Unlike other meal replacement shakes, Shakeology claims it aids in weight loss, improves digestive function, and boost immune health, to name a few. Apparently, it does this by including plenty of superfoods, phytonutrients, and more in their formula. Although some these ingredients have shown to improve health, like coconut and brown rice protein, their effects on weight-loss are controversial.
We took an in-depth look not only into Shakeology, but Beachbody too, the company behind the shake supplement. In the end, we reviewed testimonials of actual customers, Beachbody coaches, and some weight-loss experts to see if this meal replacement was the real deal.
Shakeology can be purchased through their Official Site.
What is Shakeology?
Shakeology is a nutritious meal-replacement shake by Beachbody designed to support weight loss, muscle growth, digestive health and high energy for an active lifestyle. The shakes come as a powdered supplement in five basic Shakeology flavors – Vanilla, Chocolate, Latte, Strawberry and Greenberry – four of which also have vegan variations. Other flavors include:
- Pumpkin Spice
- Tropical Strawberry
- Cafe Latte
Shakeology diet shakes may have taken the diet and weight-loss industry by storm, but it doesn’t change the fact that none of their products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
With that being said, the list of ingredients for the Shakeology Chocolate Flavor shake mix is provided below. Other Shakeology flavors include Vanilla, Strawberry, Cafe Latte and Greenberry. Their ingredients and nutritional values are basically identical, except for the specific ingredients needed to create each unique flavor, such as vanilla or strawberry.
- Whey protein (isolate)
- Pea protein
- Sprouted brown rice protein
- Coconut flower nectar
- Maca root
Additional ingredients include yacon root, chia seed, flax seed, sprouted quinoa seed, chlorella, spirulina, acerola cherry, sacha inchi seed, Himalayan salt and camu-camu.
Shakeology is a meal replacement shake product line created by BeachBody. Unlike competing meal replacement shakes, Shakeology should do more than just help dieters lose weight.
According to the BeachBody’s claims, Shakeology will not only help you lose weight but will also reduce junk food cravings, give healthy energy, and support digestion and regularity.
The Shakeology brand claims to be all about helping dieters and athletes of all types to achieve their weight loss, fitness, and lifestyle goals.
Beachbody – The Company Behind Shakeology
Beachbody started in 1998 as a provider of workout videos and fitness routines. The company’s first video was Power 90. Today they have branched out more; their ongoing mission is to help their customers live a healthy, fulfilling life, even if it isn’t at maximum muscle density. While Shakeology is the newest offering from the company, significant focus remains on their workout programs and videos.
Beachbody is the creator of some of the most popular and best-selling fitness programs. BeachBody’s library includes P90X Series, INSANITY, FOCUS T25, 21 Day Fix, Body Beast, PiYo, and Hip Hop Abs. While the company is most famous for its extreme muscle building programs, they have recently branched out to create a program for everyone. This includes shifting their focus away from just strength exercise to instead include weight loss, dance, and all-around lifestyle fitness.
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
BeachBody Marketing and Sales
Beachbody was originally well known for using direct marketing as well as infomercials to sell their exercise routines and videos. This business model still applies today, even with Shakeology; these products can’t be purchased in stores. The old infomercials are still available on BeachBody’s website.
Shakeology products are still sold entirely through direct marketing, but the infomercials no longer play a role. Instead, BeachBody uses independent contractors that sell the product directly to consumers.
Many people hear this and assume that BeachBody and therefore Shakeology is just another Multi-Level-Marketing pyramid scheme. They only earn money based on what they sell individually. Coaches only earn what they work for
BeachBody’s Social Media Presence
BeachBody is active on social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. BeachBody also operates separate social media profiles targeted toward marketing Shakeology.
Shakeology’s Facebook page is most useful for finding Shakeology recipes as well as articles about how to integrate Shakeology products into a healthy diet. Success stories and photographs are also shared on this profile, as well as information about Shakeology nutrition facts.
The Twitter profile for Shakeology is almost a direct duplicate of the Facebook content. There is little else that is different about what is offered.
Currently, the Shakeology YouTube channel has not been updated in several months, but there are so many recipes and instructional videos explaining the benefits of the product.
Pinterest is where the most Shakeology recipes are shared. These recipes often include Shakeology nutrition facts for the modified shakes. In addition, there are also success stories as well as motivational quotes included on the page.
