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As a supplement store manager, personal trainer, and mom to two busy toddlers, I am always searching for convenient, nutritious, high-protein snacks. That’s why about a year ago, I started taking Premier Protein Shakes. Below, I’m sharing everything I like (and don’t like) about the product.
- Premier Protein Shakes are high in protein (30g), available in various flavors, and have 24 added vitamins and minerals (including vitamins A, C, D, E, K, copper, zinc, and magnesium).
- I also liked their satiating quality – they kept me full for long periods. However, one con is that they need to be refrigerated.
- Overall, it has been reassuring knowing that no matter what my day brings, I can have a nutrient-dense, high-protein backup plan in my fridge or gym bag.
Overall Rating: 4.6/5
Medical Disclaimer: The material presented in this article aims to offer informational insights. It should not be perceived as medical guidance. The views and writings are not designed for diagnosing, preventing, or treating health issues. Always consult with your physician prior to starting any new dietary or supplement routine.
About Premier Protein
After doing a few supplement reviews on companies whose marketing is heavily focused on elite athletes, it felt really refreshing to find a brand more focused on an everyday consumer who just wants to be happier and healthier.
I didn’t really have a high opinion of the brand before researching this article.
I was familiar with their premade protein drinks, but I chalked Premier Protein up to be a big-box store brand (i.e. nothing special worth talking about).
As such, I was also expecting their website to provide the bare minimum.
But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw their website was a full-fledged health and nutrition blog.
There is a delightful recipe section with a ton of ideas on how to use their products in your daily life, as well as seasonal twists like a St Patrick’s Day shake, Boba Tea, and Pumpkin Spice Waffles.
To be honest, this added a week or two to my product testing because I had to repurchase the product to try it in a variety of new ways!
Premier Protein Shakes: What Can You Expect?
Premier Protein is a ready-to-drink product that combines a blend of dairy-based protein (milk protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, and whey protein concentrate) paired with a vitamin and mineral blend.
The macronutrient breakdown of Premier Protein is:
- Calories: 160
- Protein: 30g
- Carbohydrates: 4g
- Fat: 3g
- Sugar: 1g
Of the calories, 75% come from protein. Our general rule for assessing protein quality at FeastGood is the following:
- Reasonable: 65-74% protein
- Good: 75-85% protein
- Excellent: >85% protein
As such, Premier Protein falls right at the cusp of being a good source of protein for the calories provided.
The blend of proteins used provides both medium and slow-digesting options, which means that the product is designed to keep you full for a longer period of time.
Whey protein digests at a rate of around 10g per hour, meaning 30g of whey protein would take approximately three hours to fully digest. Casein, however, can take up to 5 hours to fully saturate the bloodstream.
Because Premier Protein combines both whey and casein, you can expect the product to keep you satisfied for several hours.
While analyzing the vitamins and minerals used in the product, many of the vitamins used are a synthetic form of the vitamin, versus the natural vitamin.
You can identify synthetic vitamins by looking for a “dl-” suffix (e.g. dl-alpha tocopherol acetate is a synthetic form of vitamin E) or by words that end in “-ate” or “-ide” such as sodium ascorbate.
The use of synthetic vitamins may or may not be a big deal for you – it comes down to personal choice. In most cases, the natural form of the vitamin is going to be the one that is used most efficiently by the body, but the use of synthetic vitamins can still be beneficial for overall health.
It is also the case that most of the commercially available multivitamin supplements also use at least some synthetic vitamins in their formulas.
My professional opinion is that: if you are using this as a vitamin supplement, there are higher quality options out there that use higher quality vitamins (like Progressive VegEssential All-In-One).
If you are using this as a protein supplement, then it qualifies as a good option with the added bonus of having some vitamin and mineral support.
Key Takeaway: Premier Protein is a good source of protein, with the added benefit of having a comprehensive blend of vitamins and minerals.
Highlights: What I Liked About Premier Protein
Because of their pre-made nature, Premier Protein only require a quick shake before they are ready to consume. They are a great grab-and-go option for busy days or rushed mornings.
I am putting an asterisk on convenience though because one hurdle I did have was remembering to have protein shakes cooled in the fridge.
They don’t taste nearly as good at room temperature (though they are still technically consumable), so I found it important to have some ready in the fridge for the grab-and-go convenience.
