In this critical review, we’re taking a look at IdealShape’s meal replacement shake, IdealShake. It’s a popular brand with a sleek website and product. It’s tempting to assume based on looks alone that this shake is effective, but it’s always important to look critically at ingredients to determine whether or not any shake is worth a shot. To be clear, when we speak about being “critical,” our intention isn’t to bash this diet shake. We’re simply seeking out information that’s critical for consumers to know.
IdealShake Nutritional Facts
There are 30 servings per container for these diet shakes, which is more than many other shakes out there. At the time of this review, there are many different flavors available including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate peanut butter, salted caramel, cookies ‘n cream, chocolate cream pie and orange cream. For the sake of convenience, we will stick to reviewing the Chocolate flavor.
All flavors of this IdealShake contain 100 calories, which is on the lower side when it comes to meal replacement shakes. We think that’s a big plus to drinking this shake. A popular option when making meal replacement shakes is to combine them with some sort of milk (rice or almond are two healthy options) as well as fruits and sometimes even vegetables, depending on the recipe. This can up the calorie count very quickly, so a shake on the lower side of things is preferable.
This shake only contains 1 gram of sugar per serving, which is low and another positive aspect of this shake. Much of our daily diet consists of sneaky sugars that we don’t even know we’re consuming, so it’s best that any meal replacement shake that you add to your diet have little to no sugar.
For this flavor, there are only 2.5 grams of fat per serving, and the majority are unsaturated fats, a.k.a. the “good” kind of fat that is actually beneficial to your health.
As many positive qualities as IdealShape’s diet shakes have, they also contain a few glaring concerns that need to be addressed. The first controversial ingredient is high up on the ingredients list, which only adds to the concern.
Maltodextrin is an additive that seems harmless, even healthy, because it’s natural. Sure, it’s derived from plants, but when used in food, it’s actually highly processed. Its purpose is to thicken food, like sauces or pudding. It makes sense that it would be included in a meal replacement shake, as thin, watery shakes aren’t very appetizing. It can negatively affect your gut bacteria, making you susceptible to diseases like salmonella and e. coli. It should also be treated like sugar in terms of its calorie count and that it’s a simple carbohydrate. Those with diabetes that need to monitor their blood sugar need to be careful when consuming maltodextrin. To clarify, we aren’t saying that maltodextrin is necessarily bad, but it’s high up on IdealShake’s ingredient label, meaning that there’s a lot of it, which is something important to note.
Acesulfame Potassium is another concerning ingredient included in this shake. It’s a lesser known artificial sweetener that has potentially dangerous side effects, such as nausea, headaches, mood problems, and even impairment of the liver and kidneys, just to name a few. All you need to do is a quick online search for “dangers of Acesulfame Potassium” and your screen will light up! It’s a calorie-free sugar substitute, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K. In the U.S. it is used in such products as candies, baked goods, frozen desserts, and beverages. The problem is that it has become highly controversial for the reported side effects already mentioned. Because of such controversy towards its safety and side effects, this artificial sweetener has been banned at leading retailers including Whole Foods.
Sucralose is the most concerning artificial sweetener of the bunch. It’s more popularly known as Splenda, a commonly used no-calorie sugar substitute. Research has suggested that sucralose may be responsible for various health concerns, such as:
- Reducing “good” gut bacteria. Consuming this artificial sweetener can alter the amount of microbes in your gut by more than 50%. It can also reduce the quality of those microbes. A lack of “good” gut bacteria can lead to weight gain.
- Making medication less effective. Sucralose may limit your body’s ability to absorb therapeutic drugs, which consequentially renders those drugs less effective.
- Releasing toxins in your body. Baking with Splenda causes the compound to decompose, potentially releasing toxic compounds called chloroproanols.
- Altering your body’s responses. Consuming sucralose can alter insulin responses, which affects blood sugar levels. It has also been associated with inflammatory bowel disease and may even alter genes.
In recent years there has been a ground swell of issues regarding the controversial nature of artificial sweeteners. Watchdog groups and consumers alike are raging mad over the side effects, citing ailments from multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, and weight gain. It’s no wonder that so many national chain stores have banned these ingredients in their stores.
The IdealShape Protein Blend consists of two types of whey protein: concentrate and isolate. This is a fairly standard combination. While two protein types are better than one, this particular blend is not unique. That being said, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. It just doesn’t go above and beyond.
Whey Protein Isolate contains the highest percentage of protein out of all the forms of whey protein. It can be so pure that it’s almost completely free of lactose, carbohydrates, fat, and cholesterol. It’s a useful protein for building muscle.
Whey Protein Concentrate is the most common form of whey protein. It’s popular among body builders to increase protein intake to help build muscles.
It’s a wonder why IdealShape would have combined one high quality whey with a much lower quality. What good does the latter do? It leads us to wonder how much whey isolate is actually included in this shake, and how much of it is actually just whey concentrate.
Regardless, the total protein per serving isn’t very high, only 11 grams. On average, meal replacement shakes contain at least 15 grams of protein per serving, which is what the FDA considers a “high” amount of protein.
IdealShape’s IdealShake contains 5 grams of fiber per serving, which is typical among meal replacement shakes (or diet shakes) and a high amount of fiber in general, according to the FDA. This is great, as fiber can slow down digestion, making you feel fuller, longer.
The fiber comes in the form of the IdealShape Hunger Blocking Blend. The Blend contains two ingredients, inulin and potato protein extract.
Inulin is a prebiotic, which feeds the healthy probiotic bacteria that lives in our gut. It’s plant-based, coming from chicory root. Inulin can’t be digested in the small intestine, which means it’s soluble and instead remains intact when it hits the colon, making up the bulk of stool. Because it takes time to travel through the internal tract, it makes you feel full for a longer period of time.
Potato Protein Extract usually goes by its trendier name, Slendesta. As the name implies, its intention is to make you slender. Slendesta supposedly works by affecting the hormone called cholecystokinin, which makes us not want to eat as much. There are few studies to support this claim though. While Slendesta sounds ideal in theory, it’s possible that it acts as nothing more than a placebo. Further, it’s unclear how much is even included in IdealShake, meaning that even if it was proven to be highly effective, there’s a chance that there isn’t enough in this shake for it to actually be effective.
What are the Sweeteners?
Chocolate IdealShake contains 1 gram of sugar per serving, which is a low number, so what else does IdealShape use to sweeten their shakes?
The answer is sucralose. As previously stated, sucralose is a popular artificial sweetener that commonly goes by the name Splenda. It’s no-calorie and has been approved by the FDA, but with so many consumers and watchdog groups up in arms over possible side effects, it’s best that you make an informed decision for yourself.
Who’s Behind IdealShake?
IdealShake is produced by the company IdealShape – the shake itself is often referred to by either name. IdealShape is founded by David Meine, a motivational speaker. The inspiration behind the company’s name is fairly self-explanatory; they want to help customers reach their “ideal shape.”
For those who have lactose sensitivities, this shake may result in uncomfortable digestion. The inulin may also cause gas. Aside from the controversy surrounding several of the ingredients, in theory there aren’t any negative side effects from drinking this shake.
How to Contact
IdealShape has several ways to contact the company. Their phone number is (800) 515-0896, email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and their address is 777 S Auto Mall Dr. Suite 111 American Fork, UT 84003. On the “contact us” section of their website is all of this information, as well as an option to leave a note, including your name, email, and message.
Returns are accepted within 30 days of purchase and are refunded the full product price.
Other Products by IdealShape
IdealShape has a variety of products that aid with weight loss. In addition to their meal replacement shakes, they have IdealBar, a snack bar with ingredients that are similar to IdealShake. They also have IdealBoost, a weight loss friendly pick-me-up that’s more conducive to weight loss than soda. With green tea and caffeine, it helps boost your energy as well as your metabolism.
Does it Work?
The effectiveness of any product naturally depends on each individual situation. That being said, IdealShake does contain some ingredients that could be helpful in aiding weight loss. The ingredients we’re talking about are protein and fiber – the only problem is the low amount of protein. As far as the Slendesta goes, if it truly does affect weight loss, that’s great, but we aren’t factoring it into the equation. While we can’t say that the controversial ingredients will hinder weight loss, they may hinder your good health. Over all, there are other diet shakes that we would recommend over IdealShake.