Is Premier Protein good for you?

Is Premier Protein good for you? Premier Protein is not good for you. Keep reading to learn more about the ingredients in Premier Protein shakes, and why they can cause uncomfortable side effects.

Premier Protein is not good for you.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

Are Premier Protein shakes healthy?

Premier Protein shakes are one of the most popular protein supplements. They are cheap, widely available, and marketed as a healthy way to boost your protein intake, but they are far from healthy. Premier Protein shakes have one of the worst ingredient lists that I have ever seen, and can cause uncomfortable side effects and long term gut damage. 

UPDATE JUNE 2023: BellRing Brands, which manages Premier Protein, is alleged in a new class-action lawsuit to have failed to monitor lead levels in its protein shakes, and to have exposed consumers to potentially unsafe levels of lead, which is linked to cancer and birth defects.

Premier Protein Nutrition Facts.

A Premier Protein Vanilla Protein Shake contains 160 calories, 30 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of sugar. From a Nutritional Standpoint, it looks like a great source of dietary protein. Just because the nutrient content looks good does not mean that a protein supplement is good for you, however. The ingredients matter just as much, if not more, and in this category, Premier Protein fails miserably.

Premier Protein ingredients.

milk protein concentrate

Do premier protein shakes have dairy? The second and ingredient and main source of protein in a Premier Protein Vanilla Protein Shake is milk protein concentrate, a dairy product. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no official, legal definition for a milk protein concentrate. That said, it is generally understood to be any product made by removing the non-protein components of milk, thereby concentrating the protein components to higher levels.

If you are familiar with protein supplements, you will know that many are made with milk protein (whey) isolates. The main difference between an isolate and a concentrate is that a concentrate has less protein and more carbs (lactose) and fat per serving. For this reason, milk protein concentrates are notorious for causing side effects. 

Because they contain lactose (the sugar in dairy), milk protein concentrates are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not make enough lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose. It is estimated that roughly two thirds of the world’s population has 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. 

I will not go into the details, but protein isolates, although they contain less lactose, are not easy to digest either. They undergo heavy mechanical and sometime chemical processing, which means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. This is a problem because the less an ingredient looks like food, the harder it is to digest (more about this below).

food additives

A Premier Protein Vanilla Protein Shake contains over a half dozen food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are hard to digest and sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat.

As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.

Here are the food additives in a Premier Protein Vanilla Protein Shake:

High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Natural and Artificial flavors, Inulin, Cellulose Gel and Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Tripotassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate

artificial sweeteners

All Premier Protein shakes are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria), and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!

Here are the artificial sweeteners in a Premier Protein Vanilla Protein Shake:

Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium

When it comes to identifying food additives and artificial sweeteners, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. 

Are Premier Protein shakes good for you? 

Premier Protein shakes may seem like a tempting addition to your diet, but beware! These protein supplements are not as good for you as they claim to be. In summary, they 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 Premier 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.

Premier Protein:

Water, Milk Protein Concentrate†, Calcium Caseinate†, Contains less than 1% of High Oleic Sunflower Oil or Soybean Oil, Natural and Artificial flavors, Inulin, Cellulose Gel and Cellulose Gum, Salt, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Carrageenan, Tripotassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Dl-alpha-tocopheryl Acetate [Vitamin E], Zinc Glycinate Chelate, Ferric Orthophosphate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Niacinamide, Phytonadione [Vitamin K1], Potassium Iodide, Cholecalciferol [Vitamin D3], Copper Gluconate, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Sodium Molybdate, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Cyanocobalamin [Vitamin B12], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Chromium Polynicotinate), Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate


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.