With so many weight loss shakes on the market, finding a good one can feel impossible. So, what about 18 Shake?
All of the 18 Shake reviews and marketing make the product seem exceptional – suggesting that it can turn your weight loss journey around, yet the popularity of 18 Shakes recently seems to be declining.
Is 18 Shake the perfect solution for you – or is it just a fairly typical meal replacement shake?
18 Shake Ingredients
18 Shake promotes its products like this:
The general idea is to create something that tastes good, helps to suppress hunger and is also low in calories. That combination can be powerful for weight loss, especially if you have the shake instead of a meal.
In this case, the shakes are around 90 calories, which is fairly impressive. If you consistently replaced one meal per day with a shake (and didn’t increase your calorie intake elsewhere), then weight loss would be achievable.
A key element of this process is the protein the shakes offer. Including enough quality protein in your diet is critical for health and for weight loss. Meal replacement powders like these are one way to do so.
The company relies on what it calls a duo-protein formula, which consists of whey concentrate (15.7 grams/serving) and whey isolate (3.39 grams/serving). Whey protein is the most powerful approach for weight loss, partly because it acts as a complete source of protein. But, there are other whey protein powder brands as well, some of which also use a combination of the isolate and concentrate.
Beyond the protein itself, the product contains various compounds from a range of sources. These are used to provide the extra vitamins and minerals that the shake promotes. These ingredients are fairly typical and you’ll find a similar balance in other products as well.
However, there are a couple worth mentioning. First, the shake does contain stevia. This is used to give it sweetness, without increasing the sugar content.
Natural sweeteners like stevia (and Swerve) are the subject of considerable discussion – with some people relying on them and others avoiding them. That debate is beyond the scope of this post. But, the stevia is worth mentioning simply for people who are trying to avoid it.
The shake is also promoted as being soy-free. But, that’s not actually the case. Instead, it contains soy lectin, just not soy protein.
The site Gigi Stewart offers an interesting discussion of what soy lecithin is and the implications for anyone avoiding soy. My biggest issue isn’t the soy itself but the fact that they’re being misleading about it in the marketing.
But, on the positive side, the products are gluten-free, making them suitable for a wider audience. The low sugar content may also make them relevant for keto dieters.
18 Shake has a fairly large ingredients list, although there is a focus on natural choices
Using 18 Shake to Lose Weight
18 Shake is mostly designed as a meal replacement, one that can be quickly prepared and consumed. The company explains it like this:
So, if you replace one (or more) of your daily meals with 18 Shake – you could easily lose weight. And, people do.
In this sense, the shake does actually work. It lets you decrease your calorie intake in a relatively easy and enjoyable way. The idea may be particularly relevant for anyone who struggles with intermittent fasting. After all, replacing a meal with a shake is easier than just skipping it altogether. Plus, a meal replacement shake does offer you a range of nutrients, which are beneficial for your health.
But, there are limitations too. For one thing, a shake will never be as satisfying as a meal – despite what the company claims.
Some people truly do feel full and energetic after a meal replacement shake. That feeling may even last to the next meal. But, the same isn’t true for everyone. Instead, some people get hungry soon afterward.
Basically, the concept can work and it does for some people. More than anything, the goal is to try and find an approach that fits your needs and behavior. Products like 18 Shake may be the answer, or you may need to find something else.
The concept of meal replacement shakes can work for weight loss – although the shakes often aren’t as filling as the company implies
18 Shake Reviews
Despite all of the marketing around 18 Shake, customer experiences are pretty mixed. You can see this by looking at the reviews on the Amazon listing, along with reviews on other sites.
For one thing, some people find the taste to be absolutely appalling, while others love it. So, in terms of the flavor there is not a consensus that everyone loves it.
The same is true for effectiveness. Some people have lost weight using 18 Shake, while others have seen few benefits.
With this in mind, it’s clear that the shakes are effective, to some degree or another.
But, users often try products until they find one that works and then stick to it. Because of this, the reviews offer no information about whether or not 18 Shake is better than other brands.
Reviews for 18 Shake are mixed, with some people finding the shakes effective and others being less impressed
How Does 18 Shake Compare?
18 Shake does have key advantages for weight loss. Having a shake instead of a meal significantly decreases calorie intake and it is cost-effective as well. For this reason alone, the underlying theory is effective.
But, most of these advantages apply equally to pretty much any shake brand out there. So, is 18 Shake actually any better? The best way to see this is to compare the nutrients, like in the table below.
Swipe left to view more columns
Nutritionally, the shakes are very similar to what 310 Nutrition offers, except that 18 Shake uses animal-based protein, so the shakes aren’t vegan.
As with that brand, 18 Shake is very low in calories, while also having minimal fat and sugars. These factors would help weight loss – simply because you’d be decreasing calorie intake considerably.
