Diet products either work or they don’t. Period. Let’s find out which one GNC Lean Shakes is. We took the time to write a detailed review, examining the ingredients, side effects, customer service and clinical research. Moreover, we focused on dozens of dieter comments posted online. Finally, we condensed and refined to give you the bottom line.
What are GNC Lean Shakes?
To start, GNC Lean Shakes are meal-replacement powders. The ingredients include milk protein concentrate, nonfat dry milk, creamer, natural and artificial flavors, sucralose, acesulfame potassium and a vitamin and mineral blend. This product supposedly encourages lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism. Simply add two scoops to eight ounces of cold water and drink twice per day. You can make it at home and take it with you anywhere.
GNC Lean Shakes have been available since 2009 and are sold online, as well as in stores. These shakes provide a significant amount of fiber and are available in several different flavors, but read on…
Expensive – “Way to High?”
The first problem we encountered with GNC Lean Shakes ingredients were price. According to our Research Editor, “GNC Lean Shakes are a very pricey product when you consider the fact that a single container provides 16 servings, which is only enough for 8 days. The price tag is $34.99, which means you will spend almost $140 a month.”
“This tastes bad! And the jug only lasted me a week!,” said one customer.
Another stated, “I can’t afford this. There are cheaper protein supplements that contain more protein.”
Sometimes the cost is not what matters most to the dieter, or they believe the product is worth it. One buyer said, “I know other meal replacements and shakes that are way cheaper than this but doesnt taste as good.”
We also found a buyer that claimed, “Tasty flavor, better than average price.”
Unpleasant Taste of GNC Lean Shakes – “Another Concern”
There are literally dozens of customer complaints regarding the taste of the GNC Lean Shakes. For instance, one user said, “Tastes too sweet with artificial sweeteners.”
Another complained, “This is the worst tasting powdered meal replacement I’ve had.”
Yet another said, “Taste is very bad. Very Chalky. Not worth the price.”
The problem with protein products like GNC Lean Shakes is that one person may not like the flavor and another may love it. A happy customer said, “I like the taste. Good stuff.”
One buyer offered, “It tastes good mixed with milk.”
According to our research, if there is one facet of a supplement or diet program that is very troublesome (unpleasant taste, serious side effects, high price) the probability of long-term weight-loss success is very low. If GNC Lean Shakes are difficult to swallow, this could be problematic.
The Science – “Clinical Support?”
According to the official website, GNC Lean Shakes are “clinically proven” to aid with weight-loss. However, we at DietSpotlight couldn’t find any documented research to support these claims as they apply expressly to this product. There are plenty of similar formulas on the market with scientific support, as long as the dieter maintains a low-calorie diet plan. We must see real evidence concerning the supplement and weight reduction in order to believe promises.Also: read our Leptigen Weight-Loss Kit review »
The Bottom Line – Do GNC Lean Shakes Work?
Hmm, what should be say 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 $140 a month. Not to mention, there are countless customer complaints about the taste.
If you want to slim down and rock your best body, we encourage you to choose a diet supplement that is both affordable and backed by real clinical results. It helps if you don’t have to worry about dealing with bad taste.
Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Leptigen. This diet formula contains a unique blend of four ingredients, which have been shown in documented clinical studies to improve fat loss and increase metabolism. We are unable to find any discussion of harmful adverse effects and dieter reviews posted on the web indicate people are seeing wonderful results.
Also, the company behind of Leptigen is confident enough in their product to offer a Special Trial Offer, good sign.
Previous GNC Lean Shakes Review (Updated February 11, 2014):
What You Should Know about GNC Lean ShakesA popular product distributed by GNC (General Nutrition Center) is the GNC Lean Shake. This is said to be one of the products of this well-known and trusted supplement industry designed to promote weight loss. Not surprisingly the company is in good BBB standing. The GNC Lean Shake is a healthy meal replacement proven effective for weight loss. The shake increases your muscle mass and promotes good metabolism. The meal and exercise plan is said to be scientifically-researched and designed.
List of GNC Lean Shakes IngredientsOne serving of a GNC Lean Shake is a rich source of sodium, potassium, phosphorous, Vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, folic acid, iodine, and biotin. Other ingredients include the following: saturated fat, soluble fiber, cholesterol, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, iron, thiamin, Vitamin B-6, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B-12, pantothenic acid, copper, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, and molybdenum. A comprehensive list of ingredients is available through the GNC website. The product contains milk, corn, and soybeans.
