GNC Lean Shakes Examined: Real Review

Different flavors of GNC Lean Shakes on blue background

I’ve been searching for meal replacement drinks with the ideal harmony of flavor, nutrition, and impact. With this in mind, I found GNC Total Lean Shake, a meal replacement shake that bills itself as a “clinically proven weight loss shake.” So, does it live up to my expectations? To get the answer, explore my evaluation of the GNC Total Lean Shakes. But first, let’s get to know the company who is behind this product.

About the Brand

GNC is a well-known supplement retail chain with thousands of sites across the United States, and outlets in 50 nations. Since its establishment in 1935, GNC is known to offer a broad selection of products created to meet different health requirements, from general wellness to specialized needs.

Introduction to GNC Total Lean Shakes

GNC Total Lean Shake is manufactured by GNC as part of their GNC Total Lean series. According to the company’s website, this meal replacement shake is a delicious way to keep you full and your metabolism ticking, helping you achieve results on your weight loss journey.

GNC Lean Shake and vanilla on bright wooden background

GNC Total Lean Shakes Rating











Dietary Fiber7g
Cholesterol60 mg
Vitamins & MineralsYes
Digestive EnzymesNo
Artificial SweetenersYes
Controversial IngredientsNo

GNC Total Lean Shakes Nutrition Key Ingredients

The GNC Total lean shake is a complete, well-balanced meal replacement, which claims to be a mixed ratio of high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, fats and low carbohydrates. Let’s discuss its main macronutrients and base ingredients below.

GNC Total Lean Shakes Nutrition  Key Ingredients


Let’s analyze the GNC Total Lean Shakes’ total calorie content before moving on to the list of primary ingredients. Each serving of this smoothie has 180 calories, as stated on the product label, which is a decent amount. However, it’s crucial to check that you’re getting the right ratios of your macronutrients when taking any dietary supplements. This is so because the ratio of important macronutrients has an impact on the total number of calories consumed.

Main Macros

As I mentioned before, the total caloric amount of any food depends on the ratio of main macros. So, let’s dive into more detail on the main macros of this meal replacement.


Upon closer examination, I uncovered that this meal replacement shake packs a punch with 18g of carbs, accompanied by 3g of sugar. This might raise an eyebrow, particularly for those on a mission to shed pounds or adhering to a stringent diet. Here’s the scoop: when you’re on the keto or Atkins train, carb monitoring becomes the name of the game. That’s right, playing it tight with carbs is key. So, swigging down a shake with this level of carbs doing the sugar tango could throw a wrench in the works, potentially tipping the scales in favor of unwelcome weight gain.

Think of this: Choosing this shake as your mealtime partner requires a keen focus on the carb content. This is where low-carb sidekicks like Roasted Radishes, Green Bean Almondine, or Broccoli Salad might save the day. Now, here’s a silver lining: this shake is packing 8g of dietary fiber, which may support your digestive health. [1]


Following the carb lineup, let’s talk fat. In the case of GNC Total Lean Shakes, a single serving carries 3g of fat, with 2g being saturated fats. Now, that seems to sit pretty well if you’re aiming to keep the fat reins in check. But here’s a nugget to chew on: not all fats should wear the scarlet letter. According to a Healthline report, there’s a posse of fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, like the ones hanging out in nuts, vegetable oils, salmon, herring, sardines, and even tofu—that might actually do your body a solid.

Picture this: while you’re sipping on this shake, why not roll out the welcome mat for some healthy fat accomplices? Think Baked Stuffed Avocado, Salmon Salad, or even Coconut Roasted Brussels Sprouts.


Time to zoom in on the protein scene of this shake. Clocking in at a solid 25g, it’s flexing some muscle in the protein department—a fact that’s high-fived by those marching to the drumbeat of muscle gain or strength training. Think of this protein dose as a friendly nod to those aiming to sculpt and safeguard their lean muscle mass. Here’s the twist: If you’re currently following the low-carb paths of keto or paleo diets, this protein-rich option might exceed your limits.

Here’s where the plot thickens: for the low-carb and keto devotees, it’s all about blending the right ingredients to orchestrate a macronutrient symphony. Picture this shake cozying up to high-fat players, conjuring up a magic potion of fat-rich goodness.

Key Ingredients

Let’s look more closely at the ingredients list for this shake.

Protein Blends

On your fitness path, protein is like the rock star of macronutrients. It has an incredible talent for mending damaged bodily tissues as well as adding muscle. The cool aspect is that it acts as a hunger ninja, making you feel satisfied and full. Imagine being able to consume the same quantity of protein as you would carbs while consuming less calories. Sneaky, yes?

Let’s now examine the protein lineup for the GNC Total Lean Shake. Whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, and whey protein isolate make up our triad of powerful players. These guys are like the A-team of proteins; their names aren’t just random sounds. According to studies, they might simply be the key to building bigger muscles and achieving a sleek, toned appearance. [2]

Fiber Blend

This protein has 8 grams of fiber, which may also help keep you full during the day. In particular, it contains oat beta-glucan, which is a naturally occurring low-glycemic soluble fiber found in oat bran that may help support normal, healthy blood glucose levels.