Now let’s talk about the active ingredients in Shakeology shakes. Shakeology ingredients are chosen and combined for their supposed synergistic health benefits, meaning that many of these natural ingredients seem to be more effective for improving health and energy levels by working together as a team once they hit your tummy.
The most important Shakeology nutrients are combined into five proprietary blends of nutrients in each shake:
- Protein blend to support muscle growth and fat loss
- Antioxidants blend to protect from free radicals
- Phytonutrients blend to support longevity
- Adaptogens blend to promote overall health and mental performance
- Probiotics blend to improve digestive health
Proprietary Protein Blend
Protein is necessary for repairing and building lean tissue in the body, particularly for building muscle – which is metabolically active and helps your body burn fat and calories around the clock.
High-protein diets have been found to help active dieters to lose more fat while gaining muscle, so it makes sense that the Shakeology diet would make protein the nutritional cornerstone of its weight-loss shakes.
Whey protein, in particular, is counted as the highest quality protein that Mother Nature offers, containing a fantastic balance of amino acids with high digestibility. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
Proprietary Super-Fruit and Antioxidant Blend
Since the 1990s, antioxidants have been rapidly growing in popularity as a healthy, natural type of food for promoting general health.
Because of the initial research on antioxidants, many natural health and wellness proponents have latched onto them, while natural food supplement companies have used various antioxidants and their extracts as key ingredients in their nutritional products.
However, experts from the National Institutes of Health and Harvard University – among many others in the medical community – are cautioning that the earlier conclusions about the nearly magical health benefits of antioxidants may have been exaggerated.
So we still have a lot to learn about the health benefits and possible risks of supplementing with high levels of antioxidants. It’ll be interesting to see how our understanding of these substances evolves as more research is done.
For now, most of the available research points toward antioxidants as being good for us, but it’s important to point out that there is not a consensus in the scientific community regarding them and that future research is needed to confirm their value and guarantee their safety.
Proprietary Super-Green/Phytonutrient Blend
Some plant-derived phytonutrients have been shown to offer health benefits. Spirulina, looks especially interesting and could definitely live up to its name as a superfood or super-nutrient.
This blue-green algae has shown great promise for boosting the immune system.
Most research on spirulina has been on animals or in test tubes rather than humans though, so more human trials will be needed to confirm these benefits. But so far this phytonutrient seems very promising.
Kale is regarded as one of the most nutritionally-dense foods on the planet, as it is packed with a host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber with very few calories. Spinach, moringa and chlorella have been chosen for this blend due to their high nutritional value as well.
Proprietary Adaptogen Blend
Adaptogens or phytoadaptogens are substances derived from plants and fungi that have been used in traditional medicine systems around the world for centuries.
Some modern research suggests that these compounds are beneficial for improving focus, endurance and concentration. (Current Clinical Pharmacology)
Maca has been cultivated by the indigenous people of Peru for over two thousand years.
Studies published by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine have shown that maca has some properties for boosting sexual health and mood and memory, but more research is needed using human subjects.
Proprietary Pre- and Probiotic/Digestive Enzyme Blend
Probiotics are bacteria that live inside our bodies and help us to digest food and fight off bad germs.
There are over 500 different species of these microorganisms, and we don’t really know yet what all of them do inside of us, but it’s an area of research that has been booming in recent decades.
Prebiotics are fibrous foods that initially resist digestion as they make their way to the colon, where they begin to ferment and become a primary food source for the good bacteria in your gut.
In other words, probiotics are the good bugs in your tummy, and prebiotics is what you feed to the good bugs. All prebiotics are fibers, but not all fibers are prebiotics.
It should be noted, however, that the research isn’t as overwhelming as some marketers would like you to believe. Probiotics don’t help everyone who takes them, and we don’t even know for sure that probiotic supplements are very useful – or if they are completely safe or not.
Some studies have made researchers think twice because the results weren’t always positive. Still, while there’s no consensus just yet, there is a good deal of evidence in favor of probiotics, which is why they’re included in these products.
Shakeology is well known for using wholesome, plant-based ingredients in its diet shakes. Each shake contains five different nutrient blends all targeted at a different function.
Each of the five proprietary blends has different types and amounts different nutrients and natural minerals depending on which shake is purchased.
These differences are minor, and each beach body protein shake nutritional content is identical.
Protein Blend: Whey, Pea, Sacha Inchi, Chia, Flax, Quinoa
Protein is well known as a building block for muscle, but it has added functions in the body.
Human bones, skin, internal organs, muscles and much more comprise protein, just arranged in different ways. It’s the first ingredient in Shakeology.
