What Are the Side Effects of Muscle Milk?

(Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Simon Cousins)

Muscle Milk is one of the most popular nutritional shakes on the market, used by weightlifters and endurance athletes alike for its high protein content and diverse selection of nutrients. The benefits of drinking Muscle Milk include improved nutrition, the increased intake of protein, and faster recovery time if used immediately after a workout. As a specialized fitness aid, it is reasonable to fear side effects from such a product, but instances are rare and few are more complicated than a simple food allergy.


Muscle Milk is intended to provide nutrition in a convenient drinkable form. It is sold as a premade shake or a bulk mix to be prepared by the user. Although it is consumed by many throughout the day, the most effective time to drink it is widely believed to be immediately after a workout. The theory behind this is that the time immediately after a muscle is torn and pushed to its max is the time it most desperately needs nutrients. Thus a meal within a half hour after a workout is crucial, and Muscle Milk fills this need.


As effective as it may be, for some users Muscle Milk may come with unwanted side effects. Before drinking Muscle Milk, it is important to recognize any allergic reactions that could possibly take place. Muscle Milk is a dairy product, and is off limits for the lactose intolerant. Furthermore, the high amount of milk products and protein in Muscle Milk can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, constipation, and diarrhea. Most side effects of the product tend to be related to allergies or lactose intolerance; it contains high amounts of whey protein, derived from milk as well. Those who experience these kinds of side effects should discontinue use.


Muscle Milk gains much of its post-workout usefulness from its high concentration of calories, which provide energy to the body and nutrients to the muscles. Since it is a drink, many people fail to adequately keep track of the calories they are getting. Each serving of Muscle Milk has about 350 calories, depending on the flavor, so losing track can be detrimental to any weight management plan. With as many calories as a small meal, many people who drink Muscle Milk gain unexpected weight, and often it is pure fat. For many this effect isn’t necessarily bad, and may even be intended, but the uninformed may view this as a negative side effect.


Compared to other nutritional supplements such as creatine and ephedra, Muscle Milk and products like it are relatively benign, consisting of little more than milk, protein and vitamins. However, what can be safe and promote health for some can cause discomfort, and even danger, for some. People who have trouble handling high amounts of protein would be wise to avoid use. In addition, it is unknown exactly what effect a high protein diet has on the liver or the kidneys, so anyone with health issues in these areas should consult a doctor before they drink Muscle Milk.

Overall Health

For most people, the use of Muscle Milk can be useful in promoting health and building a leaner, more muscular body. Side effects of Muscle Milk are, in most cases, caused by allergies or by the simple effects of food on the body, and are almost always mild. For most people, the effects of Muscle Milk will be quite positive: increased energy, better nutrition, and increased muscle mass. Those who do experience side effects usually are best served to just discontinue use.

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