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Best Protein Powder 2021 – Top 11 Protein Shake Supplements

All that time in the gym won’t do much if you’re not eating enough protein. Protein supplementation can help you build muscle, get stronger, stay lean and improve your dating life (ok maybe not that last part).

A protein shake is a quick and easy solution to hitting your daily protein goal. However, finding the right protein powder for your needs can be a mind numbing task, plenty of brands and products don’t live up to their claims.

If you are looking for a top notch whey protein, plant based, meal replacements or even keto friendly protein shake solutions we got you covered. We have tested a boat load of popular protein powders available and have compiled a list of our top picks with details of each product. This should help you decide on the best protein powder to get your hands on so you can get back to the squat rack.

Top 11 Best Protein Powder list 2021

  • XWERKS Grow
  • Onnit Protein Grass-Fed
  • BioTrust Low Carb
  • CrazyBulk Tri-Protein
  • BiOptimizers Protein Breakthrough
  • Transparent Labs Whey Protein
  • Live Conscious Organic Protein
  • Fiera FitFreeze
  • Amy Myers MD Paleo Protein
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Whey Protein
  • Ladder Whey Protein

There are also some alternative protein powder shake supplements to consider in which this comparison guide will review in detail below:

  • NSP Nutrition Muscle Fuel
  • NSP Nutrition Milk & Egg Protein
  • Bauer BRF Whey Protein
  • Orgain Protein Powder
  • IdealFit IdealLean Protein
  • Legion Whey Isolate Protein
  • Beast Sports Beast Protein
  • Huge Supplements Huge Whey
  • MTN OPS Magnum
  • Ladder Plant Protein

Let’s get into the details of each one of them, shall we?

Xwerks GROW

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Our first round draft pick of protein powders. XWERKS sources it’s protein from New Zealand grass-fed cows, which has some of the highest standards in the World. Using 100% whey protein isolate means their formula is not mixed with cheaper whey products. This whey isolate also has the advantage of being micro filtered which almost entirely removes lactose, fats and carbs but leaves other important ingredients.

Each serving includes 25g of protein and 6g of BCAAs that comes in 4 delicious flavors – chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and peanut butter. A bag of Grow will cost you 49 bucks with free shipping, not a bad deal for what you get.

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Onnit Protein Grass-Fed

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An organic plant-based protein powder that acts as a full meal replacement formula contains a 25g of protein serving. One of our top picks is also USDA Organic Certified. Its serving contains 4g of organic fiber and digestive enzymes. It comes without added sugars, stevia, or artificial flavors. Onnit Protein is priced at $35 for 14 servings, not making it the cheapest but one of the most high-quality ones on the list.

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BioTrust Low Carb

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Whether you are on the keto diet or not, a low-carb protein powder is the best thing you can consume at the start of the day. It will help you feel much healthier and fuller. This way, you will feel satisfied and stay away from those unhealthy snack foods. Each serving consists of 24g of pasture-raised, premium protein. It also contains slow-digesting micellar casein for absorption. The best part is that it has 150 calories, 1g of sugar, 4g of net carbs, 11g of essential amino acids, 5g of BCAAs, and a digestive enzyme blend called ProHydrolase, which makes it a high-quality protein shake. Grab yours at $34 per bag.

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Crazy Bulk Tri-Protein

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A protein powder you can mix with 250 to 300ml water or milk and enjoy its chocolatey flavor. If you are looking for something that helps you build muscle and reduce post-workout pain, this formula is your go-to protein powder as it has one of the largest scoops at about (30g per scoop). Tri protein does not hit your body hard with too much Protein rather, it spreads out its dosage over a longer period of time. You will find that it contains whey protein concentrate, micellar casein, milk protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, and whey protein hydrolysate, and for absorption, it contains DigeZyme. Grab it at $56 per bottle.

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BiOptimizers Protein Breakthrough

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A tasty plant-based protein powder that was developed over 17 years. Although it is a natural plant-based powder, it tastes quite good with a smooth texture. A 365-day money-back guarantee backs it. If you want to develop muscle mass, get your hands on the BiOptimizers Protein. It contains a deal blend of pea, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein – three of the most popular vegan protein sources available. The formula helps you feel fuller and away from unhealthy foods. It is rich in amino acids for best results, but it is only for the premium crowd and priced at $75 per bottle.

