GNC products are everywhere in popular diet culture, and Lean Shakes is one of their newer products. GNC claims that Lean Shakes reduce weight in combination with a reduced calorie diet. While this may be true, any consistent reduction in calories will lead to weight loss, and there does not appear to be anything proprietary this product that makes it a superior meal replacement.
Still, we asked our team of researchers to look into it. They examined the full list of ingredients, any potentially related side effects, clinical research, and customer service (by checking out user reviews online). We then condensed that information to give you all the facts about GNC Lean Shakes.
GNC Lean Shakes is a brand of nutritional meal replacement shakes that were developed to help individuals struggling with weight loss to consume a large number of vitamins and minerals while consuming a small number of calories.
The shake includes 24 vitamins and minerals. GNC claims that the high fiber content (8 grams) and the protein source, whey protein isolate, can help dieters feel fuller and more satisfied when replacing a meal with the GNC Lean Shake.
These shakes exist in some flavors to please a wide range of users. GNC Lean Shakes are intended to suppress the appetite during the day to help with weight loss goals. To date, the product has received consistently decent results with some customers claiming to experience reduced hunger for two to three hours after consuming the shakes.
Reports on the taste of this meal replacement shake are mixed. Some purchasers love the flavors, and some say they are terrible. The flavor with the highest number of complaints seems to be vanilla. Some users have also expressed a dislike for the consistency of the shake. Some users said that the shake seemed thin and watered down. The consistency can be altered, however, to an individual’s taste by adding water if a thinner consistency is desired or adding fruits like banana or avocado for a thicker consistency. Shakes can also be blended with ice to create a thicker texture, and more protein powder may be used as well.
The flavors available for GNC Lean Shake can also be added to milkshakes, smoothies, or any other beverage that can make the taste more palatable to an individual. Some consumers have also expressed that the lightly colored flavors have a naturally thin consistency when compared to the darker colored flavors like swiss chocolate and mocha.
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GNC Lean Shakes Ingredients
GNC Lean Shakes include a variety of ingredients that are intended to support digestive health, suppress appetite, and regulate energy output. The ingredients in a GNC Lean Shake include:
Whey Protein Concentrate
Sunflower Seed Oil
GNC Lean Shake 25 also includes some ingredients that might not be so healthy.
Clearly, this shake is not lactose free, and we cannot find any indication that is is gluten free either.
GNC Lean Shakes Nutrition Facts
One bottle or 14 fluid ounces of a GNC Lean Shake represents approximately one serving of the beverage. In one serving, consumers can expect to find the following:
GNC Lean Shakes also contain 25% of the daily value of the vitamins and minerals riboflavin, niacin, B-6, folic acid, B-12, Biotin, Phosphorus, Iodine, Magnesium, and Chromium. Consumers who are seeking to lose weight with this product will generally be placed on a lower calorie diet than the standard 2000 calorie diet and should remember to adjust these values to their specified daily caloric intake. Some of the benefits of these specific vitamins and minerals include:
Riboflavin increases blood flow and energy production.
Thiamin improves cardiovascular system health and blood flow.
Vitamin B-6 improves organ function and liver detoxification properties.
Folic Acid improves blood circulation and improves the reproductive system in women.
Vitamin B-12 increases energy, boosts immunity and rejuvenates skin.
Calcium improves bone health.
Chromium helps to control blood sugar levels.
Zinc builds immune system health.
Biotin Encourages hair and nail growth, and might promote healthy breasts
Pantothenic acid controls asthma, relieves stress related anxiety and guards against hair loss.
Potassium protects against cardiovascular diseases and regulates blood pressure
Copper encourages good brain function, keeps the skin healthy and boosts immunity.
Selenium is a powerful mineral antioxidant and helps grow our bones.
Effects of Protein in GNC Lean Shakes
Whey protein powder isolate is one of the key active ingredients in the GNC Lean Shakes, and its purpose is appetite suppression. This whey protein has only a small amount of fat from animal sources, and provides almost 90% more protein than other hydrolysates. Hydrolysates are proteins that have been broken down for better absorption by the muscles. This protein isolate has been shown by many studies to efficiently build muscle mass and cause the body to feel full with very little foods, according to research published in Nutrition & Metabolism and other medical journals.
By consuming this protein in supplemental or natural form, those seeking weight reduction become six times more likely to lose fat and replace that fat with lean muscle mass through a consistent workout plan.
