Shakeology Review: What Is Shakeology? Should You Buy Some?
What is Shakeology? Is it a scam? Should I buy some? Is there a cheaper alternative available? Can I read an unbiased review somewhere?
These are the sorts of questions we’ve been fielding lately about this product, so I figured it was high time I put an article together. So let’s start by answering the most obvious and often-asked question; “what is Shakeology?”
It’s an “all in one” nutritional shake that combines…
- Protein (The advertising material indicates Shakeology contains whey protein isolate, but how much of the protein element of the formula is derived from it is not revealed. Other sources may include pea and brown rice proteins).
- Vitamins and minerals
- Antioxidants and phytonutrients
- Digestive enzymes
- Fiber (albeit not much—3g – 6g, depending on the flavor)
The best description of Shakeology is “part protein shake, part superfood/vitamin/greens supplement.”
The retailers claim the product will help you lose weight, improve digestion and regularity, and feel more energized. They also state the product will help you lower your cholesterol, and even claim to have a clinical study to prove it. The small print proclaims…
“In a 90-day study, participants replaced one meal per day with Shakeology, ate a balanced diet, and exercised moderately three times per week. Total cholesterol was reduced on average by 30% and LDL cholesterol was reduced on average by 38%.”
Unfortunately, this study doesn’t seem to be published anywhere; a search through the PubMed.com database brings up no results. And no wonder…
… since this study doesn’t prove anything, as three different criteria are being brought into the equation. In other words, since participants are also eating properly and exercising regularly in addition to consuming a shake, how can you conclude it’s the Shakeology that’s causing the bulk of the cholesterol-lowering effects, and not the combination of smart diet and exercise?
Fact is, you can’t.
The only way you could make this conclusion is to conduct a parallel study where folks consumed the same amount of calories, ate the same types of foods, exercised regularly but did not replace a meal with a Shakeology shake. Then you’d compare the results between the two groups and would be justified in allotting any significant differences in benefits to the one variable that differed between the two groups—the shakes.
That didn’t happen here. The retailers have jumped to the conclusion the shakes caused the difference, or at least, are presenting their advertising material so it appear that way.
The benefits don’t end there, apparently. On the Shakeology web site, under the “Science” tab—a section that ironically contains no real science at all—the retailers delve into pseudoscientific nonsense when they state that…
“A proprietary blend of digestive enzymes and prebiotics helps your body progressively eliminate the toxins that build up over time from eating today’s highly processed foods.”
The whole detoxing thing—ridding your body of “toxins”—has long been debunked as advertising nonsense. None of these ingredients have any “detoxing” effects, nor is any “science” presented to support this statement.
The remainder of the sales site is a combination of recipes, testimonials, and doctor’s comments—all of which are pretty much no nonsense, common sense stuff.
But what about the testimonials? Are they real? Can Shakeology really work in a weight loss program?
Well, let’s forget about the testimonials for a minute. (They may be real or they may not be real, but you can’t allot much value to them because you can’t verify any of them—and when was the last time you saw a retailer posting a “negative” testimonial?).
So let’s talk “weight loss”…
Shakeology can definitely aid in a weight loss program but not because it contains some miraculous blend of fat burning ingredients. No, if you replace one of your high calorie meals with a nutritious shake, you’ll be consuming a mere 150 calories (230 if consumed with milk). Combine that shake with two sensible meals, and more than likely, you’ll have dramatically reduced your daily caloric intake.
If you consume fewer calories than you need on a regular basis, you’ll lose weight. No magic there. Add in some exercise, specifically some weight training to build the lean muscle that elevates the metabolism, you’re even more likely to see results.
So what’s the bottom line with Shakeology?
Don’t get me wrong… this is a decent, but hardly revolutionary product. It’s hard to argue with a highly nutritious blend of proteins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, friendly bacteria, vitamins and digestive enzymes, even if the claims are exaggerated. I’d even say, “go ahead and try it if you want”, it if it weren’t for one problem; the cost—almost $120 for a month’s supply.
That, unfortunately, is outrageous.
While Shakeology is definitely nutritious, I don’t see anything on the product’s label to suggest it would dramatically outperform the combination of a quality whey protein isolate and superfoods/greens formula. In other words, for less than half the money ($32 for a 2lbs. jug of whey protein isolate and $22 for a decent “greens” formula) you’d obtain most of the benefits ascribed to this product. Even if you wanted to add a decent multi vitamin into the mix, you’d still be saving a ton of money and end up with far more product / servings.
However, if it’s worth $50-$60 to you for the convenience of having ALL your supplements is one package, then maybe Shakeology is for you.