The goal of this Shakeology review is to provide you with honest, level-headed feedback on Shakeology so you can decide if you want to try it.
We’ll discuss the controversial shakeology reviews, what makes the nutrition supplement unique, and who should and shouldn’t drink Shakeology.
When you Google search reviews, many sites are overtly biased for or against Shakeology. Yet, as engineers trying to become the healthiest that we can be, Alex and I wanted to know if Shakeology was truly the best out there.
When I read these other reviews, many articles seemed unfair, unhelpful, or automatically generated by robot-like review sites that never even tasted Shakeology and only wanted to recommend other products.
This quote was taken directly from one Shakeology review: “Soylent is available on the official website: shakeology.com.” See what I mean by “robot-like?”
Alex and I have been drinking Shakeology since 2014 so we felt like we could offer a lot of value. Plus, we’re at our own fork in the road. Our health is a lot different (and better) now than it was in 2014.
Do we keep on drinking Shakeology? How much is it actually helping our health?
But, if you’ve been around our website or followed our newsletters these past years, you’d know that we’re on a lifelong quest to become as healthy as possible.
We don’t subscribe to the bull crap; just the data, our research, and the truth we’ve found in it.
So, we’re diving into the science behind Shakeology, understanding what makes it unique, and using our engineering backgrounds and personal experience with Shakeology to write this review as unbiased as possible.
I’ve spent a lot of time learning about Shakeology and crunching the numbers to compare Shakeology substitutes. I’ve met the creator and leadership team behind it, and I have heard all the good and bad things about this nutrition supplement.
I’ll share both the positives and negatives about Shakeology, as well as our experience in this Shakeology review.
What is Shakeology?
Shakeology is a dietary supplement with an impressive nutrient profile and ingredient list.
A lot of Shakeology reviews on Google compare it to other protein shakes. That’s not accurate since it contains added benefits from a variety of nutrients, including fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, adaptogens, vitamins, and minerals.
We’ll talk about what all those ingredients in Shakeology do later in this review.
While Shakeology has enough protein to be considered a protein shake, protein powder is not what you need unless you’re an elite athlete or protein-deficient vegan. You need nutrients. Only 3% of people in the U.S. are protein deficient.
Shakeology is not a weight-loss shake or a meal replacement shake either. While a nutrition supplement can give you the energy to exercise more or motivate you to not eat greasy pizza for lunch, none of them are scientifically proven to make you lose weight.
Finally, it’s not a meal replacement shake because it’s only 160 calories. Meal replacement shakes are only effective for short-term weight loss. This study confirms that lifestyle change is far more effective long-term than meal replacement shakes like Slimfast.
As we explain in our 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge, consuming too few calories is just as problematic as consuming too much.
The Mastermind Behind Shakeology
We decided to publish our Shakeology review shortly after we started watching the Netflix series “Down To Earth” with Zac Efron.
We loved it because it’s all about traveling the world and learning from different cultures. That’s exactly what we have done full-time since 2018.
In the show, Zac and his co-host explore how to optimize health, live happier and more well-balanced lives, and lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
The other co-host of the show? Darin Olien, the creator of Shakeology.
Darin Olien, known as the “Superfood Hunter,” is the author of one of my all-time favorite books, SuperLife: The 5 Forces That Will Make You Healthy, Fit and Eternally Awesome. His philosophy for healthy living, tied to a healthy planet, strongly resonated with me.
Darin’s holistic approach to wellness incorporates quality nutrition, hydration, detoxification, oxygenation, and alkalization. He is avidly against the fad diets and gimmicky health trends that make people so sick.
I met Darin, and while we only exchanged a few travel stories from Bhutan and Tibet, I know from reading his book that he has a global perspective from his travels, and he’s insanely well-researched in nutrition.
I also know that when he agreed to formulate Shakeology for Beachbody, he made the CEO promise that the formula and the quality of the ingredients would never be compromised for margins or cost. I know that promise still holds true.
Why Are Shakeology Reviews Polarizing?
If the inventor of shakeology is so brilliant, what is the deal with the controversial Shakeology reviews? The Shakeology reviews we found all fell into one of four buckets:
1. The Salesperson
“Shakeology is a delicious meal replacement made with 70 nutrient-dense base ingredients derived from whole food sources! It boosts energy, curbs sugar cravings, helps regulate digestion, helps you lose weight, and keeps your fuller longer! I absolutely love this product and use it daily! I can definitely get you some information if you want.”
These Shakeology reviews are no more helpful than the sales page. While it’s amazing that people are giving entrepreneurialism a shot, a lot of people are amateur and tacky when they first start selling Shakeology.
2. Shakes are the devil!
“There’s no comparison between manufactured nutrition supplements and wholesome, real foods, no matter what companies may claim.”
We agree that whole foods will always win nutritionally, and shake or supplement will never “replace” them. We never dispute that anywhere on our website, and especially in this Shakeology review.
But, let’s not take the term “meal replacement shake” too literally and accept that none of us are perfect eaters. Be honest, are you eating the rainbow every single day? Alex and I are both incredibly healthy eaters, but even as vegetarians, we admit that we could eat more variety of plants.
We view supplements and shakes like an insurance plan. They fill in the gaps that we miss, especially when we’re on backpacking trips eating macaroni and cheese for dinner.
3. It’s an illegal scam. Beware!
“Shakeology is a type of multi-level marketing scheme. Much like a pyramid scheme, the people who already bought the product get more at a discount if they sell it to unsuspecting friends.”
A lot of Shakeology reviews are negative because it’s sold through an MLM (multi-level marketing aka network marketing). It’s fine to hate MLMs. I find some of the reps cringe-worthy myself. But, every piece of that sentence is incorrect.
It’s unfortunate that network marketing companies get such a bad wrap. For us, it was a great way to learn from successful entrepreneurs and supplement our income, allowing us to take the leap from our jobs as engineers.
Whatever the reason for despising an MLM, the quality of the products sold by that company is a separate issue.
For example, Alex hates Chick-fil-A because the company donates to anti-LGBTQ groups and the CEO made scathing, anti-gay comments. But that doesn’t mean Alex can claim their chicken sandwiches taste like garbage.
4. It’s Good. But expensive!
“I know a lot of people that complain about the price but my motto is: you get what you pay for. The shakes are PACKED with dense nutrition and over 70 superfoods. I drink it every single day as one of my meals (either breakfast or lunch… sometimes dinner if I am not too hungry.) I recommend using 10-12 oz of water (or almond milk) – frozen fruit, PB, and 4-5 ice cubes!”
You see a lot of Shakeology reviews similar to this one too. And, we agree with this review. Except we would add a little more water. We’ll talk about the taste of Shakeology too, but we typically recommend 12-16 ounces of liquid.
So, that leads us to the elephant in the room: the price of Shakeology.
The Elephant In The Room
Shakeology is one of the higher-cost nutritional shakes on the market. For a full cost per serving comparison of Shakeology compared to its competitors, check out our analysis of Shakeology alternatives.
Below is a cost per serving graph of Shakeology and it’s high quality competitors.
We’ll talk more about why Shakeology (and other premium meal replacement shakes) are expensive in this Shakeology review.
If you’re considering Shakeology, do your own cost per serving comparison of the products you’re interested it. It’s best to do this calculation on your own, since a lot of review sites disregard accurate math or pick their own metric such as cost per 150 calories to tell a better story.
Speaking of stories, here is my stance on the price of Shakeology.
A few years ago, I was driving with a friend who asked me why I pay for Shakeology when I could get the same thing, like Vega One, for half the price (which is only true if you look at the price tag instead of cost/serving). My friend said the protein, carbs, fiber, and minerals on the nutrition facts were almost identical.
I thought about it for a moment and then answered his question with another question. I asked, “Why are you driving a fully loaded Mercedes SUV when you could have bought a Kia SUV for half the price? They both have an engine, four-wheel drive, a 5-star safety rating, and a radio.”
Quality comes at a cost, and if a premium quality health shake is not in your budget, don’t buy Shakeology. However, if you can budget for Shakeology and you value quality health products, just like my friend values quality cars, then give it a shot.
In our opinion, there’s nothing better to spend your money on than your health. Next, we’ll answer some basic Shakeology questions and talk about who should and should not drink Shakeology.
What To Expect From Shakeology
Why Is Shakeology Unique?
The Shakeology reviews that compare amounts of carbs, proteins, sugars, and fats to other shakes are completely bogus. That would be analogous to shopping for a car by comparing all makes and models with four doors, a 5-star safety rating, and a radio.
We like to describe Shakeology as a superfood shake. While we know that “superfood” is a loosely defined term for food with dense nutrition, we like it because they really are super.
We have lived in many of the countries where these superfoods are native and they’re a huge part of the culture. In many cases, these foods were used as offerings to the gods by native people.