Product FeaturesGNC Lean Shakes come in a few different flavors. They include vanilla bean, Swiss chocolate, cookies and cream, and strawberries and cream. As a meal replacement shake, users are instructed on the label to take two scoops (48 grams) and mix it well with 8 ounces of cold water. This is done twice daily while following the included meal and exercise plan. GNC Lean Shakes are clinically proven. According to the official GNC website a randomized study of 98 healthy participants studied and compared the effects of those merely eating 1,500 calories per day versus those on the Lean Shake plan (1,500 daily caloric intake, regular exercise, and the two lean shakes daily). They conducted this study over twelve weeks. Results showed that participants on the Lean Shake plan lost nearly twice as much total weight (7 lbs versus 4 lbs) and had four times greater reduction in cholesterol. A 1.7 lb. bottle of Lean Shake costs $29.99 through the official GNC website. It is $23.99 when purchased with a Gold Card. It is also possible to purchase this product in twelve packets for $23.88 ($19.10 with Gold Card).
Advantages of GNC Lean Shakes
- Recognizes the importance of healthy eating and regular exercise as part of weight loss.
- Product is clinically-proven to increase weight loss.
- Users report it is easy to use, effective, has a good smell, is lightweight, and is a good value.
Disadvantages of GNC Lean Shakes
- Some users report that is tastes bad.
- Some users are disappointed with how long the package lasts. The 1.7 lb bottle only provides sixteen shakes, enough for eight days. Continuous purchasing will burn a hole in the wallet.
- Weight loss claims may be inaccurate.
- Users report that it has poor texture.
- Lack of before and after photos on official website.
ConclusionGNC Lean Shakes are a popular way of bringing about weight loss in your life. Many users would recommend it to their friends and report that it is easy to use, effective, has a good smell, is lightweight, and a good value (more info on their wikipedia page). However, users also report disappointment with product longevity, thereby forcing them to spend more money to purchase a new package of the Lean Shakes. Like most meal replacement bars and shakes, it may leave the consumer hungry. Do not expect it to please your taste buds as a powder mixed with water.
GNC Lean Shakes Questions & Answers:
We narrowed down hundreds of user comments about GNC Lean Shakes into this helpful FAQ.
What are the side effects of Lean Shakes?
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.
How do I take GNC Lean Shakes?
You should take two scoops of GNC Lean Shakes, twice per day.
Can I take GNC Lean Shakes if I have a health condition?
Women who are pregnant or nursing, individuals taking any prescription medication, those with health conditions or those under 18 years of age should contact a licensed physician prior to using a weight-loss supplement or product, including GNC Lean Shakes.
What do users like about Lean Shakes?
People liked that GNC Lean Shakes are readily available and that you can consume it on the go.
What do users NOT like about GNC Lean Shakes?
We found that some users of GNC Lean Shakes reported side effects and no weight-loss. There are also comments about cost compared to other protein powders.
Who makes GNC Lean Shakes?
The makers of GNC Lean Shakes is General Nutrition Centers.
How do I contact the Lean Shakes customer service department?
You can contact the customer service department by calling 1-877-462-4700 or using the customer feedback form on the official website. You can also send correspondence to General Nutrition Centers 300 6th Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15222.
Can I contact GNC Lean Shakes through social media?
Are GNC Lean Shakes gluten-free?
The ingredients in GNC Lean Shakes don’t specify gluten, but the product is not gluten-free.
How many calories are in GNC Lean Shakes?
GNC Lean Shakes contain 180 calories per serving.
How many grams of protein are in GNC Lean Shakes?
There are nine grams of protein per serving of Lean Shakes.
If you reach your goal weight, do you stop using GNC Lean Shakes?
No, you can continue to use GNC Lean Shakes as a meal-replacement or for nutritional support.
Are GNC Lean Shakes a muscle builder?
According to the official website, GNC Lean Shakes are designed to help you lose weight, not gain muscle.
Is there a guarantee on Lean Shakes?
Yes, there’s a guarantee on GNC Lean Shakes. If you aren’t satisfied, you can return the product for a full refund within 30 days.
Do you know of any special deals or discounts on GNC Lean Shakes?
You may find savings if you order online or sign up for the gold membership to receive special pricing.
GNC Lean Shakes Scientific Abstracts:
The diet containing oat bran cereal significantly decreased serum total cholesterol and serum LDL-cholesterol when compared to corn flakes by 5.4% (p < 0.05) and 8.5% (p < 0.025). The body weights at the end of the study were similar. It was concluded that ready-to-eat oat bran cereal delivered a practical way to infuse soluble fiber into a diet and ultimately reduce serum cholesterol. 
