The diet and weight loss industry is worth over $70 billion, because dieters want to see results as fast as possible. Meal replacement shakes are especially popular because they offer a convenient way to have a low-calorie meal on-the-go. Here we present an objective scientific review to see if one of the top-selling brands—310 shakes—are really as good as they claim to be.
What Are 310 Shakes?
These high-protein meal replacement shakes are made by the company 310 Nutrition. The shakes come in powder form and are usually made by adding 12 fl oz (341 ml) of cold water or milk to the powder. The 310 shakes come in a $68 package that contains 28 servings. That equals about $2.43 per serving. There are nine 310 shakes flavors, including:
- Toasted Coconut
- Salted Caramel
- Vanilla Chai
- Whey Vanilla
310 Shake Ingredients
Summary: 310 shakes are high-protein meal replacement shakes designed for weight loss. There are nine different flavors that come in powder form. They cost roughly $2.43 per shake.
All of the 310 meal replacement shakes contain four common ingredients:
- Tri-Plex Blend
- 310 Greens Blend
- Vitamin and Mineral Blend
We'll discuss what each blend contains below.
Tri-Plex Plant-Based Blend
Eight of the nine 310 shakes use this plant-based blend that contains three ingredients:
- Pea Protein
- Brown Rice Protein
- Hemp Protein
Most plant foods are incomplete sources of protein, meaning that they lack some essential amino acids. However, hemp and pea protein are complete proteins (like those found in animal products and whey protein isolate), making them high-quality sources of plant protein. That said, if your goal is to build muscle, both whey and most plant-based protein blends appear to be just as effective. A study in young men found no difference between pea and whey protein on muscle gains. Meanwhile, another small study found no difference between whey or rice proteins on body composition and exercise performance (1, 2). As far as weight loss, no studies have yet compared the effects of plant-based and whey-based proteins on body weight. Overall, any weight loss resulting from 310 shakes is probably due to the high protein content, which reduces appetite and cravings, and the calorie deficit that results, rather than the specific types of protein consumed (3, 4).
Tri-Plex Whey-Based Blend
Only one 310 shake (the whey vanilla flavor) uses this whey-based blend, which contains three key ingredients:
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Milk Protein Isolate
Whey is one of two proteins found in milk (the other being casein). As mentioned above, whey protein is a complete protein, making it a high-quality source of protein (5). Whey protein is especially popular among athletes due to its easy digestibility. It's absorbed faster compared to other types of proteins and is effective for building muscle after resistance exercise (6, 7).
310 Greens Blend
This powdered blend contains organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. Eating your fruits and vegetables as powders or juices means you'll be missing out on health benefits associated with eating these foods in their whole form (8). Consuming the flesh, skin, and pulp of whole fruits and vegetables offers a wide range of different nutrients, like fiber, that you wouldn't otherwise get by consuming a powder or juice. There's also currently no evidence that shows that organic ingredients are any more nutritious than their conventional counterparts (9).
Vitamin and Mineral Blend
This blend contains vitamins E and A and the minerals magnesium, calcium and potassium. For most people, a healthy and balanced diet can provide your body with enough vitamins and minerals. But too much of a good thing can be harmful, and taking high doses of vitamins can sometimes have unpleasant side effects. For example, long-term supplementation with vitamin A may make your bones more prone to fractures. Meanwhile, taking high doses of calcium could lead to stomach pain and diarrhea (10, 11). What's more, supplements are not always effective for prevention of disease. One large study found that dietary supplementation with vitamin E significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men (12).
Probiotics are microorganisms with beneficial effects on the human body. The 310 shakes contain the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus. There is some evidence to suggest that Lactobacillus acidophilus may be useful for managing eczema/atopic dermatitis and preventing antibiotic-related diarrhea. However, there's still not enough evidence to recommend specific strains of probiotics to different individuals (13, 14, 15).