Forgetting to put them in the fridge, however, is definitely a “me” problem, and not an issue with the actual product.
- Related: Protein Powder vs Pre-Made Shake
High nutrient content
Premier Protein has a comprehensive blend of 24 vitamins and minerals, providing anywhere from 5% to 250% of your daily vitamin requirements.
Even though some of these vitamins are in their synthetic forms, as discussed above, the product still offers a lot of nutritional support.
Premier Protein is available in 13 flavors, from the basic chocolate and vanilla to more elaborate ones like coffee, root beer float, pumpkin pie, winter mint, peaches and cream, and more. This makes it more likely that you will find a flavor that you enjoy and integrate into your day.
The brand also makes a protein powder in chocolate and vanilla, but we haven’t sampled those and can’t speak to them yet.
I did find that the vanilla and salted caramel tasted pretty similar, but the chocolate and fruity flavors provide a nice alternative.
Drawbacks: What I Didn’t Like About Premier Protein
While the taste of Premier Protein is good and there are a variety of options, it does fall short compared to a few other RTDs available. They also had a distinct aftertaste.
To be clear: I didn’t dislike the taste of Premier Protein, but I was disappointed that the vanilla and caramel tasted almost identical. (I am a sucker for Caramel, and was excited to use this as a coffee creamer option).
I also found that all of the Premier Protein shakes had a similar, underlying flavor and aftertaste. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what that flavor was, but it overshadowed the flavor of the protein shakes, especially the lighter flavors like vanilla.
Maybe it’s from the vitamin blend or the type of container they are packed in (pure speculation).
For comparison’s sake, I also purchased the Quest Protein RTDs to see if maybe that distinct taste was a common thread between different RTD options. I much preferred the taste of the Quest ones and found that their flavors were a lot stronger and more evident.
Needs to be refrigerated
Premier Protein requires refrigeration before consumption, which can reduce the benefit of convenience depending on your schedule
This might sound contradictory because I stated above that the grab-and-go convenience was a highlight of the product.
And that part stands true. It was nice having a grab-and-go option without having to worry about the few extra steps of finding a shaker cup, finding cold water, mixing the product, and cleaning the cup afterward.
If you have limited fridge space, however, or don’t have access to a fridge throughout the day, then this can be a drawback.
For instance, if you leave for work earlier in the morning and you want to have your protein shake at lunch or as an afternoon snack, you could run into a problem if your work doesn’t have a spot for refrigeration.
This could also have limitations as a post-workout option, as it would likely warm to room temperature by the time you finish your workout. This drawback is accentuated if you live in a particularly warm climate.
Personally, I couldn’t fit my full case of shakes in my fridge at the same time, I only had space for about 3 or 4 at a time. More than once I took the last one without realizing it and forgot to replenish my fridge stash. (Again, a “me” problem, and not a fault of the product).
This forgetfulness isn’t an issue for everyone, but if you are prone to it like me, then there’s a slight convenience drawback here.
Premier Protein cost between $2.00-$3.50 per shake, whereas the highest quality protein powders cost as low as $1.00 per serving, up to $2.00 per serving on the highest end.
There is some nuance we need to discuss when assessing cost as a drawback.
Compared to traditional protein powders which also offer up to 30g of protein per serving, Premier Protein is more expensive, up to twice as much.
A high quality whey protein like Transparent Labs Isolate will cost you, on the high end, around $2.00 per serving with many other good quality proteins like Gold Standard Whey coming in around $1.00 per serving.
Premier Protein shakes cost between $2.00 and $3.50 per serving.
If you buy the bulk case of 18 shakes, it will cost you $2.00 per shake for an upfront investment of $36.00 (the cost goes up to $2.50-$2.75 if you choose some of the limited edition flavors)
If you buy the smaller 4 packs direct from the Premier Protein website, you will be paying up to $3.52 per shake.
Here’s where the nuance comes in:
The cost per serving, especially if you buy larger quantities like 12-18 at a time, is more reasonable if you consider that you are getting two products in one (a full 30g protein supplement as well as a vitamin and mineral product).
You could ultimately save money by pairing a protein powder with your own multivitamin tablet, but you lose the convenience of the all-in-one, ready-to-drink option.
For comparison’s sake, the Quest Protein RTD which has 30g of protein but no vitamins retails for around $2.75 per serving. Ensure Max which has 30g of protein as well as a blend of 25 vitamins and minerals costs around $2.60.
