Eating enough protein is important not just for athletes and would-be bodybuilder types, but for everyone. It’s because protein is vital for a healthy immune system and is needed by organs, like your brain, heart, and skin to function properly.
If you have limited access to quality high-protein foods, you may want to consider adding protein powders to your diet. And one of the most popular brands of protein powder is Muscle Milk. It is so well-known in the fitness industry that its brand is almost associated with the words “protein shake.”
Today, we’ve decided to come up with an in-depth review of their Muscle Milk Collegiate. It is a protein shake that helps people build lean muscle and strength during competitive events and training.
Keep reading our Muscle Milk Collegiate review to know more about this product and whether it’s worth the hype. Alright, let’s dive in.
TLDR: Muscle Milk Collegiate Review
The Muscle Milk Collegiate Protein Powder is designed to support fitness enthusiasts and athletes during workouts and competitive events.
It provides key nutrients to support muscle growth, repair, and maintenance with complex carbohydrates to refuel muscle energy stores.
Produced in California and owned by CytoSport, the Muscle Milk brand is popular not because the premade Muscle Milk protein shakes can be found in about every convenience store in the US, but because of its quality whey protein powder.
As its name suggests, the Muscle Milk Collegiate is specially formulated to mimic the ideal human growth protein in natural human milk.
These proteins include whey concentrates, whey peptides, whey isolates, alpha, and beta micellar caseins, protein hydrolysate, and alpha and beta micellar caseins.
Muscle Milk Collegiate can be used before or after workouts or as your daily snack to meet training goals and specific nutrition.
The two scoops (75g) of this protein powder (per serving) already contain 290 calories, 20g of protein, 44g of carbohydrates, and other vitamins and minerals for your body.
Come to think of it, the Dietary Reference Intake shows that a sedentary adult needs 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. That means an average sedentary person needs about 56g of protein daily and an average sedentary woman about 46g.
So, the protein powder serving will make a great addition to your protein diet. The Muscle Milk supplement brand also sells ready-to-drink (11 oz.) Collegiate Series that you can take in case you forgot to bring your shaker bottle outside.
- No clumps or globs as it mixes instantly
- The flavor tastes exactly like chocolate
- Can be used before or after workouts for new muscle growth and fast recovery.
- Good source of protein that you can add to your diet
- Helps aid in reducing injury caused by nutrient deficiency
- Increases oxygen delivery to your working muscles
- Helps keep muscle glycogen at its peak level so you can extend workouts and improve endurance
- More calorie than protein
- Others find the texture grainy
- Contains sugar
Is it worth it?
Muscle Milk Collegiate is worth it to support athletic performance and help those who want to gain lean muscle. It can be your post or pre-workout protein powder and it works pretty well.
It tastes good as well. It’s good when mixed with milk or with plain water. After a while of taking this protein powder, you’ll see real results along with good exercise.
Overall, it provides good value for your money. Just beware, though, that this nutritional replacement drink does contain calories.
In-Depth Review of the Muscle Milk Collegiate
Muscle Milk Nutrition Facts
32 Servings per container
Serving size: 2 scoops (75g)
Amount per serving
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 3.5g||4%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrate 44g||16%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Includes 2g Added Sugars||4%|
|Vitamin D 3mcg||15%|
|Vitamin A 135mg||15%|
|Vitamin C 14mg||15%|
|Vitamin E 2.3mg||15%|
|Vitamin B6 0.26mg||15%|
|Folate 60mcg DFE (36mcg folic acid)||15%|
|Vitamin B12 0.4mcg||15%|
|Biotin 5 mcg||15%|
|Pantothenic Acid 0.8mg||15%|
|Phosphorus 250 mg||20%|
* The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
For a rich, creamy shake, simply mix 150g (4 scoops) of this protein powder in 16 to 20 oz of cold water.
Warranty/ Return Policy
Muscle Milk does not offer exchanges or free returns.
Who is it Best for?
This pre-or post-workout shake/ protein powder is best for people who need multi-source protein, like athletes and active individuals. Compared to other protein drinks, the Muscle Milk Collegiate provides a safe, responsible, and effective nutritional support of athletic performance.
We appreciate that it contains a protein blend of milk protein isolate, calcium sodium caseinate, taurine, glutamine, lactoferrin, whey concentrate, and whey hydrolysate.
What Do People Say About it?
An Amazon user shared his experience with this Muscle Milk Collegiate protein powder. “I used to take this supplement when I was in athletics in college. [I] have stopped working out in recent years but have recently gotten back into it. I love the taste of [this] stuff.
[You] don’t have to hold your nose when drinking it [and it’s] great with milk. [It] lasts forever. Be sure to read the instructions on it. Adding 4 scoops to a 16oz mixer cup is not too much, could even add 5 if wanting more protein. [It’s the] best supplement for someone who is looking for sustained protein without going for extreme protein weight gainers.”
