Ultimate Protein Mix Review Part 5

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

ThumbsDownYoung Living’s Pure Protein Complete

score = 60

Summary

  • MLM: Young Living
  • Product: Pure Protein Complete
  • Serving Size: 46 g
  • Total Calories: 170
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Total Carbs: 14 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 240 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: cane sugar, luo han guo fruit extract
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): rbgh-free whey protein concentrate, pea protein isolate, goat whey protein concentrate, egg albumin, organic hemp seed protein
  • Allergens: milk, egg, possible corn from natural flavors and gum
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: rbgh-free whey protein concentrate, pea protein isolate, goat whey protein concentrate, egg albumin, organic hemp seed protein, ancient peat, apple extract, alpha and beta amylase, protease, lipase, cellulase, lactase, and l acidophilus, papain, bromelain, cane Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Natural flavors, Xanthan gum, Amino acid blend (L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine, L-methionine, L-lysine, L-glutamine), Sodium chloride, Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), Orange (Citrus sinensis)† rind oil, Luo han guo (Siraitia grosvenorii) fruit extract

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownMelaleuca’s ProFlex 20 Shake

score = 55

Summary

  • MLM: Melaleuca
  • Product: ProFlex 20 Shake
  • Serving Size: 40 g
  • Total Calories: 150
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Total Carbs: 9 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 170 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: none listed
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein concentrate
  • Allergens: dairy, soy, corn
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, creamer (high oleic sunflower oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate, mono- and diglycerides, dipotassium phosphate, calcium phosphate, soy lecithin, tocopherols (antioxidant)), dutch cocoa, chicory root fiber, polydextrose, maltodextrin fiber (from corn), cellulose (from plant source), natural and artificial flavors, salt, sucralose

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownMelaleuca’s Vitality Elevate Ultra Performance Protein

score = 55

Summary

  • MLM: Melaleuca
  • Product: Vitality Elevate Ultra Performance Protein
  • Serving Size: 38 g
  • Total Calories: 145
  • Protein: 30 g
  • Total Carbs: 2 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 180 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: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate
  • Allergens: soy, milk, possible corn from natural flavors and gum
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, micellar casein, cocoa (processed with alkali), natural and artificial flavors, salt, xanthan gum, sucralose

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownHerbalife’s Protein Drink Mix

score = 50

Summary

  • MLM: Herbalife
  • Product: Protein Drink Mix
  • Serving Size: 29 g
  • Total Calories: 120
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Total Carbs: 6 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Fat: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 290 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: xanthan, guar
  • Protein Source(s): soy protein isolate
  • Allergens: milk, wheat, soybean, possible corn from natural and artificial flavors and gums
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: soy protein isolate, non-dairy creamer (sunflower oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate, mono- and diglycerides, dipotassium, tricalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, tocopherols (added to protect flavor)), calcium caseinate, cocoa (processed with alkali), vitamin and mineral premix (magnesium phosphate, dextrose, ascorbic acid, ferric orthophosphate, zinc sulfate, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate, niacinamide, l-selenomethionine, d-calcium pantothenate, copper gluconate, manganese sulfate, retinyl palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, chromium chloride, biotin, potassium iodide, sodium molybdate, phytonadione, cholecalciferol, cyanocobalamin), natural and artificial flavors, maltodextrin, soy lecithin, salt, calcium phosphate, potassium phosphate, xanthan gum, guar gum, silicon dioxide, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownNature’s Sunshine’s Love and Peas, Sugar Free

score = 50

Summary

  • MLM: Nature’s Sunshine
  • Product: Love and Peas, Sugar Free
  • Serving Size: 40 g
  • Total Calories: 150
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Total Carbs: 9 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: luo han guo, steviol glycosides (stevia)
  • Artificial Sweeteners: yes, erythritol
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s):
  • Allergens: possible corn from natural flavor and gum’s
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients:

Pea protein isolate, sunflower oil, natural flavors, soluble vegetable fiber, erythritol, short chain fructooligosaccharides, medium chain triglycerides, flax seed, potassium citrate, xanthan gum, pea fiber, steviol glycosides, rice protein, bamboo fiber, sea salt, rice bran, ascorbic acid, sodium citrate, plant enzyme blend, carrot powder, cranberry powder, broccoli powder, borage oil, grape seed extract, sodium selenate, black bean powder, blueberry powder, niacinamide, zinc oxide, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), inulin, manganese sulfate, calcium d-pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, copper gluconate, biotin, potassium iodide, adzuki bean powder, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, sodium molybdate, luo han guo extract, pomegranate powder, cyanocobalamin, grape skin extract, garbanzo bean powder, beta-glucans, chromium chloride

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownNeoLife Shake

score = 40

Summary

  • MLM: NeoLife
  • Product: NeoLife Shake
  • Serving Size: 43 g
  • Total Calories: 140
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Total Carbs: 17 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Sodium: 320 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: stevia, fructose
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: guar
  • Protein Source(s): soy protein isolate, nonfat dry milk, whey protein isolate
  • Allergens: soy, dairy, possible corn from natural flavors, gum, and maltodextrin
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: yes

Ingredients

Ingredients: NeoLife proprietary protein blend (soy protein isolate, nonfat dry milk, whey protein isolate and calcium sodium caseinate), fructose, NeoLife proprietary fiber blend (soy fiber, oat fiber, maltodextrin fiber and guar gum), cocoa powder, natural flavors, soy lecithin, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, safflower oil, sodium chloride, magnesium oxide, stevia, vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol and mixed tocopherols), Neo-Plex Concentrate [orange juice powder, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), orange peel powder and citrus bioflavonoid], choline bitartrate, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), ferrous fumarate, inositol, niacinamide, zinc oxide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, manganese sulfate, cupric sulfate, vitamin D 3, Multi Enzyme Blend (bromelain, papain and malt diastase), vitamin B 6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), riboflavin, thiamine hydrochloride, chromium chloride, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, sodium selenite and molybdenum trioxide

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownZija International’s Core Moringa Plant Protein

score = 40

Summary

  • MLM: Zija International
  • Product: Core Moringa Plant Protein
  • Serving Size: 41 g
  • Total Calories: 175
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Total Carbs: 11 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 365 mg
  • Enzymes: no
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: yes, xylitol
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: none listed
  • Protein Source(s): pea protein, rice protein, moringa leaf protein
  • Allergens: possible corn from natural flavors
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: core moringa protein blend (pea protein, rice protein, moringa leaf protein), dutch cocoa, xylitol, natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, medium chain triglycerides, stevia, sodium chloride

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownArbonne Essentials Protein Shake Mix

score = 30

Summary

  • MLM: Arbonne
  • Product: Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake Mix
  • Serving Size: 45 g
  • Total Calories: 160
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Total Carbs: 14 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Sodium: 480 mg
  • Enzymes: yes, one coenzyme q10
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: organic cane sugar, stevia
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan, acacia, guar
  • Protein Source(s): pea protein isolate, cranberry protein, rice protein
  • Allergens: possible corn from natural flavors, gums, and maltodextrin
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: alfalfa leaf powder, kelp powder, ginseng root powder, coenzyme q10, Arbonne Protein Matrix Blend (pea protein isolate, cranberry protein, rice protein), organic cane sugar, cocoa powder, natural chocolate flavor, sunflower oil, inulin, maltodextrin (non-GMO), stevia leaf extract, xanthan gum, gum acacia, flax seed, guar gum (see nutritional facts for vitamin and minerals content)

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownNature’s Sunshine’s Love and Peas

score = 30

Summary

  • MLM: Nature’s Sunshine
  • Product: Love and Peas
  • Serving Size: 45 g
  • Total Calories: 190
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Total Carbs: 17 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg
  • Enzymes: yes
  • Pre/Probiotics: no
  • Natural Flavors: yes
  • Natural Flavors Revealed: no
  • Natural Sweeteners: fructose, luo han guo, steviol glycosides (stevia)
  • Artificial Sweeteners: no
  • Artificial Flavors: no
  • Artificial Colors: no
  • Gums: xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): pea protein isolate, brown rice protein
  • Allergens: possible corn from natural flavors and gum
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: pea protein isolate (split yellow peas), fructose, sunflower oil, soluble vegetable fiber, natural flavors, short chain fructooligosaccharides, medium chain triglycerides, pea fiber, rice protein (from brown rice), flax seed, bamboo fiber, rice bran, xanthan gum, potassium citrate, sea salt, sodium citrate, carrot powder, ascorbic acid, steviol glycosides, plant enzyme blend, cranberry powder, broccoli powder, grape seed extract, black bean powder, blueberry powder, borage oil, sodium selenate, niacinamide, zinc oxide, luo han guo extract, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), inulin, manganese sulfate, calcium D-pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, copper gluconate, adzuki bean powder, biotin, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, pomegranate powder, sodium molybdate, grape skin extract, garbanzo bean powder, beta-glucans, cyanocobalamin, chromium chloride

See nutritional facts label

Score

ThumbsDownUSANA’s Nutrimeal

score = 20

Summary

  • MLM: USANA
  • Product: Nutrimeal
  • Serving Size: 60 g
  • Total Calories: 240
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Total Carbs: 32 g
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Sodium: 420 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: arabic, cellulose, xanthan
  • Protein Source(s): Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate, Pea Protein
  • Allergens: soy, dairy, and possible corn from natural flavors, gums, and maltodextrin
  • Certified Organic: no
  • Non-GMO Claimed: no

Ingredients

Ingredients: Protein Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate, Pea Protein), Crystalline Fructose, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Maltodextrin, Cocoa, Fiber Blend (Soy Fiber, Cane Fiber, Gum Arabic, Oligofructose, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Organic Agave Inulin), Natural Flavors, Potassium Phosphate, Prune Powder (Prune, Calcium Stearate), Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative), Sea Salt, Magnesium Oxide, Soy Lecithin, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ferrous Fumarate, D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Vitamin A Palmitate, Niacinamide (Niacin), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D), Folic Acid, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Potassium Iodide, Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1)

See nutritional facts label


Continue onto part 6


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

 

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