You Asked: Is Muscle Milk Good for You?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Performance enhancing supplements have become big business. Many drinks, powders and bars promise a competitive edge through increased strength, development of an ultra lean body or increased recovery responses so you can work out harder and more effectively. We encourage all our readers to use care when selecting and taking any pre- or post-workout supplement and to only use them as pre- and post-workout snacks and not as meal replacements for dieting purposes. Recently a reader contacted us about a new type of supplement called Muscle Milk, wanting to know if it was different than other supplements and a good option for her and her husband. Here is what we learned.

Cytosport has created a line of supplements for athletes with the nutrition of human milk in mind. There are 32 different products designed to help active individuals get bigger and stronger as they strength train or run and bike further and faster to live better, healthier, leaner and livelier lives. Sounds like a pretty tall order for a nutritional supplement that is supposed to only provide you with a couple hundred calories and some vitamins and minerals pre- or post-workout.

Human milk has an ideal formulation to meet the rapid and steady growth and development requirements of infants. Muscle Milk has used the same philosophy and similar composition as a supplement to aid in lean muscle mass weight gain and repair. One of the biggest differences between Muscle Milk and other supplements is the amount and source of fat that is used because of the intention to mimic human milk compositions. Just as human milk contains small chains of fat that are easily absorbed and used as an energy source, so does Muscle Milk that derives 35% of its calories from fat. The "lean lipid" fats used are in the form of MCT (medium chain triglycerides), which serve as readily available energy sources for use by the body instead of being stored. Muscle Milk also includes long chain polyunsaturated fats from canola and sunflower oils, which can have an anti-inflammatory property from the omega-6 fatty acids, which are thought to help with post-workout recovery and repair.

Human milk is lower in protein than the milk of other mammals; however, the composition is ideal. Mother's milk consists of 60% whey protein and 40% casein protein, which provides an ideal balance for quick and easy digestion and utilization. Muscle Milk also provides a similiar composition in the form of micellar casein and whey protein isolate as well as other specific amino acids such as L-glutamine, taurine and lactoferrin which is believed to be involved specifically in muscle development. Muscle Milk does not contain creatine or creatine precursors like many of the other protein supplements. If you are diabetic, care is necessary with Muscle Milk or any other products containing L-glutamine.

The Bottom Line: Cytosport Muscle Milk is widely used by body builders and endurance athletes and has received very positive reviews. With a composition that is very close to that of human milk, it seems to be a unique supplement option. Muscle Milk contains a blend of 20 vitamins and minerals, balanced in carbohydrates, specific proteins and specialized fats that provide approximately 230 calories in a 14 oz ready-to-drink serving. Because of its special formulation, it has the nutritional balance closer to a small meal instead of a pre- or post-workout replacement supplement.

If you are an elite athlete training for a big competition looking for a quality supplement to augment your nutrition and assist with your increased nutrient needs, Muscle Milk might be something you would want to consider. However, if you walk several days a week for your cardio workout and do a little Pilates or yoga for strength training, this is probably not worth the calories or fat, and you would be better off drinking a glass of chocolate milk.

Have you tried Muscle Milk and if so, what did you think of it? Did you know that the goal was to mimic human milk?

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BORDERJACK 10/14/2020
I liked the light version of chocolate muscle milk, chilled, with an apple for a snack after swim class (pre-pandemic). I found it very filling and as a vegetarian it helped me get the protein I needed (20 g added to my other foods) for only 100 calories. From my research, soy milk isn't recommended for post-menopausal women and cow's milk has some issues for adults. Report
I've tried Muscle Milk. It's ok, but there are other high-protein beverage brands that I like better due to taste, protein content, and overall nutrition. My go-to is Equate Vanilla (Equate is the Wal-mart generic version of Premier Protein.) It has 30 g. protein for only 160 calories. Report
Interesting article! Report
I was reading this and couldn't help but notice this was published in 2009 and since then Muscle Milk has made significant changes to their product, I wrote a review about their new product here if you were interested in learning about it,

But I would love to hear an updated in-depth analysis such as the one you provided here, would love to hear a response, thanks! Report
Great blog! Thanks for sharing! Report
Thanks for sharing Report
I don't think anybody should drink this milk unless under the supervision of their Dr. Report
I agree with Informed 11. They have found contaminants of the heavy metals arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury in muscle milk.

I used this product some time back and my Cholesterol went through the roof. I found out when a went for my yearly physical. It was 250+ and the doctor put me on Lipitor. I didn't take the drugs I stopped drinking muscle milk. Then went back a month later for another test. The doctor was amazed that my Cholesterol went back down and said the drug must be working for you. He was shocked that it dropped so much in a short time after I told him I didn't take the drug. I just stopped drinking muscle milk. Maybe it effects people in different way's. Report
I have tried it and I like the taste but I don't think it's for me. I don't really like supplements unless my doctor put me on it. Report
I used to drink muscle milk all the time until I came across this.
This is not speculation, this is not conjecturing, this is the result of a laboratory test done by a team of scientists acting on behalf of the nation's biggest consumer protection agency. Protein drinks are a total sham. You get more than enough natural, unprocessed protein from foods like milk, eggs and meat, without harmful levels of heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, zinc, lead, etc. Don't waste your money and put your health at risk just because Muscle Milk has a top-notch marketing team. People have been getting into (better) shape for centuries without it. Report
Muscle Milk did the job for me, and continues to keep my blood sugar under control,...even during vigorous workouts. The energy continues even after the workout, and keeps my mind and eyes clear. I wish the company would send me a few cases. I highly recommend it for anyone with Diabetes who has trouble controlling their sugars during exercise....A+ from me....... Report
@Spartanrunner I use Herbalife and it tastes like chocolate cake to me! Id beg to differ on the best tasting comment o.O but we all have opinions :D Report
My trainer suggested I mix one scoop of the dry mix into my oatmeal in the mornings after training. It took a few days to aquire the taste, but now I really like it and it keeps me full (and makes the plain oatmeal more palatable). I use Muscle Milk Light Cookies and Cream Dry mix. I've lost 10 pounds since March and am at my goal weight now so I go with whatever he says! Report
I use Muscle Milk Light (Cake Batter flavor) and it is the best tasting protien powder I have had. I mix it with water instead of milk before my high intensity workouts to ensure I don't get to sluggish. One serving is 2 scoops per 12 oz glass of water or milk, but I use 1 scoop with 16 oz of water and it is still great and flavorful and keeps my blood sugar from dropping during my afternoon workouts. Report
i actually drink a shake in the morning for breakfast, it tastes great and powers me thru my mid morning workouts... Report
I have used the Muscle Milk and like it. I use it to supplement my protein intake especially on days when I'm running late or my stomach isn't up to a "real" breakfast. I usually keep a few in the fridge, but try to limit them to once or twice a week. As far as the taste, I really like the Cookies n' Cream version and the strawberry creme. Of all of the protein "shakes", this is the one I actually "like" best. Report
Muscle milk light is the same as regular muscle milk. The reason it is light (lower in calories) is the smaller scoop. I think it's the best tasting protein supplement on the market. Report
Never tried-but think I will--I am open to any new suggestions Report
Never have tried Muscle Milk but I have tried a high protein chocolate milk that had 30 grams of protein. I liked it a lot and because I don't care for a lot of meat, thought it was great. Report
I've used it a couple times after long training runs. I've only had the banana but I thought it tasted good. It's pretty expensive, though. I think I'll stick to my myoplex or whey protein powder and even then only when I get back into the higher mileage training weeks. Report
If god didn't make it then it's not good for you. I don't believe in such supplements. Report
I've tried it and I wouldn't mind having it every once in a while. Report
I use Muscle Milk to supplement my protein intake. I had gastric bypass 5 years ago and have high protein reqirements. I have been able to maintain my loss. MM tastes better than most supplements out there. Report
My husband and I have actually tried several flavors. We both really loved the taste. I think it is better cold. It is quite expensive though. Since I'm not burning that many calories I don't drink it on a regular basis. It would be something I would have bought for my son while he was wrestling in high school had it been available. Report
I am A big fan of BSN's Syntha6 protein powders. I have been a vegetarian since 2006 and find that enough protein is sometimes hard to come by. for about 200 calories, I can get 23 grams of protien! I normally use the powder in breakfast smoothies instead of a pre/postworkout snack though.

Too much protien in you diet can definitely be bad! So, the only reason for muscle milk or its competitors is if you don't get enough protien anyways!
We have protein-shake mix at home (I think it's Designer Whey). I've been using it because I'm consistently low on my protein intake. It's only about 100 calories a serving, so it gets me a good bit of protein without messing up my other numbers.

I tried the chocolate muscle milk, and thought it tasted pretty gross. Haven't tried any of the other flavors. Report
I drink the Muscle Milk Light every morning (1 scoop vanilla) with diet V8 and eat a Special K bar and this helps me to get the protein I need to start my day. I also have 1 scoop of the light after my work out (chocolate) and that helps keep me from getting hungry through the night. Report
Never tried it but have been curious for a long time. Still undecided if it is worth the calories and expense. Report
we tried it and found it to taste disgusting Report
I like the chocolate and the malt flavored Muscle Milk. My daughter likes the chocolate. The light vanilla flavor was okay, we've never tried the strawberry or banana flavored yet because it it too expensive here (almost $3.00 a bottle), so we don't buy it on a regular basis. We're just sticking to either good old fashioned fat free white milk or choc. milk now. Report
I've used the vanilla muscle milk as a recovery drink after long runs, bike rides and bike/run combos. It's tasty and gives my body the recovery nutrients that I need. It stops me from being insanely hungry after a workout and making bad choices. It's high in calories, so I only use it after long (over 2 hr) hard workouts. Report
Have not tried it and probably will not. The origional post sounded a bit too much like a commercial and I was questioning the science ...Thanks WONGERCHI for the info. I will use it as a starting point should I need a food like this. If it works for you guys and you want to pay the price that is good. But do not be fooled by what sounds like another commercial product scam to sell an inexpensive product for alot of your money. I wonder where infant formula would fit as a recovery Drink? It is expensive but not over $3.00 per serving. I also agree that breast feeding is the optimum way to feed human babies and cows milk is meant for calves. Report
I found Muscle Milk shakes on a clearance rack at my pharmacy. I thought they would be good for my disabled husband who has trouble keeping weight on. He enjoyed several of the flavors and even tried it frozen. Didn't know about the human milk idea but I guess it can't hurt! It's a little pricey tho at my regular store. Report
Skim milk suits me when I'm not drinking water. Report
my hubby tryed it and did not like it so we will not get it again Report
My husband drinks this at night ( as he works graveyard shift) so it's good to know that it is good for him, because he really doesn't eat well. Report
while I haven't used muscle milk I have investigated it as my son will use it occasionally after a grueling workout if it's handy. I am a firm believer in replenishing one's body after workouts and wouldn't mind trying this one if I hadn't anything else to use... Report
First time I've heard of it!! Report
I've been using both the Muscle Milk powder and pre-mixed light shakes for about a year. I like the taste of the pre-mixed light shakes much better. Since my workouts are pretty intense, my trainer had me start drinking them before workouts. I believe they've help me reach my weight and fitness goals. Report
I was at 7-11 one day, and looking for something to drink that would be good for me. I tried the vanilla flavored muscle milk and it was one of the worst, most-disgusting things that I have ever tasted. Not likely to try again, no matter how potentially beneficial, will stick with good old-fashioned milk. Report
A few years ago, we went to a chiropractor, who was also a neighbor. He advocated Muscle Milk and sold it in his office. Even though he was a fitness enthusiast, he had absolutely no muscle tone and was flabby. My husband and I, being 30 years older than him and his wife had more defined muscles and better muscle tone. To be unbiased, I checked out Muscle Milk, but couldn't find any research science to prove it was better than the products I was already taking. There are Scientists at Advocare that do the research on every ingredient that comes into this country at the Univ. of California at Davis, which is the number one nutrition school in the world.

The post-workout recovery shakes and meal replacement shakes are not dairy based, great for diabetics and used by over 300 professional and olympic athletes. They are also certified, banned substance-free by Informed Choice. If they are good enough for pro and college football players, elite athletes, race care drivers, etc., they are certainly good enough for me. Muscle Milk cannot compare. All proteins are not created equal. There is no product on the market that tastes this great or works this good. You can send me a Sparkmail if you want to know more.
I have seen it at the store, but didn't try it. I did nurse 4 of my 5 children, and have to say that ANY woman should nurse her baby, as human milk was made for humans. Report
chocolate milk for me PLEASE Report
I'll stick with good ole chocolate milk; it hasn't let me down yet :) Report
Yes I've tried it. My favorite is the Muscle Milk Light Vanilla Cream. With only 100 calories per pre-made serving and 15g of protein its a perfect snack replacement. I really like the taste and I've found it for as low as $1.75 per shake. Report
Human milk is designed for babies not adults. I would not try it. The problem I have with suppliments is that too many packaged foods have them. It is getting more difficult to avoid over-doing even without taking a vitamin. Report
I've actually been a returning customer of CytoSport for about 2 years now, though I've been taking their CytoGainer and not tried their Muscle Milk product. Although the question was, have you tried Muscle Milk, again, I haven't, their CytoGainer (a protein supplement I take with 2% milk (tastes TERRIBLE with water) but I’ll take half the recommended serving of 4 scoops as that’s 54g of protein – far, far more than your body can absorb in one sitting) is absolutely delectable! I can go to the gym, hit it hard, ingest the shakes - about one every 4-6 hours for the next 2-3 days - and see _definite_ (positive) results. I'll actually gain a good 1+lbs of muscle from a good hard workout with a balanced, sensible higher-than-normal protein diet.

My point? Given CytoSports popularity amongst professional and avid body builders, and the performance of their product with me, I would venture that Muscle Milk is probably another in the long line or quality products worth investigating.

In short, ''Don't knock it till you try it,'' all you dissenters out there! Report
Never tried it, never seen or heard of it, don't plan on trying it. Report