shakeology alternatives

Less Expensive Shakeology Alternative Substitutes

Shakeology is a quite successful supplement program that has been heavily marketed in the fitness industry. While there are many positives to the program, cost is not one of them.

When I first set out to review Shakeology shake 5+ years ago, I wasn’t intending to find faults with it. Much to the chagrin of Beachbody coaches everywhere, my somewhat mixed assessment (and statements that was over-priced), really struck a nerve!

Over the years, I’ve been amazed at how much controversy this has caused.

But here’s the truth…

Shakeology’s formula is not all that unique.

Bottom Line Up Front: I personally prefer Vega One available here as the top less expensive Shakeology substitute. It’s virtually identical nutrient profile at half the price, makes it the most logical choice for Shakeology users looking to switch.

Editor's Choice
Why I Chose Vega

There's a lot of hype about certain brands, particularly in the multi-level marketing space. Vega is actually a GREAT alternative (with top of the line ORGANIC ingredients), BUT sells at a much lower price point. Check it out!

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In fact, you can find a number of Shakeology alternatives that are far less “marketed” but essentially the same.

Topic Contents

Shakeology Comparison | My Top Less Expensive Shakeology Alternatives (Table)

Best Overall
  • Most similar taste and texture
  • About HALF the price per serving
  • Organic high quality ingredients
Best Organic
  • Organic whole food plant nutrients
  • Higher protein per serving
  • Less sodium per serving
Best Budget
  • Extremely affordable
  • “Just the basics” protein
  • Mixes well in shakes
Runner Up #1
  • LOW Sugar (1g vs 6g)
  • Mixes well in shakes
  • Plant based Organic ingredients
Runner Up #2
  • Tastes better than Shakeology
  • Traditional dairy based protein
  • Easy to mix on the go

For the full explanation for how I reached my decision (and why I am “disenchanted” with Shakeology), continue reading below Please feel free to share your comments and experiences at the bottom of the page!

Up Front Summary

  1. Vega One Meal Replacement Shake: Best Overall
  2. Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein: Best Tasting
  3. Labrada Lean Body Meal Replacement: Best Conventional Alternatives
  4. Natures Bounty Protein Shake Mix: Best Budget
  5. Garden of Life Raw Vegan Meal Replacement: Best Organic

#1 Vega One Meal Replacement Shake: Best Shakeology Alternative Overall

Editor's Choice
Why I Chose Vega

There's a lot of hype about certain brands, particularly in the multi-level marketing space. Vega is actually a GREAT alternative (with top of the line ORGANIC ingredients), BUT sells at a much lower price point. Check it out!

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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

I’ve actually done a head-to-head comparison of Shakeology vs Vega One here, but it’s definitely worth mentioning Vega One in this article as well.

It’s recently been one of my go-to meal replacements and definitely a top option to consider in lieu of Shakeology.

Like Garden of Life, Vega One is a completely plant-based supplement, without any dairy. This is good for a number of reasons, but mainly because most of us already have quite a bit of dairy present in our daily diet.

It’s good to mix things up, and plant-based supplements can aid in digestion and help cleanse your dietary tract.

There is a perception that vegan supplements are light on protein, but Vega One has 20 grams of high-quality plant protein per serving. This is a full 3 grams more than Shakeology. It has 160 calories just like Beachbody Shakeology, less saturated fat, and much less sodium (only 30mg vs 150mg).

It also features 7 fewer carbs than Shakeology per serving, has the same amount of fiber, but over 5 grams less of sugar. It really hits all the marks in terms of nutrition facts that you want in a good meal replacement powder.

It also has a lot of antioxidants, amino acids, and “super foods” that defenders of Shakeology often point to as Shakeology’s key advantage.

Vega One isn’t as cheap as some, which is my only hesitation in recommending it. However, at just over $50 for a container of 20 servings that still works out to only around $2.60-70 per serving, almost half as expensive as Shakeology. That’s actually a pretty good relative to the Shakeology price and Vega is marketed as a similarly premium plant-based protein supplement.

You can check out this listing for the current deals on Vega One

#2 Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein

Why I Love Orgain

Smooth, slightly sweet (but not TOO much), all plant-based. Orgain is definitely one of my FAVS. Best of all, it doesn't break the bank.

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I’ve recently had a good experience with Orgain protein, (full review here). For people who are concerned primarily about taste and texture, this is a good option to consider.

It comes in a creamy chocolate fudge (similar to Chocolate Shakeology) or vanilla bean flavor, both highly mixable and great tasting.

Orgain really threads the needle with a smooth taste and simple, quality ingredients. It doesn’t have all the “extra” superfoods like Shakeology and Vega One (below), but it does have a solid nutritional foundation.

The protein blend is a combination of my favorite plant-based sources, pea protein, hemp protein, and sprouted chia seed protein. In total, you get 21 grams of protein per serving, 4 grams more than from Shakeology.

What you get is an Organic, non-GMO, soy-free supplement. It’s not marketed as a full meal replacement, but you can definitely use it as one. If you feel you are missing out on some of the superfoods, try adding something like Amazing Grass Green Superfood.

There is no sugar added and low sodium at 125mg per serving. It also only has 150 calories per serving, slightly less than Shakeology.

Best of all, it’s a fraction of the price. I order mine here for a 20 serving container.

Read More:

#3 Garden of Life Raw Vegan Meal Replacement

Garden of Life Meal Replacement Chocolate Powder | Amazon
$25.89 ($1.36 / Ounce)

Raw Organic Meal uniquely combines the goodness of multiple Garden of Life products in one complete meal replacement. Basically, it has the nutrition of seven products in one container! 

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05/16/2024 03:20 pm GMT

Garden of Life is one of my favorite all natural plant-based protein meal replacement supplements. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not for everyone. It doesn’t “taste sweet” or mixes as easily as Shakeology, but it has one of the best nutrient profiles out there. What is more, it is a “clean” supplement with no additives, artificial flavoring, or other “fillers”.

While mixing it with water “works”, I prefer using almond milk (lightly sweetened) or with berries and fruit in a smoothie. You can even use the same Shakeology recipes with Garden of Life as the replacement! For a full review of it, see this article.

Shakeology talks up their “unique” ingredient profile a lot, so I was very interested to check out what Garden of Life comes with as an alternative. First, its a sprouted brown rice protein base, combined with (all organic) Amaranth Sprout, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, Garbanzo Bean, Lentil Flax Seed, Adzuki Bean, Coconut Blend, Sesame Seed, Chia Seed, Pumpkin Seed, Spirulina, Chlorella, Alfalfa, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Cherry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, and other raw enzymes. In total, it actually measures up to and even exceeds the ingredient profile of Shakeology.

Perhaps most importantly, Garden of Life Raw has 34 grams of protein per serving. This is 2x the 17 grams of protein from Shakeology. If the ingredient profile isn’t enough, this sure is. If you are serious about losing weight and finding a real meal replacement, then the key thing to look for is protein content.

Here, Garden of Life is clearly a more efficient protein source.

Finally, Garden of Life is better than Shakeology when it comes to price. Standard Shakeology bags come with approx. 30 servings at $129.95. Garden of Life comes in a 14 serving container at less than $40. That’s $2.87 per serving Garden of Life vs $4.33 per serving for Shakeology.

You can find Garden of Life for even less than $40 at this listing here.

Read More: Shakeology vs Garden of Life

#4 Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake Mix

Protein Powder with Vitamin C by Nature's Bounty

Contains (1) jar of 16 ounces of Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions Complete Protein & Vitamin Shake Mix in chocolate. Supports healthy skin, bone health, energy metabolism, muscle health. Provides digestive health support & immune health support.

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Nature’s Bounty is similar in many ways to Shakeology, with a few key differences. The only downside is that it has only 15 grams of protein, instead of the 17 grams in Shakeology. However, it is ideal for those looking for a low calorie and low sugar alternative.

It has fewer calories than both Shakeology and Garden of Life, with just 110 calories per serving and 2 grams of sugar.

The protein blend is a combination of whey, soy and additional vitamins and enzymes. As such, it’s not a vegan (dairy-free) supplement, but it does use all natural ingredients. Another aspect that I like about Nature’s Bounty is that it has 50mg less sodium than Shakeology.

Sodium is considered a cheap flavoring “filler” and Shakeology has over 150mg of it. No Bueno for me. Nature’s Bounty also has 1/3 of the sugar of Shakeology.

As a disclaimer, this supplement does contain soy. If you have sensitivities to soy or just don’t want it, try one of the other supplements instead.

It’s also not marketed as a pure meal replacement. The fact is that the difference between a meal replacement and a protein powder is really in how you use it (more on that later).

The last key selling point for Nature’s Bounty vs Shakeology is the cost per serving. The standard Nature’s Bounty containers only have 13 servings; however, at about $15 per container the cost per serving is quite affordable. It comes out to $1.15 vs $4.33 for Shakeology. You can find good deals at this listing for Nature’s Bounty.

#5 Labrada Lean Body Meal Replacement

Lean Body All-in-One Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake | Amazon
$62.99 ($0.85 / Ounce)

Confused about what to eat and when for a lean, fit body? Lean Body Hi-Protein MRP takes the guesswork out of balanced, body-toning nutrition. It covers all your bases with 35 grams of an exclusive, high-grade protein blend, 21 essential vitamins and minerals for optimum wellness, and healthy carbs to keep your energy levels up throughout your day. 

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05/16/2024 05:30 pm GMT

If you are looking for something more traditional, but still less than Shakeology, Labrada Lean Body is an excellent alternative. If the Garden of Life protein is too “green” or vegan for you, Labrada will taste quite similar to Shakeology.

You might not even notice a difference. It’s one of the better conventional alternatives to Shakeology out there.

First, there are a few things that I don’t quite like about Labrada. It has 350mg of sodium per serving, which is much higher than I usually like to go for a meal replacement supplement. It also has 290 calories per serving, again higher than Shakeology and other alternatives.

However, it really does act as a genuine meal replacement. Sometimes Shakeology left me feeling hungry all the time and not fully satisfied. The trick to sustaining a diet like this long term is having a meal replacement that actually feeds you.

The critical component of Labrada is 35 grams of protein per serving. This is the best pure protein meal replacement in its class. It’s even 1 gram higher than my favorite Garden of Life.

It also more than double what Shakeology can offer. In terms of cost per serving, it’s still a LOT more affordable than Shakeology at $2.19 per serving vs $4.33 (Shakeology). You can check out the full product listing for Labrada Lean body here.

lean body

#6 Sunwarrior Illumin8 Lean Meal

Warrior Blend Organic Protein | Sunwarrior

Warrior blend nutritional supplements bring you the perfect combination for an organic plant-based protein powder. Make the ultimate plant-based protein shake with Warrior Blend vegan chocolate protein powder!

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This product’s formula contains a proprietary blend which is quite controversial because of the fact that there are no clearly-stated amounts of all the ingredients added to this powder.

Furthermore, each of the available flavors contains a somewhat different ingredient blend (organic chocolate extract, vanilla extract, etc.) but they all have the same key compounds:

  • Raw organic pea protein – this ingredient is rich in fiber and other important nutrients. It is a valuable source of protein and amino acids;
  • Organic hemp seed protein – this can be consumed as a sole food source without experiencing any ill effect whatsoever. The genetic structure of this compound is similar to the proteins found in the human body which allows your organism to absorb hemp seed protein a lot better and quicker;
  • Raw cranberry protein – each berry is full of muscle-pumping protein as well as a large spectrum of amino acids. It is a well-known fact that cranberries can boost one’s immune system, alleviate stress symptoms, regulate cholesterol levels, and even lower the risk of heart diseases;
  • Coconut-sourced medium chain triglycerides – this ingredient represents an excellent source of fatty acids that can lead to a speedier fat burning process while also shortening your muscles’ recovery time.

