I am REALLY excited to take a more detailed look into a fan-favorite Shake called IsAgenix. Laura is sampling the creamy dutch chocolate flavor, which according to their marketing, claims ‘high quality undenatured whey protein’, as part of their ‘Cheerful Cows‘ certification. Could there be reason for all the hype, or is it too good to be true?!
Upon doing my due diligence, I came across this really informative article that explains the in depth background behind the science of denaturing milk into components like whey and casein; looks into concentrates and isolates, and helps distinguish benefits of raw and whole milk, and tons more. To sum it up, regardless of how you shake it, your protein from milk has been denatured. It is a complete myth (albeit a fabulous marketing strategy!) that IsaGenix offers ‘undenatured whey’, but truth be told, denatured whey is non-existent. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were actually possible?
Sugars: GRADE C
Each packet is sweetened with 11g of sugar — which seems a bit high to be consuming all at once. If you check out the ingredient list (you’ll have to scroll since it’s SO long) you will discover that it comes from the dreaded FRUCTOSE. Fructose, comes from fruit, so should be OK right!? Well, you might be familiar with the term ‘High Fructose Corn Syrup’ (this is one of the culprits fueling an obese epidemic) and that we want to avoid this at all cost, right!? Fructose gets metabolized differently in your body when eating a piece of fruit (think of all those natural fibers, sugars, antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids etc) when compared to an isolated ingredient. Fructose breakdown occurs in the liver — our organ of cleansing and detoxification, cholesterol management, blood sugar support, and SO much more. The liver is a veryyyyyy busy organ that does NOT have time for extra jobs. When your liver is taxed with stress and too much to do, one of the first effects is that it has a hard time breaking down the bad cholesterol in your system and it thus accumulates, potentially yielding a fatty liver and all of the downstream consequences that brings with it. Regardless of the dosage, I would NOT choose to include a daily intake of fructose into my routine whatsoever.
This brand did an excellent job at including some of the ‘trending’ type of protein shake ingredients, including flax seed powder (but I don’t meant to get picky, but ideally you want to consume flax seeds in their whole, naturally cute state, or blend them yourself and store in the fridge to prolong rancidity — when you are ingesting the powder, who knows what’s up with the delicate oils!? Likely gone bad.). Good attempt, though!
- Other perks I liked in the formula include the Alfalfa leaf extract (packed with nutrients, minerals vitamins!) — but keep in mind, this is an ‘extract’ so who knows what’s been taken away from the leaf in its’ original state…
- Seat salt (sea minerals, yay!)
- Potassium citrate (nice, absorbable chelate)
- Enzyme blend from various strains (the more strains the better, ideally)
- Proteolytic enzymes, awesome for digestion and antioxidant support (bromelain from pineapples and papain from papaya)
- Yucca root (phytonutrients, saponins, resveratrol)
- Cinnamon (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fights infections/viruses, slows aging)
- Psyllium seed powder (laxative effect — so be weary, and do NOT rely on any daily source to help your digestion)
- Stevia — from a plant, yay!
TOO MANY INGREDIENTS! It makes me dizzy just trying to scroll down the list..
- IsAgenix did not use transparent terms on their label (for instance, which type of vitamin B12 is in this product? This is important to know for nutrient absorption rates and how much I am getting out of the $ spent on this product. Cyanocobalamin is the form with the lowest absorption rate btw and is the one used). Also, folic acid is now a very dated form of this vitamin to be used — preferably is folate (the active form!)… Watch for this in vitamins/supplements too.
- Natural Dutch cocoa powder (the more highly processed form compared to highly beneficial raw cocoa — see more on alkalized cocoa from two weeks back).
- Isomaltooligosaccharide powder — IMO for short, crazy word! Derived from starch, this carbohydrate can be considered a prebiotic (food for the probiotics). Side effects are mild, but could consist of gas, bloating, and digestive upset.
- Sunflower oil powder — why would ANYONE want to add more omega-6 inflammatory oils to their diet when we eat too many of them in the first place, especially when compared to the good stuff, aka omega 3’s. Don’t be fooled by sunflower oil. The seeds themselves are an AWESOME snack, but not the processed, inflammation-sparking oil (heavily processed too).
- Natural flavors — no. such. thing.
- Magnesium oxide — this chelate is one of the hardest to absorb, and cheapest. Lower on the list they include magnesium citrate (slightly better), and lower still they add magnesium stearate (the jury is still out on this ingredient)
As much as I wanted to fall for the taste and the ‘science’ behind this product, I wasn’t as pleased as I had hoped.
Misleading materials/ingredient list, tricky marketing strategies, tending toward false claims, poor quality sweeteners, too many inflammatory ingredients –>
FINAL Grade: C