Pure Protein shake Review: Does it work?

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Expert rating: 3.1/5

Customer rating: stars-icon voted

Intro: What is it?

Pure Protein shake is a shake offered in powders, ready to drink bottles and cans, and in midrange to high amounts of protein. It’s made specifically for people that exercise.  It’s not made as a full meal replacement, the company admits it’s better as a in between meals snack.

There’s both 23 grams of protein versions, and 35 grams depending on the specific kind you get. The main focus that this shake intends to supply is helping people get extra energy for workouts. So does it have quality ingredients? What can you expect with supplementing with Pure Protein? In this review are all the important details you need to know about this brand.

Pure Protein Ingredients

Here is the French Vanilla:

Water Milk Protein Concentrate Calcium Caseinate Natural Flavors Artificial Flavors
Caramel Color Tricalcium Phosphate Dipotassium Phosphate Soybean Oil Sodium Citrate
Sucralose Carrageenan Acesulfame Potassium

There is some questionable additive found in this shake:

Artificial Flavors: A lab created ingredient added to help mimic the flavor of a natural food. It’s often extracted from common allergens; however, companies don’t have to disclose where this ingredient is sourced from.

Soybean Oil: A form of oil extracted from soybeans that is high in heart healthy polyunsaturated fats. Soy is often GMO unless otherwise stated.  This ingredient is also known to cause issues such as thyroid problems, estrogen production, hormone changes, and even blocked protein absorption.

Carrageenan: A thickener extracted from seaweed. This ingredient is a cheap additive often added to processed foods as a cheap fiber source. A study published in the Environ Health Perspective journal revealed that Carrageenan could cause:

gastrointestinal malignancy and inflammatory bowel disease”

Some studies have also shown that this additive causes tumors in mice.  5 other studies performed also showed this additive could cause ulcers, intestinal lesions, and colitis like diseases.

Sodium Citrate: Added to preserve food, this ingredient is also used medically as a laxative. When given to patients it’s offered in specific dosages in order to prevent side effects.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories 160 Total Fat 1g, 2% Cholesterol 15mg, 5% Sodium 150mg, 6% Potassium 280mg, 8%
Total Carbohydrate 2g, 1% Sugars 1g Protein 35g, 70% Calcium 90% Iron 4%
Phosphorus 50% Magnesium 6%


Considerably higher in calories than other meal replacements. This brand also offers 10 calories from fat. So the overall fat content can be calculated as:

10/160= 0.0626 times 100= 6% fat per serving.

This makes this brand a fairly low fat option.  However, it also makes it likely to lead to weight gain. As you’ll see in the Customer Opinions section, many have mentioned they gained weight while on Pure Protein.


There’s 0 grams of fiber added. This means that the appetite suppressing qualities all have to come from the protein.  Though there’s a high amount of protein in this blend, it’s not as beneficial without added fiber .Fiber helps promote proper digestion, and it helps foods be processed easier in the body.


Just one gram of sugar is offered which is good, however the added sweeteners aren’t as wholesome as they could be:

Sucralose: A noncaloric sweetener that the body does not properly absorb. It has been long criticized as causing dangerous side effects. According to a clinical study by Duke University, this additive can reduce healthy gut bacteria in mice, leads to weight gain, produces unhealthy pH levels in the intestines, and more. Science direct also published a study which showed Sucralose:

induced DNA damage in the colon”

Yes another study was conducted by the American Diabetes Association showed it could lead to:

“ Glycemic and Hormonal Responses”

This means it affects blood sugar negatively, and it produced unhealthy effects to hormones which affect mood.

Acesulfame Potassium: Artificial sweetener that is calorie free. It’s 200 times sweeter than plain sucrose. PLOS One released a study which showed there was a risk for:

altering neuro-metabolic functions”

This effect directly causes a negative impact on the brain, leading to possible changes in mood and other side effects.

There was also another study performed by the Oxford Journals which showed pregnant mice fed this ingredient would have children that craved sweets.

The Quality of Pure Protein’s protein

The higher 35 gram protein version drink has a protein blend consisting of:

Milk Protein Concentrate: An extract that has between 40% to 90% milk proteins.  An organization named Food and Water Watch mentions that this form of protein comes from countries which have different health standards than what the FDA sets forth. According to them, this ingredient needs:

“inspections and enforcement of sanitation standards”

This was specially noted after there was melamine found in infant formula.  Melamine is a potentially toxic additive which the FDA mentions can lead to:

kidney stones and kidney failure”

They also add this is potentially fatal. Milk Protein Concentrate is also essentially an extract of regular milk, which can be found in stores for much cheaper.

Calcium Caseinate: Protein taken from the casein found in either 1% or skim milk. It’s a slow acting protein that some drink before bed to sustain muscle.

Though high in protein, these 2 varietals are potentially harmful.  There’s also never any mention of the amino acid profile. Knowing how many amino acids is important, especially since these types of protein aren’t usually as beneficial as something like whey protein. Both Milk Protein Concentrate and Calcium Caseinate are cheap protein sources, which may be purchased for much cheaper than what’s offered here.

The Price and Quality of Pure Protein

A one serving size can cost $3.19, so 2 servings a day would cost $6.38.

They also offer a 12 and 36 pack as well.

This brand is considerably pricier than most meal replacements, even though it’s only meant as a snack. Overall, considering the less than quality protein, the use of artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors, it’s much more expensive than higher quality shakes.

The company does offer a renewal program for cheaper, however, it’s unknown for this company processed sensitive credit card information. Companies have been known to enroll people into monthly contracts to bind people to payments.

The Full Meal Replacement

The company mentions that this brand is:

not intended to be a replacement for an entire meal.”

This is strange considering how customers have complained about gaining weight, and this is likely due to the 160 calories per serving. This has even more calories than most full meal replacements.

They do say this shake is intended for people who are already active, so it makes sense there would be more calories. Still, since it’s not meant to replace meals, this can make it a powerful mass builder instead of a weight loss solution.

Being able to lose weight depends on limiting the amount of calories you eat. It’s estimated that 3500 calories burnt equals one pound.

To have to eat full meals while still drinking these shakes might make it harder to gain the benefits of a weight loss shake.

Lack of Key Nutrients

There are no hints of vitamin A, C, K, E, and other vital minerals. This is uncommon for a shake, since getting these key nutrients helps support the body when looking to lose weight.

It also means that you have to rely on whole foods, which defeats the purpose of a shake. The company admits Pure Protein is more of a snack, however, even snacks require some sort of nutrients.

You then have to calculate the exact amount of vitamins that you’re missing from this shake. You’re forced to regain everything you lose from this shake. This can be difficult, since there’s high amount of protein which may cause appetite suppression.


The company is run under the United States Nutrition, Inc. Their company information is available online. You can contact their customer service line Monday through Saturday, 9 to 7pm eastern time:

Phone Number: (800) 854- 5019

Address: 110 Orville Drive

Bohemia, NY 11716

Email: info@pureprotein.com

There wasn’t much useful information online about how the company operates. There was one lawsuit against the company for patent infringement, but no customer opinions have been left over whether or not the company is helpful to deal with. Usually businesses at least have some online footprint to track how they operate.

Customer Opinions

There are many reviews on the flavor and overall quality online. Here are some reviews from customers on Amazon.com:

“bitter undertone and chalky texture”

“nasty taste”

“Good for weight gain”

“stomach felt bloated and gross”

There are several different negative reviews on the product. The favorable opinions were of people who claimed it helped them gain weight. However, this shake is intended as a snack. There aren’t any other shakes I can think of that are both snacks, yet used as weight gainers.


There are many things to consider about this shake:

  • It’s intended as a snack, not a proper meal replacement: The company websites you should not use this as a full meal replacement, instead it’s intended as a snack in between meals .Considering the high amount of calories at 320 for 2 shakes, it’s considerably higher than most meal replacements. This high amount of calories can increase weight, and in fact many customers have reported they have not lost weight, but instead increased. Though mass builders are useful for some, it doesn’t make sense that it’s intended to be only a snack.
  • The quality of protein is limited: Though it has a higher than average amount if protein, it doesn’t come from a quality source. The protein added is from Calcium Caseinate and Milk Protein concentrate. Both of these ingredients have their own flaws. It’s also unknown what the full amino acid profile is for these ingredients. The amount of protein isn’t as important as the range of amino acids. It’s unknown if this provides the body with everything in needs to build lean muscle. These protein sources are also cheaper than more wholesome protein because they’re often added to processed foods.
  • There’s several artificial ingredients added: Additives like artificial flavors and Acesulfame potassium have both been shown to produce unwanted side effects. It’s unknown exactly where the artificial flavors are sourced from, and they may come from common allergens and GMO additives. Acesulfame Potassium has been linked to numerous potential side effects such as blood sugar problems and genetic defects. It’s unknown what may be possible though eating these ingredients in the long term.
  • Customers have mentioned they’ve gained weight, and that it leads to side effects: Several different negative customer experiences have been reported online. There have been many opinions left about the rate of side effects that includes stomach issues, nausea, weight gain, and much more. It’s unknown exactly what ingredients are causing these issues. Many of the additives are known to produce unwanted issues. For example, Carrageenan has been shown to lead to bowel disease and intestinal damage.
  • There’s a low amount of nutrients added: There’s no vitamin A, C, K,E or minerals such as copper, iodine, thiamine, and riboflavin to name a few. This shake is intended as a snack; however it’s still important to have a wide array of nutrients to help support the body. Considering that it has a higher than average amount of calories, this will require more effort to burn off. So it fails to provide the health aspects, instead it focuses more on providing bulking calories. Missing these key nutrients is reduces the overall quality, and it means you have to rely more on whole foods to help satisfy the bodies demands.

Pure Protein is not very well reviewed by customers, and it’s known to cause weight gain in some. There are also complaints about people who experienced side effects. This may be due to the artificial ingredients and the lack of quality sweeteners. Not only is this shake expensive, but it’s not a full meal replacement, even though it has a higher amount of calories than most shakes.


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