{"id":606041702706,"title":"Is Muscle Milk Good for You? Why We Don't Think So","created_at":"2023-08-11T23:49:39-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is Muscle Milk Good for You? Why We Don't Think So\",\n \"keywords\": \"is muscle milk good for you, is muscle milk bad for you, is muscle milk healthy, is muscle milk unhealthy, muscle milk ingredients, muscle milk\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in Muscle Milk based on medical studies to explain why we don't think it's healthy. We pick the healthiest Muscle Milk product, compare the brand to Premier Protein and explain why Muscle Milk was sued over protein dosage.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-muscle-milk-good-for-you\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"http:\/\/djmazzoni.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Muscle_Milk_Good_For_You_Thumbnail.png?v=1691812620\",\n\"width\": \"3354\",\n\"height\": \"3354\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/23765352\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28832835\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-propel-water-good-for-you\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34368996\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3278747\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/premier-protein-shake-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.cbc.ca\/news\/canada\/british-columbia\/wellness-milkshakes-chronic-vitamin-overdose-1.6363562\",\n\"https:\/\/www.nsfsport.com\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2846864\/\",\n\"https:\/\/topclassactions.com\/lawsuit-settlements\/consumer-products\/supplements\/muscle-milk-class-action-resolved-in-12m-deal\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30681787\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Walmart\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"CVS\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Premier Protein\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"artificial flavors\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"phosphate\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"vitamin and mineral additives\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"CBC\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"NSF\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Top Class Actions\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-08-12\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Muscle_Milk_Good_For_You_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1691812115\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eM\u003c\/span\u003euscle Milk is one of the most popular sports nutrition brands in the US. It’s sold at Walmart, CVS and many other large retailers, and the brand suggests that their products can “help rebuild muscle after exercise.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eBut does Muscle Milk contain an effective protein dose for building muscle? What’s actually in Muscle Milk beyond milk, and is it good for you or unhealthy? Does Muscle Milk contain any questionable additives? And how does it compare to other popular ready-to-drink protein shakes like Premier Protein?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Muscle Milk based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not it’s good for you.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll compare Muscle Milk to Premier Protein and pick our winner, and share our thoughts on why drinking regular milk may be a better option than drinking Muscle Milk.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eIngredient Analysis\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"Muscle Milk ingredients\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Muscle_Milk_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1691812205\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe ingredients in Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shake Cookies ‘n Crème flavor are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne serving provides 25 grams (g) of protein, which is an effective dose for building muscle according to a 2013 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/23765352\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/23765352\/\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIf the only ingredients in this protein shake were water and milk protein, we would consider recommending it. However, there are a number of additive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eNatural and artificial flavors\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is listed on the ingredient label, and artificial flavors may have toxic effects according to a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28832835\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28832835\/\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBrazilian Journal of Biology\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eSucralose\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is an artificial sweetener that’s clinically shown to have negative effects on insulin function, as we discussed in our article on \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-propel-water-good-for-you\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-propel-water-good-for-you\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis Propel Water good for you\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eAcesulfame potassium\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is another artificial sweetener that was found to worsen intestinal function in a 2021 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34368996\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34368996\/\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003ePotassium phosphate \u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eand \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003esodium polyphosphates\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e are food stabilizers and preservatives, and a 2012 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3278747\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3278747\/\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on phosphate additives in food concluded the following:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e“...the public should be informed that added phosphate is damaging to health.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe researchers in the above-linked trial found that individuals with high-normal phosphate levels in their blood were more likely to die, and more likely to experience cardiovascular events than those with lower levels.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eOverall, we do not consider Muscle Milk to be good for you\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in light of the inactive ingredients highlighted above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNearly anything approved for sale as a food product in the US is acceptable in moderation, but we don’t see the purpose in consuming a food product with so many additives when the same protein dose can be achieved without all of the additives.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut how does Muscle Milk stack up to Premier Protein? We’ll compare the two brands in the next section of this article.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eMuscle Milk vs. Premier Protein\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePremier Protein is another highly popular ready-to-drink protein shake. It has a very similar formulation to Muscle Milk.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs we documented in our review of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/premier-protein-shake-review\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/premier-protein-shake-review\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePremier Protein Shakes\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, that brand also uses flavoring additives, phosphate additives and artificial sweeteners.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn fact, the only relevant difference from a nutritional perspective is that Premier Protein has a large blend of vitamin and mineral additives and Muscle Milk only has two (vitamin D and vitamin A).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eWe consider Muscle Milk to be slightly healthier than Premier Protein Shakes, because regular consumption of fortified protein shakes may cause vitamin overdose\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/www.cbc.ca\/news\/canada\/british-columbia\/wellness-milkshakes-chronic-vitamin-overdose-1.6363562\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/www.cbc.ca\/news\/canada\/british-columbia\/wellness-milkshakes-chronic-vitamin-overdose-1.6363562\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eas documented\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e by the CBC.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGetting vitamins and minerals from whole foods seems to be the best choice from a nutritional perspective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut what’s the healthiest Muscle Milk product? We’ll discuss that in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eWhat’s the Healthiest Muscle Milk Product?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMuscle Milk sells a wide range of products beyond just ready-to-drink shakes.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eTheir powders are a much healthier option than their drinkable shakes in our opinion.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs shown below, the only ingredient in the unflavored 100% whey protein powder sold by Muscle Milk is whey protein:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Muscle_Milk_Whey_Protein_Ingredients_Optimized_90715844-56ff-45bc-8643-7bbdda953d3d.png?v=1691812506\" alt=\"Muscle Milk unflavored whey protein ingredients\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis protein powder is also \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/www.nsfsport.com\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/www.nsfsport.com\/\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNSF Certified for Sport\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which is a third-party certification that ensures it’s accurately labeled and free of banned substances.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe don’t currently recommend this protein powder because the brand doesn’t clarify whether it’s sourced from pastured animals or conventionally-raised animals (and animal products from pastured animals are \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2846864\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2846864\/\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be more nutritious, although this matters less for a “processed” food product like whey protein).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eWe consider Muscle Milk’s unflavored 100% whey protein to be much healthier than the Cookies ‘n Crème shake, and consider it to be healthier than most protein shakes on the market\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e given its lack of unhealthy additives and third-party certification.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor consumers intent on purchasing from Muscle Milk, this is the product we’d recommend.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eMuscle Milk Sued over Protein Content\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn 2020, Muscle Milk was sued over allegations of false advertising.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eThe company overstated the protein content of some of their products\u003c\/b\u003e \u003ca data-mce-fragment=\"1\" href=\"https:\/\/topclassactions.com\/lawsuit-settlements\/consumer-products\/supplements\/muscle-milk-class-action-resolved-in-12m-deal\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/topclassactions.com\/lawsuit-settlements\/consumer-products\/supplements\/muscle-milk-class-action-resolved-in-12m-deal\/\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eaccording to\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e Top Class Actions.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe above-linked article also suggests that Muscle Milk claimed their products contained l-glutamine, while none was found in independent testing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis lawsuit was settled at the time of publishing this article, and Muscle Milk’s manufacturer agreed to pay $12 million.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe find this information to be highly concerning given that the protein dose is one of the most important criteria when consumers are choosing a protein supplement.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur Clean Protein Picks\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Protein_Powder_Image_Optimized.png?v=1664075597\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/bulletproof.fdf2.net\/illuminatelabs\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003eBulletproof Collagen Protein\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e is\u003c\/span\u003e our top overall protein powder pick, and costs\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eonly $1.32 per serving\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eat the time of updating this article.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThe main reason is its formulation: \u003cstrong\u003eBulletproof's protein powder only contains one single ingredient: collagen protein sourced from grass-fed animals.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003eAs the core structural protein in skin, supplemental collagen is\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30681787\/\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto reduce visible signs of skin aging like wrinkles, which is a secondary benefit not offered by other types of protein like whey protein.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/promixnutrition.com\/products\/unflavored-whey-protein-powder?utm_campaign=squaredance\u0026amp;utm_source=affiliate\u0026amp;sqdid=pBwaCejYrGnzerbLkCiPwvzjiCqCjUwyJycPNOxE5KKkI523scNWeqEM-184DZ6v%2F%2F%2F\u0026amp;utm_medium=394421\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePromix Whey Protein\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top whey protein powder, and costs\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eonly $0.93 per serving\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eat the time of updating this article when you purchase the 5 pound bag.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis brand uses grass-fed whey protein and no sweeteners or flavoring additives.\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eWhey protein is a \"complete\" protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/lovecomplement.com\/products\/complement-organic-vegan-plant-based-protein-unflavored?utm_source=illuminate\u0026amp;utm_medium=blog\u0026amp;utm_campaign=protein_un\u0026amp;utm_content=\u0026amp;aff=446\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003eComplement Organic Protein\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top vegan protein powder.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe only ingredients in this protein powder are a blend of nutritious plant proteins: organic yellow pea protein, organic pumpkin seed protein, organic almond protein, organic sunflower seed protein and organic chia seed protein.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAll three of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do not think that the ready-to-drink products sold by Muscle Milk are good for you, because they contain a wide range of inactive ingredients with questionable health effects based on medical studies, such as artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners and added phosphates.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDrinking regular milk would allow a consumer to get the same protein dose without all of these additives. There are also protein products on the market that are free of such additives.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMuscle Milk’s manufacturer was sued in 2020 over claims of false advertising related to the protein content in their products. The company agreed to settle for $12 million.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor consumers intent on purchasing from Muscle Milk, we consider the brand’s powders to be a much healthier option than their ready-to-drink beverages. The unflavored whey protein powder has no additives at all, and would be our top Muscle Milk pick.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\" style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe hope that in the future, healthier ready-to-drink protein shakes emerge on the market, because Premier Protein has an even worse formulation than Muscle Milk in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-08-11T23:55:30-04:00","updated_at":"2023-12-18T14:49:58-05:00","summary_html":"We analyze the ingredients in Muscle Milk based on medical studies to explain why we don't think it's healthy. We pick the healthiest Muscle Milk product, compare the brand to Premier Protein and explain why Muscle Milk was sued over protein dosage.","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-muscle-milk-good-for-you","tags":"_related:protein"}

