CTRL Shake – Meal Replacement Shakes CTRL Shake – Meal Replacement Shakes
Our Rating:
5.4/10

CTRL has sugary themed shakes like "Birthday Cake" and "Cinnamon Toast". They are relatively new to the market.

Nutrition Per Serving1

280

Calories

6g

Sugar

110mg

Cholesterol

6g

Fat

33g

Carbs

5g

Dietary Fiber

23g

Protein

$2.65

Price Per Serving1


Reviews from Real People

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*We do not make any guarantees and that any comments made above in the FB feed are personal results of that individual. Results may vary from person to person.

Our Review

To help you to make a more informed decision.

WRITTEN BY
Chrissy Arsenault - MBA, RDN, LD

Chrissy Arsenault, MBA, RDN, LD, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Licensed Dietitian based in Indianapolis. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science at Cornell University and her MBA at Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Read More

#1
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#26
Calories 110 130 124 160 280
Soy Free Protein
Sugars 0g 0g 0g 1g 6g
No Artifical Sweeteners
Superfoods
Probiotics
Price Per Serving $2.43 $2.32 $2.00 $3.50 $2.65
Shop Our #1 Rated Shake

310 Shake is a healthy meal replacement formula made with some of the finest natural ingredients in the world.

CTRL Shake Review

If you haven’t heard of CTRL meal replacement shakes yet, you might be a gamer noob.

These shakes come in sweet, cereal-inspired flavors. They are low in calories, high in healthy protein, and contain 23 vitamins and minerals. 

Although they’re sweetened with artificial sweeteners and contain some not-as-healthy ingredients, they’re reasonably priced and have a good nutritional profile.

Want to learn whether CTRL shakes might fit your lifestyle? Read on to learn about this shake, its nutrient profile, and pros and cons!

Ctrl Shake Taste

CTRL Labs claims that their meal replacement shakes are “unbelievably tasty” and taste like the bottom of a cereal bowl. After all, who wants to drink a shake that tastes chalky and gross?

Overall, CTRL shakes are tasty, mix well in water or almond milk, and taste sweet. They’re perfect for anyone who likes sweets but is trying to limit them for health reasons.

The CTRL community agrees that these shakes are tasty. Some positive reviews about the taste of CTRL shake reviews are as follows [1]:

  • I started following this company before they launched because I knew who Skyler Johnson was from the esports scene. They heavily advertised the fact it tasted just like the leftover milk from cereal and I was highly skeptical of the product… that was until I tried the fruity flakes. I don’t know what magic they pulled off but I can’t find enough good things to say about it. It literally tastes like cereal.” – Giovanni
  • “I used to drink huel in the mornings as my commute is pretty long and I’m often out to the door by 6:30 am, but after trying this product I’m officially switching to this as my on-the-go meal. Tastes great, fills you up — overall, an amazing product.” – Alex George
  • “I bought this to hopefully figure out my awful eating habits at night and it has worked wonders. Not only do I feel a lot better but it has helped me regain my nutrition goals while trying to stream as much as I do!” – Stephanie Grace

Ctrl Shake Flavor

At this point, we’ve heard a lot about how cereals are filled with added sugars and are unhealthy.

So, how can we fit in some sweet cereal goodness into our lives that remind us of our younger days? CTRL shakes have it all figured out for us by providing indulgent, sweet flavors!

Take a look at these specialized flavors modeled after our favorite cereal boxes [1]:

 

  • Cinnamon Toast: “golden, cinnamon-sprinkled flow of deliciousness.”
  • Fruity Flakes: “rich, fruit-frosted flavors”
  • Cocoa Crunch: “smooth, chocolatey river of nostalgia”
  • Birthday Cake: “fluffy helping of sweetness with a smooth vanilla undertone”
  • Cookies N’ Cream: “rich, indulgent cookie combines with a sweet, creamy layer of delight”
  • Apple Smacks (newest flavor released March 25, 2021): “juicy apples combine with a delicate dusting of cinnamon”

Ultimately, the flavor is one of the best things about shakes from CTRL Labs. They claim that “if [our] flavors won awards, our trophy cabinet would be stacked.”

If you’re not sure which flavor you might like, CTRL Labs offers sample sizes, starter kits, and a try-it kit to get you started.

However, if you enjoy standard flavors like vanilla or chocolate, or perhaps savory flavors like salted caramel, you won’t have many options to try with CTRL Labs.

