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Is Premier Protein Bad For You?



Short answer

Yes, Premier Protein is bad for you. Though low in fat and calories, it’s highly processed and contains controversial artificial colors, sweeteners and more. It’s best to get your daily protein requirements from real food instead.



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Long answer

Living a healthy life is difficult; it’s usually never cost-effective nor convenient. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that pre-made protein shakes have become so popular. They are sold at grocery stores, gas stations and everywhere in between. It’s never been so easy to get your daily protein requirements, which your body needs for basic metabolic function as well as muscle growth and recovery. It’s also never been so difficult to sort the bad pre-mixed protein from the good... if any of them could even be considered “good.”

So how does Premier Protein stack up?

According to the company themselves, Premier Protein believes in active living. And that’s why they make “delicious, essential healthy protein that curbs hunger and fuels your energy for whatever you love to do.”

The nutrition label of an 11-ounce bottle (vanilla) reveals that Premier Protein contains just 160 calories, three grams of fat (only one of those is saturated fat) four grams of carbs and a whopping 30 grams of protein. At a glance, that doesn’t seem so bad. However, when you dig into the rest of the ingredients, a cause for concern becomes very apparent.

Premier Protein contains DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides). It’s difficult to mix protein powder and water during production—and it’s even harder to ensure it doesn’t lump up while the mixture is sitting on a shelf. DATEM helps stabilize the drink, which is good. No one likes chunky protein shakes! But unfortunately, this ingredient has been found to heart fibrosis and adrenal overgrowth in lab animals. While information may be lacking when it comes to the effects of DATEM on humans, it simply isn't worth the risk. 

These pre-mixed shakes are also laden with artificial colors and sweeteners: acesulfame potassium, sucralose, caramel coloring and more. Some of these ingredients are subject to quite the controversy, but a number of studies have linked artificial sweeteners to allergic reactions, obesity, cancer and other diseases over the past several years. Caramel coloring alone has been linked to an increase in blood pressure and is known the cause cancer by the state of California.

Our advice: pass on Premier Protein. If at all possible, try to get enough protein from your meals throughout the day. Go for lean meats like poultry, eggs, and fish. Snack on protein-rich nuts and lentils, and incorporate low-fat yogurts, cottage cheese and skim milk. If you work out excessively or you are vegetarian/vegan, then you might consider adding a protein drink. In this case, opt for a natural or organic, non-GMO variety such as Orgain. Study the ingredients carefully—the fewer it has, the better it probably is for you.

Possible short-term side effects

  • allergic reaction

Possible long-term side effects

  • obesity
  • arterial plaque
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of


  • low in calories, fat and sugar
  • provides 30 grams of protein
  • readily available
  • inexpensive

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Orgain Vegan Protein

  • 21g plant-based protein
  • Gluten and dairy free
  • No added sugar
  • Soy-free formulation
  • Kosher certified
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

View Sources | Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 11-14-2023
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

View Sources
Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 11-14-2023
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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