Quest Protein Reviews
Quest Nutrition first entered the scene in 2010 when entrepreneur Tom Bilyeu, his wife, Lisa Bilyeu, Shannan Pena, Ron Penna, and Mike Osborn all teamed up to create a product high in protein that was intended to help limit the amount of sugar consumed on a regular basis.
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|Soy Free Protein|
|No Artifical Sweeteners|
|Price Per Serving||$2.43||$3.50||$2.55||$1.80||$1.95|
If you’re following a ketogenic (or keto) diet – or you often browse the low-carb food products at retail stores – you’ve likely come across a container of Quest Protein Powder and considered trying it. But, if you’re unfamiliar with weight loss shakes, you may have immediately questioned whether or not it could actually help you reach your goals – and if you would even like the taste.
This is exactly why we’ve written this in-depth review article on Quest Protein Shakes, to help you sort through what you see on the product labels – and determine if they’re right for you.
Some of the key points we’ll touch on in this article include… How much protein, carbs, and fat do they contain, along with how many calories (and how does that impact your goals)? What’s the best way to use the shakes, (and how shouldn’t you use them)? And can you drink them on the keto diet?
Read on to find out if these popular low-carb protein powders are right for you…
FLAVORS / TASTE FACTOR
Variety is definitely a strong point for Quest Shakes – as they come in 8 exciting and intriguing flavors, which include: Vanilla Milkshake, Chocolate Milkshake, Cinnamon Crunch Protein Powder, Cookies and Cream, Cold Brew Coffee Latte, Multi-Purpose (unflavored pure protein), Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel.
It’s no wonder that so many Quest Protein Powder reviews on Amazon gush about how delicious these shakes taste. With a flavor line up like this, we think of them much more as “desserts” than weight loss shakes!
Some particular Quest Protein Powder comments on taste and texture include:
- They’re some of the best-tasting protein powders
- They’re not chalky at all
- They taste good with just water
- They have smooth, enjoyable consistencies
- They mix easily into liquid
- The Salted Caramel flavor is divine
Another reason people seem to love the wide array of Quest Shake flavors is that the protein powders can also be used in baked goods! So, you can use them in place of a higher-calorie, higher-carb ingredient like flour. It will also add more protein into your baked products, which will hopefully speed up your metabolism and keep you full for longer.
High-protein pancakes, cookies, waffles and even fried chicken coating are some of the items that reviewers have said they’ve used Quest protein powders to make! And with the exciting mix of flavors, we could see that being really appealing… Bring on the Salted Caramel pancakes!
However, with all of the amazing taste reviews, there were some that say the shake powders leave an unpleasant aftertaste – which could inevitably be due to the type of sweetener used in the formula. So, although being able to bake and enjoy high-protein/low-sugar treats seems almost too good to be true, let’s take a closer look at what’s actually in these apparently great-tasting shakes, and if they qualify as “meal replacements” after all…
© Photo by Quest Nutrition
In this review, we’re going to look at the Quest Vanilla Protein Powder – or Vanilla Milkshake product label – to get an in-depth look at the product ingredients…
At just 110 calories per shake serving, this protein powder is definitely around the right amount to help you lose weight. In our opinion, you want your shake to be about 100 calories or less for weight loss, because you’re most likely going to add other high-calorie ingredients into your smoothies as well. And, because it gives you flexibility if you have a high weight loss goal.
To get an accurate idea of the calories you should eat each day, check out this free calorie calculator. Once you know the amount you should have based on your age, weight, sex and activity level, you can then break it down further. In this way, you can see how many calories you can have at each meal and snack for weight loss.
Keep in mind that if you’re following the keto diet, (which you could do with Quest Shakes since they’re low in carbs), this will change your calorie goals, since your main focus will be your daily macronutrients (60-75% fat, 20-25% protein and only 5-10% net carbs). Check out this free keto calculator to figure out your daily recommended calorie and macro intake and how Quest Shakes can potentially help you meet them.
