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Planters Nuts Digestive Health Mix and Muscle Milk: Are They Calorie Bargains or Calorie Rip-Offs?

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Muscle Milk

Product: Muscle Milk (

Claims: "Muscle Milk helps grow muscle faster than gainers, whey, or even creatine. This increased muscle growth is possible because Muscle Milk is the first product patterned after Nature's ultimate anabolic food -- human mother's milk. Locked within human mother's milk are long-held secrets to muscle growth potential previously considered impossible."

Facts: According to Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, "Science exists behind the need for these proteins, but it is being simplified and applied to the promotion of muscle growth of an adult human for which human milk is not intended." And according to sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, this is a product "convenient for athletes who don't take responsibility for grocery shopping."

Fiction: What you get in this supplement you can get from eating real food. Animal-based protein from meat, milk, and eggs provides the body with all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth. "Milk is an excellent source of leucine, which promotes muscle growth. Amino acids found in human milk intended for infants do support muscle growth, but their main function is to build antibodies for the immune system. Also, muscle growth must be stimulated by challenging the muscle with resistance. Simply drinking this supplement without resistance exercise will not provide much benefit," says Sandon.

Ingredients: EvoPro (micellar alpha and beta caseins and caseinates, whey concentrates rich in alpha-lactalbumin, whey isolates, whey peptides, colostrum extract, l-glutamine, taurine, lactoferrin), Leanlipids (trans-fat-free lipic complex consisting of canola oil, sunflower and/or safflower oil, mct's, l-carnitine), fructose, cocoa powder maltodextrin, cytovite 1 (vitamin and mineral premix consisting of vitamin A acetate, cholecalciferol, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate, ascorbic acid, folate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, niacinamide, pyridoxine hcl, cyanocobalamin, biotin, pantothenic acid, di-calcium phosphate, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, ferrous fumarate, magnesium oxide, copper gluconate, zinc oxide, chromium nicotinate), GCC (proprietary endogenous creatine precursor consisting of glycocyamine, betaine anhydrous), natural and artificial flavors, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, soy lecithin.

Nutrition Information: (Serving size, 11 ounces) 220 calories, 11g fat (4.5g saturated), 250mg potassium, 110mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1g fiber, 21g protein.

Concerns: The calories. This is a very concentrated source of calories, making it easy to overdo. Plus it has a lot of multisyllable ingredients.

Bottom Line: "Research has shown that when drunk after exercise, a glass of regular low-fat chocolate milk promotes muscle recovery and growth similar to the recommendations and claims of this product," says Sandon.

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder and editor of, the health and fitness network and author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible. Copyright 2008 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from, August 2008.



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