Protein-powder_wood-1701x1129-300x199Why does IsaLean™ Shake contain sugar? It’s one of the most common questions we receive at Isagenix®. The answer simply comes down to this: it wouldn’t be a complete meal replacement without it.

The facts are that eating a moderate amount of sugar daily can be healthy. Sugar is found in most healthy meals. Most whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, dairy, and whole grains, contain an assortment of simple sugars and complex carbohydrates that surround their nutrients.

It’s true that most of us get far too much sugar, along with other carbohydrates and that these account for a large part of our discretionary calorie intake. Most of this extra sugar comes from a wide variety of prepared foods, including sugar-sweetened soft drinks, juices, smoothies, desserts, chocolates, condiments, sauces and breads.

However, as is the case for fat and salt, not enough carbohydrates can be just as harmful as too much. There should be no reason to push carbs or sugar out of the diet altogether. It can indeed be part of a complete nutritious meal replacement shake when in controlled amounts.

The body requires sugar at a steady rate but we should avoid the copious amounts that spike blood sugar or insulin. In effect, all of our IsaLean Shakes and Bars are each evaluated individually in human clinical trials in comparison to a control (plain white bread) to confirm that they are, indeed, low-glycemic.

Glycemic-controlled meals

An assertion of IsaLean Shakes being low-glycemic can raise confusion for some looking at glycemic index tables, which rightly point out that one or more ingredients might list as high-glycemic. But these tables only evaluate individual foods or ingredients without considering how they interact with each other in a complete, balanced meal that also contains healthy amounts of proteins, fibre and healthy fats.

These other nutrients all help slow the absorption of carbohydrates and sugars as part of a complete meal. On a glycemic index table, the shakes themselves then would list as lower than 50 (considered ‘low-glycemic’).

Going low-glycemic with meals is good for regular blood sugar control, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that high-glycemic is always bad. In some cases, absorbing sugar as quickly as possible is best.

When exercising, for example, a tad extra sugar just before and during can make a tremendous difference for performance. It keeps muscles energised and the brain and nerves steady(1-4). A high-glycemic profile of non-outrageous, natural amounts of sugar that’s readily available for absorption is what makes e+ Shots work well for fuelling workouts. Athletic training aside, these provide the fast pick-me-up of hydration and energy when it’s needed at other times, such as for a challenging day at the office.

Isagenix helps you cut overall sugar

On the whole, most people who adopt an Isagenix system end up reducing their overall dietary intake of sugars. In fact, two IsaLean Shake servings daily provide only about 32 grams of sugar total in about 500 calories. The moderate amount per serving is about as much as you’d find in an orange or apple and helps to avoid having to resort to using artificial sweeteners.

That’s less than half of the average American who regularly consumes 77 grams of added sugars as discretionary calories daily(5). It also is well below the American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations that include limiting added sugars to “no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance”(6).

In fact, the AHA recommends that you use sugars to help enhance your diet, which includes using a limited amount of sugar to improve the taste of foods that provide important nutrients. Based on these recommendations, the IsaLean Shake, containing a full spectrum of nutrients, meets all criteria.

The AHA recommendations could be said to be a derivative of what a wise governess once said: ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’. Simply put, an informed choice about sugar is to learn how to get just enough and in ways to make the best use of it.


  1. Rodriguez NR, Di Marco NM, Langley S. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Nutrition and athletic performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):709-31. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31890eb86
  2. Fehm HL, Kern W, Peters A. The selfish brain: competition for energy resources. Prog Brain Res. 2006;153:129-40.
  3. Wolowczuk I, Verwaerde C, Vilitart O, Delanyoe A, Delacre M, Pot B, Grangette C. Feeding Our Immune System: Impact on Metabolism. Clin Dev Immunol. 2008; doi: 10.1155/2008/639803
  4. Cryer PE. Symptoms of hypoglycemia, thresholds for their occurrence, and      hypoglycemia unawareness. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1999 Sep;28(3):495-500, v-vi.
  5. Welsh JA, Sharma AJ, Grellinger L, Vos MB. Consumption of added sugars is decreasing in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;94:726-734. doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.111.018366
  6. American Heart Association. Sugar 101. Available at: