Designer Protein LITE shake Review: Does it work?

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Expert rating: 2.6/5

Customer rating: stars-icon voted

Intro: What is it?

Designer Protein LITE shake is a meal replacement meant to be a low calorie solution to real weight loss. It claims to not just be a healthy source of nutrition, but also a tasty mix.

It’s available in Chocolate Cookies & Cream, Vanilla Cupcake, Strawberry Sundae, and Tropical Sorbet. The company lists bone health, digestive health, and proper energy metabolizing as some of the benefits.  There’s also ingredients added to this blend which are commonly seen in weight loss supplements. So what kind of an effect does this shake have? Can it help you lose weight safely and effectively? The answer to these questions and more are answered in this Designer Protein LITE review.

Designer Protein LITE Ingredients

Here are the Chocolate Cookies & Cream additives:

Soy Protein Isolate Whey Protein Isolate Polydextrose Cocoa Alkalized Cellulose Gum
Natural Flavor Artificial Flavor Soy Lecithin Sucralose Garcinia Cambogia
Green Coffee Berry Calcium Phosphate Calcium Pantothenate Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Thiamin Mononitrate
Riboflavin Cholecalciferol

 Some questionable additives include:

Cocoa Alkalized: Processed cocoa with stripped fats and more of a mild flavor than regular cocoa.  It loses its nutritional value and according to a study by the US National Library of Medicine its:

flavanols are substantially reduced”

Therefore it’s a processed version of cocoa with much less nutrients.

Cellulose Gum: Thickener and stabilizer found in processed foods and things such as toothpaste, laxatives, and detergents. According to a study published by the international weekly journal of science, even small portions of this can:

low-grade inflammation and obesity/metabolic syndrome”

The same study showed it could lead to chronic bouts of inflammation, and an increase in body fat.

Artificial Flavor: Chemically altered ingredient used to give a certain flavor or smell. They are processed with solvents, preservatives, and other ingredients which aren’t required to be listed. Sometimes this can include potential contaminants which can cause rash, difficulty breathing, and hives.

Green Coffee Berry: Unroasted coffee beans which are added to produce metabolism boosting effects. It contains both caffeine and chlorogenic acid. Possible side effects can include vomiting, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, nausea, and insomnia. It’s also showed mixed results in clinical studies, some scientists believe the only effect it has is due to the caffeine.

Calcium Phosphate: Calcium found in the blood and milk of cows. Due to its low absorption rate, the Nutrition in Clinical Practice journal revealed that:

this form of calcium is not recommended”

Other forms of calcium are much better absorbed according to these studies. This brand is not properly processed when studied via clinical studies.

Pantothenic Acid: Vitamin B5 supplement which has been linked to a potential increase of panic attacks and adrenal fatigue.

Cholecalciferol: Vitamin D3 which is used as a rodenticide, since it damages the liver and hearts of rodents.  It can also potentially lead to renal failure, and cardiovascular damage.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories 60 Sodium 90mg, 4% Potassium 50mg, 1% Total Carbohydrate 5g, 2% Dietary Fiber 4g, 16%
Sugar 0.5g Protein 10g, 20% Calcium 15% Vitamin D 50% Thiamin 100%
Riboflavin 100% Vitamin B6 100% Pantothenic Acid 100% Phosphorus 28%

 Calories

Just 60 calories are provided, none of which come from fat. This makes this product unlikely to be a quality meal replacement, since it’s recommended to get some fat in order for the brain and body to function properly.

Sugar

Though there’s only 0.5 grams of sugar, the sweetness comes from the following:

Sucralose: Artificial sweetener that is up to 1,000 times sweeter than sucrose.  A study by ScienceDirect revealed that it could cause:

DNA damage in gastrointestinal organs”

Another study by the American Diabetes Association showed:

sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses”

These studies mentioned more information needs to be published to determine the full possible side effects. Due to the potential for it damaging DNA, this has also been linked to potential increases of cancer.

Polydextrose: A glucose extract which also acts as a soluble fiber.  A Study by Food Chem Toxicology revealed it could lead to:

flatus, bloating, loose stools and ultimately a frank diarrhea”

This was in small doses often added to processed foods.

The Quality of Designer Protein LITE’s protein

There’s a 10 grams mixture of the following:

Soy Protein Isolate: Defatted soybeans which provide at least 90% protein by weight. It’s considered a fast acting protein source that has all the amino acids. It’s been largely criticized for its numerous reported side effects.

There’s several Phytates found in soy. According to Health Research Funding, this can:

interfere with the nutrients’ absorption by your body.”

Phytic acid is also found which can block the intake of calcium, leading to brittle and weak bones.

Another worry is the amount of Hemagglutin found, this complex protein has been shown to:

“causes other proteins and cells to agglutinate, or clump together:

This can lead to a reduced intake of protein.  This may reduce the overall amino acid profile provided. One final concern is the estrogen effects soy may have. This can harm the natural production of hormones, and it may potentially lead to thyroid issues.

Whey Protein Isolate: Extracts taken from the cheese making process that produce whey, a high protein, easy to digest formula. It’s considered a well round source of amino acids, and it has all the essential aminos. Studies show it works better when combined with a Concentrate, to provide both slow and fasting protein.

The Price and Quality of Designer Protein LITE

One 15 serving container sells for $7.99. The total price for 2 shakes a day is:

$7.99/7.5= $1.06 per 2 shakes.