Through daily activity we break down our muscle, bone, and skin and need to regenerate it.
The protein sources in Shakeology are all vegetarian and vegan. It’s important to know plant-based protein sources do not always have essential amino acids that are present in animal-based protein sources such as beef, poultry, and eggs.
The completeness of any plant-based protein supplement is a necessary consideration.
The pea and quinoa in every Beachbody protein shake claims to be a “complete protein”.
How much protein is needed?
There are many competing beliefs about protein and how much is needed, but there a common rule of thumb for maintenance is .8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body mass.
This translates to under a half gram of protein for every pound of body weight.
The Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, but, comes to a different conclusion. They recommend 56 grams of protein as a man of any size and 46 grams of protein as a woman.
An exception is made for women who are breastfeeding, at which point they recommend a daily intake 71 grams of protein.
While it may seem women need less protein than men; women often weigh less than men; so on a per pound basis, the same rule of .8 grams per kilogram still applies.
Protein for Athletes
Active and competitive athletes often need far more protein than their less active counterparts.
A 2011 study recommends more than double the amount of protein for these individuals, with optimal results coming from 1.8 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass.
This translates to .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body mass, or as much as 150 grams of protein per day for an athletic man. (Journal of Sports Science)
It is important to understand unlike other micronutrients, the vast majority of people cannot get enough protein from Shakeology products alone.
A single serving of greenberry Shakeology only has 16 grams of protein, meaning that someone consuming three shakes per day can only reach 48 grams of protein, below the 56 grams of recommended by the Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine.
Antioxidants Blend Camu-Camu, Acerola Cherry, Bilberry, Lycium Berry (Goji Berry), Green Tea, Luo Han Guo, Pomegranate, Rose Hips, Vitamins A, C, E.
Additional Nutritional Facts about Shakeology
Phytonutrients Blend Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach, Kale.
Edible plants can contain thousands of natural chemicals, all with different purposes. “Phyto” nutrients, referring to the Greek word for plant, help protect the plant from outside invaders such as germs, fungi, and insects.
Because there are so many phytonutrients it can be very difficult to pin down the exact chemical that is causing health benefits.
Chlorella has had a strong effect in detoxifying heavy metals. Due to their mass and other properties, it can be difficult for your body to detox and eliminated these metals on its own.
There are many other proven health benefits associated with plant-based phytonutrients. While they may differ from plant to plant, Beach Body shakes can cover more multiple sets of phytonutrients all at the same time.
Adaptogens Blend Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Maca, Maitake, Reishi, Schisandra.
Adaptogens are named for their ability to help the body adapt and overcome difficult or different situations.
These are considered more holistic in traditional approaches to nutrition and supplementation.
There is far less scientific research available for these types of nutrients than there is for the other core Beachbody shake ingredients.
While there may be less raw scientific research being done, many observational studies can be found and conclusions can be drawn for some of these ingredients.
Pre- and Probiotic/digestive enzyme blend: Yacon Root, Chicory Root, Bacillus Coagulans, Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Glucoamylase, Alpha-Galactosidase, Invertase.
The digestive system is a complex ecosystem filled with essential bacteria that help the human body function in several ways.
These bacteria help in digestion by breaking down food and by creating vital nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids.
These nutrients fall into one of two categories, prebiotics which help create a habitable environment for these bacteria, and probiotics which supplement and add to the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Probiotics such as Bacillus Coagulans are a digestible form of these bacteria; as crazy as it sounds, every Shakeology shake has millions of living bacteria as an essential ingredient.
Prebiotics, help facilitate a healthy biome for gut bacteria and have been shown to have beneficial effects including weight loss.
Yacon root has been shown to increase food satiety (being satisfied) as well as influence regularity.
These bacteria make certain that digestion is as efficient as possible, making the most out of the other ingredients in this dense nutrition shake. (Nutrients)
The rest of this blend has enzymes. These enzymes are the catalysts that facilitate the chemical reactions of digestion.
There are many digestive enzymes, each with its own purpose. Amylase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down carbohydrates while lactase breaks down dairy products.
Glucoamylase and Cellulase help with the digestion of glucose. (Essays in Biochemistry)
As a whole, while Shakeology may reduce cravings, provide natural minerals, and reduce radical damage it was never intended to be a solely dedicated source of nutrition.
Shakeology is intended to supplement an existing dietary plan rather than act like any other meal replacement diet. As always, it’s best to contact your physician before undergoing any diet, especially diets as extreme as any “cleanse.”
Superfood is not an official designation of any sort, but the term still communicates an idea and a set of values.
Superfoods are wholesome, dense sources of nutrition, regardless of the other qualities.
A superfood does not need to be organic, nor does it have to be GMO-free, it just has to be dense food.
In practice this means that superfoods are specialized; they often fill their role better than any other comparable substitute.
Salmon is a fish containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids available.
Salmon is considered a superfood. (Office of Dietary Supplements)
Blueberries are considered a superfood due to the high levels of flavonoids found within.
Other berries carry these flavonoids as well, but blueberries have them in some of the highest quantities. (Journal of Nutritional Science)
Nuts can be considered a superfood. Peanuts contain resveratrol, a powerful flavonoid while pecans contain more antioxidants than any other nut.
Shakeology Flavors & Nutrition
There are a variety of flavors offered here, with vanilla being one of the most popular by our research.
- Cafe Latte
- Chocolate Vegan
- Tropical Strawberry Vegan
One of the major selling points of Shakeology in contrast to other weight-loss shakes on the market is that it’s not just meant to be a basic meal replacement. Shakeology shakes are fortified to the max with nutrients that are believed to boost health in a variety of ways, as described above.
The claim is that drinking one or more Shakeology meals per day is the best way to cover all of your nutritional bases and fill in any gaps that might remain in your regular food intake.
According to the makers behind the shake, “The overall nutrients breakdown in the Shakeology drink provides you with more than 50% RDI (recommended daily intake) in each serving.”
Is Shakeology Gluten-Free?
For those of you with gluten allergies, the good news is that Shakeology is gluten-free.
The bad news is that its products are not certified gluten-free because the facilities where the product is made might sometimes make other products that contain gluten. So is Shakeology gluten-free? No, apparently it is not 100% gluten-free.
Is Shakeology vegan?
The answer to this question is yes and no. Beachbody does offer vegan meal replacements, but their entire catalog is not vegan.
The meal replacement diet options for vegans are clearly indicated and set apart from the rest of the offerings.
Currently, all but one flavor of Shakeology is vegan and dairy-free with the rest offered with vegan and vegetarian options.
It’s with great pride that Beachbody answers “Is Shakeology vegan?” with a resounding “Yes.”
Since plant-based protein sources often do not include all essential amino acids, a blend is required. The current vegan protein blend is Chia, Pea, Sacha Inchi, Flax, Quinoa, Rice, and Oat.
Not only do these plants combine to include all essential amino acids, the quinoa and peas contain complete protein, guaranteeing that all amino acids are present in vegan meal replacement shake.
The Shakeology diet is designed to offer the following health benefits:
- Weight loss
- Improved digestion
- Immunity boost
- Enhanced energy and mood
We’ve already talked about how the various ingredient blends in Shakeology are supposed to help you regarding digestion, energy, mental performance and overall health. But, if you’re like most Shakeology customers, your primary goal is probably to lose weight, and you just want to know if Shakeology really can help you lose weight or not. So let’s take a closer look at Shakeology for weight loss.
Shakeology for Weight Loss
Shakeology is known for weight loss effects, but it is important to note that it is a nutrition supplement first and a weight-loss tool second. The main goal is a diet that is nutritionally complete, and Shakeology can help any diet plan reach that goal.
The primary benefits of Shakeology is a body that functions as it was intended to. Most notably, people notice heightened energy, reduced cravings for junk food, as well as improved digestion and regularity.
As a whole, there is no one Shakeology diet. The benefits of Shakeology are most pronounced when it is used as a supplemental form of nutrition.
It is intended to fill in all the missing gaps that are easily filled by very specific superfoods.
Shakeology and Dietary Restrictions
Shakeology can fit within many diet plans. As with any diet, please be sure to contact your physician before starting, if you are on a diet to manage an existing condition.
With keto, there are many varying opinions and levels of dedication. Ketogenic diets are often characterized by low net carbohydrate counts as well as moderate protein intake.
These diets often vary in method, when comparing a keto diet done as a lifestyle compared to a keto diet done for medical reasons under the guidance of a physician.
Every Beachbody meal replacement shake has 8 grams added sugar.
A shake like the Shakeology vegan chocolate has 18 grams of carbohydrates and 13 grams of net carbohydrates. (Total carbohydrates minus fiber.)
