GNC | Total Lean
® vs. 310 Shake †
GNC Total Lean® Vanilla
Contains artificial flavors, sweeteners, and soybeans.
Price Per Serving
310 Shake® Vanilla
Doesn't contain artificial flavors, sweeteners, nor soybeans.
Price Per Serving
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Showdown: 310 Shakes vs. GNC Total Lean Shake
GNC may be a well-known name in the health and wellness world, but how healthy and effective are their popular meal replacement shakes? Whereas GNC Lean Shake is marketed as a smart weight management solution, our research shows that there are some potential issues of concern on the product label.
When comparing the Lean Shake with 310 Shakes, quite a few things stood out. Though the Total Lean Shake has a high amount of protein, their shakes also have a greater number of calories, sugar and carbs, and a lesser amount of fiber. There are also some controversial ingredients, including artificial sweetener, Sucralose (Splenda).
Those looking for fast weight loss paired with a reasonable price point might appreciate GNC Shake, but will it meet long-term healthy lifestyle needs? Read on to learn more.
Tasty or Terrible?!
Starting first with the GNC Lean Shake, user reviews clarify that the taste depends highly upon which flavor you choose. The GNC shakes come in a variety of flavors, with the highest-rated being the Vanilla shake flavor. This one had the best reviews, with users saying it is rich, creamy and doesn’t display an aftertaste. (1)
In contrast, however, the other Lean Shake flavors garnered mixed reviews, with many saying that a lot of the flavors, including the Strawberry, were too sweet. Some said that other flavors, such as the Swiss Chocolate, had a bit of a chalky taste. And in general, possibly due to the artificial sweeteners in these shakes, many reviewers said multiple shake flavors left an unpleasant aftertaste.
In contrast, 310 Shakes overhauled their shake formulas in 2017 (both the plant-based and whey-based options), and one of the enhancements was much-improved shake taste. Reviews show that users adore the newer shake flavors for their dessert-like tastes and light, creamy textures. Some of the new shake flavors include Vanilla, Chocolate, Mocha, Salted Caramel, Strawberry and Vanilla Chai.
According to 310 reviews, 310 Shakes have rich textures due to advanced technologies used during creation, and contain only natural sweeteners, giving them enjoyable while not overpowering tastes. (2)
Now Let’s See Who’s Got the Upper Hand When It Comes To….
Since first and foremost, we are grading these shakes on their ability to help you lose weight in a safe and healthy way, one of the most important aspects is the number of calories in each shake. Whereas the GNC Total Lean Shake in Vanilla Bean has 200 calories per serving, the 310 Vanilla Shake includes only 90 calories per serving – which is obviously a big difference.
For one, the 310 Shake gives the user room to add more healthy ingredients into each shake, whereas with the GNC shakes, you have to make sure your calorie count doesn’t get too high – especially since you’ll be consuming these shakes twice a day.
When looking at calories, another important thing to keep in mind is the amount of nutrients in each shake. If a shake has a low number of calories AND a high amount of nutrients, than that is truly a winning shake formula, because it will provide you with what you need for weight loss AND keep your daily caloric count down for the day.
In the rest of this shake review, we will find out how each formula compares in terms of their ingredient list, but first let’s talk about a troubling addition found in many otherwise promising shakes…
Sugar… that one little word with millions of fans, that can do so many awful things to your waistline and your health. As we all know, sugar in its many forms is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain, yet surprisingly many meal replacement shakes include this scary ingredient, some in strikingly high amounts.
Therefore, one of the many things that makes 310 Shakes stand out is that their plant-based shakes contain NO sugar, and their whey-based Vanilla shake contains only 1g of sugar. 310 Shakes are sweetened solely with a natural sugar substitute, so they aren’t too sweet and they’re still healthy. And they don’t contain artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or fructose.
In contrast, the GNC Total Lean Shake contains 3g of sugars per serving, adding up to 6g of sugar if you’re replacing two meals with these shakes a day. That amount is not horrific, but it’s also not the best it could be. The real kicker here is what GNC shakes contain instead of actual sugar… artificial sweeteners.
The Lean Shake contains an artificial or fake sugar called Sucralose, popularly known as Splenda. Although this sugar substitute is used in a number of products, recent studies are showing that it may actually be linked to health issues. And while you may think that having this fake sugar can help you avoid packing on the pounds, it may be just the opposite.
Many studies now show that artificial sweeteners mess with the satiety signals in your brain, so after consuming them, you may actually end up increasingly hungrier and end up eating much more than you should. Your brain mistakenly thinks your body needs food, and so you take in more calories. (3)
In addition, artificial sweeteners such as Sucralose have been linked to potential long-term health problems with frequent use, so it’s best to lean more natural.
While protein is one of the top ingredients in all meal replacement shakes, there has to be the right amount and also the right kinds of protein in each shake for optimal weight loss and fat-burning.
A diet shake containing about 15-20g of protein per serving is optimal to help boost your metabolism, keep you full and satisfied, and give you the energy you need throughout the day. At 15g per shake serving, the 310 Shakes fall right into this category.
At 25g per shake serving, the GNC Lean Shake gives you a bit more protein per shake, which is not a bad thing, but depending on your goals it may be more protein than you need. Shakes with higher protein amounts are usually meant to help you build muscle as the sole focus, and in this review, we are discussing shakes that help you cut down versus build up.
As for the types of protein in the shake, the GNC shakes feature milk protein concentrate as the main protein ingredient, which wouldn’t be our first choice for a healthy, nutritious meal replacement shake. It has more cholesterol than whey protein and is also a less expensive option.
The GNC Shakes also contain soybeans and current research shows that soy contains phytoestrogens which may disrupt hormones and potentially lead to negative health consequences, particularly for women. (4)
In contrast, the 310 Shakes utilize plant-based proteins (hemp, pea and brown rice) in most of their shakes, which studies show offer some promising health and weight management benefits; and they also have a whey-based shake option in Vanilla. All of their shakes have a special Tri-Plex 3-protein blend in each which works towards optimal absorption and results.
Just as important as protein, fiber is necessary in each shake to help keep the user full, and to help with optimal digestive processes and flushing out waste and toxins from the body.
Each GNC Total Lean Shake has 4g of dietary fiber, while 310 Shakes have 5g of fiber per serving. Both of these amounts are sufficient for a weight loss shake, although the higher amount is preferable.
Shakes that don’t feature enough fiber usually do not keep the user full long enough to quench hunger and be effective in replacing a meal. Reviews for both GNC Shakes and 310 Shakes show that they are effective in helping to keep the user full and satisfied.
For 310 Shakes, each 28-serving bag is $68.00 (less if you put it on Autoship), so therefore they are $2.43 per serving.
In contrast, the GNC shakes are $39.99 per container, which holds 16 servings (each serving is two scoops); so each serving is about $2.50. Therefore, you would probably want to buy two containers at once because each container is not going to last you the entire month.
Though these shakes are close in price, with the GNC Total Lean Shake being slightly more, the labels reveal that 310 Shakes have the higher quality ingredients.
Final Verdict: Which Shake Works Best?
Although reviews show that many people seem to love GNC Lean Shake, the product has some undesirable qualities for long-term use. While they offer a good amount of protein and fiber, each shake contains artificial sugars and flavors, which is not good for weight management or health and may affect the taste of the shakes for some.
Though the GNC shakes come in at a decent price, the 310 Shakes feature pure, healthy ingredients, vitamins and minerals, superfoods, probiotics, optimal fiber and plant-based proteins while having no sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Ready for next steps? Read more 310 Shake comparisons below, shop for 310 healthy lifestyle products, or join the 310 Nutrition Community on Facebook now.
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Shakeology® is a registered trademark of Beachbody LLC.
Herbalife® is a registered trademark of Herbalife International.
GNC | Total Lean® is a registered trademark of GNC Holdings Inc.
IdealShake® is registered trademark of IdealShape.
Isagenix® is registered trademark of Isagenix International LLC.
†Price per serving calculated 2/1/17 from price of $29.99 for the Vanilla GNC | Total Lean® with 16 servings in container. Nutrition information taken from http://www.gnc.com/GNC-Total-Lean-Lean-Shake-25-Natural/product.jsp?productId=64939736
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