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Quick-fix protein shakes are a growing trend for those who wish to lose weight and improve their health. Frequently, people feel like they are out of options and are not sure where else to turn. Often consumers are attracted to a product that promises to increase their nutritional intake and help them shed some pounds, all while under the guise of making a healthy choice.
Regrettably, the majority of the claims surrounding supplemental protein shakes, such as those manufactured by ViSalus, are largely false.
Before starting any journey with a health product, it is essential for consumers to read-between-the-lines, search behind the mass-marketing-nonsense, and do thorough research. Although weight loss and a boost of energy may be the short-term results, the overall effect on your long-term health may suffer.
- 1 Key Features of Visalus Vi-Shape
- 2 “Questionable” Ingredients – Is Visalus Really a Healthy Alternative?
- 3 Visalus Alternative – 3 Substitutes for Visalus
- 4 Visalus Alternatives – At a Glance Comparison
Key Features of Visalus Vi-Shape
The Vi-Shape shake mix is a cake flavored protein supplement shake that contains twelve grams of protein per serving. A thirty-serving bag of the mix will run approximately $52.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), which works out to be about $1.76 per serving. The company claims that their shake mix “supports digestive health, bone health, muscles and provides amazing nutrition.”
Visalus advocates replacing two meals a day with their protein shake when actively trying to lose weight and replacing one meal per day once weight loss is achieved. Visalus also claims that their shakes are appropriate for children as young as four years old and, despite the harmful ingredients, are safe for pregnant women to consume.
Visalus boasts that their shake is an “unbeatable combination of great nutrition and great taste,” yet after perusing and analyzing the ingredient list it is glaringly obvious that this particular company has chosen to cut a lot of corners when it comes to the ingredients that they have deemed “nutritious”.
Not only does this cost-cutting ingredient list include a large percentage of fillers and additives, but several of the components used have been undeniably linked to severe health risks. Four-year-olds and pregnant women beware!
Let’s take a look at some of the harmful and destructive ingredients that are present in the Vi-Shape shake mix, despite the company’s claims to being devoted to the health and well-being of their customers:
“Questionable” Ingredients – Is Visalus Really a Healthy Alternative?
DiCalcium Phosphate – What is this? DiCalcium Phosphate is added to certain products to serve as a binder and to increase the calcium content of said products. Regular consumption of DiCalcium Phosphate, such as if one happens to be consuming it in a daily protein shake, can cause a host of gastrointestinal issues such as, but not limited to, stomach pain, nausea, and constipation.
DiCalcium Phosphate has also been proven to exacerbate and intensify existing health issues such as kidney stones, lung disease, and parathyroid disease.
Maltodextrin – Maltodextrin is typically derived from genetically modified corn unless cited otherwise, which it is not in the case with ViSalus Vi-Shape shakes. Although ViSalus does claim to use non-GMO soy, they do not mention a darn thing about the corn products utilized. Maltodextrin is often found in products because it is a corn-based sweetener and is therefore super inexpensive.
Maltodextrin is highly processed and has been associated with the overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria in the gut and is shown to increase the risk of inflammatory-related digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Sodium Caseinate – Sodium Caseinate is the chemically stabilized, highly-processed version of casein. Research has indicated that stabilizing casein, a protein found in milk, can produce toxic byproducts that act as anti-nutrients, inhibiting one’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. These toxic chemical by-products have been shown to wreak havoc on kidney and colon function.
Sucralose – Sucralose is a synthetic sweetener used as an alternative to sugar. Sucralose has been connected to a large list of health issues including headaches, digestive distress, and blurred vision. Sucralose has also been shown to disrupt the balance of friendly bacteria in the gut, which in itself can lead to other more serious health concerns.
Since gut-imbalance is a common reason that many avoid sugar in the first place, this is a bit ironic. Sucralose is a highly-chemicalized sweetener that is genetically closer to pesticides than sugar and should be completely avoided.
Artificial Flavors – Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to discern what a company has embedded in their product when they hide it behind the label “Artificial Flavors”. This tag has become a catch-all and presents a tremendous hindrance when it comes to product transparency.
Certain artificial flavoring agents can cause severe health issues and, unfortunately, it is difficult to know if a reaction will occur if you don’t know what is behind the label. Allergic reactions to artificial flavors are increasingly prevalent.
