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 vanilla protein shake

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).

premier protein vanilla protein shake ingredients

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. 

vegan vanilla protein powder serving suggestion
vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 1

A Premier Protein alternative.

Our protein powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain

vanilla protein powder 28 servings lifestyle image 1
vegan vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 2

Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for your gut. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. If you cannot eat eggs, try our almond protein powder.

Unlike protein concentrates or isolates, almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prefer almonds to other minimally-processed plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties and can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome.


easy to digest

“I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 20+ years and it’s always been hard to find a protein powder my stomach can handle. I’ve had no problem digesting drink wholesome AND it tastes great. I highly recommend this protein powder if you have IBS or Crohn’s.” – Jesse

Read more reviews or take the quiz.


vanilla protein powder

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3 protein powder samples


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.


Premier Protein shakes have gained popularity as a convenient way to meet daily protein requirements, especially among individuals who lead busy lives or are looking to supplement their diet with a quick and easy source of protein. While these shakes may seem like a convenient solution, there are several reasons why Premier Protein shakes may not be as good for you as they appear.

1. Artificial Ingredients

One of the most significant concerns with Premier Protein shakes is their high content of artificial ingredients. These shakes often contain artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners, such as sucralose (Splenda). Consuming a high amount of artificial additives can have adverse effects on your health, including potential allergic reactions and digestive discomfort. It’s always best to opt for products with minimal artificial additives to support your overall well-being.

2. High Sugar Content

Many Premier Protein shakes are laden with sugar, often in the form of added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Excess sugar intake is linked to numerous health problems, including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and dental issues. Consuming sugary shakes regularly may lead to unwanted weight gain and other health complications, especially if you’re using them as meal replacements.

3. Low Fiber Content

Fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet, as it supports digestive health, helps control blood sugar levels, and aids in weight management. Unfortunately, Premier Protein shakes tend to be low in fiber, which means they may not keep you feeling full for an extended period. As a result, you might find yourself feeling hungry shortly after consuming a shake, leading to overeating or unhealthy snacking.

4. Insufficient Micronutrients

While Premier Protein shakes are designed to provide a quick protein fix, they often lack essential vitamins and minerals that whole foods offer. Relying solely on these shakes can lead to micronutrient deficiencies over time, as they may not provide all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. A balanced diet rich in whole foods is essential for overall health.

5. Potential Digestive Issues

Many people report experiencing digestive discomfort, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea, after consuming Premier Protein shakes. This can be attributed to the artificial additives, sugar alcohols, or specific protein sources used in the shakes. These digestive issues can disrupt your daily life and make you question whether the convenience of a protein shake is worth the discomfort.

6. Unnecessary Calorie Intake

If you’re not using Premier Protein shakes as part of a well-balanced diet and exercise routine, you may end up consuming unnecessary calories. Each shake typically contains around 160-170 calories, and if you’re not burning those calories through physical activity, they can contribute to weight gain.

7. Pricey Option

Premier Protein shakes can be relatively expensive compared to other protein sources. If you’re on a tight budget, there are more cost-effective ways to meet your protein needs, such as incorporating whole foods like lean meats, beans, and dairy products into your diet.

8. Limited Variety

Relying heavily on Premier Protein shakes for your protein intake can lead to a monotonous diet. Consuming a variety of protein sources not only ensures you receive a broader range of nutrients but also makes your meals more enjoyable and satisfying.

9. Lack of Sustainable Lifestyle Change

Perhaps the most significant concern with Premier Protein shakes is that they don’t promote a sustainable, long-term healthy eating habit. While they may help you achieve short-term protein goals, they often do not encourage a balanced diet composed of whole, nutrient-rich foods. A sustainable approach to health and wellness involves making lasting dietary changes and adopting a holistic approach to nutrition.


While Premier Protein shakes may offer a quick and convenient source of protein, they come with several drawbacks that can negatively impact your health. These include high levels of artificial ingredients, excessive sugar, low fiber content, and potential digestive issues. Moreover, relying on these shakes as a primary protein source can hinder your ability to develop a sustainable and balanced diet.

To prioritize your health and well-being, it’s essential to consider the potential downsides of using Premier Protein shakes and explore alternative ways to meet your protein needs. Incorporating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods into your diet is the most effective way to ensure you receive the necessary nutrients for long-term health and vitality. Always consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before making significant changes to your diet or supplementation routine to tailor your choices to your specific needs and goals.