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Transparent Labs Whey Protein

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A reasonably priced yet quality protein formula made out of grass-fed, hormone-free American cows. The supplement contains whey protein isolate with an 88% protein-by-weight ratio, delivering 28g of Protein in each 32g scoop. You can use this protein supplement to achieve a range of your fitness goals. A scoop contains roughly 120 calories with 28g protein and 1g carb, and less than 1g of sugars. Get your hands on it for just $59.

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Live Conscious Organic Protein

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The highest quality protein powder on the list is USDA Organic Certified protein powders that taste pretty good. It contains pea, rice, sacha inchi, and pumpkin seed protein blended together. If you want to boost your metabolism, then this is the best choice with 15g protein per serving. It has some popular flavors like Vanilla Dream, and it comes in prebiotic fiber, Live Conscious Organic Protein. With a reasonable price of $43 per bag, which is backed by a 365-day moneyback guarantee

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Fiera FitFreeze

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FitFreeze, a protein powder that tastes like dessert but acts like a high-quality protein. It targets your brain’s reward centers and helps you believe you have eaten something chocolatey, helping you stay fuller and away from unhealthy foods. By consuming this top-rated powder, you will essentially stick to your diet and fitness goals. However, it is used in a slightly different way than the others. You mix the powder and freeze it after which you consume and enjoy it. It contains 150 calories, 15g of protein, 7g of fiber, and 6g of sugar per serving. It comes with a try before you buy a package priced at $10 per 3 servings.

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Amy Myers MD Paleo Protein

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A supplement that is developed by a certified doctor and not just a nutritionist or dietitian. It is one of the most popular supplements in the market today. It comes in many flavors like salted caramel, strawberries, double chocolate, and cookies and cream. Since it is a paleo protein, it uses grass-fed Whey with 21g of serving and ultimately gives the same benefits as a bone broth. It is priced at $70 per bottle.

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Vital Proteins Collagen Whey Protein

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A vitamin dense and collagen-rich powder that mixes easily with water. If you want to make an athletic body with improved performance and recover with a lean body, this is your best formula. It contains 25g protein and 10g collagen per serving. The vital Protein is your best option if you want to build muscle and bones too. It is priced at $44, which is not as expensive as most other good-quality protein powders.

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Ladder Whey Protein

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A company that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lebron James founded. The two names that we have all heard. They both support ladder whey protein for building muscles up. Each of the servings contain 6g of Protein, 14g of essential amino acids, 7g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and 2 billion CFUs of probiotics. It is NSF certified which is its unique quality as this is a sports certification. Enjoy it in either vanilla or chocolate flavor. Each bottle comes in $70 which is expensive but worth it.

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NSP Nutrition Muscle Fuel

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A formula that contains filtered Whey isolated designed to minimize fat. It contains protease and papain, two digestive enzymes boosting a body’s absorption capabilities. The drink is low in fats and carbs; hence it is easy for your body to absorb. Per serving it consists of 25g protein and has a complete macronutrient profile with high protein levels. Priced at just $41 you can enjoy the drink without any guilt

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NSP Nutrition Milk & Egg Protein

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A formula that takes 92% of its protein from milk and egg. It helps you build muscle without gaining body fat. It helps in stabilizing your sugar levels and will keep your energy levels high. You will look and feel much younger as well. The formula replicates the old days of yore when bodybuilders used to drink a lot of milk and eat eggs. Today NSP Nutrition has a niche fan following and is priced at $50.

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Bauer BRF Whey Protein

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The supplement is a popular whey protein supplement and the brand is quite popular. It is pure and clean and high-quality 90% isolate powder that is easy on the digestive system. It is popular in the United Kingdom and has about five-star reviews. People claim to like the taste of Baur BRF Whey Protein, while others like the strong macro and macronutrient profiles. If you want a proper meal replacement, then Bauer BRF Whey Protein is your best choice.

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Orgain Protein Powder

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If you are looking for Whey, or plant-based protein powders, Orgain is the brand you were looking for. They have a range of powders, from meal replacements to protein powders. All are high quality products. The Orgain Protein Powder contains 1g of plant protein per serving with 0g of sugar and 6g of prebiotics and fiber. The best part about their formulas are they are USDA Organic Certified and enjoy their variety of flavors. Priced at just $32 per bottle, this one may just be the right pick for you.

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IdealFit IdealLean Protein

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If you are a woman trying to lose weight all the while trying to lose weight then IdealFit IdealLean is for you. Its serving contains 0g of Protein, 100 calories, 2g of sugar, and 0g of fat per serving. The formula does not have sugar; rather, it has a whey protein isolate formula with minimum added ingredients. Priced at just $30.

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Legion Whey Isolate Protein

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A formula that was made from 100 percent natural grass-fed Whey isolate protein powder. The WheyWhey is obtained from sustainable farms in Ireland. The protein powder contains 120 calories, 22g of Protein, 2g of carbs, 5.6g of BCAAs, and 1.5g of fat per servings. There is no sugar added as well. The product claims its uniqueness in the high-quality milk that is considered the healthiest and cleanest milk in the world obtained by sustainable farms certified by Ireland’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS), which sets strict standards for farmers. Priced at $50.

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Beast Sports Beast Protein

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A protein powder that is available in a 4lb tub contains 25g of Protein per serving. Its name says it all, as it’s one of the beastliest protein powders on this list. The formula is a blend of both amino acids and enzymes that help digestion. Its value for money is in the fact that each tub has about 52 servings. It is not just to build muscle; rather, the company claims it can strengthen the bones, increase strength, improve blood pressure and metabolism and help with weight management. Priced at just $60.

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Huge Supplements Huge Whey

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Huge WheyWhey is a whey protein powder that delivers 23g protein and 120 calories in each serving. Comes for $40 for a month’s supply; it also has 5g BCAAs per scoop, enhancing the value of Protein in your body. The formula is made with whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Each 30.8g scoop has 8g fat and is leaner than any high-powder proteins on this list. A company that claims its uniqueness in its quality and extensive testing and research before its launch is one of the safest and healthiest options we can recommend to anyone.

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MTN OPS Magnum

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A formula that comes in many tasty flavors like Vanilla, Berries, or Birthday cake. It’s ideal for bodybuilders to build muscle. Each serving has 1.5g of glutamine for muscle recovery. A Utah-based company backs the supplement with a 30-day money-back guarantee with a price of $45.

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Ladder plant protein

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If you are looking for ladder protein without the use of Whey, then this formula is the best for you. It comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors and helps you build muscle. It is rich in amino acids and has about 21g of Protein, 4.5g of BCAAs, and 2 billion CFUs of probiotics. A formula created by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lebron James surely delivers good results. Priced at $60 per bottle, you can get your muscle built up in no time.

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Our Ranking Metrics

We have used many metrics to separate the best Protein that fulfills their promise from those that do not. We have listed them down below.

Protein Dosage: We only considered protein powders that carry 15g to 25g protein per serving as the average dose preferred for all.

Serving Size: We considered serving sizes that allowed you to take 15g to 25g protein in one to two scoops.

Protein Types: We only considered high-quality protein types over the lower quality ones. There were many differences in the type of proteins out there.

Targeted Goals: Most protein powders targeted certain fitness goals, such as a keto shake; hence, we made sure the formulas all had the ingredients.

Macronutrient Balance: Just like we checked the ingredients for targeted goals, we made sure each protein powder had the right macronutrient balance.

Micronutrient Values: Some Protein powders had vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients to enhance their effects. Although not necessary, it was essential only in meal replacement powders.

Taste and Mix: The tastier and easier a protein powder was to mix, the higher we ranked it.

Price and Cost: We wanted to get the best protein powders for the value of money. We were not biased with a price; rather, we wanted to cater to people with all kinds of budgets while having a good quality protein powder.

Ingredients: We preferred protein powders with natural ingredients rather than the ones that had additives.

Money-back guarantee: We preferred those companies that allowed you a refund if you were unsatisfied

Company Reputation: Some companies are old and have a track record; some are new without a track record. We were not biased on that fact. However, we chose protein powders manufactured by companies that had a good reputation in the industry.

Best Protein Shake OverallXWERKS Grow
Best Organic Protein ShakeLive Conscious Organic Protein
Best Protein Shake For WomenIdealFit IdealLean Protein
Best Keto Protein ShakeXWERKS Grow
Best Plant Based Protein ShakeLadder Plant Protein
Best Meal Replacement ShakeBiOptimizers Protein Breakthrough
Best Protein Shake For BulkingCrazyBulk Tri-Protein
Best Paleo Protein ShakeAmy Myers MD Paleo Protein
Lowest Cost Protein ShakeBeast Sports Beast Protein

Who Will Benefit from Consuming Protein Powders?

Many people thought that protein powders were a way to build muscles; however, now people consume protein formulas for weight loss, to build immunity, and strengthen bones and metabolism. You can achieve the following from protein powders.

  • Lose weight
  • Build muscle
  • Smash through plateaus
  • Boost immunity and health goals
  • Feel full without eating unhealthy food
  • On-the-go meal
  • Manage blood sugar and food cravings
  • Improve cardiovascular health

Types of Protein Powder

There are many types of Protein for different health goals and dietary preferences. We have compiled a list of proteins found in our top-ranked list.

Whey Protein: The most popular and commonly found Protein in the formulas we listed above. Whey is a fast-absorbing milk by-product that helps to boost muscle growth and recovery. It comes as whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate, and whey protein isolate.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate: A type of whey protein digested by the body, which makes it easy to absorb. Your body can use this type of Protein rapidly as it’s partially ‘digested.’

Whey Protein Isolate: A whey protein with its fats and lactose removed through a system of filters creates at least 90 percent protein at the end.

Casein Protein: A protein that sports for a long time and helps to build muscle mass, and helps with fat loss. Many people prefer to consume it at night, allowing their bodies to consume Protein as they sleep.

Egg protein: A popular protein in the 1970s and 1980s, it has recently made its way back to protein powders through egg whites and turned into powder. Contains all essential amino acids that rapidly help build muscle

Pea Protein: A popular plant-based and cheap Protein that is rich in fiber.

Brown Rice Protein: Brown rice has all the essential amino acids; however, its low in leucine hence many protein powders are mixed with brown rice and pea protein.

Soy Protein: A high quality protein which is not commonly found in the protein formulas because it is known to reduce testosterone and increase estrogen. Nevertheless soy protein is rich with muscle building protein and also increases bone density.

Mixed plant protein: Most plant-based protein powders mix other plant sources as they do not carry all essential amino acids versus the plant-based ones.

Collagen Protein Powder: A protein in abundance in the human body is now also found in some of the protein powders as it has proved to have great results on skin elasticity and joint health.

What Are the Side Effects of Protein Powder?

If you are healthy and not using certain medications then protein powders should be totally fine to use. If you have any concerns you should always check with your doctor. Some possible, but uncommon side effects can include:

  • Stomach pains and digestive issues
  • Cramping
  • Reduced appetite
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

How Much

There is a debate on the right kind of dosage as some say you should equal your body weight to the dose, so for example, if you are 200Ibs, you must take 200g of protein per day. Some other experts say one must have a balance of dosage.

Optimal protein intake depends on your lifestyle and goals:

  • If you are sedentary aim for at least 1.2-1.8 grams per kg of protein
  • If you are active aim for 1.4-2.0g per kg of bodyweight
  • If you are active and also looking to add muscle 1.6-2.4g per kg of bodyweight
  • If you are overweight 1.2-1.5g per kg of bodyweight

The Benefits of Protein Powder

Many studies have shown that protein powders have shown promising results for lean muscle development, weight loss, and endurance.

In the 2010 research, participants were given protein powder or a placebo and were asked to complete a resistance program. It was seen that participants that had consumed protein powders showed better lean muscle development.

In 2011 research, showed that whey muscle development better results in older men as it helped improve their digestion instead of casein powders

Similarly a research in 2016 proved that consuming whey isolate protein helped develop better lean muscle and strength in people.

