Ultimate Protein Mix Review Part 2

We took a look at over 50 protein mixes provided only by multi-level marketing (MLM aka direct sales or network marketing) companies. This is one of the largest MLM Protein Mix reviews available. Below we offer detailed information about how we gathered the information, the criteria used for scoring, and other important details. Keep in mind the review is for one type of product and just because they may have one product that did not score so well does not mean the company does not have other high quality products. Some companies put their focus on this type of product and others focus on other types. Note that every product began with 100 points and the point values were based strictly on the ingredients and nutritional facts for their suggested serving size. 

Icons

What do the icons represent? We used a green thumbs-up, yellow thumb in the middle, and red thumb-down icon to indicate the following score levels:

equals 121-200

equals 71-120

equals 0-70

Nutrition

We went to each brand’s website and then found the page for the specific protein mix product. We then searched for the nutritional facts (aka supplement) label and full list of ingredients. There were a few that did not offer a nutritional facts label. We searched various outlets to find this label. We were able to find 2-3 from where the product was being sold on Amazon. If this information is not “current,” we welcome the brand/company to provide us with a current and clear nutritional facts label. For the ones for which we could not obtain a label, we noted those at the very bottom of this post.

PRODUCT FLAVOR VARIETIES

Many of the products we reviewed had several different flavors. To keep things fair, across the board, we reviewed either the chocolate or vanilla flavors. The majority of purchases, for protein mixes, are flavored. Therefore, we felt it more fair to review a flavor versus a non-flavored option. This means the sodium may be a slightly higher or lower, depending on the flavor. This also means that a natural flavor may not have been an ingredient in an “original” or “plain” variety of that product. We provided links to each product, under the ingredients tab, if you would like to see if a particular company offers an un-flavored option.

Protein

We did not assign points to the grams of protein found in each product. Why? We did not feel it fair to add/subtract points based on grams of protein because each individual will need/want an amount that fits their particular size, weight, and/or lifestyle (daily protein intake, to be specific). Some will require more and some will require less. Therefore, what is not good for one will be perfect for another.

Carbs

We did not assign points for total grams of carbohydrates (carbs) found in each product. Why? For several reasons, actually. First, there are good carbs and poor carbs that mainly are based on their glycemic load. For instance, sprouted brown rice has less glycemic load than white rice. Therefore, we felt the focus should be on the grams of sugar in each product rather than total carbs.

Organic

In order for a product to earn the 50 organic points, the claim must be noted on the web page with the product. Also, the product must have a *USDA organic certification. Every product was held to this same standard.

Within the summary: we did not type “organic” beside the ingredients listed under sweeteners or gums. If the product is certified organic, please note that those are organic ingredients.

*updated 4/26/2018 to reflect a USDA Organic Certification, the USDA Organic Certification seal must be on the product… we did not think we would have to be this specific but apparently some have tried to claim organic certification by other means, we only will award 50 points to products that have the actual USDA Organic Certification… it is our wish that all companies would want to be transparent an honest when it comes to their product being truly organic

non-GMO

In order for a product to earn the 10 non-GMO points, the claim must be noted on the web page with the product. The entire product must be non-GMO, not just one or two ingredients. It is important to note that any product with an organic certification is automatically non-GMO. To qualify for an organic certification the product cannot contain a GMO ingredient. The “claim” requirement is not necessary if the product is certified organic. Every product was held to this same standard.

Artificial

All products lost points if the product contained any artificial ingredients of any kind. This includes flavors, colors, or sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners include (but are not limited to) the following: aspartame (ex. equal, nutrasweet, natrataste blue), sucralose (ex. splenda), acesulfame K (ex. ACE K, sunette, equal spoonful, sweet one, sweet n’ safe), saccharin (ex. sweet ‘n low, sweet twin), xylitol, and sorbitol.

We understand xylitol, being listed as an artificial sweetener, is controversial. We struggled with this one but our reasoning came down to this:

Xylitol (Erythritol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol and other sugar alcohols that end in –itol)

Sugar alcohols aren’t absorbed well by the body and cause an allergic reaction for those who have a sensitivity to it. In addition, it has gastrointestinal side effects that include bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea. Its laxative effect is so pronounced that it’s actually part of the chemical makeup for many over-the-counter laxatives.

