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CytoSport and BSN are two of the heavy weights of the sports supplement industry, with Muscle Milk and Syntha-6 arguably the most well known products from both companies. It’s only fitting then to compare the supplements to one another among to determine their relative features and benefits.

Syntha-6 vs Muscle Milk Ingredients

First of is the all important ingredients. The table below gives a quick overview of the key differences in ingredients between Syntha-6 and Muscle Milk. In terms of total number of protein sources, Muscle Milk easily comes out on top with a total of 5 versus 7 for Syntha-6. However, Syntha-6 makes up for it a little by means of added glutamine peptides. However drilling down a bit deeper, the most meaningful difference in ingredients is arguably the contrast in the first two ingredients. Calcium sodium caseinate and milk protein isolate are the first two ingredients in Muscle Milk, while whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate are the first two for Syntha-6. If one had to broadly categorize both supplements on a protein basis, it could be argued that Muscle Milk is essentially a milk-based protein supplement, while Syntha-6 is essentially a whey-based protein supplement.

 

Muscle Milk

Syntha-6

Calcium Sodium Caseinate

Y

N

Calcium Caseinate

N

Y

Milk Protein Isolate

Y

Y

Whey Protein Isolate

Y

Y

Whey Protein Concentrate

Y

Y

Micellar Casein

N

Y

Egg Albumen

Y

N

Glutamine Peptides

N

Y

Lactoferrin

Y

N

L-Glutamine

Y

N

Taurine

Y

N

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

Y

N

MCT/Creamer Mix

Y

Y

Vitamins & Minerals

Y

N

Digestive Enzymes

N

Y

 

Other major ingredient differences to note are the inclusion of a full spectrum vitamin and mineral blend in Muscle Milk and its omission in Syntha-6. Lastly, Syntha-6 is the only one to include digestive enzymes in the form of papain and bromelain. Given that Muscle Milk go to the trouble of including a vitamin and mineral blend, it is a little surprising that they chose not to include any digestive enzymes, especially given they are more common in meal replacement type products and they are enjoying a wider acceptance in the average protein supplement.

Syntha-6 vs Muscle Milk Dosing

 

Muscle Milk

Syntha-6

 

Per 35g Serve

(% content)

Per 47.2g Serve

(% content)

Calories

150

200

Total Fat

6g (17.1%)

6g (12.7%)

Saturated Fat

2g (5.7%)

2g (4.2%)

Trans Fat

0g

0g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1g

Not given

Monounsaturated Fat

3g

Not given

Total Carbohydrates

9g (25.7%)

15g (31.8%)

Dietary Fiber

2g (5.7%)

5g (10.6%)

Sugars

2g (5.7%)

2g (4.2%)

Protein

16g (45.7%)

22g (46.6%)

While there are some notable differences in the ingredient profiles between Muscle Milk and Syntha-6, there are some surprising similarities in the macronutrient profile. Despite a notable difference in serving size, the percentage protein content is very similar between the two. However, Muscle Milk has a marginally higher percentage fat content, while carbohydrate content for Syntha-6 is higher.

One other key difference between Muscle Milk and Syntha-6 is that CytoSport list the amounts of individual amino acids in 2 scoops of Muscle Milk. This is the most transparent a sports nutrition company can be about a protein supplement, so CytoSport deserve a big pat on the back for go to the trouble of providing this information.

Syntha-6 vs Muscle Milk Effectiveness

Critiquing the relative effectiveness of two similar protein supplements such as Muscle Milk and Syntha-6 is not straight forward. As noted above, both have similar proteins with the major difference being the differing amounts of whey vs milk protein. With calcium sodium caseinate and milk protein isolate as the first two ingredients in Muscle Milk, one could argue it is not ideally suited to be used as a post workout compared with Syntha-6 which has whey concentrate and isolate as its first two ingredients. So the question of effectiveness hinges on how the supplement is used. If used predominantly as a post workout, then Syntha-6 may be better, while Muscle Milk may be the preferred protein supplement for general use around the clock with its broader protein profile. The inclusion of a vitamin and mineral blend also makes Muscle Milk a better meal replacement protein supplement. Moreover, Muscle Milk is more widely known and marketed as a good tasting general purpose protein meal replacement.

Syntha-6 vs Muscle Milk Taste & Mixability

Superb taste, texture and carefree mixability are features shared by both Muscle Milk and Syntha-6. However, one stand out with Muscle Milk is its range of flavours. With a total of 22 flavours for Muscle Milk compared to 12 for Syntha-6, consumers have a much bigger choice flavour wise. The more extensive flavour offering is simply because Muscle Milk has been around for longer and it is a bigger and better known brand than Syntha-6. Muscle Milk also enjoys a broader distribution, particularly in the US, where it is sold everywhere from grocery chains to gyms in both powdered and RTD form.

Syntha-6 vs Muscle Milk Price & Value

Comparing the value/price of similar protein supplements like Muscle Milk and Syntha-6 can be very a very subjective exercise. Consumers tend to value products differently based on the inherent value they place on intangible qualities such as colour, feel, design and association. BSN have a strong and sharp brand with the use of their vibrant metallic red colour, which may inherently be more appealing to certain consumers than branding and design used by Cytosport for Muscle Milk. Putting those issues aside, some consumers may see Muscle Milk as better value simply because it comes with a full complement of vitamin and minerals. On the other hand, others may perceive the packaging used by BSN to be better quality and have more aesthetic appeal, thus deserving of a higher price tag. On a strict dollar basis, there is not enough meaningful price difference between the two supplements to argue that one is significantly better value than the other. One notable difference however is that Muscle Milk comes in a wider variety of sizes, therefore giving consumers more choice, particularly for those wanting to initially purchase smaller sizes.

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