Travel to Peru, and you will see Maca in the markets, restaurants, and gardens outside of huts while trekking in the high Andes. These superfoods have been a staple in the diet of these populations for hundreds of years for their profound benefits.
What makes Shakeology unique is that it contains 70 superfoods. We appreciate that they’re responsibly sourced from farmers around the globe, quality-tested, processed properly to maintain their enzymes and phytonutrients, and derived from whole-food sources so that the nutrients are effective when consumed.
Click on the below video to hear from Darin Olien, the formulator of Shakeology. Notice how his focus is on the nutritional power of the ingredients. He talks about optimizing health, not replacing meals or promoting weight loss.
This is what makes Shakeology different.
What Does Shakeology Claim To Do?
Ever the engineers, we love science and in our previous jobs, data was king. Unfortunately, just like every other supplement product out there, there is no good science backing Beachbody’s claims about Shakeology, listed below.
There have been some studies conducted on Shakeology, but we’re not going to get very excited about them in our Shakeology review because they’re not replicated and they don’t control for bias.
We’ll still talk about the studies because they do suggest that these claims are accurate. First, Shakeology claims to provide the following benefits:
- Lose weight: the nutrients, protein, and fiber keep you satiated and full longer
- Curb cravings: the low glycemic value maintains blood sugar levels and prevents crashing
- Natural energy: caffeine is not the fix, getting your body nutrients that it’s lacking through superfoods is
- Better overall health: proper fuel helps the body produce new blood cells, brain cells, hair and skin cells, hormones, and immune responses
- Healthy digestion: prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and soluble and insoluble fibers support regularity and digestion
Beachbody claims that this clinical study shows that Shakeology can help you lose weight, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and support healthy blood sugar levels. This doesn’t qualify as scientific evidence, but I do 100% believe these claims based on my experience selling Shakeology.
Next, this 2018 study concluded that “compared with a low-protein, low-fiber, isocaloric placebo, Shakeology (high-protein and high-fiber) “preload” reduced hunger, desire to eat, and tended to reduce subsequent food intake.”
Pre-loaded means it was eaten before a meal. To us, those results aren’t that life-changing, but it supports that claim that Shakeology could help you lose weight and curb cravings, which is great for overall health.
The only study that is going to tell you if Shakeology works or not is a 2-3 month long experiment drinking Shakeology yourself. If it works, you’ll know by then if you pay attention to your health.
What Are The Benefits of Shakeology?
Since this is our Shakeology review, these are the key benefits we’ve noticed after nearly a decade of drinking Shakeology.
1. It’s Convenient
While we prefer to mix Shakeology in a blender with other ingredients like peanut butter and banana, sometimes you have to mix it with just water while on the go. Having this option prevents you from spending your money on junk food at a convenience store or Starbucks.
2. No Decision Fatigue
On an average day, you typically make 35,000 decisions. That is tiring. I don’t know about you, but when I am hungry and have to make a quick decision about what to eat, it’s almost never a healthy choice. That’s decision fatigue at work.
Having Shakeology in our arsenal eliminates this exhaustion, saves time, and gives us a much healthier food option. Sometimes, when we’re traveling, it’s the only healthy thing we eat all day, which keeps us on track.
3. Cheater’s Insurance
Consistency gives us better habits. Working out 6 days a week for 20 minutes is far better than 3 days a week for an hour. Why?
Your chance of success is increased because your routine is consistent. Your body starts to crave the movement and it’s less daunting mentally if you miss a day.
We think the same goes for nutrition. Drinking Shakeology is like daily coverage nutritional insurance that allows us to cheat and not get derailed. Even when we eat a big greasy pizza for dinner, we fall right back into craving healthy habits the next day.
4. It’s Delicious
I would never pay this kind of money and drink a shake every day if I didn’t love the taste. We’ll talk more about our favorite flavors and recipes later on, but here are two important recommendations:
1. If you plan to only mix with water in a blender bottle, buy the vegan flavors. They are more miscible with water and you won’t get powdery chunks.
2. If you’re not sure about flavor, the majority of our customers love Chocolate and Vanilla the most. They seem to be the most versatile when mixing in other ingredients, but it’s fun to try all of the flavors, including Café Latte, Strawberry, and seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice Latte and Salted Caramel, from time to time.
Sure, every individual has unique taste buds. But, if the taste of Shakeology hasn’t been very satisfying, then there is a good chance you can change that. The number one issue we see is not adding enough water or milk.
Mix Shakeology with 12-16 ounces of liquid always. Otherwise, the taste could be too powerful and potentially gritty with some flavors. Then, try our go-to recipe of:
- 8 oz unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
- 8 oz water
- 1 banana
- 1 serving of Chocolate or Vanilla Shakeology
- 1 dollop of peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- A handful of fresh spinach (don’t worry, you’ll never taste it)
- Ice to thicken (usually 8-12 cubes)
Shakeology is pivotal for the taste because sometimes I forget to add the scoop and those ingredients on their own are not at all appetizing.
Who Should and Shouldn't Drink Shakeology?
Shakeology Review: Who Should Drink It?
Based on my experience personally and with clients, these are the people who should drink or at least self-experiment with drinking Shakeology.
1. Healthy Eating Beginners
If you’re a healthy eating beginner, drinking Shakeology would be game-changer for your health. Here are the behaviors of a beginner:
- Eats very few vegetables
- Drinks soda or sugary drinks (3+ times per week)
- Dines regularly at fast food joints or unhealthy restaurants (5+ times a week)
- Addicted to caffeine or requires stimulus to be alert during the day
- Experiences frequent weight swings
I was a healthy eating beginner in 2014, and when I first started drinking Shakeology it was insanely beneficial.
Immediately, I was far less reliant on coffee, stopped drinking soda, and drastically reduced my pizza intake because I didn’t want to negate the results of my premium nutrition shake.
Since I wasn’t a veggie eater and mostly ate processed foods, Shakeology provided many nutrients that I was lacking. I felt a significant increase in energy which translated to being more productive at work and being more consistent with my workouts.
If this is you, or a loved one, we 100% recommend giving shakeology a trial.
2. Peeps with Poop Problems
Your bowel movements signal how healthy your body is on the inside. If you can’t poop, consider that a major red flag. I recommend testing various diets for 3-6 month chunks until you find something that makes you more regular.
I had a scary problem with poop, which was the main reason I started drinking Shakeology in the first place. I needed those probiotics and digestive enzymes. My digestion improved within days, and after two months of drinking Shakeology, I was on track with daily bowel movements.
Before that, there were two instances where I was constipated for over two weeks. Drinking water, eating more fiber, and flooding your digestive system with enzymes and nutrients like the ones in Shakeology should help you poop better too.
3. Cookie Monsters
Gut health is a huge topic these days and for very good reasons. Some doctors refer to your gut as your “second brain.” That’s because it has a lot of sway over your actual brain.
If your gut doesn’t get what it wants, it sends signals up to your brain which reach you in the form of cravings. If you have cookie monster cravings or an unhealthy sweet tooth, we’re talking to you.
We hear from clients all the time that Shakeology not only curbs cravings but more importantly, makes them crave healthier foods. I suspect that the superfoods in Shakeology along with the digestive enzymes and probiotics transform the bacteria in the gut.
Speaking of poop, did you know that in the UK, a fecal transplant is pretty commonly used to cure illness? That means taking poop from a healthy donor and transplanting it into the intestines of a sick recipient.
Not only does the bacteria from the fecal matter cure symptoms, but doctors found that recipients started to crave the foods that the healthy donor was eating. So you could give that a try!
We hope you found this Shakeology review before resorting to fecal microbiome transplantation. Separately, another great way to gain control of your cravings is to start intermittent fasting. Or, if you’re up for an incredibly eye-opening challenge, try a 72-hour water fast.
4. The Yo-Yo Dieter
Fad diets that restrict calories simply don’t work. It’s not your willpower, it’s science. We talk about this in-depth in our article titled, “The Problem With Fad Diets.”
When you cut calories, you cut nutrients too, and your body and hormones will protest. Here’s what happens to the calorie depriving yo-yo dieter.
Early on, they get a bit of excitement when they lose a few pounds in the first few days. Unfortunately, the weight loss curve tapers off after a few weeks and the results eventually flatline.
Why does that happen? Because their metabolism drops in response to the calorie deprivation, and their body is screaming for nutrients.
So, when their second brain (their gut) sends an angry signal up to their main brain, it sounds like this:
“What do we want? PIZZA! When do we want it? Effing NOW!”
And the vicious cycle repeats itself. Weight loss is a byproduct of properly fueling your body. You won’t get healthy on the outside until you’re healthy on the inside. Yo-Yo dieting, cutting out macronutrients, and depriving yourself of calories is wrong.
If you might be a yo-yo dieter or have followed calorie deprivation plans in the past, we’re glad you found this Shakeology review. It will help you because it allows you to get the nutrients you need while you re-train yourself to eat the right amount of whole foods for your optimal health.