One serving of the GNC Lean Shake meal replacement yields nearly a fourth of the daily requirement for protein. For those attempting to limit daily caloric intake to under 1500 calories (as is the case with many diets) a single serving of the meal replacement yields over half of the total daily requirement for protein.
By substituting the meal replacement shake for at least two meals each day, consumers may successfully ease cravings while consuming the entire daily requirement of protein before dinner.
Good or Bad Calories in GNC Lean Shake
Each serving of a GNC Lean Shake contains about 180 total calories and 20 calories from fat. The calories in the GNC Lean Shakes are derived primarily from the category known as “good calories,” meaning that they have a higher nutritional value for their caloric worth.
The calories in GNC Lean Shakes provide the human body with the fuel it needs to complete basic tasks during the day while the shake’s ingredients are supposed to help the body to burn fat stores in addition to calories.
By using this product as a meal replacement for the first two meals of the day, consumers can guarantee that they are consuming only 360 calories in addition to the number of calories eaten during dinner meals. This should create a sufficient calorie deficit to assist with weight loss.
What Does a GNC Lean Shake Do?
GNC Lean Shakes help consumers to experience consistent weight loss by helping to limit the number of calories consumed each day. Weight loss is accomplished by a simple equation that requires that the overweight individual consume fewer calories than their bodies burn in one day. By replacing one or two meals per day with a GNC Lean Shake, consumers may increase the odds that their daily caloric intake will be less than their daily caloric output, thus resulting in gradual weight loss.
Can GNC Lean Shakes be Meal Replacements?
Meal replacement shakes are intended to be a lower calorie, high nutrition alternative to preparing a meal. However, it is important to get enough calories, protein, and nutrients from your shake replacement, and not all powdered protein drinks fill those needs. According to the Journal of Obesity, meal replacement shakes can help you lose weight if they are made right.
Meal replacement shakes should contain:
Around 300-400 calories
15-25 grams of protein
A minimum of 5 grams of fiber
10-13 grams of healthy fats
GNC Lean Shakes fall a little short in the calorie department, weighing in at around 200 calories per serving. However, with a whopping 8 grams of fiber and 25 grams of protein GNC Lean Shakes can be a good meal replacement for those on a weight loss diet plan.
Does It Work?
Do GNC Lean Shakes Work?
If you take on the question of whether or not GNC Lean Shakes works for weight loss, you have to look at the research into meal replacements simply.
Meal replacement shakes, and other similar products can be an effective means of reducing calorie intake and if you stick with a healthy diet and exercise plan, promotion of weight loss. By now it is no secret to anyone who is trying to lose weight – exercise and good nutrition combined with a reduction in calories is the best way for most of us to obtain weight loss goals.
Now, remember that this is the case for meal replacements, not just GNC Lean Shakes. No research sets this specific product apart from the competition.
Although consumers who used the GNC Lean Shakes have reported weight loss, the product has also received complaints of decreased energy for individuals with very active daily lives. Replacing two meals per day with the GNC Lean Shakes deprives very active people of the caloric intake that their bodies require continuing current activity levels or metabolism in general.
GNC Lean Shakes Side Effects
Side effects that have been reported by individuals using the GNC Lean Shakes as meal replacements include:
Mild headaches and migraines
What about breastfeeding moms? Can they use GNC Lean Shakes? According to the Korean Journal of Pediatrics, food restriction is not needed for mothers.
Nutritionists warn against using meal replacement shakes for kids, though. Young children have different nutritional needs than adults and may be more sensitive to ingredients as well. Meal replacement shakes should only be used occasionally for teens and should be formulated for children. It’s probably prudent to avoid meal replacement shakes for kids who have not yet reached puberty.
GNC Lean Shakes Benefits
On the other side of the coin, some key benefits of consuming GNC Lean Shakes, or a similar meal replacement product, daily, as reported by the Nutrition Journal, could include:
Improved digestion and regularity
Increased weight loss
Improved nutrition intake
Regulation of blood sugar
Increased satisfaction from small meals
Is There a GNC Lean Shake Alternative?
There are several shakes that compare to GNC Lean Shakes and can be used as an alternative to the meal replacement. The meal replacement industry is very lucrative, and the competition in this area has caused the developers to create better-tasting products with improved nutrition.
