Spiru-Tein shake Review: Does it work?

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Expert rating: 3.4/5

Customer rating: stars-icon voted

Intro: What is it?

Spiru-Tein is a meal replacement shake featuring only plant based protein. It claims to be a delicious treat, and it’s offered in many different sizes and flavors in powdered form.

The company claims this shake has all the essential minerals and vitamins to satisfy a full meal. How effective is this? Does it taste good and is it worth the price? Find out everything about Spiru-Tein in this in depth review.  

Spiru-Tein Ingredients

Listed here is their Vanilla flavor:

Rice Protein Pea Protein Isolated Soy Protein Fermented Soy Fructose
Maltodextrin Tri-calcium Phosphate Natural Vanilla Flavor Potassium Citrate Magnesium Oxide
Guar Gum Psyllium Oat Bran Microcrystalline Cellulose Spirulina
Vitamin C d-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate Choline Bitartrate Inositol Apple Pectin
Bee Pollen Niacinamide Vitamin A Palminate Zinc Oxide Manganese Sulfate
Ferrous Fumurate Calcium Pantothenate Lecithin Lemon Bioflavonoids Papaya
Bromelain Chlorophyll Pyridoxine HCI Riboflavin Thiamine HCI
Vitamin B12 Vitamin D Folic Acid Biotin Potassium Iodide
Chromium Chloride Sodium Selenite Sodium Molybdate

 Some things you need to watch out for in the ingredients:

Potassium Citrate: Often mixed with water to prevent irritation to the stomach lining.  It’s also known to produce mild symptoms such as digestive issues.

Potassium Iodide: Supplementing with this when unnecessary can lead to irreversible damage to the thyroid. It can also lead to fatigue, swelling in the neck and throat, rash, vomiting, stomach pain, tingling in the feet and hands, and fever. It’s considered an irritant that must be handled with caution.

Sodium Selenite: Water soluble selenium supplement that’s added to pet foods and it’s also used to make glass. It’s recommended to only take up to 3 grams a day, in order to avoid toxic effects.

Sodium Molybdate: Provides the essential mineral Molybdenum. Sodium Molybdate is used in fertilizer and it can explode when it makes contact with other types of minerals.

Spirulina: Blue green algae that is high in protein and nutrients. It’s often given to animals as supplementation to their feed. The National Institute of Health mentions there’s not enough evidence to suggest Spirulina has a benefit in humans. There have also been reports that there’s elevated levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic. Depending on how this ingredient is sourced, there could be harmful side effects.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories 99 Sodium 140mg, 6% Potassium 110mg, 3% Total Carbohydrate 11g, 4% Dietary Fiber 1g, 4%
Sugars 8g Other Carbohydrate 2g Protein 14g, 28% Vitamin A 100% Vitamin C 100%
Calcium 30% Iron 25% Vitamin D 100% Vitamin E 100% Thiamin 100%
Riboflavin 100% Niacin 100% Vitamin B6 100% Folic Acid 100% Vitamin B12 100%
Biotin 100% Pantothenic Acid 100% Phosphorus 20% Iodine 100% Magnesium 20%
Chromium 15% Molybdenum 25%

Calories

The amount of calories is low at just 99, none of which comes from fat. It’s typically uncommon for a meal replacement to have no fat, as fat is a good energy source which helps stimulate healthy development.

Sugars

8 grams of sugar are added which come from one sweetener:

Fructose:  Simple fruit sugar that’s absorbed quickly in the bloodstream. Studies show it can lead to cardiovascular disease, and it’s known to increase fat absorption.  It’s a cheap sweetener that is often added to processed foods. When taken via fruits it’s not as bad on health, however when extracted it’s known to be potentially harmful.

Dietary Fiber

It’s fairly low on fiber at just 1 gram. It comes from oat bran and psyllium. Psyllium is a potential choking hazard, and large amounts of water are recommended to avoid choking.

At one gram per serving most of the hunger suppression has to come from the protein.

The Quality of Spiru-Teins protein

14 grams is mixed into their proprietary non GMO blend:

Rice Protein: Has a low amount of the amino acid Lysine, which is required for healthy bones and it also, helps lower cholesterol and produce energy from fatty acids. Rice protein is quickly absorbed which may lead to diarrhea and stomach disturbances.

Pea Protein: Low in the amino acids Cysteine and Methionine. These are used to provide antioxidants, and to help other amino acids work better in the body. Pea protein tends to be higher in calories than other sources of protein, therefore watching your intake is necessary to avoid weight gain.

Soy Protein Isolate: Soy has been linked to promoting estrogen, limiting the absorption of protein, and causing an overactive thyroid. Even in non GMO form, there’s potential for an increase in hormone production.

Fermented Soy: It’s believed that fermenting soy reduces the estrogen forming compounds that regular soy has. It’s also lower in nutrients, though it’s meant to be better absorbed. There are conflicting reports on the benefits and negatives of this ingredient.

The reason why rice and pea protein is often mixed together is because they’re used to make up for each others lack of essential amino acids. Though there’s 14 grams of protein added, the overall quality is lacking due to the possibility of soy causing thyroid problems, and it can potentially increase estrogen. Both of these problems can make weight loss harder to maintain.

The Price and Quality of Spiru-Tein

Amazon.com has this product listed as costing $35.89 for 32 servings, or 16 shakes if you replace 2 meals a day.