The bottom line: As a protein supplement, there are less expensive options available that offer high-quality protein. As a convenient multivitamin meal supplement, this is a good value.
Premier Protein Review: My Experience
I really, really liked having these in my fridge. It’s one of the products that I reviewed so far that I plan on continuing to integrate into my day.
Even though they cannot constitute a full meal replacement (the carton explicitly states that it’s to be enjoyed as a satisfying snack and “not intended to replace a meal”, I found them filling and satisfying.
- Related Article: Can You Use Whey Protein As A Meal Replacement?
I would pair them with a banana and some almonds for a convenient, on-the-go breakfast option that kept me full and fueled throughout the morning.
They do have a pretty similar price per serving (average of $2.75) to other comparable protein RTDs on the market, like Quest RTD ($2.75) or Ghost RTD ($3.33), but neither of those two options has the blend of added vitamins, so I always felt like I was making a better choice with Premier Protein.
After discovering their recipe blog, I began using the caramel, chocolate, and vanilla flavors as a nutritive coffee sweetener in place of my former higher-fat and higher-sugar option.
How Does Premier Protein Stack Up Against Our Criteria For Whey Protein
At FeastGood, we have 8 different criteria for ranking whey protein powders. Here’s how Premier Protein RTDs stacked up:
Nutrition label transparency
Our rating: 5/5
The nutrition label clearly states the values and quantities of all ingredients, and when you look through the ingredient list you can also find the exact milligrams of any artificial sweeteners used (sucralose 45mg and acesulfame potassium 45mg)
Multiple times on the label it also makes sure to mention that the quantities they are advertising are for each individual carton (325ml), and the ingredient list names both the scientific name and common name for each of the vitamins used.
For example, they listed phytonadione [vitamin K] and dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [vitamin C] which helps you better understand the ingredient list.
- Related Article: Are Ready Made Protein Shakes Good For You?
Fat content transparency
Our rating: 5/5
The nutrition label clearly states that the product contains 3g of fat per serving, but also breaks the fat content down into saturated fats, trans fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats, and goes one step further to break down omega-6 and omega-3 content.
Premier Protein went into a level of detail about the fat content of their product that I seldom see in any nutritional supplement. I went and did a quick label tour of my own store and couldn’t find any other products that provided this level of detail.
All products now will (or should) break down the grams of saturated and trans fats (the FDA makes it mandatory).
Companies aren’t, however, legally required to label the number of unsaturated fats and they certainly don’t have to tell you the omega-3/6 content of their products.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this level of detail on their label, especially given that this information is all on a very small carton and real estate is limited.
Our rating: 4/5
Premier Protein uses a blend of milk, whey, and casein protein offering a full 30g per serving as well as a comprehensive blend of 24 vitamins and minerals. The product does not contain gluten or soy making it compatible with many different dietary restrictions.
We deducted a point for the use of synthetic forms of vitamins which have mixed research on their effectiveness. The use of milk and whey concentrates means that this product will still contain lactose, which may make it reactive for people with dairy sensitivities.
The product does have 4g of carbohydrates and 3g of fat per serving, but those provide 2g of fibre and 2.2g of unsaturated fats respectively, both of which provide extra health benefits like helping to lower cholesterol.
Premier Protein does use artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium) which some consumers choose to avoid for personal reasons.
Protein percent of calories
Our rating: 4/5
At 75% protein per scoop (protein makes up 120 calories out of the total 160 calories), Premier Protein is a good quality protein option.
Our criteria for a good protein source falls between 75% and 85% of the total calories coming from protein.
Premier Protein is right on the cusp of good, but considering the other added benefits we’ve talked about (vitamins, fibre, unsaturated fats), and the fact that it contains a full 30g of protein per serving, I think this counts as a great overall supplement.
Our rating: 4/5
Premier Protein tastes good and comes in a wide variety of flavors. I did find they all had an underlying aftertaste.
I was a bit restricted by what’s available in my country (Canada), but I liked all of the flavors I tried – vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and strawberry.
All of the Premier Protein shakes have a similar underlying “taste” that I couldn’t quite pin down, but it didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of them.
Each time I went to grab one, I looked forward to drinking it.
- Premier Protein made our list as one of the Best Coffee Protein Powder (check out our full review).
