- Cal 140
- Protein 10g
- Fiber 7g
- Carb 10g
- Sugar 0g
Price, popular brand, taste
Soy protein, Sucralose, artificial flavoring, carrageenan
ATKINS SHAKE REVIEW
Are you curious about the Atkins diet and shake? While this low-carb diet plan has been around since the ‘70s, it still has a flock of beloved followers. And while there are newer, more popular low-carb diets cycling around right now (like keto), Atkins is still going strong and steady.
Those who embark upon the Atkins diet plan make a commitment to follow one of their strict dietary regimens in order to lose weight. The company provides guidance for those on the diet in the form of online weight loss tools and detailed info on their website. They also offer a variety of Atkins food and drink products (that you can get online or in stores).
Among their dietary selections are Atkins Meal Replacement Shakes, which we will be reviewing today. In particular, we’ll be looking at the Atkins Vanilla Protein Powder– which is relatively new and provides an alternative to their ready-to-drink shakes.
So, how do these low-carb protein shakes match up to other popular options in the field? And how do they stack up as meal replacement shakes? Read on to learn more…
Whereas the Atkins ready-to-drink shakes come in a variety of different flavors, the protein powders only come in Milk Chocolate and Vanilla. Although this doesn’t leave much room for variety, user reviews show that many people enjoy the taste of the shakes – as simple as they are.
Some Atkins reviews regarding taste/texture report that the protein powders are: (1)
- Appetizing and filling
- Also perfect for baking
- Easy-to-mix in a shaker bottle
- Great with almond milk
- Not as good as the pre-made shakes
It seems most people enjoy the taste of the Atkins Shake protein powders (with many reviewers preferring the Chocolate flavor). And since you can also bake with them, it opens up a new realm of possibilities for sticking with your healthy diet while treating yourself.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in this shake…
ATKINS SHAKE INGREDIENTS
Taking a first glance at the shake label, we have a few concerns. Though it checks off a lot of boxes in terms of relevant nutrients, along with low calories, sugar and carbs, some of the ingredients are artificial or controversial. Read on to find out more…
100 Calories Per Serving
When it comes to how many calories you ideally want in a meal replacement shake, around 100 per serving is the ideal number. And this is exactly what you’ll find in an Atkins Shake. With this many calories, you have a lot of options for how to enjoy it. If you’re trying to lose a good amount of weight, you can have the shake with just water to keep the calorie count very low.
Or, you can mix the shake with healthy fruits, veggies and other ingredients to make a guilt-free smoothie. And you won’t have to worry about the calories jumping sky-high, even when adding high-fat, super-healthy foods like avocado, MCT oil, nut butters and more.
15g of Protein Per Serving
Protein is one of the most important aspects of meal replacement shakes, especially on Atkins or any other low-carb diet. You need the protein in order to give you energy, burn fat, boost metabolism and keep you full and satisfied.
The recommended amount of protein per day for the average (sedentary) man and woman is as follows: (2)
- 56g per day for the average sedentary man
- 46g per day for the average sedentary woman
But this means if you’re very active, or you’re trying to lose weight, you need to eat more. Studies show that boosting your protein intake can have positive effects for weight loss. (3)
Milk, Soy and Casein Blend
It’s interesting that the company uses three different proteins (milk, soy and casein) in this formula, simply because they’re two dairy proteins and one plant-based. Usually you’ll find one category or the other, to suit vegans/vegetarians or those that prefer milk-based proteins.
While milk and casein are popular proteins for building muscle, soy protein is controversial due to its potential negative health effects.
Here is a little bit about each protein, below:
This slow-digesting protein releases the “good stuff” your muscles need over a longer time period. For this reason, it’s great to take it before bedtime, for optimal recovery and muscle growth while you sleep. (4)
Milk contains more casein than whey, so it also digests slower, and you receive those benefits. But it’s only 90% protein (whereas casein has 100%), and contains fats and sugars in addition to casein and whey. (5)
Soy is controversial for a number of reasons, but it all depends on the type used in the product. For instance, raw organic soybeans may offer a number of health benefits. However, most of the soy used today is non-organic, processed soy – and around 90% is genetically modified. Consuming GMO foods can open you up to a whole stream of potential health problems, including the imbalance of vital gut bacteria – potentially lowering immunity and digestive function.
In addition, soy contains properties called phytoestrogens – which basically means they mimic estrogen in your body. As you can imagine, some studies show that this may have major health consequences for both males and females, including hormone disruption.
Fiber is another essential element in meal replacement shakes, since it helps keep you full but also helps minimize digestive issues, such as constipation. Getting enough fiber each day secures good bowl health, and helps your body naturally remove toxins. And these are just some of the main functions of fiber in the body!
Especially if you’re following a low-carb diet like the Atkins diet, you have to be careful that you get enough fiber – another reason it’s very important to make sure your meal shakes contain them. You get fiber naturally in many fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, but all of these are cut out or minimized on a low-carb dietary plan.
The Atkins Shake powder contains 5g of fiber per serving – a great amount. If you have this shake as a meal, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting enough fiber. You can also make a smoothie with additional low-carb, low-calorie veggies for even more of a fiber boost and benefits.
