- Cal 110
- Protein 15
- Fiber 5
- Carb 9
- Sugar 2
Good amount of protein & fiber; low sugar and carbs; high vitamins/minerals
Contains Sucralose and soy; Expensive
THRIVE SHAKE REVIEW
If you’ve heard of Thrive Shakes by Le-Vel, you may be curious as to if they can help you lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. The company is an MLM (or multi-level marketing company), therefore you can only purchase the products through local distributors. Due to this unique nature, you may have questions regarding how it all works, and we’ll help clear that up for you. Ultimately, we'll give you the answers you desire so you can make an informed decision.
Thrive Shake is part of a 3-step healthy lifestyle “experience” package that includes other health supplements. Wondering if the protein powder will make an effective, stand-alone meal replacement shake? We’ll examine the label to see how well it might help you meet your goals... Read on to learn more!
Thrive Shakes come in four flavors which are available year-round: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Apple Pie. Unfortunately, the taste reviews we found on these shakes weren’t so hot! We actually found more negative Thrive reviews on the taste/texture of the shakes than positive ones.
Some of the major taste complaints about the shake mentioned: (1)
- They’re way too sweet, probably due to the Sucralose in them
- They’re chalky, don’t blend well, and didn’t keep users full
- They leave an aftertaste
Of course, everyone has different tastes, and there were some users who disagreed with the negative feedback. Of those that did like the taste of the shakes, many mentioned that they mixed them with other ingredients into smoothies, so maybe that’s the key! If you like ultra-sweet, you might really enjoy these shakes!
Let’s take a look at the Thrive Vanilla Shake Label... Right away, there are some interesting features that stand out. This protein shake is low in sugar, and has a good amount of protein and fiber. There's also a large number of essential vitamins and minerals.
Everything looks promising until you move down to the actual product ingredients. The shake definitely contains some things we think need to be discussed in further detail, and that don’t support complete health.
110 Calories Per Serving
Monitoring your daily calories is one of the most effective tools for maintaining a healthy weight. It's also a great way to ensure you’re following a healthy daily diet. Many people love meal replacement shakes/protein shakes because they’re an easy way to keep your calories at a reasonable level – and track them.
Le-Vel Thrive Shakes have a nice low calorie amount per serving, at only 110. This is ideal, as you want your shake to have around 100 calories per serving for weight loss and health benefits. Though around 100 calories may seem low for an entire meal, you have to take into account the calories in the beverage that you’ll be combining with the shake mix. Plus, you want to aim for a low-calorie beverage.
You also may want to add other ingredients into your shakes to make healthy smoothies – all of which will have calories. Finally, meal replacement shakes are just one part of your diet. You should also be eating lots of nourishing whole foods, including healthy fats.
By having a meal replacement shake that’s low in calories (while still providing an abundance of nutrients), it allows you to include other nutritious foods in your diet and still lose weight.
15g of Protein Per Serving
Whether or not a shake works as an effective meal replacement comes down to how well-balanced the ingredients are, along with the quality of them; and protein is by far the most important ingredient in the entire shake.
You want a shake with 15-20g of protein per shake serving, since it’s one of the main sources of fuel in your meal. It's also a major macronutrient in your diet (along with carbs and fat).
Protein performs a variety of important functions in your body. The ones you'll likely notice most are increased energy, greater mental focus and a feeling of fullness after consumption. In addition, it helps boost your metabolism and ability to burn calories.
Level Thrive Shakes contain 15g of protein per shake serving – a great amount. The problem lies with the source of the protein… a blend that includes soy. Though some people consider soy a health food, there are various reasons to greatly limit this protein in your diet.
Thrive Shakes Contain a Protein Blend of Pea, Whey Concentrate & Soy
Let’s look first at the other sources of protein in Thrive Shakes: pea and whey concentrate.
Pea protein: Naturally vegan and hypoallergenic, it’s a high-quality protein and great source of iron that is easily digested. Health benefits include helping with muscle growth, increasing fullness after meals and promoting heart health. (2)
Whey protein concentrate: Whey is one of the two proteins in milk (with the other being casein), and many people use it to help build lean muscle mass and reduce body fat. There are different types of whey protein, and the concentrate form is the least processed, with more nutrients. However, it also has less protein and more fat and carbs than whey protein isolate. (3)
CONTROVERSIAL PROTEIN: SOY
Next, let’s take a look at soy. This protein is controversial for two major reasons, but let’s get the basics first…
Soy protein: Made from defatted soybean flakes that are dehydrated and turned into a powder, it contains very little fat and no cholesterol. Though soy protein can help with muscle growth, studies show that it’s inferior to whey in that regard. (4)
Problems with soy:
Contains Phytoestrogens: Soy naturally contains properties that mimic estrogen – so they introduce more of this hormone into your body after consumption. Though more studies need to be done to determine whether or not this poses a threat to human health, some research suggests that it does and that you should limit soy in your diet.
90% is Genetically-Modified: Almost all of the soy used today in the US is genetically modified – and GMO products are also controversial. The nature of a GMO product – which is created in a lab setting and altered to match specifically-desired specifications – isn’t natural. Though more research also needs to be done on GMO products, some studies show that eating these types of foods can alter the beneficial bacteria in your gut and disrupt digestive and immune health.
5g Fiber / 9g Carbs
Like protein, fiber is another essential element in meal replacement shakes, since it’s one of the most important aspects of healthy meals. While adult men need around 34g of fiber a day, adult women need about 28g (both depending on age); therefore your meals should be fiber-rich to meet these guidelines. (5)
Fiber is vital to healthy digestion, helping to streamline internal processes and prevent constipation and bloating throughout the day. It also helps balance blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol in the body; therefore, it may even help reduce the risk of some diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.
That being said, your shake should have around 5-10g of fiber per shake serving, and Thrive Shakes meet that with 5g per serving – giving you enough to assist your body with optimal processes.
Now for the carbs…
When it comes to the total amount of carbs you should have in a shake, it all depends on the dietary program you are currently following. People on low-carb diets, which have been shown to be beneficial for weight loss/weight management, will need low-carb shakes to support their goals.
Each Thrive Shake contains 9g of carbs (and 4g of net carbs) – a nice, low amount that makes it suitable for a low carb or keto diet.
SUGAR / ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
2g of Sugar / Includes Maltodextrin, Sucralose & Stevia
Sugar in any form should be avoided in a healthy dietary regimen, as it’s addictive, full of empty calories, and bad for your health. So it’s good that Thrive Shakes only include 2g of sugar per serving.
In addition, their shakes include Stevia, which is a natural, plant-based sugar substitute that’s a much better alternative to table sugar; however, they also include maltodextrin and Sucralose, two controversial ingredients.
Maltodextrin– This is a highly-processed carb-based additive/thickener you’ll find in many foods. Though some people have no problem with it, the fact that it’s very high on the glycemic index means that it can cause blood sugar spikes and may be harmful to diabetics. It’s also been shown to cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects in some. (6)
Sucralose– You know this artificial sweetener as Splenda, and you may be surprised to know that it’s about 600 times sweeter than regular table sugar! Though it’s safe for diabetics and shouldn’t have an effect on blood sugar levels, recent studies show that artificial sweeteners may not alert satiety signals in your brain. Therefore, you may end up eating more calories overall. Also, since these sugars are artificially-created, there are concerns that they may be unsafe for human consumption and lead to negative health effects. (7)
19 Vitamins and Minerals
When it comes to the nutrients in each shake, Thrive contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals that you would normally get from a healthy meal. Plus, many of them are at 40 or 50% of the recommended daily value – which is great.
Many companies leave a hefty vitamin/mineral blend out of their shakes, which reduces the overall quality and benefits. The best meal replacement shakes will mimic a clean, healthy meal. They'll provide the nutrients you need for energy, increased metabolism, and more.
In addition to the vitamins and minerals, Thrive Shakes also include digestive enzymes to further help the absorption and digestibility of the shake, and probiotics for gut health.
Just a note that Thrive Shakes do include natural caffeine from black tea – which will definitely give you a boost. Thrive recommends that you have this shake in the morning (as part of a 3-step program), so you don’t mess up your sleep patterns.
You’ll also most likely want to replace your usual morning cup of coffee or tea with this, if you drink one. One user in Le-Vel Thrive reviews said that if she had any additional caffeine along with her Thrive Shake, she was “jumping out of her skin” from being overly caffeinated. (1)
COMPANY INFO (MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING COMPANY)
Le-Vel – the company behind Thrive – was started by Jason Camper and Paul Gravette. The duo “share a vision for premium products that offer an opportunity to live a premium lifestyle.” The “Thrive Experience” they created is an 8-week lifestyle system designed to help people enhance their physical and mental health and performance. Along with Thrive Shake, the experience also includes a supplement and skin patch with special technologies meant to assist with weight management, overall health and fitness results.
Le-Vel is also a multi-level marketing (MLM) company, so you can only buy your Thrive products through a local distributor in your area. There are positives and negatives to the MLM sales model…
For people who are passionate about Thrive products, it offers an opportunity to start their own business by selling the products while also getting theirs for free. But for beginners or those who just wish to purchase the product, it can sometimes be frustrating having to go through another person to get your items. Some people don’t like to buy from MLM companies because they feel like there is always pressure to make a purchase, or to buy more than they originally intended.
PRICE: THRIVE COST
Since Thrive is an MLM company, finding out the price per product is not that straightforward. Instead, we can look at the price for the total Thrive experience, which includes Thrive Shake and is a 3-product, 4-week system. These packs of products go from $100 to $140 for one person (couples pack for $200). At these prices, it’s about $3.57 to $5.00 per day for the whole Thrive Experience.
The final analysis on Thrive Shakes is two-sided. They offer a well-balanced blend of ingredients including good protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. This makes them effective as meal replacement shakes and for weight management. However, there are some controversial items on the label.
Though the shakes are low in sugar, they contain maltodextrin and Sucralose. Research shows these ingredients may cause unwanted side effects, and potentially have a negative impact on long-term health. In addition, the shake contains soy protein. Soy has estrogen-mimicking abilities and is mostly a genetically-modified product. These are two aspects that make it less than ideal in a healthy lifestyle shake!
Though some people liked the taste of these shakes, others said they were far too sweet. Plus, you have to go through a local distributor (or salesperson), in order to purchase Thrive products. Before you make a final decision, be sure to check out some additional shake reviews, below, including for our #1 rated weight loss shake, 310 Shake.
Thrive Shake Comparison: