Lean Body shake Review: Does it work?

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Expert rating: 2.9/5

Customer rating: stars-icon voted

Intro: What is it?

Lean Body shake is a meal replacement intended for maximum muscle growth. It’s heavily marketed towards athletes, and in fact it has 40 grams of protein per serving.

There’s Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors.  It claims to not only taste good, but that it’s good for losing weight without sacrificing muscle. How useful is it really? To find out, continue reading below.

Lean Body shake Ingredients

Here’s Lean Body Vanilla Ice Cream’s ingredients:

Cross Flow Micro Ultrafiltered Whey Protein Concentrate Soy Protein Isolate Cross Flow Micro Ultrafiltered Whey Protein Isolate Milk Protein Isolate Glutamine Peptides
Sunflower Oil High Oleic Sunflower Oil Corn Syrup Solids Sodium Caseinate Mono and Diglicerydes
Dipotassium Phosphate Tricalcium Phosphate Soy Lecithin Tocopherols MCT Oil
Flaxseed Oil Borage Oil Polydextrose Fibersol 2 Fiber Cellulose Gum
Oat Flour Rice Bran Natural Flavors Artificial Flavors Di-Calcium Phosphate
Magnesium Oxide Ascorbic Acid Vitamin E Acetate Niacinamide Electrolytic Iron
Zinc Oxide D-Calcium Pantothenate Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Copper Gluconate Riboflavin
Vitamin A Acetate Thiamin Mononitrate Folic Acid Potassium Iodide Cyanocobalamin
Fructose Salt Sucralose Acesulfame Potassium

Here’s some facts about the ingredients used:

Glutamine Peptides: Amino acid that’ already created in the body. When supplementing with large amounts it’s known to potentially cause stomach problems.  It’s similar to MSG, which is known to cause allergic reactions in some people. High amounts are also known to cause stress to the liver and kidneys.

Borage Oil: A rich source of the fatty acid GLA.  Studies show it can increase the risk for bleeding, and it can increase bruising. Depending on what it’s sourced from, it can be hepatoxic, which means it can damage the liver.

Polydextrose: A soluble fiber which is also used to replace sugar and starch. It’s known to be poorly tolerated, and it can lead to stomach issues.

Copper Gluconate: Copper supplement often only prescribed in people with deficiencies. It’s known to cause rashes, hives, chest pain, breathing problems, and stomach pain.

Thaimine Mononitrate: Vitamin B1 alternative. It’s known to cause problems in people with liver issues.

Potassium Iodide: When unregulated, this ingredient can disrupt the thyroid and cause irreversible damage. It’s also known to potentially cause rashes and hives.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories 330 Calories from Fat 70 Total Fat 8g, 12% Saturated Fat 2.5g, 13% Cholesterol 90mg, 30%
Sodium 390mg, 16% Potassium 410mg, 12% Total Carbohydrates 24g, 8% Dietary Fiber 8g, 32% Sugars 7g,
Protein 40g, 80% Vitamin A 40% Vitamin C 35% Calcium 70% Iron 45%
Vitamin D 35% Vitamin E 35% Thiamin 40% Riboflavin 40% Niacin 35%
Vitamin B6 35% Folate  35% Vitamin B12 40% Biotin 35% Pantothenic Acid 35%
Phosphorus 50% Iodine 35% Magnesium 40% Zinc 35% Copper 40%
Chloride 6%


There’s a lot of calories, at 330 it’s more of a mass builder than a weight loss meal replacement. It makes sense since the company claims you can build extra muscle, and Lean Body is marketed towards those in the fitnesss community.

To find the amount of fat there’s a simple formula.

Calories from Fat divided by total calories:

70/330=0.21 times 100= 21% calories from fat per serving.

The FDA mentions anything 20% or above is considered a high fat food. Fat has the highest amount of calories than any other macronutrient as well. So there’s a lot of fattiness in this shake.

If you take the recommended 3 shakes a day you are getting 990 calories a day. Not only is this a large amount, but for people don’t exercise often, it would be difficult to get rid of.  According to LiveStrong.com, an average one hour gym session burns around 300 calories.


There’s exactly 7 grams, or 21 grams if you replace 3 meals a day. This comes from the following:

Corn Syrup Solids: Dehydrated form of corn syrup used as a cheap sweetener. It’s often extracted from GMO corn.

Fructose: Sugar found in fruits. When extracted from fruit it’s known to cause insulin resistance, obesity, and it can promote type 2 diabetes.

Sucralose: Non caloric sweetener  that some studies show has negative effects. One Duke University study saw almost half of the healthy gut bacteria destroyed in lab rats.  There’s also concerns over the effects it has on the environemnet. In waste water it’s shown Sucralose stays intact, and that it isn’t wiped away.

Acesulfame Potassium: Calorie free sweetener that’s around 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. The National Toxicology Program released a study which showed it could lead to carcinogenic effects in mice. Some studies have also shown it can cause damage to the nervous system.

The Quality of Lean Body shakes protein

Protein is one of the biggest things in this shake, at 40 grams a day, if you replace 2 meals a day you’re getting 160% of your daily value.

More importantly then quantity is quality, as not all protein sources contain the essential amino acids:

Cross Flow Micro Ultrafiltered Whey Protein Concentrate: Form of protein taken from an extract found in the cheese making process. It’s high in amino acids and slowly digests for a gradual spread of protein.

Soy Protein Isolate: At least 90% protein by weight, this soy protein is GMO, and it’s known to cause estrogen production. It can also make protein synthesis harder, so you might end up losing amino acids.

Cross Flow Micro Ultrafiltered Whey Protein Isolate: A quick acting protein source extracted from a protein found in the cheese making process.

Milk Protein Isolate: Concentrated form of milk protein that has between 40% to 90% protein. It’s often imported from countries like China and Mexico. The Food and Water Watch Organization has expressed concern over the lack of safety standards. In some cases the way it was treated destroyed many of the amino acids.

Glutamine Peptides: Non-essential amino acid which is known to cause many side effects such as nausea, bloating, and gas. It can also cause stress to the internal organs.

Sodium Caseinate: A protein found in milk, it’s known to be the most allergen causing milk protein source.  It’s commonly found in cheese.

Although the term Cross Flow Micro Ultrafiltered sounds scientific, it’s really just a term used to describe how it’s processed.   It’s used to help get rid of unwanted particles, but the only difference between it and other forms, is that this technique uses different filters.

In fact this processing method is actually fairly common and not unique to Lean Body.

The overall quality is decent considering there’s whey protein, but it’s tainted by having soy and other potentially unstable protein sources.

The Price and Quality of Lean Body Shake

It’s recommended to have one shake before a workout, after a workout, and before bed.

Since the average jug has 16 servings, and one serving is 2 scoops, there’s exactly 5 days, and 1 shakes worth of product in each container.

To figure out the cost there’s a simple formula, and we’ll round up the 5 shakes to almost 6:

$31.80 divided by 5.5=$5.78 per shake.

Unfortunately the price is higher than most meal replacements, and it’s full of artificial and potentially harmful sweeteners. There’s also issues with many of the ingredients, some of which can cause side effects.

Best Taste Award Myth

Each bottle, packet, and jug of Lean Body comes with a claim that they won the best taste award. While this is true, this award was handed down years ago, and they haven’t won it since.

This award is handed down by the American Culinary Institute just once a year.  Since Lean Body claims to have changed its formula, the taste has also changed.

There were several reviews from people who actually didn’t like the taste. Some found it to be too sweet tasting, and others found it hard to drink.

The Risk of Over supplementation

The company claims there’s over 8,000 mg of glutamine per serving. The problem with this amount is that once this ingredient goes over 5 grams, it can lead to an increase in ammonia.

Also, according to reports by Examine.com:

the optimal dosage is not known”

According to the same site, this ingredient is only known to cause positive effects in those who are deficient, such as vegans and vegetarians. So the potential overall risk outweighs any benefit it may have.

Another point to consider is the protein, if you take the recommended 3 servings a day, you’re getting 120 grams of protein, or 240% of your daily value. According to WebMd, there are studies showing a link between:

excess protein in the diet and kidney disease

So getting too much protein can lead to serious problems. It’s also not required in this high amount unless you’re spending tons of energy in the gym. This extra protein is often only needed by bodybuilders who greatly strain their muscles.


Labrada Nutrition makes this brand alongside other supplements for athletes.

Their contact information is listed on their website:

Phone Number: (800)832-9948

Address: 333 Northpark Central Drive Suite Z

Houston, Texas 77073

They’ve also had some issues with the FDA:

  • Bars made by the company were contaminated with salmonella. This lead to a voluntary recall.
  • The company pulled one of its supplements that contained DMAA; the FDA started targeting supplement companies who added this ingredient over safety concerns such as heart palpitations and organ damage.

Customer Opinions

Many reviews are available online. Quoted here are some of the most common opinions:

this product will always be a risk”

” biggest complaint is the stomach upset, gas and diarrhea”

“It doesn’t taste bad, just after you drink it you feel so nauseous”

“mixed well”

People who understood the ingredients often mentioned that some of the additives such as Sucralose have been shown to reduce healthy gut bacteria. There’s also reports of stomach issues such as nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.


After reviewing Lean Body, a few notable things need to be considered:

  • It has a mixture of proteins, some of which aren’t very safe or effective: Though there’s whey protein added, there’s also other additives which have their own set of problems. Milk Protein Concentrate has been criticized due to there being mixed reports about the safety and handling. Sodium Caseinate is known to be the most allergen causing milk source. Glutamine Peptides are already made in the body, and they can lead to side effects such as kidney damage. Soy Protein Isolate is often GMO, and it can produce estrogen and block the absorption of protein. Finally the marketing term Cross Flow Ultrafiltered is standard for whey protein, and it’s not unique to this brand.
  • The price is higher than most meal replamcenets: It’s incredibly pricy and at the recommended dosage of 3 shakes a day, each container only has 5 days and 1 shakes worth of product.
  • There’s a lot of unnecessary additives: Some of these ingredients are known to cause side effects. There’s also the possibility for some of them to to lead to organ damage, and irreversible damage to the thyroid.
  • Many calories are added, and it’s made for athlethic people: At 330 calories and since it’s recommended to take 3 shakes a day, you’re getting 990 calories, nearly half the calories an average person requires according to the USDA, which advises around 2,000 calories a day. This requires more energy on the customers part to ensure they’re able to burn it all off.
  • The sweeteners added can lead to obesity: Fructose and Corn Syrup Solids have both been linked to an increase risk for obesity. The other sweeteners Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose can damage gut bacteria, as well as alter the health of one’s DNA.

Many customers have known about the potential dangers of some of the ingredients found in Lean Body. There’s also concern over the high amount of calories, which qualifies this shake as being high fat according to the FDA.
Leaner options are available that have only quality protein.

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