Results from the study indicate that long-term consumption of raw potato starch elevated crude protein and mucin in pig colons (p < 0.05), as well as reducing total amino acids, tryptamine, ammonia-nitrogen, phenol, branched-chain fatty acid, indole, cresol, and skatole concentrations (p < 0.05) in comparison to the corn starch diet. It was shown that raw potato starch diet up-regulated mucin gene expression MUC12, MUC5AC and MUC4 within pig colons (p < 0.05). In conclusion, it was found that consumption of raw potato starch could enhance the hindgut health by raising mucin secretion and decreasing wild protein fermentation. 
When a comparison in values before treatment and after the treatment occurred, substantial decreases were noticed for every parameter except for NEFA and glucose. When these decreased were compared to control and test groups, substantial differences were observed only for haptoglobin (T before versus T after 1545 versus 605 mg/l, P = 0.03; C before versus C after 1635 versus 1400 mg/l, P = NS). There were good correlations between total plasma cholesterol and haptoglobin and between TAG and haptoglobin before, however not following the weight-loss program. It was concluded that giving obese dogs an energy-restricted diet triggered substantial weight-loss and decrease of blood parameters. There was, however, lower serum haptoglobin as well as subclinical inflammatory conditions within the test group, but not control. 
Dairy could very well improve metabolic health in an indirect manner as well as a direct manner. This could happen by helping weight-loss and fat mass via enhanced satiety while aiding skeletal muscle growth and function. This is due to the anabolic effects of dairy protein-derived BCAAs (branch chain amino acids. These BCAAs improve lean body mass, muscle protein synthesis, and skeletal muscle metabolic actions. The avenue which dairy protein is processed and composed has a direct impact on absorption, digestion, branch chain amino acid kinetics and function. Therefore the optimization of dairy protein composition via a combination of individual protein components in milk could deliver a way for increasing benefits of metabolic health. 
- 1. Oat-bran cereal lowers serum total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic men (1990). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. November 22, 2016.
- 2. Effects of a diet high in resistant starch on fermentation end-products of protein and mucin secretion in the colons of pigs (2016). Biosynthesis Nutrition Biomedical. November 22, 2016.
- 3. Effect of short-chain fructooligosaccharide-enriched energy-restricted diet on weight loss and serum haptoglobin concentration in Beagle dogs (2011). The British Journal of Nutrition. November 22, 2016.
- 4. Milk protein for improved metabolic health: a review of the evidence (2013). Nutrition & Metabolism. November 22, 2016.
GNC Lean Shakes Side Effects:
GNC Lean Shakes are meal-replacement shakes that are supposed to help fill you up and you’re your appetite. Though it is not common, we went out to find proof that side effects can still happen.
“Just had my first shake this morning and 30 minutes later my stomach started making noises…[I] can feel the gas build up in me.” Brianna
“[it] made me a little “gassy”.” Lea
“It irritates my stomach. My stomach gas and discomfort problem are serious after every time I drink it.” Yvonne
“It made me super bloated and irritated my stomach.” Teresa
“[this] protein may leave you bloated/gassy as it does with me.” Melissa
“[it] did not fill me up at all and left me feeling hungrier than I normally would.” Eve
“I’m having a great migraine, pain in my lower abdomen, and feeling sleepy [because of the shake].” Aouss
“I’ve been taking this for a week now and I am having diarrhea and gas pains…” Chris
“Minutes after drinking one I get really werid chest pains…” Brooke
“I noticed extreme bloating and bouts of severe diarrhea which is often without warning and hard to control.” Dawn
Natural or herbal weight-loss supplements are often thought to be safer than other alternatives, but this simply is not true. Every formula comes with the potential for issues, even the ones with herbs. The side effects reported for GNC Lean Shakes do not affect all their consumers, but some individuals have had some problems with this product.
An upset stomach is the sensation of pain, burning, or general discomfort in the abdominal region. Some of the symptoms that can be associated with this symptom may include heartburn, nausea, gas, and belching.
What causes an upset stomach?
An upset stomach is usually caused by irritation in the stomach. This irritation can be caused by many other factors, like eating too much, allergies, or sicknesses like influenza.
Gas is gastrointestinal distress that causes air to be expelled through the anal cavity. Some things that can help treat this issue are diet changes, medications, and even reducing air swallowing.