Many sources cite 35 grams of total carbs and 25 grams as absolute daily limits in order to achieve ketosis.
With 18 and 13 grams, Shakeology can be consumed on a ketogenic diet but is not the best option; keto dieters will need to limit carbohydrates in other areas of their diet.
Pea is a vegan protein used in Shakeology. Its low cost and complete amino acid profile make it an excellent candidate. Some consider it to be second only to whey in terms of overall effectiveness, completeness, and ease of digestion.
Soy is a source of protein. Due to its low cost, high yields from GMO processes, and cultural relevance it can be almost impossible to find a dietary supplement without soy.
Whey is a popular protein source derived from milk.
The remainder of Shakeology ingredients are plant-based.
Shakeology Meal Plan
The Shakeology meal plan is fairly simple. Shakeology directions have you consuming one shake per day in place of a regular meal, and then you eat low-calorie portions of regular foods for the other meals and snacks.
You’ll need to load up on low-calorie veggies to provide bulk to your other meals and help keep you feeling full between meals. Shakeology also provides diet and fitness advice to help you adjust your lifestyle to support your goals.
There are over 100 Shakeology recipes – on the official website and on some blogs created by Beachbody coaches. The packets only come in a handful of flavors, but can be used in shakes, puddings, no-bake cookies and other snacks you can create by combining the shake mix with different ingredients.
Here are some more popular recipes using Shakeology, with links to some more ideas:
- Greenberry Shakeology
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 natural apple juice
- 1/2 raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- dash of cinnamon
Chocolate Mocha Mousse
- Chocolate Shakeology
- 2 egg whites, whipped
- ¼ cup blueberries
- 1 Tbsp. instant coffee crystals
- ½ cup water
- 1 serving Chocolate Shakeology
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. all-natural almond butter
- Water as needed
For an added thickness, it is recommended to use a blender and ice. The more ice that is added the thicker the shake becomes.
Because Beach body shakes can be used with any diet, any kind of milk or milk substitute can be used in place of the coconut milk.
PB & J
- 1 serving Vanilla Shakeology
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup red grapes
- 2 tsp. all-natural peanut butter
As with all recipes, any milk or milk substitute can be used. Ice can be added in and blended for additional thickness.
- ½ serving Strawberry Shakeology
- ½ serving Vanilla Shakeology
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
This simple recipe combines two Shakeology flavors in order to make something new. Add a blended banana and ice to get a delicious Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana shake.
Potential Side Effects From Shakeology Ingredients
From our research, some users reported:
Side effects associated with Shakeology are mostly mild and typically involve changes in digestion. Those who are sensitive to dairy products may experience discomfort when consuming the non-vegan flavors since they contain whey protein, which is derived from dairy.
Like with any major diet change, gas and bloating may also occur.
Some believe that Spirulina’s properties can help it attach to heavy metals within the body, aiding the body in a natural cleansing process.
So far the side effects experienced by Shakeology users have been either mild or unconfirmed. If you experience any of these side effects contact your physician.
There are a bunch of meal-replacement shakes on the market designed to help you lose weight, such as SlimFast, Met-Rx and Medifast. There are even some generic ones out there, like the Kirkland weight-loss shakes at Costco. If you decide to use one of them instead of Shakeology, be sure to read the labels and get one that is also loaded with a full spread of vitamins and minerals. You might have a hard time finding shakes that offer all the nutrients included in Shakeology.
We did notice a lot of people complaining about the taste of Shakeology, so if that prevents you from sticking to the diet, then maybe you should go with some Shakeology alternatives that taste better.
Some other meal replacement shakes are:
There are many Shakeology substitutes and Shakeology alternatives available in the market. Each product goes about solving similar problems in a different fashion.
It can be difficult to compare every quality of these products, but a few of these qualities define Shakeology as a complete nutrition shake.
Price, protein completeness, phytonutrient content, probiotic support, and anti-oxidant levels are among the most important considerations.
Shakeology Vs. 310 Shake
310 Shake is a Shakeology alternative that provides many of the same ingredients at a lower price point. At $69 for a 30 day supply, it is priced at almost half that of Shakeology. It also uses stevia, a natural zero-calorie sweetener, making it more suitable to ketogenic diets.
Much like Shakeology, 310 Shake’s protein is derived from either pea or whey depending on the flavor. Both of these are complete proteins. 310 shake also includes many of the same phytonutrient sources that Shakeology does, such as Spirulina and Chlorella.
