Muscle Milk Got It Right With Their Coffee House Protein Shakes
If you faithfully hit the gym at least three days a week, then you're more than likely a devoted sipper (or chugger) of a thing called protein shake. Drinking one of these liquid concoctions can sometimes feels like a tri-weekly chore, as I guzzle a grainy post-workout beverage, usually masked with a sweet flavor like vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter. Other times, it's a much-needed nutritional swig of the good stuff needed to help me recover from a strength training session. However, when I heard about Muscle Milk's decision to mix a vital muscle-nurturing macronutrient with an energy supplement, I couldn't pass up on giving something new a try.
Earlier this year, Muscle Milk's manufacturer and parent sports nutrition company, Cytosport, released its newest Coffee House Protein Shakes in 3 brew-inspired flavors - Vanilla Latte, Cafe Latte and Mocha Latte. With about 90 percent of Americans already consuming caffeine on a daily basis, each 11-ounce, 130 calories bottle is packed with 20 grams of protein, 120 milligrams of caffeine, essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, magnesium & calcium and more. It seemed like the perfect product for that gym rat who can't go a day or workout without a cup of coffee or an energy booster.
After having an unpleasant experience with a bottle of Muscle Milk, I decided to overcome my hesitation and open myself up to trying something else from them. I took on all three flavors at least twice over a span of two weeks and I jotted down my thoughts after my Coffee House experience. Continue reading below.
It's convenient for the workaholic in you.
You've seen it. A shake bottle gets filled with cold water before protein powder is dumped in and shaken until the holder's arm and wrists get tired. Muscle Milk's small, yet nutrient-packed bottles saved me every time I didn't want to deal with mixing my own shake. Each time I forgot to refill my protein shake capsule with my home-stored muscle-nurturing powder, these bottles came to my rescue. Above all, there was no mess to powder to clean or Blender Bottle to wash afterward. I just grab and go. Sip and toss (into a recycling bin, of course).
It has a light consistency with a kick.
Let's me be honest. I am not an avid coffee drinker and have never been the type to need a cup to start my day. However, drinking this made me feel a part of the coffee lovers united group (if it truly exists). Unlike Muscle Milk's Genuine Protein Shakes which have a slightly thicker consistency I'm unable to deal with, I appreciated the fact that I was not over come by that gag feeling I get when drinking protein shakes. The fluidity is real smooth, and tastes just like an iced coffee when pre-chilled.
Each time I happily guzzled down one of these bad boys after a workout, I felt like my post coffee breath served as proof that I had just kicked some serious @$$ in the gym. After drinking one before a session, my coffee breath showed just how much I meant business - gym business, that is. Some love the kick of caffeine, while others like myself are indifferent. Even with my lack of die-hard coffee-ness, I enjoyed it. If you're not a daily brew lover, open to occasionally drinking it, and new to protein shakes, then you'll appreciate how gentle and strong this shake is.
It tastes too d**n good.
...Especially if you have a sweet tooth! I found myself wanting to drink one prior or after a high-intensity circuit training session, just to get that surge of much-needed energy three times per week. Although it contains no sugar, it does contain sucralose, an artificial, non-caloric sweetener also known as Splenda. Yes, it is the partial culprit behind this bottle's pleasant taste, but like anything else enjoyable, take heed. To much of a good or useful thing can be harmful, especially if getting a sugar rush is your kryptonite. Don't say I didn't tell you [smiles].
It helps build, preserve and recover your lean muscles.
With 20 quality grams of it within each bottle, Muscle Milk delivers a balanced milk protein isolate mixture, consisting of whey and casein. This amount of muscle-building macronutrients tallies up to about 36% - 46% of the recommended daily protein intake, depending on whether you're a sedentary man or woman, according to the National Institutes of Health. Above all, this protein combo is plays a great part in slowing muscle breakdown, initiating and improving muscle growth/repair after a workout, and increasing amino acid levels for a quicker recovery. I didn't feel insanely sore post-work out and found that I could get through my workouts with more energy after recovery.
It's easier on that lactose intolerant stomach.
Although whey and casein protein isolates are derived from dairy, the Coffee House Shakes' protein is broken down and highly processed, making it more digestible more "dairy free" for the lactose intolerant folks. As someone who is slightly lactose sensitive, I didn't experience any uncomfortable symptoms associated with unwanted sugar often found in milk. For this, I was very grateful. However, try it for yourself. Everyone's body is different.
It helped me get through workouts like a warrior.
At the end of the day, caffeine is king when it comes to boosting one's energy for a workout. I found that I got the most out of the protein shake when I drank it an hour to an hour and half prior to a beastly sweat session. The extra boost gave me a bit of mental confidence to try harder to finish my last pushup or burpee. What I most appreciated was the fact that it gave me a feeling of satiation and fought off all my hunger pangs, to the point that I didn't find myself starving after or before hitting the gym.
Would I recommend this product to my fellow gym rats (and lactose intolerant friends)? Yes, especially if their looking to get the most out of their workouts and build lean muscle. If they're a die-hard (or not so die-hard) coffee fan looking to add a kick of energy and turn each exercise up a notch, then go ahead and add variety to your workout regimen with Muscle Milk's Coffee House protein shakes..
To try one of their three flavors (Mocha Latte was my favorite), head over to Target.com. You'll find the 4-packs for $6.99. You're welcome.