Expert rating: 3.4/5
Customer rating: voted
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?
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|
|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|
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.
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.
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:
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)
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.
Through daily supplementation, it’s claimed you’ll be able to:
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:
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.
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:
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
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 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.
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”
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:
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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