Muscle Milk vs Premier Protein

Tuesday 29th September 2020

You’ve been scrambling all day to get everything done and still make time for a good workout.

The last thing you want to worry about is carefully measuring your protein powder and getting it all into the shaker without messing.

Then getting the liquid to powder ratio just right before shaking it for all you’re worth.

After all that, you still need to wash the shaker. It just ends up nasty if you leave it too long. If you are anything like me, you hate doing dishes.

It’s a vicious cycle that never ends. I like to keep the number of dishes I have to wash to a minimum.

Trying to clean out the bits of congealed protein powder at the bottom or between the spokes of the shaker, just plain sucks.

A premixed protein shake is convenient and sorts all of this out. Well, the protein shake making and cleaning up afterward part anyway. Getting through the day and having a great workout is on you.

Walking through the isles at the store, Muscle Milk and Premier Protein ready to drink shakes pop out. But which one is better?

Muscle Milk vs Premier Protein. Here we go.

Company Information

CytoSport, Inc.

CytoSport is the manufacturer of Muscle Milk, Monster Milk, and CytoMax. In 2019, they were acquired by Pepsi Co from Hormel Foods Corporation.

CytoSport provides protein supplements and it’s the company vision to be protein experts in the field of nutrition.

The ready to drink protein shakes are available to purchase on their website, other online stores, and physical stores. You can easily see the ingredients they use and the nutrition in these shakes.

BellRing Brands, Inc.

BellRing Brands is the manufacturer of Premier Protein. They’re also the company behind Dymatize and Power Bar.

Post Holdings, Inc, a company that has many food brands under its name owns approximately 71% of BellRing.

Premier Protein has all the ingredients listed along with the nutrition label on the website.

The “Buy Now” button takes you to a pop-up of the various stores, including Amazon, where you can purchase the shakes.

A Look at What’s Inside

Muscle Milk

Muscle Milk

18 new from $14.98
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as of September 29, 2020 2:57 am

Muscle Milk has a few ready to drink options available: Genuine, Pro Series, Smoothie Yogurt, Coffee House, Original, Muscle Milk Light, 100 Calorie, and Collegiate.

We’ll be looking at the Genuine range today. The proteins are milk-derived (milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and sodium caseinate), but the shakes are all non-dairy.

This doesn’t make too much sense considering the milk proteins. But there is no actual dairy milk used to make this product.

Non-dairy still seems a bit of a stretch to me though regardless of the type of main liquid.

The proteins are free from rBST, which are added hormones that farmers give the cows to produce more milk.

The protein is processed in a way that there is no lactose. The drinks contain natural and artificial flavors. The protein shakes are sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

Muscle Milk also contains carrageenan. A possibly inflammatory agent that some scientists theorize may contribute to digestive issues, allergies, and even cancer.

Canola oil and sunflower oil are used as emulsifiers and thickeners. If you already eat a diet high in omega 6 fatty acids, this is a downside. Too much omega 6 may cause excessive inflammation.

On the upside, you get roughly 35% of your vitamin A, C, D, and magnesium requirement per serving.

Each shake also provides around 50% of your phosphorus needs and 4% of your iron needs. Plus you get 5g of fiber.

You get 25 grams of protein and only 130-160 calories depending on the flavor.

Flavors

  • Banana Crème
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies ’N Crème
  • Strawberries ‘N Crème
  • Vanilla Crème
  • Cafe Latte + Caffeine
  • Mocha Latte + Caffeine

Pros

  • One serving provides 25g of protein
  • It’s a source of vitamins A, C, and D
  • It contains iron, magnesium, and phosphorus
  • Sugar-free
  • Lactose-free
  • rBST-free

Cons

  • Includes carrageenan
  • Contains artificial sweeteners
  • Contains canola oil and sunflower oil

Premier Protein

Premier Protein

6 new from $32.99
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as of September 29, 2020 2:57 am

Premier Protein has a range of dessert-like flavors and also clear protein drinks that are fruity flavors. We’ll be looking at the creamy dessert flavored shakes.

These shakes can be used as meal replacement shakes as they contain 24 vitamins and minerals. There is also 3g of fiber.

