PrintWhich Nutritional Shake is Really Best?

Widely read Internet shake comparisons often fall short on facts.

Widely read Internet shake comparisons often fall short on facts.

There are several popular nutritional shakes out on the market. Occasionally, a company looking to gain attention will draw comparisons between their products and well-known brands with quality products. Sometimes companies will even draw comparisons not based on any real facts—such an example can be found in a blog post entitled, “Weight Loss Protein Shakes Challenge: Isagenix IsaLean Shakes vs. ViSalus Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake”.

This blog post amusingly declares the Visalus Vi-Shape® shake the winner of its highly misleading Taste Challenge, Protein Challenge, Ingredient Challenge, and Cost Challenge. There was no third-party involved in the challenges, nor was there any scientific perspective applied that can back up any of the claims in the post! After repeated requests, we’ve decided to highlight the blog post’s obvious errors.

Taste Challenge

To start with, the blog post claims that IsaLean® Shake comes only in two flavors, which is incorrect because IsaLean Shake comes in four flavors: Natural Creamy Chocolate, Natural Creamy Vanilla, Rich Chocolate, French Vanilla (not to mention that IsaLean products are also offered as two IsaLean Soup flavors and several IsaLean Bar flavors). The post also declares their Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake is the “winner” because it comes as a customizable Sweet Cream flavor by mixing in fruits or “flavor mix-ins”.

The blog fails to mention the following points:

  • All IsaLean Shake flavors do taste fantastic alone (without any mix-ins) or after mixing in fruits.
  • Vi-Shape’s Sweet Cream flavor is a combination of Sucralose (an artificial sweetener) and artificial flavorings. It’s not all-natural, healthy goodness like an IsaLean Shake.
  • IsaLean Shake is a low-glycemic, complete meal replacement that contains balanced nutrients including mixed carbohydrates and sugars based on only natural ingredients and all-natural flavors.
  • The blog post clearly misses the mark by not basing the Taste Challenge on any kind of sensory analysis in a population. In other words, there is no scientific back-up to suggest that the ViSalus product tastes any better, only that it’s customizable.
  • Isagenix also offers unflavored IsaPro whey concentrate—not mentioned in the blog post. IsaPro also contains no artificial anything and can be easily mixed with fruits to create delicious high-protein smoothies of any flavor.

Clearly, the winner here is only Isagenix! Not only does IsaLean Shake popularity attest to its appeal, but it also provides quality nutrition.

Protein Challenge

The data the blog post uses to make its outlandish claim that somehow the protein in Vi-Shape shakes is the “fastest absorbed and utilized form of protein available” is not clear. Let us clarify: the statement is just simply wrong! It’s true that the Vi-Shape shake has whey protein hydrosylate and whey concentrate further down on the label, but these are not the primary ingredients. The first ingredient in the Vi-shape Shake label is soy protein, clearly inferior to whey protein. Whey is the first ingredient listed in the IsaLean Shake.

Each ridiculous claim in the blog post should only serve to discredit all their other claims. Another one is that the IsaLean Shake’s 23 grams of protein is based on a “30 year old technology, and it is less absorbable”—suggesting that their 12 grams (about half the amount in the IsaLean Shake and from inferior sources) is somehow going to be better for helping to maintain muscle mass. The science is clear on this one: the correct amount of protein to trigger a protein synthesis response is between 20 to 25 grams of protein and is dependent on the quality of the protein and the amounts of branched-chain amino acids. The greatest natural source of branched-chain amino acids is whey protein!

After a workout, it’s whey protein that is shown in studies to spur muscle growth, and it’s calcium caseinate that is shown to help maintain levels of branched-chain amino acids in the blood for sustained muscle synthesis. In addition, studies have also shown that a higher amount of protein is critical for supporting weight loss by satisfying appetite. The only winning choice here for real muscle growth and weight loss is Isagenix IsaLean Shake!

Let’s also not hesitate to remind where our protein sources come from (most companies won’t tell you where theirs is from): Isagenix only uses dairy protein produced in New Zealand, where dairy cows are never given artificial hormones and enjoy a quality life on the pasture. Their fresh milk is guided through a series of fine filters under low heat to separate whey from other dairy components such as fats and lactose. The gentle system is a cold process, uses no acids, and the protein remains in its natural state, undenatured, with protein folds left as they should be.

Ingredient Challenge

In its Ingredient Challenge, the blog post somewhat comically concedes that although IsaLean Shake contains several more ingredients  (including digestive enzymes, essential amino acids, 23 vitamins and minerals) that the Vi-Shape shake wins because “sometimes less is more!” The Vi-Shape shake is declared winner because it has fewer carbs, fewer calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. Fact is, the two beverages should never have been compared because they are different products. Isagenix IsaLean Shake is a complete meal replacement; the Vi-Shape is not. Yes, IsaLean Shake contains 240 calories of balanced protein, fats, and carbohydrates, because a meal should meet those basic requirements. It should also provide healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fats, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals as Isalean Shakes provides.

