Gluten Free Fitness

Nutrition

Gluten Free Sports Supplements: Muscle Milk

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Protein shakes abound these days. You can choose ready to drink (RTD), powders, whey isolate, whey concentrate, a blend, micellar casein, milk isolate-and for our dairy sensitive brethern and sisters we have gemma (pea) protein, rice protein, hemp protein-even beef isolate. (I have to admit I have not tried that and am not likely too-just seems weird to have something derived from beef taste like chocolate or fruit punch. But I digress.)

Muscle milk

Muscle Milk is yummy.

Muscle Milk is yummy.

A very popular brand of protein is the Muscle Milk family, which includes Muscle Milk light. These generally have slightly or significantly higher calorie content as they do include some fats. Not necessarily a bad thing at all, just as always check your labels, and make sure it fits into your nutrition plan for the day. (If you want more information on setting up a nutrition plan, sign up for the free guideline at the bottom of this post or the top right hand side of the home page.)

I have to admit I have only tried the chocolate flavor of Muscle Milk Light. I’m a chocolate girl, what can I tell you. The Muscle Milk powder is available in these flavors:

Bananas N’ Creme, Blueberries N’ Creme, Brownie Batter, Cake Batter, Chocolate, Chocolate Banana Crunch, Chocolate Caramel Pecan, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Mint Chip, Cookies and Creme, Dark Chocolate, Mocha Latte, Orange Creme, Peach Mango, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Strawberries and Creme, Strawberry Banana, Vanilla Creme, and White Chocolate Mousse. Whew!

Muscle Milk Light comes in Banana Creme, Chocolate Milk, Chocolate Mint, Cookies N Creme, Creme Brulee, Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Milkshake and Vanilla Creme.

(BOLDED FLAVORS ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE!)

I contacted Muscle Milk regarding gluten free status, and Jeff gave me this reply:

Our Muscle Milk and Muscle Milk Light pre-mixed Ready-to-Drink shakes are gluten free (all flavors).

Our Muscle Milk and Muscle Milk Light powders are gluten free except for the following flavors: cookies ‘n crème, chocolate malt, and chocolate banana crunch.

Whoohoo!!!

That’s a lot of yummy sounding flavors to try, people! As always, double check labels, read the nutrition facts and make it fit into your nutrition plan.

Shakes and powders can be a convenient and portable snack making it easy to get in some nutrition. Add an apple, carrots and some almonds and you have a portable, on the go meal.
Have you had any of these-if so what did you think? Any other gluten free protein shakes you enjoy?

Let me know!


UPDATE: 7/17/12: From Rex, a reader:

Hi -Thanks for taking the time to put information on the web. I stumbled across your page by accident and saw your GF Muscle Milk review. I called CytoSport directly to verify the GF information (date on the page was 2009) and was told by customer assistance that the entire line of powders is now gluten free (except the chocolate malt flavor which they are discontinuing soon.) I specifically asked about cookies and cream and was told they use gluten free cookies. As always please verify the information for yourself, but I’m in the process of ordering a couple of flavors, for further testing.

Supplement Review: Boundless Nutrition Oatmega 3 bars

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The Boundless Nutrition Oatmega 3 Wellness Bars have a lot of positive attributes. However, I must tell you straight off that the bars themselves are not certified gluten free.

I contacted the company directly, as there were no apparent gluten containing ingredients. Trevor (the founder and CEO) was very prompt and friendly in responding to my inquiry. He stated:

To answer your question the bars do not contain gluten (we even use the gluten free oats), but they are processed on the same line as bars made with wheat. We do make sure the line is cleaned very well before our bars are made, but we cannot claim they are gluten free unless they made on a line dedicated to non-wheat products.

So there you go. Caveat emptor. Having said that, I have eaten all flavors on various occasions over the past year or so with no outward effects.

OK, on to the reviews.

Ingredients: 8/10

I give these a 8/10. They do contain milk and nut ingredients for those with intolerances in those areas. Many of the ingredients are organic if that is of interest to you. The protein source is a whey/casein blend, which is highly bioavailable and more friendly to my tummy personally than a soy protein. Carbohydrates in the form of the aforementioned oats. It has added inulin which is a natural chicory root fiber source, and fish oil (you can’t taste it I promise) and uses a natural sweetner called Lou Han Guo. Really the only significant improvement I would make is the ability to make it on dedicated equipment to assure gluten free status.

Nutrition Facts: 9/10

Per bar, 190 calories. 6 grams of fat (300 mg EPA/DHA from fish oil), 23 grams of carbs, 5 of which are fiber. 14 grams of protein. I give this a 9/10. Really good. Personally I’d like to see a tad more protein, but this is really good as compared to most on the market.

Flavors/Taste/Texture: 7/10

These come is 3 flavors. Dark Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Mint and Mocha. Obviously personal preference is going to play in here. You DO NOT taste the fish oil. The peanut/coffee/mint flavors are not overpowering. The texture is not great, kind of like the classic Power Bar. They’re flattish, a little chewy. It’s a little hard to me to tell because the ones I had recently were melted and reformed. (I live in South Florida. Enough said.) 7/10.

You can get more information on the bars at Boundless Nutrition

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Follow up on the “Smart Choices” Program

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About 3 weeks ago I posted my thoughts on the new “Smart Choices” label. You can find that post here. Today I was directed to this online petition by Kim of Gluten Free is Life. Thanks Kim, for the heads up!

Posted on the CREDO Action website is more information on the Smart Choices label. They also have begun an online petition. Take this opportunity to educate yourself on what this program entails, and then make a decision based on your own beliefs. Do not accept any viewpoint, whether from me or another, without doing your own due diligence and making your own judgment call.

Article from CREDO Action site:

Need another example that the food industry can’t regulate itself?

How about an industry sponsored health label that declares Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms to be a “Smart Choice”? That’s the thrust of the new “Smart Choices” label, and it’s no accident that it has turned out this way. Though many healthy foods are indeed eligible, the overall structure of the program — with its industry-backed board-members, its burdensome application process and its relatively high fees — appeals to giant packaged food companies at the expense of unprocessed, unbranded foods like fruits and vegetables.

USDA guidelines warn extensively about the need to avoid consumption of added sugars from breakfast cereals, yet the Smart Choices board explicitly defined the label so that sugary breakfast cereals could qualify. That’s not really a sign that the label’s main concern is consumers’ health.

The American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association have already walked away from the Smart Choices initiative, but food companies are maintaining their commitment to it. Meanwhile, in response to the program’s questionable decisions, the FDA has announced its intention to study front-of-package health labels and possibly develop its own, a process which, unfortunately, could take years to complete.

Please join with CREDO and sign this petition demanding that the group responsible for oversight of the Smart Choices label make immediate changes to the program including:

  1. Disqualifying sugary breakfast cereals;
  2. Allowing all fruits and vegetables without additives to carry the Smart Choices label through a simplified, no-fee application process; and
  3. Diversivying the Smart Choices board to include broader food industry and public represntation and to allow for direct FDA input.

Read everything, think it over, make your decision. Then take action.