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Visalus Body By Vi vs Herbalife Shakes – Which Supplement is Better?

Visalus Body By Vi vs Herbalife Shakes – Which Supplement is Better?

Visalus and Herbalife are two of the major players in the protein supplement and lifestyle fitness market. I’ll be honest, I’m not usually a fan of companies that use “distributors” in an MLM sort of way, but I know it’s not always fair to judge a product by it’s business model.

After hearing a lot of hype about both of these supplements, I decided to finally test them out for myself. I has a little hesitant to use my body as a guinea pig, but I wanted to prove a point to some of the people I train with in a straight up test.

In the following article, I’ve highlighted the key points of both Body By Vi  shakes – otherwise known as Visalus – and Herbalife Formula 1. I’ve also used a third supplement – Vega One – to put the previous two supplements into context. I’ve reviewed Vega One already here and stacked it up against Shakeology, in case you are interested in learning more about it.

Visalus (Body By Vi Shakes) Overview

ViSalus Vi Shape Nutritional Shake
$61.00 ($2.77 / Ounce)
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05/27/2022 08:05 am GMT

To help keep things simple and straightforward, I’ve compiled a “pros” and “cons” list of Visalus below:

Pros of Visalus

  • Good Price and Decent Value: For the number of servings you get (30) the $52.99 price tag (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) is not too bad. That comes out to roughly $1.76 per serving. As far as heavily marketed supplements go, this really is quite affordable. For example, the much hyped Shakeology comes in at over $4 per serving.
  • Low Calorie: Visalus only has 90 calories per serving. This is remarkably good if you are trying to shed pounds quickly. Even more than exercise, losing weight is about limiting what goes in.
  • Low Carb: I was pretty surprised to see that Visalus came in at just 7 grams of carbs per serving. This is lower than pretty much every meal replacement supplement that I have tried.
  • Decent Fiber: 5 grams of fiber is a pretty good serving. If you drink twice per day or supplement with other fiber-rich foods you should get ample fiber to ensure an efficient metabolism.
  • Low Sugar: I was shocked to see that Visalus had less than 1 gram of sugar per serving. The shake has a sweet undertone (see below).
  • However, on further investigation I found that Visalus contains sucralose (see cons section).
  • Tastes Nice: I can definitely see how people get hooked on this stuff. It’s highly mixable and highly drinkable, really like a nutritious milk shake depending on how you are taking it.
ViSalus Vi Shape Nutritional Shake
$61.00 ($2.77 / Ounce)
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05/27/2022 08:05 am GMT

Cons of Visalus

  • Scammy Marketing: Like Herbalife, Visalus has a “MLMish” style of promotion. You might have been approached by “promoters” of the product in the past who were clearly under-educated in nutrition.
  • This is because anyone who signs up for Visalus is quickly encouraged to promote the monthly plans to friends and family. They promise flashy cars and provide self-congratulatory seminars, but the more they push the more I question. 
  • Bloating and Gas? I’ve had a few people come to me after being on Visalus complaining of severe bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
  • The only reason I mentioned this is because I’ve seen it posted elsewhere online as well. Yes, you can shed the pounds, but I’m a little suspect of the idea that you can use Visalus as a meal replacement by itself.
  • Contains Preservatives: This might help explain some of the gas complaints. It’s not on the label, but Visalus has a significant amount of preservatives which I’m not a fan of. The average diet already has too much of this and I find using a supplement with preservatives is a bit counter-productive. Not my thing.
  • Soy Based: A lot of people hate on soy. I’m actually okay with it in moderation. However, soy protein has been shown to have negative effects over time, especially in men. It’s also not the most effective source of protein out there.
  • Contains Sucralose: You may have noticed one of my “pros” was the low sugar count, but there is a hidden cost. Again, deceptively not on the nutrition facts, Visalus uses sucralose to keep folks coming back for more. I personally don’t believe you can “trick” your body with sugar substitutes.
  • The only way to improve your health long term is to go with less sugar. This may be a controversial statement, but there is a growing chorus that does agree as well. There is mounting evidence that sucralose – in particular – has some potentially harmful side effects.
  • Not That Much Protein: In terms of the nutrition facts on the label, this is the first thing most people will see as a negative. I’m not a big fan of ingesting massive amounts of protein, but 12 grams is a bit light for a meal replacement shake. Plant based supplements sometimes get the reputation for being low in protein, but the ones I use have more protein per serving than Visalus (a casein and soy hybrid).