Next, there’s 24g of protein in each Quest Shake serving, which is a little higher than most meal replacement shakes, which often offer 15-20g. Especially for weight loss, you want to “up” the amount of protein in all of your meals – so the higher protein amount is okay, especially if you’re trying to build lean muscle. The general recommendation of protein intake for weight loss is to get about 30% of your daily calories from protein.
In addition, another recommendation says to include at least 25-30g of protein in each meal, which you can easily do with Quest protein powder. Enjoy the shake powder mixed with just water or use a non-dairy milk instead. Or, make a smoothie and add even more protein-rich sources into it like almond butter, Greek yogurt or chia seeds.
However, the exception to both of these is if you’re following a keto diet, in which you have to be careful not to have too much protein – since most of your daily diet should come from healthy fats. In this case, you want to focus on moderate, high-quality protein. Let’s take a look at the types of protein used in Quest Shakes and whether or not they’re high-quality…
© Photo by Quest Nutrition
As for the type of protein, this is probably the most important aspect of the entire shake powder. If a shake is whey-based, (which most of them are), then you won’t be able to consume it if you’re vegan, vegetarian or prefer plant-based products. If you’re lactose intolerant, you also typically wouldn’t want to use a whey-based shake, to avoid digestive problems.
However, the whey used in Quest protein powders is whey protein isolate, which some sources say is safe for those who are lactose intolerant. This is because it’s low in lactose, only containing trace amounts of lactose sugar – therefore, it might be easier to digest.
What else is unique about the whey isolate form? Compared to whey concentrate, it has more protein, less carbs and less fat. This means that it undergoes more processing and will have less raw nutrients, but it will be a higher protein product. This also makes it a bit more expensive.
The other protein that is used in the formula, micellar casein, is also a milk-derived protein powder, but it digests more slowly. This means it’s a “slow release” protein that goes to your muscles at a prolonged rate – supplying them with what they need for muscle growth while you’re active and at rest.
All in all, these are two great protein choices – it all just depends on what you’re seeking. If a higher amount of protein is important to you, along with dairy-based proteins known for helping you build muscles, then this is a good fit. However, if you follow a plant-based diet, or you’re most concerned about overall health benefits, we recommend a plant-based meal replacement shake.
Next, looking at the amount of fat in each serving, these would definitely be considered low-fat shakes, with 0.5g of total fat. Though this is fine if your overall goal is weight loss, it’s not ideal for keto dieters. If you’re following a keto diet, you will definitely want to make a smoothie with this shake powder and include high-fat additions like peanut butter, MCT Oil, avocado or cottage cheese.
It’s also important to note that even if you aren’t following keto, fat is not the enemy when it comes to weight loss – and all of the food items mentioned above can actually help boost metabolism and increase satiety, while providing vital nutrients. The bottom line is, healthy fat should be a welcome ingredient in meal replacement shakes, however, the amount per serving in Quest Shakes is, in our opinion, too low.
Next, here’s where things start to go downhill a bit for Quest Protein Powder. There’s NO fiber in Quest protein shakes! As you know, fiber is an essential ingredient in any healthy diet, and it needs to be included in every balanced meal. Meal replacement shakes are no different, which is why a good aim is about 5-10g of fiber per shake serving.
With that amount, the shake will have enough fiber to assist with optimal digestion and good bowel health. Plus, you can even add more ingredients into your shake to get additional fiber.
This is also helpful if you’re on the keto diet, when it can be easy to miss out on adequate fiber – and you have to carefully monitor your intake for optimal health.
With such a small amount of fiber in Quest Shakes, they will not suffice as meal replacement shakes unless you mix them up with high-fiber ingredients; However, you can use them as pre-workout boost or post-workout recovery drinks; Or, as a protein enhancer in baked goods.