Alternative meal replacement shakes can also be created at home. By combining a liquid multivitamin with a scoop of whey protein isolate and a combination of tasty fruits, those seeking a meal replacement can make a comparable shake from the comfort of home.
When creating a GNC Lean Shakes alternative from home, however, be sure to measure the quantities of the vitamins and fruits that are included to ensure that the calorie count for the shake remains low. Some fruits, oils, and vegetables contain a high amount of good fat and calories that can easily eliminate any benefit gained by replacing the meal.
Alternatives to GNC Lean Shakes
There are alternatives to GNC Lean Shakes offering similar nutritional value and benefits to weight loss. The alternatives include:
GNC Lean Shakes vs 18 Shake
18 Shake, like GNC Lean Shakes, is a protein powder meal replacement, and both are made from whey protein. And while 18 Shake has only 90 calories per serving, compared to GNC Lean Shakes 200 calories, the nutrition is different too. Let’s break it down:
Protein: 18 Shake has 15 grams vs GNC Lean Shakes 25 grams
Vitamins and minerals: 18 Shake boasts 30% of the RDA per serving of most of its vitamin and mineral content. GNC Lean Shakes contain 20% of the RDA for most of its vitamin & mineral ingredients.
GNC Lean Shakes vs Isagenix
Isagenix’s weight loss product, IsaLean, is a powdered shake designed as a meal replacement. Isagenix recommends 1 to 3 shakes a day as a way to get high nutrition while cutting calories.
Similar to GNC Lean Shakes, both use whey protein
Protein, calories, fiber and vitamin content are very similar in both products
IsaLean contains extra amino acids, herbs and superfoods as compared to GNC Lean Shakes which does not
Isagenix claims high quality, organic ingredients while GNC Lean Shakes are not organic
Isagenix is more expensive- “systems” run from $200- $400 for a 30 day supply
GNC Lean Shakes vs Shakeology
Shakeology claims include weight loss, reduction in cravings, increased energy, support good health with the inclusion of vitamins, high quality proteins and plant superfoods/adaptagens.
Both of these products are shakes are made with water and ice and used as a low calorie meal replacement
Shakeology is more expensive- $129 +shipping for 30 servings vs. GNC Lean Shakes at around $80 plus shipping for 30 servings
Reviews on taste are mediocre for Shakeology drinks
Shakeology has less protein and fiber than GNC Lean Shakes, but includes probiotics, super foods and an adaptogen blend- all of which GNC Lean Shakes lack
What do GNC Lean Shakes Cost?
The cost of weight loss meal replacement shakes is always a factor. We found the following prices at GNC.com:
Lean Shake 25 RTD 12 Bottles: $29.99
Lean Shake 25 RTD 4 Bottles: $9.99
Lean Shake 25 1.83 lbs: $44.99
Lean Shake Burn RTD 12 Bottles: $39.99
Lean Shake Burn 1.63 lbs: $54.99
Lean Shake Classic 1.69 lbs: $36.99
Lean Shake Green 1.69 lbs: $42.99
GNC also offers a subscription option, with automatic delivery. This option reduces costs by 10% and gets you free shipping. There are also specials and sales on occasion, both online and in stores.
Where to Buy
Where to Buy GNC Lean Shakes
GNC Lean Shakes are easy to buy online, with all the usual suspects offering them up for sale. They can be purchased online from Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Jet, and others. Of course, you can also stop by your local GNC store to purchase GNC Lean Shakes.
GNC Lean Shakes Directions
To properly gain the desired results from GNC Lean Shakes, consumers are directed to use the shakes as a replacement for meals at least once per day.
To make your shake, add liquid to your shaker cup or blender and top it off with the meal replacement powder. One serving of GNC Lean Shake is made with two scoops (48 grams) of powder, mixed with 8 ounces of liquid. Mix and enjoy. Liquid options that meet the reduced-calorie idea include:
Unsweetened almond milk
Unsweetened coconut milk
Low calorie juices
GNC also offers several downloadable documents to help you attain your weight loss goals. GNC Lean Shakes Diet Plans can be found right on the GNC website, at the GNC Solution Center.
Make sure to store your GNC Lean Shake protein powder in a cool, dry place, as instructed by the manufacturer.
GNC Lean Shake Recipes
When you are ready to kick up the flavor of your meal replacement shake, there are plenty of yummy ways to go.
