Ultimate Protein Mix Review Part 4

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

ThumbsMiddleOptavia’s Classic Fuelings

score = 85

Summary

  • MLM: Optavia (aka Medifast)
  • Product: Classic Fuelings
  • Serving Size: 32 g
  • Total Calories: 100
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Total Carbs: 13 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 260 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose, corn syrup
  • Artificial Sweeteners: possibly from the artificial flavors
  • Artificial Flavors: yes
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: cellulose, xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate
  • Allergens: soy, dairy, possible corn from natural flavors and gum’s
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: Soy protein isolate, fructose, dextrin, cocoa (processed with alkali), whey protein concentrate, modified food starch, chicory root inulin, soy lecithin, salt, cellulose gum, natural and artificial flavor, acesulfame potassium, corn syrup, xanthan gum, carrageenan plus the following Vitamins and Minerals: Potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E acetate, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A palmitate, chromium chloride, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, sodium molybdate, sodium selenite, vitamin K1, vitamin D3, vitamin B12.

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsMiddleVisalus’ ViShape

score = 85

Summary

  • MLM: Visalus (aka Body by Vi)
  • Product: ViShape
  • Serving Size: 26 g
  • Total Calories: 90
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Total Carbs: 7 g
  • Sugar: <1 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 75 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: none
  • Artificial Sweeteners: yes, sucralose
  • Artificial Flavors: yes
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate, soy protein isolate
  • Allergens: soy, milk, possible corn from natural, artificial flavors and gums
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: whey protein (concentrate and hydrolysate), soy protein isolate, corn soluble fiber, natural and artificial flavor, dicalcium phosphate, high oleic sunflower oil, maltodextrin, gum arabic, medium chain triglycerides, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, magnesium oxide, sodium caseinate, dipotassium phosphate, mono and diglycerides, sucralose, ascorbic acid, tocopherols ,magnesium phosphate, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, niacinamide, calcium d-pantothenate, copper gluconate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, protease enzymes (from aminogen), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, retinyl palmitate, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, chromium amino acid chelate, phytonadione, molybdenum amino acid chelate, selenium amino acid chelate, cholecalciferol, cyanocobalamin

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsMiddleAdvoCare Muscle Gain

score = 80

Summary

  • MLM: AdvoCare
  • Product: Muscle Gain
  • Serving Size: 41.5 grams
  • Total Calories: 150
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Total Carbs: 8 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 115 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose
  • Artificial Sweeteners: yes, sucralose
  • Artificial Flavors: yes
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: none listed
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate
  • Allergens: milk, possible corn from natural flavors
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, milk protein concentrate, “branched-chain amino acids [L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine]”, fructose, natural and artificial flavors, calcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, titanium dioxide, sucralose, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, niacin, acesulfame potassium, manganese sulfate, papain, bromelain, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, biotin, cyanocobalamin, sodium

See nutritional facts label 

Score

ThumbsMiddleIdealFit’s Ideal Lean Protein

score = 80

Summary

  • MLM: IdealFit
  • Product: Ideal Lean Protein
  • Serving Size: not given
  • Total Calories: 80
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Total Carbs: 0 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 125 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: none listed
  • Artificial Sweeteners: yes, sucralose
  • Artificial Flavors: yes
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: cellulose, xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein isolate
  • Allergens: milk, possible corn from natural, artificial flavors and gums
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: whey protein isolate, IdealFit recovery blend (l-glutamine, acai, mangosteen, blueberry), cocoa, natural and artificial flavor, sucralose, sodium chloride, calcium carbonate, cholecalciferol, chromax (chromium picolimnate), folic acid

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsMiddleXyngular’s Lean Meal

score = 80

Summary

  • MLM: Xyngular
  • Product: Lean Meal
  • Serving Size: 41 g
  • Total Calories: 160
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Total Carbs: 18 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Sodium: 280 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: yes
  • Natural Flavors: no
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: N/A
  • Natural Sweeteners: organic cane sugar, stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): pea protein, oat protein, rice protein, chia seed, quinoa seed, flax seed, sacha inchi seed
  • Allergens: possible corn from natural flavors and gum
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: vegan protein blend (pea protein, oat protein, rice protein, chia seed, quinoa seed, flax seed, sacha inchi seed), cocoa powder (processed with alkali), rose hips (fruit), pomegranate juice powder (fruit), chlorella, yacon root, acerola juice powder (fruit), astragalus root, bilberry juice powder (fruit), blueberry (fruit), camu-camu (fruit), chicory fiber (root), cordyceps (fungi), lycium juice powder (fruit), moringa oleifera (leaf), ashwagandha (root), chaga (fungi), maitake (fungi), MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), reishi (fungi), spinach (leaf), enzyme blend (amylase, cellulase, lactase, glucoamylase, alpha-galactosidase, invertase), kale (brassica oleracea L. var. acephala) (leaf), schisandra (fruit), bacillus coagulans, maca root, cinnamon bark, green tea extract (leaf), pea fiber, luo han guo extract (fruit), matcha green tea (leaf), organic cane sugar, xanthan gum, himalayan pink salt, stevia leaf extract

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsMiddleItWorks! Shake Plant Based Protein Powder

score = 75

Summary

  • MLM: ItWorks!
  • Product: ItWorks! Shake Plant Based Protein Powder
  • Serving Size: 27 g
  • Total Calories: 100
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Total Carbs: 4 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 320 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, guar
  • Protein Source(s):
  • Allergens: possible corn from natural flavors and gums
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: yes