While there’s no fiber in the shake, it’s low in both total carbs and net carbs… which is beneficial for keto dieters. Only 2g of net carbs is very low for a shake, so it’s definitely acceptable as part of a low-carb lifestyle. But a good question to keep in mind is, since it doesn’t have any fiber, will it actually keep you full? The answer is most likely no, unless you also add high-fat ingredients into the shake to make a smoothie – which could also qualify it as a meal if enough nutrients were added.
© Photo by Quest Nutrition
Moving onto sugar, it’s definitely an ingredient you don’t want in a healthy diet, so you don’t want to see it on your meal replacement shake label, either. Quest keeps their shakes low in sugar with only 1g per serving, which is great.
The trouble comes with what they add into it instead… the artificial sweetener, Sucralose, (better known as Splenda). You’re most likely familiar with this “yellow packet” of artificial sweetener found at many restaurants and in a plethora of low-sugar foods, but we’ll admit, we aren’t a fan.
These types of sweeteners are chemically-created, and though they’re widely-accepted and deemed safe by governing parties, there’s definitely research that questions the long-term safety of artificial sweeteners. In addition, believe it or not, they could actually be bad news for maintaining a healthy weight.
Here are just some of the potential worries about these “fake sugars”…
- Might increase your appetite and promote weight gain
- There may be a link between artificial sweeteners and obesity
- May disrupt healthy gut bacteria
- Diet drinks with these sweeteners may result in an increased risk of diseases
Before you decide on this meal replacement shake, you may wish to examine if artificial sweeteners are something you want to be a regular part of your diet for the long-term.
Next, it’s worth noting that this shake also contains an ingredient called carrageenan. This is a widely used food additive that actually comes from red seaweed, but might cause digestive issues in some people.
Some experts believe that carrageenan may cause inflammation, bloating, gas, and even bowel diseases. Although the studies have only been done on animals and cells, there are plenty of real life accounts from people who were suffering with GI problems that disappeared after discontinuing products containing carrageenan.
Moving onto the vitamin/mineral content, though Quest Shakes may taste good and provide sufficient protein, they’re lacking in nutritional value beyond that – which is another reason why we don’t believe they would make good meal replacement shakes.
In order to replace a meal with a shake, it needs to have all of the nutrients from a normal, healthy meal. While many other diet shakes contain 20-25 vitamins and minerals per serving, and even superfood blends, Quest protein powders only contain very minimal amounts of iron and potassium, along with 25% of calcium.
As a company, Quest Nutrition creates a number of high-protein snack and meal products for use on low-carb diets. Their product selection includes Quest Protein Shakes, Quest Protein Bars, Quest Protein Chips, Quest Protein Cookies, and Even Quest Protein Thin Crust Pizza!
QUEST PROTEIN POWDER CONCLUSION
In conclusion, although testimonials by Quest Protein Powder users show that it’s mostly a well-loved and tasty product, it doesn’t have the fiber, vitamins, minerals, or superfoods to be a true meal replacement shake.
Plus, its already 110 calories per serving; Therefore, to use it as a meal you would have to add in other nutritious ingredients which could bring the calorie count up even more – and this could potentially move against you in your weight loss goals.
Next, Quest Shakes contain the artificial sweetener, Sucralose. Some studies show that this “fake sugar” may be bad for your health and weight loss goals. Although there are no human studies to prove this, there are lots of other shakes that offer natural sugar alternatives, so why take the risk?
Finally, this shake contains a food additive called carrageenan, which studies show may cause digestive issues. Although the ingredient may not negatively affect you, there are plenty of other shakes on our site that don’t contain this controversial ingredient, so you may want to check them out.
Before you make your final decision, be sure to read more of the in-depth meal replacement shake reviews on this site – especially for our top-3 rated shakes right now. We hope this information helps you find the best protein shake for you!
1Nutritional information from https://www.questnutrition.com/collections/protein-powders/products/us-1-6lb-protein-powder-vanilla-milkshake. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $29.99 for Vanilla Milkshake with 23 servings per package. Accessed 3/12/20.