Is Muscle Milk a Meal Replacement? Any Side Effects?

is muscle milk a meal replacement

One of the growing health problems in the world today is obesity, and people are coming up with new ways to tackle this problem each day. But are all these methods safe and do they give you the results you are looking for?

Muscle Milk is not a meal replacement. Muscle Milk is a brand that manufactures protein-based products, and studies suggest that using it as a meal replacement can have adverse effects, simply because Muscle Milk is not designed to be a meal replacement.

Protein drinks are often confused with everyday smoothies or meal replacement shakes.

It is important that you decipher the vital differences between protein shakes and meal replacements so you can make an informed decision based on the goal you want to accomplish through your diet.

To learn about the differences between Muscle Milk and meal replacements, keep reading!

What Is Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk is a protein-rich drink that is meant to provide workout recovery. It is also an energy booster that will help you build strength. Like any protein shake, this can be taken pre-workout or post-workout.

What Is It Used For?

According to their website, these drinks are specially designed for people who need energy boosts for athletic performance and intense physical workouts.

Furthermore, this drink is supposed to give its consumers “performance protein.” This is because protein plays a vital role in increasing the body’s metabolism and enhances physical strength and activity.

It also repairs muscles that are strained or damaged from exercise. Moreover, protein helps build muscle and produces enzymes and hormones.

Their website also claims that Muscle Milk can be used as a meal or snack, but that does not mean it can be used as a solid food replacement on a daily basis. This is because it is not designed to give the human body all the nutrients it needs each day to function efficiently.

You may understand why once you see what a meal replacement is composed of. Let’s have a look at this in detail below.

What Is a Meal Replacement?

A meal replacement is usually in the form of soup, bars, or shakes and is meant to substitute solid foods in order to reduce the total calorie intake in a day.

They can be used to substitute even two meals a day and play an important role in weight loss and weight management.

One of the reasons why these shakes are gaining popularity is because they allow you to lose weight in a healthy manner.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a study (titled: Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interventions for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults) conducted over the span of the last 15 years on obesity has proved that meal replacement products seem like the best way to go.

Meal replacement diets focus mostly on delivering macronutrients, which consist of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. These three components give the body most of its energy.

Many randomized controlled trials have proved that a mixture of these macronutrients is most effective in weight loss while also developing a healthy metabolism.

What Are the Benefits of a Meal Replacement Shake?

Meal replacement shakes contain all the nutrients the body receives from a full-fledged meal.

According to the European Union, a product that serves as a meal replacement must follow the compositional criteria given below:

  • Energy: 200-250 kcal
  • Fat: Less than or equal to 30%
  • Protein: 25-50%
  • Vitamins and minerals: More than 30%

You may have noticed that protein plays an important role in meal replacements too.

This is because protein and fiber have the ability to control a person’s appetite, as they tend to make a person feel full for longer periods of time when compared to other nutrients.

In fact, protein and fiber-rich foods are used in all weight loss regimes due to their efficiency. The reasons people feel full after ingesting these components are listed below:

  • Protein and fiber are digested more slowly than carbohydrates, which leaves the individual feeling full for a long duration of time.
  • Their slow rate of digestion causes them to be present in the gastrointestinal tract for a longer period of time.
  • You will have to drink quite a lot of water to help with the digestion of fiber, which in turn causes you to feel full and curbs your appetite.

One of the reasons why people believe protein shakes and meal replacement shakes are one and the same is because protein plays an important factor in both the products.

Can Muscle Milk Be Used as a Meal Replacement?

If you plan on using a meal replacement to fully substitute solid food intake, you are possibly doing so for the following purposes:

  • To reduce weight in a healthy manner
  • To maintain your present weight

It is important to realize that Muscle Milk cannot aid you in achieving either of these goals, simply because it is meant to build muscle, not reduce weight. Let’s look at the reasons why this protein shake cannot replace a meal.

It Is a Dietary Supplement, Not a Substitute

Protein shakes are not meant to substitute a full and substantial diet. They do not contain all the nutrients the body requires to be deemed as a full meal replacement.

You cannot replace all the nutrients the body needs with a protein-rich shake as that may lead to consequences.

It Is Used as a Metabolism Booster

The reason why protein shakes are consumed before or after a workout is that it increases your energy expenditure, which enables you to burn more calories through exercise.

They usually contain around 25g of protein per serving and less than 5g of carbohydrates.

They do not contain any added vitamins or minerals other than what exists in the primary protein source.

This is because they are not intended to be used as solid meal substitutes, but as energy giving supplements.

Are There Side-Effects to Using Muscle Milk as a Meal Replacement?

Yes. Using protein shakes as meal replacements can cause more negative than positive results.

Let’s look at some of the side-effects caused by too much protein:

  • Muscle Milk is mainly composed of protein, which has calories. Ingesting too much protein and not exercising can lead to fat deposits in your body, which is the opposite of your intended goal of losing weight.
  • If a protein shake is taken too often, it may lead to high cholesterol and also be a strain on the kidneys.
  • Protein shakes can seem like they promote weight loss, but the results are not long term or guaranteed. This is because you can lose weight when you consume protein shakes only if you accompany it with a healthy workout regime.
  • A study conducted by Harvard Medical School revealed that some protein powders had added sugars, calories, and even toxic chemicals. The FDA allows manufacturers to label their products as they wish, so there’s no way of knowing if a protein powder contains only what it claims.
  • Researchers of a nonprofit group called Clean Label Project discovered heavy metals and other contaminants in some protein powders.

Though we are not sure if all protein powders contain these dangerous elements, it still poses a risk to ingest it on a daily basis as a meal replacement alone.


To conclude, you can use Muscle Milk as an energy booster before or after your workout, which in turn will help you burn calories.

However, it is not advisable to substitute a nutritious meal with Muscle Milk shake every day, as it can lead to complications and health problems.


Our #1 Recommended Meal Replacement Shake is the Beachbody Shakeology shake. Unlike other meal replacements, Shakeology offers several superfood nutrients like digestive enzymes, probiotics & prebiotics, adaptogens, and phytonutrients.

It’s low enough in calories to be used as a meal replacement shake but also provides so many nutrients that it’s a great nutritional supplement as well. Often giving you more nutrients than a healthy meal would provide.

Check out our Beachbody Shakeology shake review here to see if it’s the right choice for you.

Our Top Recommended Meal Replacement Shakes




Beachbody Shakeology


Shakeology is our most recommended meal replacement shake because it's a nutrient dense shake that includes:

  • Protein
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Prebiotics & Probiotics
  • Adaptogens
  • Superfoods
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins & Minerals
  • Omega-3 From ALA

Thus, making it perfect for weight loss, increased energy, digestive health, reduced cravings, and overall better health.

Plus, Shakeology has stood the test of time as it has been around since 2009 without compromising its whole food ingredients. Instead, Shakeology has improved their flavors in taste and potency, and has even added vegan and gluten free options.

Learn More About The Clinically Tested Shakeology Shake Here


Ample Meal

Ample Meal

Ample Meal is an interesting meal replacement as it focuses more on healthy fats. Ample Meal includes:

  • Healthy Fats with Coconut & Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Prebiotics & Probiotics
  • Antioxidants
  • Electrolytes

With Ample Meal, you can get a nice fulling 400 calorie meal with 2 scoops or do a single scoop of 200 calories if your goal is weight loss. Similar to Shakeology, it’s free of all the artificial junk that most meal replacement shakes have today.

Learn More About Ample Meal Here


Macro Meal


MacroMeal is another interesting meal replacement shake as it contains a blend of fast, medium, and slow digesting protein that delivers sustained energy. MacoMeal also includes the following core ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil Powder
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics
  • Multivitamins & Minerals

Although not technically a meal replacement as it’s low in carbohydrates, people have found it to be filling because of the MCT oils and slow digesting proteins.

Learn More About MacroMeal Here



Before using meal replacement shakes and exercising, I was obese and on track to having high blood pressure at the age of 25. I'm glad to say I lost 50 pounds and am living a healthier lifestyle than before. Now I like sharing what I learned when I first researched what meal replacement to drink and the best way to lose weight. Learn more about me here...

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