Protein World Slender Blend Review
It’s swept Instagram and reality TV like crazy, but how does this whey protein compare to industry-leading products?
You’ll find out today, with my comprehensive Protein World Slender Blend review!
As always, I’ll pull no punches and reveal both the good and the bad about this product down below, to help determine whether it’s the product you should be using to build muscle and burn more fat.
That’s why over 122,000 of you read my site, right?
So let’s begin…
With Khloe Kardashian and a raft of Instagram stars pushing their products, Protein World have become well established in the fitness industry in a fairly short space of time.
But if you don’t follow those guys and are wondering where you’ve seen this company before, it’s likely the advert shown below.
A while ago, that big yellow ad kicked off the whole “body shaming” movement.
As a tanned blonde with a better-than-you look on her face glared down at us mere mortals, the words “Are You Beach Body Ready?” jumped out of the billboard like an uppercut to our self-confidence.
And rightly so…
I mean, if you’re feeling like s**t as you trudge to work on a cold Monday morning, you probably wouldn’t appreciate a big poster suggesting you also look like s**t, hey?
But it gets worse…
This advert was of course promoting weight loss products, with Protein World positioning themselves as the solution to the bad mood they had just put you in.
The CEO of Protein World ramped the crazy up to 11 as he responded to criticism of the ad, by claiming people are feminist terrorists (!!) who are “only opposed to the bikini-clad model because they’re insecure about their own bodies.”
(I know, way to insult your target audience!)
Protein World Slender Blend Review
OK, brief history lesson over.
I’ll talk more ab out their crazy advertising tactics later, because they are entertaining, but for now I want to focus on Slender Blend itself.
Surely, a product which is so bold on it’s marketing must be absolutely perfect?
It must be so far ahead of it’s competition, that it can afford to be brash?
I’ve reviewed many supplements for this website, and I was expecting greatness inside this pretty little tub.
(No joke there, it’s a nice looking product!)
But I didn’t get greatness, nor anything close to it.
What we get is a bang average whey protein supplement which is incredibly overpriced.
It’s no surprise the company use shock tactics in their marketing.
Because beyond those controversial ads and the Instagram girls in yoga pants, things are very bland indeed!
There are also a few red flags I’d like to point out, as we delve into the good and bad points down below…
First up, it’s difficult to locate the nutrition information of Slender Blend on the company website.
We get much hype, lots of social media imagery, and many strange claims about weight loss which I’ll dig into later, but I had to go deep to find the actual science.
Is it because they don’t expect their target audience to look for it?
But whenever a company makes it tricky to find the nutritional values of their product (buried underneath hype, hidden behind proprietary blends, etc) it tells me it’s not going to be anywhere near as strong as it claims to be.
Of course, I don’t give up easily…
You can see the full nutritional breakdown of Protein World Slender Blend below.
Each scoop of Slender Blend provides you with:
- 22.9g protein
- 7.9g carbohydrates
- 2g fat
I’ll now break this down for you.
- 22g Protein Is Optimal For Muscle Growth
We’re off to a great start here.
With 22.9 grams of protein per serving, Slender Blend hits the “sweet spot” for for spiking muscle growth after training. (1)
- Very Basic Whey Protein Formula
Slender Blend isn’t cheap.
You are paying a premium rate for this supplement versus other industry-leading whey protein options.
So, naturally, you’d expect the formula to be near the top end of the chain.
However, it’s as basic as it gets!
At around £60 for a 2kg supply, a whey protein formula would optimally contain a blend of hydrolized whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, egg protein, casein, and/or soy to spike maximum muscle protein synthesis. (2)
But we simply get whey protein concentrate. That’s the cheapest form of whey to manufacture.
This is bizarre, and shows how much of the success of Slender Blend is down to clever marketing, rather than overall quality or value for money.
I mean, you could pick up an industry-leading whey protein supplement like this, which comes in at a lower price despite the fact it offers a superior formula!
- Only 60% Protein Per Serving
Why do people buy protein supplements?
To get more protein into their diet, right?
So a good whey protein should boast a protein-per-serving ratio of 80% or more, in order to be classed as one of the best in it’s field.
(Meaning you’re getting as much protein, and as little filler, as possible.)
Protein World Slender Blend comes in at only 60% protein per serving.
Huge red flag!
