Muscle Milk is endorsed by some of the world's greatest athletes...but how good is it? Find out the pros and cons of using Muscle Milk as part of your bodybuilding nutrition regime.
Now Weigh the Options…
Muscle Milk. You’ve seen the ads. It’s been endorsed by famous football players, soccer players, cyclists, and runners. It’s one of the easiest protein drinks to find with a wide availability online, in health-food stores and in many grocery stores. It’s a well-known product, but is it any good? This article will list the facts about Muscle Milk and give the pros and cons for bodybuilders.
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Muscle Milk is a dietary protein supplement created by the company CytoSport. It comes in powdered and liquid form and boasts a very impressive nutritional profile. One scoop of Muscle Milk has 150 calories and 16 grams of protein, but that’s not all. It’s fortified with 17 different vitamins and minerals, has 2 grams of dietary fiber and 9 grams of carbohydrates.
CytoSport has blended whey and casein proteins together to give you both fast and slow digesting proteins to help your muscle building efforts. Muscle Milk is also lactose-free so those who are lactose intolerant can consume this product without worry. It comes in delicious flavors like Banana Crème, Red Velvet Cake, Strawberries n’ Crème and German Chocolate Cake. It’s already low in calories, but if you want to further reduce your caloric intake, there are also light versions of Muscle Milk.
Muscle Milk Nutrition: Pros and Benefits
In addition to the high protein, vitamin and mineral content, Muscle Milk is high in medium-chain glycerides (MCT). Medium-chain glycerides are found in abundance in coconut oil. MCTs are absorbed by the body faster than other fats, allowing it to be used for energy. They are also lower in calories than other fat, so they’ll help you monitor your weight. Worried about aging? MCT’s can help with that too. Studies have shown that MCT’s can prevent the signs of aging.
Another Muscle Milk pro is its nitrogen content. Nitrate is found in Muscle Milk. The body transforms nitrate into nitrite, and nitrite is used to help make nitric oxide. Increased blood flow, bigger pumps, improvements in the digestive system and lower blood pressure are some of the benefits that that nitric oxide provides.
Branched-chained amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are found in abundance in Muscle Milk and they provide a host of benefits. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) prevent muscle wasting, increase muscle mass and reduce belly fat, and reduce the buildup of lactic acid in the body so there is less incidence of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). BCAA’s also help improve insulin sensitivity. Improved insulin sensitivity means the body is able to burn fat better which will help you decrease body fat.
One of the biggest pros of Muscle Milk is the dietary blend of whey and casein milk proteins. Whey protein is fast digesting and helps get needed amino acids in your system as quickly as possible. Casein, on the other hand, is slowly released into the body. This gives a steady stream of amino acids for hours after consumption. This dietary blend gives you the best of both worlds, preventing catabolism and stimulating more muscle growth.
Is Muscle Milk Good for You?
With the good comes the bad, and there are some cons associated with this dietary supplement. One of the cons is the potential for weight gain. Muscle Milk provides 150 calories per serving while other protein supplements average 100 calories per serving. For ectomorphs (hard gainers), Muscle Milk may be perfect because these individuals have a hard time putting on weight. For endomorphs (people prone to gain weight), Muscle Milk may not be the ideal drink.
There is a substance in Muscle Milk that may cause stomach upset. Crystalline fructose is an ingredient that isn’t digested well by some people. These people get excessive amounts of intestinal gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps when consuming this additive. For those with a sensitivity to crystalline fructose, Muscle Milk should be avoided.
Muscle Milk may also compromise the health of people suffering from kidney disease. High protein foods are sometimes avoided by people with kidney disease because digesting protein tends to overwork the kidneys. Excess amounts of protein get excreted through the kidneys and, for this reason, taking Muscle Milk is contraindicated in their diets.
Your Body, Your Choice
Muscle Milk is a dietary supplement that can do a lot of good for bodybuilders. It contains MCTs (good for energy and for the prevention of signs of aging), nitrate (which eventually forms nitric oxide in the body), and contains BCAAs. Although many can benefit from using this dietary supplement, Muscle Milk is not good for those with crystalline fructose sensitivity, people prone to weight gain and must be used with caution in those suffering from kidney disease.
In the end, you have to weigh up the pros and cons, and decide for yourself whether this popular product is right for you.
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