310 Nutrition is a brand that makes meal replacement shakes for weight loss. Their products are extremely popular, as the brand claims to have sold over 4 million shakes since launching.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in 310 Nutrition shakes to determine if we believe they’re healthy and likely to be effective for weight loss, or if we believe they’re unhealthy and a waste of money.
Extremely Low Calories
For a brand that markets their products as “meal replacements,” all three of 310 Nutrition’s shakes (Chocolate Bliss, Vanilla Crème, Caramel Sundae) contain only 110 calories. This doesn’t come close to the caloric requirements of a meal for an adult.
Caloric requirements vary significantly between individuals based on sex and weight, among other factors, but a very broad general requirement according to medical data is 2,000 calories per day for adult women and 2,500 calories per day for adult men.
This equates to a 667 calorie requirement per meal for women and 833 calorie requirement per man for adults eating 3 meals per day. It’s common for meal replacement brands to have low calorie formulations. We evidenced this exact same trend in our Optavia reviews article, which covered another popular meal replacement brand.
A 110 calorie formulation may make for a healthy snack, but it doesn’t provide enough energy to be considered a meal in our opinion.
Unnecessary Vitamin and Mineral Blend
310 Nutrition shakes contain a blend of synthetic vitamins and minerals, which the company brands as the “310 Vitamin & Mineral Blend” on their ingredients list.
We disagree with the practice of manufacturers adding random blends of vitamins and minerals to their products, and we recommend that consumers avoid products containing these blends.
In the absence of a documented deficiency of a vitamin or mineral, there is no benefit to taking additional synthetic vitamins and minerals, and doing so may even pose a minor health risk. Some ingredients, like cholecalciferol, are fat-soluble, which means they’re stored in liver and fatty tissue in the body and aren’t as easy to clear as water-soluble nutrients like B-vitamins if an excess is consumed.
Since many Americans take a multivitamin and already consume many fortified foods with added synthetic vitamins, we believe adding more foods containing these nutrient blends is illogical and potentially unhealthy.
To further prove how pointless it is to take random blends of vitamins and minerals without medically-documented deficiencies, a medical review of multivitamin intake found that use of daily multivitamins provided no health benefit and slightly increased cancer risk for certain types of cancers.
Manufacturers often add these blends to make their Nutrition Facts or Supplement Facts panel look impressive. Consumers without a medical background will see the high levels of vitamins and minerals on the panel and be impressed, not necessarily knowing that those levels are mostly from the synthetic vitamin and mineral additions and not from the whole foods in the formulation.
Food Ingredient Review
Many of the ingredients in 310 Nutrition shakes are whole foods. The shakes contain a protein blend with three different types of plant-based proteins.
There’s also a “Fiber & Superfood Blend” containing exotic ingredients like jerusalem artichoke, chaga mushroom and spirulina.
Since there are no individual doses published for any of the food ingredients, it’s impossible to determine if they’re included at a high enough dose to provide any nutritional value. Regardless, we know from medical research that eating a wide variety of different types of fruits and vegetables helps optimize gut function, and 310 Nutrition Shakes do provide a large number of different whole foods which is a good thing.
The only ingredient we take issue with is maca root. As we documented in our review of another nutrition shake brand called Shakeology, the proper form of maca to consume is gelatinized maca. Raw maca is an indigestible starch, similar to raw potato, and the gelatinized form is digestible and less likely to cause uncomfortable indigestion symptoms. When a brand includes raw maca in their formulation it’s a sign of low-quality formulators.
Overall the food ingredients in 310 Nutrition shakes are relatively well selected, and should provide a good variety of phytonutrients.
Ingredients We Recommend Avoiding
310 shakes contain several ingredients we recommend avoiding. The first is natural flavoring. As documented by a review published in the Toxicology Research medical journal, there is potential toxicity associated with some flavoring compounds.
Without manufacturers publishing the exact chemicals used to produce the flavor, there is no way for consumers or researchers like us to assess the safety. Thus we recommend avoiding all products containing “natural flavor” out of an abundance of precaution, because it doesn’t detail what chemicals are actually used.
310 shakes also contain a blend of digestive enzymes such as amylases and lipase. Similar to our comments on the synthetic vitamin and mineral blend, it seems illogical to take a blend of digestive enzymes if you don’t have a deficiency of digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes are produced by the body and most people don’t need exogenous supplementation of such.
The final ingredient inclusion we disagree with is folic acid, which is part of the vitamin and mineral blend. This is a B-vitamin which has been associated with slightly increased risk of prostate cancer when supplemented. Its deficiency is also associated with increased risk of cancer, but because of this delicate balance we would only recommend folic acid supplementation with a doctor’s guidance and in the context of a documented folate deficiency from medical testing. We don’t believe it makes sense to take this compound randomly without a medical need.
Will 310 Nutrition Shakes Cause Weight Loss?
Any food product that contains fewer calories than maintenance caloric requirements can aid in weight loss, but we don’t believe that 310 Nutrition shakes are especially formulated to aid in weight loss efforts.
The one pro of 310 shakes for weight loss is that they have a relatively high level of protein (15 grams), and protein intake has been associated with improved weight loss outcomes in medical research. This is because protein increases satiation (sense of fullness). It’s nearly impossible to eat 2,000 calories of steak in one sitting for most people because of the high protein content, but it’s possible to eat 2,000 calories of pizza because of the low protein content.
There is no medical proof that 310 Nutrition is superior for weight loss than the equivalent amount of protein from other sources, so we would recommend supplementing with whey protein at the same protein dosage as a more cost-effective weight loss aid.
For consumers who are seeking a healthy and convenient meal replacement product, we would recommend Daily Harvest smoothies. This brand sells ready-to-blend smoothies which arrive frozen and are comprised of entirely whole foods ingredients without harmful fillers or additives. You can enter code “DH40” to get $40 off your first box.
Daily Harvest smoothies include whole foods ingredients rich in phytonutrients such as ginger purée, organic cloves, organic mandarin, acai, organic psyllium husk powder and much more.
Daily Harvest is the only smoothie or meal replacement brand that we currently recommend based on our high formulation standards.
310 Nutrition Shake Pros and Cons
Even though we don’t recommend 310 Nutrition shakes overall, it can still be useful to provide a quick takeaway of pros and cons of the brand:
- Many whole foods ingredients
- High level of protein per serving
- Free of artificial flavoring and added sugar
- Contains unnecessary synthetic vitamin and mineral blend
- Contains unnecessary digestive enzymes
- Contains natural flavoring agent
- Only 110 calories
- Relatively expensive at around $2 per serving
When analyzing user reviews for a product or brand, we recommend looking on third-party platforms such as Amazon or YouTube rather than the brand’s website because reviews are so easily falsified.
The most highly-viewed YouTube review of 310 Nutrition which is unsponsored comes from a creator named Flawed_but_fabulousone who claims that the shakes helped her lose 90 pounds: