Most Shakeology reviews have one thing in common: a vested interest in selling Beachbody (the parent company of Shakeology) products.
That’s because all these reviews are written by Beachbody “Coaches.” [side note: I was a Coach for a short stint at one point, so I’m very familiar with their marketing methods.]
While we do sell a plant protein powder of our own, this analysis and review of Shakeology products is unbiased because we use three objective criteria when evaluating their protein powders: 1.) Ingredients, 2.) Nutrition, and 3.) Cost.
Here’s the thing …
Shakeology actually has a lot of good stuff in it.
And, it’s one of the best tasting plant-based protein powders I’ve ever tried.
Unfortunately, there’s a reason for that, as you’re about to see.
Scroll below to see our Shakeology review …
What Is Shakeology?
According to the Beachbody website, Shakeology is:
a nutrient-dense superfood nutrition shake that’s formulated with globally harvested ingredients that supply phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics, fiber, adaptogens, vitamins, and minerals.
Shakeology Reviews: Methodology
Similar to my other plant-based protein powder analyses, I am reviewing Beachbody’s Shakeology protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste. It tastes freakin’ great, as I’ve already mentioned. If taste is your only criteria when choosing protein powders, then this one’s a winner.
But if you also care about what’s in it then read on, because in the next section I’ll provide an analysis of Shakeology’s products as a whole and tell you the 5 things that concern me most about it.
Then we’ll look at the complete nutrition facts and ingredients for each product separately.
Let’s jump in …
Shakeology Nutrition Summary: All Products
|Grams of Protein||16-17|
|Protein Source(s)||Regular Shakeology: Whey protein isolate, pea protein, sacha inchi, flax, chia, quinoa
Shakeology Vegan Protein: Pea protein, oat protein, rice protein, chia, flax, quinoa
|Grams of Sugar||6-8|
|Free of “Natural” Flavors||No|
|Free of Gums & Thickeners||No|
|Cost Per Gram||$.10|
Here are 5 things I wish Shakeology would improve:
- Shakeology’s products are not organic.
- Shakeology shakes have an average of 6-8 grams of sugar per shake.
- At $.10/gram, Shakeology is one of the more expensive protein powders on the market. (Note: I use cost per gram to account for different serving sizes).
- Most of Shakeology’s non-vegan shakes contain whey protein isolate. Whey protein may do more harm than good for many people with dairy sensitivities or allergies.
- Shakeology has “natural” flavors. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has an awesome web resource that evaluates the safety of the most common food additives. In its “Safety Ratings,” CSPI says natural flavors “may trigger an acute, allergic reaction, intolerance, or other problems.”
Next we’ll break down the nutrition facts and ingredients for each of Shakeology’s products/flavors separately.
Shakeology Protein Shakes Nutrition and Ingredients
Alrighty, let’s start with the good. I actually love a lot of the ingredients in Shakelogy:
- Seeds: chia, flax, and quinoa
- Greens: moringa, chlorella, kale, spinach, and spirulina
- Probiotics/digestive enzymes
- “Adaptogenic blend”: ashwagandha, maca, etc.
However, like I said above, there are 5 major issues I have with Shakeology’s products:
- They’re not organic. Any “superfood” that’s not organic may be sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides and other chemicals. The only way to find out if a protein manufacturer’s ingredients contain these chemicals is to ask if they’ve done independent testing.
- Sugar content. 6-8 grams of added sugar is just too much for a 160-170-calorie protein shake for non-athletes. If your body isn’t using that sugar during exercise, it will get converted into fat.
- Price. At $.10/gram, Shakeology is one of the more expensive protein powders on the market. It retails at $130 for 30 servings.
- Whey protein. For people sensitive to dairy, whey is not a good protein choice. Read my article Whey Vs Plant Protein. Shakeology does make several vegan proteins, as you’ll see below … but they all have 6-8 grams of sugar, depending on the flavor.