Vitamin and Minerals

This meal substitute has a pretty great variety of micronutrients as well, with roughly 30 percent of the recommended daily intake of most vitamins and minerals, including: Biotin, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, Chromium Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Ferric Orthophosphate, dl-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Cupric Oxide, Vitamin A Acetate, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Dimagnesium Phosphate, Maltodextrin (glucose polymers), Potassium Iodide, Niacinamide, Calcium Carbonate, Cyanocobalamin. These micronutrients are mostly essential for health and may boost your energy and improve your nutrient deficiency in the body.

Available Flavor Options

Currently, the GNC Total Lean Shakes comes in 13 flavors:

  • French Vanilla
  • Banana
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Mixed Berry
  • Rich Chocolate
  • S’mores
  • Girl Scout Thin Mints
  • Girl Scout Coconut Caramel
  • Girl Scout Lemon
  • Girl Scout Adventurefuls
  • Irish Créme
  • Girl Scout Toast-Yay
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake

My GNC Total Lean Shakes Experience Story

I recently decided to give the GNC Total Lean Shake in French Vanilla flavor a try, hoping to find a convenient and nutritious option to fit into my busy schedule. Overall, my experience with GNC Total Lean Shakes has been a mix of positive and not-so-positive aspects.

Let’s start by discussing flavor. I’ve had my fair share of vanilla protein smoothies, and French Vanilla has always been a classic favorite of mine. I was pleasantly delighted by this one. Unlike some shakes, this one didn’t have an extremely synthetic or terribly sweet flavor. It was light and creamy, giving me the impression that I was drinking a high-end milkshake.

Now, one of the main reasons I was drawn to this shake was its promise of keeping one full for an extended period. And, to its credit, it delivered. After my morning shake, I didn’t find my stomach grumbling until well into the afternoon, a significant achievement considering my usually insatiable mid-morning snack cravings.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sipping. While the shake did its job in keeping me full, it also did a number on my stomach. A couple of hours after drinking, I felt a bit queasy. At first, I thought maybe it was just a one-time thing, maybe something else I ate. But after a few days of consistent discomfort post-shake, I had to admit that this shake and my stomach were not the best of friends.

How to Use It?

Mix 2 scoops of protein with 8 – 10 fl. oz. of cold water. Shake or blend for about 15 seconds.

Who Should Buy?

  • Those who want to increase their protein intake
  • Those who want to increase their fiber intake

Who Shouldn’t Buy?

  • Those who are currently following restrictive diets like keto, Atkins or vegan.
  • Those who have sensitivities to milk or soy.

Possible Benefits

  • High amount of protein blended in this shake may contribute to building your muscle mass.
  • High amount of fiber content in this shake may curb your hunger.
  • This shake is rich in vitamins and minerals, which may boost your energy.

Potential Downsides and Consideration

  • This shake is crafted with animal based ingredients which may not be suitable for those who are vegan.
  • The high amount of carbs in this shake may contribute to weight gain.
  • The high amount of fiber in this shake may induce an upset stomach. [3]

Price and Buying Options

The price of a 16-serving container of GNC Total Lean Shake 25 is $39.99. However, by signing up, you can save 10%. The ordering process is easy whether you prefer to purchase from the official GNC website or Amazon.

List of Other Products by GNC

Besides meal replacement shakes, the company also offers a variety of health and wellness products:

  • Vitamins and Supplements
  • Weight Management Products
  • Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Supplements
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Herbal Supplements
  • Beauty and Skin Care
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Joint and Bone Health
  • Digestive Health
  • Brain Health and Memory Support


Are GNC Total Lean Shakes gluten free?

Based on product labeling, GNC Total Lean Shakes are not gluten free.

How to use GNC Total Lean Shake for weight loss?

To use GNC Total Lean Shake for weight loss, replace one or two daily meals with the shake. While drinking this shake, make sure you are following a balanced diet and doing regular exercise.

Can I take GNC Total Lean Shake while breastfeeding?

Before taking any supplement or product while breastfeeding, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or lactation consultant.

Is GNC Total Lean Shake keto friendly?

GNC Total Lean Shake is not specifically formulated for the ketogenic diet, which requires a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate intake.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the world of nutritional shakes is a personal journey, as what works wonders for one person might not be the best fit for another. The GNC Total Lean Shake offers a delightful taste and does an excellent job of suppressing hunger, but it might not sit well with everyone’s digestive system. There also may be issues for some when it comes to the added sugar in this shake. Check out options to make your best informed decision.


  1. Rao, T. P., Quartarone, G. (2019). Role of guar fiber in improving digestive health and function. Nutrition, 59, 158-169. 10.1016/j.nut.2018.07.109
  2. Hoffman, J. R., Falvo, M. J. (2004). Protein–which is best?. Journal of sports science medicine, 3(3), 118. PMC3905294
  3. Mceligot, A. J., Gilpin, E. A., Rock, C. L., Newman, V., Hollenbach, K. A., Thomson, C. A., Pierce, J. P. (2002). High dietary fiber consumption is not associated with gastrointestinal discomfort in a diet intervention trial.(Research and Professional Briefs). Journal of the American dietetic Association, 102(4), 549-552. 10.1016/s0002-8223(02)90127-6


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