Cytosport, the company that makes Muscle Milk also makes a product that's simply called Whey Isolate. What's the difference? Well, after I thought about it, there are several actually. I started thinking about this after I accidentally purchased CytoSport Whey Isolate when I was really looking for Muscle Milk. Turns out, this is an easy mistake to make. What I'd like to do here is review some of the more basic differences between Muscle Milk and Cytosport Whey Isolate, to help you better decide which might be best for you when you go to the vitamin store.
CytoSport Whey Isolate vs. Muscle Milk Containers
The first thing you will notice between Cytosport Whey Isolate and Muscle Milk is that the containers for each product look VERY much alike. Aside from one saying Muscle Milk and the other Whey Isolate, all the colors ect. of the containers are basically identical. This is why I goofed and grabbed Whey Isolate by mistake. I was talking to the cashier in Vitamin Shoppe while I was shopping and grabbed what I thought was Muscle Milk. I think this is a problem on the part of CytoSport. I think the containers should be different colors.
Yes, I know one container says “Muscle Milk” and the other says “Whey Isolate” in big letters but I know I can't be the only person who mixed them up am I?
Cytosport Whey Isolate vs. Cytosport Muscle Milk
Let's compare both Cytosport protein supplements to each other. 1 scoop of each has the following main nutrients:
|Whey Isolate 1 scoop (25g)||Muscle Milk 1 scoop (35g)|
|Calories 90||Calories 150|
|Calories from fat 10||Calories from fat 50|
|Total fat 1 g 2% DV||Total fat 6 g 9% DV|
|Saturated fat 0 g||Saturated fat 3 g 15% DV|
|Trans fat 0 g||Trans fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 10 mg 3% DV||Cholesterol 15 mg 5% DV|
|Sodium 190 mg 8% DV||Sodium 150 mg 6% DV|
|Potassium 180 mg 5% DV||Potassium 220 mg 6% DV|
|Total carbs 1 g 0 DV||Total carbs 9 g 3% DV|
|Dietary fiber < 1 g 2% DV||Dietary fiber 2 g 8% DV|
|Sugars 0 g||Sugars 2 g|
|Protein 20 g 40%||Protein 16 g 32% DV|
Neither Cytosport protein supplement has any trans fat on a per serving basis so that's good.
Notice the difference in the scoop size. In Muscle Milk a scoop equals 35 grams while in Cytosport Whey Isolate it's only 25 grams. The Muscle Milk scoop is bigger. In fact, the difference is so big that you can actually put the Whey Isolate scoop inside the Muscle Milk Scoop! Check out the differences in the picture.
For most people, the difference in serving size is trivial. To put things in perspective, 28 grams of anything equals 1 ounce. I mention this because the people who this difference might mean something are bodybuilders, who, during competition, are usually very concerned about what they eat.
Cytosport Whey isolate has more sodium than Muscle Milk. Technically it's not a big difference – 190 mg of sodium for Whey Isolate vs. 150 mg of sodium in Muscle Milk – but I thought this was ironic since Whey Isolate usually has a reputation for being healthier / better.
The problem with sodium is that people in America (and other countries) eat TOO MUCH sodium. Excess sodium is linked to many health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and kidney failure. Here is more on the research of salt and health problems.
So, even though Cytosport Whey Isolate doesn't have a lot of sodium, this little bit is added to everything else we eat that also has sodium in it – which is a lot of things!
I think CytoSport should remove sodium from both Muscle Milk and Whey Isolate.
Related to this, Muscle Milk has more potassium than Cytosport Whey Isolate. The potassium might reduce some of the bad effects of the sodium so this makes sense. Since Whey Isolate had more sodium, I'd expect to see more potassium too also but that's not the case. Cytosport Whey Isolate has 40 mg less potassium than Muscle Milk. For me, that makes no sense.
Muscle milk has 2 grams of fiber per scoop vs. less than 1 gram of fiber in Whey isolate. That may not seem like a lot until you consider the Daily Value (percent DV). The 2 grams of fiber in Muscle Milk is 8% of the daily value for fiber. Since most Americans -and those in other “developed” countries – don't eat a lot of fiber, this little bit helps.
Tip. The RDA for fiber is about 30-35 grams per day.
Where Cytosport Whey Isolate may slightly win out over Muscle Milk is the calorie to protein ratio. Whey Isolate has 90 calories and 20 grams of protein where Muscle Milk has 150 calories and 16 grams of protein.
The protein difference is not much but extra 60 calories in Muscle Milk does add up over time. This is why I often say that Muscle Milk powder is not a good protein supplement for those trying to lose weight.
How does Cytosport Whey Isolate taste?
I used chocolate flavor Whey Isolate in a breakfast smoothie recently. The smoothie also had various fruits to boost the nutrition. I honestly didn't like the taste of Cytosport Whey Isolate. I know taste is a personal thing but to me, it didn't taste as good as, say, Dymatize Elite chocolate, which I usually use.
Muscle milk on the other hand, is probably the best tasting protein powder out there today, but that probably has to do with its higher calorie and fat content.
Muscle milk has 150 calories and 6 grams of fat while Whey Isolate protein has 90 calories and only 1 gram of fat.
For me, where Muscle Milk really wins out over Cytosport Whey Isolate – and pretty much every other protein powder out there – is that you can microwave Muscle Milk. Muscle Milk doesn't clump /clot up in the microwave. This is probably because of its higher fat content.
If you have ever tried to microwave protein powder you know that it tends to clot up into a thick mixture that is not appetizing. In fact, it's just gross.
For me, this is part about mixing well in the microwave is important because for breakfast, I like to mix 2 scoops of Quaker Oatmeal with 1 scoop of Muscle Milk and microwave for 1 minute and 44 seconds. If you add 2 scoops of frozen blueberries to that, you have a great tasting breakfast.
I never thought that what started out as just me getting the wrong protein powder would end up as a blog about protein supplements. Ultimately though it's all about which protein supplement you feel is best for you. I thought reviewing some of the differences between Muscle Milk and Cytosport Whey Isolate might make your decision a little easier. Hopefully I helped a little.
What do you think?