Your workouts aren’t the only part of your training. If you want to really see results, your nutrition and supplementation need to be on point, too. And when you’re active, you need top-notch protein to fuel muscle recovery for optimal results.
That’s where MusclePharm Combat protein comes in. This protein powder contains a blend of whey protein, micellar casein, and others to fuel you post-workout and beyond. But is it worth it? In our in-depth review, we’ll take a closer look and let you decide for yourself.
Things to Consider Before Buying
In the world of supplements, protein powder is usually considered to be one of the most important ones to get. Of course, that means that there are a lot of different protein powder options to choose from.
Before you decide on a purchase, it’s a good idea to think about what you need out of a protein powder. Here are some of the things to think about before you buy:
- Do you need whey, casein, or both? Most protein powders available are made from whey protein. It absorbs quickly, making it ideal for post-workout supplementation. Casein is a slower-absorbing protein ideal for taking right before you go to bed. Some people prefer taking a blend of different protein types.
- How many grams of protein per serving? Different formulations vary considerably when it comes to the amount of protein they deliver per serving. It’s often a good idea to work out the cost per serving in any given container — larger containers often deliver the best value.
- Isolate or concentrate? Whey isolate is generally considered to be superior for building muscle, although whey concentrate is also high quality. Whey isolate tends to be a little more expensive.
- What about carbs and fat? More expensive protein powders tend to have fewer fats and carbohydrates, as the protein is more filtered. However, depending on your dietary needs, you may need more of these nutrients.
- What flavor? This may not be the most important consideration, but you probably need a protein powder that tastes decent, especially if you use it every day. Make sure you choose something that you find palatable!
MusclePharm’s Combat protein powder is a blend of fast, medium, and slow-absorbing proteins. It claims to be able to nourish your muscles throughout the day. You get protein from five different sources, it’s tested for banned substances, and you get 25g of protein per serving. It’s also one of the more affordable protein powders out there.
If you’re familiar with MusclePharm or their Combat supplement line, you may be wary of them because their products are affordable and can be found even at inexpensive big-box stores. I’m going to do my best to consider Combat protein on its own merits and not let brand perception influence me. Let’s check out some pros and cons:
- Has a blend of slow, medium, and fast-absorbing proteins
- Tastes good and mixes well
- Is very low in carbohydrates and fats
- Is relatively affordable compared to others on the market
- You can’t see what percentage of proteins come from which sources
- Not clear on the amount of BCAAs and Glutamine
- MusclePharm doesn’t have quite the positive reputation of some other brands, which may give some buyers reluctance.
Features and Benefits
In this section, we’ll take a look at each feature of MusclePharm’s Combat protein powder:
One of the selling points of Combat protein powder is the fact that it has protein from five sources:
- Whey protein isolate
- Whey protein concentrate
- Whey protein hydrolysate
- Egg albumin
- Micellar casein
You probably already know that whey protein absorbs quickly, with whey isolate and hydrolysate being considered the superior form of whey. Micellar casein absorbs slowly (which is why many people, myself included, take it at night). And then egg albumin is somewhere in the middle.
I think this is a great blend of ingredients, but I have one qualm — I wish there was a way to see the percentages of each protein type. With proprietary blends like this, most manufacturers tend to include more of the lower-quality ingredients and less of the quality ones. Regardless, you do get 25g of protein per serving.
Other Key Ingredients
The manufacturers of Combat protein powder note that it also contains BCAAs and glutamine, two good ingredients to include in a protein powder. If you’ve been lifting for a while, you may already take a BCAA supplement. Branched-chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and they play a critical role in building and maintaining muscle.
The ideal ratio of these amino acids is 2:1:1 — two parts leucine for every one part isoleucine and one part valine. I like the fact that Combat includes BCAAs, but I don’t like that you can’t see ratios or even how many grams of BCAAs you get per serving.
Of course, if you already supplement with BCAAs, it may not be a requirement that you have the right ratio of them in your protein powder. But I try to get quality BCAAs in whenever I can.
Similarly, I wish there was a way to see how much glutamine you get per serving. Glutamine is an amino acid that helps with muscle recovery, and I’ve found that it’s especially good for muscle soreness.
Other Nutrition Facts
If you’re like most people who lift, you don’t want a lot of fat or carbs in your protein. With lower-end powders, I often see more carbs being included. If you have trouble adding mass of any kind, this might not bother you, but as someone who gains fat somewhat easily, I like my protein as pure as possible.
