I started drinking protein shakes my senior year of high school in some unhealthy attempt to look amazing in a prom dress. Smart, Kalee. It wasn’t until my digestion and energy was terrible that I gave up my bad habits of protein shakes and bars, and found the Shakeology product. I reviewed product after product to find the best on-the-go, easy and healthy option. Here’s what I found plus 30 of my favorite recipes!
Why Did I Start Drinking Shakeology?
I have always had stomach issues. I was diagnosed with IBS-C at 13. It was such an embarrassing problem, and the prescription I was on was expensive and had some pretty scary possible side effects.
By 19, I had noticed eating certain foods helped my digestion. At that time, I was commuting to college and also working. I didn’t have time to prep my food or the desire to carry it on public transportation all day long. So I needed something healthy and easy to go.
I was doing ChaLEAN Extreme from Beachbody and heard about Shakeology that way. It was described to help digestion, weight loss, and cholesterol. After some research, I decided to try it. At 180 calories and full of vitamins, I saved up and bought the chocolate.
Within 3 months of nothing else in my diet changing, I saw a huge difference in my digestion. It’s not going to make you rush to the bathroom or a “Detox” or anything – but it did help my digestion get regular. Also, I know people that have regular IBS or similar problems have said it helps them NOT have to rush to the bathroom and become regular as well.
4 years later, I still get in my shake everyday. I usually have it for breakfast or lunch, and I mix up my flavors from getting bored.
Why Shakeology instead of another meal replacement?
As I was looking for quick, healthy options, I noticed a lot of added sugars added to other shakes or bars. I ate so many Luna or Odwalla bars, and I always paid for it after. The maltodextrin and a few other ingredients are lab-created, and they tore my stomach up.
Most of the competing shakes either had the same additives as the bars that upset my stomach, or they had added sugars. If they didn’t have those ingredients, they were missing the probiotics or vitamins that Shakeology had in them.
I also was able to stop taking a probiotic and vitamin once I got on Shakeology which saved me a little bit of money as well.
How Does Shakeology Work?
I’m always asked does Shakeology work? In short yes, but you can’t expect a shake (any shake) to completely undo bad habits. If you’re not eating healthy or you’re eating more calories than you are burning, you won’t physically see a difference. Also, if you’re eating junk the rest of the day you’ll never really know if it’s helping your digestion, energy or cravings. It’s a good shake, but it’s not some miracle drug or something.
Saves Time – If you’re like me, you struggle with your diet because of the time it takes to plan and prep your food. Sometimes I even struggle to just find the time to eat. Shakeology can save you the mental angst of having to cook yet another chicken breast with veggies.
Is a Full Meal Replacement – Unlike a protein shake, Shakeology contains a good blend of low-glycemic carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Not to mention all of the added nutrient dense ingredients like Chia meal, Maca Powder (root), Holy Basil Powder and Kamut Grass.
Healthiest Meal You’ll Eat – Seriously are you getting Maca Root in during any of other meal? Along with those powerful ingredients, Shakeology contains essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and more than 20 different antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients.
Helps Your Body Rid the Bad Stuff – While you can’t eat terrible all the time and still feel good in my opinion, Shakeology can help combat some of that crap we put in our bodies. The power foods and probiotics can help aid in a detox-ing effect in the body. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be running to the bathroom either. It’s just like eating a big yummy salad with nutrient-dense toppings.
Promotes Weight Loss – This is kind of two fold. Anytime you replace a meal with a shake that is under 200 calories, you’ll lose weight. That’s why junk-diets like Special K can work for people, but it’s not a healthy diet. I was hesitant to give up my lunch because I’m HANGRY by noon. That was 5 years ago! After just my first shake, I can tell you it keeps you full and since it’s an easy meal to make I don’t find myself grazing as much anymore.
Improved Digestion – I’ve always struggled with IBS-C and digestion/belly issues. At age 9 I had cyclic vomiting syndrome and put on a strict, bland diet. At 12 or so I out grew puking on a 2-week cycle, but my IBS-C kicked in with full force. From 12 to 22, I struggled with my digestion. As sick as it sounds, if I hadn’t “went” in a week, I would get Sonic. It was the only thing that I knew would make me go. Sick…I know.