In 2004 research, three groups were assigned different proteins, one was given Whey, the other casein, and the other placebo. It was seen that Whey and casein helped increase the same levels of net protein balance. It is also researched that different proteins are absorbed in different speeds and contain different leucine content, although all will improve muscle development in men.

In one research, it was seen that whey protein increased muscle protein to about 31% more than soy protein and 132% more than casein protein after strength training sessions.

One of the benefits of protein powders is reduced inflammation. Yes, research also supports that whey protein could reduce inflammation and improve biomarkers of cardiovascular health in obese individuals.

Protein powders are also popular as a hunger suppressant, allowing people to lose weight. Many people consume it as a meal replacement to feel fuller and away from unhealthy foods.

There was also a wide misconception that plant-based proteins are weak; however, research has shown that these are false assumptions as pea, hemp, and other plant-based proteins can sometimes be as effective as whey protein.

Hemp protein is found to be Protein that is easy to digest for the body; it is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has several essential amino acids making it very beneficial for the body.

Brown rice protein and whey protein were researched in an eight-week study, and it was discovered that both had the same effects on the body’s composition, muscle strength, and recovery.

Other benefits

Weight loss: Studies have found that protein powders help people lose weight as they keep them fuller, thus satisfying their satiety hormones, allowing them to stick to a low-calorie diet and lose body fat.

Anticancer: Study shows that Whey protein powders could be useful for cancer; however, more research needs to be done.

Cholesterol: A 12-week study studied the effects on individuals’ cholesterol levels and discovered that there was a significant drop in bad cholesterol.

Asthma: a group of children were given 10g protein and saw a significant improvement in their immune response.

Blood Pressure and Heart issues: protein powders are seen to reduce your risk of heart disease and improve cardiovascular health. Studies have proven that whey protein is good for dropping blood pressure in people with hypertension and saw a decrease in heart disease and stroke risk.

FAQs

What is Protein?

Proteins are macronutrients that you need in large amounts to stay alive and healthy.

What does Protein do?

It is good for post-workout recovery, building muscle, and helps you stay full, allowing you to eat less unhealthy food.

How much should one consume Protein?

As a general rule of thumb you should try to consume at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Which Protein is best?

It is good to consume Protein from whole foods like meat, but you can consume proteins from high-quality protein powders which contain either whey, egg or plant-based sources.

What is casein protein?

A protein found in cow’s milk has similarities to whey protein, although casein protein is absorbed over a longer period which is good for muscle growth.

How to consume protein powder?

You can mix the protein powder with water, milk, almond milk, or any other drink. You can also bake with protein powders.

What is incomplete Protein versus complete Protein?

Complete proteins have a full profile of amino acids that your body cannot make on your own, and it helps you build muscles. However, incomplete protein powders do not have all amino acids and only satisfy the body’s combined needs.

When to consume protein powder?

Although you can consume it any time, pre workout, during, or after a workout. Some take it in the morning to stay full, some at night to fuel their body muscle repair overnight.

Is a high protein diet harmful?

Most high protein diets are not harmful unless you have an underlying medical issue.

How much Protein can you absorb at once?

Experts say one can absorb 25 to 30 grams of Protein at once. However, it is better to spread it out throughout the day rather than all at once.

What is the best protein source?

Milk products, eggs, chicken, fish, beef, and some plant-based sources are the best.

Does Protein help in building muscle fast?

Yes, it does, and studies show that it helps if you pair the resistance training with a protein supplement.

Will protein powder hurt kidneys?

Protein is only harmful to your kidneys if you already have an underlying kidney disease.

Final Word

Protein powders are a popular way to lose weight, build lean muscle and achieve post-workout recovery. It can help regulate your internal health, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health. We took hundreds of protein powders into consideration and came up with this list. If you are ready to shop for your next protein powder, take a look at our best protein shake of 2021, you won’t be disappointed!

RELATED: Crazy Bulk Reviews (2021) Is CrazyBulk USA Legit or Scam?

Affiliate Disclosure:

The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.

Disclaimer:

Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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