Further Read:

Why Shakeology Isn’t the Answer: Shakeology vs Other Meal Replacement Shakes

Two words: marketing and price.

Shakeology has thousands of “distributors” who have a vested interest in pushing the product. It’s not that the product is “bad”; it’s just overpriced for what you get. In short, you are sold a lifestyle. Shakeology marketing will make you feel like you are receiving more value than you actually are.

Shakeology Cost: Why is Shakeology so expensive? If you are looking for the extra placebo effect, then maybe it’s worth the money. However, I quickly realized that you can get the same nutrient profile (or better) and save as much as 60%!

UPDATE: Another “concern” with Shakeology is the much-publicized Dr. Oz report that it contained high levels of LEAD! Before the Beachbody “coaches/distributors” start parroting the company line, I did my research. Well, I read about other people who did the research. Check this article out for further validation.

The Beachbody response? Essentially that this lead is “natural” and found in many plants. The lead is natural!? While it may be true that some common ingredients include lead, this is a result of bad farming practices. In short, Shakeology has an issue sourcing and testing their ingredients.

It’s not an acceptable excuse any more than polluted drinking water in Flint Michigan is “naturally occurring”.

Unfortunately, all-natural lead is not the new superfood trend…

UPDATE #2: I’ve been told that the above test was done on an “older” blend (Shakeology Greenberry) that has since been rectified. This may be so. Personally, I’m not willing to take a second chance when a brand does something like this.

Especially not a brand that is THE most expensive on the market and touts their “premium” ingredients as the reason for the high cost. This isn’t a case of lead paint. This is ingesting lead to a health supplement…

Comparable Shakeology Replacements (In Depth)

Here are some alternatives to Shakeology that I’ve had success with:

Protein Shakes Similar to Shakeology – Comparing ALL of the Alternatives

For an easy  “at a glance” comparison of the five supplements (including Shakeology), see the chart below:

Shakeology AlternativeServing SizeCaloriesSaturated FatSodiumCarbsFiberSugarsProtein
Shakeology (30 Servings)42g1601g180mg17g6g6g17g
Garden of Life(14 servings)35g1150g 140mg8g7gLess than 1g20g
Nature's Bounty (13 servings)33g1201g110mg13g4g6g15g
Labrada Lean Body (16 servings)70g2902g400mg21g7g5g35g
Vega One (20 servings) (EDITOR'S CHOICE)40g1401g250mg9g4g1g20g
Orgain Organic (20 servings)46g150<0.5g200mg15g7g0g21g

But Owen, These Aren’t Meal Replacement Shakes Like Shakeology!

  • I’ve heard this criticism a few times, but here’s the truth. First, Vega One, Garden of Life, and Labrada Lean Body ARE marketed as meal replacements.
  • Second, the difference between a “protein supplement” or “protein powder” and a “meal replacement” is largely in how you use it! For example. I’ve used Nature’s Bounty shake mix, added berries and veggies in the blender, consume it at 7 AM and – Voila! – Meal Replacement!
  • When I evaluate a “protein supplement” or “meal replacement shake” or “protein shake”, I look at the same nutrition label and ingredient list. A lot of times the term “meal replacement” is a marketing tactic. While the “Shakeology meal replacement shake” is marketed as just that, it’s largely about how you use it. Sorry for the tangent – but I wanted to clear this up.

Further Research: Meal Replacement vs Protein Shake (what’s the difference, really)

But Owen, These Other Shakeology Substitutes Don’t Have SUPER Foods!

  • First, Vega One does have many of the same groups of ingredients.
  • Second, I’m skeptical of the true value of “exotic” superfoods. Science backs some, but many of them are unproven. At present, they are just a marketing tactic. For example, I’ve read the evidence on Spirulina…. its a GOOD superfood that has PROVEN results. On the flip side, I have no clue what to expect from “Yacon Root”. Early evidence is mixed, at best. I’m not necessarily impressed by that.
  • Finally, why not purchase a superfood supplement separately? I’ve had good success with things like Amazing Greens and Garden of Life Green Superfood.

Great Affordable Alternative
Amazing Grass Green Superfood | Amazon
$44.62 ($2.62 / Ounce)

This Berry Green SuperFood is a delicious drink powder infused with acai and goji berries to help you achieve your 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

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05/16/2024 04:44 am GMT

Garden of Life Raw Organic Perfect Food Superfood | Amazon
$33.83 ($4.63 / Ounce)

Capture the power of the sun with raw organic perfect food, packed with the power of nutrient-dense, raw, organically grown greens, sprouts and vegetable juices for the raw energy you need. Raw organic perfect food is the convenient, delicious way to get your Veggie Juice every day. No artificial flavors, sweeteners.

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05/16/2024 04:49 am GMT

List of Shakeology Nutrition and Ingredients

nutrition ingredients
Speaking of ingredients, I thought I would do some more research on the actual ingredients found in Shakeology. I have gone to the source, the Shakeology website and downloaded a copy of the ingredient list for this one.

There are a lot of good ingredients in these shakes, but there are also a lot of expensive supplements that have yet been proven effective.

Another overall concern with the ingredient list is the amount and dosage of each ingredient in Shakeology — there are no amounts listed on any Shakeology ingredient list, and yes, that matters.

Without proper dosing, some of the good supplements are just not as effective. Also, another thing I noticed — the proprietary blends — we have no idea on the ratio, say for the digestive enzymes, and yes, that matters. Some digestive enzymes are better than others, while some are specifically used for things like dairy.

Another thing to consider with Shakeology ingredients — how are these sourced? Is the whey protein organic? Are the supplements organic?

There are still not enough regulations in the supplements yet. Some of the more exotic ingredients found in Shakeology, for example, the Reishi mushrooms — high-quality reishi mushrooms are very rare and quite expensive. A lot of supplements claim that they contain Reishi mushrooms, but it’s not sourced, only recreated in a lab, as this article explains.

I love supplements. I love protein shakes, but I also love saving money. Shakeology is an expensive product with a long ingredient list. Check out my research on Shakeology Ingredients and judge for yourself. Is Shakeology worth it?

Whey protein (as isolate)While whey protein isolate does contain more protein than other forms of whey protein, it is only optimal if it is grass-fed and organic, which Shakeology's is not. This document from Shakeology confirms that this whey protein isolate is neither grass-fed, or organic.
Pea proteinStudies show that pea protein can be an effective source of protein to aid weight loss by controlling Ghrelin, regulate blood sugar, increase muscle thickness, may also decrease kidney disease, and is proven heart healthy. A serving of pea protein is 23 grams, but Shakeology's shake does not contain this amount, and due to their proprietary blend of protein, we cannot guarantee the amount of pea protein.
Chia (Salvia hispanica, seed)There are a lot of people touting the health benefits of chia seeds out there. This study gave women 25 g of chia seeds daily for 12 weeks and proves that even though the plasma level of ALA increased in these women, there were "no significant results on weight loss and disease risk factors." Authority Nutrition claims that although chia seeds are high in protein and fiber, both of which have been shown to aid weight loss, the studies on chia seeds have not noted any effects on weight.
Flax (Linum usitatissimum, seed)This study shows that flax seeds may help improve digestion and relieve constipation. They are also very high in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which may decrease your risk of heart attack or stroke, as this study shows. There isn't enough flax seeds to supplement your Omega-3s, as this document from Shakeology discusses.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa, seed)Quinoa is known as a superfood because of its dense nutrients. It is a complete protein, and it does not contain gluten, so it can be a good protein source for vegans who are also gluten-free.

This study also shows that quinoa is also a good source of antioxidants and minerals, providing more magnesium, iron, fiber and zinc than other grains.

We do not know if there is enough quinoa in a Shakeology serving to make it effective.
CacaoRaw cacao has been proven to have numerous health effects, as this article contends, raw cacao can even have effects on blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. This study also proves that raw cacao beans are a great antioxidant, but there is no research on the amount of raw cacao in each Shakeology serving.
Pea fiber (Pisum spp., seed)Pea fiber is a gluten-free protein and fiber source made from the fiber that surrounds the pea. According to this study, pea fiber may have health benefits and can even lower glycemic index, however as this study contends, there is no research on its appetite suppressing properties, especially in such small amounts.
Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius, root) There is one study about the effects of Yacon syrup that might show some weight loss benefits, however, it was a small study done, and the participants were given 1 serving of Yacon syrup roughly one hour before meals to act as an appetite suppressant. We do not know how much Yacon is in each Shakeology serving to say that it is a full serving (as in the study).

More research is needed to prove the efficacy of this root and its effect on weight loss.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris, fungi)According to Web MD, there are many benefits to Cordyceps, and is currently being used as Some people use cordyceps as a stimulant, a tonic, and an “adaptogen,” which is used to increase energy, enhance stamina, and reduce fatigue.
Chlorella (Chlorella spp., whole)Chlorella is an edible freshwater algae, and has been proven to have some health benefits. However, as this study shows, there have not been enough definitive studies to prove the effectiveness of Chlorella, what amounts you would have to take for any effectiveness and because of the way this must be processed in order to get any benefits, it can be a costly supplement, which can be easily replaced by other nutrient-dense foods such as kale or broccoli.
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis, whole)According to Web MD, there might be benefits to Cordyceps – a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in high mountain regions of China – and is currently being used as a stimulant, a tonic, and an “adaptogen,” which is used to increase energy, enhance stamina, and reduce fatigue. This is an exotic supplement that can easily be reproduced in the lab cheaper than harvesting. As with other natural supplements, dosing is so important, and WebMD recommends only taking Cordyceps for a short time, and gives warnings for people who should not take this supplement at all.

There is no information on how much Cordyceps is in each Shakeology serving, but this supplement is designed for short term use, and may have interactions with things like caffeine, as this study shows.
Acerola cherry (Malpighia glabra, fruit)Acerola cherry, as this study confirms, is an expensive source of Vitamin C. “To date, there is no clear evidence that naturally derived vitamin C is superior in its clinical effectiveness than synthetic ascorbic acid.”
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus, fruit)It turns out that even though bilberry extract is a popular supplement, there hasn’t been enough definitive studies, as this report shows, to show that it’s any more effective than other less expensive and readily available supplements, such as cranberry.
Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum, fruit)Blueberry supplements may have some cognitive benefits, as this report shows, and many antioxidant benefits, but as a supplement, it is recommended to keep in cold environments, as blueberry supplements are heat sensitive.
Goji berry (Lycium barbarum, fruit)Although there has been a lot of hype on the effects of goji berry supplements, as this report states, there is insufficient scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of goji berry supplements, especially when it comes to weight loss.
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea, leaf)Some studies have shown that a certain amount of spinach extract can help with weight loss, as this research explains, however there have not been enough independant studies to prove this to be true.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa, fungi)There have been a lot of claims on the benefits of Maitake mushrooms, but as this report shows, there is still little research on the effects on humans for benefits such as weight loss.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum, fungi)According to WebMD, reishi mushroom is used for boosting the immune system and has been shown to have some effectiveness according to users. Other uses for reishi mushrooms include reducing stress and preventing fatigue.