There is no added sugar and the total sugar content is only 1g. Like Muscle Milk, they make use of sucralose and acesulfame potassium to sweeten the shakes. The shakes also contain carrageenan.

There is less than 1% sunflower oil, but in this case, it’s high oleic sunflower oil. The higher omega 9 (oleic oil) content means less omega 6.

Premier Protein makes use of milk protein concentrate and calcium caseinate. Each serving gives you 30g of protein at 160 calories standard across all the flavors.

Flavors

  • Bananas & Cream
  • Café Latte
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Strawberries & Cream
  • Vanilla

Pros 

  • Contains 24 vitamins and minerals
  • Each serving provides 30g of protein
  • There is no added sugar (1g total sugar)
  • Contains less than 1% high oleic sunflower oil
  • Can be used as a meal replacement

Cons 

  • Contains artificial sweeteners
  • Includes carrageenan
  • Best to steer clear if you are lactose intolerant

Points of Comparison: Ingredients 

Sugar

Neither Muscle Milk or Premier Protein contain any added sugar. The protein shakes are sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

Is it healthy or natural?

Both muscle milk and premier protein contain artificial sweeteners. Generally, artificial sweeteners are not recommended.

Evidence shows that they raise blood sugar levels in those who don’t consume them regularly.

Isn’t this what we try to avoid by ditching sugar? Not just that, but artificial sweeteners may negatively impact our gut health.

Protein

Muscle Milk provides 25g of protein while Premier Protein provides 30g of protein.

What is Protein Made up Of?

All proteins are made up of amino acids. There are different types of proteins and the combination and ratios of amino acids will differ.

Animal proteins such as whey, casein, and egg contain all 20 amino acids making them complete proteins.

Muscle Milk contains a blend of milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and sodium caseinate.

Premier Protein contains a blend of milk protein concentrate and calcium caseinate.

Is the Protein Healthy and Natural? 

Caseinate and milk protein are natural. Keeping animal proteins to a minimum is recommended for everyone.

But both caseinate and milk protein come without the high amounts of saturated fat that meat and full cream milk does. As long as you don’t go over the recommended amount, you should be fine.

If you have problems with your kidneys, speak to your doctor before taking any high protein supplements. Unhealthy kidneys struggle to process large amounts of protein.

How is the Protein Made?

Caseinates are produced when an alkaline substance is added to casein. This is so that it can mix with water.

Sodium caseinate is formed when sodium hydroxide is added to casein. It mixes with water better than calcium caseinate.

When calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide is added to casein, it forms calcium caseinate.

Milk protein concentrate and isolates are produced by filtering skim milk. It’s a combination of whey and casein.

The filtration method will determine how much, if any, lactose is included in the end product.

Flavors

Both brands have a good assortment of flavors.

Muscle Milk

  • Banana Crème
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies ’N Crème
  • Strawberries ‘N Crème
  • Vanilla Crème
  • Cafe Latte + Caffeine
  • Mocha Latte + Caffeine

Premier Protein

  • Bananas & Cream
  • Café Latte
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Strawberries & Cream
  • Vanilla

What Do Other People Think About Favours?

Muscle Milk

Most people enjoy these shakes and their consistency. The vanilla crème flavor has been described as sugar cookie flavor.

A lot of people don’t like the aftertaste which is described as chemical or bitter.

Premier Protein

Most people enjoy these shakes. They generally taste creamier than muscle milk.

The vanilla flavor has been described as birthday cake or sugar cookie. The bananas and cream flavor has been said to taste like a banana cream pie.

Does the Texture of Differ Depending on the Flavor? 

The Muscle Milk Vanilla Crème and Cookies and Cream flavors sometimes have a chalky or gritty texture.

Some of the Premier Protein flavors also get a chalky texture sometimes. Some people find the chocolate flavor’s texture watery, but most people agree that the shakes are creamy.

Texture can vary according to how the sellers store the shakes.

A Quick Comparison Video Review

Value for Money

Premier Protein

Premier Protein comes out on top here. On Amazon, you can get a 12-pack for 23.99 for most flavors, with vanilla priced as low as $19.87.

At $23.99, one bottle costs $1.99. You can also find it in-store at Walmart and other popular stores. Singles are also cheaper than Muscle Milk.

