Are Fairlife protein shakes good for you?

Are Fairlife protein shakes good for you? Fairlife protein shakes are particularly not good for you. Keep reading to learn more about Fairlife Core Power protein shakes, and why they can cause painful side effects.


Fairlife protein shake review.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What are Fairlife protein shakes?

Fairlife is a brand of ultra-filtered milk distributed by the Coca-Cola Company. Their protein shakes, which can be found at most gas stations in the United States, are cheap, convenient, and one of the most popular protein supplements. With 26 grams of protein per serving, Core Power protein shakes are certainly a great way to boost your intake, but are they healthy? In this article, we will take a close look at Fairlife’s ingredients so you can decide for yourself.

Fairlife Nutrition Facts.

Fairlife milk contains more protein and less sugar than ordinary milk. A 14oz Fairlife Core Power Vanilla Protein Shake contains 170 calories, 26 grams of protein, and 5 grams of sugar. From a Nutritional Standpoint, this looks like a good source of dietary protein. To be sure though, we have to take a close look at the ingredients.


Fairlife ingredients.

Filtered Lowfat Grade A Milk

The first ingredient and main source of protein in a Fairlife Core Power Vanilla Protein Shake is Filtered Lowfat Grade A Milk. To make filtered milk, milk is passed through a semipermeable membrane which removes water and lactose (sugar). What is left behind is milk with more protein and less sugar per ounce than ordinary milk.

It is important to note that Fairlife protein shakes still contain some sugar (lactose), which can cause digestive issues for people with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not make enough lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose. Roughly two thirds of all adults have some degree of lactose intolerance, which makes sense because humans no longer “need” the ability to digest milk after breastfeeding. Common symptoms include bloating, gas, and diarrhea. 

food additives

A Fairlife Core Power Vanilla Protein Shake contains almost a half dozen food additives. Additives improve characteristics like taste, texture, and shelf stability, but they can also cause uncomfortable side effects and long-term gut health problems.

Here are the food additives in Fairlife Core Power Vanilla Protein Shakes:

Natural Flavors, Carrageenan, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum

Basically, because they look nothing like real food, food additives are hard to digest. They therefore sit in your gut, feeding your hungry gut bacteria. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon). This can lead to constipation.

Over time, regularly eating certain food additives can disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, triggering the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Some additives can also alter the function and composition of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. An altered gut microbiome is a leading cause of inflammation and linked to the onset and progression of several chronic diseases.

natural flavors

A quick note about natural flavors…Most people are aware that artificial flavors are made in laboratories, but many are surprised to learn that natural flavors are also made in labs. ‘Natural flavor’ is more or less a catch-all term for everything that a manufacturer would rather not spell out on the ingredient list. While food manufacturers are required to disclose their ingredients, natural flavor manufacturers are not. They can add solvents, preservatives, emulsifiers, carriers and other additives to a flavor that qualifies as “natural” under current regulations

artificial sweeteners

All Fairlife Core Power protein shakes are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which are among the most harmful additives in the long term given their impact on your gut microbiota

Here are the artificial sweeteners in Fairlife Core Power Vanilla Protein Shakes:

Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose

It is worth noting that some artificial sweeteners cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestines. Now, you may finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!


The final ingredient that I would like to discuss is stevia. Stevia is an inexpensive zero calorie sweetener derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant. It is over 100 times sweeter than table sugar, and is considered by many to be a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners like sucralose.

That said, stevia is often extracted using chemicals like ethanol and methyl alcohol. This, one could argue, makes it barely more natural than the artificial sweeteners that it seeks to replace. In fact, a recent class action lawsuit filed in California reached a $6.1 million settlement because it was ruled that the company in question falsely labeled and advertised its stevia sweeteners as natural. 

Are Core Power protein shakes good for you? 

Fairlife protein shakes may seem like a tempting option for your daily nutrition, but beware! These protein supplements are not as good for you as they claim to be. Fairlife protein shakes are not healthy because they are made with a cocktail of food additives that can cause painful side effects and long-term gut health problems.

Why drink wholesome?

If you have a sensitive stomach, or are simply looking for a protein boost without extra processing and added junk, try drink wholesome. Unlike Core power protein shakes, our protein powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with whole food protein sources. Order samples to see if they are right for you.

Fairlife ingredients:

Filtered Lowfat Grade A Milk, Contains Less Than 1% of: Natural Flavors, Monk Fruit Juice Concentrate, Stevia Leaf Extract, Carrageenan, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Lactase Enzyme, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3


simple and delicious

” I worked with a dietitian and she turned me on to your product. I absolute favorite protein powder. The only brand I drink now. I so appreciate the clean simple trusted ingredients! Love that it’s a small business and that it was started by a normal person rather than a big corporation. Bonus that I feel comfortable sharing my smoothies with my little nieces and nephews!” – Katie

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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.