Kai Meal Replacement shake is meant to prevent hunger, provide high protein, and it’s mixed into what claims to be an easy to process protein source. There’s mention that you’ll to able to promote lean muscle growth recovery at a rate greater than the competitors.
It’s currently available in both plant based protein and in whey protein. It’s made without GMO ingredients and features only natural ingredients. It claims to provide enzymes and a higher amino acid profile than other meal replacements. They claim a 4 times increase of protein absorption than other meal replacements. So is this actually true? What kind of results can you expect from Kai Meal Replacement shake? This full review provides all the information needed to make a decision on this shake.
Here are the Whey Vanilla ingredients:
|Whey Protein Concentrate||Non Fat Dry Milk||Chia||Natural IsoMalto Oligosaccharide||Tagotose|
|Stevia Extract||Monk Fruit Extract||Natural Flavor||Sunflower Oil||Maltodextrin|
|Sodium Caseinate||Mono & Diglycerides with Citric Acid||Tocopherols||Tri-Calcium Phosphate||Natural Flavor|
|55 Organic Non-GMO Superfood Blend||Guar Gum||Xanthan Gum||Carrageenan||Retinyl Palminate|
|Cholecalciferol||dl-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate||D-Biotin||Folic Acid||Niacinamide|
|Calcium||Pantothenic Acid||Thiamin HCL||Cyanocobalamin||Riboflavin|
|Pyridoxine HCL||Ascorbic Acid||Tricalcium Phosphate||Chromium Chloride||Potassium Iodide|
|Magnesium Oxide||Manganese Sulfate||Sodium Molybdate||Sodium Selenate||Zinc Oxide|
Some important ingredients to look out for:
Mono and Diglycerides: An emulsifier which helps fats and water mix together well. According to Live Strong.com, this ingredient:
“may contain trans fats”
Usually a product has to list exactly the amount of trans fats due to FDA laws; however this ingredient is the exception:
“even though mono- and Diglycerides may contain trans-fatty acids, (sic) they don’t have to be listed”
Limiting trans fats is important in order to reduce the risk for cardiovascular damage and artery clogging.
Carrageenan: Edible seaweed that is used as a thickener in processed foods. Multiple studies have listed possible side effects one may experience from this additive. NCBI listed their clinical findings which showed:
“Inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal malignancy”
“direct toxic effects”
There have been reports of it causing cancer as well.
Guar Gum: Processed guar beans added to help provide thickening and to act as a fiber source. The FDA requires companies to list their warning label for this ingredient mentioning it may cause a choking hazard. It’s known to potentially clog the throat and intestines.
Xanthan Gum: Commonly added thickener found in processed foods. Web MD mentions it may lead to:
“flu-like symptoms, nose and throat irritation, and lung problems”
Sodium Selenate: A selenium supplement that is often found in pesticides and as a fungicide. It is potentially toxic when swallowed or inhaled. Large amounts can cause problematic effects to the lung, liver, and kidneys. Other possible side effects may include hair loss, upset digestive tract, fatigue, and nerve damage.
Endohydrolyicpeptidase: I couldn’t find any research about this ingredient. When putting into a Google search it’s only featured on the Kai website. It’s unknown what this ingredient does.
Peptides are found in protein, but it’s unknown if this ingredient is an extract of amino acids.
|Calories 290||Calories From Fat 50||Total Fat 6g, 9%||Saturated Fat 1.5g, 8%||Cholesterol 55MG, 18%|
|Sodium 100mg, 4%||Total Carbohydrates 34g, 11%||Dietary Fiber 17g, 67%||Sugars 9g||Protein 25g|
|Vitamin A 60%||Vitamin C 50%||Calcium 40%||Iron 6%||Vitamin D 110%|
|Vitamin E 50%||Thiamin 100%||Riboflavin 100%||Niacin 100%||Vitamin B6 100%|
|Folate 100%||Vitamin B12 100%||Biotin 50%||Pantothenic Acid 100%||Iodine 25%|
|Magnesium 15%||Zinc 25%||Selenium 25%||Manganese 25%||Chromium 25%|
Of the high amount of 290 calories, 50 of them come from fat. This means the total fat is:
50/290= 0.17 times 100= 17% fat per serving.
This brand is also incredibly high on calories. Usually only mass builders have more than 200 calories per serving.