There’s nothing wrong with the 22.9 grams of protein it provides, but there’s an awful lot of unnecessary filler (40%!) in the rest of the scoop.
- 7.9g Carbs Per Shake?
I always advise personal training clients to look for whey protein supplements which have low carbohydrate content.
It’s not because “carbs are bad”, it’s because carbs are fun to eat and the majority of supplements pack way too much in.
For a product aimed at the weight loss market, 7.9g is a lot of carbs per shake. To make matters worse, the vast majority of this is pure sugar.
This has clearly been done to make Slender Blend taste nicer, but it massively takes away from the quality of the product.
- A Proprietary Blend Of Fat Burners & Vitamins
Throwing in so-called “fat burners” is an old industry trick to allow supplement companies to make big, bold claims about fat loss in their marketing.
For example, as caffeine has been shown to have an effect on fat loss, if a product contains caffeine they can now claim they have a fat burning product.
Of course, what they don’t say, is that any fat burning effects were actually statistically insignificant and would require a much larger dose than the one you’ll find in the product.
But that’s business.
A proprietary blend is another underhanded tactic used in the fitness world.
Basically, a company is within their rights to list the ingredients of a product without telling you the dosages of each ingredient.
Imagine paying to see a movie with your favourite star on the poster, only to discover they’re only in it for 2 minutes – that’s a proprietary blend.
It’s a fitness industry loophole which allows supplement companies to hide poor formulas from their audience.
Because if they had a great formula, they’d sure as s**t tell you about it!
It’s a trick commonly used with weight loss products, and one of the reasons I tell my clients to avoid them.
Also, regardless of the fact that each so-called fat burning ingredient is hidden behind an under-dosed proprietary blend, the ingredients themselves are barely effective anyway!
Science does not support the idea of green tea extract as a fat burner.
It won’t make any difference to fat loss unless consumed in ridiculously high dosages, and even then the results are tiny and depend wholly on the person being caffeine naive. (3, 4, 5)
The other main ingredient in the fat burning blend is guarana extract.
But, again, there is no research to support it as a fat burner.
It does contain a fair amount of caffeine inside it, but once again you’d need a super high dose to see any energy boosting effect at all. (6)
As you can see, the elevated price tag of Slender Blend doesn’t appear to have a direct correlation with the quality of the product itself!
Which begs one question:
Why Is It So Popular?
This thing has swept Instagram like wildfire.
Every “influencer” is advertising it, and most reality TV shows are featuring it, despite it being a very average supplement.
Which brings me to the two things I am most impressed with about Protein World.
- Very Good Design
This product looks great.
The majority of supplement manufacturers still opt for outdated branding which scares off their potential audience. They’re stuck in the past, and Protein World are at the forefront of a small group of companies who have identified this gap in the market.
They realize more women are lifting weights than ever before, and they’re building supplements to cash in on it.
For example, which product would you choose from these two?
It’s a clear winner, right?
Slender Blend appears sleek, modern and female-friendly, but the other product looks like it dropped out of a 1980’s bodybuilding magazine.
This is an appearance-based industry, so Slender Blend wins hands-down here.
Oh, and that’s despite the fact that the second product actually has a far superior nutritional breakdown!
- Genius Celebrity Endorsements
Protein World moved quickly to lock in their target audience.
That niche is social media celebrities.
Think reality TV stars, Instagram fitness chicks, etc.
It’s the crazy part of the fitness world, where people are forever whitening their teeth and how many likes you garnered on your last post determines whether or not you’re allowed to be happy inside.
I don’t like it here, so I won’t stay long.
But it works.
Entertainment shows like Geordie Shore, Love Island, and the endless copycat shows on MTV, are often book-ended with adverts for Protein World showing duck-pouting pretty girls lounging by a pool “living the life” as they clutch a Slender Blend shaker or a tub of Toner capsules.
(Yes, a real product…)
I sometimes joke that my golden rule for buying supplements is “beware of anything luminous.”
Well, the same could be said for the people selling it.
Because the issue with using reality TV stars as your advertising force, is that most of them will advertise anything to their followers if they get it for free.
I’ve seen this first-hand.
Also, they tend to love the idea of being hailed an “expert” and it’s only a matter of time before they start dishing out crazy dieting advice like this.
Khloe Kardashian is sponsored by Protein World Slender Blend?
If anything, that should be a f**king deterrent.
This is the same Khloe Kardashian who’s TV coach recommends putting butter in your coffee to burn more fat.
But it’s not a detterent.
It’s actually a smart business pairing aimed at the right audience, and that’s why it all works.
Hats off to Protein World for being able to lock in so tightly on their niche, because most companies get it totally wrong!
There are countless examples of this…
Usain Bolt mentioned Juice Plus once and sales reps have used it as a hook ever since… Gwyneth Paltrow has made a second career selling woo… Bono once advertised credit cards… Oprah recommended James Frey’s autobiography which later turned out to be fake…
Hulk Hogan released a grill and it looked like he didn’t even know about it at the time.
Most of these were terrible business ideas and/or couplings that didn’t belong together.
But the creme de la creme? The king of the mountain?
A couple of years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed with Musclepharm and released a line of bodybuilding supplements which absolutely sucked.
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilding supplements. Sucked.
Sales were still huge of course (cuz Ah-nuld) but this goes to show the power of a good marketing pair-up.
Arnold was the perfect fit for the product, and this led to great success despite them being average at best.
My point being, celebrity endorsement doesn’t mean “expert” endorsement, but it gives a product the chance to piggyback on our trust in that particular star.
Get the pairing right, and your product will go far even if it isn’t the best.
In the case of Protein World, they’ve got it dead on.
But now it’s time to delve into the dark side of Protein World, as I take a look at some of the nonsense which has steered many serious gym-goers away from the brand.
The Nutrition Label Lie
Here’s something you may not know.
Protein World have been accused of lying on the munutrition label of Slender Blend.
(As if they needed any more controversy.)
In a report by The Sun, Slender Blend was found to contain 17x more carbs than advertised!
17x! Holy s**t!
That would mean a product claiming to have 7.9g carbs per shake actually had 134g!
They aren’t the first company to do this, of course, and they won’t be the last.
The supplement industry is poorly regulated. I recently wrote about several products which were taken down by the U.S. Department of Justice for misleading potential consumers. That list included the likes of CSN 100 Pro Whey Standard and a range of pre workout supplements.
Now there’s a new name to be added to the list – Protein World Slender Blend.
The repercussions from this could be severe.
Protein World are currently being investigated by Trading Standards, who had this to say:
“The company is committed to complying with legal ingredient, health claim and labeling standards. Should Protein World fail to do so, we will seriously consider all legal enforcement options”– Trading Standards
I see plenty of issues with the way Protein World have set themselves up here.
From the alleged misleading claims on the label (investigation still pending), to the body shaming adverts and the bizarrely unprofessional response to the backlash..
It’s all quite disturbing.
The heroics of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Team GB from the London Olympics did a fantastic job of instilling a sense of strength and pride in women, and encouraged a generation to get in the gym and build a strong, athletic body rather than striving to be “skinny”.
For the first time in decades, common sense was winning in the fitness world.
But Protein World’s approach to marketing takes us back to the dark ages, painting it as a company with no social conscience.
I really dislike that.
It’s the same “you can’t sit with us” Mean Girls mentality that pressures young women into trying to get a thigh gap, or feeling alienated if they don’t fit the stereotype of being dumb as f**k.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense.
After all, the controversy for that body shaming ad actually bumped revenue by £2 million that year.
Because all publicity is good publicity.
And rather than getting lost in the sea of average whey protein supplements (which this is), they were suddenly on the 10 O’ Clock News and featured in The Telegraph.
Heck, it didn’t even seem to matter that Campaign Live named it the worst advert of the entire year.
They used it to their advantage, and it put them on the map.
Whether you agree with that, or not, will probably affect your decision to buy products from Protein World.
Misleading Weight Loss Claims
The misleading fat loss claims on the company website are frequent.
There are products claiming they can give you “a firmer bum, a slimmer tum, and leaner thighs” (spot reduction, which is impossible). (7)
Next up we have so-called “Toner” capsules, which are simply creatine monohydrate mixed with a selection of vitamins and minerals.
It’s very overpriced, and once again the dosages are far too low to be effective, but they do seem very pleased to tell us it’s gluten free.
Whatever next, gluten free Facebook?
And to top it all off, we have claims that you can lose up to 4lbs per week as a result of using Slender Blend as a meal replacement shake.