An entire book could be written about the health issues that have been linked to “artificial flavors”. If you don’t know what’s in it, as is the situation with the ViSalus shake mix, don’t buy it!
Dairy – This seems worth mentioning since this product is aggressively marketed as a soy protein shake, and users may not realize that it does, in fact, contain dairy. Dairy is one of the top food allergens, and many find themselves sensitivity to dairy products. If you are intolerant or allergic to dairy and are looking for an alternative, stay clear.
Soy Protein Isolate – If you find yourself suddenly experiencing symptoms related to hormonal imbalances, erectile dysfunction, or mineral depletion, Soy Protein Isolate may be the underlying reason. In addition to the predicaments already mentioned, Soy Protein Isolate has been linked to thyroid dysfunction and infertility for both females and males.
After reading all of the risks associated with these ingredients, you can likely deduce this for yourself – the Vi-Shape shake mix is not the miracle drink that Visalus peddlers claim it is. So are there any healthier choices out there?
When evaluating any health product, one key thing to remember, above all else, is to examine the ingredient list. It should be short, simple, and should consist of genuine food-based ingredients – not chemicals.
If there is an ingredient that you don’t instantly recognize, do some preliminary research to find out what it is before choosing to put this product in your body. Let’s take a look at a few of the companies out there that provide source-transparency, and real food-based protein supplements.
Visalus Alternative – 3 Substitutes for Visalus
Tera’s Organic Whey Protein
Tera’s Organic Whey provides a versatile selection of flavor offerings in an organic protein shake mix with minimal ingredients. Containing at least 20 grams of protein per serving, all whey used in these products is sourced from grass-fed cows and the products are certified non-GMO.
Tera’s Whey contains no artificial ingredients. To show how unnecessary other ingredients are when it comes to protein mixes, Tera’s has formulated their plain shake with just two ingredients: organic sunflower lecithin and organic dairy whey protein concentrate. Their other flavors add ingredients such as organic stevia leaf and organic vanilla.
For those sensitive to cow milk, a goat milk whey is available that might be better tolerated. Tera’s Organic Whey retails for approximately $2.33 per serving. (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Nutiva’s Hemp Protein
Need a completely vegan protein supplement? Then Nutiva’s Hemp Protein might provide the answer that you have been looking for. This powder is water soluble and can be easily mixed with water, alternative milks, or tossed in with your favorite morning shake. Nutiva’s Hemp Protein is certified organic, and is free of chemicals, GMO’s, artificial ingredients, gluten, and sugar.
Within this one ingredient, hemp powder, is found magnesium, zinc, iron and nine amino acids. Expect to spend $21.00 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) on a 30 serving container, or approximately $0.73 per serving with this protein supplement.
Garden of Life Raw Protein
Another contender for a plant-based source of power protein is Garden of Life Raw Protein. This protein powder is available in original, vanilla, vanilla chai and chocolate, and provides 17 grams of protein per serving. The base consists of primarily sprouted seeds and nuts, and it adds a select few minimal ingredients to increase health benefits.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics will aid in the digestive process, thereby increasing the retention of valuable nutrients. With 100% of daily Vitamin D, an essential in which most of us are lacking, you may find yourself with more energy and increased immune system function. Expect to spend about $1.35 per serving, or $37.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) for a 28 serving container.
Garden of Life Raw Protein contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives, gluten, or GMOs.
Visalus Alternatives – At a Glance Comparison
For a better sense of how these alternatives stack up against Visalus, I’ve included a table below highlighting the key ingredients and pricing differences.
|Calories||Saturated Fat||Sodium||Carbs||Fiber||Sugars||Protein||Price||Estimated Cost Per Serving|
|Visalus Vi-Shape||90||0g||75mg||7g||5g||<1g||12g||Click here for latest||$1.76|
|Garden of Life||155||1g||60mg||15g||6g||3g||17g||Click here for latest||$1.35|
|Nutiva Hemp||90||0g||0mg||9g||8g||1g||15g||Click here for latest||$0.73|
|Tera's Whey||110||1g||50mg||4g||0g||4g||21g||Click here for latest||$2.33|
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.