Muscle “Meh”

by Alexandra

After hitting the weights, my whole body feels like death and my muscles feel like they’re going to fall off. No, I am not exaggerating.

It feels horrible, but at the same time, it feels amazing. I get so high from lifting weights, even more than running long distances. (Come to think of it, I haven’t done that in a while.)

Anyway, adequate protein intake is vital after a hard workout, especially a weights workout. For someone who is trying to gain muscle mass, supplements are very convenient (or Greek yogurt or cottage cheese) but they are not all created equal. The last protein powder I bought was really good (for a protein powder): organic chocolate soy protein isolate from Whole Foods. I’ve tried GNC chocolate whey (ew) and some random knockoff brand of vanilla whey (double ew) and so far, soy protein is the only palatable one.

I forgot to bring a serving of protein powder to the gym with me yesterday so I stopped at the 711 on the way home and bought a Chocolate Muscle Milk. My sister recommended this brand to me and I needed a recovery drink ASAP so I thought, “hey, why not?”

If I could rename this, I’d call it “Muscle Meh” because all it is is meh.

It tasted more like muddy boogers than chocolate in my opinion.

The Muscle Meh Milk people say that this drink:

“helps provide recovery from tough days and tougher workouts.”

I won’t be able to tell you if this worked or not until I do my next weights workout, but I can tell you that the nutritional stats are mediocre and the taste gets a C-minus.

I don’t really understand why there’s fat in here (more than is otherwise present in whey protein isolate) because from what I’ve read, it’s not a super important part of recovery. I add it to my post-run yogurt messes, but that’s only because I’m addicted to peanut butter and a snack without it is against my morals.

25 grams of protein is really good, and there’s actually 2 grams of fiber which is  odd, but nice. Sodium/potassium are also good for a recovery drink and some protein powders don’t have these essential electrolytes. 230 calories is solid, in my opinion. Not too many, not too few.

However, there are only 3 grams of sugar which means that the sweet taste comes from artificial sweeteners which I do not like. Like I said, the amount of fat weirds me out a little bit, and actually the fiber content does too, (fiber in a protein shake?) but I like fiber (haha) so whatever…

Ingredients to be aware of:

Blend of vegetable oilswhy? Most people eat more than enough canola oil in the form of regular old food each day. If they must add oils to this drink, why not add something with Omega-3s? Just my humble opinion…

Maltodextrin – a moderately sweet-tasting, highly processed starch derivative (usually from corn) found in many candies. It is not inherently unhealthy, but the high level of processing and probable origination from corn is a tad off-putting, and I don’t really understand it’s purpose. It doesn’t really add anything.

Crystalline fructose – corn sugar. Plain and simple, this is the “stuff” of HFCS. It’s the probable source of the 3 grams of sugar.

Medium chain triglycerides – According to wikipedia, “Some studies have shown that MCTs can help in the process of excess calorie burning, and thus weight loss.” You know what I think? BS! If you want to burn calories, work out. If you want to lose weight, eat more healthfully and work out. The end.

Sucralose – an artificial sweetener. This is where the sweet taste comes from. Although it is calorie-free and sugar free and consequently does not affect insulin levels, just like any artificial sweetener, it shouldn’t be consumed by humans. Did cave men eat sucralose? Definitely not! Although there are not proven side effects of sucralose, I try to stay away from it as much as possible. When aspartame first came into the market, they hadn’t yet identified any adverse health effects…just saying.

Overall, I didn’t really like Chocolate Muscle Milk. Would I buy it again? If in a pinch, probably, simply because a few creepy ingredients every so often aren’t going to kill me. I’d probably try a different flavor though. This one didn’t taste very good and it definitely wasn’t chocolatey enough!