With Premier Protein, you get an additional 5g of protein and a lot more vitamins and minerals.

Muscle Milk

It can be a little pricey to buy singles of Muscle Milk.

A 12-pack on the Muscle Milk website costs 24.97 at the moment, which works out to $2.09 per bottle. There is a subscribe and save option available.

Amazon prices are a little more expensive with the cheapest option being $26.56 for a 12-pack. Muscle milk can also be found in physical stores such as Walmart.

Alternatives

For those who are vegan, have a milk allergy, or are lactose intolerant, plant-based alternatives such as Vega is a great option.

Vega is also good for anyone who still wants the convenience of a ready-to-drink protein shake but wants to cut down on animal protein shakes.

Iconic Protein Drinks are a better alternative for those who prefer to stick to an animal protein supplement.

Vega Protein Nutrition Shakes 

Vega Protein Drink

2 new from $28.99
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as of September 29, 2020 2:57 am

Vega Protein Nutrition Shakes come in Vanilla or Chocolate flavor. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and actual veggies and greens. They also contain plant-based omega 3.

There is 20g of protein that comes from a blend of pea, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein. They need to be shaken very well since they can be a bit chalky and are best served cold.

The shakes are sweetened with stevia. A much healthier to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Overall it’s a very clean shake.

They are a bit more expensive at $29.99 for the chocolate and as little as $26.99 for the vanilla for 12 bottles.

Iconic Protein Drink

Iconic Protein Drinks

13 new from $36.25
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as of September 29, 2020 2:57 am

Iconic Protein Drink comes in Cacao + Greens, Café Au Lait, Chocolate Truffle, Coconut Matcha, Golden Milk, and Vanilla Bean flavor. They are free from common allergens and are lactose-free.

Each shake provides 20g of protein that consists of grass-fed milk protein isolate. The different flavors have different benefits due to the ingredients.

For example, the golden milk flavor packs an antioxidant punch and may lower inflammation.

These shakes are free from added sugar. They use stevia, blue agave, and monk fruit. The only issue here is the agave. It’s high in fructose which when processed is even worse than cane sugar.

These shakes are free from carrageenan. They contain less than 1% high oleic sunflower oil.

Prices range from $24.00 to $35.99 depending on who you purchase them from and the flavor.

FAQ

Do the Muscle Milk and Premier Protein shakes need to be refrigerated?

Only after opening them.

What is the shelf life?

Both Muscle Milk and Premier Protein last a couple of months, 6-8 months after the manufacture date before opening.

Check the expiration date since you can never be sure how long they have been kept in storage or on the shelf before getting to you.

Can you lose weight drinking these shakes?

Both Muscle Milk and Premier Protein are fairly low in calories. Premier protein can be used as a meal replacement due to the variety of vitamins and minerals.

A healthy diet and exercise and keeping an eye on your calories is the best way to lose weight.

No need to be very strict. Choosing healthy foods over fatty processed foods will naturally lower your calorie intake.

Both shakes will help with satiety and may boost your metabolism slightly thanks to the high protein content and the fiber.

Can you gain weight using these shakes?

Weight gain, whether in a healthy or unhealthy manner is dependent on upping your calorie intake. These shakes alone will not help with that.

The protein content of these shakes, however, will help you gain muscle mass. This is as long as you increase your overall protein intake, calories, and exercise accordingly.

Final Verdict: Muscle Milk vs Premier Protein

Honestly, these shakes are not the healthiest out there. But they aren’t the worst either. The added nutrients, particularly in Premier Protein, is definitely a benefit.

The protein content is also quite high compared to other brands.

Carrageenan isn’t considered harmful by all scientists, but it’s something to bear in mind. When a damaged source is used, it isn’t something we should be consuming.

Do we know the quality of the carrageenan in our products?

Also, if you regularly consume artificial sweeteners, they shouldn’t affect your blood sugar levels. But how is your gut health?

I would go with one of the alternatives for health reasons. Vega is the best option and generally safe for anyone struggling with allergens and hormonal issues, including acne.

But if you are keeping costs low whilst still maintaining the convenience of a ready-to-drink shake offers and you want to maximize on the protein, Premier Protein is a good option.

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