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If you’re seeking one of the best muscle recovery supplements for your post-workout needs, check out this MusclePharm Combat protein powder review. MusclePharm Combat protein powder has a special formulation of micro-filtered proteins, branched-chain amino acids, nonessential amino acids, and other ingredients such as inulin and lactase that help to promote gut health in addition to muscle recovery. 

MusclePharm’s workout supplement lineup consists of an exclusive selection of only four products. However, the products offered are specifically designed to help boost your post-workout recovery and lean muscle mass. In this review, we will explore everything from cost, to formulation, to shipping, to the future of MusclePharm products, and much more.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

Real Testing, by Real Professionals 

Product shopping can be overwhelming, especially when you’re unsure of what to look for. Our team of registered dietitian nutritionists, CrossFit Level 1 Trainers, certified personal trainers, and certified nutrition coaches do the research for you! Our team of credentialed specialists research and personally test each product presented on our site to give you peace of mind when you’re picking the best protein powder for you. 

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Protein blend made of whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, and egg albumin
  • Also contains BCAAs
  • 24-25 g of protein per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Informed Choice certified
  • 24-25 g of protein per serving
  • Has BCAAs

Cons

  • Only four flavors available
  • Not a viable option for those who are allergic to eggs
  • Limited in micronutrients

Bottom Line

MusclePharm Combat protein powder was formulated with athletes in mind, helping them recover with a blend of whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, and egg albumin, plus BCAAs. It's available in four flavors and is affordably priced.

A Quick Look at MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

Headquartered out of Las Vegas, MusclePharm is an American-made supplement company. NFL player Brad Pyatt co-founded MusclePharm with fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur Cory Gregory in 2006. Their company focuses on delivering products to help athletes and active individuals lead a lifestyle with enhanced sports performance outcomes. 

MusclePharm prides itself on ensuring their products are safe, scientifically based, and third-party tested. These actions promote product durability and sports performance efficacy. Despite having several options on the market at one point, MusclePharm is currently only offering four products for purchase: Combat Protein Powder, Combat 100% Whey Protein Powder, Assault Energy + Strength Pre-workout, and BCAAs. 

After 16 years of supplement production, MusclePharm filed for bankruptcy in late 2022 and their intellectual property is set to undergo public auction. Does this mean that MusclePharm no longer has a future in sports nutrition? The jury is still out and no final rulings have been made. For now, their products are still being sold on their website and other major retailers, such as Amazon. 

Before You Buy

  • You can subscribe to have deliveries made on a recurring schedule. If you choose to do this, you will get an automatic 10% off. 
  • You can save 10% on your first order by subscribing to their email list.

Is MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder Worth It?

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder comes in four different flavors: Chocolate Milk, Vanilla, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Banana Cream. The calorie and macronutrient content is fairly similar for each flavor. Calories vary from 130 to 140 calories, 1.5 to 2.5 grams of fat, 4 to 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 24 to 25 grams of protein. 

With a nutrient profile that hardly wavers, it is safe to say that you can pick the flavor you like most, without compromising the nutrient formulation. However, there is a $10 difference between the more traditional Chocolate and Vanilla options and the more expensive Banana Cream and Cookies ‘n Cream flavors. 

If you buy directly from the MusclePharm website, you’ll get a price of about $1.35 per scoop for all flavors. If you buy from Amazon, you will get a price of about $1.15 per scoop for Chocolate and Vanilla, while the Banana Cream and Cookies ‘n Cream flavors are the same price as the MusclePharm website. 

Is MusclePharm Combat protein powder worth it for your health and fitness journey? Let’s look at who we would recommend the product to and who may not enjoy it.

Great for:

  • Someone who wants a protein powder that has branched-chain amino acids in it – all MusclePharm Combat protein powders include leucine, isoleucine, and valine
  • Someone looking for a low-fat, low-carb protein supplement
  • Someone seeking a gluten-free option—all MusclePharm Combat protein powders do not contain gluten. However, MusclePharm does not hold the gluten-free certification for its products. 

