Muscle Milk Bars - Functional Foods

Muscle Milk Bars

Cytosport’s Muscle Milk is one of the most popular gainers in the bodybuilding market, due to its relatively low carb content and array of rich-tasting flavors.  Protein bars are a fave bodybuilding snack, so Muscle Milk bars are a natural extension of the brand.  Unlike Muscle Milk itself, the bars come in only three flavors (Banana Yogurt, Chocolate Peanut Caramel and Vanilla Toffee Crunch), but are designed to be “…the perfect solution for people who want to feel better and improve their performance while on the go.”

Manufacturer’s Description: Protein-packed: Muscle Milk Bars are loaded with 25 grams or muscle-sustaining protein to keep your body going and growing throughout your busy day. Energy: An equitable mix of 25 grams protein and 28 grams carbs per bar (only 11g sugar) provide the fuel for sustained energy between meals. Zero tolerance: Muscle Milk Bars are lactose-free and free from trans fat, so there’s no question you’re getting good nutrition even when time is tight. A healthy handful of goodness: Packed with protein and the same sustained energy as Muscle Milk but in great-tasting bars that’s ready when you are.

Product Label:

Serving Size 73g
Calories 290
Calories From Fat 90
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 310mg
Potassium 110mg
Total Carbohydrate 30g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 14g
Protein 25g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 15%
Iron 2%
Ingredients: Muscle Milk Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Milk Protein Concentrate, Sodium Caseinate), Evaporated Cane Juice Solids, Hydrolyzed Gelatin, Maltitol Syrup, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Glycerine, Water, Corn Syrup, Invert Sugar, Nonfat Dry Milk, Peanut Flour, Butter, Nestle® Butterfinger®, Rice Flour, Cocoa Powder, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Salt, Polydextrose, Maltodextrin, Soy Lecithin, Cream, Molasses, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Cottonseed And/or Soybean, Palm), Malt Extract, Rice Extract, Sucralose, Di-Sodium Phosphate, Carrageenan Gum, Distilled Monoglycerides., Nestle® Butterfinger®: Corn Syrup, Ground Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Molasses, And Less Than 1% Of Confectioner’s Corn Flakes, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Salt, Cocoa, Soy Bean Oil, Whey, Nonfat Milk, Modified Food Starch, Lactic Acid Esters, Soy Lecithin, TBHQ And Citric Acid (To Preserve Freshness), Artificial Flavors, Yellow #5, Red #40

Comments: I picked up the Vanilla Toffee Crunch (shown above) and Chocolate Peanut Caramel bars at my local Fred Meyer, where they were sold open stock for $2.19 each – a fairly typical price for this type of bar. At 73g (2.57 oz), they’re somewhat larger than a standard candy bar.

Each bar featured a chocolate coating surrounding a nougat center. Both bars were quite soft, chewy and sweet…almost too sweet, although this was redeemed by the flavors, which were intense enough to avoid being overwhelmed. Of the two, the Vanilla Toffee Crunch was my favorite, although it the “crunch” part was barely discernible. Still, it had an interesting, almost buttery-tasting vanilla flavor, with a toffee aftertaste – nice. The Chocolate Peanut Caramel had visible peanuts, and tasted good, although it derived most of its flavor from the chocolate…the caramel and peanut flavors didn’t really stand out.

Unlike Muscle Milk, the bars aren’t fortified with vitamins and minerals; nor do they contain Lean Lipids™ – a proprietary MCT (medium chain triglycerides) blend. They’re simply reduced sugar/carb protein bars – good perhaps for an occasional snack or “fix” for a sugar craving – but not really  meal replacements.  Muscle Milk bars are a tasty way to get 25g of protein, though, even if they’re not the most calorically “economical” way to go about it.

[usrlist “Taste:4.5” “Quality:3.0” “Efficacy:3.5” “Value:3.5″ avg=”true”]

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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