Herbalife Formula 1 Overview

Our Recommendation
Go With: Herbalife Shake Mix
$42.94 ($1.63 / Ounce)

This makes every calorie counts with the right essential nutrients to help you achieve your goals. As your healthy breakfast, have your Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix that is packed with nutrients.

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05/27/2022 05:59 am GMT

Using the same approach for Herbalife, I’ve separated the “pros” and “cons” below:

Pros of Herbalife

  • Affordable: At only $30-35 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) for a 30 serving container, the $1.06 cost per serving is pretty dirt cheap. The problem I’ve found is that getting a reliable price is difficult due to the decentralized structure of the Herbalife MLM business model. Distributors will sell it for various prices, but it’s not always available reliably online.
  • Low Calorie: Like Visalus, Herbalife only has 90 calories per serving. Again, this is a remarkably low number for a meal replacement formula. If you are looking to lose weight, this is one of the first things to look at.
  • Mixes Well: Herbalife has perfected the mixability of their formula. I found it easy to mix with any liquid. I tried milk, almond milk, and water.
Herbalife Formula 1 Shake Mix | Amazon
$42.95 ($1.63 / Ounce)

Before using this product, or beginning any weight-control program, it is advisable to consult a physician. This is especially important for individuals with chronic kidney problems or insulin-dependent diabetes. A healthy weight-loss program should include modest calorie intake, balanced diet, and regular physical activity.

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05/27/2022 10:54 am GMT

Cons of Herbalife

  • MLM: This three letter acronym stands of “Multi-Level Marketing”, otherwise known as one of those “businesses” where your friends or family start incessantly hounding you to buy something “through them”. Spending most of my time in and around gyms, I’ve begun to develop a nose for these types. You may have them casually strike up a conversation with you or try to give you advice.
  • It’s just a matter of time before the “upsell” occurs. I’ve found this “word of mouth” forced marketing to be really challenging for brands.
  • A lot of times the business model is hiding imperfections in the product. In this case, I do have some concerns with the underlying product and I don’t think it could be as successful on its own.
  • Aggressive Marketing: This is related to the “MLM” thing, but the people I’ve met who have promoted Herbalife are by and large very pushy. If you are on Herbalife and are not experiencing weight loss, the solution is generally more Herbalife. Because of the aggressive sales mentality, it’s hard to really know the truth about Herbalife.
  • Also Contains Sucralose: Gahhh! I can’t avoid it. I don’t know why they don’t just use sugar and quite trying to fake it. I was hoping Herbalife would take the high road, but nope!
  • Also Contains Soy: It’s actually the first ingredient. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of soy as the core ingredient. I’d encourage everyone to do their one research, however.
  • Low Protein Count: I was really turned off by the low protein per serving with Herbalife. 9 grams per serving is really not enough for a meal replacement shake. Yes, the calories are lower, but without adequate protein you will either A) need to consume more servings of Herbalife (probably what they want) or B) need to snake or eat in addition. This last point basically defeats the purpose of a meal replacement.
  • Higher Sodium: Salt is a cheap flavoring additive to make things taste good, or at least palatable. However, most of our diets already feature way too much sodium. Sodium content per serving is one of the key metrics I look for when evaluating a protein supplement. Herbalife Formula 1 has 95mg per serving, which is higher than the 75mg for Visalus and the 30mg for Vega One (the supplement I currently am using).
  • Higher Sugar: Herbalife also has the most sugar per serving at 9 grams. I wouldn’t be upset with this total if they didn’t ALSO use sucralose! But it’s really the worst case scenario here.

You are getting more sugar and more sucralose….

Other Options to Consider

Whenever I’m comparing two supplements, I sometimes like to bring in a third option to better evaluate the market. One of the supplements that I’ve been using a lot for the last few years is Vega One. As you can see in the comparison table below, Vega One is better than Herbalife or Body by Vi Shakes b y almost every key nutrition metric.

You’ll get more calories at 160 per serving, but these are GOOD calories from quality plant based ingredients. It’s also more expensive per serving than both Herbalife and Visalus, but I’ll pay the extra cost for my health. It’s about $53.50 per container here.

If you are into vegan protein supplements, I’d recommend that you check out my review of Garden of Life (RAW) protein here as well.

Overall Comparison Table

I’ve compared the Vega One, Herbalife, and Visalus below for an “at a glance” comparison.