Our rating: 5/5
Premier Protein comes pre-mixed and requires just a few seconds of shaking before drinking.
With a product like this, you never have to worry about clumping or issues with incorrect mixing ratios.
Premier Protein had a thick and creamy texture and was consistent all the way through without any settling of ingredients. at, thick texture.
Texture (Thick or Thin)
Our rating: Thick
Premier Protein drinks have a thick, creamy texture.
As a general rule, any proteins that use casein tend to mix up thicker in texture, whereas isolates mix up incredibly thin. Concentrates tend to fall in the middle.
The fact that this product uses casein, as well as milk and whey concentrates contributes to the creamy texture. The addition of fiber likely also helps to thicken the product up.
Our rating: 5/5
Premier Protein explicitly states that it is not to be used as a meal replacement. As a high-protein snack, however, it was very filling.
When I took Premier Protein on its own between meals, I found I was satisfied for several hours.
This checks out, because whey protein digests at a rate of around 10g per hour, so 30g of protein should take several hours to fully digest. The added fats and fiber will add to that satiety.
To round it out as a convenient meal, I would grab some fruit like a banana or a cup of blueberries, and pair that with a source of fat like almonds or a hard-boiled egg.
This combination kept me full and fueled all morning.
Who Is Premier Protein For?
Premier Protein is for:
- Someone who misses meals: If you tend to skip breakfast or get too busy throughout the day to sit down to a full meal, pair Premier Protein with some nutritious grab-and-go foods like a banana and almonds to give you a convenient balanced meal.
- :Someone who is always on the go: If you are juggling multiple responsibilities like parenthood, social events, workouts, school, work, etc, and find yourself rushing from one event to the other, Premier Protein is a great option to keep you full and energized until you can sit down to a proper meal.
Who Shouldn’t Take Premier Protein?
Premier Protein Whey protein is not for:
- Someone with a dairy allergy: Premier Protein contains three different types of dairy proteins in their concentrate form. This means that there is leftover lactose which could cause digestive upset like bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
- Someone looking for a budget-friendly protein: Premier Protein will cost you on average around $2.75 per serving. This is good for a vitamin and protein product, but if you are looking for purely a protein supplement, there are more budget-friendly options like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey ($1.00-$1.75 per serving)
Premier Protein Customer Reviews
Premier Protein is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Sports Nutrition Ready To Drink Protein, which maybe says enough right there.
They have a 4.6/5 star rating on Amazon, with over 190,000 total reviews! As a general rule, the more reviews a product has, the more reliable they are. Having a 4.6/5 star rating when nearly 200,000 people have tried your product is a clear indication that others are loving the product too.
Here’s a quick breakdown of Premier Protein user rating out of 5 stars:
- 5 stars: 77%
- 4 stars: 11%
- 3 stars: 6%
- 2 stars: 2%
- 1 star: 4%
A breakdown of the rating by category provides more insight into how customers feel about Premier Protein:
- Easy to hold: 4.6/5
- Flavor: 4.2/5
- Value: 4.1/5
(I’ll be honest, I never considered “easy to hold” as a benefit before, but that is probably showing some ableist bias. So, I will add here that I found the cartons really easy to open with a twist-off cap which could also be beneficial for people with physical limitations or arthritis.)
Searching through the reviews, the most common points relate to the product’s great taste and high protein content. It also appears as though several people have been recommended these by a variety of healthcare providers.
For interest’s sake, I browsed the 1-star reviews. There were some people who hated the flavor. This is typical, I’ve never met a product that was unanimously loved by all so you are bound to find people who aren’t into the taste.
There were also some reviews of people who found “nasty stringy bits” in their shakes. This is most likely due to the protein separating and clumping together in manufacturing. Definitely unappealing and probably off-putting if it happens to you, but I imagine the retailer would be willing to issue a refund or exchange.
Reading deeper into the comments, the clumping seems to be a bigger issue in the new bottles they’ve started using. (Mine came in cartons, but Amazon is showing the product as coming in a small bottle).
Premier Protein Promotions & Discounts
I wasn’t able to find a discount or loyalty program for Premier Protein. Your best bet would be to keep an eye on your local grocery stores or Amazon.com for any sales that come up.
They do have an Ambassador Program (“Premier Shakers”) where you get exclusive access to the new products and likely a discount code or incentive program that you can apply for, in exchange for being a promoter on social media.
