While walking through the isles of Vitamin Shoppe one day, I noticed a different type of Muscle Milk than I usually put on my oatmeal. It was called Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 and boasted 50 grams of protein! I got curious and purchased it, wondering how else does it differed from the Muscle Milk I've used before? Is it better? In this review I'll look at the Pro 50 Series and compare it to regular Muscle Milk to help you better decide if it's right for you. Also see my review of the original Muscle Milk too.
What Does Pro Series 50 Mean?
Well, as I see it, the “pro” in the name is to give the impression it's better in some way than regular muscle milk. I assume that the “50” in the name the is a reference that the product provides 50 grams of protein.
I believe that Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 was created, to go head-to-head against, IsoPure Protein, which as far as I see it, has been the most popular 50-gram protein powder on the market for many years. I'll compare them to each other later in this review.
Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 Nutrition Facts
Here are the basic nutrition facts in the Pro Series 50 formula broken down according to whether you used one scoop or 2 scoops:
|Per 1 Scoop (41.2 g)||Per 2 Scoops (82.4 g)|
|Calories from fat||25||45|
|Percent Daily Value||Percent Daily Value|
|Total Fat||2.5 g||4% DV||5 g||8% DV|
|Saturated fat||1.5 g||8% DV||2.5 g||13% DV|
|Trans Fat||0 g||0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0 g||0 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||1 g||2 g|
|Cholesterol||25 mg||8% DV||50 mg||17% DV|
|Sodium||95 mg||4% DV||190 mg||8% DV|
|Potassium||370 mg||11% DV||740 mg||21% DV
|Total Carbohydrate||8 g||3%||17 g||6% DV|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g||4% DV||2 g||8% DV|
|Sugars||2 g||4 g|
|Protein||25 g||50% DV||50g||100% DV|
How Much Protein?
As can be seen from the Nutrition Facts table above, to get 50 grams of protein, one would have to use 2 scoops. If you only used 1 scoop, you would get just 25 grams. Now, that is not a bad thing because 25 grams is a good amount of protein per scoop. I just wanted to point this out for those who might think 1 scoop provided 50 grams of protein. It does not.
Pro Series 50 Vitamins and Minerals
Here are the vitamins and minerals in the product broken down by whether one or two scoops were used.
|Nutrient||Percent Daily (1 scoop)||Percent Daily (2 scoops)|
|Vitamin A||15% DV||35% DV|
|Vitamin C||15% DV||35% DV|
|Calcium||35% DV||70% DV|
|Iron||35% DV||70% DV|
|Vitamin D||15% DV||35% DV|
|Vitamin E||15% DV||35% DV|
|Thiamine||15% DV||35% DV|
|Riboflavin||15% DV||35% DV|
|Niacin||15% DV||35% DV|
|Vitamin B6||15% DV||35% DV|
|Vitamin B12||15% DV||35% DV|
|Pantiothanic Acid||15% DV||35% DV|
|Phosphorous||25% DV||50% DV|
|Iodine||15% DV||35% DV|
|Zinc||15% DV||35% DV|
|Copper||15% DV||35% DV|
|Chromium||40% DV||80% DV|
As you can see, the product does not provide an overabundance of vitamins and minerals. In fact, it's rather similar to what the original Muscle Milk provides. That's not bad because people who workout regularly, often already get enough of these nutrients. Also, studies have not shown that giving healthy people more vitamins or minerals improves exercise performance. As such, I would not worry about which protein powder provides the most vitamins and minerals.
The nutrient differences I noticed between the Pro Series 50 version and original Muscle Milk, include calcium (70% DV vs 50% DV), iron (70% DV vs. 35%DV ) and phosphorous (50% EV vs 40% DV ). The percentages I listed were for using two scoops, which I felt many would likely be doing. The letters “DV” refer to Daily Value. See my review of original Muscle Milk for more on that product.
Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 Ingredients
Here, in order as they are listed on the label, are all of the ingredients in the Pro Series 50 protein powder:
|Milk protein isolate||Calcium sodium caseinate||Whey protein concentrate||Whey protein isolate|
|Whey protein hydrolysate||lactoferrin||L-glutamine||Taurine|
|Maltodextrin||Alkalized cocoa powder||Natural and artifical flavors||Sunflower oil|
|Potassium choloride||Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)||Inulin||Canola oil|
|Magnesium oxide||Soluble corn fiber||Potassium bicarbonate||Cellulose gum|
|Xanthan guym||Carrageenan||Acesulfame potassium||Soy lecithin|
|DL alpha tocopherol acetate||Sucralose||Ascorbic acid||Dicalcium phosphate
|Ferrous fumarate||Vitamin A palmitate||Niacinamide||Zinc oxide|
|Copper gluconate||D-calcium pantothenate||L-carnitine||Cholecalciferol|
|Pyridoxine hydrochloride||Thiamine mononitrate||Riboflavin||Chromium chloride|
|Folic acid||Biotin||Potassium iodide||Cyanocobalamin|
Read the table above from left to right to see the ingredients in descending order. Ingredients listed at the top of the table are present the most. Those farther down the list are present the least.
Red Flag Ingredients
I know some people reading this might be sensitive or have aversions to some ingredients. Looking over the ingredients in the table above, here are some of those ingredients that people might be interested in knowing about:
- Natural /artificial flavors (they don't tell us what they are)
- Acesulfame potassium
Both Acesulfame potassium and sucralose are artificial sweaters. The ingredient called carrageenan comes from sea weed and is used as a thickening agent in foods. Some people have very strong feelings about carrageenan – they don't like it – for many reasons. Here is what I believe to be a fair review of the carrageen research for those who want to know more.
Interestingly, the Pro Series 50 Muscle Milk does not contain fructose. The original version of the protein powder does. I'm not sure why.
What Kind Of Protein Does It Have?
The ingredients list of Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 reveals that the protein is provided by a blend of these ingredients, listed in order as they appear on the label:
- Calcium sodium caseinate
- Milk protein isolate
- Whey protein isolate
- Whey protein hydrosolysate
- Whey protein concentrate
In the list above, ingredients at the top make up most of the the protein blend while those at the bottom of the list make up the least. As can be seen, caseine and whey make up most of this blend.
Whey and casein appear to effectmuscle protein synthesis differently. While whey protein appears to exert its influence primarily by stimulating protein synthesis, caseine seems to be more anti-catablic. In other words, it acts to reduce protein breakdown. Theoretically, having both whey and casein might be better than either one would alone.
This difference in how they work is usually at the heart of ones preference of whey over caseine -or vice versa. That said, at least one small study noted that a 20 gram dose of either whey protein or casein protein produced in similar amounts of protein synthesis in young men after a bout of resistance training. This makes me wonder if they are really as different as some think?
Pro Series 50 vs. Muscle Milk
For those who were curious, here are the nutrition facts for both Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 compared to original Muscle Milk powder. Notice I compared what is in both 1 scoop as well as 2 scoops of the protein powders.
|Pro Series 50 (1 scoop)||Pro Series 50 (2 scoops)||Muscle Milk (1 scoop)||Muscle Milk (2 scoops)|
If you just look at the protein content (the last item listed in the table), two scoops of original Muscle Milk powder provides 32 grams of protein compared to 50 grams in two scoops of the Pro Series 50 formula. In other words, the Pro Series 50 formula provides 18 grams more protein than the original Muscle Milk per two scoops.
Considering that there are 28 grams in an ounce, the Pro Series 50 formula is providing over a half an ounce more protein per 2 scoops-and that is if it was mixed with water. Mixing either protein powder with milk provides extra protein.
One area I did see a difference was in how the powdered looked. The picture on the right shows them side-by-side. Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 powder has a slightly lighter color than original Muscle Milk. Granted, this is likely to matter little to anyone. It's just something I noticed.
Notice in the comparison table above that both versions of Muscle Milk powder contain the same number of calories. Whether one scoop or two scoops were used, the calories are 150 calories and 310 respectively for each of them. Again, this is assuming the products are mixed with water.