The quality of this supplement is important, and so is dosing. The standard time frame for treatment with this herb according to this study is one to three months, taken three times per day. Also, people with autoimmune diseases should not take reishi. There is no information on the type or amount of reishi in Shakeology, and as this article confirms, high-quality reishi mushrooms are quite rare and expensive.
Rose hips (Rosa canina, fruit)Rose hips are a known anti-inflammatory supplement and should be taken with meals for full effectiveness. Studies have shown that taking rose hip supplements have had "a mild reduction in blood pressure" but there is limited evidence in human studies with regards to weight loss.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)
There has been a lot of hype surrounding MSM, but according to Web MD, and other sources, there is little published scientific research to support its use. It can also be quite an expensive and ineffective supplement according to Web MD, and other sources.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, root)People use the ashwagandha plant for many things, but according to WebMD, "there isn’t enough information to judge whether it is effective for any of them."

Ashwagandha is also used as an “adaptogen” to help the body cope with daily stress and as a general tonic, and there seems to be some evidence that it has antistress properties, as this study shows, yet there is still not enough human research to back up these claims.
Enzyme blend: AmylaseAmylase is known as one of the "starch blockers" of enzymes that some claim to help with weight loss, yet, as this study shows, there isn't enough evidence to say definitively that they help reduce carbohydrate absorption in humans.

Also, not all enzymes, as this report explains, even those with the same name as effective, and since Shakeology does not list the details of their proprietary blend, we do not know the ratios of these enzymes.
Enzyme blend: CellulaseCellulase as an enzyme that breaks down cellulose, so as an enzyme cellulase acts as fiber, which can help digestion. But, as this study shows, cellulase does not influence subjective appetite sensations, or seem to be an effective weight loss supplement.
Enzyme blend: LactaseLactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar found in milk, and can be effective in doing that, if, as this article explains, you take them in the required amounts and are lactose intolerant, and since there is lactose in the whey protein used, this might be a necessary addition.
Enzyme blend: GlucoamylaseGlucoamylase is an enzyme that can help break down starches, but as this extensive article explains, not all enzymes are as effective as others, even those with the same name.
Enzyme blend: Alpha-GalactosidaseAlpha-Galactosidase is an enzyme that is also known as "Beano", which is used to reduce gas in the digestive track.
Enzyme blend: InvertaseInvertase is an enzyme, derived from honey, or yeast that helps break down sugars. It is used in baking to make candy, as it helps break down the sugar molecules.

It is really hard to find any definitive studies on its effectiveness in breaking down sugars in the stomach, however, even if it did help, there is no evidence to how much of this particular enzyme is included in Shakeology shakes, like other digestion enzyme products clearly list.
Kale (Brassica oleracea, leaf)We all know that Kale in its natural form is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around, however, as a supplement, you have to watch dosing, as high levels of Vitamin K can interfere with blood thinners, as this blog says.

Just like other supplements, the sourcing of the Kale is important and it is unclear if Shakeology is organic kale supplements or not.
Luo Han Guo (Monk fruit, Siraitia grosvenori)Luo Han Guo, or Monk fruit is generally used as a sweetener, as this site shows.
Himalayan saltHimalayan salt contains 84 minerals, as this article explains, but is a sodium and should not be used excessively.
Lactobacillus sporogenes (Bacillus coagulans)Lactabacillus is a type of bacteria that can help digestion, however, as WebMD discusses, "There are concerns about the quality of some lactobacillus products. Some products labeled to contain Lactobacillus acidophilus actually contain no lactobacillus acidophilus, or they contain a different strain of lactobacillus such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Some products are contaminated with “unfriendly” bacteria."
Schissandra (Schisandra spp., fruit)Schissandra is known as one of the "adaptogens" used for increased resistance to stress and disease, according to this site, Schissandra might be effective for mental performance, but there is insufficient evidence for exercise performance.
Maca (Lepidum meyenii, root)Maca has been known for centuries as an aphrodisiac and is primarily grown in Peru. Although there are plenty of studies that show Maca's effectiveness, as this site says, many of these studies have been done in Peru. More research outside of Peru is needed to prove Maca's effectiveness.
CinnamonCinnamon may also be used as a flavoring, but some claim it can lower blood sugar yet according to WebMD, some studies prove otherwise, or studies are inconclusive either way.
Green tea extractAccording to this research, "Green tea catechins are four molecules, high amounts of which are present in green tea and other sources. The most potent one is EGCG. It is effective in respect to most claims and potent in a few. Any fat burning benefits are dependent on being Caffeine-naive." It looks like the caffeine content in green tea may help its effectiveness for weight loss.
Ginko biloba, leaf extractGinko biloba is a herb that some claim can help with mental alertness and brain functions, however, as this research shows, "Ginkgo biloba is the most commonly ingested herb for brain health. While it can boost cognition, this effect is not very reliable."
Moringa oleifera, leafAccording to this study, "For usage as a supplement, moringa oleifera is recommended mostly as being a highly nutritious antioxidant. While it is indeed nutritious, supplemental dosages are too low to acquire adequate nutrition from and this claim is not relevant."
Sacha inchi, seedOften marketed as a Superfood, as this article explains, Sacha inchi is a plant native to Peru, where the edible seeds are used for supplements.

Although it is too soon to fully recommend Sachi inchi for weight loss, it can improve overall health because of nutrient contents, as this article explains.
Chicory root fiber Chicory root fiber can help people with digestive issues, as this article contends because of the main ingredient, "Inulin", which may help decrease constipation, increase helpful bacteria in the colon, and may also decrease triglycerides in the blood.

There does seem to be some evidence that chicory root fiber might help with weight loss, as this study confirms, however, it is not as significant as some would lead you to believe and more research is needed for definitive connections.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum, fruit)There are some studies that may prove that pomegranate supplements can help with weight loss, as this article explains, however, most of the studies were not conducted on human subjects, so more research is needed.
Astragalus membranaceus, rootAstragalus membranaceus is one of the more expensive supplements in this ingredient list but does have a long history in Chinese medicine and can "add life to your years, rather than adding years to your life" as this article explains.
Camu-Camu, fruitAs WebMD explains, "Camu camu fruit contains many nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotene, fatty acids, protein, and others. It also contains other chemicals that might have an effect on the body. However, there is not enough information to know how camu camu might work for treating or preventing any medical condition."

This is also another one of the more expensive supplements on the ingredient list, and although it is a good source of Vitamin C and other flavonoids, there are other less-expensive sources out there.

List of Shakeology Vitamins and Minerals: What You Need to Know!

When it comes to expensive vitamin supplemented shakes, it’s important to look at the source of each ingredient, including the sources of vitamins and minerals. It would appear that most (if not all) of Shakeology’s vitamins and minerals are synthetic vitamins.

This is typical, as most high-strength, multi-vitamin pills on the market are synthetic. Not all vitamins are created equally, as this article explains, and can lead to dangerous mineral deficiencies and toxic effects, as this research also confirms.

Here is an overview of synthetic vs. natural vitamins that’s worth a read, but here are some takeaways.

How can you tell that there are synthetic vitamins in a product?

“If the potency is higher than anything you would find in nature (example 1000% Daily Recommended Allowance of Vitamin C per serving), the product contains synthetically produced ingredients, no matter what the producer of that product might claim.” (Source)

Putting the word ‘natural’ on a vitamin supplement is deceptive (Source)

Are certain synthetic vitamins worse than others?

Yes. Some vitamins are water-soluble, so they can easily be flushed out of the body. “The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K. Because they are soluble in fat (lipids), these vitamins tend to build-up in the body’s fat tissues, fat deposits, and liver” (Source).

When it comes to the vitamins sourced for Shakeology, it would appear that many of them are synthetic (not whole foods sourced) versions of the vitamins and minerals. It also appears that the cheaper, less effective versions are used as well, for example, the Calcium used is an inexpensive and ineffective version.

It would be much better to invest in a high-quality multi-vitamin source if you feel that your diet might be lacking some minerals and vitamins. We’ve recommended some good ones before. Remember to carefully read the labels.

Vitamins and MineralsResearch
Vitamin A (beta-carotene) 5000 IUUnless the whole foods source of beta-carotene is listed (which in this case, it is not) it is highly likely that this source is a synthetic vitamin, as this article explains, which can actually increase cancer risks, instead of lowering them as a whole food source would.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 180 mgAscorbic acid, technically is not Vitamin C, only a part of the Vitamin C molecule, according to this research. The most effective form of Vitamin C is naturally found in food. According to this research, "For a complex matrix like Vitamin C to be effective, it has to be used as nature created it. Always use a full-spectrum food source supplement of Vitamin C and other supplements to insure that all the naturally-occurring nutrient factors are available to your body."
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) 200 IUThis is a synthetic version of Vitamin D, which is made from "lanolin washed from lambs’ wool" (according to this source) and should be avoided, especially because it is one of the fat-soluble vitamins.

"Fat-soluble vitamins in their synthetic form are especially dangerous because they can build up in your fatty tissues and cause toxicity," says Dr. Edward Group here.
Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) 15 IUThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Vitamin K1 (phytonadione) 40 mcgVitamin K is a man-made vitamin typically used for people with a Vitamin K deficiency, as this article explains. It is also a fat-soluble vitamin with inherent risks of flushing, sweating, or tight-chestedness as this article explains.

People on blood thinners should avoid excessive amounts of Vitamin K, which many Shakeology members have discussed on forums, yet still told how to "continue with the program".
Vitamin B1 (thiamin HCI) 1.5 mgThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 1.3 mgThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) 5 mgHigh levels of niacin can cause side effects, as this source explains, but the amount of niacin in Shakeology is not excessive.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCI) 2 mgThe amount of Vitamin B6 contained in Shakeology is not enough to supplement people who have deficiencies, but this is typical amount found in most multivitamin supplements.
Folic acid 200 mcgThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) 6 mcgThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Biotin 90 mcgThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Pantothenic acid 5 mgThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Calcium (dicalcium phosphate)
300 mg
Dicalcium Phosphate is "an inexpensive, poorly absorbed form of calcium," says this research.
Iron 6 mgThere are two types of iron supplements, ferrous and ferric, of which ferrous is better absorbed in the body, according to this article. It is not clear or labeled what type of iron is in Shakeology.
Phosphorus (dicalcium phosphate) 230 mgNot sure why this is listed separately as Calcium as dicalcium phosphate, they are the same. Dicalcium Phosphate is "an inexpensive, poorly absorbed form of calcium," says this research.

With 530 mg of dicalcium phosphate contained in Shakeology shakes, it could be harmful taken at one time, according to this research, instead, the dosing should be spread out throughout the day.

Iodine 52 mcgIodine is an essential element, yet not typically found in supplements because it is already added to table salt, as this research confirms.
Magnesium oxide 80 mgMagnesium oxide is typically used as a laxative, and not as a magnesium supplement because the amount of magnesium absorbed is less than 4%, as this study confirms.

There are much better sources of magnesium supplements out there. Check out this comparison chart.
Zinc oxide 6 mgZinc oxide is an "inorganic compound of zinc most commonly used in topical ointments for addressing minor skin conditions such as burns and irritation. It is also a common ingredient in sunscreens. This type is a non-chelated, inorganic form of zinc. Studies show mixed results on the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize this form of inorganic zinc" claims this research.
Copper gluconate 0.8 mgCopper is not naturally found in the body, but is found in certain foods, as this research shows, but "copper gluconate is copper carbonate processed with gluconic acid. It is used as a deodorant" sites this research.
Manganese sulfate 2 mgManganese is a naturally occurring mineral in the body that is necessary for bone health,
Chromium chloride 60 mcgThis is another synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of toxicity, according to this research.
Molybdenum (as sodium molybdate) 30 mcgSodium molybdate is a chemically altered form of sodium, as this article explains. Too much molybdenum can have side effects, however, it is different for every person.

