Boost Shake Review: Does it work?

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Expert rating: 2.7/5

Customer rating: stars-icon voted

Intro: What is it?

Boost shake is a partial meal replacement provided in a ready to drink bottle, as well as in powdered form available in Very Vanilla, Rich Chocolate, and Creamy Strawberry.

It’s available gluten free, with added antioxidants, and with a blend of probiotic ingredients. The company claims to back each shake with a great taste guarantee. So what’s the overall quality like? Can it actually help you lose weight? This review has all the information to decide whether or not Boost Shake is beneficial.

Boost Shake Replacement Ingredients

Here are the ingredients to their Original Very Vanilla:

Water Corn Syrup Sugar Milk Protein Concentrate Canola Oil
High Oleic Sunflower Oil Corn Oil Soy Protein Isolate Acacia Gum Fructooligosaccharides
Magnesium Phosphate Potassium Citrate Inulin Potassium Chloride Cellulose Gel
Cellulose Gum Salt Calcium Carbonate Soy Lecithin Sodium Ascorbate
Choline Bitartrate Natural Flavor Artificial Flavor Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate Calcium Phosphate
Ascorbic Acid Carrageenan Ferrous Sulfate Zinc Sulfate Purified Stevia Leaf Extract
Vitamin A Palminate Niacinamide Vitamin D3 Calcium Pantothenate Manganese Sulfate
Copper Sulfate Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Beta-Carotene Riboflavin Chromium Chloride
Folic Acid Biotin Potassium Iodide Phytonadione Sodium Selenite
Sodium Molybdate Vitamin B12


There are possible side effects and issues with some of the ingredients:

Sodium Citrate: Controls the acidity within food. It has a potential irritating effect on the stomach lining.

Potassium Chloride: Most commonly used as a fertilizer, this ingredient is given as a final step in the lethal injection process since it promotes cardiac arrest.

Calcium Carbonate: A cheap calcium supplement that is often given in exact dosage strength in order to avoid side effects. The New England Journal of Medicine released a study which showed it could lead to:

vomiting, abdominal pain and altered mental status”

Zinc Sulfate: Supplement that provides the mineral Zinc. It can potentially lead to stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. It’s also an eye irritant.

Copper Sulfate: Considered a skin irritant that’s also a source of copper. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safe and Health, just 11mg can cause toxic effects. It can also lead to stomach, liver, brain, kidney, and stomach injuries.

Sodium Selenite: A selenium supplement that is potentially toxic in high amounts.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories 240 Calories From Fat 35 Total Fat 4g, 6% Saturated Fat 1g, 5% Cholesterol 10mg, 3%
Sodium 150mg, 6% Potassium 460mg, 13% Total Carbohydrate 41g, 14% Dietary Fiber 3g, 12% Sugars 20g
Protein 10g, 20% Vitamin A 50% Vitamin C 100% Calcium 30% Iron 25%
Vitamin D 60% Vitamin E 100% Vitamin K 40% Thiamin 25% Riboflavin 25%
Vitamin B12 35% Biotin 25% Pantothenic Acid 25% Phosphorus 30% Iodine 25%
Magnesium 25% Zinc 30% Selenium 25% Copper 25% Manganese 35%
Chromium 25% Molybdenum 25% Chloride 8%


It’s significantly higher in calories than most meal replacements. 240 calories of which 35 calories come from fat. This means the total fat in each serving is:

35/240= 0.145 times 100= 14% fat per serving.

Overall, most of the calories are not from fat. This makes it average in terms of fat, since the FDA qualifies anything 20% or above as being a high fat food.

However, the amount of calories is high if you drink 2 shakes; it amounts to 480 calories in total.


There’s 3 grams of fiber that comes from things like Cellulose Gum, Gel, Acacia Gum, and Inulin from chicory.

Inulin: Fiber that is eaten up by bacteria in the colon. There are potential side effects such as miscarriage, bloating, loose stools, abdominal cramps, and increased bathroom time.

Acacia Gum: A thickener taken from the acacia tree. It can cause nausea, bloating, gas, and loose stools.

Cellulose Gum/Gel: Often found in processed foods and in toothpaste, laxatives, and detergent.  A study by the International weekly journal of science revealed that it caused:

low-grade inflammation and obesity/metabolic syndrome”

All these types of fiber are often found in processed foods, and they can potentially make weight loss harder. They’re also known to be cause allergic reactions in certain people.

The Quality of Boost Shake’s protein

The 10 grams of protein per serving comes from 2 sources:

Milk Protein Concentrate: Has between 40% to 90% protein by weight. This processed milk protein is often extracted of all its lactose, fats, and carbohydrates.  It’s been criticized by the Food and Water Watch Organization due to fears of contamination. According to their studies, it’s a:

unregulated protein source”

“MPC’S are largely unregulated”

They also claim it’s often not processed well enough, and that it could lead to melamine.  This chemical has been described by the FDA as potentially causing:

signs of kidney infection, and/or high blood pressure”

Soy Protein Isolate: Extracted from dried soybeans, this minimum 90% protein by weight ingredient has all the essential amino acids. It’s also most likely GMO, since soy is one of the most GMO crops in the world.  Soy also can contribute to estrogen, blocked protein absorption, and negative hormone changes.

There’s also no mention as to how many of the amino acids are provided. Without the right blend, it’s unknown how beneficial this shake is for retaining lean muscle and for providing the body with what it needs to function properly.

The Price and Quality of Boost Shake

It’s available in many retail chains and it goes for $28.44 for a pack of 24 on The daily price at 2 shakes a day is:

$28.44/12= $2.37 for 2 shakes a day.

Although low in price, this shake is high in sugar, has low quality protein, and contains many cheap minerals and vitamins which may cause side effects such as an increased risk for obesity.

High amounts of Sugar

One shake provides exactly 20 grams of sugar, and most of this shake is made up of sugar.

When reading an ingredients label it’s easy to figure out how much of one ingredient makes up the total food. The FDA makes suppliers list what is most available in a food first. So the major ingredients in Boost are listed in descending order as Water, Corn Syrup, and Sugar. A proper meal replacement lists protein first, not water and sugar.  Here’s what the added sweeteners can do:

Corn Syrup: Extract found in corn that is often GMO unless otherwise stated. It’s 100% glucose which is a simple sugar. When eaten via processed foods it’s known to lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Sugar: Basic name for simple carbohydrates that can be extracted from many sources. There’s no nutritional value to sugar, and it’s recommended for the average person to get a maximum of 30 grams a day.

Fructooligosaccharides: Alternative low calorie sweetener that can be extracted from many sources such as onions, asparagus, blue agave, and bananas. This ingredient feeds gut bacteria and can produce gas and bloating.

The American Heart Association has set a standard for the allowable limit that should be consumed to prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease:

Men: 9 teaspoons a day.

Women: 6 teaspoons a day.

Also, according to them, our bodies:

don’t need sugars to function properly”

4 grams equals one teaspoon, therefore one serving of Boost Shake has 5 teaspoons of sugar.

At 2 shakes a day you’re getting 10 teaspoons, which passes the recommended daily recommendation for both men and women. This can lead to serious problems, and even addiction.  A study published in Pub Med revealed that sugar can cause:

neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur with addictive drugs”

This means that it changes brain chemistry, causing a toxic addiction that is similar to that of drugs.

Lack of a Meal Replacement

The company lists this ingredient as being a:

“mini-meal or between-meal snack”

Even though it’s considerably higher in calories than other meal replacements at 240 calories, the company claims you still have to eat meals alongside these shakes.

Burning the total 480 calories provided in 2 shakes can be difficult when you consider how long it takes to burn these calories.

According to, it takes roughly 1 hour and 29 minutes for a 160 pound person to burn 480 calories when lifting weights.

It’s not explained why this shake is not considered an actual meal replacement shake.


Boost is created by the Nestlé S.A. company which is the largest company in the world via their earnings in food products. Their US customer service representatives can be reached below:

Phone Number: (800) 225-2270

Address: 800 N Brand Blvd

Glendale, CA 91203

The company has also had several controversies:

  • Seafood production that was manufactured in Thailand was operated through forced labor.
  • The company settled a $9 million dollar lawsuit for price fixing their chocolate. A 5 year look into the company found the CEO of the company responsible for criminal offenses in Canada.

Customer Opinion

Since Boost shake is available in many different retail stores, several customer reviews are available:

“Sugar content too high”

“there are processed ingredients and artificial things”

“nauseatingly sweet”

The most common complaints are about the high amount of sugar and the artificial taste, though some people did enjoy the elevated levels of sugar. It’s also been widely criticized for the lack of weight loss benefits.


There are many interesting things to consider about Boost shakes:

  • Most of the shake is simply sugar and water: The first couple of ingredients are Water, Corn Syrup, and Sugar. Most of this shake is comprised of sugar, and protein is only the 4th ingredient added. The FDA ensures companies list whatever the most substantial ingredients are first. So you end up paying for a highly sweetened beverage that can promote obesity, since at 2 shakes you far surpass the daily maximum limit placed on sugar.
  • Many of the ingredients are known to cause potential side effects: Some of the possible side effects include an increased risk for obesity, organ damage, toxic buildup, and metabolism disorders. Ingredients like Cellulose Gum/Gel and Copper Gluconate have been shown to potentially cause serious risks in lab settings. Many of the other additives also have possible risks. Many of the ingredients are GMO such as Corn Syrup, Soy Protein Isolate, and possibly even the sugar.
  • Customers have complained about the taste and nutritional value: From people who have read the nutritional label, there’s major concern about the lack of overall nutrition. Many felt that the additives found had a high amount of sweeteners, with a low quality of protein. There are also complaints about the artificial and chalky taste. The product has also been criticized by people due to the constant shipping of the wrong flavors.
  • It’s high in calories, and the company does not list it as a full meal replacement: The company claims this shake can be enjoyed as a “mini-meal or in between snack”, not as an actual meal replacement. Although, at 240 calories per serving it ranks high in calories than even full meal replacements. This might be due to the heavy marketing towards elderly people who have lost their appetite. This shake is intended to benefit people who need extra calories to keep their weight up. However, as a weight loss shake, you’d have to spend an hour in the gym to burn 300 calories, of which 2 shakes provides 480 calories.
  • The protein provided isn’t from the best sources: Not only is there no mention of the full amino acids provided in each serving, but the company adds GMO soy and Milk Protein Concentrate which has been criticized as being an unregulated protein according to the Food and Water Watch Organization. Though there’s 10 grams of protein per serving, both of these sources of protein have major flaws. Soy can also lead to estrogen production, and studies show it can potentially block the absorption of protein.

Though there’s a wide availability for this shake, it’s incredibly high in sugar and it’s unknown what the overall amino acids content is. Customers have also complained about the artificial taste, and there’s a higher than average amount of calories provided per serving.

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