Bodybuilders, athletes and others among the weightlifting fraternity often use supplements as a means to increase daily protein intake. One such supplement is Muscle Milk, a protein powder designed to aid recovery and promote muscle gain. While Muscle Milk on its own won't lead to strength gains, when consumed as part of a muscle-building diet in conjunction with a workout plan, it may help you get stronger faster.
Basic Nutrition for Strength
The most important factors for a strength-training diet are calories and macronutrients. A higher-calorie intake, coupled with an intense workout program, is vital if you wish to build muscle mass. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you need between 2.3 and 3.6 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight each day. The academy also recommends a protein intake of around 0.5 to 0.75 gram per pound, with around 20 to 35 percent of your calories from fat. As for calories, pro powerlifter Chris Mason of Elite Fitness Systems recommends consuming up to 20 calories per pound of body weight each day to maintain weight.
Muscle Milk Nutritional Information
Per two-scoop serving, Muscle Milk contains 32 grams of protein, 19 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fat and around 310 calories. While this may be useful as a quick snack or as part of a meal, the calorie content is likely too low to constitute a full meal. However, if you're having difficulty eating all the calories, protein, carbs and fats you need, adding Muscle Milk in could be useful.
The Protein Notion
As protein is the building block of muscle tissue, you might assume more is better. This is not necessarily the case, though, as a study published in a 2011 edition of the "Journal of Sports Science" found that muscle protein synthesis levels reached their maximum with a protein intake of 1.3 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight -- 0.6 to 0.8 gram per pound -- each day, which is roughly in line with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics guidelines. If you are struggling to hit your required protein intake from high-protein foods such as steak and chicken, Muscle Milk can help you achieve your desired protein intake.
Impact on Strength
Strength gains come from frequent practice of exercises and increased muscle size governed by your diet. If you're consuming a diet that contains adequate calories for muscle growth, as well as enough protein, carbohydrate and fat, then you don't need to supplement with Muscle Milk. If you do find, however, that you're having difficulty eating enough, particularly when it comes to protein, then a serving or two of Muscle Milk each day can help you hit your protein target and may speed up your progress in the gym.