But Owen, Good People Make Money from Shakeology!

  • I get it. I’m not trying to put down people who promote products. I am trying to present the other side of the story. A side that doesn’t usually get told because Beachbody provides a lot of incentives to stick to the company line. I’m not anti-corporate, or anti-making money, I’m just anti-bias.
  • In my personal experience, most of the Beachbody coaches and distributors make professional trainers look bad. Just because you start calling yourself a “coach” doesn’t mean you are. The fact is, Beachbody might empower people by calling them coaches, but they really don’t have the training that the title entails (in fact, coach = distributor for all practical purposes).

Shakes Comparable to Shakeology

I frequently get asked to specifically compare products versus Shakeology. The following is a brief summary of my thoughts on direct comparisons. Where relevant, I link out to full reviews or comparisons that I’ve done.

Omnihealth Shakes vs Shakeology

I haven’t tried Omnihealth yet, but I’m not looking forward to it. The ingredient list is full of ultra-processed preservatives. While it’s certainly cheaper than Shakeology, I can find very little information about who actually owns the brand and how they source ingredients. It looks like their website is no longer up, which is a bad sign. My take: stay away and opt for another alternative to Shakeology.

Naturade Vegan Smart vs Shakeology

Another one that I’ve tried and really liked is Naturade Vegan Smart. They are certified Vegan, Non-GMO and Low-Glycemic.

Not to mention Soy Free with ZERO cholesterol. With a solid 20 grams of protein (under 170 calories) and 7 grams of fiber, it’s hard to see why NOT to try it. The ingredient profile is diverse, without being overly-complicated at 9 whole food plant-based combinations. Best of all, it’s a  fraction of Shakeology’s cost here.

vegan smart

Vegansmart Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder by Naturade | Amazon

Complete Protein Blend – Contains 5 different non-GMO plant based proteins providing all the essential amino acids in precise proportions, readily usable by the body, for building and repairing tissue and muscle.

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Purely Inspired Protein vs Shakeology

meal replacement shake

Purely Inspired is a straight up protein powder which offers a very similar profile to Nature’s Bounty (recommended at the top). It’s plant based (like Orgain / Vega), Non-GMO and extremely affordable.

They also offer a “complete meal replacement” on Amazon here for literally a fraction of the cost of Shakeology. We are talking like less than $15 per container. Hard to argue with that.

Purely Inspired All-in-One Meal Replacement | Amazon
$27.93 ($1.35 / Ounce)

Being busy doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the benefits of a complete meal replacement. Purely Inspired All-in-One Meal is packed with clear superfoods that provide you with the protein, fiber, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, fruits and veggies you would find in a well-balanced meal.

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05/16/2024 10:14 am GMT

Further Reading:

Ideal Lean vs Shakeology

Ideal Lean (by Ideal Fit), is owned by the HUT Group which also owns Ideal Raw and MyProtein (generally well thought of brands). Their Ideal Lean products are squarely targeted at women, but without the “distributor” relationship (thank you!). The ingredient profile is fairly generic, but offers 20 grams of protein and LESS than 100 calories.

In terms of taste, it mixes quite well with smoothies and has none of the mixability issues associated with some other Shakeology alternatives. However, what stands out MOST to me is the incredible difference in price point.

You can find Ideal Lean here for less than $30 for a 30 serving container. Not bad! It’s a simple shake without the cacophony of extra ingredients in Shakeology, so you may need to supplement with an extra greens supplement (for example).

Further Read:

Quest Protein Powder vs Shakeology

quest nutrition

Quest has been around for over a decade and has built quite a name for themselves, particularly with their popular protein bars. That said, they also offer a full stack of supplements, just like Shakeology. They really go FURTHER than Shakeology as they make protein chips, protein cookies, etc…

You can view their full suite on Amazon here. What stands out is there attention to quality (I’ve tested a lot of their products over the years – they taste good and WORK) + their price point, roughly a third of what Shakeology charges.

Quest Nutrition Cinnamon Crunch Protein Powder | Amazon
$31.51 ($1.23 / Ounce)

Quest Protein Powders use a unique blend of complete dairy-based protein isolates: fast absorbing whey protein isolate combined with slow-acting micellar casein and milk protein isolate to provide your body with all nine of the amino acids it needs.

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05/16/2024 03:31 am GMT

Clean Shake vs Shakeology

Clean Shake has an interesting pitch and premise. In the age where supplements like Shakeology literally have 100s of upsells and additional supplements and programs, Clean Shake focuses on a simple 21 day program. Your choices for shake are Vanilla or Chocolate.

Clocking in at $68.00 per container, it’s expensive but not nearly as pricey as Shakeology. The ingredient profile is also super simple (dare I say “clean”?), with a blend of rice and pea protein (two of my favorites) along with other natural ingredients like beet fiber, olive oil, acacia, apple fiber and other fruit extracts. It’s actually  available here on Amazon.

While I haven’t personally done an in depth review, I like what I see compared to Shakeology.

Cleanshake Vanilla Protein Shake | Amazon
$45.00 ($2.10 / Ounce)

CleanShake is an Ultra-Premium Protein Shake that contains 23 Organic Fruits, Seeds and Root Vegetables, 23 Vitamins & Minerals of which 18 provide 100% of your daily value, Non-GMO & rBGH Free Premium Whey Protein Concentrate and a High Quality Probiotic.

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05/16/2024 01:33 am GMT

Balance Complete vs Shakeology

balance complete

I’ll admit that I had never heard of Balance Complete before a reader asked me to compare. I did some research and it looks like Balance Complete is old by Young Living Essential Oils. I’m not sure what an essential oils company is doing selling meal replacements… but that aside, the ingredient profile seem generic enough.

Protein was a bit low at only 11 grams per serving, but 11 grams of dietary fiber and 330 mg of potassium point to why it could help keep you feeling full. Until I test it directly, I’ll withhold a full judgement, but I personally find it hard to trust brands without a track record in the space.

My suspicion is that the supplement is merely “white labeled” e.g. it’s just another line without anything proprietary about it. It’s also not particularly cheap at around $67 per tub (but admittedly less than Shakeology).

Balance Complete by Young Living | Amazon
$83.22 ($83.22 / Count)

Balance Complete is a super-food-based meal replacement that is both a powerful nutritive energizer and a cleanser. Offering the benefits of Ningxia wolfberry powder, brown rice bran, barley grass, extra virgin coconut oil, aloe vera, cinnamon powder, and our premium whey protein blend

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05/15/2024 04:45 pm GMT

Slim Fast vs Shakeology


Slim Fast has been around a lot longer than Shakeology, having pioneered the diet in a drink model in the 1980s and 1990s. What Slim Fast does offer is a high protein content (good cost per protein serving) and readily available in most common supermarkets, pharmacies, and online via Amazon here.

Slim Fast is also “ready to drink”, meaning that there’s no complicated prep or blending required. It’s also a fraction of the cost compared to Shakeology. All that being said, Slim Fast doesn’t have nearly as many nutrients and vitamins as Shakeology.

If you are considering Slim Fast as a replacement, consider also separately picking up a greens supplement and you should cover your bases for a hybrid Shakeology replacement at a fraction of the cost.

SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Creamy Chocolate Shake | Amazon
$57.64 ($0.44 / Fl Oz)

Yes, you can have Chocolate as part of your weight loss plan! The advanced Nutrition creamy Chocolate shake is part of the Slim-Fast plan, America's #1 best-selling weight loss shake brand. The Slim-Fast plan is proven to help you lose weight fast and keep it off. See results in just one week!

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05/16/2024 07:15 am GMT

Further Protein Shake Research

If you are still stuck here are some other closely related shakes and meal replacement powders that we’ve evaluated:

Editor's Choice
Why I Chose Vega

There's a lot of hype about certain brands, particularly in the multi-level marketing space. Vega is actually a GREAT alternative (with top of the line ORGANIC ingredients), BUT sells at a much lower price point. Check it out!

Check Price Check Amazon Price
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205 thoughts on “Less Expensive Shakeology Alternative Substitutes”

  1. I want to thank you for creating such a detailed explanation/ list for shakeology alternates. I bought and tried Garden of Life raw vegan chocolate meal replacement, mainly because of your recommendation ( I had done a fair bit of research on products and comparable, and you were the most convincing). I just tried it, and I think it’s actually delicious! I think it is very similar in fixability and taste to shakeology vegan chocolate, and tastes just as good (I actually think both are DELICIOUS, contrary to what most people seem to think, and actually very similar in taste imo (can’t wait to try all the shakeology recipes with Garden of Life!).

    Just one tiny correction about serving size and protein… the serving size of garden of life raw meal is two scoops, (87g) and is roughly twice the serving size of shakeology… so in terms of protein when you bring them down to the same serving size they are equivalent, even down to the amount of calories. Really minuscule difference in amount of fat and carbs, less than 1g/ 1% I think by memory.

    Anyhow. Considering shakeology isn’t easily available where I live whereas garden of life is, and that garden of life is way cheaper, and has the same if not better nutrient profile, I’m personally gonna stick with Garden of Life. So really thank you for your review! (what do you think of the raw protein vs regular whey protein ( like from optimum nutrition for example? )

    1. Olivia – Thank you for the comment and sharing your experience!

      In terms of raw vs regular whey protein, I have a preference for raw but I’ve also used organic whey protein supplements in the past. It really depends on your fitness goals. I like raw protein meal replacements, because I think too much of our diet already is dairy based. I’m not one of those “vegan fanatics”, but I think there are a lot of benefits to raw vegan protein as a supplement for most people. Optimum Nutrition is a good brand, but I do prefer organic options like “Tera’s Whey” etc… If I’m going to consume whey in the mass quantities you have to for max effect, I want it to be best ingredients without hormones, additives, etc…

      I’ll be doing more comparisons in the future, including whey vs vegan supplements.

      1. Great thank you! I guess you are right about hormones etc. I actually am embarrassed to think I had not thought of it!

        And I kind of do like the idea of eating certain vegan things too.. though i’m not vegan either. I do think meat has a place in our diets, just maybe not as big of a one as today.

    2. Your article is so full of holes.
      Shakeology is not just a Protein Shake. It is Nutritional Therapy. There are NO artificial sugars.
      Shakeology’s ingredient list goes far beyond the paltry list of ingredients in Shakes with which you are comparing it.
      The “Lead” article is two years old and was grossly misleading. And, really, Dr. Oz? Have you looked into some of the crap he endorses?
      In this case, when you want to put your trust in a product, especially something you are putting in your body, you get what you pay for. The Shakeology team’s research in to each and every farm supplier is almost painfully thorough. They have even hold off on introducing new flavors until they can make it taste good without adding junk to make it more appealing. That’s why it took so long for Vanilla to be part of the line.

      Do you buy cheap tires for your car? The cheap fix to get back on the road? Works well for awhile until that inevitable breakdown. We need to invest in our body’s health in that same way.

      1. Robin – Not sure your Ad Hominem attacks will work with this audience… While Dr. Oz may say a lot of junk, that doesn’t mean every point he makes is junk…. Each statement needs to be evaluated on it’s own terms.

        1) “Nutritional Therapy” Really??!! It’s called eating healthy, but I’m going to call it “Magic Health Secrets”.

        2) Ingredient lists are nice, but quantity for quantities sake isn’t the end of it. I can cram some exotic berries into my diet, but the truth is 1) most haven’t been tested and 2) it’s usually a marketing ploy.