Aside from the taste and flavor of meal replacement shakes, the nutrient profile is important. So, are CTRL shakes healthy?

Ctrl Shake Calories

Calories come from macronutrients called protein, fat, and carbs. They supply our bodies with energy to perform essential functions.

Each CTRL shake has 280 calories. This makes a CTRL shake higher in calories than many protein shakes, but comparable to other full meal replacement shakes. Also, compared to a meal that you’d prepare or order at an eatery, this value is much lower!

If you’re looking to cut back on calories for your health or weight loss, CTRL may be a good fit. You can either use it as a full meal replacement for breakfast, lunch, or dinner or drink it in between your meals to keep you satiated.

Ctrl Shake Fat

Each CTRL meal replacement shake contains 6 to 7 grams of fat, which makes up 8 to 9 percent of the percent Daily Value for a 2,000-calorie diet. The amount depends on what flavor you choose.

Its fat content consists of both unsaturated and saturated fats that give it a creamy mouthfeel:

  • Unsaturated fats (5 grams): The soybean and partially hydrogenated soybean oil in CTRL shakes contribute unsaturated fats to their nutrient profile. These heart-healthy fats can help you lower your “bad” cholesterol (LDL). [2] But, we recognize that many people are limiting or avoiding the intake of products that contain soy.
  • Saturated fats (2 grams): Yes, saturated fats are known as being the unhealthy sibling to unsaturated fats. [2] However, CTRL shakes contain healthy medium-chain triglycerides, which may boost your metabolism, support weight loss, and be easily digested in your body! [3]

There are no trans fats in this meal replacement shake.

Ctrl Shake Total Carbohydrates (Carbs), Sugar & Sweeteners

Total Carbohydrates

Each CTRL shake consists of 31 to 33 grams of total carbs. This is equivalent to two servings of carbs, so it’s not a low-carb meal replacement shake by any means.

But, wait — before the number of carbs scares you off — our bodies rely on carbs as the primary source of energy, so we need to eat enough carbs to function! [4] If you’re also replacing an entire meal with a CTRL shake, you should ideally include some carbs (which this product includes).

If you’re worried about eating too many carbs, try mixing this meal replacement shake with water, mix it into oatmeal, or choose unsweetened almond milk!

Dietary Fiber

Out of the total carbs in each CTRL shake, 5 grams come from dietary fiber. CTRL shakes can help you get closer to reaching your daily fiber goals.

Acacia gum is the primary source of fiber in this product. It’s a prebiotic fiber that can help promote healthy gut bacteria. Additionally, it’s rich in a type of fiber called soluble fiber, which may help you stay full and improve your health. [5]

To ensure that you meet your dietary fiber, try to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet in addition to drinking this meal replacement shake.

Added Sugars 

CTRL meal replacement shakes contain 2 grams of added sugar (4 percent of the Daily Value for a 2,000-calorie diet).

The sources of added sugar in this product include:

  • Table sugar (from the cereal pieces)
  • Fructose

Current guidelines suggest keeping added sugar intake lower than 10 percent of your total calories, and this product is under that limit! [6]

However, we’re most concerned with the unnecessary addition of fructose in this product. CTRL doesn’t exactly disclose how much fructose is in the product, but many studies suggest additive fructose’s link to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and elevated blood sugar.

Natural & Traditional Sweeteners

There are no natural sweeteners in CTRL shakes.

Most of the sweetness comes from sucralose, which is a high-intensity traditional/artificial sweetener that’s 600 times sweetener than sugar. It’s generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the FDA in over 110 studies. [7] 

However, it has an overpowering sweetness that many people don’t enjoy. Also, its long-term safety at higher doses has been under question. If you typically don’t like sucralose-sweetened shakes, CTRL may not be a fit.

Ctrl Shake Protein

CTRL shakes are great sources of protein, with 23 grams of protein in each serving! This protein comes from whey protein concentrate (and some protein from non-fat dry milk). 

Whey protein is one of the proteins found in milk and contains nine different amino acids. [8] According to one study, whey protein supplementation may support fat loss and muscle-building. [9] The protein in CTRL shakes also contains 5g of naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that may help you with recovery! [10]

Many health-conscious individuals look to avoid cheap soy protein in their meal replacement shakes. Good news — CTRL shakes do not contain soy protein.

