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When to Drink Muscle Milk Light for Weight Loss

author image Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.
When to Drink Muscle Milk Light for Weight Loss
Containing about 90 calories per cup, skim milk is a less-expensive alternative to Muscle Milk Light. Photo Credit Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images

Muscle Milk Light is an excellent source of dietary protein, vitamins and minerals -- and is lower in calories than regular Muscle Milk. However, it’s also expensive and not necessary for effective weight loss. If drinking Muscle Milk Light helps you lower your overall caloric intake, it may be the right weight-loss tool for you.

Calorie Content

The calories you consume -- and expend -- daily determine how much weight you’ll lose, if any. Switching from regular to Light Muscle Milk may help lower your overall caloric intake. One 8-ounce portion of vanilla Muscle Milk Light provides just 90 calories, which is about the same number of calories found in skim milk. Eight ounces of regular vanilla Muscle Milk contain 128 calories. Weight-loss calorie needs are 500 to 1,000 calories fewer than what you normally consume -- which could be 1,200 calories daily for women and 1,500 calories per day for men, according to Harvard Health Publications.

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Protein Benefits

The majority of the calories in Muscle Milk Light are from dietary protein, which is beneficial for weight loss because protein increases satiation and plays a key role in weight loss, according to a review published in 2008 in “Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care.” Authors of this review report that high-protein diets also help spare loss of muscle and changes in metabolism associated with weight loss. An 8-ounce container of Muscle Milk Light provides 14 grams of dietary protein. In comparison, 1 cup of skim milk contains 8 grams of protein, a cup of yogurt provides about 13 grams and 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains 28 grams of dietary protein.

Potential Drawbacks

Muscle Milk Light is much more expensive than most protein-rich foods. Furthermore, Muscle Milk Light contains sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener. A review published in 2013 in “Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism” found that consuming calorie-free, artificial sweeteners -- such as sucralose -- actually puts you at risk for weight gain because these products taste sweet and can interfere with your body’s normal response of getting energy from sweet-tasting sugars.

Bottom Line

Drinking Muscle Milk Light can help you meet your daily protein needs -- without the extra calories -- during weight loss. However, you don’t have to take dietary protein supplements, such as Muscle Milk Light, to lose weight. Talk with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits of Muscle Milk Light with possible drawbacks of drinking it. If you want to lose weight without the added expense of protein supplements -- and without using artificial sweeteners -- simply reduce your caloric intake and eat a variety of healthy foods -- such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, lean meats, egg whites, soy products, seafood, skinless poultry and plant-based oils.

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