Muscle Milk Review (UPDATED 2018) — Is It Safe?

298 Review(s)
AVG Rating: 3.5/10

Just because you've got a product with a prominent name doesn't necessarily mean you're the “best.” We looked at one of the biggest nutritional shakes in the industry and did a little digging to find out if it really deserves the hype. From what we learned, the answer is actually pretty surprising, and disappointing. Read on in our review below and see for yourself.

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Muscle Milk Overview

Muscle Milk is a nutritional shake that comes in several flavors, and primarily functions as a protein shake for active people. That includes not only bodybuilders, but runners and athletes. It also has a secondary function as a protein-rich meal replacement for people who don't have the time to spend on cooking or buying a full meal. It's found in many forms, including ready-to-drink bottles and in powder form. The price ranges from around $25 for a pack of powder (16 servings) to $23 for the pre-made drinkable bottles (11 servings).

Muscle Milk is made by CytoSport, a sports nutrition company that makes a wide array of different shakes, powders, supplements, and more. The company (and the product) were the subject of some legal trouble back in 2015, when they were the subject of a class action lawsuit that alleged the company overstated the nutritional benefits of Muscle Milk and misled customers. They settled a similar lawsuit over their advertising (about the fat content of their products) for $5 million.

What this means is: take whatever Muscle Milk claims with a huge grain of salt.

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Muscle Milk Claims

As for the claims themselves, they're pretty standard for a nutritional shake. They claim the product has a high-quality supply of protein that has a “prolonged delivery” in the body. What does that mean, and how does it help us? They don't really go on to say. The product is also supposed to keep the body healthy and active by supplying amino acids, crucial nutrients that are necessary for many complex bodily processes.

The result? A more effective protein shake than the competition. But again, what's this “prolonged delivery” and how does it work? Muscle Milk doesn't go into detail, leaving us wondering how this is supposed to be better than others,

Click here for the Top Ten best meal replacement shakes we've ever reviewed.

Muscle Milk Ingredients

Muscle Milk has a decent list of ingredients, some of which are listed below:

  • Milk Protein Isolate
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Niacinimide
  • Inulin
  • Carrageenan
  • Artificial Flavors

Milk protein is a common source of protein in dairy-based protein and nutritional shakes, as it provides a lot of protein for little cost (and few calories). Calcium caseinate is made from milk as well, chosen because it's supposed to break down more slowly in the body than whey protein (maybe this is what they meant by the prolonged release?).

This product contains inulin, which is technically a fiber, but not necessarily the best choice – as its main observed effect seems to be relieving constipation (WebMD). The shake also contains artificial flavors, which we were a little disappointed by. Why not stick with natural ones? Health is important, and artificial ingredients should definitely be avoided at all costs.

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The Science Behind Muscle Milk

The large amount (32g) of protein in this product is supposed to give your muscles what they need to recover from athletic activity and build themselves up. The calcium caseinate seems to be the secondary protein that's supposed to have a delayed release – maybe so your body can have more protein to digest over a longer period of time?

With so much protein, we're not sure why this is something they wanted to focus on, and the folks at Muscle Milk don't describe how it helps any more than with another type of shake.

Check out our new list of the best nutritional shakes for meal replacement.

Word on the Street About Muscle Milk

Muscle Milk can be found anywhere, so we checked out the reviews on Amazon, where there are lots fo reviews to choose from (and they haven't been overseen by Muscle Milk).

Lots of people are into this, praising the “great taste” and the fact that it's “easy to find.” People also like the “low cost,” but only when you buy in bulk.

Otherwise, there are people out there that definitely have problems with it. Not only is it “expensive for what you are getting” but that they have a “bad aftertaste” and “the flavor is horrible compared to the competition.” That's probably due to those artificial flavors.

These are the most critically-acclaimed nutritional shakes for meal replacement and fitness.

Is Muscle Milk Worth Trying?

Muscle Milk can be found almost anywhere. It's like Coke, or McDonalds. But like with those last two, just because you can find it anywhere doesn't mean it's the best choice. The company has been dinged not once but TWICE for overstating the nutritional value of their shakes and misleading customers, and the actual product itself contains some ingredients we'd rather it not have (including inulin and artificial flavors). Many customers also seem to take exception to the price of the product and the poor flavor.

In the end, Muscle Milk just doesn't hit it out of the park. You've got better options out there.

We just released a new list of the Top 10 best meal replacement shakes – Click here to read it!

Muscle Milk vs Ensure

These are similar products, but meant for different purposes. Muscle Milk is meant for people who are active to get more protein in their bodies, while Ensure is a drink for people with poor diets or who are recovering from surgery and have no appetite. That's partly why Muscle Milk has so much more protein (32g) than Ensure (20g). Ensure has more vitamins and minerals than Muscle Milk as well, and its protein is from whey.

Muscle Milk vs Slim Fast

Again, two similar shakes with lots of differences. Both are nutritional shakes, but Muscle Milk is for people who run or work out, while Slim Fast is mainly a meal replacement for people trying to lose weight. For that reason, the calorie counts are different – Muscle Milk only has 160, and Slim Fast has 190-200, depending. Muscle Milk uses milk protein, while Slim Fast uses soy protein. Both contain artificial ingredients.

Muscle Milk vs Soylent

Same as above. Muscle Milk is meant for different people than Soylent – people who work out and train hard for athletic activities, while Soylent is intended as a meal replacement for people who don't have the time or energy to cook (not as part of a diet plan). Muscle Milk uses milk protein (hence the name) while Soylent uses soy protein, and no dairy products to our knowledge. Soylent has a lot of calories (400) compared to Muscle Milk (160), and also has more vitamins and minerals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Muscle Milk a shake?
    Yes, Muscle Milk is a shake, but there are also chewable bars.
  2. What kind of nutrition do I get from Muscle Milk?
    It's mostly focused on protein, with some vitamins and minerals thrown in.
  3. Can I get Muscle Milk in powder form?
    Yes.
  4. What are the ingredients in Muscle Milk?
    The main ingredients are water, milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate. The rest consists of vegetable fiber, oils, and vitamin and mineral supplements.
  5. Where can I read a review of Muscle Milk?
    You're reading one right now!
  6. Where can I read the nutritional information for Muscle Milk?
    Most places that sell it feature the nutritional information on the product's page.
  7. Can I get Muscle Milk at Walmart?
    Yes, you can buy it in several forms there.
  8. What about the Muscle Milk Pro Series?
    The main difference seems to be the amount of protein and calcium involved.

Click this link to read our list of the Top 10 nutritional shakes.

So What Really Works?

We've reviewed plenty of shakes for nutrition, meal replacement, and fitness, and the best one we've ever reviewed is called 18Shake. It's got all-natural top-quality ingredients, with no artificial flavors or ingredients like other shakes. It's manufactured in an American facility that's monitored by the FDA for quality, and is GMP-certified to a rigorous standard.

The product is low in sugar, sweetened by the natural alternative stevia. The company that makes it is so confident that it's the best, that they offer a money-back guarantee if you return it in the first 30 days.

Click this link to read the facts about 18Shake, our pick for the best nutritional shake of them all.

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