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Health Guide Review: 3,4/5

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Shakeology Review: Does It Work?

Intro: What is it?

Shakeology is a meal replacement shake that claims to provide customers with ingredients which are found around the world.  This meal replacement shake is offered in 5 different flavors: Café latte, Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Greenberry.

They also offer what the call “Shakeology Boosts”, which are essentially extra additives you can include for wither energy, extra vitamins through greens, or even energy. More importantly though, does it actually work?

Shakeology Ingredients

These ingredients make up their bestselling Vanilla flavor:

Whey Protein Isolate Pea Protein Flax Chia Quinoa Natural Flavors
Pea Fiber Pomegranate Yacon Acerola Cherry Cordyceps Chicory Root
Blueberry Bilberry Astralagus Camu-Camu Goji Berry Spinach
Maitake Reishi Rose Hips MSM Himalayan salt Ashwagandha
Enzyme blend Kale Lactobicillus sporogenes Schisandra Mace Lou Han Gou
Cinnamon Green Tea Gingko Moringa Chlorella Sancha Inchi
Spirulina Non GMO- Fructose Natural Vanilla Flavor Xanthan Gum Stevia Amylase
Cellulase Lactase Glucoamylase Alpha-Galactosidase Invertase

 Even though the sugar they use is free of GMO’s, it’s still fructose. Fructose has been linked to many different side effects such as increased fatty liver, increased insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes and many other problems.

The stevia added is good, but since it’s almost last on the list, this means most of the sugar is unhealthy fructose.

There’s also the unnecessary enzyme blend which is only needed in people who can’t naturally produce them. Since it can potentially cause side effects, there’s no need for them.

Quality of Shakeology Protein

Their protein is mixed into a blend of Pea, Flax, Whey Protein Isolate, Chia, Sancha Inchi, and Quinoa. You’re getting about 16 grams of protein and its unknown how much of it is the amino acid rich Whey Protein Isolate.

The problem with vegetarian protein is that on its own, it doesn’t provide all the essential amino acids. There’s a reason why you’ll often see it mixed into a blend.

Pea Protein: The research on the effectiveness of this hasn’t been well studied. It’s also high in purines, which can promote joint pain.

Flax Protein: Contains lignin, which can promote estrogen production.

Chia Protein: It can thin the blood and lead to bloating and gas.  It can also drop blood pressure.

Sancha Inchi Protein: Not enough studies have been produced to show if it’s truly effective.

Quinoa Protein: Less than 15% of its calories come from protein, so it’s a weak source.

Whey Protein Isolate: An extract found in the cheese making process. It’s higher in amino acids than other whey proteins.

Whey’s the only quality protein source added which is a reliable source of all the amino acids. Since it’s all mixed into a blend, it’s impossible to know exactly how many grams of it you’re getting.

The Price and Quality of Shakeology

For a 30 serving bag using their one time shipping option instead of auto ship, you have to pay $129.95. It’s recommended to replace 2 meals a day to get the full effects, so each bag really lasts 15 days.

This means you’re getting:

2 meals a day is 15 servings, divided by 15=$8.66 a day.

Keep in mind you’re getting mostly plant protein which has its own flaws. Some of the plant sources are either not studied well enough, don’t have all the amino acids, or they can potentially cause unwanted side effects.

Provided by the company is a list of all the foods which they claim one serving of Shakeology shake will replace:

  • 10 cups of cauliflower.
  • 1 cup of peas.
  • 4 cups of raw broccoli.
  • 1 shot of wheatgrass.
  • 3 cups of romaine lettuce.
  • 4 cups of raw mushrooms.
  • 3 raw onions.
  • 7 raw carrots.
  • 4 cups of non-fat yogurt.
  • 4 cups of red radishes.

This would be great if it was true, but it’s not.

Let’s take one example. 10 cups of cauliflower provides about 900% of your vitamin C content for the day, according to NutritionData.com. One serving of Shakeology provides only 300% vitamin C. The other foods nutrition facts prove the company is greatly exaggerating the value.

Here are the macronutrients and calories of the Vanilla Flavor:

Calories 130 Calories from Fat 15 Total Fat 2g, 3% Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 5mg, 2%
Sodium 200 mg, 8% Carbohydrate 14 g, 5% Dietary Fiber 3g, 12% Sugars 7g Protein 16g, 32%

 

The vitamins and minerals are as follows:

300%: Vitamin C (as Absorbic acid)

100%: Vitamin A (as beta-carotene), Vitamin B1 (as thiamin HCI). Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCI), Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin), Manganese (as manganese sulfate),

76%: Vitamin B2 (as riboflavin),

50%: Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol), Vitamin E(mixed tocepherols), Vitamin K1(as phytonadione), Folic acid,  Pantothenic acid(as calcium d-pantothenate), Chromium(as chromium chloride)

40%: Zinc (as zinc oxide), Copper (as copper gluconate), Molybdenum (as sodium molybdate)

35%: Iodine (potassium iodide)

30%: Biotin, Calcium (as dicalcium phosphate)

25%: Vitamin B3 (as niacin)

23%: Phosphorus (as dicalcium phosphate)

20%: Magnesium (as magnesium oxide)

11%: Iron

Since a lot of them are water soluble, this means they end up getting flushed through urine. This is why you’ll often see brands feature over 100% of a vitamin, most of it isn’t well digested.

In one interesting commercial for Shakeology, Tony Horton (who is their spokesperson) works the register and counts all the health foods like Astralagus, Goji Berry, Camu-Camu, and others. He claims that you don’t have to spend a ton of money buying these health foods, you can just buy Shakeology. The truth is the reason why there are added vitamins is because these ingredients lose their potency.

