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Product Review: Protein Powders and Drinks Review -- for Body Building, Sports & Dieting
 

Initial Posting: 6/11/13  Updated 3/17/15 
Protein, Meal, and Diet Powders, Shakes, and Drinks Tested by ConsumerLab.com
31% of Protein Powders and Drinks Flunk Tests of Quality

Find Out Now If Yours Passed!


Alphabetical list of protein powder and protein drink brands in report
Slim Fast 3-2-1 Plan Shake Mix GNC Total Lean, Lean Shake 25 Rich Chocolate Nature's Plus Spiru-Tein Vanilla
Atkins Day Break Strawberry Banana Shake GNC Total Lean, Lean Shake Swiss Chocolate Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Egg
Body Fortress Whey Isolate Vanilla Creme Jay Robb Whey Protein Vanilla Prolab Advanced Essential Whey Milk Chocolate
Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein Smooth Vanilla Marked 100% Whey Protein Complex Gourmet Pure Protein Shake Cookies 'n Crème
EAS 100% Whey Protein Chocolate Marked Mass Gainer Gourmet Chocolate Shakeology Greenberry
Endurox R4 Fruit Punch Metagenics UltraMeal Rice Natural Chocolate Six Star Pro Nutrition Whey Protein Plus
Genisoy Soy Protein Shake Chocolate Met-Rx Engineered Nutrition Meal Replacement Solgar Whey To Go Vanilla
GNC AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 Muscletech Nitro Tech Milk Chocolate The Biggest Loser Protein Powder Vanilla Bean
GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Protein Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions Complete Protein Vitamin Twinlab Whey Fuel Triple Thick Chocolate
Make sure your protein powder or protein drink passed our test and is right for you!
Isn't your health worth it?
Protein from whey, soy, and/or rice is a key ingredient in powders and drinks for body-building, endurance, sports recovery, dieting, and meal-replacement. But which protein powders and protein drinks provide the best quality and value, and how do they compare nutritionally?

Our tests of protein powders and drinks revealed problems with quality of 5 of the 16 products selected for testing. Each of these problems was confirmed in a second, independent laboratory:
    • a protein powder from a popular brand was missing 16 grams of protein per scoop -- the majority of the protein it claimed to provide. Instead, it contained an extra 16 grams of carbohydrates (including an extra 3 grams of sugar)
    • a powdered meal replacement shake was contaminated with 12.7 mcg of lead per serving
    • a popular protein energy meal with spirulina had an extra 6.7 grams of carbohydrates (including an extra 4 grams of sugar) and an additional 25.7 calories per serving
    • a protein powder -- from a "GMP certified" facility -- claiming 0 cholesterol really had 10.2 mg
    • a protein supplement claiming 5 mg of cholesterol actually had 14.2 mg
The cost of an equivalent serving of protein from products approved for quality by ConsumerLab.com ranged from just 61 cents to over $5 -- showing how much you can save by comparing products.

You must subscribe to get the full test results for protein powders and drinks along with ConsumerLab.com recommendations and quality ratings. You will get results for 28 protein supplements: 16 selected by ConsumerLab.com and 12 others that passed voluntary certification testing.  

In this comprehensive report, you'll discover:
    • Which protein powders and drinks failed testing and which passed
    • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of protein supplements and foods
    • The pros and cons of different forms of protein, including whey protein (concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates) casein, soy protein and rice protein
    • How to get the best protein powder or drink at the lowest price
    • Ingredients you may want to avoid in protein powders and drinks

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ConsumerLab.com Answers -- for Protein Powders and Drinks Review -- for Body Building, Sports & Dieting
Question:
Can heat and humidity destroy whey protein and other sports nutrition supplements (e.g., creatine, BCAAs, digestive enzymes) during shipping or while storing at home? Get the answer >>

Question:
What is carrageenan? Should I be concerned that it is an ingredient in my supplement? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements are important after bariatric surgery (i.e., weight loss or stomach-reducing surgery)? Are there any I should avoid? Get the answer >>

Question:
Immunocal is much more expensive than other whey protein isolates - is it worth the extra cost? Get the answer >>
Update:
A product which had been deemed Not Approved in this Review, was subsequently reformulated. The newer version was tested, passed all quality criteria, and has been added to the Review as Approved. For details, see the Update at the top of the full Review.
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