Yes, the good old meal replacement line…
Whenever a supplement company starts telling it’s consumers to replace actual food with their product, any credibility goes out of the f**king window. The clue is in the name, after all (“supplement”).
The reason I dislike the whole meal replacement approach is because a) the company just wants you to run out of product faster, and b) they’re always about to give you some very bad dieting advice…
Sure enough, that terrible advice arrives immediately as they direct you to replace two meals with Slender Blend shakes. Given that each shake is a mere 150 calories, a moderate-sized lunch would see many people drop under the dreaded 1000 calories per day threshold.
No s**t you’re losing weight – you’re starving!
You shouldn’t be using shakes instead of eating real food.
But if we want to get really picky about it, Channel 4 even compared the effects of using Slender Blend as a full-on meal replacement shake during it’s SuperShoppers program in late 2018.
Every member of the trial said they preferred supermarket brand meal replacements and ranked Protein World Slender Blend bottom out of four choices, despite the fact it was by far the most expensive product and the trial was blind.
“The Slender Blend is a high protein, low fat and low carb meal replacement drink.”– Protein World’s own website
As I’ve already shown, it’s neither particularly low in carbs nor high in protein at just 60% protein per serving.
Things get even worse if you keep reading the site.
There’s even room for the use of one of my favourite fitness buzzwords: detox!
Yes, it would appear that the boffins at Protein World have cleverly developed a capsule which can cleanse our body of toxins and rid us of the evil powers of rock n’ roll.
Shall we just ignore the fact that no detox supplement has ever been shown to work? Ever? (8)
This is all just misleading advertising from a company who have a clear history of misleading advertising.
(Albeit on a very pretty website.)
Protein World Slender Bend Review – The Final Verdict
It’s crunch time, guys.
I’m about to put Protein World Slender Blend through my consistently harsh supplement rating system to see what kind of score it can register.
Can it rank among the best-rated whey protein supplements I’ve reviewed to date?
Let’s take a quick kook at what we’ve learnt so far:
- It’s an average whey protein at best.
- It’s overpriced.
- There’s plenty of misleading advertising surrounding the product.
- The company have a history of being d**ks.
I’m supposed to tell you guys and gals to rush out and buy Slender Blend? Like a good little fitness personality? Like all those 5 star reviews which litter social media from people who were sent the product for free and haven’t got a clue whether it’s good or not, but like the idea of earning a commission from you buying it?
Here’s a story for you instead…
Back when I was a kid, I picked up a book called The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It became my everything.
I learnt about bodybuilding, weightlifting techniques, nutrition, mindset… and sure, while I’ve since gone on to take my studies in more depth and grown my knowledge to the point I’m at today, I still credit that book with being the key to putting me on my fitness journey.
The worrying part (for me) is that nowadays, our teenagers are looking to some yo-yo dieting reality TV star who has no idea what they’re talking about.
The type who releases a January weight loss DVD claiming you can get rock hard abs in 3 minutes per day, then is featured in a gossip magazine in June after piling all the weight back on, only to do it all over again for next January.
Protein World Slender Blend is aimed at cashing in on the quick fix mentality.
It’s the supplement equivalent of those people who go to the gym just to take selfies. It’s more of a status symbol, to announce yourself as part of the “in crowd” on Instagram.
And they don’t hide the fact that that’s exactly who they’re targeting!
But as a whey protein supplement, it is severely lacking.
My advice is to stick with trusted brands who have been putting out solid products based on real science.
So the next time you have a florescent D-list celebrity try to push Slender Blend in your direction, feel free to enlighten them with some real supplement science, or send them in the direction of this review and I’ll do it for you!
So, my original Protein World Slender Blend review was going to see the product awarded 1 star, with a recommendation that you go buy this instead if you’re serious about actually getting results in the weights room.
In light of the recent nutrition label scandal, however, it didn’t stand a f**king chance.
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- Paul, G. L., et al. The rationale for consuming protein blends in sports nutrition. J Am C Nutr. (2009)
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- Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiol Behav. (2010)
- Diepvens, K., et al. Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. (2007)
- Rodrigues, M., et al. Herb-Drug Interaction of Paullinia cupana (Guarana) Seed Extract on the Pharmacokinetics of Amiodarone in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2012)
- Perry, E. Targeted Fat Loss: Myth or Reality? Yale Scientific. (2001)
- Blachford, A., et al. The Voice Of Young Science brings you; the detox dossier. (2009)