IdealShake comes from the Utah-based IdealShape, a company probably best known for their meal replacement shake but which also sells fat burners, collagen supplements, and vitamins and minerals. Many of their products they sell under different product lines, like the “IdealLean” brand that sells their branched chain amino acids.
But Idealshake is their flagship product and it has a significant following. It comes in ten different flavors and provides a huge variety of not just vitamins and minerals but also digestive enzymes and a few other goodies. So what’s in it, and how might it help your health goals?
IdealShake Nutrition & Ingredients
One scoop is 100 calories: 11 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs (5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar), and 2.5 grams of saturated fat. There’s 8 percent of your daily cholesterol intake and 9 percent of your daily sodium.
As far as the main vitamins and minerals go, there are nineteen listed, most of which are dosed at 70 to 80 percent of the RDI per serving. There’s the standard suite of B-vitamins and Vitamins A, C, D, and E, and minerals tend to be dosed a little lower: there’s 30 percent of your daily zinc, 45 percent of your magnesium, 50 percent of your iron.
The ingredients list is mostly whey and vitamins, but there are some added digestive enzymes (bromelain, papain, lactase, and the blend from DigeSEB®) and a “Hunger Blocker Blend” of Slendesta, a potato extract and isomalto-oligosaccharide. Note that it also contains the artificial sweetener sucralose, also known as Splenda.
IdealShake Benefits and Effectiveness
This is an unusually nutritious shake that’s unusually low in calories. It has just 100 calories and and some 75 percent of the RDI of most vitamins.
There’s a lot to like with those nutrients. The zinc, for example, could support healthy levels of testosterone according to a popular study published in Nutrition, and studies published in Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and Issues in Mental Health Nursing have made strong cases that Vitamin D can support strong bones and better mental health.(1)(2)(3)
So is it missing anything? Well, there’s no real mention of some of the lesser known micronutrients, specifically Vitamin K, manganese, selenium, copper, chromium, and choline, plus it only has 3 percent of your daily potassium intake. So it’s nutritious, but it doesn’t provide complete nutrition. Then again, there are very few meals that would provide every single nutrient the body needs so that might be an unfair standard.
I also want to emphasize the digestive enzymes. They may help you to better absorb the nutrients from your meal; a 2008 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that men who took protease enzymes with whey concentrate had a faster absorption rate, as measured by the amino acids in their blood and urine.(4) I would have liked to see some probiotic bacteria in there as well, but those enzymes could help with absorption and possibly lower the odds of experiencing indigestion, though that’s not a guarantee.
I like that there’s roughly the same amount of protein and carbs, though it’s still pretty low in net carbs (half the carbs are fiber) and pretty low in fat. So if you’re relying on this for a meal replacement, you’d want to make sure you’re consuming carbs and fat in your other meals. The RDI for fat intake is about 45 to 80 grams, there are just 2.5 grams in IdealShake.
Another ingredient worth mentioning is the hunger blocker. A popular study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that potatoes are the most satiating food out there, which prompted some companies to try to use potato extracts to help people manage cravings.(5) Slendesta is one of them, a product made from an enzyme found in potatoes that contributes to the feeling of satiety that potatoes confer. It’s becoming increasingly common in supplements; we’ve seen a similar ingredient in the FitMiss protein powder. Combined with the low calories, carbs, and fat, it’s very clear that IdealShake is intended for folks trying to keep calories low.
As far as questionable ingredients go, this contains the artificial sweetener sucralose, it has milk and soy, plus it’s processed on equipment that processes dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts.
We think IdealShake is one of the best meal replacements for weight loss — see which other brands made that list here!
You can pick up one tub of 30 servings for about $50, so you can expect to pay between $1.50 and $1.75 per scoop. That’s moderately priced for a meal replacement shake. Note that the price decreases if you sign up for a subscription program.
I tried the Vanilla flavor and it was pleasant with water, though very sweet when mixed with milk or yogurt. A milder flavor would have been more versatile, but it does make for a drink that goes pretty well with water.
The main things I liked about this product is the fact that it isn’t too low in carbs, it’s got a good amount of nutrition, it’s tasty with water, it’s satiating, and it contains digestive enzymes. I would have liked some probiotics and a few more minerals, and the artificial ingredients and allergens may turn some consumers off. But if those factors aren’t a concern to you, you’ll be pretty happy with this nutritious, though very low calorie shake.
1. Prasad AS, et al. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition. 1996 May;12(5):344-8.
2. Lips P, et al. The effect of vitamin D on bone and osteoporosis. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug;25(4):585-91.
3. Penckofer S, et al. Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine? Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Jun;31(6):385-93.
4. Oben J, et al. An open label study to determine the effects of an oral proteolytic enzyme system on whey protein concentrate metabolism in healthy males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Jul 24;5:10.
5. Holt SH, et al. A satiety index of common foods. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Sep;49(9):675-90.