- Cal 90
- Protein 9g
- Fiber 3g
- Carb 13g
- Sugar 9g
Low in calories; low price; popular following
High sugar; low protein and fiber; contains soy protein and fructose
What is Herbalife?
Thinking of trying Herbalife Shakes to help you meet your weight goals? The company behind this shake, Herbalife Nutrition, classifies their shakes and other “health and nutrition products” as solutions you can use to live a healthy lifestyle on a busy schedule. But how healthy are they really?
We analyzed the ingredient label of the Herbalife Formula 1 Shake and found quite a few ingredients that in our opinions, don’t belong in a healthy diet.
Though Herbalife reviews show that many people enjoy the taste of these shakes, the real question is if they’re suitable for long-term health, and if they can help you manage a healthy weight.
Read on to find out more…
There were lots of mixed reviews on the taste of Herbalife protein powder shakes, but the majority of people seemed to really like them.
One of the major benefits of this shake is that it comes in a variety of interesting flavors to choose from. Herbalife shake flavors include Banana Caramel, French Vanilla, Dulce de Leche, Orange Cream and Mint Chocolate. Herbalife reviews showed that fans love the different flavors and being able to make new and exciting creations using Herbalife shake recipes.
Those that like the taste of these shakes said they’re like enjoying delicious desserts throughout the day! They enjoy the sweetness and indulgent flavors.
However, the people that don’t like the shakes said they’re too sweet or left an unpleasant aftertaste after drinking them. In addition, some people said the shakes simply tasted gross, and weren’t something they would want to drink every day. (1)
In order for a shake to be a healthy lifestyle product, it has to have clean ingredients on the label. And when looking at the Herbalife French Vanilla Formula 1 Shake label, there are definitely some big red flags suggesting it’s NOT the healthiest for you.
But before we get into those reg flags, let’s start with calories…
90 or 170 calories per serving
The Herbalife Vanilla Shake has only 90 calories per serving – a great amount for a meal replacement shake. However, the label also gives the calorie count for if you use 8 oz. of nonfat milk instead of water in your shake (which would bring the calorie count up to 170 calories per shake serving).
If Herbalife is suggesting you use milk in your shake, this significantly boosts the calorie count – and we do recommend a shake with a lower calorie count per serving.
Having that lower calorie amount (while still containing a great amount of nutrients) is preferred in a shake, in order to help you maintain a healthy weight for the long-term. It also gives you freedom to add other healthy ingredients info your shakes to make smoothies – without boosting the calories up too much.
If you do choose Herbalife weight loss shakes, we recommend you consume the shake powder with just water, so it’s a lower calorie beverage.
9g of protein per serving
Moving onto the protein amount in each shake, there is only 9g of protein in each Herbalife shake – which, in our opinions, is not enough to be a good meal replacement. Protein is one of the most important aspects of good diet shakes – without a sufficient amount, the shake will not boost your energy or metabolism, or satisfy you until your next meal.
As for the type of protein, we have some issues with Herbalife’s choice as well… the very first ingredient on the Herbalife label is “soy protein isolate”.
Herbalife Nutrition, the company behind Herbalife, considers soy a health food, even including a link on their site to read about the different farmers’ stories that cultivate the soy for their shakes.
However, in our opinions, soy is definitely not a health food, and the fact that it’s the number one ingredient in this shake is pretty concerning…
It’s true that there are mixed opinions on soy, with research showing there may be some benefits to consuming it, such as lowering cholesterol and reducing menopause symptoms.
However, there are also troubling potential negative effects of consuming soy…
For one, soy contains plant-based compounds called isoflavones, which mimic estrogen in the body. These isoflavones can upset hormone balance and cause potential health problems. Animal studies also show that soy may negatively impact thyroid function and male hormones, although so far human studies do not show this. (2)
The other major problem with soy is that 90% of the soy produced in the US is genetically modified. Many people avoid GMO products due to the possibility that they may have adverse effects on health. Therefore, if you do eat soy, aim to consume organic soy only, to avoid ingesting GMOs. Note that the soy in Herbalife shakes is not organic.
FIBER / CARBS
3g fiber / 13g carbs
Fiber is another extremely important ingredient in a good meal replacement shake, and Herbalife Shake doesn’t contain enough – at only 3g per shake serving. Fiber is necessary in a shake in order to fill you up and hold you over until your next meal. It also helps with proper digestion and assists your body’s natural detoxification processes. Ideally, your shake should have around 5g or more of fiber per shake serving.
Next, Herbalife Vanilla Shake has 13g of carbs per serving – which is high for a meal replacement shake. Ideally, you want your shake to be low in carbs to help you manage a healthy weight. In addition, many people prefer a low carb diet when trying to eat clean and healthy, so you want a shake that falls in line with that.
SUGAR – CONTAINS FRUCTOSE
9g of sugar per serving
Moving onto the sugar content in each shake, Herbalife shakes have entirely too much, and from an unhealthy source. Each Herbalife shake has 9g of sugar per serving!Plus, the SECOND ingredient on the label (that’s right, the one right after the first ingredient!), is fructose. That means that this type of sugar is extremely prominent in the shake.
So, Herbalife Nutrition markets the Formula 1 shake as a healthy lifestyle shake, yet each one is high in sugar (fructose)! This is quite a bit confusing to us…
Sugar in general is unhealthy because its high in calories, doesn’t contain beneficial nutrients, and promotes an increased appetite. Fructose, a type of sugar derived from fruit, is even worse for you than regular table sugar, in high amounts.
This is because fructose is only metabolized by the liver and your body can’t use it for energy. Therefore, in excess, fructose can potentially damage your liver and lead to disease. Too much fructose has also been linked to metabolic issues, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Fructose can also cause leptin resistance, which can throw your appetite and metabolism out of whack. (3)
CONTAINS AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR
It’s worth noting that this shake also includes an artificial sweetener. The fact that Herbalife Nutrition considers the Formula 1 Shake a healthy lifestyle shake is completely contradictory to the inclusion of this artificial flavor – since it isn’t natural or part of a clean, healthy diet.
There is also another ingredient in this shake you may want to stay away from…
Herbalife protein powder shakes also contain a controversial ingredient called carrageenan. Though this additive comes from a natural source, red seaweed, it’s been shown in animal studies to cause digestive distress stemming from inflammation.
Carrageenan is used as a thickener in many foods including ice cream, soy milk, sliced meats, cottage cheese and protein shakes.
Some of the side effects that some people have reported after consuming carrageenan include bloating, diarrhea, stomach cramps and more. And these same people found total relief (showing no more symptoms), after removing carrageenan from their diet! (4)
It’s probably better, therefore, to completely remove this “natural” ingredient from your diet, especially if you have a sensitive stomach or notice any reactions to it.
Herbalife Shakes also contain 21 vitamins and minerals at 8 to 30% of the recommended daily value. This is a positive aspect, since you will be having this shake in place of a meal – so it gives you the nutrients you need that you would normally get from a clean, healthy meal.
Some of the nutrients in the shake include:
Vitamin D– Supports healthy bones, teeth and immune system.
Calcium– Promotes strong bones and may protect against high blood pressure.
Riboflavin– Helps the body break down carbs, protein and fats to be used as energy.
Although they have a good amount of vitamins and minerals, what the shakes do not contain, however, is a superfood greens blend, or additional health-boosting ingredients, such as probiotics or digestive enzymes.
They do, however, include a few nutrient-packed ingredients (papaya, blueberry and pomegranate fruit powder). But many other shakes in this field (especially the ones marketed as healthy lifestyle shakes) include much, much more.
Our top-rated meal replacement shake, 310 Shake, contains a proprietary blend of highly-nutritious fruits and veggies including leafy greens like organic spinach and kale, and nutrient powerhouses like beet juice and organic cracked cell chlorella.
MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING COMPANY (MLM)
Herbalife Nutrition is a multi-level marketing company, which means that you can only buy Herbalife Protein Shakes and other Herbalife products from a distributor near you. This is usually inconvenient for most people, who would prefer the leisure of shopping for their products on their own.
In addition, many people are wary of purchasing from MLM companies, since there may be significant pressure to buy and also to sell the products.And others argue that the quality of the products actually isn’t as great as it would be from a regular e-commerce company, since the focus is on getting more sellers instead of developing the highest quality products.
Along with Herbalife Shakes, Herbalife Nutrition also offers dietary supplements, weight management tools, fitness products, Herbalife tea and skin and hair care items. The company considers itself a “global nutrition company whose purpose is to make the world healthier and happier.”
The company started in 1980 with a “mission for nutrition – changing people’s lives with great nutrition products and programs.” Today, the company has distributors in more than 90 countries.
Herbalife Customer Service comes in the form of one-on-one relationships with a Herbalife independent distributor.
On Herbalife.com, the French Vanilla protein shake is listed as $41.20 per serving. There are 30 servings in each container, therefore this shake is only $1.37 per shake serving.
This is very cheap for a meal replacement shake – and in this case, we think it speaks to the quality of the shake! As discussed, there were quite a few things that stood out as negatives on the ingredient label, and you can find much better, cleaner, healthier shakes for just a bit more.
Does Herbalife work?
Though Herbalife markets itself as a healthy lifestyle shake, we found very little to be truly healthy in these shakes. Not to mention that they don’t contain enough protein OR fiber to be a well-balanced, filling, energized meal replacement shake.
Each shake has only 9g of protein and 3g of fiber. In addition, it has a whopping 9g of sugar and 13g of carbs! This is definitely not ideal for a shake you’ll be having once or twice a day.
Though it does contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, the shake also has no additional superfood greens blend, digestive enzymes or probiotics that would make it a much healthier meal replacement.
And the shake also contains soy as its protein (which is the first ingredient listed on the label). Soy is a controversial protein that has estrogen-mimicking abilities in the body and may cause hormone disruption. In addition, 90% of the soy you’ll find in the US is actually GMO soy, unless it’s organic. Since the soy in Herbalife shakes is not listed as organic on the label, there is a good chance its GMO soy.
The second ingredient listed on the Herbalife label is fructose, a sugar that can potentially cause liver problems and other health issues in excess.
Herbalife protein shakes also include an artificial flavor and carrageenan – a controversial thickener that has been shown to cause gastrointestinal distress in some people.
Though many people like the taste of these shakes (saying they taste like desserts), they did not pass our assessment as a long-term health shake. And even though the shakes are a low price, it’s simply not worth it for the lower quality ingredients.
In our opinions, this is not your best choice for a meal replacement shake, and you should check out the other shake reviews on our site before you make a decision.
Herbalife vs. 310 Shake
Herbalife vs. Shakeology
Herbalife vs. Isagenix Shake
Protein quality : 10/10
9 grams of protein per serving, soy protein
Appetite Suppressant : 5.8/10
3 grams of fiber per serving
Taste : 7.9/10
Value : 10.0/10
$35.00 for 30-day supply or $1.17 per shake