I mean, with the exception of a few protein powders, you basically have a choice between chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Needless to say, I tried this new product, Muscle Milk. With Flavors like, Banana Crème, Blueberries & Crème, Chocolate, Cookies & cream, Mocha Joe, Orange Crème, Pina Colada, Rocky Road, Root Beer Float, Strawberry and Vanilla crème, how can you go wrong? I have to say; I have never ever had a better tasting protein. But, is it worth it from a bodybuilding perspective? In this article I'm going to list the pros and cons of the markets newest protein powder.
What Is It? - View Supplement Facts
Muscle milk is a high protein nutrition powder. What's in it that makes it different from other protein powders? Cytosport has introduced EVOPRO, a custom based protein and peptide mix. In this mix is Micellar alpha and beta caseins, Calcium Caseinate, Sodium Caseinate, Whey Concentrate, whey peptides, bovine colostrums extract, and canola oils. Why is this important?
Casein Micelles: Alpha & Beta
In human milk, there are two main proteins: whey and casein (kay-seen). Why? Nature designed it this way for a reason. Whey protein is active almost immediately after consumption. This is partly why it is so popular with bodybuilders. It is digested and absorbed so quickly. However this benefit also leads to whey proteins main downfall. Within a half an hour whey protein is all but finished being absorbed and digested, leaving your body searching for more nutrients. Whey is quickly metabolized, while casein is more timed delayed. At the drop of this half hour casein has begun being digested and absorbed. This fast-and-slow protein release was cleverly designed by Nature and is a big reason milk is so popular as a nutritional supplement. Casein composes about 40% of the protein in human milk. It is what is used to make cheese.
Caseins, of which there are four types, are found in milk within a structure called a Micelle (my-sill). Simply, a micelle is a dense clumping of various nutrients into a molecular grouping. In a micelle, you can find up to 21 amino acids that compose casein, and powerful bioactive peptides. The cement that holds micelles tighter are the minerals calcium and phosphorus, and some citrate. In fact, close to two-thirds of milk calcium is linked to the casein micelle. Hence milk being promoted for bone growth and health.
So, casein is a part of a micelle. The micelle also contains minerals, amino acids, and bioactive peptides. The term "micellear casein" refers to the overall grouping of nutrients that casein is a part.
A micelle can be composed of hundreds, even thousands, of smaller sub-micelles. Why would Nature clump all these nutrients together? Basically, the larger molecule is held together by these minerals, which are not easily broken down in the human stomach. This means the amino acids contained in casein are slowly released because of the time it takes to digest and break down the micelles. This is why nature paired whey with casein. When casein is inactive (the first 30 minutes after consumption) whey protein is at its peak. When whey protein is inactive (after aprox 30 minutes) casein is beginning to be absorbed. This pairing up of proteins leads to longer protein availability, supplying your muscles with more protein for a longer period of time.
You'll notice that next to casein, whey protein is the second ingredient in muscle milk. Again this is to benefit the teaming up effect. Giving your body the protein it needs soon after ingestion. Without whey protein your body would be forced to wait for the digestion of casein.
Bovine Colostrum Extract
New mothers produce colostrum. Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced by the mammary glands of all nursing mothers (both human and animal). It is thought to promote growth in newborns and protect them from disease by beefing up their immune systems. It is the main ingredient found in a mother's milk after birth. You'll notice that never in your life will you grow as fast as the first few months after birth. So what is it that colostrum does?
Colostrum boosts immunity to help fend off disease. There really is nothing worse than having to take days off due to the flu and colds. As well, it has been shown that the weaker ones immune system is, the more apt they are to suffer from over training. Besides boosting ones immune system, colostrums also promote the secretion of IGF-1. Colostrum Supplements Increase Anabolic and Immune Chemicals. A 1997 study by Mero and co-workers from Finland found that colostrum supplements increased IGF-1 levels in strength speed athletes. IGF-1 is a highly anabolic substance that works in concert with growth hormone. In a new study, they gave male and female athletes 20 grams of colostrum per day for 14 days. They found large increases in IGF-1 and in important immune system chemicals immunoglobulins A and G. This supplement may prove useful in promoting muscle growth and protecting athletes from disease. (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (ACSM annual meeting abstracts) 32: S117, 2000.) Fat content.
The first thing that caught my eye was the fat content in muscle milk. However being the smart consumer you are, you know to not only look at just the fat content, but also what types of fat are in the product. Muscle milk contains a fairly high fat content. However, of the 10 grams per serving in vanilla crème only 2.8 are saturated fats. Most of these fats are medium chain tryglycerides, which are actually beneficial to the body and aren't likely to be stored as body fat.
Of all the protein powders available, muscle milk is one of the more expensive proteins. However, Bodybuilding.com has the guaranteed best price and you do pay for what you get. For me, the benefit of having an amazing tasting protein like this, with nutrition value to match, more than makes up for the extra cost. Get yours, click here!
This is by far the best tasting protein I have ever tried. I definitely recommend trying it at least once. Some advice for those of you who are sketchy on the price, I would suggest buying both muscle milk and a cheaper whey protein. I would take the muscle milk before bed, and after the workout, and use the other powder to supplement your diet at other times during the day. Muscle milk is a great product and I think it will change the way we look at protein powder. Definitely worth picking up.
Best of luck,