5. Have One of These Health Conditions
Of course, you need to consult your doctor on this, but I have personally witnessed many cases where Shakeology has helped individuals with one of these five health conditions:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Pre-diabetes or diabetes (type 2)
- Auto-immune disease
- Hormonal imbalances
Shakeology has not been evaluated by the food and Drug Administration, and it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All I can say is that getting a healthy nutritional boost can work magic.
Download and print this “doctor’s note” so that your doctor can make a well-informed decision.
6. Frequent Travelers
Work and play have always required significant travel for Alex and me. If this sounds like you, Shakeology is a lifesaver.
Shakeology makes healthy eating simple while on the go. You get an entire day’s worth of nutrition and you don’t have to waste time or mental energy trying to find something worth eating. You don’t need that $10 airport muffin, trust me.
Shakeology Review: Who Shouldn’t Drink It?
Over the years, my health has evolved from a beginner to an advanced healthy eater.
If it wasn’t for the taste of Shakeology, the post-workout benefits we get from it, and the peace of mind we have from “drinking the rainbow” and filling our nutritional gaps, we would probably stop buying it.
I know some pretty healthy people who started drinking Shakeology and it didn’t last because they just didn’t feel the difference. This could be you.
1. The Advanced Healthy Eater
You are an advanced healthy eater if you fit the below:
- Eats a balanced diet of least 85% healthy, whole foods
- Gets results from fitness and feeling natural energy from nutrition
- Has healthy hormone, nutrient, and mineral levels
- Has a healthy body weight
Well done. You’re in a good place and you’re very in-tune with your body and health. That’s important because with that awareness you can continue to optimize your healthiest life.
If you’re an advanced healthy eater, you might not need Shakeology. If you try Shakeology and don’t feel or see any differences in 1-2 months, then maybe it’s not worth it for you.
2. Experience Negative Side Effects
Shakeology contains some exotic ingredients. Therefore, some people have allergic reactions to Shakeology. It’s very rare, but any sudden negative reactions are a sign that it’s not right for you.
We have Shakeology to several thousand people and only a handful reported these reactions. These cases ranged from almost instant diarrhea to nagging stomach aches that only went away when they stopped drinking Shakeology.
Just make sure you check the expiration date on the bag before you conclude that it was an allergy instead of rotten Shakeology.
Mainly due to the high fiber content (mainly the insoluble fibers that your digestive tract is not used to), some people experience bloating or gas when they start using Shakeology. When this is the case, start with a half scoop and work your way up to a full scoop.
These temporary side effects are probably a good indication that your body is finally getting something that it was lacking. However, this should only last 1-2 weeks.
3. Can’t Stand the Taste
Taste is a major benefit, as previously mentioned in our Shakeology review. It should taste incredible.
Before writing this Shakeology review, I read a few reviews about how bad Shakeology tastes. I didn’t get the sense that they tried Shakeology more than once.
That’s like trying to make sushi for the first time, failing, and deciding that all sushi is gross. Read our recommendations on making Shakeology, follow some good recipes, try more than one flavor, and mix each flavor with different liquids.
When you do this, you’ll find something that tastes delicious. However, if they still taste horrible after your due diligence, move on and find something else that you can look forward to.
4. Pregnant and Nursing Mothers
According to Beachbody, “Shakeology should only be taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers under the direction of their physicians. As with all of our supplements, we recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication, or have a medical condition.”
We’ve had many clients continue drinking Shakeology while pregnant, but it’s ultimately up to them and their doctors. If people need to contemplate drinking Shakeology while pregnant, they should absolutely think harder before ordering anything from McDonald’s.
What’s in Shakeology?
- Proteins and Amino Acids
- Super-Fruit Antioxidants
- Super-Green Phytonutrients
- Adaptogen Herbs
- Prebiotics and Probiotics
- Digestive Enzymes
Below, I explain what these do and list the main ingredients within each group, or, as Shakeology calls it on the bag, each “proprietary blend.” The ingredients are listed in order of predominance within the proprietary blend.
For comparison, I will list the ingredients in whey chocolate and vegan chocolate Shakeology only. Each flavor has specific ingredients that contribute to the vitamin or mineral contents slight nutritional differences.
Unlike the Whey formulas, Plant-based Vegan formulas aren’t fortified with vitamins and minerals. For reference, you can view the information on the label at the below links.
Proteins and Amino Acids
The whey chocolate flavor includes whey, pea, sacha inchi, chia, flax, and quinoa.
The vegan chocolate flavor includes pea, flax, quinoa, and rice.
Proteins and amino acids build and repair muscles, support brain function, and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. They are also great at suppressing appetite.
One tip when buying protein shakes is to only buy ones containing whey protein isolate (WPI) instead of whey protein concentrate (WPC). WPI is 87% to 95% protein with almost no fat or lactose, whereas WPC is 34% to 80% protein.
Regular whey chocolate flavor includes camu-camu, acerola cherry, bilberry, goji berry, green tea, luo han guo, pomegranate, and rose hips.
The vegan chocolate flavors include camu-camu, acerola cherry, blueberry, bilberry, goji berry, luo han guo, pomegranate, and rose hips.
Rust, caused by oxygen in the air, is bad for your car. Likewise, aging, caused by free radicals in your body, is bad for your health and longevity. Antioxidants absorb free radicals so your cells don’t degrade.
Both the regular whey chocolate and vegan chocolate flavors include chlorella, spinach, kale, and matcha green tea.
Phytonutrients are known to promote a healthy immune system, healthy aging, and help to detoxify and alkalinize the body.
We all need to alkalinize our bodies because we are surrounded by highly acidic foods. Meat, processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol are highly acidic. An acidic environment is more likely to harvest disease.
Cancer acidifies us according to the 1931 study by Dr. Varburg and a 2009 study showed that 80% of Americans fall short in every category of phytonutrients. This is a great reason to start drinking Shakeology.
The regular whey chocolate and vegan chocolate flavors include ashwagandha, astragalus, cordyceps, maca, maitake mushroom, reishi mushroom, schisandra, and chaga.
These herbs adapted to living in high elevation, harsh climates. The theory is that, because of their high nutrient levels, they will help your body cope with and adapt to stress.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Both the regular whey chocolate and vegan chocolate flavors include yacon root, chicory root, bacillius coagulans.
Prebiotics act as a fertilizer that fuels the growth of probiotics, which is the beneficial bacteria found in your gut.
These good bacteria are responsible for absorbing nutrients and minerals, maintaining digestive tract health, and helping support the immune system. It’s widely accepted by health experts that supplementing both prebiotics and probiotics is a good idea.
Additionally, this study by the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases published in the Journal of Gastroenterlogy evaluated 36 women in three groups. Women who drank yogurt with probiotics, yogurt with no probiotics, and nothing.
In 4 weeks, the women who drank yogurt with probiotics had measurably higher brain function.
Digestive enzymes in Shakeology include amylase, caellulase, lactase, glucoamylase, and invertase.
Digestive Enzymes make it possible for your body to absorb the nutrients in food. If you don’t eat a lot of farmer’s market fresh, raw foods (picking before ripe and cooking reduces natural digestive enzymes in foods), you probably don’t get enough of these.
The Chocolate Whey Shakeology Label
The Chocolate Vegan Shakeology Label
Why is There Sugar in Shakeology?
A lot of other Shakeology reviews compare the grams of sugar in shakes, but it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.
Shakeology has 8 grams of sugar. The majority are sugars that are naturally occurring in the fruits and vegetable ingredients in Shakeology. Additionally, organic cane sugar and stevia are added as natural sweeteners.
It’s the refined sugars and artificial sweeteners that you need to look out for. A shake with 0 grams of sugar is actually a major red flag. That certainly means they are using artificial sweeteners, which are even more harmful.
Shakeology was certified by an independent lab to have a Low Glycemic Index (GI), between 14 and 29 depending on the flavor. An apple has a GI of 39, and a ripe banana has a GI of 62. Shakeology is lower than most fruits.
Also, for some perspective, there are 14, 19, and 39 grams of sugar in a banana, apple, and Coca-Cola respectively.
The American Heart Association recommends that women should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, and men should consume no more than 36 grams.
Why Are Ingredient Amounts Not Disclosed?
Shakeology lists proprietary blends of ingredients on the bag. Therefore, their exact formula for the Shakeology recipe is confidential. This frustrates some people, according to the Shakeology reviews that I read.
I love transparency, but, as an engineer who formulated plastics and adhesives for many years after college, I see the benefit of keeping a formula confidential. What’s more important, in my opinion, is transparency about where the ingredients are coming from.
According to the creator, Darin Olien, he describes the ingredients in his book as a high-end with no compromises that are fair trade, direct from the farmers. “Shakeology improves their lives too,” he says.