Now that we’ve reviewed the key macronutrients, let’s talk about the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Ctrl Shake Vitamins and Minerals

Supplement facts often include a micronutrient breakdown, although technically not required by the FDA. CTRL Labs provides this for us to review!

Each serving of CTRL shakes contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals. It’s almost like a multivitamin supplement in a meal replacement shake.

Ctrl Vitamins and Minerals

[11]

However, aside from the whey protein that may provide some vitamin D and calcium, most of these vitamins and minerals are added to the shakes as enrichments instead of naturally occurring. Compare this to some of our top-rated shakes, which have naturally occurring vitamins and minerals from high-quality ingredients.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, so make sure to drink this shake with some low-fat milk, non-fat milk, or almond/cashew milk to ensure those vitamins are easily absorbed in your body. [12]

Ctrl Shake Ingredients

CTRL meal replacement shakes contain many ingredients:

Whey Protein Concentrate, Maltodextrin, Non-Fat Dry Milk, Acacia Gum Fiber, Cereal Pieces (Sugar, Corn Flour, Whole Grain Oat Flour, Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Cocoa (processed with Alkali), Soybean and/or Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Fructose, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Ascorbate, Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Retinyl Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cholecalciferol, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Cyanocobalamin, Folic Acid, Wheat Starch), Medium Chain Triglycerides, Oat Flour, Cocoa Powder (processed with Alkali), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Whey Protein Isolate, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, Lactase, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Molybdenate, Protease, Amylase, Zinc Oxide, dl-alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Cholecalciferol, Niacinamide, Manganese Gluconate, Seleniomethionine, Beta Carotene, Copper Gluconate, d-calcium Pantothenate, d-biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chromium Picolinate, Cyanocobalamin, Folic Acid. Contains: Milk, Soy, Wheat, and Coconut.

Okay, so this list is admittedly overwhelming to look at. We’ll break it down for you!

In a nutshell, it contains whey protein, dry milk, cereal pieces, prebiotic fiber, vitamins/minerals, artificial sweeteners, fructose, digestive enzymes, soybean oil, salt, fillers like maltodextrin, cocoa powder, MCTs, and natural and artificial flavors.

Overall, the ingredient list is nothing to brag about. Although it contains healthy MCTs, whey protein, vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes, these healthy ingredients seem to be sandwiched in between many unhealthy ingredients.

Ctrl Shake Allergens and Warnings

CTRL shakes contain milk, soy, wheat, and tree nuts (coconut). They manufacture these shakes on shared equipment that might also process egg, peanut, fish, and shellfish. If you’re allergic to any of these foods, you may want to choose another product!

These shakes are also not to be used as a sole source of nutrition, which means that you should still try to eat balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. 

Also, CTRL shakes are intended for healthy adults 18 years of age or older. Anyone with medical conditions or experiencing adverse reactions should discontinue use and consult their physician.

Read on to learn more about CTRL shakes’ key health and marketing claims, price, and ways to enjoy. 

Ctrl Shake Key Health and Marketing Claims 

Unlike many other meal replacement shakes in the market that are geared to health professionals, CTRL shakes don’t have a plethora of badges, certifications, and claims splattered over the front label. 

CTRL shakes focus on their simple claims to fame:

  • A meal replacement: CTRL Labs know that we lead busy lives and often rely on fast food or end up skipping meals. This meal replacement shake is one step in the right direction for a balanced diet that counts as a healthy meal.
  • Taste victory – actually tastes good: According to CTRL Labs, the most important thing is that the shake tastes like the bottom of the cereal bowl.
  • Fully loaded: CTRL shakes do include “all you could ask for from a powdered meal replacement shake.” They consider a good macronutrient profile, digestive enzymes, prebiotics, MCTS, and vitamins and minerals as table stakes to even compete in the meal replacement space.
  • Recharge: This claim is true — drinking this meal replacement shake can supply your body with nutrients and calories to stay hydrated and nourished so you can keep winning in the video game world.
  • Good value for its money: We’ll get into this when we cover the price below, but it’s a reasonable price for what you get. You won’t break your wallet with CTRL shakes.

Ctrl Shake Price

Each 3.3-pound pouch of CTRL shake powder is $52.99 and contains 20 servings. This means that each 2-scoop serving costs $2.65, making it one of the more reasonably-priced meal replacement shakes out there.