        3) “you get what you pay for” doesn’t apply when you are getting gauged on price. Unless you are talking about the placebo effect.

        4) “Do I buy cheap tires for my car?” Thanks for asking! I actually do the same thing I do here, I do my research and find the best value for my money. Not everyone can afford to waste money on Shakeology Rims.

          1. I have looked into the ingredients of Shakeology, and some of them may be dangerous for people who are on certain medications, or who may be pregnant. For example, holy basil can interact with blood thinners, moringa, and ashwagandha may lead to miscarriage. The way Shakeology is promoted by “coaches” makes it sound like anyone can safely use it. I have even heard coaches say that it kept a nursing mother’s milk supply up to where it needed to be for her baby.

  2. Wow, that was crazy helpful and very thorough, thanks for helping us tonot blindly follow the Beachboy brand into Shakeology because we don’t know any better!

  3. Thank you for your help on these products. I am just starting the 21 Day Fix and I couldn’t afford to incorporate Shakeology into my plan. I am not a breakfast eater so I am hoping this will get me going!

    Thanks again,

    1. Yay, me too! I’m so excited to try the workouts and I think the portion controlling is a great idea for life, not just the 21 days.
      I was really excited to come across your comparisons, because I’ve been trying to do them myself for days and my head still hurts. Haha. My friends are all spending tons of money on Shakeology and Isagenix, and I just can’t justify the expense knowing the weight will come back on if you stop using the products. I don’t do shakes/smoothies every day but they are great for working late and not wanting to eat a huge dinner at 9PM, or for on the go mornings, to get some complete nutrition.
      Thanks so much for your stellar review. I think I may try the Garden of Life and will be sure to report back after my 21 days are up.

      1. Genie,
        Thank you for posting! I’m all about saving money AND being healthy. Keep us posted with your experience with Garden of Life. There’s no problem with experimenting with different brands. A lot of distributors obviously try to sell Isagenix or Shakeology as “THE” solution, but this is far from the truth. 1) Very little separates them and 2) there are much healthier and wholesome options with better ingredients.

  4. Hi I thank you so much for explaining this. I do however have a question, how do these 3 compare to shakeology vitamin intake? Because that’s the whole thing shakeology tries to sell you on its not just a protein shake its a protein, meal replacement but let them tell it the most import and what you’re paying for is the wonderful vitamins and exotic super foods.

    1. Hi Sabrina, thanks for commenting. The way I look at it, I can get my vitamins from a multivitamin pill. Even so, brands like Vega One and Garden of Life have a very similar nutrient profile without all the artificial additives and junk. You kind of alluded to it, but the exotic “super foods” are just that, exotic. The more exotic sounding the better, I guess. In actuality, the exotic super foods are a very minor component. Even if you value them highly – which the medical community is dubious about already – does it really matter if its sprinkled on top of a poor foundation of artificial ingredients?

      Shakelogy is a lifestyle brand built on an MLM platform. As such, they will overcharge you for every single ingredient (the good ones and bad). I hate that people are getting “sold” that this is THE way to change their health.

        1. I feel the same way and it’s so great to see it in writing from someone who obviously took the time to do all the research. I enrolled in the 21DF program and love the program itself, but couldn’t justify the cost of Shakeology. After doing some of my own research, I’ve been using the Tera’s Whey Organic whey protein powders and I love them! I still use the Shakeology recipes because they’re delicious. Thanks again for putting such a thoughtful article on the Internet for folks like me to find!

          1. Hi Helena – thanks for commenting! The best part about finding a good substitute is that you can still use all the same recipes and programs. It’s not an either/or situation.

          2. Betty-Anne Georgeson

            I am onto the 21 day Fix too but the shakeology aftertaste was more than I could take. I found out that chromium was one of the ingredients just as Herbal Magic has. And this is what made it taste like a metal taste as well as the lead ingredient that you described above. Shakeology is also not the best for people who are taking anti seizure medications as they interact with the meds. I read this article with interest because when I did ask the ‘coach ” on what my alternative could be there was no answer that was given to me. Thank you for this. I appreciate this!

    1. Hi Ashley,

      I honestly have not tried Arbonne yet, but I’ve added it to me list (I’m constantly testing new stuff and posting reviews here). Just looking at the ingredient profile, I think that I would probably like it better than Shakelogy. Arbonne doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners and only 8 grams of REAL sugar, and no soy or derivatives, so it’s probably one of the “good” ones in terms of quality ingredients. 20 grams of protein per serving also is quite competitive. I’ll try it out and post a review.

  5. This has been very helpful! I started shakeology in February. I was basically desperate for a meal replacement, and I wanted an accountability grouo to help with weight loss. Now it’s been 3 months, and while I’ve lost weight and changed my eating habits, I don’t see the point of the shakeology, especially the price. So my thing is, I have two young kids, and I don’t have time in the morning to cook myself a big healthy breakfast, so I went for meal replacement. I would love to make time to cook, but until then, I need something. I completely agree with the vitamins and super foods aspect, shakeology seems to have less than what your daily needs are, and the super foods aren’t really super at all, most haven’t been proven to do anything beneficial, or so I’ve read. I’m curious what my best option would be for meal replacement. I’m concerned about soy, and I want organic and the healthiest option. But I also can’t do high sugar and carbs. Is garden of life going to be my best bet? Thank you for the article!

      1. Thank you! I like that that one has way less sugar! I don’t know much about protein powders unfortunately; do the plant based proteins contain soy? One of my issues with shakeology is that because they claim they can’t call it organic because it’s too hard to confirm it for all 70 of their ingredients, they don’t actually answer the question. So. I read that if the whey comes from cows that are not grass fed, that they are fed soy and corn, therefore making the shake contain soy….which is one of the ingredients shakeology jumps at saying they don’t use. Am I making sense? I don’t see soy in the ingredients, just trying to confirm. Thank you!

        1. Hey Brianne,

          Just saw your follow-up comment. Garden of Life and Vega One do not contain soy. Nature’s Bounty does, unfortunately. Soy is technically a plant based protein source, but most vegan supplements avoid it.

          Regarding Whey that comes from cows… I’m generally concerned that most of our food supply is either corn or soy (or wheat) based. We are overly dependent on just a few food sources, either directly or indirectly via meat from animals that consume soy, etc… There isn’t a whole lot of concrete scientific studies on this yet, but It’s just an educated assumption. Because of this, I really like Tera’s Organic Grass Fed Whey if I need a whey supplement (non-vegan).

  6. Hey Owen,

    Out of these 3, which one do you think tastes the best? I need something that will be good to go with just water or almond milk etc., as I work outdoors and have to pack lightly which unfortunately denies me the use of a blender. Thanks in advance for any help!

    1. Hey Johnny,

      Excellent point. In terms of mixability, I definitely prefer to use Garden of Life in a blender because it’s a little granular for just shaking or spoon mixing with water. In terms of good taste and mixability WITHOUT a blender, I like both Labrada and Nature’s Bounty. I’d recommend getting a blender/shake bottle (with a mixing ball), if you don’t already. It’s what I use when I’m hiking and need to mix on the fly.

  7. Linda Rodriguez

    Love Love Love Chocolate Shakeology. The coach price makes it expensive too. The coach price after the 25% discount is about $97.5 and adding back the coach membership plus tax (about $18) makes it about $115 / bag with 30 servings. Coach price saves $15 off the price. In case you were wondering. Not pushing it, but I felt that the cost basis needs a little bit more information. I miss the coach discount when I buy the programs now! I love Beachbody and I love that they are trying to change America’s view of fitness….even if it is a MLM program. 🙂

    So here I am looking for a replacement as well. I think that the initial up tick in feeling good when using Shakeology, or anything like it, comes from the additional intake of vitamins. Most people are so under good levels of nutrition because of bad diet and stress the extra vitamin load at the beginning makes them feel better. I’m looking at the RAW as I’m familiar with their product line. I’ll give the RAW recommendation a whirl! Thank you for the information.

    1. Linda,

      Thanks for the comments, and for sharing about the coach discount. I still think $115/30 servings is steep, but maybe if you have a great coach it helps. There’s a serious conflict of interest, however between pushing the “program” and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

      I also agree that a lot of people probably experience a nice uptick after using Shakeology after going from the “average” diet. There’s just so much more out there than Shakeology, and feeling great from eating well doesn’t have to be so darn expensive!

  8. Hi Owen,

    So how would you compare the products you listed in this article to your product comparison found here?:

    I’m brand new to this whole meal replacement thing, but I was looking at Vega One, and it seems to me that it has a lot of the same added benefits of probiotics and other vitamins that Shakeology touts, while still at a fraction of the cost. Based on your reviews, the sugar and carb content certainly seems lower, but the fiber and calorie content is the same, while the protein is higher. I guess I’m just wondering if nutritionally speaking, Vega One serves as a full blown meal replacement or more as a protein supplement.

    Thanks in advance for your input!

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      Thanks for the comment. I’d still take something like Garden of Life or Vega One over Shakeology, Herbalife, and Advocare. All of these last three have serious limitations, many of them similar (sucralose, soy, etc…), not too mention poor nutrient ratios.

      To get to your other question, Vega One offers both a protein supplement (Vega Sport I believe) and a meal replacement (Vega One). Some of the “difference” between a protein supplement and meal replacement is just semantics and marketing, but the extra nutrients you are getting really make it a true meal “replacement” in my opinion. You can use any old protein supplement as a meal replacement here and there, but a good ones will give you a healthy profile of vitamins, minerals, and other health-optimizing ingredients. A protein supplement JUST serves to provide extra protein, but a good meal replacement still should put protein first.

  9. I’ve been looking for some good information on this for a while, so thank you. I do have a question. I live in England, so some of the above-mentioned products have expensive postage costs. I’m not vegan and really want something that doesn’t initiate a gag reflex. What are your thoughts on the more accessible USN Ultra Lean Shake and the PhD Diet Whey?
    Sorry, I’m completely new to this meal replacement idea, and I know nothing other than the infomercials. I’ve started considering these shakes due to in part wanting to lose a bit of weight, but more significantly to provide a quick way to increase my low energy levels from a hectic life.
    Cheers in advance for any help!!

    1. Hi Amber,

      Thank you for commenting! I haven’t heard of the shakes that you mention, but it could just be the difference markets (I’m based in the U.S.). As a starting point, I would look to see if anyone carries Garden of Life or Vega One in your local market. It’s a much safer alternative that doesn’t have harmful ingredients. I’ll definitely look into USN Ultra Lean and PhD to see what I can find. A lot of times the inspiration for my research/testing comes from reader comments, so I may be able to post an in depth comparison. I’ll add these two to my list!


    1. Hi Carrie,
      Let me start by saying that I am NOT a doctor (always check with your doctor), but Garden of Life has far better ingredients that other most mainstream supplements on the market. There is actually some nutrient crossover with common prenatal vitamins, so I’d just try and calibrate Garden of Life with your other supplements and – of course – talk to your doctor.

  10. Thanks so much for this!! I was a BB coach and I love the workouts, but the Shakeology was just too expensive. This was so detailed and simple to understand. I’ve been looking for an alternative and this was the exact information I needed.

    Really really appreciate it! 🙂


    1. Hey Kimberly,

      Thanks for the comments and kind words. There is so much “marketing” going on in this space, that it is often quite difficult to clear out the “fluff” and focus on the essentials.
      Best of luck with your health and fitness in 2015!