- “Natural” flavors. Natural flavors can contain hundreds of different substances–many of them chemicals–and still be called “natural.” Here’s what the EWG has to say about them:
Consumers may be surprised to learn that so-called “natural flavors” can actually contain synthetic chemicals such as the solvent propylene glycol or the preservative BHA. Flavor extracts derived from genetically engineered crops may also be labeled “natural,” because the FDA has not fully defined what that term means.
Shakeology has four different flavors that are available in both whey and plant-based options: chocolate, vanilla, cafe latte, and strawberry.
Let’s have a look at the nutrition facts and ingredients for each, starting with the vegan ones, which I recommend over the whey protein based shakes.
I highlighted areas of concern in red below …
Beachbody Shakeology Nutrition Facts Labels
Shakeology Reviews on Amazon
Shakeology’s Chocolate flavor is rated 3.1 out of 5 stars by reviewers on Amazon.
Here are the most helpful positive and negative reviews:
Most Helpful Positive Review:
I had been wanting to try shakeology for a long time. But the price was just too high for my budget. I have a few friends who are “coaches” and have tried to sell to me. But again, it’s just been too expensive. My financial situation has improved a little and I was encouraged by a friend to at least give it a try. The sample box is $29.95 +shipping and tax. I live in a state that doesn’t have sales tax, luckily, so that saved me a few bucks.
5 days passed and I got my package in the mail. At this point I was really excited to try it and see how it tasted and how it affected my eating habits throughout the day. Let me share with you that I love food. I’m over-weight, but I’m not terribly over weight. I’m 5’5″ and weigh about 160lbs. My ideal weight is around 135-140.
The first day, I tossed a packet of the regular Chocolate flavor in my blender bottle with 16oz water and 4oz 1% (cows) milk and about 5 ice cubes and blended the holy hell out of it. I had read some reviews prior to purchasing about how it smelled better than it tasted. This kinda worried me when I smelled the powder and it smelled gross. Uh-oh, I thought, this is going to be a bust.
BUT IT WASN’T! For a meal replacement shake, it was pretty good! I took a couple drinks to really get a feel for the shake. This is something I could stand to drink everyday. I had my boyfriend try it, he really enjoyed it as well, which is surprising because he is relatively picky AND doesn’t like many healthy foods. So the fact that Mr. Picky also stated he could stand to drink a shake everyday, says something.
The only thing we both noticed was the artificial sugar after taste. It’s not terrible, but you notice it.
I have also tried the Strawberry, Vanilla and Vegan Chocolate. They’re all good. I haven’t tried any of the fancy recipes that you can find on the Beachbody website or Pinterest, I’ve blended them all plain.
As far as food cravings and my food intake throughout the day. I used to eat upwards of 2100-2200 calories per day. I’m a avid snacker and again, I love food. Since starting Shakeo, I’ve been able to keep my calories around 1400-1500 each day. It hasn’t done much in the way of energy, but that could be due to the fact that I’m trying to cut down on my coffee intake and replace it with Shakeo. I will try to come back in the end of June and post an update on if I’ve had any significant help with losing weight from Shakeology.
Most Helpful Negative Review:
Bottom Line: Is Shakeology Good for You?
Even though I have strong opinions about protein powders, I tried to remain as unbiased as possible in my Shakeology reviews.
From a nutrition standpoint, there are some really nice ingredients in Shakeology: quality protein sources in their plant-based ones along with a nice mix of adaptogenic herbs, mushroom powders, and other superfoods.
However, the problems I have with Beachbody’s Shakeology shakes is they a) are not organic; b) have 6-8 grams of sugar per serving, c) contain flavors, and d) are not cheap.
There are definitely worse protein powders you can buy, and the Chocolate Vegan flavor is the “cleanest” of the bunch when it comes to ingredients, based on my analysis.
But for the money, I recommend sticking with an organic, plant-based protein with 100% real food ingredients instead.