When I was teenager, I was put on Zelnorm, an IBS drug. After medical complications (not my own), the product was pulled from the market. That was scary! So I chose to try to deal with it without drugs and with my diet, but it was still a major struggle.
That lasted a couple of years though until I finally got tired of looking at my pot-belly at night when it always was worse. I went to a specialist who told me to take Miralax. I did, but I got ADDICTED to it. One of my blog friends did too – read her story here! Scary stuff!
So after getting so addicted that I literally took a few caps of it then puking because I couldn’t get anything out….I started Shakeology and probiotics.
If only I had KNOWN before! I will still have flare ups, especially on and around trips, but Shakeology has really helped get that all down to a system.
Improved Cholesterol – Since I was in LOVE with this stuff, my mom started drinking it too. We do everything together after all. As a teacher, you had to have your blood drawn for insurance each year. She always had borderline cholesterol even though we eat a pretty clean diet. Well, the year we started drinking Shakeology daily, she went to test her blood work again 3 months later. The doctor said her cholesterol was perfect!
Ability to Focus – I’m not sure Shakeology helps me focus. I guess compared to eating a Thanksgiving dinner or something, but I’m not sure if I feel more focused after my Shakeology then any other healthy meal. Too bad though.
What is the Difference in Vegan Shakeology and Regular Shakeology?
The vegan formula is made of a pea protein which is suppose to be easier on the stomach for some, and it’s also vegan-friendly. The regular Shakeology is whey based. I have tried and currently use both flavors. The whey flavors are a little more creamy than the vegan option. Otherwise, they are about the same.
One thing that kills me is when someone is like the Shakeology shake is another protein supplement. I just hate that they right it off because I know that if it can help my bowels get going and my mom’s cholesterol down – there is no stopping this stuff. The other reason is because I know how un-filling a protein shake is and how it can bloat my belly. We NEED high quality ingredients and balance to our diet no matter if we’re drinking a shake or eating a full meal.
Isolated whey protein
It does have protein in it, but your body needs protein. As we age, our muscle mass declines. The easily-absorbed protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass, and if you’re working out it can help with soreness. I personally use an additional supplement after my strength workouts though.
The blood sugar is also steady due to this ingredient which also helps us feel full and reduce cravings. The protein also contains essential amino acids, which are responsible for the increased cognitive focus. The protein in Shakeology also is antibiotic and BST free.
Phytonutrients have antioxidant properties. Just like our skin, we need to be able to fight free radical damage and promote a healthy immune system. These nutrients help combat degenerative conditions because of the antioxidants.
Prebiotic’s & Digestive Enzymes
We’ve all heard about pre and probiotics and how they are the good bacteria for our guts. This is why I think I have had such a good reaction to Shakeology.
23 vitamins and minerals
While I aim to get in my vitamins and minerals through foods, this is a a great way to get in a quality-grade supplement. Even if you’re eating well the rest of the day, due to the processing of our foods we may not get all of the nutrition from it. This is just a way to help us get in the proper nutrition our body craves.
Is Shakeology Gluten Free?
Shakeology is not certified gluten free. Although Shakeology is made with gluten-free ingredients, all Shakeology formulas are in a manufacturing facility that also processes known allergens such as soy, milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and wheat (gluten) ingredients. While our manufacturing procedures follows strict, required FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which include immediate cleaning and breaking down of equipment after every production batch and proper air filtration systems as precautionary measures, the possibility of cross-contamination can never be 100% eliminated, therefore we are required by the FDA, to include a warning that addresses this.
Individuals with gluten concerns should consult with their doctors before consuming any supplements.
Keep in mind – that this shake contains a ton of high-quality nutrient-dense foods. It doesn’t taste bad, but don’t expect it to taste like a cookies and cream bar or cake either. Out of the flavors of Shakeology Chocolate is my favorite.
Let me start by saying, I tried Shakeology back in 2011. At that time, they only had chocolate and “Greenberry.” Since then, both flavors have been improved. I’m not going to lie in 2011, I drank it purely to see if it it would help with my health. It is a HEALTH drink first, meal replacement second in my opinion.