What causes gas?
According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, “Gas in the digestive tract (the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) comes from two sources: swallowed air and the normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria that are naturally present in the large intestine.” 
Bloating can be characterized by gas buildup in the stomach that does not or cannot be released. Abdominal pain can be associated with bloating as well.
What causes bloating?
Fatty foods, smoking, stress, eating too quickly, intestinal bacteria and viruses, and eating gassy foods are the most common causes of bloating. Some diseases and infections can also contribute to it.
Diarrhea is a symptom that involves watery, loose, and frequent bowel movements. The University of Maryland Medical Center mentioned that, “Acute diarrhea is uncomfortable, but usually is not serious and will go away in a few days on its own. You should see a doctor, however, if your stool contains blood, if the diarrhea is severe, or if it lasts more than a few days.” 
What causes diarrhea?
Causes of diarrhea may include reactions to medications, sweeteners, and dairy products, especially if the individual is lactose intolerant. The side effects of GNC Lean Shakes are not guaranteed, but there have been reports of upset stomachs, gas, bloating, and diarrhea, and more. To protect yourself from potential problems, it is always the best idea to consult with your physician before taking any supplement, especially if you’re taking prescription medications, are under 18, have a medical condition of any kind or are pregnant or nursing.
GNC Lean Shakes offer 180 calories, 9g of protein, 30g of carbohydrates (4g of sugar), 8g of fiber and 2g of fat. Taking the ingredient list and nutritional facts into consideration, there looks to be too many carbohydrates and not enough protein.
GNC Lean Shakes Ingredients and Supplement Facts
Serving Per Container: 16
|Amount per Serving||% DV|
|- Oat Bran||*||*|
|- Cellulose Powder||*||*|
|- Gum Blend||*||*|
|- Xanthan Gum||*||*|
|- Resistant Starch||*||*|
|Milk Protein Concentrate||*||*|
|Nonfat Dry Milk Creamer||*||*|
|Vitamin and Mineral Blend||*||*|
Other Ingredients: Natural and artificial flavors, sucralose, acesulfame potassium
We dug deep into the GNC Lean Shakes ingredients to give you the details you need.
Fiber is naturally found in a variety of foods, and is either soluble, meaning it dissolves in water, or insoluble, which means it does not. The body requires both types for optimal health, and both are included in this product.
What is it Supposed to Do?
Fiber helps regulate the digestive tract, and keeps you feeling fuller longer. It can also help remove cholesterol  from the body.
According to a study published in Nutrition Reviews, “The observed changes in energy intake and body weight occur both when the fiber is from naturally high-fiber foods and when it is from a fiber supplement. In view of the fact that mean dietary fiber intake in the United States is currently only 15 g/day (i.e., approximately half the American Heart Association recommendation of 25–30 g/day), efforts to increase dietary fiber in individuals consuming 25 g/day may help to decrease the currently high national prevalence of obesity.”
Protein is a necessary macronutrient. It can be found in meat, dairy, and many fruits and vegetables.
What is it Supposed to Do?
Protein  plays a role in many bodily processes, but is the main building block of muscle. Without enough in your diet, you will struggle to lose weight.
According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, “Several trials showed that low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets resulted in more weight loss over the course of 3 to 6 months than conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets.”
Vitamin A refers to a group of fat-soluble retinoids and related chemicals. It can be found in carrots and other orange vegetables, as well as meat, fish, and dairy products.
What is it Supposed to Do?
Vitamin A is involved in several bodily functions, including immune function, vision, cellular communication, and reproduction. It supports cell growth and differentiation, and thus is important to the normal formation and maintenance of organs such as the heart, kidneys, and lungs.
According to a study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, “The specific tissue changes which follow the deprivation of fat-soluble vitamin A in albino white rats and in the human concerns epithelial tissues. This effect is the substitution of stratified keratinizing epithelium for normal epithelium in various parts of the respiratory tract, alimentary tract, eyes, and paraocular glands and the genitourinary tract.”
There are eight total B vitamins, which are necessary to optimal health.
What is it Supposed to Do?
B vitamins play a role in nearly all bodily processes, including energy production, normal nervous system function, metabolism, and more.
Minerals are things like calcium, potassium, and magnesium that the body needs in trace amounts for optimal health and function.
What is it Supposed to Do?
Each mineral plays a key role in overall health, and when minerals become imbalanced, various health problems can result.