Many active people and athletes like muscle milk and find a cheap way to boost their protein intake, making workouts more rewarding.  However, knowing the potential side effects of muscle milk is good for you and helps you make an informed choice whether you will take it or not.

Muscle milk is popular in the fitness community, and many active people take it to boost workout performance, finding it more rewarding. Besides, athletes need not spend a fortune on the milk supplement since it is fairly affordable. However, many health experts are concerned about taking muscle milk, primarily because of the many synthetic proteins it contains, some of which are dangerous to health. For instance, potassium acesulfame and sucralose have recently raised eyebrows, as more studies link them to kidney damage. Peer into this article and know some quick facts about muscle milk before deciding to take it to boost workout performance and make it more rewarding.

What is muscle milk?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of muscle milk and whether it’s healthy for you or not, you need to know what it is. It is a popular milk protein powder found in online stores and corner shops after gaining popularity among athletes and active people. It has a mix of many claimed ‘healthy’ ingredients and possesses all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. A typical serving of muscle milk is prepared by taking two scoops of the milk powder and mixing it with water or milk, depending on your preferences.

What makes up muscle milk?

How healthy muscle milk is can only be answered after exploring what makes it up or its composition. Admittedly, the milk protein powder has a range of ingredients, some being healthier than the rest. However, the primary component is the protein blend that’s made up of milk protein isolate, calcium sodium caseinate, whey protein hydrolysate, whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrates, and lactoferrin. Besides these, muscle milk also has taurine and glutamine as active ingredients, and sucralose and potassium acesulfame also feature, though only passively. Many other ingredients are used to make the milk supplement.

Muscle milk is an umbrella name and has many products under it, including protein milk powders and ready-to-drink shakes. Walking the refrigerated sections of the stores and food shopping malls, you will see them, and depending on your health goals, you will pick what fits you. Two scoops are enough for preparing a normal muscle milk serving, and you can use water or milk. Remember that using milk introduces other nutrients, and if you don’t prefer that, water will do well for you. Many people take the milk supplement before bed, during the day, before, or after a workout and enjoy its benefits.

Why do people take muscle milk?

Like most supplements in the market, many revere muscle milk, especially those on an active life. They claim that muscle milk is important in three areas, including;

        i.            Weight gain

If you are small-bodied and would like to put in some extra pounds, taking muscle milk would be an ideal weight to go. In fact, most people have taken the milk supplement and have ended up gaining weight. For the typical serving made from two scoops of muscle milk, you will be supplying your body with at least 325 calories. If you take the same serving twice a day, you will be gaining 650 calories, besides the other calories from other foods taken in the day. Therefore, if your health allows you to take the milk supplement, it would be a good way to gain weight fast.

     ii.            Boosted performance and muscle growth

This is most likely the main reason people take muscle milk; to make the workout more rewarding. The milk supplement is high in proteins and low in carbs. Therefore, it supplies the body with the needed energy, making the workout more rewarding. In fact, your resistance may considerably improve after taking the supplement, and you can endure an exercise for long. Without an overemphasis, the supplement is called muscle milk, suggesting that its components make it great for promoting muscle growth.

   iii.            Fast recovery

Muscle milk boosts pre- and post-workout recovery. The proteins and the carbs forming the milk help one recover fast before and after working out. Therefore, with the right muscle milk intake, muscle cramps will not be a problem after working out. Besides, bone and muscle mass increase with the supplement intake, hence the fast recovery.

Why do many health experts shun away muscle milk?

You may wonder why, despite muscle milk’s claimed health benefits, many health experts and nutritionists still shun it away. The explanation stems from the supplement’s ingredients. As much as it is a whole protein source, some of the ingredients like sucralose and potassium acesulfame are potentially dangerous. Below are three health concerns related to muscle milk components;

        i.            It may trigger allergic reactions

A recent Food and Drug Administration letter pointed that muscle milk may not be ideal for people who are allergic to milk products. Remember, the supplement is not prepared from whole milk but uses casein and whey, two milk parts that trigger allergic in many people. Therefore, before trying the supplement, find out whether you are allergic to whey and casein and keep off.

     ii.            It may not be good for people with kidney problems

Different kidney complications call for varying amounts of proteins, magnesium, proteins, sodium, calcium, and other minerals. In fact, some people can tolerate high levels, while some would not even stand small amounts. Therefore, it’s more appropriate for people with kidney problems to consult a doctor before trying the supplements.

   iii.            It is not ‘healthy’

Although muscle milk markets its products by claiming that they are healthy, studies show otherwise. The high proteins and low carb levels do not necessarily mean that the supplements are healthy. Besides, most muscle milk products are questionable and could impair health.


Many athletes and active people take muscle milk to boost performance, gain weight, build muscle, and improve pre- and post-workout recovery. However, many health concerns arise, primarily relating to the ingredients used to make the milk supplement. For instance, sucralose and potassium sucralose and particularly controversial and not good for gut health. However, if your health allows you, muscle milk would be an ideal way to boost performance and meet other health goals.

Charlotte Cremers

MS, University of Tartu Sleep specialist Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.