I was recently asked by a friend about the 18 Shake. It's a weight loss shake that I had never heard of before. Does it work? Is it a scam? Well, the product website calls it the “#1 Luxury Meal Replacement” which is quite a claim. All hype aside, In this review, I'll look at the nutrition and ingredients and science in the 18 shake as well as the price because I think that's important too. I was also curious what the “18” in the name referred to as well. Hopefully, this review will help you decide if the 18 Shake is right for you.
18 Shake Nutrition Facts
I was a little disappointed that I had to search for the ingredients in the 18 Shake. They make people click a link in the FAQ page on the product website (18Shake.com) to find them. Regardless, here are the calories and Nutrition Facts:
Amount Per Serving Percent Daily Value
Calories 90 Calories from fat 10 Total fat 1.5 g 2% DV
Saturated fat 1g 4% DV
Trans fat 0 g N/A
Cholesterol 30 mg 11% DV
Total carbs 8 g 3% DV
Dietary fiber 5 g 21% DV
Sugars 1 g N/A
Protein 15 g 30% DV
Let's take a closer look at this table and see if we can make it more understandable.
18 Shake Calories
The Nutrition Facts table tells us that 1 scoop of the 18 Shake is 27.27 grams. That is about 1 ounce (remember, 28 grams = 1 oz). The Nutrition Facts table also tells us that each container has 16 servings (scoops). So, if you used 1 scoop per day, a container would last you only about 2.5 weeks. This is important. See the price for the 18 Shake listed below for more information.
The product website contains various recipes too. They also provide information on the approximate number of calories those recipes have as well. Overall the recipes I saw look fine and add to the nutrition of the shake.
18 Shake Fat Content
The Nutrition Facts table tells us that each scoop has 10 calories from fat. In other words, of the 90 total calories in a scoop, 10 of those calories comes from fat. From this information, we can determine the percentage of fat that the shake is. To do this, here is the math:
Fat calories / Total calories X 100
10 fat calories / 90 total calories = 0.111
0.111 X 100 = 11.1% fat.
Answer; Each scoop of the 18 Shake is about 11% fat.
The Nutrition Facts label also tells us that each shake provides 2% and 4% respectfully the recommend amount of Total fat and Saturated fat we should aim for each day. As such, the shake is techncially “low” in both saturated fat and total fat.
Remember, when reading Nutrition Facts labels, FDA guidelines stipulate that anything that is 5% or less is considered “low” and anything that is 20% or more, is considered “high.”
Overall, that's not too bad.
The Fiber In 18 Shake
The 18 Shake provides 15 grams of fiber per scoop. This comes to 21% of the recommended amount of fiber we should be eating per day
The 21% is based on us eating 2000 calories per day. If we eat less calories, as most people taking the 18 Shake likely do, then its more than 21%. The good thing about fiber is it fills us up and doesn't provide any calories.
The fiber comes from a patented (man made) fiber called “Fibersol-2.” This is a fiber that comes from maltodextrin. This is why if you look at the ingredients, you won't see Fibersol-2 listed. Instead you will see maltodextrin. I've seen this fiber in many weight loss shakes.
They say that Fibersol-2 is “digestion resistant” which means we can't digest it and it provides no calories. In other supplements the term used is “digestion resistant starch.” Like all fiber, maltodextrin/Fibersol-2 helps fill us up, making it less likely for us to overeat or snack between meals.
Other products I've looked at that also contained Fibersol-2 include
See those other reviews for more info on those products.
Fibersol-2 was created by Japan’s Matsutani Chemical Industry Co and is produced by Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). In fact, the company that registered the “Fibersol.com” website is ADM. The Fibersol.com website mentions a study, conducted by Dr. Suzanne Hendrich at Iowa State University, that shows the fiber can decrease hunger, but they did not say where that study was published. I believe this may be the study mentioned on ClinicalTrials.gov.
I also located this 2015 study, in which 10 grams of Fibersol-2 made people feel less hungry 1.5-2 hours after using the fiber. In this study 5 grams of of the fiber did not work. This study did not investigate weight loss with Fibersol-2.
Because of this research, I feel it's likely that Fibersol-2 is one of the main ingredients – if not the main ingredient – in the 18Shake. Remember, the 18 shake has 15 grams of fiber/Fibersol-2 per scoop. So, it looks like the shake is giving people more than what research used. That's good.
You can buy Fibersol-2on Amazon, and it's not expensive either.
How Much Protein?
The 18 Shake provides 15 grams of protein per scoop. The protein comes from a combination of:
- Whey protein concentrate
- Whey protein isolate
They call this the “Due Protein Complex“ on the ingredients list. Whey protein is one of the 2 main proteins in milk. The other protein is casein. Some shakes contain mainly casein -such as Pure Protein Shake – while others contain mostly whey. Whey is a fine protein source and provides all the necessary amino acids that we needs. Personally, I like whey more than casein protein.