I think they were able to keep the calories the same – while increasing the protein content – by reducing the total fat and saturated fat in the Pro Series 50 version. Two scoops of the Pro Series 50 powder has only 5 grams of total fat vs. 12 grams for the original Muscle Milk.
I usually like to put Muscle Milk (original version) on my oatmeal because it's one of the few protein powders I've found that does not clump together (“clot”) when I microwave it. When I microwave my oatmeal using the Pro Series 50 formula, I've noticed some clumping together of the proteins. It's not significant most of the time so this may not matter to most people. I wonder if this is due to the reduced fat in the Pro Series 50 powder?
How Many Medium Chain Triglycerides?
Muscle Milk has a bit more saturated fat than other protein powders I've seen. While saturated fat is usually thought to be bad, the use of it in Muscle Milk is sometimes justified because the saturated fat comes from Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These are fats that look different than other types of fat you may be familiar with. The body processes them differently and some research notes that MCTs may help weight loss.
Recall from the last section that Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 has less saturated fat and total fat than the original version. Medium chain triglycerides are a type of saturated fat. This made me wonder if the Pro Series 50 powder had less MCTs than the original Muscle Milk.
So I called the company and was told that 1 scoop (41.2 g) of Pro Series 50 powder has 340 mg of MCTs while 1 scoop (35 g) of original Muscle Milk has 1200 mg of MCTs. Whether or not this makes a difference in terms of weight loss, I cannot say.
|MCTs (1 scoop)||MCTs (2 scoops)|
|Muscle Milk Pro Series 50||340 mg||680 mg|
|Original Muscle Milk||1200 mg||2400 mg|
Who Makes Muscle Milk?
CytoSport is the name of the company listed on the container, although after I called them, I learned they are now owned by Hormel Foods.
To contact CytoSport call their customer service number: 888-298-6629. To contact Hormel, call 800-523-4635.
Muscle Milk vs. IsoPure
As I mentioned above, my first thought when I saw the Pro Series 50 version of Muscle Milk was that it was created to compete with Isopure protein powder. Here is a quick run down of how their Nutrition Facts labels compare to each other. I used Low Carb Dutch chocolate Isopure for this comparison:
|Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 (2 scoops / 82.4 grams)||Isopure Low Carb Dutch Chocolate ( 2 scoops / 65 grams)|
|Calories from fat||45||10|
|Total fat||5 grams||1 gram|
|Saturated fat||2.5 grams||0.5 gram|
|Trans fat||0 grams||0 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0 grams||amount not given|
|Monounsaturated fat||2 grams||amount not given|
|Cholesterol||50 milligrams||5 milligrams|
|Sodium||190 milligrams||320 milligrams|
|Potassium||740 milligrams||750 milligrams|
|Total carbohydrate||17 grams||3 grams|
|Dietary fiber||2 grams||2 grams|
|Sugars||4 grams||0 grams|
|Protein||50 grams||50 grams|
One difference I feel worth mentioning is is how Isopure has more sodium than Muscle Milk (320 mg vs. 190 mg). I've seen other supplements containing sodium too. Yes, sodium is an important mineral, but given that the average American already gets more sodium than they need and its role in high blood pressure development, I wish supplement makers would reduce it from their products more.
Does Muscle Milk Contain Milk?
No. Neither the original version or the Pro Series 50 version contain any milk. For those with allergies, the labels of both products do state that they were created in a facility that also processes, milk, soy, wheat and eggs.
Is Pro Series 50 Better?
I think this a decision each has to make for her/himself. If you like the idea of getting more protein, then maybe you might like the Pro Series 50 version. Remember though you have to use 2 scoops to get those 50 grams -and that means extra calories (310 if mixed with water) that you may not want. The Pro Series 50 version might also cost more than original Muscle Milk too. Each person will have to weigh the pros/cons of a few extra grams of protein compared to spending more.Here is Muscle Milk Pro Series 50 on Amazon to learn more.