While the exact amount of each ingredient cannot be shared, Beachbody does share this information:
“The ingredients are listed in order of predominance within the Proprietary Blend. Meaning, ingredients listed first are in a greater quantity with respect to the total Proprietary Blend weight than ingredients listed last.”
Additionally, Shakeology was tested by ConsumerLab.com, the leading provider of independent test results to identify the highest quality health and nutrition products. Vegan chocolate and vanilla Shakeology were the flavors tested and both were approved.
This means the label claims for total calories, total carbohydrates, total sugars, total protein, total fat (including a breakout of saturated fat and trans-fat), sodium, and cholesterol are all accurate.
Does not listing the formula on a supplement mean they are hiding something or protecting their intellectual property? At least in the case of Shakeology, it’s the latter.
When should I drink Shakeology?
Most people prefer to drink Shakeology in the morning or afternoon. This is best because you’re feeding your body nutrients and energy that it can put to use throughout the day. Additionally, Shakeology does contain caffeine.
Once Shakeology is mixed with water, it should be consumed within 30 minutes to maximize nutrients.
Otherwise, there is no right or wrong answer here. You can drink it before your workout or after if you want to maximize muscle gains (according to some studies). Or, drink it right before a meal (called “pre-loading” and is a way to control appetite and decrease food intake) or as a snack between meals.
You should self-experiment and decide what works best for you. A lot of people use it as a reward after they finish a workout. That’s what Alex and I prefer.
How much caffeine is in Shakeology?
It depends on the flavor. Here is a chart comparing the caffeine content in Shakeology to soda, coffee, and energy shots.
Beachbody provides the following estimates for each flavor. The high end of the range is used in the above chart.
Between 12-20 mg (per serving):
Café Latte Whey
Café Latte Plant-Based Vegan
Chocolate Plant-Based Vegan
Peppermint Mocha Plant-Based Vegan
<2 mg (per serving):
Vanilla Plant-Based Vegan
Tropical Strawberry Plant-Based Vegan
Pumpkin Spice Plant-Based Vegan
Salted Caramel Plant-Based Vegan
The caffeine is from plant-based sources. Beachbody states the following:
“Whole leaf matcha green tea, as well as green tea leaf extract, are used in each of the Shakeology formulas. Cocoa powder is also found in the Chocolate Whey, Chocolate Plant-Based Vegan, Café Latte Whey, Café Latte Plant-Based Vegan and Peppermint Mocha Plant-Based Vegan formulas. Whole coffee fruit is present in the Café Latte & Peppermint Mocha versions. Consumers with sensitivity to caffeine should consult with their doctor prior to consuming.”
What is the Shakeology diet?
There is no Shakeology diet. Beachbody recommends using Shakeology to replace a meal or snack once or twice (no more than two servings) daily.
Since it’s well known that replacing a meal with a nutrition supplement is not healthy, Beachbody recommends that you add more calories to make it substantial, like peanut butter, bananas, spinach, strawberries, and chia seeds.
Does the taste of Shakeology get old?
We thought the Café Latte and Strawberry flavors did. After drinking those flavors for a month, we were usually ready for something new. However, we have never gotten sick of the chocolate or vanilla flavors, probably because they work with a variety of recipes.
Take vanilla for example. If you want them to taste like strawberries, you can add frozen strawberries. Or, if you want it to taste like café latte, you can add iced coffee.
Is Shakeology gluten free?
Shakeology is not currently certified gluten free. Here is Beachbody’s disclaimer for those who require gluten free:
“In designing Shakeology, we carefully selected ingredients that are not gluten based (such as wheat or barley). However, that does not mean that incidental inclusion of gluten based grains may occur in some ingredients during farming, storage and/or transportation. As such, we are actively working to ensure Shakeology is consistently gluten free by obtaining certifications from all of our ingredient suppliers and implementing a testing program on finished goods. We will let you know as soon as this program is fully implemented.”
If you have celiac disease or any other health questions or concerns, we recommend consulting your doctor. Download and print this “doctor’s note” so that your doctor can make a well-informed decision.
Is Shakeology certified fair-trade or organic?
This is an important topic for a supplements review like Shakeology because they may or may not be important. First, Shakeology is not fair-trade certified. Here’s what Beachbody says about that:
“While, Shakeology is not, fair-trade certified, we do use fair-trade practices in sourcing raw materials for Shakeology. We’ve put every effort into making sure these ingredients don’t contain pesticides, aren’t destroyed in processing, are produced using the best of fair-trade practices, and have many of the benefits of what is considered ‘organic.'”
