05 May 2011 ~ Comments Off on Protein Review: CytoSport Muscle Milk

Protein Review: CytoSport Muscle Milk

I admit it, I’m a protein shake junkie. (Not that it’s a bad thing—more on that later.) I must have sampled 20-30 different brands of protein over the years. I’ve got a couple of go-to brands, but when the price is right I’m not above sampling something new.

My addiction is your gain: here’s the first of a series of reviews of popular protein brands I’ve tried. We’ll begin with one of the best-selling brands, CytoSport Muscle Milk.

Overview

Muscle Milk is not a “pure protein” powder. Neither is it a meal replacement. It’s billed as a nutritional drink with “good” fats (called “lean lipids”), vitamins and minerals.

Protein: 32g/serving

The protein content in a serving of Muscle Milk looks really high. That’s because the recommended serving size is really large: two scoops, rather than one for most “pure” proteins. So ounce-for-ounce there’s less protein for the money in Muscle Milk. If you’re having trouble gaining weight, however, this might be for you.

Taste: Great

The foremost selling point for me is Muscle Milk’s flavor – most protein drinks play games with the name of their chocolate flavor, calling it “Chocolate Shake” or “Chocolate Frost” or other modifications. Muscle Milk has a “Real Chocolate” flavor that tastes like real chocolate. Add milk instead of water and it tastes like chocolate candy! It may be the first protein supplement I’ve ever drank for enjoyment.

However, in the full two-scoop serving size it’s really sweet. One scoop in milk should be a reasonable tradeoff.

Mixability: Good

I didn’t have any problems shaking up Muscle Milk, either in a regular shaker cup or my protein shaker.

Verdict

I loved the flavor of Muscle Milk, but don’t need the “extras.” I get plenty of fats and nutrients in my diet, and just need my protein drink to deliver protein and taste good. I can find more cost-effective, purer protein supplements that taste fine to me, like GNC’s Pro Performance brand.

But if you’re a hard-gainer, two scoops of this stuff in 16 ounces of milk are as many calories as a Big Mac, with a lot more nutrition and a taste not unlike a dessert. Additionally, in my favorite meal replacement shake (almond butter, banana, protein, ice and milk) the chocolate flavor harmonized perfectly with the others—not something I can say of every protein powder.

I’ve got more reviews in the pipeline for you, but let me know if there’s one you’d like me to try. And if you’ve tried Muscle Milk, you can contribute a review of your own in the comments below.

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