Probiotics are supported by 310 Shake, but not in the same manner or significance. 310 Shake includes Lactobacillus Acidophilus as a probiotic and does not include prebiotic supplements. Anti-oxidants are present in some ingredients but are not a major focus of this product.
Shakeology Vs. Thrive
Thrive is a supplement company that sells many dietary supplements, most of which do not provide complete nutrition. Their closest competitor, Thrive Mix, is a competent shake, but far from complete. At the very least it is priced appropriately at $59.99 for a 30 day supply.
The protein in Thrive Mix is derived from a blend of soy, pea, and whey. This means that the protein is complete, but also is no longer vegan. There are no significant, scientifically verified sources of phytonutrients. Probiotics are well-supported, with
Shakeology Vs. Lactobacillus
Acidophilus, lipase, and amylase. Anti-oxidants are supported, but through artificial means; there are no whole food sources of anti-oxidants in Thrive Mix.
Shakeology Vs. Arbonne
There is no proper comparison to be made between Shakeology and Arbonne. Arbonne currently does not sell or support a complete nutrition meal replacement shake.
The company currently offers a wide variety of targeted nutrition supplements, but nothing intended for complete nutrition.
The closest comparison that can be made is to their protein shake mix. Priced at $77 for a 30 day supply it is cheaper than Shakeology, but not so considering that it is only intended to be a protein shake.
The protein is derived from a vegan blend of pea, rice, and cranberry, which to Arbonne’s credit, is a relatively diverse blend of protein sources.
Kelp powder and alfalfa leaf are added in unknown quantities, so there is a small amount of phytonutrient content available in the protein shake. There is nothing added for probiotic support nor is there anything added for antioxidant support.
It is also important to know that it is made in a facility that processes wheat, eggs, soybeans, and milk meaning that it not vegan depending on your personal standards.
Shakeology Vs. Isagenix
Isagenix is another dietary supplement company that focuses on having as many products as possible for as many applications as possible. The company does not offer any single specific complete nutrition meal replacement shake.
The closest alternative is the IsaLean Shake, which is marketed as a “nutritious, balanced meal replacement clinically-tested to promote effective, healthy weight loss and lean muscle building.”
Priced at $55.99 for 14 servings makes Isagenix competitive in terms of pricing. It Is by no means the same product as Shakeology, but it is priced accordingly.
The protein is derived from whey meaning it is an amino acid complete and not vegan. There are absolutely no added phytonutrients to the IsaLean Shake.
Probiotics are supported with added Lactobacillus acidophilus and lactase, but nothing else. Antioxidants are completely unsupported.
Shakeology Vs. Advocare
Advocare is yet another supplement company it does not have a proper competing product when compared to Shakeology.
Like other supplement companies, Advocare offers many dietary supplements and dietary aids, meal shakes, bars and capsules, all of which are intended to support fitness or weight-loss rather than total nutrition.
The closest comparison to Shakeology is meal replacement shakes priced at $44.95 for a 14 day supply, which is nearly $100 for a 30 day supply. This price becomes $35.96 for customers that sign up for a preferred customer membership, which costs $19.99 annually.
When it comes to natural, whole-food ingredients, these shakes miss the mark entirely.
Just about the only thing that is natural is the whey protein, which at least guarantees complete amino acids.
There is otherwise nothing added in terms of phytonutrients, probiotic support, and antioxidant support.
Shakeology Vs. Herbalife
Herbalife is another large-scale, corporate dietary supplement operation that focuses heavily on diversifying products into every potential niche.
Fortunately, there are many shake options available and targeted to different dietary needs. For the purposes of this analysis, we will be looking at their “core offering”, the Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake.
What stands out most about the Formula One shake is the price. A 30 day supply is priced very competitively at $41.20 suggested retail price.
It would not be surprising to be able to purchase this from a store for even less, specifically for those who happen to have loyalty cards at stores such as GNC.
The rest of the product is lacking. Herbalife offers very little in the way of phytonutrients and absolutely nothing added for probiotic support.
Antioxidant support is strong, featuring blueberry, papaya, and pomegranate powder.
The most disappointing part about Formula 1 Shake is the protein. Not only is a protein soy-based, but there are only 9 grams of protein per serving, making it one of the weakest offerings on the market. Formula one is a little more than empty liquid calories.
Shakeology Vs. Idealshape
As the name might suggest, Idealshape it’s not a meal supplement company focused on complete nutrition, instead they focus almost entirely on weight loss drinks. As such, the IdealShake Meal Replacement Shake is not a true competitor for Shakeology nor should it be compared to such.