Even though these sweeteners have been on the market for decades, pregnant and breastfeeding women should select a natural sweetener instead. WebMD states: “Not enough is known about the use of xylitol during pregnancy and breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.” (1)

Special note to dog owners: Sugar alcohol-based artificial sweeteners are a life-threatening toxin to dogs. Be mindful of breath mints, candies, sugar-free gum, frozen desserts, and other foods when your pets are around. (2)

Xylitol information source: https://draxe.com/artificial-sweeteners/

Points

Every product began with a generous 100 points. We kept it as fair as possible.

We used the following criteria to assign points for each product, using their recommended/stated serving size:

  1. + 10 probiotics
  2. +10 enzymes
  3. +15 zero to 100 sodium
  4. +10 101 to 150 sodium
  5. -15 151 to 200 sodium
  6. -20 201 or 300 sodium
  7. -50 301 or higher sodium
  8. +20 zero to 4g sugars
  9. +10 4-8g sugars
  10. -25 9g or higher sugars
  11. -25 artificial sweeteners
  12. -5 natural flavors that are not revealed
  13. -20 artificial flavors
  14. -20 artificial colors
  15. +50 certified organic
  16. +10 for non-gmo

We understand some may ask why we did not break down sugar, sodium levels per gram instead of using the entire serving size. We did this because it is our experience that consumers will use the product by its suggested serving size. Therefore, it made more sense to assign points based on total serving size rather than per gram.

THE REVIEWS

Now, on to the reviews! Each product is represented by its own set of tabs. All nutritional totals are per serving. For products with the same score, we listed them in alphabetical order.

Score

Modere’s Pure Whey Protein

score = 140

Summary

  • MLM: Modere
  • Product: Pure Whey Protein
  • Serving Size: 39 g
  • Total Calories: 160
  • Protein: 21 g
  • Total Carbs: 10 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 65 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan, guar
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate
  • Allergens: dairy, possible corn from natural flavor and gum’s, and possible soy from tocopherols
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: protein blend (whey protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate), fructose, sunflower oil creamer (sunflower oil, maltodextrin, sodium caseinate, emulsifier (mono& diglycerides)(with citric acid to preserve freshness), antioxidant (tocopherols), tricalcium phosphate), cocoa powder (processed with alkali), natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, thickener (xanthan gum), thickener (guar gum), steviol glycosides, fructooligosaccharides, papain, bromelain, maltodextrin

See nutritional facts label

Score

Amway’s Nutrilite All Plant Protein Powder

score = 130

Summary

  • MLM: Amway
  • Product: Nutrilite All Plant Protein Powder
  • Serving Size: 28.3 g
  • Total Calories: 50
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Total Carbs: none listed
  • Sugar: none listed
  • Fiber: none listed
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 125 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: no
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: n/a
  • Natural Sweeteners: none
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: none listed
  • Protein Source(s): soy protein isolate, wheat protein, pea protein
  • Allergens: soy and wheat
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: soy protein isolate, wheat protein, pea protein, soy lecithin, silicon dioxide

See nutritional facts label

Score

Optavia’s Select Fuelings

score = 130

Summary

  • MLM: Optavia
  • Product: Select Fuelings
  • Serving Size: 30 g
  • Total Calories: 110
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Total Carbs: 14 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Sodium: 60 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: yes
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: brown sugar, honey, stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan, guar
  • Protein Source(s): milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate, pea protein isolate
  • Allergens: milk, possible corn from natural flavor and gum’s
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: Cocoa powder, brown sugar, milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate, pea protein isolate, chicory root inulin, maltodextrin, honey, sunflower lecithin, guar gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan, modified cornstarch, stevia extract, natural flavors, cherry juice concentrate, nonfat milk, bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086, Vitamins and Minerals (Potassium chloride, potassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, vitamin E acetate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ferrous sulfate (iron), zinc sulfate, biotin, vitamin A palmitate, potassium iodide, niacinamide (vitamin B3), chromium chloride, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), phytonadione (vitamin K1), sodium molybdate, sodium selenite, cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, folic acid, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin (vitamin B2))

See nutritional facts label

Score

Plexus 96

score = 130

Summary

  • MLM: Plexus
  • Product: Plexus 96
  • Serving Size: 28 g
  • Total Calories: 100
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Total Carbs: 3 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 30 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate
  • Allergens: milk, soy, possible corn from xanthan gum
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: whey protein concentrate, cocoa powder, natural flavors, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, whey protein isolate, glucomannan, stevia, L-taurine, soy lecithin (see supplement facts for added vitamins and minerals list)

