Protein powder and protein shakes are a great way to receive much need nutritional support without having to eat large meals. When it comes to protein, there are a lot of different types and forms available for consumption on the market. Before ingesting a protein supplement, it’s important that you read the reviews regarding the product and also inspect the ingredients label to ensure that you’re not consuming any potentially harmful substances.
One really popular protein supplement brand is Visuals, Visuals offers a wide range of protein mixes, powders, and drinks formulated to help you stay in shape and lose weight. Visuals protein supplements contain high amounts of protein per serving and use a combination of whey and soy protein. While this may sound like a good thing, mixing animal protein and plant-based protein essentially cancels out the intended purpose of both.
Animal protein contains a lot of naturally occurring fat and sugar which is then passed into your body once consumed. Plant-based protein like soy doesn’t contain any of these added variables so you receive a pure and natural source of nutrition. By combining the two, Visuals protein supplements ruin the quality of soy plant protein in the products and intertwine unhealthy animal products with all-natural minerals.
This can lead to complications if you have a sensitive digestive system or are not used to taking protein on a regular basis. While most people think that Visuals protein supplements are pure and all-natural, the truth is they contain a lot of synthetic compounds and other substances. Visuals protein supplements claim to be non-GMO and vegetarian-friendly however some of the ingredients raise an eyebrow.
Visuals protein supplement are marketed as a low-sodium pow-sugar protein option that provides maximum nutritional value. What the product actually is, is a really healthy smoothie that contains slightly bit more beneficial ingredients than the traditional with the same processed ingredients included. If you’re someone who is serious about their health, there are other high-quality protein supplements available besides Visuals protein.
Below, you’ll find my top 3 recommendations for an all-natural premium protein supplement. All of the recommendations listed below are designed to help you lose weight, sustain muscle, increase digestive health, and more. Read each product review closely so that you can decide on the right protein supplement to meet your fitness goals.
- 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
- 5 Final Say
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?
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 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 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 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.
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!
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.
ISO100 protein is a high-quality whey protein isolate that packs 25g of protein per serving. ISO100 protein contains 5.5g of BCAA per serving which is great for muscle building and weight management. ISO100 protein uses a low-sugar formula designed to provide you with a pure and clean source of premium protein. ISO100 protein is designed with a low carbohydrate and fat composition to reduce the number of nutrients that your body has to break down before absorption. This allows you to maximize your nutrition intake and feel a boost in energy almost instantly. ISO100 does not contain any artificial flavors or colors and comes in twelve flavors including natural chocolate and natural vanilla. ISO100 protein powder is ideal for making protein shakes and other drinks because it mixes well with various substances.
Syntha-6 is a premium protein blend that contains 10g of essential amino acids per serving. Syntha-6 is a high-performance protein supplement that is perfect for those who want to build muscle and maintain a lean look. Syntha-6 comes in a variety of flavors and it features a new cold-stone creamery series which allows you to get customizable flavor options. Syntha-6 packs 22g of protein per serving and is formulated to suit a variety of lifestyles from running to weight lifting. Syntha-6 contains milk, calcium, whey protein, sunflower creamer, and more to provide you with a complete source of total nutrition.
Signature 100% Whey Protein
Signature 100% Whey Protein is packed with tons of powerful BCAAs which help your body efficiently produce energy and cognitive ability. Signature 100% Whey Protein contains three different forms of protein so that you can receive your daily dose of nutrition in one sitting. Signature 100% Whey Protein is formulated to provide 25g of protein per serving which is more than enough to help you meet your desired fitness goals. Signature 100% Whey Protein uses whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate in order to promote fast absorption and balanced protein intake. Signature 100% Whey Protein also contains digestive enzymes which have been clinically proven to increase amino acid intake into the bloodstream by 20%.
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|
|TERA’S ORGANIC WHEY PROTEIN||110||1g||50mg||4g||0g||4g||21g||Click here for latest||$2.33|
|NUTIVA HEMP PROTEIN||90||0g||0mg||9g||8g||1g||15g||Click here for latest||$0.73|
|GARDEN OF LIFE RAW PROTEIN||155||1g||60mg||15g||6g||3g||17g||Click here for latest||$1.35|
|ISO100||110||1g||160g||1g||0g||1g||25g||Check here for latest||$0.9|
|SYNTHA-6||200||2g||220g||15g||5g||2g||22g||Check here for latest||$0.9|
|SIGNATURE 100% WHEY PROTEIN||110||0g||190mg||2g||1g||0g||25g||Click here for latest||$1.05|
If you were thinking about using Visuals protein formulas before, think again. All of the protein supplements mentioned above are far greater sources that essentially use the same protein base as Visuals protein supplements with more added benefits. If you’re going to pay for protein, you want to make sure that it’s a high-quality source. Protein supplements can be used as a standalone meal replacement or in combination with your existing diet for maximum results.
Regardless of what your intended fitness goals are, a premium protein product will only help you achieve them faster. Make sure that you use a protein supplement which provides ingredients that are safe, digestible, and non-toxic. By outlining a clearly defined health plan, you can approach protein supplements with more of a keen eye avoiding ones which lack the nutritional value you need.
Whether it’s building muscle, dieting, weight loss, or simply maintaining your body, protein supplements provide a direct source of energy that helps your body function at optimal capacity. Use all of the information in this article to help you locate the right protein supplement that is best suited for your diet and activity level.
By implementing a high-quality source of protein into your diet, you can cut down on harmful animal products or other substances which may be adversely affecting your health. Protein supplements have become an integral part of fitness worldwide and for good reason, nothing beats a clean and direct source of premium nutrition.
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.