There is no indication of how many people get chosen to be ambassadors or how frequently they accept new ambassadors.
Where To Buy Premier Protein?
You can use the location search feature on the Premier Protein Website to find a retailer near you.
Premier Protein Alternatives?
If you have a dairy allergy or follow a plant-based diet, Owyn provides a ready-to-drink option providing 20g of protein per serving.
While Owyn RTD does not have the comprehensive vitamin and mineral blend, it does have a greens and superfood blend as well as omega-3s, making it a highly nutritive alternative.
This product is also free of: soy, dairy, gluten, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and has no artificial sweeteners or stevia.
Owyn Plant-based RTD is available in six flavors; chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookies and cream, salted caramel, and cold brew coffee.
If you are looking for a good quality protein, but don’t have the budget for the Ready to Drink Options, Gold Standard Whey comes in a variety of sizes and flavors for between $1.00 and $1.75 per serving.
As with all products, if you buy the larger quantities up front you will pay more initially but save on cost per serving. A 5lb tub of Gold Standard Whey costs around $85 for 70 servings, an average of $1.21 per serving.
With 25g of protein per serving and a ton of flavors to choose from, Gold Standard Whey is a nice option for a good quality protein that won’t break the budget.
This product, however, does not have the nutritional support that Premier Protein does.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is Premier Protein Made?
Premier Protein is manufactured in the United States and is distributed by the company Premier Nutrition out of Emeryville, CA. In the United Kingdom, Premier Protein is distributed by Weetabix Limited.
What Is Premier Protein’s Shipping Policy?
Premier Protein can ship almost anywhere within the continental US (not PO boxes), but will not ship outside the US. Shipping is based on the quantity and destination of products ordered. They are shipped via UPS ground and typically arrive within 7-10 business days.
What Is Premier Protein’s Return Policy?
If you are unsatisfied with your product, you can contact the company within 30 days for a return or exchange. (This only applies to online orders placed through Premierprotein.com, not purchases through third-party retailers). They reserve the right to require you to return the product you’re unsatisfied with.
Is Premier Protein Third Party Tested?
I could not find any information to indicate that Premier Protein is third-party tested.
Is Premier Protein Good For Weight Loss?
Premier Protein is low in sugar and low in fat, and is satiating and filling making it a good meal supplement for someone trying to lose fat.
Is Premier Protein Keto Friendly?
Because it is low carb (4g) and low sugar (1g) with 2g of fiber per serving, Premier Protein is keto-friendly.
Is Premier Protein Gluten Free?
Premier Protein shakes are gluten-free.
What Are The Best Ways To Mix Premier Protein?
Premier Protein RTDs come pre-mixed, and requires only a quick shake to mix up any ingredients that may have settled.
What Flavors Are Available For Premier Protein?
Premier Protein Shakes are available in a dozen flavors including traditional ones like chocolate, vanilla, caramel and strawberry as well as unique and seasonal ones like rootbeer float, pumpkin spice, and chocolate peppermint
Does Premier Protein Make You Gain Weight?
Because it is low in calories (160 per serving) and promotes satiety, it is unlikely that Premier Protein will cause weight gain.
Can you use Premier Protein as A Meal Replacement?
It is not recommended to use Premier Protein as a meal replacement. It can be used as a meal supplement, and should be paired with a carbohydrate and a fat to balance the meal and increase the overall calorie content.
When Is The Best Time To Take Premier Protein?
Premier Protein can be taken any time of day. It is great as part of a meal or in between meals. It is suitable for morning, daytime, and evenings to help you hit your protein content for the day.
How To Contact Premier Protein
Premier Protein has an elaborate contact page, with separate contact information including e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and/or mailing addresses for
- product inquiries
- online store inquiries, and
- ordering by phone.
Thiel, R.J. (2000). Natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones. Medical Hypotheses, 55(6), 461-469. https://doi.org/10.1054/mehy.2000.1090
Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1146-55. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/77.5.1146. PMID: 12716665.
About The Author
Jennifer Vibert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach, and supplement store manager. She has a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a major in Fitness and Lifestyle and a minor in Psychology from the University of Regina. She is a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition, with a passion for helping clients learn the fundamentals of nutrition and supplementation in order to build healthy, sustainable habits.
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