CytoGainer and Muscle Milk are two sports nutrition supplements produced by CytoSport. These two powdered supplements share some similarities, such as the fact that they are rich in protein and intended to promote muscular growth. CytoGainer and Muscle Milk, however, do have many differences that may significantly alter your results. While CytoGainer and Muscle Milk can be beneficial, you should consult a doctor prior to use to discuss potential side effects.
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According to CytoSport's official website, the optimal use for CytoGainer and Muscle Milk is consuming the products after workouts. The manufacturer notes, however, that you may also consume Muscle Milk before workouts and before bedtime. CytoSport suggests consuming three servings of CytoGainer daily, but does not recommend any other time other than post-workout.
CytoGainer and Muscle Milk are significantly different in calories, as one serving of CytoGainer provides 570 calories, while one serving of Muscle Milk provides 310 calories. Due to the rich calorie content, CytoGainer is preferable for gaining muscle, but it is also more likely to make you gain fat. Consuming a surplus of 3,500 calories results in a gain of 1 lb. of fat. If you take the suggested three servings of CytoGainer each day, you'd be consuming 1,710 calories from the supplement alone.
Despite being higher in calories, CytoGainer is lower in fat than Muscle Milk, as the former contains 6 g of fat, while the latter contains 12 g of fat. CytoGainer is also lower in saturated fat, with 3.5 g, compared to 6 g in Muscle Milk. Consuming fat can be beneficial, as it promotes fullness and aids in the absorption of certain vitamins. Too much saturated fat, however, may increase your risk of heart disease, so the USDA suggests consuming fewer than 7 percent of your total calories from saturated fat for optimal health. This equals 15 g of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet.
CytoGainer and Muscle Milk can be effective at building muscle mostly due to the high protein content the supplements provide. Each serving of CytoGainer provides 54 g of protein, while Muscle Milk contains 32 g per serving. Your body uses protein to build muscle and other tissues, and according to research from the August 2008 issue of "The British Journal of Nutrition," high-protein diets can encourage quicker weight loss and strength retention during weight loss.
CytoGainer is much higher in carbohydrates than Muscle Milk; the former contains 75 g per serving, while the latter contains just 18 g. Although lower in carbohydrates, Muscle Milk is higher in fiber, with 5 g, compared to 4 g in CytoGainer. Both supplements are low in sugar, as CytoGainer contains 7 g and Muscle Milk contains 2 g. Carbohydrates fuel your body for exercise and can aid in recovery, so CytoGainer may be preferable for active athletes who do not have tight caloric restrictions.
CytoGainer contains 3 g of creatine per serving, while Muscle Milk contains none. Creatine is an amino acid that may help you gain strength and muscle, but the University of Maryland Medical Center notes that it may also cause kidney or liver problems, diarrhea, upset stomach and high blood pressure.