Here are a few to get you started:
Pumpkin Spice Shake
2 scoops of protein powder, like GNC Lean Shake powder
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
Honey, maple syrup or sugar substitute to sweeten to taste
1 cup of ice
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend well. Makes 2 servings
Tropical Mango Shake
2 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 1/2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
2 scoops protein powder
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix well. Add water to desired consistency. Makes 2 servings
Cinnamon Roll Smoothie
2 scoops protein powder
2 frozen bananas
1 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Honey or sweetener to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Sprinkle more spices on top, if desired.
Chocolate Mint Madness
1 frozen banana
1 cup ice
1 cup almond milk
2 scoops chocolate flavor protein powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract, or more to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender, blend well. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired.
Pros and Cons of GNC Lean Shakes
Whey isolate protein powder means high protein and low fat
24 vitamin and minerals keeps your nutrition on track
8 grams of fiber and 25 grams of protein keep you feeling full, keeps cravings down
Low calorie count helps drop unwanted weight
Relatively low cost when compared to similar shakes
Physically active people may need more calories and may feel less full and satisfied
Flavor reviews are very mixed- with vanilla being the least favorite
Texture and thickness not always rated highly- you may need more than the two scoops of powder suggested
Compared to other brands, contains no superfoods, herbs or probiotics
No claims of dairy free, lactose-free or organic ingredients
GNC Corporation is a worldwide specialty retailer of health and wellness products. Products include vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements; teas and other food-based supplements; sports nutrition products and weight loss products. GNC was founded in 1935 and employed about 5,300 people in over 7,200 retail stores. Products can also be purchased online at www.gnc.com
Some users reported a negative response to the taste and consistency of various flavors of the GNC Lean Shake, indicating that the shake had a chalky or stale consistency.
Other users also said temporary side effects including constipation, loose bowels, and decreased energy levels.
When taken consistently as a meal replacement for one to two weeks, however, results from GNC Lean Shakes were fairly positive with users reporting an average loss of five pounds per month.
What Users Are Saying
“I am allergic to a LOT of things, and I was very skeptical about about buying this but overall very happy I did. I didn’t feel sick, gassy, bloated or constipated after using this (side affects other brands have caused). I also lost 15 pounds and this satisfies my cravings throughout the day. Will order it again and the taste isn’t bad at all.”
“I tried 4 different ways making a shake with this and gagged every time.”
“It’s not bad but it’s not good either. It’ll definitely make you feel full throughout the day (depending on your hunger) but the taste isn’t the best. For that price you could go to a GNC and get something better.”
The Bottom Line – Do GNC Lean Shakes Work?
Hmm, what should be said about this one that’ll sum it up for you? We appreciate that GNC Lean Shakes provide a significant amount of fiber to assist with regularity and appetite suppression. However, we have reservations about this supplement because it’s not backed by solid clinical research. Furthermore, the amount of protein in a serving of this is quite minimal (only 9 grams). Also, if you used this it as directed, twice a day, it would cost you nearly $131 a month.
If you want to slim down and rock your best body, we encourage you to choose a system that is both personalized and backed by real clinical results. It helps if you don’t have to worry about dealing with tons of supplements, health books, or weight loss calculators.
Among the best weight-loss apps we have seen is one called Noom. Noom has a team of medical experts that create personalized meal plans and updated food databases that make it easier to see what you are eating. Plus, the program offers human coaching, support groups, and exercise tracking.
Noom is giving Dietspotlight readers a 14-day trial for a limited time, so check it out before time runs out!
GNC Lean Shakes side effects may include headache, cramping, bloating, thirst, irregular bowel movement and nausea, as reported by some dieters.
What is in GNC Lean Shakes?
The ingredients in GNC Lean Shakes are carrageenan , fructooligosaccharides, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, oat bran, resistant starch, milk protein concentrate, nonfat dry milk, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, maltodextrin , vitamins and minerals.
What is the active ingredient in GNC Lean Shakes?
The active ingredient in Lean Shakes is a carb blend of maltodextrin and oat bran.
Do GNC Lean Shakes work?
The company claims GNC Lean Shakes are clinically proven but there’s no links to research supporting this information. There are studies suggesting protein is beneficial to weight-loss, but nothing links to this particular formula.
How much does one bottle of GNC Lean Shakes cost?
One bottle of GNC Lean Shakes costs $34.99. Each bottle contains 16 servings or eight days worth.