RELATED: Best BCAA Supplements

Not recommended for:

  • Someone with a dairy allergy or sensitivity—MusclePharm Combat protein powder is made with the milk protein whey. However, each formulation does have lactase added, which may help ease discomfort associated with a dairy sensitivity
  • Someone with an egg allergy or sensitivity—MusclePharm Combat protein powder is made with egg albumin as a source of protein
  • Someone with a soy allergy or sensitivity—the food additive soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder Specs

Price per serving$1.35
Serving size1 scoop (36-37 g)
FlavorsChocolate Milk, Vanilla, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Banana Cream
Calories per serving130-140
Protein per serving24-25 g
Carbs per serving4-6 g
Fats per serving1.5-2.5 g
Third-party tested?Yes

Experience Using MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder: Taste and Solubility  

GGR senior editor and expert product tester Nicole Davis has used MusclePharm Combat whey several times over the last few years, and likes its flavoring and how it makes her feel. From blending this into a post-workout smoothie to even adding it to oatmeal, she thinks this is one of the best-tasting protein powders she’s tried, specifically for the basic flavors like Chocolate and Vanilla. Let’s find out more about Combat whey.  

Musclepharm Combat Protein Powder 2

Price Per Serving

When buying directly from MusclePharm’s website, the option to purchase either a 4-pound or 6-pound container populates. However, it seems like at the time of this writing, the 4-pound containers are the only options for purchase across all platforms, not just their website. A 4-pound container will cost $69.99 and has approximately 52 servings, making it $1.35 per scoop.

On Amazon, Vanilla and Chocolate are roughly $10 cheaper at $59.99 for a 4-pound container that has 52 scoop servings. These flavors are $1.15 per scoop. The other two flavor options are $69.95 for a 4-pound container that has 52 scoops and is also $1.35 per scoop. 

Each of these purchasing options offer an affordable price when compared against other protein powder competitors. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein is $1.55 per scoop, Quest Protein Powder is $1.30 per scoop, and Premier Protein is $1.33 per scoop. 

Formulation

MusclePharm Combat has a micro-filtered protein blend that consists of a variety of types of protein: whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, and egg albumin. The use of egg albumin is different from many major protein powder providers. Egg¹ protein has been linked to enhancing the immune system and promoting gut health through its amino acid composition that easily digests. 

RELATED: What is Whey Protein?

This protein powder is made with many common allergens and ingredients that can affect you if you have a sensitivity to milk, egg, and/or soy. However, two interesting ingredients added are inulin and lactase. These are interesting due to their ability to positively impact digestive health. 

Inulin² has been researched in regard to its role as a prebiotic. Furthermore, inulin also plays a role in lipid and glucose metabolism. Lactase³ is an enzyme that helps to break down the milk sugar lactose. The addition of lactase to MusclePharm Combat’s formulation may prove beneficial for those who have a milk sensitivity, with regard to reducing digestion discomfort such as gas, bloating, and cramps. 

Also an important part of its formulation are essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine, and valine, as well as the nonessential amino acid glutamine. BCAAs⁴ are beneficial to supplement with due to their function on delaying muscle exhaustion and supporting muscle recovery.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a protein supplement that avoids artificial sweeteners, MusclePharm Combat is not the ideal choice; both sucralose and acesulfame potassium are used in the creation of this protein powder. Sucralose⁵ is well-studied and researchers agree that it is safe, does not affect those with diabetes, and contributes zero calories. However, a rodent study on acesulfame potassium⁶ concluded that it caused inflammation and increased the likelihood of developing obesity in its male subjects. 

Taste and Solubility

Of the four flavors currently offered, our team tried MusclePharm Combat Banana Cream. GGR Senior Editor Nicole Davis says she’s a fan: “I’m usually not a fan of banana artificial flavor, but I like this! I mix it with milk, and while it is a little sweet, the banana really comes through and there’s no weird aftertaste or anything off-putting from the sweetener.”

To make for a smooth blend, MusclePharm Combat protein powder recommends combining a scoop of powder with 8 to 12 ounces of cold water. Nicole used milk instead of water and said it dissolves perfectly. “A+ for solubility…no clumps or grittiness when mixed in a shaker with milk.”

Side Effects

Those who have an egg, dairy, and/or soy allergy, should avoid this product, due to its formulation. Egg albumin, milk and whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate are combined to create the protein blend that is found in MusclePharm Combat protein powder. Soy lecithin is present in this product as an emulsifier. People with sensitive stomachs may experience gastrointestinal discomfort from the artificial sugars used as well. 

Third-Party Testing 

To ensure that you’re using a safe product, verify that it has gone through third-party testing. Third-party testing is important because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently regulate dietary supplements. Third-party testing also gives brands credibility. 

One of the main third-party testing organizations we look for is Informed Choice. MusclePharm Combat protein powder has certifications from not only Informed Choice, but also Informed Protein. This is super important to consider when it comes to supplement consumption. These certifications mean that MusclePharm is cognizant of their ingredients and works to minimize the risk associated with banned substances and impurities, as well as provide a protein blend that is trustworthy.  

Comparison to Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein 

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Contains 3 different kinds of whey protein
  • Tested for banned substances
  • Over 5 g of BCAAs per serving
  • Instantized to help prevent clumping

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High in protein
  • Plenty of flavor options
  • Low in carbs

Cons

  • Some users say it's overly sweet
  • Contains artificial flavors
  • Most flavors contain sucralose

Bottom Line

With plenty of flavor and size options to choose from, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is a great basic choice in protein powder.

Offering a slightly lower fat and carb load than MusclePharm Combat is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein. Even though the protein content is not significantly different between the two, the source of protein is. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein is made of whey isolate, whey concentrate, and whey peptides. On the other hand, MusclePharm Combat is composed of whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, and egg albumin. 

Optimum is $1.10 per scoop and MusclePharm Combat is $1.35 per scoop. Each offers branched-chain amino acids in their formulation. Optimum has 5.5 grams per scoop, whereas the amount of BCAAs in MusclePharm is not disclosed. However, MusclePharm does contain glutamine⁷ while Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard does not. The amino acid glutamine has been well-researched as a way to delay fatigue onset when working out by improving glycogen synthesis. 

Depending on what flavor you purchase, Optimum is roughly 10 to 20 less calories per scoop than MusclePharm. If you’re looking for a supplement that will not lead to flavor fatigue, Optimum Nutrition has 18 flavors to choose from. MusclePharm has far less, at only four flavors offered at this time. 

Both Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein and MusclePharm Combat protein powders are viable post-workout supplement choices for those looking to increase muscle growth. If you’re looking for a cheaper, lower-carb, lower-fat, and egg-free supplement, Optimum Nutrition would be the better choice. If you’re looking for a protein powder that has several types of protein, contains a variety of amino acids, and has a higher calcium content per scoop, MusclePharm is a great contender. 

Read our Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard Review for our full thoughts on this protein, or our take on the best Optimum Nutrition flavor.

Customer Experience 

MusclePharm has a contact box on their website that allows you to contact them by email, phone, or both. If you have an issue with your product, when ordered through their website, you can email them or use the contact box to ask for assistance in returning your purchase. There are MusclePharm customer service representatives who handle these inquiries Monday through Friday, during the normal 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. business hours. 

You’re allowed to return unopened and undamaged products up to 30 days after the day of purchase for a full refund, but this only applies to purchases bought through their website. Their website discloses that they hold the right to charge a 25% restocking fee for your refund. Overall, MusclePharm does seem to be easy to get in contact with and happy to assist. 

Ordering MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

If you’re going to order this protein powder through MusclePharm, the process is easy. Just like any other online purchase, you’ll add what you want to your cart, complete your shipping information, and move forward with paying. ShopPay and MetaPay are both convenience checkout options offered by MusclePharm, if you’re in a hurry. 

When ordering through the MusclePharm website, there is a standard shipping fee of $9.99, regardless of where you live in the United States. Processing time is 1 to 5 business days and the MusclePharm website discloses that their goal is to have your order shipped within 24 hours.  

If you’re looking to save money on shipping fees, and are an Amazon Prime member, then ordering through Amazon will be the way you want to go. This is especially true if you are looking to purchase the lower-cost Chocolate or Vanilla flavor options.  