It’s estimated that a common one hour gym session burns around 300 calories. So on top of having to introduce daily exercise, at 2 shakes a day you’re getting 380 calories. This high amount can be difficult to burn.
The 9 grams of sugar come in at 18 at 2 shakes a day.
This high amount of sugar is not optimal when looking to lose weight. Sugar has been linked to cardiovascular damage and increased risk for obesity related illnesses.
There’s a total of 17 grams of fiber. Web MD mentions the daily intake should be:
Men: 38 grams a day.
Women: 25 grams a day.
So 2 shakes provides 34 grams, which surpasses the required amount for women by 9 grams. Too much fiber can lead to stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
For the whey blend there’s 25 grams of the following:
Whey Protein Concentrate: A 29% to 89% protein source which is cheaper than whey isolate. It also has less lactose than isolates.
Non Fat Dry Milk: At least 50% milk solids that have been evaporated. This form of milk is defatted, which studies show may actually increase weight gain since it’s not as filling. Penn State also showed it could lead to altered cholesterol. According to studies:
“oxidized cholesterol triggers a host of biological changes, leading to plaque formation”
The same study mentioned it’s unknown how much of it would be considered safe.
Chia: A seed providing between 15% to 25% protein by weight. It has been shown by Live Strong.com that the:
“digestibility of chia protein is very low.”
Therefore the protein isn’t well processed by the body.
The protein is intended to be highly more absorbent than other meal replacements. However, both chai seed and nonfat dry milk have been shown to be potentially harmful. They also fail to add whey protein isolate, which is a higher protein source than concentrate.
A 2 pound canister has 14 servings, and the brand is available through the manufacturers for $49.99. Therefore the daily price is:
$49.99/ 7= $7.14 for 2 shakes a day.
It’s considerably pricier than most meal replacements. Though it claims to provide a higher quality protein, 2 of the 3 aren’t as beneficial for optimal muscle growth. The other whey protein concentrate isn’t as beneficial then when it’s added next to isolates.
Also, many of the additives are known to cause side effects, and the fiber might cause digestive issues.
There are 55 non-GMO fermented ingredients meant to preserve and add to the strength of the nutrients. This includes ingredients such as carrot, papaya, sweet potato, and much more.
Though the brand mentions it’s processed in way that keeps the nutritional density, this isn’t true since the company reads vitamins and minerals.
The same type of nutrients such as vitamin A is reintroduced into Kai Meal Replacement. This means that it wouldn’t be enough to just add the super foods, since their nutritional profile has been reduced.
Carrots for example have around 167% vitamin C at just 50 grams, this brand has only 60% vitamin A. Including the various other ingredients that are high in this nutrient, it would also produce a greater amount had it not been processed. Therefore, the nutritional profile of this super food mix is inflated, since it’s not represented in micronutrients.
According to the manufacturers, they tested Kai Meal Replacement against what the companies claims are the top brands found:
“between the months of July 2014 and April 2015”
Though they never list the names of any of these brands. Without knowing this important detail, it’s unknown if the intended protein absorption benefits are true. Without being able to look at the ingredient listing of the competitors, it’s unknown if the brands they compared themselves to are actually any good.
They do add that they feature higher amounts of protein and fiber. However, a more important thing to compare is the quality of the protein and fiber. This brand doesn’t have the optimal mix of whey proteins, and their fiber comes from common ingredients used to thicken processed foods.
Silver Fern Brand makes this product and they can be reached below:
Phone Number: (888) 525-9605
Address: 510 South 200 West Suite #200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84075
Returns can only be made within 30 days for unopened packages, and this comes with a 5% restocking fee and shipping costs.
There wasn’t any other available information on how the company treats its customers.
There were just a few reviews available online, her ear some featured on Amazon.com:
“Couldn’t tolerate taste”
“Couldn’t stomach the taste”
“Does not mix well”
There aren’t many reviews available, but from what’s available it appears there was a low tolerance for the taste. The company unfortunately only offers returns on unopened products, therefore any and all complaints felt have to be dealt with only by the customer.
Many key points need to be considered about Kai Meal Replacement:
The lack of protein quality, poor use of common fibers, and the rate of sugar and fiber can potentially cause problems. The brand has also faced complaints for being difficult to drink according to customers. It’s also one of the priciest meal replacements per serving.
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