Intro to Muscle Milk Pro Series
What is Muscle Milk Pro Series? How is it compared to other brands of ready-to-drink style Protein Shakes?
We’ll be looking into every nook and cranny to determine if Muscle Milk’s Pro Series Cookies and Cream shake is worth your hard earned money.
Muscle Milk Cookies and Cream is a ready-to-drink Protein Shake. Just remove the cap and enjoy.
The Pro Series of their Cookies and Cream shake has 40 grams of protein per bottle compared to their regular line of 25 grams of protein per bottle. If you were to get muscle milk’s protein shakes, opt in for the pro series.
Our first few issues with the Muscle Milk bottle, as you can see, there’s only 1 gram of sugar for the whole bottle and it’s advertised as “Non-Dairy”. To then re-state in half sized font, near the bottom stating it contains no milk, but includes milk proteins. This is already a red flag, there is no logic to advertising “Cookies and Cream” as being Non-Dairy, then re-stating that it actually does include dairy at the bottom, very misleading marketing.
We have tasted Muscle Milk’s Cookies and Cream shake and it does taste quite good, the flavour profile was spot on but the aftertaste was a letdown, and we have suspicions as to why the aftertaste is off-putting. Most probably due to the artificial sweeteners.
All-in-all, Muscle Milk should sound great! In theory. 40 grams of protein for just 414 mL of liquid and 1 gram of sugar? And that equates to 80% of your Recommended Daily Value for protein in your day? That sounds like an amazing ratio!
Until you take a deeper look into what’s actually in the protein shake you’re drinking.
Understanding the Ingredients
We’ll go through the ingredients of the Muscle Milk Cookies and Cream protein shake, all available on the company’s website. First few ingredients you see is the proteins and derivatives of Casein. All of which are great, assuming the sources are of good quality.
Under the sub 1% category in the ingredients, you see a lot of chemicals you can barely pronounce. Let’s go through some of them.
Inulin is a polysaccharide that acts like soluble fiber. It’s made up of multiple chains of fructose. Which is where the 1 gram of sugar actually come from.
Cellulose gum and gel are additives that help thicken the protein shake. They’re regarded as “generally” safe because of the lack of research behind the chemical.
Canola and sunflower oils are some of the poorer choices of oils you can consume. Being linked to many heart-related diseases they should always be avoided. Especially if they’re hydrogenated.
Ingredients: Water, Milk Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate (Milk), Sodium Caseinate (Milk), Less than 1% of: Soluble Vegetable Fiber, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Inulin, Canola Oil, Cellulose Gum and Gel, Maltodextrin, Sunflower Oil, DiPotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Acesulfame Potassium, Potassium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Carrageenan, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Calcium Phosphate, Sucralose, dl-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Chromium Chloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Cholecalciferol, Cyanocobalamin.
NOTICE: Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and different information than what is shown on our website. We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product.
DiPotassium, Sodium, Calcium, and Magnesium Phosphates; Sodium Hexametaphosphate; Ferric Pyrophosphate are all different types of Phosphates (non-natural). These all have cardiovascular risks tied to them and studies show an increased risk of lung cancer tied to the presence of these phosphates in your diet.
Potassium Chloride is a metal halide salt. Made up of Chlorine and Potassium. Chlorine chemicals, just like Phosphates should be avoided. This is a salt substitute that does not need to be in food products, and not only that, you’re ingesting chloride.
You need chloride for normal bodily functions but you get enough of that through normal foods from your diet, if you the point where you consume too much of it, can cause some serious problems.
Acesulfame Potassium, Carrageenan, and Sucralose are all artificial sweeteners. By far the worst part in the ingredients list of Muscle Milk’s cookies and cream protein shake.
Acesulfame Potassium or more commonly known as Ace K, Carrageenan, and Sucralose all have research pointing to carcinogenicity. Especially Ace K and Sucralose. Having 3 different kinds of artificial sugars that cause cancer makes for a horrible product.
Carrageenan’s results are not conclusive, and even then, there is no need to take such high risks by consuming ingredients that are being researched for being cancerous.
Benefits of Muscle Milk Pro Series Cookies and Cream
The forefront of the list of benefits that come with Muscle Milk’s Pro Series, is the convenience. If you’re hungry for good quality protein on the go, you can be stranded and looking almost anywhere.
When there’s a convenience store or market you’ll be able to find one of Muscle Milk’s Pro Series Protein Shakes. Having a big brand name available everywhere can be a huge benefit to some people.
Being able to chug down 40 grams of a decent quality protein shake that’s readily available, and that tastes good, is quite a convenience.
The bottle itself is of good quality, durable, and resealable. The amount of vitamins and minerals put into the formula is a good secondary health benefit, coupled with the low amount of real sugar.
You get a little bit of fiber and fats to help ingest and take in the protein more efficiently. Having straight protein with no fats/soluble fiber actually reduces the amount of proteins your body metabolizes from that protein source.
Its Potassium content is great, especially since the typical North American diet doesn’t include enough potassium, and in many cases, there is none at all. Cholesterol levels are good for the amount of protein you’re getting in the Pro Series protein shakes.
The Sodium levels are alright but are on the higher end of the spectrum. Especially since you can drink up a bottle or two that would be almost half your dosage of Sodium for the day.
Muscle Milk Pro Series Side Effects
Let’s go through the negatives and the reasons why you should avoid consuming Muscle Milk’s pro series protein shakes. Looking at the nutrition facts label isn’t enough, you’ll have to look at the list of ingredients to get an idea on the health benefits and side effects coming from Muscle Milk’s pro series protein shakes.
The first thing we’ll tackle is the vitamins and minerals. It’s great that they’re all included in the blend of protein but the efficacity of the vitamins are not up to par compared to the minerals found in whole food products. The raw chemical compounds that are added to boost the appearance of a “healthy” product is a practice that should make you think twice.
The only other issue with that, which is a huge side effect is the artificial sweeteners added in the Pro Series protein shake. We’ll list the most severe to the least artificial sweetener. First is Acesulfame Potassium (Ace K), it is by far the most toxic ingredient in the protein shake and has many studies that show negative effects on cognitive function, prenatal development, and carcinogenicity.
There are studies pointing to both sides, some state that Ace K is safe for consumption while other studies question the validity of the former. Like most artificial sweeteners, they’re contraversial, but it’s never worth taking the risk of developing some kind of disease in the long run for it.
The next big artificial sweetener is Sucralose, much more popular and found in many more foods and drinks compared to ace k, it’s just about a bigger issue.
It has many studies very similar to Ace K that mentions its dangers and carcinogenicity. Its more minor effect is the change to how our body detects glucose and other sugars, making it easier for our bodies to store fat and inefficiently use energy. Regular consumption of Sucralose makes actually glucose harder for your body to detect, which means you’ll find everything less sweet because you build a tolerance to that taste using Sucralose.
You’ll have to then increase your dosage, and that makes for a downward spiral of negative health effects.
The major issue comes from Sucralose’s reaction to heat. If exposed to heat it starts to break down, and react with other ingredients, mainly fat (or glycerol). They mold into a new compound called chloropropanols and these increase your risk of cancer drastically.
Carrageenan is on the list of bad artificial sweeteners, too. There aren’t that many studies that conclusively mention its dangers. But there’s no need to take unnecessary risks.
The main concern with Muscle Milk is that you need to judge if taking in all these chemicals is worth the protein content and convenience. It’s our most honest recommendation to avoid products that contain any number of these artificial sweeteners, it’s just not worth the risk.
TIP: A good rule of thumb when judging a sweetener is to check its chemical composition. If you see anything other than Hydrogen (H) or Oxygen (O), it’s a bad sign.
Muscle Milk Pro Series Cookies and Cream Rating
All-in-all, Muscle Milk’s Pro Series cookies and cream is an okay product.
The taste is the shining quality of Muscle Milk Pro Series, but keep in mind that the aftertaste can be off-putting for some people.
The price is on par with a lot of other brands, but it’s still on the mid-higher end price point. The Pro Series protein shake makes it worth the price point, especially since you’re getting 40 grams of protein for around 3.80$.
The safety of the ingredients, we can rest assured the protein content is of good quality. But the downfall to the Pro Series Cookies and Cream product is the 3 different types of artificial sweeteners that have studies signaling being cancerous, not only that but they’re some of the worst ones out there.
This gets a below average recommendation, if you’re in the position where you need the protein, let’s say right after the gym and this is the only option you have, you’d be alright to take it.
Realistically, if you can wait till you get home to grab a better protein shake, it’s way better than taking muscle milk’s pro series.
If you have other protein options available, or you can wait till you get home to take actual protein powder or some lean meat instead, it’s best to avoid it all together.