For us, we learned while searching for the world’s best coffee in Colombia that these certifications, such as fair-trade and organic are often only expensive labels that say nothing about the actual quality of the product.
That’s why we don’t buy organic coffee and instead look for “specialty-grade coffee” with the Rainforest Alliance certified logo. It’s better for the farmer and the land.
Plus, with Shakeology having so many globally sourced ingredients, it would be far too costly and likely impossible to get these certifications. None of Shakeology’s close competitors have these certifications either.
Here is what Beachbody says about becoming certified organic:
“Certifying every exotic ingredient to qualify Shakeology as truly organic would be very complex. The experience of our development team has shown that sometimes certified organic doesn’t necessarily translate to higher quality. Certifying something can simply jack up the price, especially with ingredients of this quality and quantity. So we decided to focus on making sure the quality and integrity of the product lives up to the promise, without asking you to pay the premium it would cost for us to say it with a stamp of approval from a certification lab.”
While we are at it, Shakeology is also not kosher or halal certified. And, as Beachbody explains below, it’s not certified GMO-free.
“Special care has been taken in the formulation of all supplements to exclude GMO based ingredients such as soy, canola and corn. The supplier is required to provide documentation to Beachbody on their position on GMO ingredients. The possibility of obtaining a third party certification is currently being evaluated for Shakeology.”
Are there any artificial ingredients in Shakeology?
No. There are no sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives in Shakeology?
What is the difference between vegan and regular, whey flavors?
I said it earlier in our Shakeology review, but we prefer the vegan flavors. The vegan Shakeology flavors use a plant-based protein blend while the regular flavors use whey protein isolate. For example, below is the difference between vegan and regular chocolate:
Regular, whey chocolate includes whey, pea, sacha inchi, chia, flax, quinoa.
Vegan chocolate includes pea, flax, quinoa, and rice.
Outside of the ingredients, the regular flavors are a bit creamier and the vegan flavors mix more easily with water (fewer powdery chunks). Unfortunately, there is not a sample pack to try both vegan and regular flavors.
Is it a sustainable lifestyle choice?
Drinking a dietary supplement daily is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle choice. It will never replace a healthy diet and exercise but can enhance it.
We think it’s a sustainable lifestyle choice, just like taking some daily vitamins. If we didn’t drink Shakeology daily, we would drink some other top-shelf shake containing protein, probiotics, and greens for our phytonutrients.
How much is a 30-day supply of Shakeology?
Shakeology is available in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Below are the costs, which do not include taxes and shipping which are extra.
There’s no bulk order discount with Shakeology. Instead, the only discounts are the BOD member discount, Coach discount (see right column above), or other advertised promotions.
It doesn’t spell it out above, but if you subscribe to receiving Shakeology monthly (in auto-shipments) you only pay $2 for shipping. If you don’t, the shipping is closer to $14 USD.
We highly recommend ordering Shakeology on auto-ship so that you can save on shipping. You can always cancel or delay shipment in a couple of minutes (even if it’s immediately after you order).
How much is Shakeology for Coaches?
It’s not that straightforward, but it makes sense for an individual to become a coach for the discount if they order one bag of Shakeology per month.
Being a Coach makes you eligible for a 25% off discount on your Shakeology order (~$32 USD), but you also have to pay a business service fee (~$16 USD).
You can expect to save about $16 per month on Shakeology with the “coach discount.”
Why is the price of Shakeology so high?
The price is high because the quality and quantity of ingredients are high. Responsibly and consistently sourcing these ingredients from around the globe is not cheap.
If you look at Shakeology’s closest competitor, Ka’Chava, the pricing per serving is actually lower.
Are there cheaper alternatives to Shakeology?
The closest alternative to Shakeology that I have seen is Ka’Chava. Any other alternative that you find in the Shakeology Reviews are not even in the same ball game.
How do I order Shakeology?
If you found value from our Shakeology review and you plan to get started, use our link to place your order. Send us a message or post in the comments if you have questions.
If you need workouts, make sure you upgrade your order to a Shakeology Essentials Total-Solutions Pack, which includes one year of Beachbody On Demand (formerly known as the Annual Beachbody On Demand Shakeology Challenge Pack, but it has since been rebranded in late 2021.)
Here is our data-driven review of Beachbody On Demand.
Once you order, we will be your coaches and you’ll always have access to us via email, as well as access to our BODgroup. If you already have a coach and would like to switch to us, this is how to make a coach change request.
I have questions. What do I do?
Leave any specific questions in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible and update this article accordingly.
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