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FutureLife – A Review

FutureLife. The future is now, or is it?futurelife

This product has been on the shelves for a while now and was recently given a facelift to align the packaging with the new labeling legislation. It is merely aesthetics  however as the nutritional content is still the same although they have also introduced a new flavour, strawberry.

Per 50g serving Futurelife provides 200 calories, 30g of carbs, 9g of protein and 5g of fat. Breaking this down further:

  • of the 30 g of carbohydrate, only 7.5 g or roughly 1 1/2 tsp is sugar,
  • the product is low GI due to the carbohydrate content being low in sugar and consisting of their specialized and patented partially cooked maize. This is great for those who care about GI (read more here).
  • the protein is maize and soy based so is suitable for vegetarians. Despite being plant based it still provides a complete source of protein with all essential and branched chain amino acids in good supply.
  • the fat component is evenly spread between saturated (1.5 g) , monounsaturated (1.8 g) and polyunsaturated (1.7 g) fats
  • a small amount of the omega 3 fat alpha linolenic acid is included but the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is 7:1 (more on this here)
  • the fibre content is not high at 3 g per serving. A small portion is inulin, a fibre like compound that acts as a probiotic and can assist immune function. Maize itself is generally not a great provider of fiber.
  • The vitamin profile shows 50% NRV’s for the included vitamins in each serving which I feel is a great draw card. This might be as much, if not more than, what you are getting from some of your multivitamins!

On top of all this, and a strong marketing point, is the addition of Moducare to FutureLife. Moducare is a plant sterol and sterolin blend which are a group of phytosterols that are essentially the plant based version of cholesterol. Research has shown encouraging benefits for phytosterols lowering levels of their human cousin, cholesterol. Although they may be cholesterol lowering compounds, phytosterols have not yet been shown to improve the health endpoints linked to cholesterol such as cardiovascular disease or mortality rates. Recently these sterols have shown to assist inflammatory conditions and immune function in stressed populations including marathon runners. Most trials are fairly small and short however and the long term benefits are yet to be determined.  Clinical trials using Moducare itself are not easy to find, but one recent study reported attenuated growth of cancer cells both test tubes and in mice, although the dosage is EXTREMELY high (10 g/kg body weight) compared to the mere 25 mg you find per serving in Futurelife. These plant sterols are beneficial and while it remains unclear whether the dose in Futurelife will provide these benefits the more we get in through our diet the better.

A 50g serving of Futurelife is, in my opinion, a good part of breakfast or a decent snack for the convenience factor. For an active lifestyle it can be a useful breakfast or used as an addition to breakfast depending on your individual needs. It could also be used around exercise as a source of carbohydrate and protein. If you are on a calorie controlled diet or looking for weight loss then it may not be a great option as it is very high in energy, or if you do include it make sure that it is in small servings. FutureLife have recently added a High Protein variation which I will be reviewing soon which may be better suited to both the athlete and the calorie conscious. Apart from the energy content for the weight conscious I do not like the fact that the omega 6 content is so high. This is a fat we get plenty of and is associated with a number of health issues. Read the link earlier for more on this.

Some sensitive users may also struggle with the inulin content of FutureLife which is a type of non-digestible carbohydrate (fiber) that is promoted is some health circles and warned against in others. This is a topic for another day but a point worth keeping in mind if you experience gut issues after adding FutureLife to your diet.

I have tasted all the flavours in the current range and I find them quite tasty, except for the banana version which is a bit synthetic in taste for me. Personally I prefer mixing it with luke-warm water as opposed to using milk as this makes it too rich for me in the morning but the addition of milk would naturally increase your energy and protein content of each serving and can make a nice starting point for a smoothie.

My pick of a smoothie recipe for use after exercise: 1 banana, 3 strawberries, 3 Tbsp Futurelife, 3 Tbsp Whey Protein and about 100ml peach or apple juice gives a delicious high energy, high protein shake. This smoothie would provide about 70 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein and 5 g fat. The Futurelife website also has a few decent sounding recipes to give a try!!

Authors admission: strawberry sample received from sales representative, all other samples were paid for.

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9 Responses to FutureLife – A Review

  1. Robert Oct 4, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Good article.

    I have future life as part of my diet when cutting weight for grappling and brazilina jiu jitsu tournaments. Its helped me cut up to 7kg in a week.

    Also great for recovery during competitions.

    Cool product and I dig the taste.

    • It's me Jul 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

      7kg in a week? Bullshit detected

  2. Vici Mar 16, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

    What about all astronauts apparently on future life developing cancer? A healthy balanced diet should never be replaced by a product. How many vitamins are synthesised as apposed to natural (synthesised vitamins are not absorbed in the human body, they pass directly through). Is promoting a product such as this advisable when people can grow year own veggies and fruit and be healthier without addition of steroles or additives? If sodium benzoate is the preservative then they are being handed in a “healthy product” – cancer. By the way all medication has sodium benzoate as a preservative, so if you are being treated for cancer, ask your doctor why he is prescribing cancer in your medication.
    No food supplement can ever replace a proper natural diet.

    • Food For Sport Mar 16, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughts Vici. I whole heartedly agree that no product could or should replace a balanced diet, most of this blog supports that. Of note, FutureLife does no contain sodium benzoate as far as I know. Do you have any references to support your claims of cancer in astronauts, cancer from sodium benzoate or lack of absorption of artificial vitamins? I would very much like to read up on that. Thanks.

    • MvS Dec 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

      If astronauts did develop cancer it would be incredibly difficult to isolate the cause – was it exposure to weird rays in space? Lack of gravity affecting certain human systems which require gravity to function? FutureLife? Entering / exiting the atmosphere? This is an increidbly conplex thing, anyone who claims this product caused the cancer in them, if they even got cancer, is not being honest.

  3. Daleen Jun 25, 2018 at 5:57 am #

    I have fibromyalgia and currently using FUTURELIFE porridge. I would like to know if this is good for me and if it will be a bad idea when used with a low exercise program. I would like to loose weight.

    • Adrian Penzhorn Jun 25, 2018 at 9:54 am #

      Hi Daleen
      I wouldn’t say it is an inherently good or bad food for your medical condition, there would be a number of dietary choices that influence that in the bigger picture. Consulting a registered dietician can be helpful there. For weight loss, and more importantly with low exercise, you would consider portion size but again what is going on at all other meals and snacks is just as important as your breakfast choice.

  4. Mbali Sep 10, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    I want to gain weight. Can I use future life to help me to gain weight?

    • Adrian Penzhorn Sep 11, 2018 at 11:08 am #

      Hi Mbali. You can use energy dense foods like FutureLife to gain weight but your total intake for the day and your training will determine the success of this.