Monster Protein Review

With 25 grams of casein and whey protein per serving, Monster Protein is presented as a high-quality protein that supports exercise recovery and muscle growth.

It’s always nice to see a product that doesn’t get carried away in its advertising and presents reasonable claims. But is this reflective of a straightforward marketing approach or a lack of confidence from the manufacturers?

Let’s look more closely at Monster Protein to determine if it’s more fitting for the weight room or the wastebasket.

Who Is Monster Protein For?

According to manufacturers CytoSport, Monster Protein is designed for “the elite athlete.” Because it delivers so much protein and relies on the user to eat a balanced meal and work out regularly, Monster Protein is best for people dedicated to health and muscle growth.

While CytoSport says Monster Protein “may contribute to weight management and recovery from exercise,” it’s not intended as a weight loss powder. So, if your primary goal is fat burning and weight loss, Monster Protein isn’t your best choice.

It seems the best audience for Monster Protein is athletes and bodybuilders. If you’re a beginner, you can still use Monster Protein, but be sure you’re dedicated to a healthy diet and exercise plan.

What’s in Monster Protein?

CytoSport uses a 5-ingredient proprietary blend to support muscle growth and energy production. Unfortunately, this blend is tucked away under “Ingredients” below Monster Protein’s nutrition facts, so users know nothing about ingredient amounts.

There isn’t even a total amount given for the proprietary blend, which makes it very difficult to judge effectiveness. We do know each serving size is 45.5 grams, and—according to advertisements—each serving contains 25 grams of protein. This gives us a little information to work with, but I’d prefer to know more.

Nevertheless, let’s consider the active ingredients in Monster Protein.

Milk Protein Isolate

The first ingredient in Monster Protein is also the most effective. Milk protein contains both whey and casein protein, both of which are high-quality sources. While whey protein digests quickly, casein slows it down for a moderate and longer-lasting protein supply.

Additionally, milk protein is said to burn fat. According to a 6-month study at the University of Tennessee, overweight people who take 3 daily servings of calcium-rich dairy are more likely to lose belly fat [1]. While weight loss isn’t Monster Protein’s primary goal, fat-burning does improve body composition and muscle definition.

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey and casein are also included separately in Monster Protein.

Whey protein is among the most popular protein forms. It contains high branched-chain amino acid (BCAA)concentrations, which aid in muscle growth and development. BCAAs stimulate insulin production as well, which allows muscle cells to use blood sugar as energy [2].

However, whey protein sometimes causes bloating. To dispel potential side effects, CytoSport includes whey protein isolate, a whey protein form said to absorb more easily and therefore reduce gastrointestinal distress.

Micellar Casein

While whey protein provides an instantaneous protein source, casein offers a delayed release. According to nutrition experts, this allows your muscles to draw from casein for energy for up to 7 hours after digestion [3].

L-Valine

In addition to the protein in Monster Protein, CytoSport also supplies users with amino acids like l-valine. Valine is a BCAA, and therefore considered a “building block of protein” by WebMD [4]. Valine is also said to preserve muscle, preventing breakdown during exercise [4].

L-Isoleucine

Rounding out the Monster Protein Blend is l-isoleucine, another amino acid. Isoleucine balances nitrogen levels to regulate growth and supply the body with oxygen. This ensures you’ll build muscles in a healthy way [4].

I’m rather impressed with the ingredients CytoSport chose for Monster Protein. They are quality protein forms and amino acids that are tested and proven to enhance athletic performance.

These ingredients were all included in the “Monster Protein Blend.” Several ingredients outside this blend are also included in Monster Protein, but don’t directly contribute to muscle-building or energy production. Given that the Monster Protein Blend probably totals around 25 grams, these other ingredients likely total about 20 grams. That seems pretty high for ingredients that don’t support muscle growth.

And of course, I’m still a little concerned about CytoSport’s choice to include its active ingredients in a proprietary blend. It’s possible they used recommended ingredient doses, but I would prefer to see those doses myself.

Can This Formula Cause Side Effects?

Another concern you may have with a protein powder like Monster Protein is side effect risk. While protein usually doesn’t cause severe side effects, it may cause discomfort in some users.

Both amino acids and dairy-based protein are linked to gastrointestinal distress, for example. Consequently, Monster Protein may cause side effects like:

• Bloating
• Cramps
• Increased bowel movements
• Nausea
• Diarrhea

These side effects will likely be most prevalent if your body is unused to these amino acids and protein sources.

For people with allergies, side effects may be worse. Casein and whey protein contain allergens that may cause rashes, hives, cramps, and anaphylactic reactions in people with sensitivities to these ingredients.

As a whole, these side effects aren’t too concerning. But if they bother you, consider an over-the-counter gas treatment to dispel most side effects.

What’s the Best Way to Use Monster Protein?

Usage instructions for Monster Protein are pretty straightforward. CytoSport recommends taking just 1 scoop of powder with cold water after your workout. If you’re focusing on weight gain, substitute water for milk.

You don’t have to take Monster Protein on non-training days, but you won’t see benefits if you don’t exercise regularly.

How Much Does Monster Protein Cost?

Monster Protein is available in a 2-pound or 4-pound tub. On the official CytoSport website, a 2-pound tub is priced at $39.99, while a 4-pound tub sells for $74.99. This gives you about a $5 discount when you buy Monster Protein.

This is leaning toward the more expensive end of protein powders. Fortunately, there are discounts available elsewhere. The following prices are available online for a 4-pound tub:

SupplementWarehouse.com
Price: $39.99
Shipping: $7.99

BodyBuilding.com
Price: $44.97
Shipping: $6.89

FitFuel.com
Price: $47.99
Shipping: $5.95

According to Google reviews, these sellers are reliable and have positive customer feedback. With this knowledge, you should have no fears about ordering from a third-party retailer.

Should You Try Monster Protein?

With quality ingredients and online discounts, Monster Protein is certainly an attractive product. However, the proprietary blend and excess ingredients in Monster Protein are less enticing.

Rather than buying Monster Protein, I recommend looking for these ingredients elsewhere—preferably in a product that discloses actual ingredient amounts instead of disguising them in a proprietary blend.

References

[1] Stancliffe, Renee A., Teresa Thorpe, and Michael Zemel. 2011. Dairy attenuates oxidative and inflammatory stress in metabolic syndrome. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Vol. 94, Issue 2. http://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/sitecore/content/repository/nutrition/news/2009/06/nad-refers-cytosport-ads-to-ftc.aspx.

[2] WebMD.com. 2013. Whey Protein. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-833-WHEY+PROTEIN.aspx?activeIngredientId=833&activeIngredientName=WHEY+PROTEIN&source=2.

[3] WebMD.com. 2013. Casein Peptides. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1107-Micellar+Casein+CASEIN+PEPTIDES.aspx?activeIngredientId=1107&activeIngredientName=Micellar+Casein+%28CASEIN+PEPTIDES%29&source=2.

[4] WebMD.com. 2013. Branched-Chain Amino Acids. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1005-L-Valine+BRANCHED-CHAIN+AMINO+ACIDS.aspx?activeIngredientId=1005&activeIngredientName=L-Valine+%28BRANCHED-CHAIN+AMINO+ACIDS%29&source=2.

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