This cheap price is reflected by the quality of ingredients. With cheap sweeteners which may increase weight, artificial ingredients, potentially harmful additives, and an inferior soy protein.

Usually when the price of a meal replacement is low, this means quality is sacrificed. It’s likely why many of the ingredients her are cheap substitutes for more wholesome additives.

Claims of being University Tested

According to the manufacturer, Designer Protein LITE has been tested to produce lean muscle gains, and fat loss. They also add that this brand is:

considered by many to be the most researched protein available”

This statement can be easily verified by looking at the amount of clinical studies provided. The company fails to reproduce any of these studies, so it’s unknown if what they claim is true.

Though the company mentions the name of the universities, I couldn’t find one clinical study published anywhere. They just add the benefits of using this brand but without explaining what went into the clinical study.

Many times there’s exercise and dieting added to people who didn’t have any extreme lifestyle changes. It’s also never revealed what the daily rate of calories is, what the people’s backgrounds were, and how long the study was conducted for.

Determining all these facts are important in order to judge whether or not the studies were performed without bias, and with real results.  It’s also important to judge whether or not the clinical studies were performed through legitimate means.

According to the FAQ section of their website:

We are continuously participating in university and medical research”

It’s unknown if this is true since they fail to produce any proof.

The Full Meal Replacement

In order to qualify as a high quality meal replacement Web MD recommends only purchasing brands with:

“Fortified with a third of daily vitamins and minerals”

This means Designer Protein LITE fails to provide enough to quality as a proper meal replacement.  There’s no vitamin A, K, or E. Also missing are numerous minerals such as copper, iodine, selenium, magnesium, and more.

They also mention to avoid taking a meal replacement that:

“sounds like foreign chemicals found in a chemistry lab!”

Cellulose gum, Sucralose, and Artificial Ingredients are prime examples of that problem.

Without getting the full benefits of a meal replacement this brand will require further supplementation. This can be hard when you’re full but need to take more nutrients. This not only increases the overall price, but it can cause inadequacies if not taken seriously. Key vitamins and minerals are missing from this shake which is needed for the body to function properly.

Business

Designer Protein, LLC can be found through the following:

Phone Number: (800) 337-4463

Address: 2355 Camino Vida Roble

Carlsbad, California 92011

The company ran a nationwide recall due to a potential contaminant that got leaked into 3 of their meal replacement formulas. It’s unknown how this was allowed, or what steps have gone into place to ensure it won’t happen again.

Customer Opinions

There are nearly 200 reviews currently available on Amazon.com. Here is some of the most common type of opinions:

“Sucralose and artificial flavor added to this powder”

“Tastes okay, but ingredients are garbage”

“Can be too sweet”

“Thick, slimy, and barely drinkable”

Lack of consistency is one of the biggest complaints against this. People also mentioned they didn’t appreciate the addition of artificial and potentially harmful additives. There’s the common opinion that although it’s cheap in price, the quality of ingredients is low, and overall not worth it.

Conclusion

  • The quality of protein is lacking: There’s 2 major issues both with the lack of any protein concentrates for long lasting protein, and due to the GMO soy included. This additive has been linked to numerous issues. This may include a loss of protein intake, loss of vitamins and minerals, thyroid issues, overstimulation of estrogen, and even weight gain. There are even reports of chronic inflammation and metabolism disorders.
  • Some of the ingredients are known to cause side effects: Due to the addition of artificial flavors there’s the potential for allergic reactions. The thickeners added have been shown in mice to reduce metabolism and cause weight gain alongside chronic inflammation. Green coffee bean has also been reported to lead to many serious side effects such as panic attacks, increased heart rate, and mood changes. Soy is another ingredient linked to many serious side effects. Finally, the addition of artificial sweeteners has shown the possibility of causing metabolism disorders. The combined effect of all these ingredients isn’t known. The company fails to produce any clinical studies to suggest it’s safe or effective.
  • It’s lacing certain minerals: There are no amounts of vitamin K, E, or A. There’s also only small amounts of calcium, without any added iodine, copper, selenium and other minerals. This means it doesn’t fit the profile of a great meal replacement. It’s advised to get 1/3 of nutrients for a proper meal replacement. Since this brand fails to have any of some key nutrients, you’d be forced to find this ingredient via whole foods. This raises the overall price, and without these nutrients you may experience side effects.
  • Unlisted clinical studies: The company mentions that university clinical studies went into the making of this shake. However, they fail to produce any links to the mentioned studies. It’s unknown if this trial was actually unbiased, or what kind of a regiment the users were subjected to. Without knowing these key details its unknown what kind of total benefit can be gained. Since they fail to provide proof, there’s no good reason to believe studies showed positive effects.
  • Many customers have listed negative reviews: There are several opinions from disgruntled customers who didn’t appreciate the mix of ingredients. There’s concern over the addition on cheap filler ingredients. Some have also felt that the taste is far too artificial tasting. People who understood the nature of the ingredients also mentioned they didn’t appreciate it at all. Those who realized what the possible negative effects are of each ingredient didn’t feel like it was worth the price

Although there is added whey protein and the sugar content is low, there’s’ many processed additives, some of which have been linked to serious side effects. Overall, this brand fails to provide the nutrition that a proper meal replacement should offer.

Also, it’s poorly reviewed by customers due to the taste and quality of ingredients.

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