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsUpAmway’s XS Sports Protein

score = 125

Summary

  • MLM: Amway
  • Product: XS Sports Protein
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop
  • Total Calories: 160
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Total Carbs: 11 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose, stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: guar and xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, whey protein isolate, pea protein isolate
  • Allergens: soy, milk, and possible corn from natural flavors and gum’s
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: Whey Protein Concentrate (From Milk), Milk Protein Isolate, Fructose, Cocoa, Glycine, Coconut Oil, Calcium Caseinate (From Milk), Natural Flavors. Contains 2% Or Less Of: Micellar Casein (From Milk), Whey Protein Hydrolysate (From Milk), Whey Protein Isolate (From Milk), Sodium Caseinate (From Milk), Branched Chain Amino Acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine), Maltodextrin, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Lecithin (Soy Or Sunflower), Papain, Oligofructose, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Reb A (Stevia), Bromelain, Fructooligosaccharides, Salt, Monoglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide, Pea Protein Isolate

See nutritional facts label

Score

doTERRA’s Slim & Sassy VShake

score = 125

Summary

  • MLM: doTERRA
  • Product: Slim & Sassy VShake
  • Serving Size: 17.5 g
  • Total Calories: 74
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Total Carbs: 7 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 115 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan, tara
  • Protein Source(s): pea protein, quinoa, amaranth, potato protein powder
  • Allergens: corn
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no (incorrectly stated via FAQ section, confirmed when phoned company about this statement versus noted corn and potato ingredients)

Ingredients

Ingredients: protein blend (pea protein, quinoa, amaranth), fiber blend (soluble corn fiber, xanthan gum, citrus fiber, tara gum), sunflower extract, natural flavors, essentra trim ash-wagandha (withania somnifera) root extract, potato protein powder, citric acid, stevia

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsUpIDLife Vegan Shake

score = 125

Summary

  • MLM: IDLife
  • Product: IDLife Vegan Shake
  • Serving Size: 40 g
  • Total Calories: 140
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Total Carbs: 8 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Fat: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 230 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: yes
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: stevia, and luo han guo
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): pea protein isolate, brown rice protein concentrate, hemp protein powder
  • Allergens: milk, possible corn from natural flavors and gum’s
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: yes

Ingredients

Ingredients: Protein Blend (pea protein isolate, brown rice protein concentrate, hemp protein powder), natural flavor, prebiotic dietary fiber (isomalto-oligosaccharide-vitafiber), non-dairy creamer (sunflower oil w/ tocopherols, maltodextrin, modified food starch, mono & diglycerides, and tri-calcium phosphate), QuinoaTrim (quinoa), greens blend (asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale), fruit blend (apple, banana, blackcurrant, elderberry, blueberry), stevia leaf extract, micro-milled chia seed, flax seed powder, xanthan gum, cellulose, lo han guo extract, enzyme blend (protease, amylase, cellulase)

See nutritional facts label

Score

Nikken’s Kenzen Vital Balance

score = 125

Summary

  • MLM: Nikken
  • Product: Kenzen Vital Balance
  • Serving Size: 32.4 g
  • Total Calories: 129
  • Protein: 20.7 g
  • Total Carbs: 3.8 g
  • Sugar: <1 g
  • Fiber: 3.9 g
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Sodium: 256 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: yes
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: monk fruit and stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: guar
  • Protein Source(s):organic pea protein, organic rice protein
  • Allergens: possible corn from natural flavors and gum’s
  • Certified Organic: no (see note below)*
  • Non-GMO Claimed: yes

*The Nikken Kenzen Vital Balance was awarded 50 points for being mistakenly tagged as certified organic. Unfortunately, we have discovered the error. While many of Nikken’s products are certified organic, this specific product is not certified organic, it has organic ingredients and claims “organic based” but this is not the same as the product going through the organic certification process.

Ingredients

Ingredients: organic pea protein, medium-chain triglycerides organic moringa powder, natural vanilla flavor, organic chlorella, monk fruit, organic cilantro, stevia extract, organic guar gum, enzyme blend (protease 4.5, peptidase, bromelain, protease 6.0, protease 3.0, lactobacillus plantarum, bifidobacterium bifidum), ascorbic acid, organic alfalfa, organic spirulina, organic broccoli, organic rice protein, d-alpha-tocopheryl succinate, organic spinach powder, niacinamide, biotin, vitamin A acetate, folic acid, thiamin monoitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, cyanocobalamin, riboflavin