This product isn’t entirely lacking. Most notably the IdealShake is priced very competitively at $59.99 for 30 servings.
This makes IdealShape among the most competitive price of meal replacement shakes on the market.
The protein is derived from whey, making this supplement amino acid complete and non-vegan. There is nothing added for phytonutrients, but there is considerable support for digestion.
Idealshape’s proprietary probiotic enzyme blend (Bromelain, Papain, DigeSEB, Lactase) is relatively complete considering the low price. There is nothing added for antioxidant support.
IdealShape stands out because of the addition of a hunger blocker blend to reduce cravings. This includes Isomalto-oligosaccharide and Potato Protein Extract. These additives have a proven prebiotic impact and have some scientific basis in aiding weight loss. (AMB Express)
Shakeology Vs SlimFast
SlimFast is one of the oldest and most recognized meal replacement shakes on the market. As their name indicates, their focus is once again on weight loss rather than complete nutrition.
In terms of price SlimFast is the most competitive meal replacement shake on the market. A 14 day supply can be purchased for as little as $6.88, resulting in a total cost of less than $15 per month.
In some ways, you get what you pay for with SlimFast. The basic shake contains only 10 grams of whey protein, no phytonutrient support, no probiotic support, and no antioxidant support.
One positive aspect, however, is the single gram of sugar per serving, making this shake an excellent choice for low carb and ketogenic dieters. SlimFast makes weight loss drinks and nothing more.
Altogether there is no product currently on the market that seems to rival the complete nutrition profile of Shakeology. Some come close at a much lower price point, but none manage to outclass it entirely.
The price of Shakeology is one of its strongest weakness as a product. There are many products in the Shakeology line, with Shakeology price break down as follows:
- $129.95 for a 30 day supply
- $24.95 for a 5-day flavor sampler
- $160 for a Beachbody challenge pack, containing a 30 day supply, one-year access BeachBody fitness content, a Set of 7 Portion-Control containers, and a Shakeology shaker cup
There are other Beachbody challenge packs available at varying price points.
These contain DVD copies of select workouts as well as the basic exercise equipment necessary for the exercises.
Resistance bands are the most used, though there are different products included in some challenge packs.
With a retail price of $129.95 for a 30-day supply, it is one of the most expensive dietary supplements on the market.
Some physicians recommend that dieters replace two of their meals with Shakeology, which would bring the total cost to over $3,000 per year.
There’s a way to reduce the cost of Shakeology.
People who sign up to become a Beachbody coach can purchase Shakeology products at a 25% discount. This program does have a monthly membership fee of $15.95, but saves $32.48 for every 30-day supply purchased.
This benefit also extends out to other people; as a Beachbody coach, you are able to sell Beachbody products including Shakeology.
Many users find that after becoming coaches they can share their discount with other friends and family members.
At $24.95 the five-day Shakeology flavor sample pack is the most popular ways to test out the product before taking the plunge.
This sample pack contains all five Shakeology flavors in individual packaging.
Beachbody Challenge Packs
Challenge packs consist of a fitness program, five Shakeology flavors and a free 30-day trial membership to Beachbody On Demand, although they offer a variety of different options. The site allows you to “customize” the pack to fit your experience level and costs anywhere from $160.00 – $220.00.
Other Beachbody Products
Beachbody may sell meal replacement shakes today, but their core offering has always been their series of workout tapes and fitness guides. Starting initially with the Power 90 series, the company branched out into other home workout routines, all focused on achieving results.
P90X started out as a 90-day workout series hosted by Tony Horton. It was advertised in promised to be the best workout of your life and could bring into the best shape of your life, all in just 90 days, so long as you are dedicated and have the will power to stick with it. The exercises consist mostly of bodyweight exercises as well as some exercises done with resistance bands. Today P90X is on its 3rd iteration, still hosted by Tony Horton, with Dreya Weber as support.
Insanity, hosted by Shaun T is a cardio-heavy workout focused on doing maximum effort done for as long as possible. Workouts can be as short as 30 minutes but beginners often can’t make it past 3. Persistence is the goal of Insanity; if you can go 30 seconds longer each day for two months, you will be able to complete the entire workout.
T25 is another workout series hosted by Shaun T. The focus remains on short bursts of maximum effort exercise called interval training. What makes T25 unique is that the workouts are short; clocking in at just 25 minutes per day.
