Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » opinions on muscle milk as a lightweight backpacking food/supplement


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Adam Cassis
(acassis) - F

Locale: SoCal
opinions on muscle milk as a lightweight backpacking food/supplement on 05/22/2013 14:47:00 MDT Print View

while planning for my JMT thru hike, ive been looking into my food options. muscle milk powder has a caloric density of 150cal/oz in the dry form in addition to other nutrients, etc. any downsides to a couple doses of this a day other than maybe the price?
thanks!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: opinions on muscle milk as a lightweight backpacking food/supplement on 05/22/2013 15:09:24 MDT Print View

I think the price is about the only drawback. There are similar milk-based nutritional supplements, and they all seem to work about the same. Ensure powder is one of them. Incidentally, that is the stuff that they force feed to the prisoners at Gitmo when they go on a hunger strike. So, if you really get to liking that stuff, the feds can fix you up with indefinite off-shore housing.

You might want to try a single dose per day and then see how that works before you commit to a lot of it. You might get very bored with it.

Or, you can get the cheaper form of milk-based protein, and that would be either ordinary non-fat dry milk or else full-fat dry milk (Nido is one brand).

I like a mixture of three parts of Ensure with one part of non-fat dry milk. To that, you can add cocoa powder or other flavorings if you wish.

--B.G.--

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Bad idea on 05/22/2013 17:38:39 MDT Print View

If your plan is to use a lot of this while hiking then this is not the right product. A hiking body needs carbs primarily not protein. Eating too much prtein during the day will result in your body burningthe protein inefficiently as fuel, defeating the purpose of drinking it. I have used this as a recovery product at the end of a long day. Protein then is more important. Now the disclaimer..... If you are hiking 15 miles or less per day then eat anything you want, your body will adapt.

Adam Cassis
(acassis) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Bad Idea on 05/22/2013 19:45:58 MDT Print View

most of my diet will be cards and fat, just wanted to supplement some protein for muscle recovery (and is more calorie dense than beef jerky). a lot of GORP and dried fruits, GU, etc.

Todd ~
(Narrator) - M

Locale: The front range
muscle milk vs. ensure on 05/23/2013 22:00:10 MDT Print View

If you are going to use something like this, I'd recommend ensure powder over muscle milk powder. You just don't need as much protein as is in muscle milk. Hiking is not power lifting. That bolus of concentrated protein is just going to become hard work for your kidneys to filter out. Ensure, however, is primarily a calorie supplement, which is more in line with your needs.

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: muscle milk vs. ensure on 05/23/2013 22:16:22 MDT Print View

There was a Consumer Reports study in 2010 that found significant amounts of heavy metals in Muscle Milk: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/july/food/protein-drinks/what-our-tests-found/index.htm . I have since been more selective about which protein shakes I drink.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: muscle milk vs. ensure on 05/23/2013 22:39:10 MDT Print View

If there is one category that an ultralightweight backpacker hates, it is heavy metals.

--B.G.--

Adam Cassis
(acassis) - F

Locale: SoCal
Ensure plus? on 06/01/2013 18:05:48 MDT Print View

although caloric replacement/density is the most critical factor when looking at lightweight foods, protein is necessary for muscle recovery, especially when thru hiking. im thinking ensure plus (w protein) may supply both calories and protein minus the mercury/lead/gold/silver/plutonium/enriched uranium that I may get with muscle milk.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Ensure plus? on 06/01/2013 18:31:43 MDT Print View

"im thinking ensure plus (w protein) may supply both calories and protein minus the mercury/lead/gold/silver/plutonium/enriched uranium that I may get with muscle milk."

+1

I've been using a combination of 2 oz Ensure plus 1 oz of Nido full fat powdered milk with good results. The 1 oz of Nido supplies ~8 grams of high quality protein plus ~143 calories/oz.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Ensure? on 06/01/2013 23:41:33 MDT Print View

OMG. I'm not a regular but I just spotted this! I had a broken jaw as an 18 yo before these things were repaired by various "internal fixation" techniques...I had my mouth wired shut for 2 months. This made any aerobic activity difficult...I wasn't burning calories, IOW...in fact I was bedridden for some time. I sucked cases of ensure between my straight teeth and braces. I supplemented this with melted vanilla ice cream with the highest cream content out there. I wasted in weeks. I haven't seen Ensure around in a while...I haven't been in hospital setting lately...last time I looked, I think it was full of HFCS and trans fats among other things. Ingredients change though. Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread and I am already gagging. While they are expensive, there are some great alternatives out there without evil animal proteins that will spare your kidneys, vascular endothelium and probably be much easier on your GI tract. Ensure...YUCK!

Edited by backpackerchick on 06/01/2013 23:46:39 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Ensure? on 06/02/2013 04:17:40 MDT Print View

Ingredients of Ensure Powder Vanilla
Corn Syrup, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar (Sucrose), Corn Oil, Sodium And Calcium Caseinates, Soy Protein Isolate, Artificial Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Soy Lecithin, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, DL-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Phylloquinone, Cyanocobalamin And Vitamin D3. Contains Milk And Soy Ingredients.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ensure-R-Powder-Vanilla-14-oz-can/17177433

Edited by jshann on 06/02/2013 04:18:11 MDT.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Perfect Renal Storm? on 06/02/2013 04:33:52 MDT Print View

Products of muscle break down from these immense efforts. Huge loads of these so called "fuels". Potential for less than adequate hydration. Is Vitamin I (or other NSIAD) part of this equation too? Do you monitor creatinine regularly?

Thanks for the update on Ensure ingredients.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
fatty on 06/02/2013 09:20:51 MDT Print View

Actually, bodybuilders don't like muscle milk b/c the fat content is too high for the protein you get (and the price is too high, period.). Bit funny to see muscle milk getting slammed for having too MUCH protein. That's a new one on me. Also, ensure is basically sugar, vitamins, and artifical flavor. Seems you could save some money and just take a pound of sugar on a hike. Make it maple sugar if you want natural flavor and minimal processing.

BJ Clark
(bj.clark) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Ensure powder caloric makeup on 06/02/2013 10:34:05 MDT Print View

Serving: 250 calories

32% fat
54% carbs
14% protein

13 grams of the 34 grams of carbs are sugars. Not exactly an overload.

Works great for my skinny type I diabetic son when active. Definitely not a carb overload. Actually not enough even when he turns his pump down to 50-60%.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Ensure powder caloric makeup on 06/02/2013 10:49:03 MDT Print View

BJ, thanks for providing percentages. Given the firt three ingredients are all sugars, that's surprising. But ok.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Ensure? on 06/02/2013 17:51:19 MDT Print View

"I haven't seen Ensure around in a while...I haven't been in hospital setting lately...last time I looked, I think it was full of HFCS and trans fats among other things. Ingredients change though. Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread and I am already gagging. While they are expensive, there are some great alternatives out there without evil animal proteins that will spare your kidneys, vascular endothelium and probably be much easier on your GI tract. Ensure...YUCK!"

Here's another ingredient update for you, this one from a Bartell's Drugstore's generic version: sugar, milk protein concentrate, maltodextrin, soy oil, short chain fructooligarosaccharides(soluble fiber), canola oil, and all the usual vitamin and mineral ingredients. There is nothing here that remotely deserves a "black box" warning about imminent death or devastation of the vascular epithelium, etc. Just out of curiosity, does milk protein qualify as an evil animal protein, or any of the above ingredients as destroyers of human tissues? I have to ask, because if so I am in deep doo doo, my kidneys and vascular epithelium(s) in an advanced state of deterioration, and probably my intestinal lumen as well, because I have been using Ensure and various generic versions for 4 years now. Funny thing is, my labs at my annual physical keep coming back well within normal reference ranges, and I'm still bopping around up in the Sierra with no apparent diminishment in performance. Cognitive dissonance threatens to overwhelm me here.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Fortified beverages on 06/03/2013 12:18:41 MDT Print View

Well, it sure seems like it could be pretty cool to use fortified milk-type drink mix for "milk" and score extra nutrients, fat and protein from that, especially in the mornings. Nido is great, but does it weigh much more than even more calorically-dense "milks"?