Meal replacement shakes and smoothies can be a great help when trying to lose or manage weight, and Shakeology has certainly stood out in the vast ocean of products over the past few years. But is it really as great as they claim? Or are there Shakeology alternatives that can help you achieve similar results?
In short, the answer is yes. When I first learned about Beachbody and their popular shake, it was easy to identify why it gained such a reputation, and it wasn’t the first time my wife and I seen this kind of hype explode over a new product.
We dove in to do some deep research to find out if Shakeology could truly justify its price along with its claims, and by no surprise, we found out it’s not all that unique. Now I’m not saying that this shake is a terrible product, but there are certainly less costly meal replacements available out there.
Luckily, we have found and reviewed four great meal replacement shakes to find the best shakeology alternatives available today, without all the fancy marketing fluff.
All-In-One Plant Based Protein Powder
Vega One is an all-around plant-based protein shake that comes really close to Shakeology at a much friendlier price. This shake is vegan-friendly and contains no dairy or soy. It only contains 160 calories per serving which makes it a great option if you are looking to lose weight and is loaded with antioxidant’s which help fight free radicals that can cause illness and disease.
You will get 25% of your daily required fiber intake, and 20g of protein which can both help you stay full between meals. This is a gluten-free formula and provides 50% of your daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals which are sourced from fruit and vegetable whole foods.
Many reported that this meal replacement dissolved quickly in water and many said that it tasted great without having to use milk. However, a few customers recommend that you stick with either the chocolate flavor for the best experience.
Conclusively, Vega One is a great meal replacement shake that you can order for less than half the price of Shakeology, with much cleaner ingredients.
Keep in mind that Vega One only offers a maximum of 20 servings compared to Shakology which has 30 servings. The good news is even if you order two containers, it still ends up being a less expensive solution.
Organic Vegan Protein Powder
Orgain is another Shakeology alternative that made it onto our list which is also vegan friendly. The shake contains 7 grams of fiber, 15g of carbs, and only 150 calories per serving, making it ideal for weight-loss. It covers a full range of amino acids for promoting good mood, recovery and provides essential building blocks for proteins using plant based ingredients.
This protein shake has no added sugar, is gluten-free, and is certified organic. According to reviews the product tastes fantastic and isn’t too sweet, and if you want to enhance the flavor a bit more, you can throw in some fruits, mix it with almond milk, or even combine it with your favorite yogurt,
Here, you get only 20 servings per container for half the price of Shakeology. Each serving is 2 scoops, so to make it last an entire month you can do 1 – 1/2 scoops and add fruits and vegetables to make up for the loss. We also found that this shake mix tastes best with almond milk versus standard cow milk.
Optimal Solutions Protein Shake
Natures bounty offers one of the best quality protein shakes out there and packs some impressive quality ingredients for the price. This shake contains only 110 calories per serving and 11g of carbs which makes it fantastic for weight loss. This shake also helps you stay full between meals thanks to its 6g of fiber and helps boost energy levels.
This meal shake is also loaded with antioxidants to help fight off harmful cells in the body and contains electrolytes to help you stay better hydrated throughout the day. It accomplishes this by using plant based ingredients, including papaya fruit and pineapple extract.
We were impressed to see that the company has been around for over 50 years, and holds a high standard when it comes to quality control. Their facilities are constantly audited by the U.S Pharmacopeia and STR (Specialized Technology Resources).
This seems to be a winner when it comes to trust and peace of mind around quality. The shake also tastes amazing and doesn’t cause any digestive problems. Additionally, you will have to order two containers if you want a month’s supply. However, the price is still significantly lower than Shakology.
Meal Replacement Shake
Bodykey is a scientifically formulated plant based meal shake that tends to have a higher calorie and carb count, but it had to make it on our list due to its superior quality and brand.
Nutrilite is an American company that owns its organic farms, and controls the entire process from the time the seed is planted, to when the product is ready to ship. This, along with NSF approval can help you rest assure that the statements and claims are true.
This blend contains 5g of fiber per serving and helps you stay full while losing weight. You get 25 essential vitamins and minerals, is naturally flavored, and has no added preservatives. Customers really enjoy the taste according to multiple reports, and many people like that it’s halal, and Kosher approved.
You will see that the price is equal to Shakeolgy, but the quality of ingredients and value is like comparing apples to planets. If the price of Shakeology doesn’t scare you, then this is by far the best meal replacement shake out there in my opinion if you desire premium quality.
Your Best Shakeology Alternative, And Why!
Although Shakeology isn’t a terrible product, there may be some obvious reasons why you would be looking for an alternative.
It is no mystery that it’s expensive for what it delivers, and it’s easy to identify that the costs are going towards other means when it should be going towards improving their product.
So, out of the four shakes that we reviewed, our best Shakeology alternative is Natures Bounty Protein and Vitamin Shake. It’s a much better solution for weight-loss, and almost mirrors the nutritional value found in Shakeology for half the price. It doesn’t use any artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives, and is made up of quality plant based ingredients.
Why Look For A Shakeology Alternative?
There’s been a lot of hesitancy due to the price of this product. Beach body is selling Shakeology for $129 for a 30 day supply. They justify this value in an article they wrote, saying that you will actually save money by spending less on groceries every month and that the quality is well worth it.
This is where it becomes a bit of a concern to us, as they are not promoting the importance of a well-balanced diet that can only come from whole foods. You cannot live off meal replacement shakes alone, and neglecting raw nutrients found in foods such as fruits and vegetables is one of the worst ways you can attempt to get healthy or lose weight.