For example, they add 180 mg of Absorbic acid which is vitamin C. None of the vitamin C content comes from the super fruits added.

Shakeology Intended benefits

Through daily supplementation, it’s claimed you’ll be able to:

  • Gain extra energy.
  • Reduce your cravings for junk food.
  • Improve your digestion and make bowel movements regular.
  • Reduce weight.
  • You’ll be full for a long time, which will prevent unnecessary snacking.

This can be said about any meal replacement which has a high amount of fiber and protein.  They claim Shakeology offers”

 “the most nutrient dense foods on the planet”

They never provide real studies to prove this claim.

The Digestive Enzymes

There’s also several different digestive enzymes added which are used to:

“gently eliminate waste from you digestive system”

The enzymes and the fiber are supposed to promote this benefit. Fiber is beneficial, though the digestive enzymes aren’t necessary. After doing research on the use of these additives, recent analysis by the FDA was that it had no rating for either safety or effectiveness.

There are also many side effects that may appear:

  • Stomach cramps.
  • Head pain.

In more serious cases such as nausea, gall stones, and hives, it’s advised to seek medical attention.

Most healthy people don’t need any additional enzymes because our saliva and pancreas produces them, and it’s often only given to sick people who are coming off of antibiotics.

Unless you have an unhealthy body then that cannot naturally produce enzymes, you don’t need them. Also if you did, a doctor would be advised since only a medical recommendation can ensure the right amounts.

Fructose Sugar

Another thing to take issue with is the 7 grams of mostly fructose sugar added. Even though it’s free of GMO’s, there’s still the possibility for having ill effects.  Authority nutrition highlights all the possible problems with fructose:

  • It can cause a resistance to insulin, which promotes obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • There’s the potential for fatty deposits in the liver, this can promote fatty liver disease.
  • High levels can lead to uric acid buildup, this; leads to gout and high blood pressure.
  • You end up eating more of it because it’s not satisfying enough. So excess calories become an issue.
  • There are additive properties to it.
  • Increased cholesterol and triglycerides are possible.
  • It promotes leptin resistance, making body fat harder to control.

The reason why all this is possible is because regular fructose found in fruits also has the benefit of added vitamins and minerals. When combined with fiber, fructose is much easier to digest by the body. Without it, it’s essentially unfiltered and can promote unwanted effects

Chlorella

There are other interesting additions to Shakeology. They tend to add super fruits and what’s considered to be healthy algae like chlorella.

Chlorella is often added as a way to improve the immune system. Unfortunately, there’s a possibility for unwanted side effects according to WebMD:

Chlorella has caused serious allergic reactions, including asthma and other dangerous breathing problems.”

Many of the ingredients added just aren’t the best since they can potentially cause side effects.

The Shakeology Business

The company is operated by BeachBody LLC, a California company that operates out of Santa Monica.

Their address is: 3301 Exposition Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Their phone number is :(310) 883-9000

Some customers have complained that the customer service representatives speak broken English, and that they’re hard to understand.

Customer Opinions

Customers often mention that sellers of Shakeology are overly aggressive. There are also some reports of those who dislike the auto billing practice which chargers customers each month.

As far as the quality of the shakes, reports have been very mixed:

“smells good , tastes bad”.

“this thing is disgusting”

“overpriced, you can get the same ingredients for 1/3 the price”

Some customers feel that the positive reviews aren’t real:

“don’t trust these reviews, they all work for beachbody”

Conclusion

 The thing that Shakeology uses to separate itself from other meal replacements is the addition of exotic ingredients across the world.  There’s more about this that the company has not fully outlined however:

  • The vitamin content doesn’t come from the exotic ingredients: There are included vitamins and minerals .There’s nothing wrong with this, but the company makes it seem like their ingredients are uniquely special. In fact all the vitamins and minerals come from other extracts instead of being directly from whole foods.
  • The type of sugar added is potentially harmful: The added fructose sugar is not well processed by the body. It has been shown to potentially cause obesity, and even raise the risk for type 2 diabetes. It’s also a cheap sweetener which provides around 7 grams of sugar per serving. Other brands provide much less, as sugar is known to cause an increase in weight.
  • They lie about the nutritional density: There’s a list offered of fruits and vegetables which the company claims one serving of Shakeology can replace. The truth is that there are many more nutrients available through real whole foods. They claim that you’ll be able to replace cups worth of vegetables, but this is misleading.
  • Most of the protein is sourced from cheap veggie protein: They add a little bit of whey protein, but it’s not enough since they decided to add 5 other kinds of protein. You don’t end up getting your money’s worth. Spending money on chia, flax, quinoa, sancha inchi, and pea protein isn’t as good as only whey. The reason why you often find a mixture of plant protein is because it doesn’t have all the amino acids.
  • It’s incredibly expensive: At $129.95 per 30 servings, you end up having to pay a ton of money. The reason for this high price is because of the superfoods and exotic ingredients. Unfortunately you won’t be able to really get any benefit from these additives, since their nutritional profile doesn’t add anything to the supplements facts list.

Their quality of protein is a mix of plant and some whey, which means you’re not getting your money’s worth. Plant protein has several problems and it’s not as good as more wholesome options.

Finally it’s one of the most expensive shakes at $129.95 for only 30 servings. There’s better quality meal replacements that are not only less expensive, but that provide more quality whey protein.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician.