REVIEW: Fairlife Core Power Shakes (Regular & Elite)

Flavors Tried: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry Banana, Elite Vanilla, Elite Chocolate

Price: $3.39 Per Shake ($4.29 for the Elite flavors)

Nutrition for regular shake: 170 Calories, 4.5g Fat, 8g Carbs (2g Fiber, 7g Sugar), 26g Protein

Nutrition for Elite shake: 230 Calories, 4g Fat, 9g Carbs (2g Fiber, 7g Sugar), 42g Protein

Core Power Shakes

Fairlife makes some of the most popular ready-to-drink protein shakes on the market, so it’s time to find out why.

I tried Fairlife’s Core Power shakes a long time ago, but I’ll admit that I hardly remember the experience. So, it feels long overdue to give these milkshakes a formal review.

With the recent emergence of the Ninja Creami (the fancy machine that can turn practically anything into ice cream), I’ve seen thousands of people using these Core Power protein shakes to make ice cream. And, they all claim that it’s delicious.

Since these shakes are seemingly everywhere, let’s see if they are actually worth it.

First things first, Fairlife makes two different Core Power shakes: the regular version, and the “elite” version. For this review, I’m grouping them all together…

Fairlife Core Power vs Core Power Elite

Core power comparison

Much like OWYN protein shakes, Fairlife makes two different versions of their protein shakes.

The “elite” core power shakes are simply protein shakes with more protein in them. Of course, that comes with a higher pricetag, but the extra protein is certainly appealing.

Here’s the nutrition facts for a regular Core Power shake:

Core power nutrition

170 calories and 26 grams of protein is on par with most protein shakes out there but with slightly more protein (many hover around 150 calories and 20 grams of protein).

The Elite Core Power shakes kick things up a notch…

Core power elite nutrition facts

With 230 calories and 42 grams of protein, Core Power Elite is one of the most impressive protein shakes on the market.

For reference, OWYN Elite shakes also have 230 calories but only 35 grams of protein. While that is still impressive in its own right, 42 grams of protein is that much better.

Muscle Milk makes a protein shake with similar macros, but in my opinion, does not taste very good. Let’s hope that Fairlife can tell a different story.

Core Power Vanilla Shake Review

Core Power vanilla

Vanilla was the first flavor I tried, and it quickly became clear why these are called “milk shakes” and not necessarily “protein shakes.”

When you think of protein shakes, you think of a thicker consistency similar to a smoothie. They’re always drinkable (well, they should be anyway) but they are definitely thicker than milk.

But these Core Power shakes are basically the same exact consistency as milk, which is extremely impressive.

In terms of taste, this tastes exactly like vanilla milk.

It’s definitely milk-forward, so if dairy milk is not something you’re into, you may not love these.

But if you’ve ever had a Hershey’s vanilla milkshake, that’s exactly what this reminds me of.

Honestly, there’s not much more to add here. This Core Power shake is like drinking a refreshing glass of cold vanilla milk. No aftertaste, no protein flavor, just delicious.

Core Power Chocolate Review

The chocolate Core Power shake tastes like chocolate milk, plain and simple.

I don’t really have any notes for this one- if you like chocolate milk, there’s not a world where you wouldn’t love this protein shake.

Unlike a lot of chocolate protein shakes out there, there really isn’t much bitterness to this one. Rather, this reminds me of smooth milk chocolate. The Elite chocolate (spoiler alert) has a little more of a dark chocolate flavor, so if that’s your preference, you’ll likely want that one instead.

But if you’re a fan of chocolate milk or eating milk chocolate, this shake delivers.

Core Power Strawberry Banana Review

Strawberry banana core power

This Core Power shake is baffling to me. You have vanilla and chocolate, so the natural third flavor (in my eyes) should be strawberry. I mean, strawberry milk is delicious and Fairlife actually makes a strawberry milk…

To be honest, I bought this shake thinking it was strawberry, so seeing banana on there was really disappointing.

Plus, upon pouring this shake, it was completely white- I was expecting something resembling strawberry milk.

Taste-wise, you mostly taste milk with a subtle banana flavor. The strawberry taste is there if you really search for it, but it’s far too subtle for me.

If you love bananas you’ll like this one more than I did. The idea of banana milk really doesn’t do anything for me, but I know a lot of people add bananas to their cereal, so I suppose this isn’t very far off from that.

In any case, don’t grab this one expecting strawberry milk or you will be very disappointed (stick with Premier Protein for your strawberry fix).

Core Power Elite Vanilla Review

Core Power Elite Vanilla

Now we’re talking. I don’t know how Fairlife was able to bump up the protein and improve the flavor, but I enjoy the Elite vanilla far more than the standard vanilla.

The Elite vanilla contains the same amount of sugar as the regular core power vanilla, but it has more sweetness to it.

The vanilla flavor is intensified in this one, making it a much more enjoyable experience. Since I’m not a milk drinker, the regular Core Power shakes felt a little too milk-forward for me. But the Elite shake puts the flavor first, and the milk seems to take a backseat, so I enjoy it much more.

The improved flavor and the higher amount of protein make this a no-brainer for me, and it’s easily one of the best protein shakes I’ve had.

Core Power Elite Chocolate Review

Core power elite chocolate

Just like the vanilla Core Power Elite shake, the chocolate flavor improves upon the regular chocolate protein shake.

This protein shake still has the consistency of milk, and it very much still reminds me of chocolate milk.

There’s a very slight bitterness to it compared to the regular chocolate shake, but nothing that takes away from the experience.

Since the chocolate flavor is a bit more intense and closer to dark chocolate, this is like chocolate milk for adults. And it’s amazing.

In fact, I used this Core Power Elite chocolate shake as the milk for my cereal, and it was incredible. I had recently purchased Kit Kat cereal, so I figured pairing it with a chocolate shake would work great.

I’ve used protein shakes as milk for my cereal before, but it always tastes like… well, cereal with a protein shake.

Since Core Power tastes like flavored milk, this worked so well. There was no protein taste whatsoever, and the experience was truly like having a bowl of cereal with chocolate milk.

I recommend buying this shake to drink, but maybe buy yourself a second one to use in your cereal, too.

Overall Thoughts: Fairlife Core Power Shakes

Core power vs core power elite

I must officially give Core Power the crown as the best ready-to-drink protein shake on the market.

The shakes are truly like drinking flavored milk, both in terms of consistency and flavor, so there’s really nothing to not like.

I actually prefer the Core Power Elite shakes, not just for the increased protein content, but the more intense flavor.

I did find the strawberry banana flavor to be a disappointment, but vanilla and chocolate are both good enough to more than make up for it.

Give these a try if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it.

Core Power Shakes
REVIEW: Fairlife Core Power Shakes (Regular & Elite)
If you want a protein shake that drinks like milk, Fairlife will not disappoint. Each flavor is as smooth and drinkable as chocolate milk, making it a very refreshing choice. It's also the perfect way to turn your cereal into a high-protein treat that doesn't taste like protein at all.
Flavor Accuracy
Overall Taste
The Good
Very smooth and drinkable
Core Power Elite shakes have very impressive nutrition
The Bad
Strawberry banana flavor is a disappointment
Would like more flavor variety
More expensive than other RTD shakes
Give 'Em A Try
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