. They also repeated the strength and power assessments to test their muscle function.

All the men showed significant increases in their levels of muscle soreness 24 and 48 hours after their training session, with ratings for all three groups rising to over 90. This was about four times higher than their baseline ratings, which ranged from 19 to 26. All the men also had reductions in muscle power and function.

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The kicker, though, was there was no difference in soreness, performance, or recovery between the different groups. Regardless of whether they got protein—or what type of protein they got—they were still just as sore and compromised 24 and 48 hours following the intense gym session.

“While proteins and carbohydrates are essential for the effective repair of muscle fibers following intensive strength training, our research suggests that varying the form of protein immediately following training does not strongly influence the recovery response or reduce muscle pain,” lead author Thomas Gee, Ph.D., said in a press release.

That’s not to say taking in balanced nutrition after a hard workout isn’t important, Gee, who is also senior lecturer in strength and conditioning the University of Lincoln in the U.K., told Bicycling.

“I would expect and hypothesize, based on previous literature and theory, that recovery would be enhanced with the three drink conditions vs. water only,” he said.

But you don’t necessarily need to pour money into pricey recovery drinks to get the same effect.

The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training amazon.com $24.95

“We would hypothesize that well-balanced daily nutrition practices would influence recovery from delayed onset muscle soreness to a greater extent,” Gee said in the release. That means getting enough protein throughout the rest of the day is still important.

Though the study didn’t include women, women’s sports physiology and nutrition researcher Stacy Sims, Ph.D., believed the results would likely be similar in this specific circumstance.

“When considering recovery drinks postresistance training, if you are not doing the workout fasted, the recovery drink is a bit of a moot point, as there is no full depletion of fuel, but there is a release of amino acids from muscle breakdown,” Sims said. “But if you’re doing HIIT-type resistance training fasted or long, steady-state endurance training, that’s a different kettle of fish, because you become so fully depleted that you do need that timed recovery drink.”

The take home message here: Fuel your general training with a healthy, balanced diet throughout your entire day, and save the commercial recovery drinks for when you really need them: following an exhausting race or training session when you need to restock your glycogen stores as quickly and efficiently as possible, along with some rehydration.

​Selene Yeager “The Fit Chick” Selene Yeager is a top-selling professional health and fitness writer who lives what she writes as a NASM certified personal trainer, USA Cycling certified coach, pro licensed mountain bike racer, and All-American Ironman triathlete.

Muscle milk post workout

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