I was pretty impressed with Combat’s nutrition facts, though. Each serving only has one gram of fat. There are also only three grams of carbohydrates per serving. One of these is a gram of fiber, and the other two grams are sugar.
This powder is also gluten free, which is a bonus if you’re gluten intolerant or just try to avoid gluten in your diet.
Most reviews of Combat protein powder mention the fact that it mixes very easily and tastes great. While most proteins can mix pretty well with a vigorous shake of a shaker bottle, it’s nice to have something smooth as opposed to clumpy. And a great-tasting protein is always a bonus after a hard workout.
Combat protein powder comes in several different flavors, so there’s really something for everyone. Here are the flavors you can choose from:
- Chocolate peanut butter
- Chocolate milk
- Triple berry
- Cookies ‘n cream
- Banana cream
- Extreme chocolate milk
What Are Others Saying
If you’ve had any experience buying supplements before, you probably know that it’s a good idea to first look at some of the reviews written by people who have tried it. In our research, we came across several favorable reviews written by people who have tried MusclePharm Combat protein.
One entertaining review was written by a reviewer calling himself The Matterhorn. He seems to have a realistic grasp on supplements — they aren’t a magic bullet, but they can support your training. For him, this protein had a great taste and was easy to mix, which is important for a supplement you take every day.
Another review I found was written by a buyer going by “Amazon Customer“. This reviewer points out that Combat is less expensive than some proteins out there, so it isn’t as filtered as more expensive options. Despite that, it still has an excellent flavor, something that most buyers seem to appreciate.
The third useful review I found was written by James. James covers part of why Combat protein is such a great value — you get a blend of essential proteins, and the blend tastes great, too. He also points out that the ratio of different proteins is similar to what you get with more expensive brands.
Before deciding whether to buy, it’s a good idea to check out some other similar options. Here are three other protein powders you might want to consider:
This one comes from the well-respected Jym brand from Dr. Jim Stoppani. Like Combat protein powder, it contains a mix of whey, egg, and casein proteins, making it an excellent anytime protein. The nutrition facts are comparable — you get 24g of protein, 4g carbs, and 2.5g fat. However, Jym publishes the ratio of proteins you get — 50% casein, 40% whey, and 10% egg. With Combat, you don’t know exactly what the ratios are. This is likely why Jym protein is a bit more expensive.
- More transparent labeling lets you know the ratios of protein types
- Jym is a higher-end brand
- Slow, medium, and fast-absorbing proteins are included in optimal ratios for all-day nourishment
- You get a variety of flavors and tub sizes to choose from
- It’s more expensive than Combat protein powder
- Some buyers have said it doesn’t mix quite as well as some other proteins
GNC has earned itself a good reputation in the supplement world, and its AMP (Advanced Muscle Performance) line is designed to support those who train hard. This blend of whey isolate, whey hydrolysate, micellar casein, and egg protein is designed to deliver up to seven hours of muscle nourishment. However, just like with Combat, you don’t know what ratios of proteins you’re getting. You get 25g protein, 3g carbohydrate, and 1.5g fat per serving, so the nutrition facts are similar. You also get 5g of BCAAs, although amino acid ratios aren’t listed.
- The blend of quality proteins helps you support muscle growth at any time
- This blend can support you for up to seven hours
- It comes in plenty of exciting flavors, including some inspired by Girl Scout cookies
- It also includes 5g of BCAAs
- You don’t know the ratios of included protein types
- It’s a bit more expensive than Combat protein powder
If you can spend a little more and want something from a reputable brand, this one is worth trying out.
This is the most affordable option, although MuscleTech isn’t as reputable as the other brands I’ve mentioned. This one says it can provide up to eight hours of muscle nourishment, and you get seven different protein sources. That might sound amazing at first, but you just get a few inferior forms of casein and whey along with whey isolate and micellar casein. But if you don’t have a whole lot to spend and need a protein supplement, this one will still get the job done.
- It’s much more affordable than the other listed brands
- You get 26g of protein and only 1.5 g of fat per serving
- You get 5.6 g of BCAA per serving
- The sustained-release blend will feed muscles over time
- Each serving has 8 g of carbohydrates, which is more than the others on the list
- You can’t see the ratio of included protein types
- It can be chalky and dissolve slowly
We all need a great protein blend to help us build muscle throughout the day. And while I’m disappointed that Comat protein powder doesn’t list the exact ratios of included proteins, my own research has to lead me to believe that it’s a quality blend at an affordable price. As a bonus, it mixes well and tastes better than most proteins — a major benefit, especially if you take a protein supplement every day.
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