Is Muscle Milk Good for You? Why We Don't Think So

Is Muscle Milk Good for You? Why We Don't Think So


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Muscle Milk is one of the most popular sports nutrition brands in the US. It’s sold at Walmart, CVS and many other large retailers, and the brand suggests that their products can “help rebuild muscle after exercise.”

But does Muscle Milk contain an effective protein dose for building muscle? What’s actually in Muscle Milk beyond milk, and is it good for you or unhealthy? Does Muscle Milk contain any questionable additives? And how does it compare to other popular ready-to-drink protein shakes like Premier Protein?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Muscle Milk based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not it’s good for you.

We’ll compare Muscle Milk to Premier Protein and pick our winner, and share our thoughts on why drinking regular milk may be a better option than drinking Muscle Milk.

Ingredient Analysis

Muscle Milk ingredients

The ingredients in Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shake Cookies ‘n Crème flavor are shown above.

One serving provides 25 grams (g) of protein, which is an effective dose for building muscle according to a 2013 clinical trial.

If the only ingredients in this protein shake were water and milk protein, we would consider recommending it. However, there are a number of additive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Natural and artificial flavors is listed on the ingredient label, and artificial flavors may have toxic effects according to a clinical trial published in the Brazilian Journal of Biology.

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that’s clinically shown to have negative effects on insulin function, as we discussed in our article on is Propel Water good for you.

Acesulfame potassium is another artificial sweetener that was found to worsen intestinal function in a 2021 clinical trial.

Potassium phosphate and sodium polyphosphates are food stabilizers and preservatives, and a 2012 medical review on phosphate additives in food concluded the following:

“...the public should be informed that added phosphate is damaging to health.”

The researchers in the above-linked trial found that individuals with high-normal phosphate levels in their blood were more likely to die, and more likely to experience cardiovascular events than those with lower levels.

Overall, we do not consider Muscle Milk to be good for you in light of the inactive ingredients highlighted above.

Nearly anything approved for sale as a food product in the US is acceptable in moderation, but we don’t see the purpose in consuming a food product with so many additives when the same protein dose can be achieved without all of the additives.

