When developing a strength training routine, it's important to look at your diet to ensure you are consuming the right amounts of macronutrients for both recovery and muscle growth. One of the most crucial macronutrients for muscle health is protein. With protein being such a highly valued product to those in training, or for those trying to replace fat with muscle, the market has been flooded with protein supplements. One of the top selling products within the supplement market is Muscle Milk.
About Muscle Milk
Muscle Milk is developed by the Cytosport company based out of Benicia, California. The product was introduced to the health and fitness market as a protein drink for athletes, more specifically those trying to build muscle through strenuous strength training. It's important to note that all claims by the company in how effective Muscle Milk is, or how it works have not been evaluated or certified by the Food and Drug Administration, as the product is sold as a supplement. The American Council on Exercise suggests being cautious and evaluating any statements made by the product critically when purchasing Muscle Milk.
Muscle Milk is sold as a supplement for a mixture of creating lean muscle growth, burning fat and helping your body recover faster from the effects of exercise. This is done through the use whey and casein protein within the Muscle Milk product. Both whey protein and casein protein provide your body with all of the essential amino acids your body needs to regenerate muscles after a strenuous workout.
Benefits After Workout
When you perform strenuous exercise, especially strength training, you develop microscopic tears in the muscle tissue. As your body senses the injury, satellite cells are activated, which rush to the injury site and differentiate into new muscle fibers to both repair the injured muscle, as well as build up stronger fibers to prevent future injury. This process relies on the amino acids from proteins to work. The whey protein and casein protein in Muscle Milk provide these amino acids, and do so at different intervals. Whey protein breaks down quickly, making the amino acids available within about 30 minutes after consuming the product. Casein protein breaks down more slowly at two to seven hours, according to ACE, providing amino acids over a longer period of time. In both cases, this is beneficial after working out as it supplies the muscles with the amino acids needed to recover quickly.
Two scoops of Muscle Milk provides about 32 g of protein. Depending on what other proteins like chicken or turkey you eat during the day, and how many scoops of Muscle Milk you consume, you can quickly end up over the recommended protein intake guidelines. The recommended dietary allowance for protein ranges from 50 to 60 g of protein per day. While consuming more than that can be beneficial for those who are actively trying to build muscle through strenuous strength training, the average person does not need that much protein to maintain muscle health. In fact, too much protein can be dangerous for those with diabetes, kidney or liver disease, women who are pregnant, and those dealing with chronic health conditions, suggests MayoClinic.com.
- Bodybuilding.com; Protein Shake Benefits: David Galanis
- USA Today; Protein pulls ahead on the post-workout menu; Janice Lloyd
- Cytosport: Muscle Milk
- American Council on Exercise: Cytosport Muscle Milk
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- MayoClinic.com; High Protein Diets -- Are They Safe?; Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.