 CaloriesSaturated FatSodiumCarbsFiberSugarsProteinPriceEstimated Cost Per Serving
Herbalife Formula 1 (30 servings)900g95mg13g3g9g9g(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)$1.06
Visalus Body By Vi (30 servings)900g75mg7g5g12g(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)$1.76
Vega One (20 servings)1600.5g30mg10g6g20g(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)$2.67

Herbalife vs Body By Vi Shakes – My Recommendation

If you are stuck deciding between Herbalife and Visalus, I’d lean towards Visalus for the better track record (higher customer reviews), higher impact ingredients (like protein), and lower “junk” like Sodium and Sugar. You can find the 24 serving Visalus bags here for a decent price.

While you can find Herbalife on the cheap at this listing, I’m not a huge fan of the low protein count (9 grams per serving), despite the affordability factor. While the cost per serving overall is cheap at $1.06/serving, you aren’t really getting enough protein to make it a top tier supplement.

However, my favorite supplement in this category is still Vega One. As you can see from the table above, it’s a better value for the money with minimal other “filler” ingredients like sugar and sodium. I’ve been ordering my containers at this listing.

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Last updated: December 16, 2019

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Kim Luper

Saturday 21st of November 2015

I been on Visalus as an occasional meal replacement (I use almond milk with it :)) since 2013. I recently met an Herbalife distributor and bought the three day trial pack to give it a try. I love the flavor of both products. I was concerned about the soy protein but it says soy isolate so I need to find out what that means. The packs in the kit are Formula 1 + PDM which is their protein drink mix. So basically, i'm assuming, you have to by another product but it does give you 17g of protein in a serving overall. Of course the carbs (15g), sodium (290mg), and saturated fat (2.5g) are higher as well but so is the fiber at 5g. The sugars are listed as 5 not 9g as you report. Perhaps they've improved it since your review? I've got lots of Visalus mix to use up but when I start to get low I'm thinking about looking into Herbalife further. After I look at the whole soy debate again of course. Thanks for your review. It helped me compare and gave me the incentive to do further research. Kim Luper

Kevin

Sunday 16th of August 2015

Let's get something straight right from the get go Herbalife goes under the best science tests from the best scientists ever brought together to form a product that works at a cellular level no other product comes even close so when it comes to any supplements there is 1 Company that stands alone and at the top of approx 90 countries HERBALIFE

Karla

Tuesday 23rd of June 2015

In looking for a comparison with Herbalife vs Vi I came across your review. I would like to be upfront and I am a Vi distributor. I LOVE my Vi products and have lost 52lbs already. I see a LOT of missing info from your review and if you are going to review something you should really give all the facts. The research on this wasn't done to it's fullest. I'd like to say that Vi only has 12 grams of protein because we have THREE proteins we use, here is NO mention of this. It is a patented blend called Tri-sorb, 2 types of Whey and 1 Soy. These are fast and slow absorbing proteins so your system has a chance to fully absorb the protein instead of just passing through you. We use Aminogen which also helps absorb protein into the system. Not all protein is created equal, just because something has a high protein count doesn't mean its good for you. It could easily be a "filler" protein which is only good for hair and nails. The Soy protein in these shakes have had the Flavonoids taken out through a water filtration process so there should be no "hormonal" issue in reference to men. The Sucralose in the ViShake is equivalent to about a 1/3 of a can of diet soda for the whole 30 serving pouch. You would have to drink well over 2,000 shakes a day for this to even be considered bad for the body. We are a Kosher certified product so it has gone through very stringent method of processing and ingredients used. Something very important which was not mentioned is that it takes 5 Herbalife products to our one ViShake to get the same equivalent balance of ingredients and nutrition. Here is over $200 in products you would need to buy from Herbalife to get to from the ViShake: Protein Shake, Fiber, Aminogen, MultiVitamin, Cell Activator & Probiotic. As you can see there is a LOT missing from your review in order for someone to make an educated decision. You seems to have an issue with MLM companies, not all are created equal either, Herbalife recently got sued, lost and settled on $125 million due to their unethical business practices. I can't speak for everyone however for me knowing that every dollar I make I get to direct impact someones life, to be healthier & have a transformation is amazing. We have a great comp plan and in this day and age when so many people are struggling there is nothing wrong with a Plan B that makes some income. Don't you realize that the real "pyramid scheme" is working for someone for 40+ yrs to fund their dreams not yours. It's their fancy car, boat, summer home you fund and you get nothing out of it but a few vacation days, a possible bonus and a raise when they tell you you can get one. Only 3% of the population are crazy enough to think they can change the world and well those are your top of the success ladder. I create my own salary. I hope the information is of value to you and will open your eyes to doing your research much better.