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cytogainer shake

While testing the Slow Carb Diet, I had the opportunity to grab just about any food I wanted for my Saturday “cheat day,” paying no attention to carbs or calories. Naturally, my inner bodybuilder took over, and I chose a “muscle gainer” drink that contained 500 calories in a small bottle!

The drink was CytoGainer Ready-to-Drink, and its 500 calories came from the massive amounts of carbs and protein in there – 72g and 40g, respectively!

Looking at the label, it actually sounded like a well-formulated product:

  • 500 Mass Generating Calories
  • 40g multi-source protein
  • Kre-Alkalyn pH Stable Creatine
  • Complex Carbohydrates
  • Lactose Free

Lots of calories, different types of protein, creatine, complex carbs, and no lactose to upset your stomach! Everything a hardgainer wants and is willing to pay $3-5 a bottle for!

Is there any benefit for an endurance athlete? Let’s find out…

CytoGainer Health and Nutrition Inspection

Any muscle gainer worth its salt has a gargantuan ingredients list. This one does not disappoint.

Ingredients: Water, Maltodextrin, Calcium Sodium Caseinate, Milk Protein Isolate And/Or Milk Protein Concentrate, Alkalized Cocoa Powder, Sunflower Oil, Crystalline Fructose, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Potassium Citrate, Cellulose Gum And Gel, Creatine Monohydrate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Soy Lecithin, Magnesium Phosphate, Monosodium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Acesulfame Potassium, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Ascorbic Acid, Salt, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sucralose, Canola Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Vitamin E Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Chromium Chloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Cholecalciferol, Cyanocobalamin.

The good news is, maltodextrin is a great complex carbohydrate, and you get a variety of protein sources (milk, casein, and whey) that digest at different rates, giving you a steady stream of protein going to your muscles.

Kre-Alkalyn Creatine sounds good, but in reality it’s no better than typical creatine monohydrate. The only reason to buy a “buffered” creatine like Kre-Alkalyn is if you have gastric issues due to standard creatine. Otherwise, don’t fall for the hype of a fancy name.

The bad news comes when you ask, “what kind of junk artificial stuff is in there?” With just a quick glance, I found the two terrible artificial sweeteners – Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose. It’s cool they used maltodextrin rather than sugar, but then they loaded it with these. 🙁

And the Nutrition Facts per bottle:

Calories 500
Total Fat 6g
Total Carbs 72g
Sugars 5g
Protein 40g

Based on the numbers, it does sound ideal for hardgainers who don’t eat enough. Thanks to the carbs, it could even be used as a post-workout drink by endurance athletes who would otherwise have trouble consuming enough daily calories. That’s what separates it from the ready-to-drink protein drinks – those will help repair muscles, but they’re nothing like a recovery drink. This is!

Of course, I still prefer to mix my own formulas using milk protein, whey protein, maltodextrin powder, eggs, water or almond milk, and a Blender Bottle. Then I have perfect control over the macronutrient breakdown.

cytogainer chocolate shake

My CytoGainer Taste Test

This was a very simple taste test because I only bought one bottle in one flavor – Chocolate. (It also comes in Vanilla Creme and Cookies ‘N Creme, if you’re interested.)

It was hard to shake, making me think it’s either super thick or I’ve lost most of my strength. Pouring it out confirmed the drink is indeed super thick!

It’s also very dark, like a rich dark chocolate, and smells delicious.

The taste is pretty good for one of these drinks. It’s not a real, natural cocoa flavor, but it’s not inundated with artificial sweetener tastes either. Surprisingly, it also lacked the artificial sweetener aftertaste.

It is similar to the Muscle Milk RTD I had, as far as the chocolate flavor goes, but this lacks the overly sweet, artificial taste that plagues the Muscle Milk products!

The texture was very smooth and the consistency was very thick. Overall I’d give it a “fairly enjoyable” or “nothing spectacular” description.

The only bad part was how it became less enjoyable once I was halfway through. I guess it’s just the law of diminishing returns in action.

My final verdict is…

While I would like to taste the Cookies ‘N Cream flavor someday, in reality I’ll probably never drink this again.

I like to mix my carbs, protein, and creatine myself so I can save money and avoid artificial junk, and CytoGainer simply does not allow for that.

Official website: www.Cytosport.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Cytosport
Product: CytoGainer Ready-to-Drink Muscle Gain Shake
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-05-11
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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