Customer Reviews

MusclePharm Combat protein powder has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars with around 16,615 reviews on Amazon, at the time of this writing. On their website, MusclePharm Combat has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars with 1,637 reviews. 

On their website, MusclePharm Combat protein powder has a common theme among their low-ranking reviews. Many customers claim that it does not blend very easily. 

A critical review of the Musclepharm Combat Protein Powder 1
A critical review of the Musclepharm Combat Protein Powder 2

Similar reviews were posted on Amazon with regard to MusclePharm Combat’s mixability. However, most agreed that the mixability was not that big of a deal because the taste was great and the protein blend was good for performance recovery.  

A positive review of the Musclepharm Combat Protein Powder

Final Verdict of Our MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder Review

If you’re looking for a quality protein-packed powder that’s specifically designed to meet your post-workout needs, then MusclePharm Combat protein powder is a great product to try. MusclePharm Combat protein powder: 

  • Contains a unique combination of protein sources: whey, milk, and egg
  • Introduces both nonessential and essential amino acids into its formulation – this helps aid muscle recovery and delay muscle fatigue 
  • Has a low fat and carb load with a high protein content per scoop
  • Is limited in vitamins and minerals—you may need other micronutrients to help enhance your workout that this supplement does not offer

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder Rating

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

Find out if we’d recommend this post-workout protein supplement in our MusclePharm Combat protein powder review.

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 70

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.25

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

Price Per Serving – 4
Formulation – 4
Taste – 5
Solubility – 3
Side Effects – 4
Third-Party Testing – 5
Customer Service – 5
Customer Reviews – 4
Buy Now

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder FAQs

Is MusclePharm Combat protein powder safe?

Yes, MusclePharm Combat protein powder is safe. Thanks to their not one but two quality assurance certifications, this brand can be trusted for credibility and safe consumption. They have third-party testing certifications from Informed Protein and Informed Choice.

Is Combat protein powder good for muscle gain?

Exercise is a key component to gaining muscle, and branched-chain amino acids can help you reach your fitness goals. Research⁸ tells us that branched-chain amino acids promote lean muscle mass growth. However, the rate at which you build muscle is increased when other amino acids are consumed alongside BCAAs. Since MusclePharm Combat is composed of a solid protein blend, branched-chain amino acids, and other amino acids, it can absolutely be a good protein powder for muscle gain when paired with exercise.

What happened to MusclePharm protein?

MusclePharm is currently undergoing litigation for a bankruptcy claim that they submitted in late 2022. The outcome of this bankruptcy claim has not been finalized by the court system. Public auction is supposed to open up for their intellectual property, but not much has been thus far in 2023.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Puglisi MJ, Fernandez ML. The health benefits of egg protein. Nutrients. 2022;14(14):2904. doi: 10.3390/nu14142904
  2. Ahmed W, Rashid S. Functional and therapeutic potential of inulin: a comprehensive review. Crit Rev Food Sci. 2019;59(1):1-13. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1355775
  3. Szilagyi A, Ishayek N. Lactose intolerance, dairy avoidance, and treatment options. Nutrients. 2018;10(12):1994. doi:10.3390/nu10121994
  4. Rahimi MH, Shab-Bidar S, Mollahosseini M, et al. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation and exercise-induced muscle damage in exercise recovery: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Nutrition. 2017;42:30-36. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.05.005
  5. Magnuson BA, Roberts A, Nestmann ER. Critical review of the current literature on the safety of sucralose. Food and Chem Tox. 2017;106(A):324-355. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.05.047
  6. Bian X, Chi L, Gao B, et al. The artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium affects the gut microbiome and body weight gain in CD-1 mice. Plos One. 2017;12(6):e0178426. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178426
  7. Coqueiro AY, Rogero MM, Tirapegui J. Glutamine as an anti-fatigue amino acid in sports nutrition. Nutrients. 2019;11(4):863. doi: 10.3390/nu11040863
  8. Santos C, Nascimento FEL. Isolated branched-chain amino acid intake and muscle protein synthesis in humans: a biochemical review. Einstein. 2019;17(3):eRB4898. doi: 10.31744/einstein_journal/2019RB4898

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