To calculate the daily price we input a formula:

$35.89/16=$2.24 per each day.

It’s high in one of the worst sugars you can take for weight loss, and it’s low in fiber yet high in weak sources of protein. Overall, it’s not a very good price for what you’re getting.

The Problems with Soy and Pea Protein

Pea protein has something called purines, this increases the levels of uric acid in the blood, and this can result in gout.

Soy has 5 things you need to watch out for:

Phytoestrogens: A plant based ingredient found inside soy, it’s known to potentially disrupt the endocrine system and even produce estrogen. Elevated levels of estrogen can lead to mood swings and malfunctioning hormones. For women this might mean early menopause, change in periods, infertility and much more. For men it could reduce energy, stamina, and virility. Some studies show estrogens can lead to physical changes in the body, such as gynecomastia in men.

Purines: Much like pea protein, soy has elevated levels of this compound. The US National Institute of Health advises against high purine foods if you’re at risk for heart disease.

Pancreatic Cancer: Mice that were given soy flour suffered from pancreatic cancer. Depending on how the soy in this brand is treated, it may have compounds similar to the ones that cause pancreatic cancer.

Isoflavones: Found in high amounts in soy, studies show it can lead to breast cancer. It’s also not advised to take soy in women who are susceptible to breast cancer.

Goitrogens: Studies have linked this compound to issues with the thyroid. One study showed it lead to

impaired thyroid function”

This can potentially lead to constipation, fatigue, and thyroid enlargement. It’s also known to promote weight gain. It actually slows down metabolism and leaves people feeling cold. This sensation is brought on by a weakened immune system that can promote illnesses.

Another thing to watch out for is pregnant or nursing women. It’s been shown that taking soy while under these conditions can lead to sexual development problems in male children.

Low Amino Acids

The protein used in this meal replacement is plant based, and they even list all the amino acids that are typically found per serving.

Their listings for this is incredibly low, only 2 amino acids past the 10% daily value mark. So if you replace 2 meals a day, you’re going to have to get over 80% of your aminos through regular food. This can be hard to do when you’re forcing it in all through dinner and snacks.

The protein content is high, but more important than that is the quality, which in Spiru-Tein isn’t very good.

Business

Natures Plus creates over 1,000 vitamins and supplements. They can be reached through the following:

Telephone: (800) 235-7334

Address: 548 Broadhollow Road

Melville, New York 11747

They’ve had issues with both the FDA and FTC:

  • They had to recall batches of a mouthwash that was contaminated with bacteria. It was known to cause serious illness and even damage to the immune system.
  • A lawsuit was filed by the FTC accusing the company of making false, unproven claims about the effectiveness of one of their produxts. The company claimed it could cure ADHD symptoms in children.

Customer Opinions

Many reviews are available online. Here’s select quotes which tell the average opinion:

tasted like seaweed with the texture of snot”

“could barely get it down”

“tastes good”

“no chalky taste”

There’s conflicting opinions about the taste, some liked it while others felt it tasted too much like vegetables. One thing customers did agree on was that finding the right consistency was difficult. Many tried the recipe recommended by the company but it didn’t satisfy anyone’s taste buds. Trial and error play a big part in determining how to measure this meal replacement.

Conclusion

Here are some important things to consider about Spiru-Tein:

  • It features imcomplete proteins, and protein that may cause side effects: The added rice and pea protein do not have all the essential amino acids on their own. The added soy is non GMO which his good, but soy has been shown to cause numerous problems. It’s known to potentially produce estrogen, block the absorption of proteins, and deregulate the thyroid which is needed for weight loss. Furthermore, pea protein has high levels of purine which can lead to gout. All these ingredients mixed together may increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects.
  • The sugar added can possible prevent weight loss: Fructose is one of the most dangerous sweeteners to those looking to lose weight. It’s been linked to cardiovsascular disease, and it can cause fat buildup in the body. If you take 2 shakes a day you’re getting 16 grams of fructose sugar. It’s not as healthy as other options, and it’s a cheap alternative to more wholesome sweeteners.
  • One of the added ingredients can cause irreversible damage to the thyroid: Potassium Iodide is often advised to be taken using a regulated dose. It’s known to cause damage that you can’t repair if over supplemented. If it does damage your thyroid, it can make it nearly impossible to lose weight. This can also weaken the immune system, making it more likely that you’ll become sick.
  • The amino acid profile is low: Each canister of Spiru-Tein features a list of all the amino acids typically found per serving. Only two are above 10%, the rest are 9% or lower per serving. This isn’t enough to satisfy the requiremnts of a good meal replacement. It’s important to find a high reate of aminos since your body needs this kind of fuel to feel good, and to repair cells. It also means you have to spend your dinners taking in the rest of these amino acids which amount to around 80% more than what you’re getting via this shake.
  • Customers have been mixed about the flavor and consistency: There are many reviews form people who couldn’t quite figure out the right blend of ingredients. For some, adding too much liquid lead to a soup like mess, those who added less mention it was too thick and that it had a “snot like” consistency. Having to replace 2 meals a day is hard if you’re unable to drink it with ease. Some people mentioned they had to stop taking it since it was too difficult to swallow. Others commented on the look of the shake which can turn green.

Though Spiru-Tein has a high amount of protein, it doesen’t come from a quality source. Customers have also found problems in the taste, consistency, lack of amino acids, and the overall high price considering the ingredients.

Other meal replacements offer much better quality.

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