Another buyer from the United States gave this Muscle Milk protein powder an above-average rating. He/she said, “I’m using this product as either a meal replacement or a partial meal replacement rather than an extra calorie/protein supplement to build muscle.
The taste is good, but I wouldn’t say great. But something that tastes good to me may taste great or bad to you, so this is subjective. I only use water (no milk) and ice when blending this, and sometimes add a tasteless fiber supplement to the shake. It is filling and keeps my hunger at bay for quite a while.”
DSNSportSupplements said, “It’s actually one of the very few products I think that is approved by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). They’re marketing this as a calorie replacement drink. Honestly, it really doesn’t look that impressive … It’s not a bad weight gainer, 40 grams protein, 90 carbs, seven grams of fat. But there’s nothing special about this product. [However,] for sports athletes, it’s always good to take in some calories. So, if you’re into sport, this might be something to give a shot.”
While the majority of online users shared their positive experience with Muscle Milk, one Reddit user shared his disappointment about the protein powder. He wrote, “Muscle Milk Collegiate – Chocolate. I thought Body Fortress (another brand) was grainy, but this powder made me feel like I was drinking chocolate flavored sand. It blended terribly. Tragic.”
In another thread, one participant mentioned, “I didn’t like Muscle Milk’s mixability, it seemed chalky. I did mix with milk though, maybe that was why. I didn’t like the taste when mixed with water.”
Other Muscle Milk Protein Products
Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shake – For Muscle Rebuilding
Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shake contains a combination of high-quality fast-releasing whey protein and slow-releasing casein protein, which help to provide more sustained energy than whey alone.
This protein shake contains 25 grams of protein that helps support muscle rebuilding and is also an excellent source of vitamins A, C, 7 D, and calcium. It comes in different flavors, but the Strawberries ‘N Crème is one of the most sought-after because it indeed had a faint strawberry taste and a taste of a creme mixture. Based on online reviews, there were also many who’d prefer the chocolate flavor.
Muscle Milk Pro Series Protein Shake – A Gluten-Free Anytime Snack
The ingredients are pretty much like the Muscle Milk Genuine Protein shake, such as it also has high-quality fast-releasing and slow-releasing proteins to provide people with a more sustained delivery.
But what makes this one stand out is that it is gluten-free and is also packed with 20 vitamins and minerals. It also contains calcium and vitamin D for strong bones. This one is NSF-certified for the sport.
Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder – For Sustained Energy
Just like the Collegiate Series, this protein powder from Muscle Milk also helps support muscle rebuilding, maintenance of muscle mass, and muscle growth.
But what makes the Muscle Milk Genuine Protein powder different from the Collegiate Series is the ingredient. This means that its benefits and core functionality differ, such that it helps you live and perform better.
For example, it contains 9 essential amino acids, including Leucine, that play an important role in muscle building. This product also contains medium-chain triglycerides, soluble corn fiber, Calcium Sodium Caseinate (Milk), Whey Protein Concentrate (Milk), Soy Lecithin, and Milk Protein Isolate, among others.
Muscle Milk Gainer Protein Powder – For the Hard Gainers
Specifically marketed for people who want to gain muscle mass or build size, this gainer powder can be used pre-or post-workout or as an anytime protein-rich snack or meal option.
Strength and size are lost when you consume fewer calories than what you expend. So, to facilitate muscle growth after your workout, it is important to increase your overall calorie and high-quality protein intake. This Muscle Milk Gainer Protein Powder would be a great help for those goals.
Muscle Milk Zero (100 Calorie Protein Powder) – Low-Fat Protein Option
One of the best all-around multi-purpose protein powders, the Muscle Milk zero is a low-fat protein option. It also contains only 100 calories but still works to support muscle rebuilding.
It tastes good and has creamy smoothness. Muscle Milk markets this product with zero sugar, but it still contains Maltodextrin. It is a powder that improves the flavor and shelf life of many foods, but still is a sweetener and can increase your blood sugar.
Muscle Milk Coffee House Caffeinated Protein Powder – For Energy Boost
The Muscle Milk Coffee House Caffeinated Protein Powder can be your go-to morning beverage or an afternoon pick-me-up to boost your workout and feel awesome. It contains 120 mg of caffeine and 32g of protein to help energize your day. This product is also NSF Certified for Sport.
Muscle Milk Protein Bars – For Post-Workout Bite or Quick On-the-Go Munch
The Muscle Milk protein bars are great portable snacks when you need to eat quickly, especially when you’re outside. However, since the protein bar aisle has already become saturated with lofty nutrition claims and countless choices, it can be overwhelming to choose which one is right for you.
The Muscle Milk Protein bar is worthy to be on your grocery list as it gives you sustained energy and is good for workout recovery. The Muscle Milk protein bars have crunchy or creamy textures with a soft layer. “Delicious meets nutritious,” as Muscle Milk marketed it.