But, calories aren't the only consideration.
We also have to look at how filling the shakes are. The shake should last until your next meal (ideally) or at least until you would normally snack. To do this, it has to contain sufficient protein and fiber.
The fiber content here is 5 grams, which is about average. But, the more interesting aspect is the protein. At 15 grams, 18 Shake is roughly in the middle of the brands in the table. But, 15 grams per serving is on the low end for protein shakes.
Instead, you really need something with at least 20 grams per serving, ideally in the 25-30 gram range. 15 grams simply won’t make you full for very long.
Now, 18 Shake does contain one specific type of fiber (fibersol-2), which is promoted as an appetite suppressant. This is the same logic that weight loss supplements like Skinny Fiber use. In theory, the ingredient could help, especially as there has been some research into it (1). There are also some indications that this fiber could help improve gut microbiota because it is digestion resistant (2).
However, there are still only 5 grams of fiber in the product total. That dramatically limits any impact that the fiber could have on appetite or health.
There are also no other ingredients in 18 Shake that are likely to help suppress hunger. This means you’re left with a fairly typical shake that may not keep you satisfied for long enough.
You can add in other ingredients to make the drink taste better and increase the protein content, such as nut butter. But, be aware that this also adds to the calorie content and may reduce weight loss benefits.
For that matter, the company’s calorie count assumes that you’ll be making the shake with water. And, some people do that. But, many others will probably make it with milk instead. Doing so also increases the calories.
As long as the shakes end up being fewer calories than a regular meal you should still lose weight regardless of additions. Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of anything you do add and of changes to your behavior.
Based on the reviews and the ingredients, I’m sure that some people do find 18 Shake to be effective. In fact, every protein shake brand out there has its fans.
And honestly, if it works for you, that’s great. But, there are better options out there and these will tend to promote weight loss much more effectively.
One final thing to mention is that there are only two flavors in the 18 Shake range - chocolate and vanilla. That's fewer than most other companies and could get boring quickly.
The products from 18 Shake would be less filling than many other brands
18 Shake Price
With so many shakes currently on the market – comparing price is important. With 18 Shake, the packages contain 16 servings, so they’d last you around half a month if you had one serving per day.
The exact price varies depending on where you get the product from and how many you buy at once. But, you’re often looking at more than $50 per package or somewhere around that amount.
If the shake really helped you to lose weight, it may be worth that price. Still, upwards of $50 for half a month’s supply isn’t great and many other brands are more reasonable. And again, there isn’t much that makes this brand stand out.
The shakes are more expensive than many other brands
Meal Replacement Shakes vs Protein Shakes
One other consideration is whether you want an actual meal replacement shake. The term refers to shakes that contain a range of added vitamins and minerals.
For 18 Shake, this was done using compounds like potassium iodine and zinc citrate, although some brands rely more heavily on plant-based compounds instead. These nutrients do help to ensure you’re not deficient, especially if you are skipping meals.
Nevertheless, they aren’t essential.
Many people turn to protein shakes instead. These often have fewer ingredients and are less processed. Some brands, like Naked Whey, just contain the protein source and nothing else.
On average, protein shakes also contain a higher level of protein, such as 30 grams or more per serving. Many of them are also a better value for money. You can check out this detailed comparison of the different brands for more information on how the macronutrients differ and which ones are worth trying.
The site Lexi's Clean Kitchen also offers great information about how to build a perfect smoothie - regardless of the ingredients you plan on using.
You can also use protein powder and then get extra nutrients from other ingredients. For example, the site Paleo Grubs offers a list of 40 nutrient-dense smoothies.
Protein shakes are often a better choice for weight loss, offering more protein and fewer ingredients
For the most part, 18 Shake ends up offering average meal replacement shakes. While it may be effective for some people, the protein content is on the low end and the shakes are fairly expensive for what you get.
That aside, there are many protein shakes out there that have a better balance, regardless of the specific type you want. For example, you could turn to grass-fed whey protein, low-carb protein powders or plant-based alternatives. Many of these products offer more nutritional advantages as well.
And, for some people, protein powders may simply not be the answer. Instead, you may need to look at healthy lifestyle changes. These are long-term strategies that can promote both health and weight loss. They work well for many people, especially if you make decisions based on your personal needs and habits.
You can also check out our other protein shake reviews and comparison posts.
Want to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?
Weight loss is a huge industry, with no shortage of hype. But, long-term weight loss doesn't come from a crash diet or a popular fad.
Instead, you need sustainable habits and healthy foods.
Check out my recommended weight loss products to see where you can get started
[feather_share show="google_plus, twitter, facebook,pinterest" hide="reddit, linkedin, tumblr, mail"]