Muscle Milk is the brand name of a popular protein supplement made from a blend of whey and caesin. Whey protein is a type of protein supplement made from whey protein only, and can be sold under any brand name. These protein supplements are used for building muscle, and gaining or losing weight.

Muscle Milk is the brand name of a product line of protein supplements by the company CytoSport. Whey protein is just the generic name for a type of supplement manufactured and sold by many different brands.

Although the two products share many common elements, Muscle Milk contains a variety of ingredients, while whey protein is primarily composed of globular proteins extracted from milk during the cheese-making process. Muscle Milk is a better choice for weight gain while whey protein is better for building leaner muscles.

Comparison chart

Muscle Milk versus Whey Protein comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartMuscle MilkWhey Protein
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Introduction A particular product line of dietary supplement made by CytoSport. A type of dietary supplement manufactured by many different brands.
Protein Type Whey and casein blend Whey only
Uses Pre-workout supplement or meal replacement Sometimes pre-workout, primarily recommended for post-workout as well. Not as meal replacement
Meal replacement Yes No
Advantages Potentially more palatable; well-known brand with wide distribution. Minimal additives, carbohydrates, and fat; potentially less expensive depending on brand.
Disadvantages Higher caloric, carbohydrate, and fat content; potentially more expensive. Potentially less palatable; quality may vary between different brands and production methods.
Consumable forms Ready-to-use liquid, powder, oatmeal, bar Powder
Flavors 25 varying flavors including crème brulee, cinnamon bun, chocolate, cookies-n-cream, orange creme, strawberry, among others. Plain, Chocolate, Vanilla.
Absorption Rate 1.5 - 2 hours 1.5 hours
Protein per serving 16g 26g
Carbs per serving 3g 0
Calories per serving 150 120
Price Substantially more expensive, 15-20% more expensive than traditional whey protein, in general Cost-effective alternative

Recommended Use

If the intention is to gain weight, then Muscle Milk is a better option as its various additives are more conducive to weight gain. But if one is trying to simply build muscle, or gain leaner muscle, 100% whey protein is a more efficient solution.

Muscle Milk is best used pre-workout. The calorie intake will be burned off, and the additional nutrients will make it a more efficient workout. But the increased calorie count, traces of fat, and lower protein rates are not compatible for use as a post-workout supplement. The varying nutrients also help make Muscle Milk an effective meal replacement for those forgoing intense workout sessions.

Whey protein is almost strictly a powder protein supplement in its lack of varying nutrients. It is recommended for use as a post-workout supplement and to a lesser extent, a pre-workout. Whey protein is best consumed 30 minutes before a workout.

Muscle Milk and Marked Whey Protein

Watch this expert talk about the two kinds of protein supplements:


Muscle Milk is made from a blend of different types of protein as well as some carbohydrates and fat, allowing it to serve as a meal replacement in addition to a protein supplement.

Muscle Milk in Chocolate, the most popular flavor
Muscle Milk in Chocolate, the most popular flavor

Whey protein primarily contains globular proteins extracted from whey, a byproduct of cheese, isolated during the cheese making process. It is a 5% lactose solution in water. Most varieties contain little additives or flavorings.

Whey Protein in various brands
Whey Protein in various brands


Muscle Milk and whey protein both offer a substantial option. Muscle Milk offers less protein, but is filled with a lot more additional nutrients and aspects that some may consider unnecessary.

Calorie count

Muscle Milk is typically 150-180 in calorie content, comparatively higher than whey protein’s average of 120 calories.


Whey protein contains almost zero carbs, compared to Muscle Milk’s 3g. This is small, but in a workout situation, carbs are considered an extraneous addition.


Muscle Milk contains less protein, about 16g per serving. Compare this to whey protein’s average of 26g, and it is just above half.

Other Nutrients

Muscle Milk does contain a more versatile serving of nutrients, including 15% intake of vitamin A, C, D, E, and B types. Furthermore, Muscle Milk contains iodine, magnesium, copper, zinc, and potassium in 12% to 15% intake. It also contains chromium at an impressive 40%.

Forms of Consumption

Muscle Milk comes in several different product lines, including ready-to-drink containers, powders, bars, and even oatmeal. They are marketed as protein supplements that contain a blend of carbohydrates and fats that allow use as meal replacements.

Whey protein usually comes in one of three forms:


In addition to its various forms, Muscle Milk comes in a variety of unique flavors, such as Chocolate, Strawberries ’N Crème, and Cake Batter. Most if not all forms of Muscle Milk contain flavorings to offer more variety and make it more palatable when consumed by itself.

Whey protein that does not contain added flavorings is usually mild or slightly milky in taste. Variations that include added flavorings are usually limited to popular flavors like Chocolate, Vanilla and Plain. Some users improve the taste of whey protein supplements themselves by blending it with milk, fruit, or chocolate powder.

Other Health Benefits

Other than building muscle, Muscle Milk offers the advantage of additional nutrients listed above.

Whey protein, in addition to building muscle, is also recommended by medical specialists to assist in the treatment of certain illnesses. Many also use it to supplement their diet in various ways without any specific intention of working out or gaining muscle.


Because these protein supplements come in various varieties, the prices vary widely. Still, if one compares the very basic form of each, Muscle Milk still averages higher in cost for the same quantity of whey protein.

A pound of generic whey protein costs about $16.00, while a pound of Muscle Milk powder costs about $22.00 The Amazon best sellers list for whey protein supplements indicates that the average price is about $50 for 5 lbs.

100% whey protein has been gaining major ground in the last few years, on account of its attractive price point. The big competition push of whey protein has pushed the price of Muscle Milk down to a large extent, but perhaps not enough to be competitive.


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