Live more, be more, experience more, THRIVE for more …
This is one of the first things that caught my eye when doing research for my Thrive Protein Shake reviews.
You’ll see why in a minute.
First, a little background …
Thrive, in case you don’t know, is a self-described “premium lifestyle brand” owned by a company called Le-Vel.
As a fellow small business owner that also sells a protein powder, I admire their marketing positioning and product design.
I don’t admire the stuff they put in their Thrive Mix protein shakes.
In this review, I’ll share some really alarming ingredients I found while analyzing the nutrition facts and ingredients.
Check it out …
Le Vel Thrive Mix Protein Shake Review
Thrive sells a lot of different products …
My analysis will only focus on their protein shake called Le-Vel Thrive Lifestyle Mix Protein Powders.
Here’s how all my reviews work:
First I’ll show you the nutrition facts labels and ingredients for each Thrive Mix flavor. In the images below I’ve noted some “red flags”. I’ll explain what each of these means and why it should concern you further down the page.
Let’s jump in …
What Is Thrive Lifestyle Mix Protein Powder?
According to its website,
THRIVE by Le-Vel is something that’s hard to explain, and challenging to describe… it’s something that can only be experienced.
But I don’t care much for marketing speak.
I care about what’s in the foods I eat.
Here’s what’s in each of Thrive’s protein shakes …
Le Vel Thrive Nutrition Facts and Ingredients Analysis
Lots of red flags here! Here’s why I flagged each:
- Protein sources: All Thrive protein shakes use three sources: whey, soy, and pea. This is an interesting combination, I must admit. Whey and soy protein work for some people. For others (such as those with dairy sensitivities), they can lead to inflammation or worse.
- Maltodextrin / Corn Starch: Maltodextrin and corn starch are thickeners used in all types of processed foods. They’re a complete junk ingredient that can spike your blood sugar, suppress the growth of probiotics, cause allergic reactions, and negatively affect several of your body’s organs and systems. I recommend avoiding any product that has this crap.
- Cellulose: Cellulose is powdered wood pulp. It has zero nutritional value. Its long-term effects on your microbiome and overall health have not been studied.
- Gums/Thickeners: Gums are food additives that are commonly used as stabilizers, thickeners, or emulsifiers. Le Vel uses several different types of gums in its Thrive Mixes, many of which can be disruptive to gut health. For example, xanthan gum has been shown to cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
- Sucralose: Sucralose is a popular artificial sweetener (you may recognize it as “Splenda”). According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, sucralose has been shown to cause leukemia and related blood cancers in animal studies and negatively impacts the gut by changing your microbiome and enzymes.
- Magnasweet: Magnasweet is a sweetener made from licorice root; however, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s “natural.” According to Magnasweet’s website: “The Magnasweet® product line consists of the base products as well as compounded flavors consisting of the base products compounded with other artificial and/or natural flavors.” While we’re on the topic of “natural” flavors …
- Natural Flavors: Natural flavors are now the 4th most common ingredient on food labels. But they’re definitely not natural. David Andrews, Senior Scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), had this to say about natural flavors:
[Natural flavors] will often have some solvent and preservatives—and that makes up 80 to 90 percent of the volume. In the end product, it’s a small amount, but it still has artificial ingredients.
Thrive Mix Shakes Nutrition Facts Summary
|Grams of Protein||15|
|Protein Source(s)||Whey protein concentrate, soy protein, pea protein|
|Grams of Sugar||1-2|
|Free of “Natural” Flavors||No|
|Free of Gums & Thickeners||No|
|Cost Per Gram||$.08|
Bottom Line: Is Thrive Protein Powder Good for You?
Thrive says this on its website:
The saying “not all shakes are created equal” is proven true by our ultra micronized Premium Lifestyle Mix, which is in a category all by itself.
Actually, it’s in a category that’s quite familiar in the protein powder industry: chemical additives, corn-based fillers, gums, thickeners, and artificial sweeteners.
Le-Vel Thrive Protein Shakes are simply just another protein powder filled with the same old junk everybody else uses.
The facts are Thrive a) is not organic; b) contains an artificial sweetener that has been shown to cause cancer in animal studies; and c) is loaded with additives, fillers, and emulsifiers.
My $0.10: Stick with a protein powder that has all-natural, organic ingredients instead.