  11. Hi Owen,

    Just wanted to say thanks for this article, I have actually been using Nature’s Bounty for a few months now and I bought it because I was looking for a meal replacement alternative to Shakeology so it’s nice to know that I made a wise choice. I had also considered Vega One and Garden Of Life (honestly the only reason I went with natures bounty is because it’s easiest for me to get and it was the cheapest) so this was really helpful to find and I will definitely try the other products now that I know I was on the right track of finding a great alternative for meal replacement. I found this article on pinterest btw and have definitely repinned!

    1. Amanda,
      Thank you for the kind words and for the repins! It’s really appreciated. A lot of my readers come from Pinterest, so spreading it that way is always helpful.

      Nature’s Bounty is great. I think Nature’s Bounty, Vega One, Shakeology are all good options. The most important thing is that it’s not Shakeology. A lot of protein supplements/meal replacements have the same gimmicks/ingredients, but these three are ones that I’m really comfortable using interchangeably. Good Luck!

  12. What can I say? Beachbody rocks because it’s a lifestyle not just a drink. For those of you who do just cardio maybe sometimes weights also you do not need a whole bunch of protein unless you want kidney stones in the long run. Protein shakes and meal replacements are two different things. Research well people if you want a healthy lifestyle. Just because I say something it doesn’t mean is true, so study your materials. Good luck to everyone!

    1. Elsa, that’s just it, the 17 grams of protein per serving in Shakeology is just not that impressive when stacked up against other meal replacements AND protein shakes. I guess it is a lifestyle, but it seems to be more about slick marketing than solid science. Just sayin’… If people are having success with Shakeology than more power to them, but there ARE other options out there that 1) have more protein, 2) have “cleaner” ingredients, and 3) are FAR less expensive. I just don’t see the real added value.

      1. Thank you so much for this awesome reviews! Everybody is on this shakeo bandwagon and I just can’t bring myself to do it too. (It’s a little nonconformity coupled with being a broke college kid haha). My bf’s sister is big on it and keeps pushing. While I would love to please her… $140? yeeeeah I can buy food and a cheaper alternative. She is getting some amazing results so more power to her though!

        So I hate to bother you with yet another question but I feel a little overwhelmed. While I do work out and don’t feel I eat horribly, I am looking for a meal replacement (of afternoon snack to mix into smoothies or whatever or something haha) geared more towards weight loss.I already take some whey as a post work out thing but from what I understand it is ok to do both on some days.

        I am so glad someone mentioned ideal shape because I was looking at that too. Thanks for narrowing it down! This is where I am at now: Gold standard Whey, (from your nifty quiz) bodylogix natural whey, and vega one (which seems to be a favorite here).

        Thank you again for this awesome breakdown. With “getting healthy” market growing, its easy to get lost with all the products that keep flooding the market.

        1. Maddy – Happy to help. Whole foods are always the best source of protein. Supplements are just are super lazy way of taking shortcuts. I’m a big offender, hence why I continue to review supplements (and look for the Fountain of Youth). Think about that $140? I know I could create a pretty good green smoothie regimen from whole food sources for that price…

  13. Im so glad that i stumbled upon your site. It really helped me narrow down my options for choosing a better meal replacement. I have one question…if u had to choose between Vega One and Garden of Life for purposes of losing weight, which one is the most effective (solely for weightloss) and would you recommend anything else besides clean eating and exercise. Im torn between these 2 choices and i have about 50lbs to get rid of. Id appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

    1. Hi Nissa,

      I’d go with Vega One because of the lower calorie count. Otherwise they are very similar. I’d recommend doing a colon cleanse as well (there are many different good colon cleanse pills on the market). It’s a good way to start “fresh” with a new diet or lifestyle change. Good luck!

        1. Hi Nissa,

          This is probably too late & you’ve likely lost your 50lbs already 🙂
          I just discovered Intermittent Fasting recently. It’s not a diet, but a lifestyle change.
          For someone like me who was obsessed about my meals (since I was eating every 2-3 hours), this has been such a relief.
          I hope you will do your research on it (tons of material out there on the Net) and I hope it will help you as well.


  14. Thank you for this awesome article!! I wanted to start the 21 day fix but I couldn’t justify paying top dollar for the shakes. I’m buying the Vega One tomorrow. Thank you for saving me money. I can use that money instead to buy new bikinis!

  15. Thanks for the great comparison! Very helpful. Another one I really like is Naturade Vegan Smart. I am not vegan either but I like that it’s available at my local grocery store, and it’s non-gmo. I agree that Nature’s Bounty tastes really good (better than Naturade!) and it’s also at my small town grocery store, but I try to avoid soy products, so the Naturade is a great option for me. But I do hope to try the Garden of Life shake now…I also love their products!

  16. This information has been so helpful. Thank you!! A friend gave me some single serve shakeology packets to try (she’s a coach) and I was disappointed to see (and taste…yeck) that there is stevia in them! I am not a fan at all and think it’s actually one of the worst tasting “sugar substitutes” out there. Before I buy a new meal replacement shake, do any of the ones you mentioned contain any type of sugar substitute? Thanks again for all the great information 🙂

  17. Shakeology and The Vega Nutritional shake make me very ill…very sick to my stomach. I don’t have any known food allergies (I’ve been tested for many allergies). Do you have any idea what could be causing that kind of violent reaction? Thank you for you very informative article. I’d like to try Garden of Life and Nature’s Bounty, but I’m a little timid after my reaction to Shakeology and Vega (other products like Ideal Shape haven’t had this reaction, but I know it’s got unhealthy ingredients). Thank you.

    1. Hi Sisa,

      Sorry about your experience! It could be the stevia, which is common to both. Garden of Life is good option and also Sun Warrior Blend which is another vegan supplement without problematic ingredients.

    2. My old roommate had same reaction. Her body was not able to absorb the vitamins. Maybe check with your Dr.

  18. Thanks so much for doing the heavy lifting on this. I was turned off by the Shakeology pricing. I am happy to say that I just bought the Vega One as a non-GMO and I can’t wait to try it. I bought the Chocolate and the Berry. I’ll keep you posted. I also take several supplements including an organic multivitamin and things like Krill Oil and Turmeric capsules so I think I’m covered.

  19. Hi there, not sure if you’re interested in checking out other shakes at this point, but I’d love to see a comparison of Shakeology with Aloha. I haven’t been able to find any direct comparisons online, but my own bit of research seems to put Aloha pretty high up there with shakeo and some of the others like Vega One and Nature’s Bounty. I’d just really like to see another opinion on it! Thanks for all the info you offer up here as well =)

      1. I would love to see a comparison as well. I have been drinking Shakeology for 10 months and it has been amazing but I am pregnant now and (even though my doctor has approved it) I am looking to do a 100% organic pregnancy. Aloha is certified organic and I just ordered my free trial.

  20. I tried Vega One for a week and developed some stomach issues. Doing a Google search online, I’m not the only one! Quickly discontinued using and feel great again! Will go back to Shakeology – wish it weren’t so costly.

  21. I have been using Garden of Life’s Raw Fit. Is this what you are referring to in the original post as the vegan meal replacement or this raw fit a different variety? I have been purchaing at Sprout’s for $32 (on sale). It is the 1lb container.

    1. Hi Liz,
      Raw Fit is similar, but more of supplement as opposed to a true meal replacement. They both contain many of the same quality ingredients, but you probably shouldn’t treat Raw Fit as a standalone meal replacement. That said, if you add Raw Fit to a shake/smoothie it becomes a defacto meal replacement.

  22. This information was so very helpful for me! As a previous consumer of Shakeology, I’m embarking on my journey of weight loss again and already have so much knowledge on what to do as far as meals and exercise. The protein part was really stumping me as I’ve not added a protein shake yet and have been finding myself very hungry despite the fact that I eat just about every 2 hours. What I’m eating is not always protein so I knew I needed to add protein powder, but didn’t want to just get any protein, nor do I have the funds to take the Shakeology venture again – I loved Shakeology. I’m going to try Garden of Life.
    Again, this was the most comprehensive, unbiased, and informative comparison. Thank you so much!

  23. Hi! I LOVE chocolate shakology. I do not like any of the other flavors. I can’t stand shakes that have that herbal grass like after taste! I am down to my last scoop of shakology and I’m really sad because I can’t afford to spend $100+ dollars a month on it right now. I just turned 40 and my metabolism seems to be slowing down. I also have issues with low energy and sugar cravings. I need to lose about 20 pounds. I am doing the 21 day fix work outs along with walking a couple miles a day. Which one of the recommended shakes do you think would be best for me? Remember, the taste is important! I prefer chocolate, nothing herbal tasting! Thanks! 🙂

  24. I am so glad to read your terrific reviews, I have been on Shakeology way too long. While it has kept me thin, I am over paying so much. My husband had been using Standard Process for a few months, I was just curious what you think of that product? I think it runs about $65 for a 30 day supply.

  25. I’ve been hesitant to jump on the Shakeology bandwagon, primarily b/c of price and also b/c of the cult-like zealots that push the product. For those with the little fitness/nutritional backgrounds, I guess the Beachbody lifestyle might do the trick.

    I am in search of MRP that has a whey base with no soy. Most of your recommendations are plant based proteins. While I am sure these have complete amino acid profiles, it’s hard for me to shake my bodybuilding background. I was thinking of trying of the Garden of Life MRP, and adding 1 scoop of grass fed whey to the mix. i wanted a shake that was one stop shopping, but I don’t think it exists.

    1. Hey Tommy,
      I think you are right that the one stop product you are looking for doesn’t quite exits. I think blending with a good organic whey protein is actually an excellent option.

  26. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I was thhhhiiiiiisssss close to purchasing Shakeology again, but didn’t have the stomach to pay the crazy cost for it. I really did love it, but I knew there had to be something else out there that was just as good, or at least similar and hopefully half the cost. Your article is the best thing I could have stumbled across. I agree, so many of us get warped into the Shakeo/BeachBody Placebo effect because I do love the BeachBody workouts and the shakes, and the marketing is clearly fantastic, but that price was horrific. Thanks for doing the research for us!

  27. Thank you so much!!! I tried using Shakeology my first round of 21 Day Fix which was great, but seriously at that price, and being a single mom with no extra help or financial support, I cannot justify spending $195 !! (my cost with shipping).. I know it replaces a meal, and is “cheaper” then a latte at a coffee shop… but I wasn’t doing “lattes” either ever in my life as I couldn’t afford something like that being the sole income. So! on that note, I have been using Isofemme protein mix and copying recipes for shakes for Shakeology and Body By Vi.. just not sure of the nutrition value (though do love the low carb).. but I am excited to give one of these other brands a try!! Thank you for all your work in breaking this down 🙂

  28. Thank you so much for doing the legwork for me! I have been on the fence about the 21 day fix program only because of the cost of the Shakeology. While grocery shopping tonight, I was looking at Vega One and wondered if it was comparable….and you’ve proven that it is – if not better. Now I’ll have no problem ordering the essentials for the program, and substituting Vega One for the costlier Shakeology.

    Thank you so much!

  29. Thank you so much for this article. Shakeology is just way too expensive to buy alone or keep a Shakeology membership. I am so happy to find the Garden powder. Thank you!!

  30. Thanks for a great foundation. I guess what I am stumbling on is superfoods. I cannot see any other supplement drink that has the number of superfoods Shakeology claims to have. I did notice chlorella, but it’s listed as “whole” rather than pulverized. Our digestive system cannot break down whole chlorella, so it would be about as useful as having dirt in the drink in terms of its nutrients, when consumed whole. So, this casts a shadow of doubt in the quality and quantity of superfoods in Shakeology. If there were some way to confirm the ingredients, that would be useful, yet, these products are not under any regulation.
    But, I digress. Have you found any other superfood blend? Otherwise, I can make my own by getting the individual ingredient at a natural food store…. but, here’s the catch…that would make the cost per serving (when combined with some non Shakeology supplement, very much approach or even eclipse the price of Shakeology!! Ideas? Thoughts?

    I currently add extra: goji berries (dehydrated), maca powder, acai powder, cocoa powder…. all quite expensive.

    1. Hey Ryan,

      Thanks for commenting. I think you were on to something with regards to the Chlorella whole vs pulverized. There’s a lot of superfoods in Shakeology, but not all superfoods are equal and I think they are going for quantity over quality (also over effectiveness).

      Have you thought of supplementing with a green superfood supplement like Amazing Grass Green SuperFood or Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW? It might be more cost effective to invest in a one or two of these supplements and just add them to whatever other non shakeology supplement that you choose.

      Also, Garden of Life has a handful of superfoods included in their meal replacement supplement.

  31. Thank you for the comparison! I’ve been using Garden of Life because i’ve always happy with their supplement products. Also worth mentioning is that Garden of Life is gluten, dairy and soy free. Something I don’t believe the others are, if i’m not mistaken.
    Chocolate with a banana and a few drops of cinnamon oil – yum!

  32. Hi Owen,

    Your review was really helpful in helping me determine an alternative to Shakeology. I just started Body Beast workout and wanted a protein supplement to help with weight loss and muscle building. I went with Garden of Life raw fit. It’s a little grainy but tastes pretty good especially with frozen bananas. Thanks again.

  33. Dear Owen,

    First of all, great review! This shed a lot of light for me as I was looking for an alternative to Shakeology. I do however have a question for you. Have you heard of Ideal Shape protein mix? Throughout my research, it came up several times as the top replacement for Shakeology. What do you think about this? Also, if you had to choose between Vega 1, Nature’s Bounty and Ideal Shape for optimum weight loss, which would you choose after also weighing in the taste? Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Hi Kish,

      Thanks for the comment! I have heard of Ideal Shape and tried it once or twice prior to starting this blog. All I remember from this experience is that I was not overly impressed, although nothing bad to report either. From the ingredients, I’d be a bit wary. Particularly, I’m concerned about their proprietary “hunger blocking ingredients”. In my experience, most “hunger blockers” are the result of chemical modifications with sometimes serious and at least mild second and third order effects (sometimes unforeseen until years later). It also contains sucralose (not ideal sugar replacement), and only has 11 grams of protein. 11 grams is pretty low. It’s also close to $60 a container (last I checked).

      I’d look into Tera’s Organic Whey, Sun Warrior, Garden of Life as well.

      1. Does any of the alternatives you mentioned contain a hunger blocker feature as well?

        Also, as organic protein might be harder to find if not online, what is your take on Optimal Nutrition’s Whey Gold Standard? Thats probably the easiest and most common one to find around here

          1. Kish,

            Optimum and Labrada Lean are both solid – if generic – protein supplements. They are definitely cheaper than Shakeology, but also come with “no frills” included (superfoods, etc…).

            I’d be careful chasing hunger blockers, at chemically modified ones. There are some natural hunger blockers, but many of the chemically modified hunger blockers have some seen and unforeseen side effects. I’m just not comfortable “tricking” my body. I feel the same way about a lot of sugar substitutes.

  34. My daughter and I are both on the weight loss journey and because of our schedules the shakes are a great alternative. I absolutely agree that Shakeology is too expensive so I went to GNC and they sold me on Lean Shake 25. Have you had an opportunity to review and compare this to Shakeology. Your opinion is appreciated

    1. Hi Diane,

      Thanks for commenting! So, Lean Shake 25 is one of the standard GNC alternatives. On its face, there is nothing special about it. I’d personally recommend a supplement with more plant based proteins/ingredients. Lean Shake contains Sucralose which is a common – but not great – sugar alternative. It does offer more fiber and at least 8 grams MORE protein per serving that Shakeology. On the Cons, it has almost double the sodium per serving. Although I haven’t personally tried it (I’ve added it to my list to personally review), it’s a mixed bag.

      Overall, you are definitely getting better value, both on a cost per serving AND protein per serving basis, but the quality of protein and other ingredients may not be better. Again, I’d try and look for organic whey protein or plant-based alternatives (hemp, rice, pea blends).

      1. Hi Owen

        Thank you so much for your review…didn’t realize that there were so many of us out there all looking for the right replacement without getting ripped off. I think I’ll first try Nature’s Bounty and see how that goes. Again, my sincere appreciation for your time

        1. Good luck, Diane! Yes, there are lot of people in the same boat. I get so many comments and emails every day. I get it because I had the same questions/struggles a few years ago which led me to create this blog.

  35. Hey bro,
    Thanks for all the research here. Im a bit of a nut when it comes to quality. Im willing to pay for the best, but this whole shakeology thing raised some flags for me. I for one know that beachbody’s prices are horrendous but their programs sublime. However they do exploit their nutritional supplement buyer’s with extreme pricing and the subliminal idea that you wont succeed without it. Im doing fort bennings prep workout for ranger school for 90 days and among a lot of crossfit workouts comes old school army pt with fast long distance running and carrying weights up to 90 lbs in a ruck sack over 18 miles in under 5 hours. This said i need nutrition and im willing to pay for the best so i can be the best for the army. Youve pretty much sold me after all the research ive done but i do just have a few questions.
    1. I bored you with this long story so i can ask whether its good for me to do meal replacements when i have such a heavy cardio schedule, will i end up just lossing weight anyways since i run roughly 10 miles a week at a 6 min mile pace. I do a lot of core and crossfit lifting with my program.
    2. I understood the comparison chart you made but if im running and lifting like crazy and i wonder, is it better for me to have more fats and sodium. Im only 157 lbs and i want to hit 165 before the year ends?
    3. Proteins important but what about the other things shakeology promises.
    A. The detoxification process
    B. Antioxidants like flavanoids and anthocyanins that will kill of harmful free radicals and aid in slowing cell degeneration and improve the immune system.
    C. Digestive Enzymes (this is important to me because i have awful acid reflux i take papaya suppliments for)
    D. Prebiotics for supporting adsorption and aiding freindly bacteria.
    E. Better resulting in cognitive areas. (I spend a lot of time in classrooms studying S.H.A.R.P and other required army classes that produce “Death by powerpoint”
    F. Vitamins for energy, heathly skin, and a general good mood.

    I just wanna say if garden of life or vega one can give me these results then im all in. Which would you recommend for the ease of a quick meal since im out the door at 4:30 am for my workout but will help me gain the most muscle weight?

    Sorry for the long comment, i just feel your a guy i can really trust. This is really important to me and it would mean the world if you could help me do the research because im just not good at this stuff.
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Yogi,

      Thanks for the comment! Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you, but I wanted to answer it thoroughly. Thanks for your service!

      1 & 2) It sounds like you are not trying to lose weight. A “meal replacement” really is just a name. If you take a meal replacement AND eat breakfast, it’s not a meal replacement but a supplement. It sounds like you are more on the “supplementing” path. It’s all about calories in and calories out. I’d never recommend taking additional sodium as that will just lead to water weight gain. A few more “good fats” might not hurt in your case.

      3) Vega One is a good alternative because it offers similar bonus ingredients that you mention (like Shakeology, but at a fraction of the price). Check out the full ingredient list of Vega One vs Shakeology to get a sense of this. I know for a fact that Vega One has plenty of probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants included. Other options are to supplement with a good multivitamin + energy + a superfood blend powder + protein powder. You can turn a lot of common protein supplements into a Shakeology or Vega One, just by adding these things to your shake or supplementing separately.

      Hope this helps!

  36. Thanks for this review. I’m almost ready to start working on changing “me” for better health. (2 young kids, hubby with long/variable work hours and military requirements) I have a number of friends doing Shakeology that really like it, but I was finding price to be one of the sticking points for me. I’m glad to have some other options to consider now for changing my eating habits.

  37. I’ve read your article and everyone’s contents and I’m still so undecided. I just wait my coach membership with BB and loved the shakeology but it was just too darn expensive. I just had a baby 4 mths ago and am looking to lose weight and gain muscle. I am doing the 21day fix extreme and going to the gym for weight lifting. I also want this as a mean reinvestment. Which one would do all of these things plus taste the best in chocolate? You are awesome for putting all of this together and assisting us further BB members lol

    1. Hey Amber,
      I’d recommend Vega One as the most comparable Shakeology alternative. Also check out Garden of Life. I think they both have chocolate versions. Taste is such a personal thing that I’d recommend trying a few samples of each first, just to compare.

  38. Hi Owen – having read your review I plumped for the Garden of Life rather than Vega One simply because the cost here in the UK for Vega was going to be roughly £100 whereas I could get Garden of Life for £26 🙂 I’m wondering about the calorie levels and protein and carb quantities though – given these are twice as high as the vega (and shakeology for that matter) is it recommended to take one scoop rather than two – or does that defeat the object? If you have any views or know what other people tend to do I’d be really grateful to know. Thanks again. Nic

    1. Hey Nic,
      Thanks for the comment. I personally use and recommend two scoops to get the full benefit. This is especially true if you are treating Garden of Life as a “meal replacement” and not “just a supplement”. If you are just supplementing, stick to one scoop. Calorie levels are higher, but if you are genuinely replacing meals, it should be fine. This is the one “negative” with GoL. It just requires a little more due diligence on your part. As I tell people all the time, as long as you can account for your calories (through consumption and exercise) you should be fine.

      At the minimum, you are not putting a garbage supplement into your body… which is better than an artificially low calorie count.

  39. I have been on the 21 day fix off and on since April. Solid program and I’m happy with it but wanted to get more protein (reds) in and have read how shakeology is good for that.
    I had a few samples and they taste so great!
    I got a few samples of Vega One (emailed them from their webpage and asked for samples) and I tried a packet of chocolate Vega One last week and it seems I’m allergic to something in it.
    My tongue started swelling up and I felt all strange. I took some Benadryl and threw the other sample in the trash. Right now I’m scared to try anything new but not sure what I may be allergic to in the Vega One.
    Now I’m feeling like it’s just plain whey or shakeology for me as I’m pretty nervous about the swelling.
    Any thoughts on that?

    1. Sorry to hear that Michele! I’d carefully check the ingredients. Both Shakeology and Vega One have a lot of Super Foods that some of us aren’t used to, but can be allergic to.

      As an alternative, I’d look into Garden of Life, Orgain Protein, Sun Warrior or something similar. For a good straight whey supplement, I’d recommend Tera’s Organic Whey.

  40. Hello-

    Between Vega One and Bounty’s Life, which do you prefer, as I am looking for a full meal replacement and honesty, if it’s possible, the most healthiest in terms of lack of soy, sodium, and sugar. While looking at your chart, the two are pretty comparable, however, I would like your opinion regarding which you’d use as a full meal replacement and why.

    Thank you so much for your time and help!

    1. Hi Sofia,

      Thanks for the comment! I’d try Vega One first. Any protein supplement can be turned into a “meal replacement” if you consume it as such i.e. mix nature’s bounty with berries, kale, etc.. in a shake. Still, Vega One is a more “complete” option out of the box. It has a lot of the “extras” that you’d need to manually add if you were just using nature’s bounty. It really depends on how much work you can do on your end. Vega One is a better option for a complete “on the go” option.

      Hope that helps!