See nutritional facts label

Score

Zurvita Protein

score = 125

Summary

  • MLM: Zurvita
  • Product: Zurvita Protein
  • Serving Size: 23 grams
  • Total Calories: 95
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Total Carbs: 7 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 105 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose, corn syrup solids
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no but possible from artificial flavors
  • Artificial Flavors: yes
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: cellulose
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate, pea protein
  • Allergens: soy, milk, possible gluten, possible corn from natural flavors and gum’s (no allergens were claims but are clearly a part of the product (i.e. whey, soy lecithin, etc.)
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: Protein blend (Whey protein concentrate, Pea protein), Crystalline fructose, Fibersol-2,™ Cocoa powder, Stabilized rice bran, Sunflower oil, Corn syrup solids, Sodium caseinate, Mono and diglycerides, Dipotassium phosphate, Tricalcium phosphate, Soy lecithin, Tocopherols, Natural and artificial flavors, Polydextrose, Cellulose gum, Sodium chloride, Medium chain triglyceride powder, Guar gum, Acesulfame potassium, Glucomannan, D-ribose, White kidney bean extract, Vitamin A, Niacin, Magnesium oxide, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Zinc sulfate, Calcium phosphate, Folic acid, Selenium amino acid chelate, Ferrous sulfate, Cyanocobalamin, Copper amino acid chelate, Dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, Biotin, Manganese sulfate, Phytonadione, Pantothenic acid, Chromium amino acid chelate, Thiamin, Calcium phosphate, Molybdenum amino acid chelate, Ribofalvin, Potassium iodide

See nutritional facts label (independent distributors website)

Score

ThumbsMiddleReliv’s ProVantage

score = 120

Summary

  • MLM: Reliv
  • Product: ProVantage
  • Serving Size: 26 g
  • Total Calories: 90
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Total Carbs: 7 g
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 75 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose and stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: possible from the artificial flavors
  • Artificial Flavors: yes
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: none listed
  • Protein Source(s): soy
  • Allergens: soy and possible corn from natural flavors, artificial flavors and gum’s
  • Certified Organic:
  • Non-GMO Claimed:

Ingredients

Ingredients:

Ingredients: Amino Acid Blend (L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, L-Arginine Base, L-Lysine HCl, L-Alanine, Glycine, L-Ornithine Alpha Ketoglutarate), ProVantage Performance Proprietary Blend (Creatine Monohydrate, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Phosphatidylserine (soy), Phosphatidylcholine, L-Carnitine,  Grape (seed) Extract, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (Tonalin® CLA),  Coenzyme Q 10, Black Pepper (fruit) Extract (Bioperine®), Alpha-Lipoic Acid), non-GMO soy blend with lunarich soy powder, fructose, natural flavors, artificial flavors, non-GMO soy lecithin, rebiana (stevia leaf extract), and lunarich x proprietary non-GMO soy blend

See nutritional facts label


Continue onto part 3


Part 1Part 2Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

 

5 thoughts on “Ultimate Protein Mix Review Part 2

  1. Thank you for the reply. I must point out that you are mistaken. Kenzen Vital Balance is certified organic by CCOF. Please note their logo on the bottom left corner of the product label. Your own criteria just says to get the 50 points a product must be certified organic.

    1. Hi Kurt,

      Sorry, no, the certification you see on the label, under Nikken’s business name, is the certification for Nikken itself. A company can be certified organic without all of its products being certified organic. This specific product has not earned an organic certification. If you look in your company’s 2018 catalog, page 11, you will find that this product does not have the organic symbol, meaning it is not certified organic. You can also view page 11 here: https://fieldandherbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/NikkenKenzenVitalBalance-pg11-2018Catalog.png

      We understand this can be confusing but it is common with organic facilities. Please feel free to check with your company’s product support and/or legal department.

      Thank you for writing.

    2. Dear Kurt,

      As CEO and President of Nikken you should know this specific product has not gone through the organic certification process. You also know the information we have collected on this specific product is fact. When and if your product has completed the organic certification process you are welcome to send us proof of certification. Again, remember this must be for this specific product. You can email this to: info@fieldandherbs.com Once we verify this with the organic certification board that completes the process, we will be happy to adjust the rating.

      Thank you for writing.

  2. in the initial publication, Nikken was rated #7 at 175 points. Why the re-shuffle and drop to 125 points?

    1. Hi Kurt,

      The Nikken Kenzen Vital Balance was awarded 50 points for being mistakenly tagged as certified organic. Unfortunately, we have discovered the error. While many of Nikken’s products are certified organic, this specific product is not certified organic, it has organic ingredients and claims “organic based” but this is not the same as the product going through the organic certification process.

      Thanks for writing.

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