18 Shake Ingredients
Here are the ingredients for the 18 Shake. Read the table from left to right. Ingredients at the top of the list are present the most. Those at the end of the list are present the least.
|Whey protein concentrate||Whey protein isolate||Maltoxextrin (Fibersol-2)|
|Natural cocoa||Vitamin A||Vitamin C|
|Vitamin D3||Vitamin E||Vitamin K|
|Vitamin B6||Folic acid||Vitamin B12|
|Biotin||Panthothenic acid||Potassium iodide|
|Zinc citrate||Selenium chelate||Copper chelate|
|Chromium nicotinate||Xanthan gum||Natural flavoring|
For the most part, I've left out a lot of the big names of the vitamins to keep the ingredients as simple as possible. For example, instead of calling the ingredient”cyanocobalamin” I just called it vitamin B12 because that's what most of us call it.
Does It Contain Soy?
The ingredient list states that the 18Shake has soy lecithin but not soy protein. Soy lecithin is likely used to make sure the ingredients mix well. I think that's why it contains Xanthan gum also.
The website does kind of go on a tirade about how “the latest research” (which they didn't show us when I looked) shows that soy is bad for us – esp GMO soy. If you don't like soy, great, but my opinion I would not worry about it.
Does It Have GMO's?
The website says that the whey protein in the 18 Shake is Non-GMO. So it does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). While it's controversial in some circles whether GMOs are bad for us or not, I personally like knowing if a food/supplement is GMO. I appreciate the company stating this.
Is 18 Shake Gluten Free?
Yes, the website for the product states that the 18Shake is gluten free. This means it has less than 20ppm of gluten per serving. This is the gluten free rule set forth by the FDA. Here's the FDA gluten free page.
How Much Does 18 Shake Cost?
When I went to 18Shake.com, it appeared they had several options at different price points. BUT, to see the price, I first had to give them my name, address, phone number etc. Why do they need this information? I'm not comfortable giving this information to a company because I don't know what they will do with it.
On the “Privacy Page” of 18Shake.com, they say that they reserve the right to sell, transfer, rent your personal information to other providers for any purpose and do so at their discretion.
If I understand this correctly, it means that even if you don't buy the 18Shake, the company can still make money by selling your information to others. I wasn't comfortable with that.
That said, at the bottom of the website, on the Terms and Conditions Page of 18Shake.com, I discovered these prices for the product:
- 1 pack of the 18Shake is $79.99
- If you buy 2 packs of 18Shake, it's $179.97 plus they give 1 free pack
- If you buy 3 packs, it's $249.95 plus they give 2 free packs
So, if someone were to order a month's worth of the 18 Shake, it would cost between $160.00 and $180.00.
Who Makes The 18 Shake?
At the bottom of the 18Shake.com website, this address is listed: 3390 Deronda Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90068. When I goggled that address, I found the Zillow listing of what appear to be a house. When called the phone # on the website (800-614-1820), I was told this is the corporate office.
The company that makes the 18 Shake is called 18Nutrition.com. When I called the company I learned that the shake is made in the US and that it is shipped to consumers via a fulfillment center in Georgia which they own.
The Better Business Bureau gives18 shake (18nutrtion.com) a rating of “F.” . The BBB said justified this by the failure of the company to respond to 4 of 6 complaints the BBB had on them. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
How To Contact 18 Shake
The website for the shake lists this phone number: 800-614-1820.
How To Return The 18 Shake?
According to the Terms and Services page of 18Shake.com, there is a 30 day money back guarantee. It appears the return policy is for unopened products only. Consumers must provide to customer service their order ID and delivery address for a return to be issues. In addition, they also state that “Before a chargeback can be submitted, a card holder must write an e-mail to customer support in efforts to fix the issues, ask for an exchange or refund.”
The email address to the company is 18Nutrition@gmail.com but it's likely best to call the company first for the most reliable information on how to return the product. Their phone # is 800-614-1820.
What Does 18 Stand For?
Given that 18 is in the name of the 18Shake, I was curious what the number stood for. When I called the company, I was told that it was because there were 18 ingredients in the shake. But, when I added up the ingredients above, I counted 25, not 18.
So, I'm not sure what the number stands for. I agree, it's trivial. I just like to know these things.
See my review of the 310 Shake to see what the 310 in that name stands for.
18 Shake vs. ProNourish Shake?
Ive written an entire review on the ProNourish shake and compared it to the 18 Shake and several others too.
Here's the ProNourish Review (click to read review).
Does The 18 Shake Work?
The idea behind weight loss shakes is to substitute the lower calorie shake for something that is more calories. By doing this, we reduce the calories we would ordinarily eat per day. The 18 Shake only has 90 calories if you mix it with water so if you drink two of these per day in place of something else, then sure, I think people would lose weight (assuming they don't cheat).
That said, to me, it just looks like a fiber supplement with some protein added. I say this because I believe the 18 Shake is expensive. The active ingredient – which I believe is Fibersol is a LOT less expensive. So, while I think the shake will work, if used as directed, for me it all comes down to price.
Here's Fibersol on Amazon if you want to see what others are saying.