Meal Replacement Shakes and Weight Loss
Summary: 310 shakes contain whey or plant-based protein. Both forms have been shown to be effective for building muscle. Any weight loss resulting from a 310 shake is probably due to its high protein content and the resulting calorie deficit rather than the specific types of protein consumed. The shakes also contain a powdered blend of organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs along with added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
If you replace some of your meals with low-calorie shakes, there's a good chance you may experience some weight loss. The same goes for reducing your portion sizes and cutting down on snacks. It all comes down to energy balance. Basically, if the energy (calories) that you consume is less than the amount of energy that you burn throughout the day, you will lose weight. This calorie deficit principle applies to any weight loss diet, supplement or regimen that you follow. A meal replacement shake like a 310 shake provides under 200 calories per serving. For most adults, this is much lower than if they were to eat a meal. Since the average healthy adult requires roughly 2,000-2,500 calories per day to maintain their weight, you can see how a meal replacement shake would help anyone cut their calories. In the short-term, meal replacement drinks have been shown to lead to weight loss. However, we know that the majority of dieters will eventually regain that weight. In fact, many end up heavier than they were before dieting (16). As the name suggests, you need to replace an entire meal with a shake and also stick to recommended portion sizes throughout the day. If not, you might end up consuming more calories than your body needs, which is known as positive energy balance. This could lead you to gain weight, even when your on a diet. You also need to consider how you will keep the weight off once you stop taking the shakes. One study found that high levels of daily physical activity (at least an hour a day), eating breakfast regularly, maintaining consistent eating patterns and self-monitoring weight are the best strategies for keeping weight off for the long-term (17).
310 Shakes Vs Shakeology
Summary: Meal replacement shakes may result in short-term weight loss. This comes down to creating a negative energy balance (burning more calories than you're taking in). This calorie deficit principle applies to any weight loss regimen. However, adopting small and sustainable healthy diet and lifestyle changes is best for long-term success.
Shakeology is a protein supplement designed to facilitate weight loss as part of the Beach Body Program, another fitness and weight loss company. Here's a comparison of Shakeology and 310 shakes.
310 Shakes and Shakeology Similarities
Both companies offer low calorie, high-protein meal replacement shakes for weight loss that have positive online customer testimonials Both types of shakes contain added vitamins, minerals, powdered fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They also provide vegan options with plant-based protein blends. 310 and Shakeology also offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
310 Shakes and Shakeology Differences
Shakeology recommends one serving per day, while 310 shakes recommend one to two per day. Shakeology is also higher in sugar, lower in fiber and protein, and only offers four flavors compared to the nine options of 310 shakes. 310 shakes contain either plant-based or whey-based protein blends, while Shakeology contains both (except for their Vegan Chocolate flavor). Shakeology is more expensive at $4.56 per serving versus 310 Shakes' $2.43 per serving.
310 Shake Reviews
Summary: Both companies provide high-protein, low-calorie meal replacement shakes for weight loss. They have a similar nutritional profile, but 310 Shakes are a cheaper option.
Online reviews for 310 shakes are mostly positive. At least 80% of customers gave 310 shakes a four or five-star review on the company's website. Meanwhile, on Amazon, only 66% of customers give the Vanilla 310 shake a four- or five-star review compared with 92% on the 310 site. Some customers say that they have lost impressive amounts of weight and that the product has a great smell. Lower ratings were mainly due to an unpleasant aftertaste or "gritty" consistency. However, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee. We found no complaints about this money back guarantee, but some customers have stated that the company offers false discount codes. Others have found it difficult to cancel subscriptions due to lack of response to emails. You can become a member of the 310 Rewards Scheme by creating a free online account. As a member, you can earn reward points through purchases and by interacting with the company on social media. Reward points give you access to exclusive deals and discounts.
Should You Use 310 Shakes?
Summary: Online reviews for 310 shakes are generally positive. The company also offers a 310 Rewards Scheme, which gives members access to exclusive deals and discounts. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
310 shakes may help with weight loss in the short-term. This is because they're not only low in calories, but high in protein, which has been shown to reduce appetite and cravings. Several 310 shakes customers have reported impressive weight loss results of up to 25 lbs over a matter of months. However, as with many diets, that weight loss is often only short-term. While 310 shakes are healthier than other competitor brands, without any artificial flavors or added sugars, they're still overpriced. In fact, there are plenty of cheaper protein powders available online and at most supermarkets that offer similar benefits. You'll also need to consider how you will continue to keep the weight off after you stop taking the shakes. Implementing healthy and sustainable dietary changes that involve eating whole foods is best for long-term weight loss and maintenance.
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