But how does Muscle Milk stack up to Premier Protein? We’ll compare the two brands in the next section of this article.

Muscle Milk vs. Premier Protein

Premier Protein is another highly popular ready-to-drink protein shake. It has a very similar formulation to Muscle Milk.

As we documented in our review of Premier Protein Shakes, that brand also uses flavoring additives, phosphate additives and artificial sweeteners.

In fact, the only relevant difference from a nutritional perspective is that Premier Protein has a large blend of vitamin and mineral additives and Muscle Milk only has two (vitamin D and vitamin A).

We consider Muscle Milk to be slightly healthier than Premier Protein Shakes, because regular consumption of fortified protein shakes may cause vitamin overdose, as documented by the CBC.

Getting vitamins and minerals from whole foods seems to be the best choice from a nutritional perspective.

But what’s the healthiest Muscle Milk product? We’ll discuss that in the next section.

What’s the Healthiest Muscle Milk Product?

Muscle Milk sells a wide range of products beyond just ready-to-drink shakes.

Their powders are a much healthier option than their drinkable shakes in our opinion.

As shown below, the only ingredient in the unflavored 100% whey protein powder sold by Muscle Milk is whey protein:

Muscle Milk unflavored whey protein ingredients

This protein powder is also NSF Certified for Sport, which is a third-party certification that ensures it’s accurately labeled and free of banned substances.

We don’t currently recommend this protein powder because the brand doesn’t clarify whether it’s sourced from pastured animals or conventionally-raised animals (and animal products from pastured animals are clinically shown to be more nutritious, although this matters less for a “processed” food product like whey protein).

We consider Muscle Milk’s unflavored 100% whey protein to be much healthier than the Cookies ‘n Crème shake, and consider it to be healthier than most protein shakes on the market given its lack of unhealthy additives and third-party certification.

For consumers intent on purchasing from Muscle Milk, this is the product we’d recommend.

Muscle Milk Sued over Protein Content

In 2020, Muscle Milk was sued over allegations of false advertising.

The company overstated the protein content of some of their products according to Top Class Actions.

The above-linked article also suggests that Muscle Milk claimed their products contained l-glutamine, while none was found in independent testing.

This lawsuit was settled at the time of publishing this article, and Muscle Milk’s manufacturer agreed to pay $12 million.

We find this information to be highly concerning given that the protein dose is one of the most important criteria when consumers are choosing a protein supplement.

Our Clean Protein Picks

Bulletproof Collagen Protein is our top overall protein powder pick, and costs only $1.32 per serving at the time of updating this article.

The main reason is its formulation: Bulletproof's protein powder only contains one single ingredient: collagen protein sourced from grass-fed animals.

As the core structural protein in skin, supplemental collagen is clinically shown to reduce visible signs of skin aging like wrinkles, which is a secondary benefit not offered by other types of protein like whey protein.

Promix Whey Protein is our top whey protein powder, and costs only $0.93 per serving at the time of updating this article when you purchase the 5 pound bag.

This brand uses grass-fed whey protein and no sweeteners or flavoring additives. Whey protein is a "complete" protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Complement Organic Protein is our top vegan protein powder.

The only ingredients in this protein powder are a blend of nutritious plant proteins: organic yellow pea protein, organic pumpkin seed protein, organic almond protein, organic sunflower seed protein and organic chia seed protein.

All three of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We do not think that the ready-to-drink products sold by Muscle Milk are good for you, because they contain a wide range of inactive ingredients with questionable health effects based on medical studies, such as artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners and added phosphates.

Drinking regular milk would allow a consumer to get the same protein dose without all of these additives. There are also protein products on the market that are free of such additives.

Muscle Milk’s manufacturer was sued in 2020 over claims of false advertising related to the protein content in their products. The company agreed to settle for $12 million.

For consumers intent on purchasing from Muscle Milk, we consider the brand’s powders to be a much healthier option than their ready-to-drink beverages. The unflavored whey protein powder has no additives at all, and would be our top Muscle Milk pick.

We hope that in the future, healthier ready-to-drink protein shakes emerge on the market, because Premier Protein has an even worse formulation than Muscle Milk in our opinion.