Justifying their price by saying you should eat less is simply a red flag. The reality is that there are other weight loss products out there that can help you achieve similar if not better results while helping you save money.
Facts About Shakeology
Understanding the in’s and out’s behind this meal replacement can help you make a more educated and informed decision when choosing the best alternative.
So, Let’s look at some facts we found about Shakeology so that we can properly compare other products.
What Exactly Is Shakeology?
Simply put, Shakeology is a superfood protein shake that can replace a meal. The company behind the shake called Beachbody, claims that this shake can provide natural energy, help with digestion, and helps you lose weight if paired with their fitness program (A.K.A the upsell).
About The Brand - Beachbody
Beachbody is a company that’s been around since 1998 and has been popular for its fitness and weight-loss programs. They provide supplements and meal guides that help people achieve their health goals by offering different programs that combine both their products and workout guides. They’re also known for products that may be familiar to you such as P90X, the 21Day Fix, and of course, Shakeology.
You may ask yourself why you didn’t hear much of the company in earlier years. Well if you didn’t know yet, they recently introduced their multi-level marketing business opportunity. This exploded their presence on social media through new business owners and sellers by promoting their products and services.
Can Shakeology Help You Lose Weight?
Pretty much any meal replacement shake that has a low amount of calories can help you lose weight IF coupled with a balanced diet and active lifestyle. Generally, you want to be taking in fewer calories than you burn if your primary goal is to lose weight.
Shakeology contains 220 calories when mixed with milk, and 140 calories with water. This is a low-calorie count which can help you lose and manage weight as long as you stay on top of your daily calorie intake.
Don’t know how many calories you should be burning? You can use this calculator to help you determine how much calories you need to lose weight.
Whats In Shakeology?
Shakeology has a fair amount of ingredients and nutrients which is enough to supplement a small meal. Adding fruits or vegetables can help you get the most out of the product.
The ingredients are grouped into 4 different categories
- Protein and fiber
- Vitamins and minerals
- Pre-and probiotics
Nutritional qualities that are featured on the label include:
- whey protein
- Vitamins A, C, D, E, K1, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12
Mixed blends are also added, which include:
- phytonutrient super green blends
- antioxidant blend
- proprietary adaptogen herb blend
- proprietary fruit blend
- non-dairy prebiotic and probiotic blend
- sacha inchi
- flax seed
- chia seed
- Apple fiber
- grape seed
- pea fiber
- decaffeinated green tea extract
- and amaranth
Pros & Cons Of Shakeology
Shakeology has shown to help people lose and manage their weight. The low amount of calories and fats in the formula can help you manage or lose weight when paired with a healthy diet and exercise.
Vitamins and Minerals
The formula contains enough nutrition to help promote energy, without the use of chemicals or additives. It’s still a decent product if you are looking to get all your vitamins without having to stack multiple supplements.
Pre and Probiotics
It’s no secret that Shakeology is one of the most expensive meal replacements out there, which sells for $129USD. This is why many people turn away from the product, since the amount of nutritional value it contains can be found in other alternatives for a far lesser price.
Evaluating the history reveals that their inflated pricing is going towards paying individuals that promote and sell the product through their MLM (multi-level marketing ) opportunity. They have several marketing campaigns as well, which also explains their high ticket cost.
Beachbody’s Shakeology comes in a variety of flavors, but many have reported an unpleasant aftertaste. Beach body commented on this and said they had to choose nutrition over taste.
Back in 2017, Beachbody was creating found continuing auto renewal payments without permission and consent of its customers. This resulted in a lawsuit and settlement of 3.6 million. You can read more here.
Shakology contains a whopping 7g of sugar per serving. That is 70% of the amount found in RedBull energy drink. High sugar content is linked to diabetes, weight gain, and cardiovascular disease.
What To Look For When Choosing A Shakeology Alternative
After identifying some facts about Shakeology, you should now have a more clear understanding and perspective as to what you should be looking for when looking for the best alternative.
Here are some qualities that our Shakeology alternative should have in order to make our decision worthwhile:
Must Help You Lose Weight
Our alternative shake must contain a low-calorie count and less sugar, which can allow you to still eat balanced meals throughout the day without going over your maximum calories.
With Shakeology as a benchmark, your alternative should have less than 220 calories, which can help you distribute the number of calories throughout the day, without going over.
Vitamins & Minerals
It must be packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber to help you stay full. The nutrients should be derived from plants and must be natural without the use of chemicals or additives.
You should have enough vitamins and minerals where you don’t have to overspend on supplements to meet your required daily intake. Meeting your daily minimum nutritional intake can provide several health benefits that can help support weight-loss.
Antioxidant's And Phytonutrient's
Shakeology contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals. Phytonutrients also help support optimal health and help fight off dangerous cells that are responsible for diseases, causing lower immunity strength.
What you allow to go into your body is important. Choosing a nutritional shake that contains natural ingredients is key to preventing health complications in the future. A good quality product will also help you digest the contents better, without causing stomach problems.
Certificates indicating quality control and regulation can also be a bonus. Going for a brand that works hard with scientists and researchers in maintaining high standards can give you confidence that what you are putting in your body is safe.
It’s not as important, but I can bet that you rather have a good tasting meal replacement shake than a bad one. Personally, I like to look forward to anything I consume. It helps me stay consistent and helps keep things interesting when weight loss is my primary focus.
And of course... price
There is no need to be spending over $129 (5 dollars per serving) on meal replacement shakes. The bottom line is that Shakeology is overpriced for what it delivers, and you can easily get away with buying a similar of not better product for less than half that price.