Here are the true facts behind the two products:

  • IsaLean Shake at 240 calories is a complete meal replacement with balanced amounts of high-quality protein, healthy fats, energy-boosting carbs, vitamins and minerals, and all-natural ingredients.
  • Vi-Shape shake at 90 calories is at best a snack or supplement, but cannot be called a meal-replacement. It’s soy protein with maltodextrin, Sucralose, artificial flavors, some mixing agents, and a sprinkling of vitamins and minerals.

As far as a complete comparison of Nutrition Facts Panels is concerned, you can clearly see that there is no comparison—as a nutritional meal replacement, IsaLean Shake comes out on top in every way. Again, if anything, the Vi-Shape shake should only be marketed as a protein supplement since it fails to provide all the nutrients necessary for living a healthy life without having to add milk and other ingredients. Even then, it does not provide the high-quality protein rich in branched-chain amino acids at levels that IsaLean Shake provides for maintaining muscle and supporting weight loss.

Isagenix IsaLean® Shake(natural creamy vanilla flavor) Visalus Vi-Shape®
(sweet cream flavor)
Calories 240 90 (not enough to meet requirements for a meal replacement)
Total Fat 5g 1g
Saturated Fat 1g 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 30 mg 15 mg
Sodium 115 mg 75 mg
Potassium 300 mg 125 mg
Carbohydrate 27 g 7 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g 5 g
Sugars 16 g <1 g (artificially sweetened)
Protein 23 g 12 g
Vitamin A 50% 30%
Vitamin C 40% 30%
Calcium 40% 30%
Iron 6% 5%
Vitamin D 80% 30%
Vitamin E 35% 30%
Vitamin K 30%
Thiamin 60% 30%
Riboflavin 70% 30%
Niacin 45% 30%
Vitamin B6 60% 30%
Folate 80% 30%
Vitamin B12 200% 30%
Biotin 45% 30%
Pantothenic Acid 40% 30%
Phosphorus 20% 30%
Iodine 40% 30%
Magnesium 40% 30%
Zinc 45% 30%
Selenium 40% 30%
Copper 50% 30%
Manganese 60% 30%
Chromium 80% 30%
Molybdenum 60% 30%

Cost Challenge

Lastly comes the Cost Challenge. The blog awards the Vi-Shape shake as winner for being only $1.67 per meal (once again, it’s not a real meal, only an artificially flavored soy protein supplement). What the blog fails to mention is that while IsaLean Shake at retail is around $3.20 a meal, its cost is $2.64 at the Associate and Preferred Customer price, which is the price that most Isagenix customers actually spend for their shakes.

IsaLean Shake also comes backed up with the Isagenix guarantee of quality and a commitment to “no compromise” products. What this means is that our customers know that they get what they pay for—besides initial inspection of raw materials, Isagenix goes the extra mile with Finished Product Safety Verification through independent contract laboratories. This means that every claimed nutrient is verified through independent-party testing ensuring potency. This verification process sets a high standard of integrity of our products and providing results to consumers.

Once again, clearly Isagenix has the upper hand here on price with a superior, meal replacement shake. And we haven’t even gotten to the part about the dedication of Isagenix to provide products based on science.

Science

Science was not mentioned in the blog post, so let’s go ahead and mention it now. Between the two beverages, Isagenix IsaLean Shake is the only one to have the right balance of ingredients supported by independent clinical studies showing that they support healthy weight loss (1-4).

The bottom line: Isagenix IsaLean Shake is superior to Vi-Shape shake in the science behind it, as a tool for weight management while holding on to muscle or producing muscle gains, as balanced nutrition for long-term health, in appeal of flavors, and in all-natural goodness.

Truly, IsaLean Shake comes out on top in every way!

References

1. Hughes VA, Frontera WR, Roubenoff R, Evans WJ, Singh MA. Longitudinal changes in body composition in older men and women: role of body weight change and physical activity. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:473-81.

2. Paddon-Jones D, Rasmussen BB. Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2009;12:86-90. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32831cef8b

3. Luhovyy BL, Akhavan T, Anderson GH. Whey proteins in the regulation of food intake and satiety. J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26:704S-12S.

4. Balliet M, Burke JR, Rasmussen O, Rockway S. Nine-day weight loss program with high protein shakes supplemented with herbal beverage in dry mix powder or liquid form on fasting days leads to healthy weight loss. J FASEB April 2010 (Meeting abstract Supplement) Ib335.

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