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Muscle Juice 2544
by Gary F. Zeolla
I discuss a pre- or post workout drink in my God-given Foods Eating Plan book and in my Starting and Progressing in Powerlifting book. In those books, the drink I recommend requires using three different products to provide a carb source, a protein source, and a fat source. But I have since found a product that contains all three macronutrients in proportions similar to what I recommend in those books. The product is Ultimate Nutrition’s Muscle Juice 2544.
The proportion of calories is as follows:
This product is actually a “muscle gain” product. As such, the listed serving size is very large: 4 scoops, providing 1020 calories. That would be way too much for most people for a pre- or post-workout drink. Most will want to use just 1-2 scoops. I use about 1-1/2 scoops for a pre-workout drink.
That said, the carb source in the Muscle Juice is the same as found in the same company’s Pure Muscle Carbs. It is mostly maltodextrin with a small amount of fructose. Having tested the Muscle Juice with my blood sugar monitor, the glycemic response is similar to that for the Pure Muscle Carbs. It spikes the blood sugar sufficiently to provide a boost of energy for a workout, but it is not a dramatic spike. As such, there is no crash later. Both the high and low levels stay within a rather narrow range. This is especially good for someone like myself with reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It would also be important for diabetics.
The maltodextrin’s complex carbs are ideal for both fueling a workout and for replenishing glycogen stores after a workout. Fructose is only good for the former, but the amount is low, so this product would still be good post-workout. The protein source is a blended protein containing whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and egg white albumin. This is the same type of protein blend that I recommend in my books.
The fat source is derived from MCT oil, which is to say, it is medium chain triglycerides. I discuss this kind of fat in my books. It is an unique form of saturated fat. It raises LDL cholesterol levels, but not as much as regular saturated fats. But still, those with high LDL levels might want to avoid this product. But for most it probably wouldn't be problematic. Moreover, it is burned more like a carb than a fat, so it provides another source of fuel for a workout.
Thus overall, this one product provides everything I recommend for a pre- or post-workout drink. But what’s keeping it from being a “five star” product is the presence the MCTs and of artificial flavorings. I normally try to avoid artificial ingredients, but at least that is the only artificial ingredient. Also, the maltodextrin and fructose are highly refined, with no nutritional content other than carbs, while the MCTs are also highly refined, with no nutritional content other than fats. The protein powders provide nutrients other than just protein. But still, this product is a lot of empty calories.
It should be noted that Ultimate Nutrition also has a newer product: Muscle Juice Revolution 2600. All of the above comments would also apply to it. However, it contains additional ingredients, including canola oil and Acesulfame Potassium (a.k.a. Ace K). I discuss in my books why I also try to avoid these items. As such, I’ll stick with the Muscle Juice 2544. But if those additional ingredients don’t bother you, then the 2600 would also be a good option.
June 23, 2014 Update
The above product is very useful for a pre- or post-workout drink. However, the caveats in the next to last paragraph did concern me. And frankly, I had gotten tired of just drinking calories. It takes just a few seconds to down it, and that produced little culinary satisfaction. Therefore, in the fall of 2013 I wanted to consume some kind of real solid food, but one that would still provide the needed protein, carbs, and fat for a pre-workout food, along with liquid to be hydrated for the workout. It took a while, but I thought of the perfect thing: cold cereal.
I used to eat cold cereal for breakfast all of the time, and really liked it. But I switched to oatmeal years ago as it is healthier. But I've been missing eating cold cereal ever since. Moreover, the maltodextrin and fructose in my pre-workout drink was good for the carb source in terms of providing energy for the workout, but they is just that, pure carbs, with no nutrient value otherwise, so I figured a whole grain, low sugar cereal would be an improvement over that. In addition, rather than refined MCTs, with eating cereal, I could use nuts for the fat source, which would supply nutrients in addition to fat.
Therefore, my pre-workout snack is now a bowl of such cereal, with fruit and nuts added to it. The fruit is usually raisins, as they are easy to digest, and I limit the nuts to a very small handful. I've found a small amount of fat wards off hunger during the workout, but too much sits in my stomach. I also add creatine.
Instead of milk, I use protein powder. That way, I can put a scoop of dry protein powder in the bowl after the rest of the ingredients, and then cover the bowl. I use a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, as I'm just taking it downstairs, where my home office and home gym are located. But if you're taking it out of your home, I'd recommend getting some Tupperware cereal bowls, with lids. Either way, it keeps without refrigeration. When it's time to eat it, I just pour in some water from the water bottle I always have at my workstation, and stir with a spoon. It reconstitutes just fine. Just be careful not to stir too hard and spill it!
This snack is much tastier than just guzzling a drink, but it still provides the carbs, protein, fat, and liquid for a workout. I consume the cereal about an hour before my workout. It digests sufficiently in that time so as not to disturb my workout and keeps me fueled throughout my workout. If you're eating it after a workout, then omit the fruit as it is not good for muscle glycogen replenishment. I address that complex issue in my books.
This snack has about the same glycemic response as the Muscle Juice. And I feel energized for my workouts, with getting hungry. And most importantly, my workouts have been going very well since switching to this snack rather than using a drink.
My favorite cereal brand is Barbara's, a natural brand, especially their Morning Oat Crunch (formerly Shredded Oats) and Multigrain Spoonfuls (formerly Shredded Spoonfuls). They are what I want, whole grain and low in sugar. The boxes also now say the grains are non-GMO, another plus.
I alternate between peanuts and cashews in my morning oatmeal, and mix almonds into yogurt at bedtime, so for something different, I use pecans and Brazil nuts in the cereal. As I mention in my Eating Plan book, just one or two Brazil nuts a day will provide a full day's supply of selenium, an important nutrient for men as it helps ward off prostate cancer. As such, that is what I use in the cereal, along with several pecans. The protein powders is a 50/50 mixture of Optimum's Natural Whey and Natural Casein. All of the food links above are to iHerb, which sells such products. Use coupon code HOP815 to get $5.00 off your first order.
The proportion of calories will vary depending on the cereal. But below are the amounts when using the Multigrain Spoonfuls:
Cereal: 1-1/2 cup
Protein Powder: 3/4 scoop
Raisins: 1/2 oz.
Pecans: 1/2 oz.
Brazil Nuts: 2 small.
The proportions are a different from the Muscle Juice, but it works. And that's all that matters.
June 19, 2017 Update
I have continued to use the cold cereal mixture indicated in the preceding update, and my training has continued to go well. However, rather than a bowl and Saran wrap, I now use a Fit & Fresh container. It is just the right size for the amounts of the indicated ingredients. Thee containers are also nice for putting cut up fruit in, as they come with small ice packs, that keep the fruit cold. But if the reader would prefer to drink your pre-workout snack, then Muscle Juice 2544 is available from Amazon, as is Muscle Juice Revolution 2600.
Muscle Juice 2544 - Supplement Descriptions. Copyright © 2010, 2014, 2017 by Gary F. Zeolla.
The above article was posted on this site December 4, 2010.
The Updates were added as indicated.
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