Using a blender, playing with recipes and consistency, and drinking it in a shaker cup has helped me look forward to my shake everyday for 5 years!
Luckily for you there are several choices now! In the whey option there is chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, cafe latte and greenberry Shakeology. The vegan option made of pea protein comes in chocolate and tropical strawberry. The tropical strawberry is kind of a mix of strawberry, banana, and pineapple to me.
My favorite flavor is chocolate in both the original and vegan formula. The Greenberry Shakeology is definitely my least favorite. It tastes like grass. #gag The most mixable flavors are strawberry and vanilla.
When Do I Need to Drink It? Whenever you want! I like it for breakfast to fight cravings and keep me full. With that said, I usually do it for lunch because that’s when I’m less likely to prep and eat a meal.
Who is it for? Anyone. My mom and I are health conscious and like the workout and love the shakes. But we also have my grandmother who is now 71 on it. She was eating low-nutrient foods like Cheese-its and fast food so we’ve gotten her on it for breakfast most days. It just helps at least get something good in her diet.
Does it get old drinking the SAME thing everyday? It can. I like the play with the different flavors and recipes to keep it fresh. If I know I am carrying my shake with me, I’ll blend it in a blender the night before, pour it into a shaker cup and refrigerate it. Then I just shake and go the next day.
I’ve read this isn’t a lifestyle and/or it’s a sales gimmick.
For me, Shakeology is a part of my lifestyle. I eat 3-5 meals a day depending on the day and workout I’m doing. It’s not like I’m drinking 180 calories a day and calling it quits. ;) Having a simple meal in there keeps me sane when meal prepping. I also don’t recommend doing more than 1 shake a day. Girl gotta eat! If you are wanting quick results look like adding in a healthy diet all around and 30 minute workouts like the 21 Day Fix with Shakeology.
Before I wrote this post, I did dig deep into some research on other reviews. I get that it’s an investment (I was in college buying the stuff!), but as you read negative reviews…also check out what ELSE they are promoting. Out of the negative reviews, I only read 1 that wasn’t pushing another shake at the end that they just happened to be an affiliate for. Yes, I am a coach and sharing my story, but the bottom line is – you have to find what works for you.
You also get a money back guarantee so if you don’t like it, you just mail back the empty bag (save on shipping) and they’ll give you a refund.
Is that ALL you eat for a meal?
HAHA! Yes, it is, but I usually use one of the recipes that are above or will also have a 1/4 cup almonds or walnuts.
Should I check with my doctor first?
This is a personal decision. You probably didn’t ask about that Big Mac, but since this shake does have a lot of ingredient it doesn’t hurt to ask. Your doctor may be able to tell you if you could expect to see Shakeology side effects with any medicines you’re taking.
Shakeology is pricey compared to a Walmart-level shake. It’s more than a high-quality protein powder at GNC. And they’re a network marketing company. Why in the world is it $4 a serving?!
It’s because you’re getting in that high-quality protein plus the ingredients we mentioned above. I know from my experience with IBS-C just a good probiotic was about $40-50 a month. That isn’t adding in the power foods, vitamins, etc. Since Shakeology has your vitamins and minerals in it in a less processed way than a pill, I have even stopped taking my multi-vitamin!
So when you breakdown the ingredients plus how much you typically spend on a full meal each day, $4 a serving is very reasonable if you’re a health-conscious person. It’s about like buying organic apples at Whole Foods at a premium.
Consider this the back room at Abercrombie & Fitch back in 2005 or the red dot sale at Macy’s. I am a huge bargain shopper, but I also love quality things. You know one of those beer budget but champagne tastes girls. :P
So while Shakeology is $129.95, you can choose to do a Challenge Pack starting at $140.
A challenge pack contains:
- a full bag of Shakeology
- a full workout program
- usually a Shakeology shaker cup (each pack is a little different)
- discounted shipping.
I don’t know why you wouldn’t do that option considering Beachbody’s workouts start at $60 typically.
Have you tried Shakeology before? What did you think?
I’ll leave you with a video – Tony cracks me up!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
You should consult your doctor before making any changes to your workout or diet. The statements above are just my own experience and opinion.