What’s the best protein powder for me?
Not all protein powders available in the market are created equal. Definitely, some have better ingredients and taste better than others. It can be hard to know which one is right for you as each person has unique physiology, preferences, and goals.
Match the protein powder to your needs – To know what’s best for you, determine when you are going to drink your protein shake. What is your fitness goal?
If the outcome that you’re looking for is to lose weight, then choose those with no added sugars or maltodextrins. Don’t choose protein powders with added BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids as they only promote weight gain and muscle growth.
On the other hand, if your goal is to build muscle, then choose a protein powder with a high bioavailability value – one that measures how well your body can absorb and use the protein.
If you want to go low-sugar, don’t choose a protein powder with high sugar content. If you want to stay vegetarian, don’t pick milk-based protein shakes, such as milk proteins and whey, but choose 100% plant-based proteins instead, like hemp, pea, or soy.
Moreover, patients who are lactose intolerant or suffering from irritable bowel syndrome should choose those that don’t contain artificial sweeteners and lactose sugars. If possible, don’t choose protein powders that have gluten in them so you can avoid gastrointestinal problems.
Note: We are not offering specific dietary advice or recommending that you consume a certain food product. Instead, we encourage you to do your research to know which one is right for you or talk with a nutritionist-dietician or your doctor before you take any new supplement.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions on Muscle Milk Collegiate
Does Muscle Milk actually work?
For athletes and active individuals with high caloric/ protein needs and those struggling to gain weight, Muscle Milk Collegiate Series provides a dense source of nutrients.
It is even a good protein powder for non-workout use. It’s a reasonable choice if you wish to promote lean muscle gain. The Muscle Milk brand itself has now become a popular nutritional supplement drink. For one, its taste is a winner compared to other protein drinks and its formula does have muscle-building properties.
Aside from this protein powder, where should I primarily get my daily protein?
The healthiest options for protein should come from food, particularly plant sources. However, the right type of meat is likewise healthy when consumed in moderation.
Here are some good places to begin sourcing your protein: soy, seeds, nuts, beans and lentils, fish, lean cuts of pork or beef, skinless, turkey or white-meat chicken, low-fat dairy, egg whites, and whey protein.
Who shouldn’t drink Muscle Milk?
People with kidney disorders should discuss with their doctors first before they take the Muscle Milk protein powder or any type of protein supplement for that matter.
Per serving of Muscle Milk contains 20g of protein and some people with kidney disease need low-protein diets, while others high-protein. In both cases, it is best to monitor your phosphorous, sodium, and potassium intake and there are sources of those nutrients per serving in the Muscle Milk protein powder.
Moreover, if you have food allergies or require prescription medication, drink the said protein powder with caution.
Can you drink Muscle Milk every day?
Muscle Milk, be that in the form of protein powder, ready-to-drink, protein blend, or protein bars, have a general safety profile and can be used as a daily snack to help meet your nutrition needs and training goals.
When consumed as indicated (2 scoops into an 8-10 fl-oz of water or 4 scoops into 16 to 20 fl-oz of water), it should be okay for you. It may contain more calories and artificial sweeteners than other protein supplements, but it is not like eating a few candy bars or downing a milkshake. Just be smart about it and don’t go beyond the recommended serving daily and use it to support your fitness regimen.
Why use protein powder?
Whole-food protein is always the best option, but it’s not just always possible to get your protein needs from foods. Ultimately, here are two main reasons why you may want to add a protein powder to your diet:
- Reason #1: Appetite – If you don’t feel hungry enough to consume the amount of protein you need from foods, you can always get it from protein powder as an addition. This can happen if you are struggling to increase your intake, are trying to gain weight, or are sick and have lost your usual appetite for food.
- Reason #2: Convenience – If you are busy with work or other responsibilities and you simply don’t have the time to eat a whole-food meal every time, then trying to meet your protein goals with a protein powder would be a good option.
The Verdict: Should I Buy Muscle Milk Collegiate?
Should we recommend Muscle Milk Collegiate as your protein supplement? After checking its contents and knowing what other people are saying about it, we can definitely say that it is indeed worth trying.
Many have great results with this product, especially fitness enthusiasts. However, please know that it may be different for every person. What we can say from our own experience is that this pre-or post-workout supplement is great tasting and is specially formulated to support muscle growth.
We also like that it dissolves easily in water. For a single serving, simply mix 2 scoops into an 8 fl-oz of water and it mixes instantly. This product is also fortified with iron, Omega 3s, and protein for extra nutrition. As it helps you stay positive protein balanced all throughout the day, we’d give this product a 4.6 rating out of 5.
Legal Disclaimer: Information provided on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). They are not meant to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.
If you like this article, you might want to read our other reviews at ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.