Pros: Quality blend of proteins, addition of key resistance-training ingredients, natural good taste
Cons: Slightly too sweet, mildly overpriced.
I had been reading some promising information on Muscle Milk (from www.freetrainers.com, a site that I frequent and respect) and I thought I would give it a try. I can't really do too much to separate my review from the others on Muscle Milk, but I'll give it a stab.
Muscle Milk Chocolate Milk is very sweet; it's just shy of entering the "too sweet" zone for me. The chocolate flavor would have better been called a white chocolate flavor. It really is a fairly new taste, but mostly like a near-milk-thickness, white-chocolate shake. The aftertaste is sweet and lingering, which I find mildly gross but not intolerable.
Muscle Milk Chocolate Milk (like their other flavors) steps onto the scene with a few key
changes. First, it's a higher calorie content than most protein shakes, mostly by way of MCTs (Medium Chain Triglyceride Fats). Second, Muscle Milk contains other favorable body-building/shaping staples like Glutamine, Taurine, Carnitine, and a Creatine precursor(there is also Chromium and caffeine, arguably helpful as well, especially regarding weight control). Finally, Muscle Milk is relatively high in overall fat.
Carbs and proteins are 4 calories per gram, with fat being 9 calories per gram. Calories are representative of KCals (one calorie is actually 1000 calories, or 1 KCal, but we've adapted to the representation so well that KCal references are only used in formal research, mostly). It is common knowledge that we typically want to avoid high fat foods if we want to keep the calories down--the math isn't too difficult. None of the diet miracles in the world can get around this one fact--if you want to lose weight, you have to spend more calories than you are ingesting. There is no workaround.
Having said that, a dieter who's goal is strictly to lose weight might be careful with this product, BUT it is important to note that the majority of fats in Muscle Milk, as shown on the label, are MCTs. MCTs are often used by the body as immediate energy, like carbohydrates, instead of being stored as fat. Losing weight can be expedited by building some muscle mass, which will burn calories for free (the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn, all other things being equal), making this shake ideal for anybody
who is actively working out, doing resistance strength training or demanding sporting activities. The INACTIVE dieter though, who is just careful with calories, will not want to use this shake as a meal replacement--there are plenty of alternatives with a lower calorie count, and with your inactive approach, you're more likely to store these calories as fat.
Although I'm skeptical over pretty much all supplements until I've seen the results, I think CytoSport had made a bold and innovative move with their Muscle Milk line. All indications,as far as I can see, are that this product is getting results and passing taste tests. I expect a full flood of spinoffs and modifications to existing protein supplements to try to keep up with the unique niche that CytoSport has carved out. My opinion is subject to change any day, but for right now, Muscle Milk is a true winner.
I do not vouch for the accuracy of any of these and the truth is that anybody, including a government agency, can have an axe to grind. I found these informative and interesting.
For Muscle Milk Nutrition Facts; all flavors:
Descriptions of the benefits of MCT's (like the fats debated in the muscle milk discussion) http://www.1fast400.com/a31_Medium_Chain_Triglycerides.html
In-depth breakdowns to the molecular level of different types/chain lengths of fats--no so much geared toward diet as it is toward understanding chemical content and reactions w/enzymes (including the under-rated danger of trans fats). http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/fattyacids.html
More about different types of fats...chemical/molecular drawings, and more info on the MCT fats and effects of other fats (and other complex issues that work in concert with metabolism of fats, like co-q10 and carnitine)