Ingredients

Ingredients: proprietary plant protein blend (pea protein isolate, organic sprouted brown rice protein concentrate), cocoa powder, natural flavors, guar gum, and contains less than 2% of salt, organic steviol glycoside, sunflower lecithin, organic rebaudioside A, silicon dioxide, xanthan gum

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownForever Living’s Forever Lite Ultra

score = 70

Summary

  • MLM: Forever Living
  • Product: Forever Lite Ultra
  • Serving Size: 25 g
  • Total Calories: 90
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Total Carbs: 3 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 289 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose, fructooligosaccharides
  • Artificial Sweeteners: yes, sucralose
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: guar
  • Protein Source(s): soy protein isolate
  • Allergens: soy, possible corn from natural flavors, gum, and maltodextrin
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: Soy Protein Isolate, Natural Chocolate Flavor, Cocoa Powder, Fructose, Dicalcium Phosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, Guar Gum, Aminogen®* (Patented Protease Blend), Safflower Oil, Soy Lecithin, Sucralose, Ascorbic Acid, D-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium Phosphate, Biotin, Niacinamide, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Palmitate, Zinc Oxide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Brewer’s Yeast, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chromium Chloride, Folic Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Spirulina, Sodium Selenite

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownJuice Plus’ Complete

score = 70

Summary

  • MLM: Juice Plus
  • Product: Complete
  • Serving Size: 38 g
  • Total Calories: 140
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Total Carbs: 20 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Fat: <1 g
  • Sodium: 240 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: organic evaporated cane sugar, stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: arabic, xanthan
  • Protein Source(s):low processed soy protein, chickpea powder, pea protein, rice protein
  • Allergens: soy, and possible corn from natural flavors and gums
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: proprietary protein blend (low processed soy protein, chickpea powder, pea protein, rice protein), natural sweetener blend (organic evaporated cane sugar, stevia), proprietary fiber blend (natural gums: arabic, guar, and xanthan, fructooligosaccharides, plant cellulose, soy fiber, rice bran, pectin, apple fiber), cocoa (processed with alkali), natural flavor, proprietary ancient grain and sprout blend (broccoli sprout, alfalfa sprout, radish sprout, organic amaranth, organic quinoa, organic millet), calcium (as citrate, phosphate, carbonate, ascorbate), sea salt, proprietary powder blend (pumpkin powder, pomegranate powder, spirulina powder, yucca powder, mushroom powder), natural enzyme blend, niacinarmide, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine monoitrate, vitamin B12

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownIsagenix’s IsaLean Pro Shake

score = 60

Summary

  • MLM: Isagenix
  • Product: IsaLean Pro Shake
  • Serving Size: 61 g
  • Total Calories: 240
  • Protein: 36 g
  • Total Carbs: 21 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Sodium: 265 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose, stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat dry milk
  • Allergens: milk, and possible corn from natural flavors and gum
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: Exclusive Myo-IsaLean Complex™ [whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat
dry milk], fructose, natural Dutch cocoa powder, isomaltooligosaccharide
powder, sunflower (Helianthus annuus) oil powder, natural flavors, olive
(Olea europaea) oil powder, xanthan gum, flax (Linum usitatissimum) seed
powder, medium chain triglyceride oil powder, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago
sativa) leaf extract, potassium citrate, magnesium oxide, tricalcium
phosphate, sea salt, enzyme blend [lactase (from Aspergillus oryzae),
lipase (from Rhizopus oryzae), cellulase (from Trichoderma longibrachiatum),
invertase (from Saccharomyces cerevisiae), protease (from Aspergillus
oryzae), amylase (from Bacillus subtilis), bromelain (from Ananas comosus),
papain (from Carica papaya), acid stable protease (from Aspergillus niger)],
magnesium citrate, silicon dioxide, yucca (Yucca schidigera) root powder,
vitamin C (ascorbic acid), magnesium stearate, psyllium (Plantago ovata)
seed powder, biotin, selenium amino acid chelate, cinnamon (Cinnamomum
zeylanicum) bark powder, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, vitamin E
succinate, copper amino acid chelate, vitamin A (beta carotene), zinc oxide,
manganese amino acid chelate, iodine amino acid chelate, niacinamide,
vitamin B5 (d-calcium pantothenate), vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol),
chromium amino acid chelate, niacin, molybdenum amino acid chelate,
vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCI), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin B2
(riboflavin), Lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamin B1 (thiamin HCI), folic acid

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownShaklee Life Energizing Shake

score = 60

Summary

  • MLM: Shaklee
  • Product: Life Energizing Shake
  • Serving Size: 45 g
  • Total Calories: 170
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Total Carbs: 18 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Sodium: 240 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: yes
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: natural cane sugar, stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: acacia, guar, xanthan
  • Protein Source(s):soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, L-leucine, rice protein concentrate
  • Allergens: soy, corn, possible milk from probiotic blend
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: shaklee proprietary non-gmo protein blend (soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, L-leucine, rice protein concentrate), natural cane sugar, shaklee proprietary prebiotic and probiotic blend (soluble corn fiber, short-chain fructooligosaccharides, maltodextrin, bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086), high oleic sunflower oil powder, natural flavors, cocoa processed with alkali, dicalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, milled golden flaxseed, potassium chloride, magnesium oxide, silicon dioxide, ascorbic acid, rebaudiana a (stevia extract) (leaf), selenium yeast, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, molybdenum yeast, niacinamide, zinc oxide, copper gluconate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B12, manganese sulfate, vitamin D3, chromium nicotinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine monoitrate, folic acid, biotin

See nutritional facts label


Continue onto part 5


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

We Would Love to Hear From You

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.