80-Day Obsession is a workout series marketed to women that promises to work out ab muscles while building a sculpted booty. What makes 80-day Obsession special is that there are no repeated workouts; each of the 80 sessions teaches a new exercise routine.
2B Mindset is Beachbody’s diet video series. It provides counseling on the kind of mindset needed to eat right and feel good about it. It includes recipes, tips for everyday life, as well as advice for more unique situations such as social events. The 2B mindset takes dieting and makes it a lifestyle rather than a constant test of will power.
Pros and Cons of Shakeology
As a whole, Shakeology represents the most complete dietary aid on the market. The ingredients contained within each Shakeology flavor are more complete than several competitor’s offerings combined. Even when a supplement has everything, there are still downsides to consider. The flavors exceed normal expectations for diet food, and the recipes provided by Beachbody help to improve flavor and variety.
Is Shakeology gluten-free? The surprising answer is no, it isn’t. This is frustrating because there are no gluten-based ingredients in Shakeology; the only reason Shakeology is not gluten-free is due to the methods and facilities used to prepare it. In addition, it isn’t available in stores, which somewhat of an inconvenience. At least we can say “yes” if the question becomes “Is Shakeology ingredients gluten-free?”
For most people, having extra ingredients does no additional harm, but it does raise the price. In some cases, these additional ingredients may be irritating or have side effects. This effectively turns a product that would be ideal into something that is more expensive and worse.
The Shakeology price. At $129.99 for a 30 day supply, $259.98 for two shakes per day; Shakeology is one of the more expensive meal replacement shakes on the market.
“I’ve been searching for the healthiest meal replacement shake and came across this brand. I watched YouTube videos on where they get their ingredients. I was shocked at all of the vitamins and antioxidants that Shakeology uses. In clearer terms, it’s like eating 6 salads in one serving. I love the flavor choices and I feel so much more energy when I drink them. I believe they are quite expensive but an essential part of my healthy eating routine.”
“This product is extremely overpriced. The commercials they attach to each workout video say it’s an $800 value of super food nutrition. It’s more like not even half of the $120+ per 30 days of the shake. So you can go and get all the ingredients in the shake for way less than the price of this. You are basically paying someone’s salary. They are only catering to the wealthy and rich people, not the majority of people with their price.”
“New formula ruined it – I drank Shakeology for years. I stuck with either the regular chocolate or vegan chocolate. I realize it was very pricey; but, it offered a good amount of nutrition and did a great job curbing cravings so I was willing to pay. I loved it for a long time. In fact, I looked forward to drinking a shake each day. It took care of any cravings for sweets that I had and filled me up. It was a fantastic meal replacement when I was on the go. However, a few months back, I noticed a much different taste to the shakes. I called to see if I had gotten a bad bag or something. I was informed that there was a new formula and that is why it tasted different. The new formula makes the taste so bad that I can’t stomach a couple of sips of it (that is why I cannot give this product more than 1 star). I can’t even describe it, it is just horrible. I am so disappointed in this change. I have yet to find something else that take care of my cravings and fill me up like Shakeology used to.”
The Bottom Line on Shakeology
As a whole Shakeology is a complete package, including the parts that you might not necessarily want. It represents a complete and total commitment to seeking every advantage and opportunity you can get for yourself. This is reflected in the inflated price point; excellence isn’t cheap. Shakeology is an Ultra-premium product and charges and Ultra-premium price.
While Shakeology can promote weight loss its primary function is to provide for complete nutrition. There is plenty of ongoing research and dispute for many of the ingredients in Shakeology, but none of them have been labeled unsafe by the FDA. Many of them have scientifically proven benefits.
But there are a few concerns about both the product and the subculture surrounding it.
- Lack of Shakeology clinical studies to verify health claims
- Shakeology cost is pretty high for a diet shake
- Cult-like following of coaches who – in reality – are basically just distributors
- The products aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Overall, we think you can find diet products that will get the job done at a lower cost and there’s no real reason to say that Shakeology weight-loss benefits are any better than those associated with alternatives. We want people to succeed at weight loss, which is why we suggest trying out a weight-loss program to get things moving in the right direction faster.
One of the products we like the most is Noom. There’s human coaching, nutritionist support, and personalized meal plans with this doctor-created program. It’s also nice that you get access to a clinically-proven method of weight loss.
The company behind the formula is so certain you’ll see results with Noom that they’re offering a free trial to Dietspotlight readers. Learn More About Noom »