Fairlife vs Premier Protein: Which Shakes are Best?

When it comes to ready-to-drink protein shakes, there are two big front runners. Let’s talk about which is best: Fairlife vs Premier Protein. Is there a better choice?

I’m a Registered Dietitian, so finding the most nutritious (and best tasting) option is important to me. In this article, you’ll learn the pros and cons of each brand, similarities, and which one I recommend most.

This post may contain affiliate links.

A chart comparing the nutrients in Fairlife protein shakes with Premier protein shakes.

Premier Protein shakes

Premier Protein nutrition

Each 11 fluid oz Premier Protein shake has 160 calories, 30g of protein, 4g of carbohydrate, 3g of fat, and 0g of added sugar.

Each shake also contains an impressive 25 vitamins and minerals (with at least 25% of your daily value of most of them).

Premier Protein ingredients

Premier Protein shakes use milk protein concentrate as their protein source, and sucralose and acesulfame potassium as their sweeteners.

Full ingredients list: Water, milk protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, less than 1% of high oleic sunflower oil, natural and artificial flavors, inulin, cellulose gel and cellulose gum, salt, Sucralose, acesulfame potassium, carrageenan, tripotassium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, and a vitamin and mineral blend.

Flavor options

One thing that Premier definitely has over Fairlife is an impressive range of flavor options.

Flavor options include chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon roll, root beer float, bananas & cream, cookies & cream, caramel, café latte, chocolate peanut butter, cake batter delight, strawberries & cream, and peaches & cream.

They also have fun seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice.

A protein shake in a bottle sitting on a bench.

Fairlife Protein Shakes

Unlike Premier who has one main option, Fairlife has a few different ready-to-drink options: Core Power, Core Power Elite, and Nutrition Plan. Each one varies slightly nutritionally.

All of the Fairlife shakes use filtered milk as their protein source and a combination of monk fruit juice concentrate, stevia leaf extract, and sucralose for the sweeteners.

Because they use ultra-filtered milk, you’ll notice that Fairlife shakes have a pretty creamy texture.

Core Power nutrition

A 14 fluid oz Core Protein shake has 170 calories, 26g of protein, 4.5g of fat, 6g of carbohydrates, and 0g of added sugar.

The Core Power protein shakes also contain 25% DV of vitamin D, 50% DV of calcium, 8% DV of iron, 20% DV of potassium, and 25% DV of vitamin A.

Nutritionally, this shake is comparable to the Premier protein shakes with just slightly lower protein (26g versus 30g in Premier).

Core Power Ingredients

Filtered Lowfat Grade A Milk, Contains Less Than 1% of: Natural Flavors, Monk Fruit Juice Concentrate, Stevia Leaf Extract, Carrageenan, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Lactase Enzyme, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.

Core Power Elite nutrition

A 14 fluid oz serving of the Core Power Elite shake has 230 calories, 42g of protein, 3.5g fat, 6g of carbohydrate, and 0g of added sugar.

Nutritionally, this shake is higher calorie and higher protein than the Premier shakes. These are actually my favorite ones to use to make Ninja Creami Protein Ice Cream!

Core Power Elite ingredients

Filtered Lowfat Grade A Milk, Contains Less Than 1% of: Natural Flavors, Lactase Enzyme, Acesulfame Potassium, Carrageenan, Monk Fruit Juice Concentrate, Sea Salt, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Stevia Leaf Extract, Sucralose, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.

Nutrition Plan nutrition

An 11.5 oz Nutrition Plan shake has 150 calories, 30g of protein, 2.5g of fat, 3g of carbohydrate, and 0g of added sugar.

Similar to the Premier shakes, the Nutrition Plan shakes also have quite a few vitamins and minerals added like B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. But, their vitamin and mineral content is less extensive than Premier’s.

The Nutrition Plan shakes from Fairlife are the closest nutritionally to the Premier shakes with just 10 calories less per serving.

Fairlife Nutrition Plan ingredients

Filtered Lowfat Grade A Milk, Contains Less Than 1% of: Natural Flavors, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Lactase Enzyme, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Monk Fruit Juice Concentrate, Salt, Stevia Leaf Extract, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.

Flavors

Both Core Power options only come in three flavors. The regular Core Power comes in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry banana. Their Core Power Elite shakes come in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

The Nutrition Plan shakes only come in a chocolate flavor and vanilla flavor.

Their simple flavors are delicious, but the range is clearly not nearly as exciting as the Premier line.

A woman lifting dumbbells.

Fairlife vs Premier Protein: How do they compare?

Nutrition comparison

The Fairlife Nutrition Plan and regular Core Power Protein shakes are quite similar nutritionally to the Premier Protein shakes.

The regular Core Power shakes have a few grams less of protein per serving, but they still have plenty to be an effective protein source. All four protein shake options also contain all of the essential amino acids.

The Premier shakes have a higher vitamin and mineral content, so that’s something to consider if that’s important to you.

Both shakes have 0 grams of added sugars which is a win on both ends. Both brands also use artificial sweeteners. Fairlife uses a combination of monk fruit, stevia extract and sucralose, while Premier sweetens their shakes with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

If you’re looking for something with more than 30g of protein per serving, the Fairlife Core Protein Elite shakes has higher protein content at 42 grams of protein. Plus, they’re higher calorie if you’re paying attention to calorie intake.

Most people don’t need that much protein in a sitting, so this isn’t a huge plus for me. The other shake options have plenty of protein at 26g and 30g.

Fairlife shakes are lactose-free, so it may be the better choice if you have lactose intolerance.

Flavor and taste comparison

Premier’s range of flavors is without question better than Fairlife’s. If you’re someone who likes to change up your protein shake flavor, this is a huge win on the Premier side.

While both brands of shakes are creamy and flavorful, I find Fairlife has less of a “protein taste” and more like a flavored milk taste, likely because it’s made with filtered milk.

Personally, I enjoy them both and love mixing them both into iced coffee for a delicious way to enjoy an iced coffee high protein treat!

Cost comparison

As far as cost goes, the Fairlife shakes are priciest. The Core Power are the most expensive at $3.29-$3.99 per shake.

The Fairlife Nutrition Plan shakes run around $32 per 12-pack ($2.73 per shake) at my local Walmart, but you can find them cheaper at bulk stores like BJ’s.

The Premier shakes seem to have the most affordable price across the board, with a 12-pack at Target running $25.49 or $2.12 per shake.

Which shake is best?

Honestly, both brands are great options! Because they’re so similar nutritionally (with the exception of the Core Protein Elite line), it really comes down to personal preference.

They have some slight differences, but there’s really no clear winner and I think each one is a great choice depending on what you need! To be honest, I appreciate that Premier has one main shake, because Fairlife’s are all so similar that it’s a little confusing why there are so many!

Regardless of which one you choose, each is an excellent choice for a convenient high-protein snack or supplement to your day.

Personally, I regularly buy and enjoy both brands because I find them both to be delicious, easy to tolerate and convenient. Ready-to-drink shakes are also much easier to incorporate than protein powder.

If you’re on a budget, the Premier shakes are probably your best option since they seem to be the best price across the board, but you can find sales on the Fairlife shakes or buy them in bulk too.

Grab them on Amazon here:

That’s a wrap!

Regardless of which brand you choose, ready-to-drink shakes are a good option for a quick boost of protein to support a healthy lifestyle and fitness goals.

Including enough protein at meals and snacks helps keep you full and satisfied, helps to keep your blood sugars stable, and supports muscle mass maintenance and growth.

Protein intake can sometimes be tough to prioritize. Shakes like these are an excellent choice to keep on hand when you need something convenient to drink quickly or throw in your bag on the go.

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3 Responses

      1. Thank you for responding!! I tried the chocolate in my coffee this morning and wow it really brought out the cocoa notes in my coffee, thank you!!

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?