7g Carbs / 2g Net Carbs
Whereas you want your shake to have a good amount of fiber, you also want it to be low in overall carbohydrates – especially when you’re following a low-carb diet such as Atkins. Studies show that low-carb diets tend to work as effectively (if not more so) than low-fat diets for weight loss. And if new, healthy habits are followed, they can also assist with long-term weight management.
Along with the overall total carb count, the net carbs in each shake is important. You get the net carbs by subtracting the fiber amount by the total carbohydrate amount. With 7g total carbs, and only 2g net carbs, Atkins is an ideal low-carb shake option.
SUGAR CONTENT & TYPE
1g of Sugar / Sucralose
Moving onto the sugar content, this is definitely an ingredient you don’t want in your shakes! Sugar is not only addictive, but an overindulgence can lead to weight gain, obesity and even serious health problems in the long run.
Atkins Shakes only have 1g of sugar – which is great. The problem, however, is that the shakes contain Sucralose (Splenda) in order to give them their sweetness.
This is not unique, as many low-carb, processed food items contain Splenda and other artificial sweeteners as a substitute for high-calorie sugar. But research shows that these “fake sugars”- low-calorie as they may be – may not be so great for your health. (6)
Though the debate is ongoing, some studies show that an excess of Sucralose in your diet may actually have negative health consequences. In addition, the sweetener may even increase your appetite and cravings, especially for carb-like foods! And it can potentially stimulate fat storage and weight gain.
A safer option than artificial sweeteners is a natural sugar alternative, like Stevia. Studies show that this plant-based sweetener doesn’t spike appetite in the same way Sucralose may. (7)
24 Vitamins and Minerals
Another important aspect of diet shakes is the vitamin and mineral content. Since you’ll be having the shake as an actual meal, you ideally want it to have a good amount of added vitamins and minerals. And this is to make up for what you would normally get in a wholesome, nutritious meal.
Atkins Shake offers 24 vitamins and minerals – all at 20 to 35% daily recommended value. In addition, the shake includes nutrients that many people are commonly deficient in including vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium and iron.
What the shake doesn’t include is any added superfoods, digestive enzymes or probiotics to make it even healthier. However, many other shakes on our site, including our top-rated meal replacement, 310 Shake, does include additional ingredients for advanced health.
ATKINS SHAKE SIDE EFFECTS
If you experience any side effects after drinking Atkins Shakes, it’s likely either because you’re sensitive to the Sucralose or artificial flavoring in the shake, or because you’re new to low-carb living. Often your body needs time to adjust to a low-carb lifestyle, which can leave you feeling pretty awful at first.
Some potential side effects of artificial sweeteners in people who are sensitive to them include:
- Mood changes (like depression)
- Digestive troubles
Some symptoms you may experience when starting out on a low-carb diet include:
- Constipation (if not getting enough fiber)
- Trouble sleeping
- Sugar cravings
If you’re having uncomfortable symptoms directly after drinking a shake, it’s a good idea to stop consuming it for a few days and see if you notice any difference.
When comparing the Atkins Shake to other protein powder options in the field, it definitely comes in at a very low price. Atkins Shake (on the Atkins website) is $13.98 for one 15-serving canister – bringing the cost to $0.93 per serving.
Even though this is a much cheaper protein shake option than others, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some potentially lesser-quality, controversial ingredients. These include soy (non-organic, most likely GMO), Sucralose and artificial flavoring.
The Atkins Diet was started by cardiologist, Dr. Robert Atkins, in the 1970s, but has continued to grow and evolve. Currently, Atkins offers three unique dietary plans: Atkins 20 for those that have more than 40 lbs. to lose, Atkins 40 for those that have less to lose, and Atkins 100 for weight maintenance.
Along with Atkins Shakes, the company also offers Atkins bars, meal kits, frozen foods, meals and treats to help people with their low-carb dietary regimen.
ATKINS SHAKE REVIEW CONCLUSION
Especially if you’re currently following a low-carb or keto diet, Atkins Shakes are certainly not the worst option out there for a protein shake/meal replacement. The shakes offer a low-calorie/low-carb, quick meal option that still provides an ideal amount of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The problems come from some of the ingredients, including soy protein, an artificial sweetener, and even a highly-controversial additive called carrageenan. Though this thickening agent comes from natural seaweed, it’s been shown to cause digestive troubles in many people, and was almost voted to be removed from organic food labels.
Despite its shortcomings, many people like the taste of these shakes, and they’re very cheap. If you aren’t going to use them for the long-term – and they don’t cause any negative side effects – they might suit your short-term goals. But there are also many other shake choices available. Before you make a final decision, be sure to browse through additional in-depth shake reviews on this site.
Atkins Shake Comparison:
Protein quality : 7.0/10
10 grams of protein per serving, whey and soy protein
Appetite Suppressant : 7.8/10
7 grams of fiber
Taste : 7.9/10
Value : 7.6/10
$7.00 for a pack of 4 or $1.75 per shake