If you already know that you like CTRL meal replacement shakes and would like to order them regularly, you can sign up for “Subscribe & Save” to get 15 percent off (which would put the price at $45.04 or $2.25 per serving). You can cancel the subscription at any time.

CTRL ambassadors seem to also run some special promotions throughout the year, so be sure to follow their profiles and check back on the website regularly and buy when the shakes are on sale.

Overall, for a full meal replacement, this price is very reasonable — just think about how much you’d pay for a meal at your favorite local restaurant!

Ways to Enjoy CTRL Shakes

The directions on the CTRL shake label suggest mixing two scoops (1 serving) of CTRL Meal Replacement with 12 to 16 ounces of water or beverage of choice

You can adjust how much liquid you add depending on the taste and consistency that you’d like.

For a thicker, creamier consistency, you may want to add less liquid (and vice versa. For less sweetness, especially given its artificial sweetener content, you may want to add more liquid to dilute it.

Try drinking a CTRL shake to start your morning or as a meal substitute for lunch or dinner where you’d normally go grab fast food before streaming on Twitch!

Other than drinking as a meal replacement drink, you can mix it with a dairy base for granola or cereal. Or, you can add it to yogurt and oatmeal. We couldn’t find many baking or healthy treat recipes containing CTRL meal replacement shake powder, but it might be worth experimenting with! Presumably, you could use it where any recipe calls for a whey protein powder.

Now, let’s learn a little more about CTRL Labs and their values.

Company Information

As a newer player to the meal replacement shake market, CTRL Labs was founded in 2015 by Sundance Digiovanni, Skyler Johnson, and Glenn Delgado. All three of them are seasoned executives within the video gaming, esports, and entertainment industries bringing together the best of the best content creation. [13]

The company has a niche target audience that you wouldn’t expect for meal replacement shake creators. Instead of your typical fitness enthusiasts, CTRL Labs partners with “legends” who serve as influencers for the brand including famous Call Of Duty (COD) champions, Twitch streamers, and gamers. [14]

Given this unique angle for the company, the tone of voice that CTRL Labs communicates is drastically different from promoting weight loss, health, bodybuilding, etc. Their vocabulary includes words like “noob”, “winning”, and “loser”, which you wouldn’t find anywhere else. This makes the company one-of-a-kind in the meal replacement shake industry. Even the company’s name is called “the cheat code you didn’t know existed”. 

If you love a quirky but fun personality in a company that you buy food products from, while enjoying a healthy meal replacement shake, CTRL shakes would be a perfect fit for you! 

The Bottom Line

These shakes boast a decent macronutrient profile with whey protein and 23 essential vitamins and minerals! However, the lower-quality ingredients such as fillers, fructose, and artificial sweeteners make them not so appealing compared to other shakes.

Each serving of CTRL costs $2.65, making it one of the more reasonably-priced meal replacement shakes out there, especially when you choose to Subscribe & Save or buy it during a promotion.

Compare CTRL shakes with our top-rated shakes below to choose one that is the best fit for you!

References

[1] Collections – drinkctrl.com

[2] The Skinny on Fat | NIH News in Health

[3] Mumme K, Stonehouse W. Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Acad Nutr Diet 2015 Feb;115(2):249-63.

[4] Important Nutrients to Know: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)

[5] Ciudad-Mulero M, Fernández-Ruiz V, Matallana-González MC, Morales P. Dietary fiber sources and human benefits: The case study of cereal and pseudocereals. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2019;90:83-134. doi: 10.1016/bs.afnr.2019.02.002. Epub 2019 Mar 7. PMID: 31445601.

[6] Home | Dietary Guidelines for Americans

[7] Additional Information about High-Intensity Sweeteners Permitted for Use in Food in the United States | FDA

[8] Whey protein: Health benefits, side effects, and dangers (medicalnewstoday.com)

[9] A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study (nih.gov)

[10] Effect of branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation on Muscle Soreness following Exercise: A Meta-Analysis – PubMed (nih.gov)

[11] CTRL Meal Replacement – Cocoa Crunch (3.3 Pound Powder) by CTRL at the Vitamin Shoppe

[12] Fat-Soluble Vitamins – Diet and Health – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

[13] Founders – drinkctrl.com

[14] Legends – drinkctrl.com

1Nutritional information from https://drinkctrl.com/products/cinnamon-toast. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $52.99 for CTRL Cinnamon Toast with 20 servings per package. Accessed 11/18/20.