  41. Thank you so much for all the comparisons! I was on the fence about shakeology, but my inner non-conformist is not a fan of over marketed mlms. Just ordered my garden of life off of amazon and can’t wait to try it!

    1. Hey Kyli,
      Your comment made me laugh a bit. I feel you. My “inner nonconformist” is what led me to create this site. I was tired of hearing regurgitated talking points from “distributors” and “coaches” with little practical knowledge outside of the products they were promoting.

  42. Hi Owen,
    I’m reading all these comments and while they’re great, I’m getting confused! I, like everyone else, want to hop on the Shakeology bandwagon, but can’t afford to. I need protein and veggies in my life and am looking to lose at least 50 pounds. I’m hoping to find a delicious shake to have in the morning while driving to work. Low sodium and sugar is key…I’ve got enough bloat! Can you point me in a clear direction? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Jenn,

      I hear you! My best advice is to experiment with some of the alternatives I mention. They are lower cost and it’s worth finding out what works for your body. It terms of similarity, I’d go with Vega One as the most similar option to Shakeology (at a much better price). It’s low sodium and has plenty of protein and veggies (among many other benefits).

  43. I drink Vega One and get it at Costco for $29.95 for 30 servings. Just a heads up for those that have a Costco membership. I like to blend it with green tea, half a banana and 1/4 cup raw walnuts (and ice). Thanks for this list – I was glad to see Vega One on the list.

  44. So, I’ve been on the 21 Day Fix eating plan for almost 9 weeks (3 rounds) and it does work very well. I’ve lost 16 lbs. and I feel great. I am an avid gym goer, but was not losing weight due to menopause, thyroid issues and probably eating too many carbs. I’ve been doing the Shakeology as well, however, it is quite expensive and I have canceled my shipments. I also have had some “digestive” issues with it. First few weeks, I had diarrhea with it and now I’m constipated!!!! Also, it has a huge amount of Vitamin A which I have heard can cause some health problems due to too much antioxidants going into one’s body. So, I do enjoy the shakes in the morning very much and mix with fruit, etc. however, between the cost and the digestive issues, I’ve been researching alternative shakes. I think I’m going to try the Nature’s Bounty one because the ingredient list seems to be better and there is no Vitamin A or Beta Carotene listed on it. I have a question, can it be mixed with fruits and extracts, and such like the Shakeology is? Thank you so much for this info!!

    1. Hi Karen,
      Thanks for sharing your story. A lot of “meal replacement” supplements go heavy on extra vitamins, even if they are redundant beyond a certain point. I would try something simple, like Nature’s Bounty or Organic Whey and then slowly build off of there. Everyone’s body is different! You could try Vega One as well, but they have lots of extra vitamins and antioxidants as well, so you might experience similar issues (vitamin A, etc…).

    1. Stella, it’s a tough choice! I actually have both in my cupboard above the stove right now. I’d order a small sample of both. I think Amazon has sample packets. Vega One probably has a more similar taste/texture to Shakeology, while Garden of Life is less processed and has more whole food sources.

  45. Hi Owen,
    Thank you for the article, I really appreciate it! I have been using Shakeology for 3 months now and although I find it useful as a meal replacement I don’t think it’s worth the price. I think I’m going to try Vega One. My question is do you recommend taking a multi-vitamin with Vega One or not? I know with Shakeology I did not need to.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hey Susana,

      I still take my multivitamin, although I probably don’t need it. If you didn’t take it with Shakeology, you won’t need to with Vega One. Vega has almost all (and more) minerals/vitamins as Shakeology.

  46. Hi Owen!

    After two months of using Vegan Chocolate Shakeology, I knew I couldn’t continue simply because of the price. Sadly, I am a very selective eater and do not get a lot of nutrition from my food due to this. Most veggies literally gag me. I loved the taste of Shakeology, it kept me full until the next meal, I started growing fingernails and I had enough energy for my 21 day fx extreme workouts, so I knew something was working, I just can’t afford to continue it. I was so pleased to find your site and all your exhaustive research while trying to find a Shakeology alternative. After reading all your recommendations, I decided to go with Vega One chocolate. I knew I was in trouble when I removed the lid and the smell of it nearly gagged me – very veggie like smell. Anyway, I’ve been using it for a week now. Each day I’m adding more stuff to try and stomach the whole glass – honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder. I use almond milk and blend with ice. I do need vitamins and protein to continue my workouts, cannot take vitamin supplements due to digestive issues, so the shakes are very attractive to me for giving me the nutrition I need. Can you recommend another brand simply based on my taste issues? Also, do you know of a place where I can order samples of these shakes before committing to the whole canister? Thank you so much for your help!

  47. Thank you for these reviews! This is very helpful information. I was just wondering if you have tried or reviewed Plexus. It seems to be all the rage now.

  48. I am doing the 21 day fix program and bought the Vega One nutritional shake in chocolate (based on your reviews) and was wondering if it counts as one protein container, just like shakeology?

    1. Hi Nicollette! Servings per container are slightly different, depending on the size of container you ordered. As long as you have the ratio’s right, you should be fine. I think Vega One uses 41 grams per scoop as a serving size and Shakeology uses 42 (on the most common bags/containers).

      1. nicollette saint cyr

        Thank you, Owen.
        I like the Vega One but am having trouble with figuring out a way to make it less “chalky”. Any suggestions?


  49. Hi Owen,
    I have been on the 21 day fix for 6 weeks and bought Shakeology chocolate vegan first from BB, then I got some of Ebay for $90, much cheaper. But i really can’t afford $90 every month. I am however addicted to the taste and it is my treat for the day. So the important part for me is that it tastes like Shakeology chocolate vegan, I hate high sugar taste and artificial sweeteners. Which would you say was best for m, I also want a high protein shake without any bad ingredients, please can you let me know which alternative you think would be best for me.
    Cheers Suezy

  50. I’ve been considering getting VegaOne shakes. However, I’ve been torn wanting to know if there’s something better. I’ve seen all the ranting and raving about shakeology and it kills me because of how expensive it is. Knowing that VegaOne is very similar, if not better for my goals makes me feel a little less guilty for wanting to buy it. Thank you. 🙂

    1. It’s whatever you are comfortable with! I personally think Shakeology is far to overpriced for most of us, but if it helps you lose weight and the community enthusiasm works….to each his/her own.

  51. I am very new to the idea of a meal replacement shake and I just have a simple (I think) question. I am NOT a chocolate shake fan so if I used vanilla and added fruit to it, does this highly effect the sugar content? I’m fairly certain I need a shake to taste like fruit in order to be a consistent user.

  52. Greetings and thank you for this thorough review of shakeology alternatives. I have not yet ordered and/or used Shakeology but have been viewing the vegan shakeology as I have been looking for a protein powder that does not contain whey, dairy or sugar substitutes. I have found many that do not contain the whey and/or dairy, but my other concern is sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols. I am finding it very difficult to locate a product that does not contain stevia, aspartame, xylitol, malitol etc., as I have a severe allergy to these sugars. I almost killed myself from eating a Quest bar. I would love to try the Vega One, but the stevia is an issue for me. If you have any further suggestions, please advise.

  53. Hi Owen! I wanted to thank you soooo much for this article! I like to know my options especially because financially my budget is tight. That was my only obstacle in starting my fitness program was paying the high shakeology price, but now that I know I can go another route, I’m sold!

    Thanks again!

  54. I just got my order of Shakeology and I am ready to try this but to keep going with the price of this scares me. I am a penny pincher with 2 kids who are involved in Dance (very expensive). But what I was wondering was I normally take vitamins from GNC and was told since I was starting Shakeology that I wouldn’t need to continue taking my active pack of vitamins. Is that true with Vega One also?

  55. Thank you for the whole story. I have used Shakeology in the past as I was a Beachbody coach. I don’t like the whole pyramid scheme. Beachbody products are good but there are very comparable products out there that are easier to obtain and are more cost affective. I stopped using shakeology and switched to V-Core protein powder (have used Nature’s Bounty and Raw in the past) and have the same results using these more cost affective ones at a much lower cost. People need to read the ingredients on the labels and compare. Take the time it is well worth the effort especially when you are on a budget.

  56. Thank you for providing a well-rounded review that didn’t just bash Shakeology! I’m doing the “is shakeology really worth it” research right now and it is so hard to find a review that presents information like this instead of just being haters. That being said, I have to agree with you – Shakeo is just crazy expensive because you’re being sold a lifestyle. Personally, I think the product itself is good, but I am really struggling to pay out the $120 a month for it when I think I could get the nutrition elsewhere!


  57. This is a great article. Thank you for taking the time to share this. If currently using Shakeology, but want to cut the cost, but still following the BB nutrition plan and fitness plans – would you go with Garden of Life or Vega One? When it comes down to those two…what’s your 1st pick?

    1. Judging by my purchasing behavior, it’s Vega One… I still love Garden of Life, it’s just a bit less processed (both a pro and con). In terms of taste/texture, Vega has the edge for me.

  58. As a medical herbalist I am drawn to Shakology not because it is a protein shake or meal replacement, but because of the amount of very high quality herbal medicinals contained inside. In my opinion this is what cuts shakeology above the rest. This isn’t even mentioned in your article so I feel shakeology isnt being fully represented. Really, you get what you pay for. If you just want some protein or calories to replace a meal these might be fine, but if you want a very high quality shake with superfoods and medicinal herbs that have been used for thousands of years, there is no comparison to shakeology and the price is very reasonable for the amount and quality of ingredients.

    1. Hi Megan – Thanks for the comment, but I disagree. You don’t always get what you pay for. Sometimes products are overpriced and over-marketed.

      Regarding the herbal ingredients: 1) other shakes do have many of the same ingredients (Vega One, for example), and 2) at what point do we reach diminishing returns? In the fitness industry I’m so sick and tired of someone finding a rare herb/mineral and inflating it to the moon! Most of this stuff is marketed BEFORE it is independently tested.

      For people looking to get healthy on a budget (most of us), there are more important things to worry about than whether or not your supplement has Schisanda. $130 + all the other Beachbody merchandise/upsells is not necessary.

      Worst case scenario, you can always individually supplement with any of those “rare” ingredients if they are that impactful to your health.

  59. Hi Owen! Great article! Which do you recommend? By budget is extremely tight and ive used all my free samples of Shakeology! Im getting married October 2017 and want to lose weight. I have been using shakeology for my breakfast every morning! Look forward to hearing from you

    1. Hi Karen! Most people coming from Shakeology find Vega One to be a very comparable supplement. I’d try this out first! I believe you can order some cheap samples. Orgain and Garden of Life are two other similar options.

  60. Dear Owen,

    I was so excited to see someone did a Shakeology caparison! I really like the product but refuse to pay (at this print) $129.00 for 24 pkts.! The product is way overpriced, especially when comparing similar products.
    The best choice for me is Vega One, which is available at my local co-op right down the street,,,and, it’s on sale! Woot!

    Thank you so much for compiling this information and making it so easily accessible to those of us in search of health alternatives.

  61. Hi Owen,

    Thanks so much for your review. I was researching a lot and found this site to be the best. I used Shakeology for a month and was happy but simply cannot justify the cost. I switched directly from that to Nature’s Bounty and since using it I have become painfully bloated 🙁 Looking online it seems that inulin can be the culprit. Some of the things I have read about this ingredient were a little scary, but I know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet! Have you ever heard of gas/bloating caused from inulin? Most of the products you reviewed contain inulin with the exception of Garden of Life. Am I correct? It’s too bad because I bought a month supply of Nature’s Bounty and now can’t use it. I will be trying Garden of Life next. Thanks again!

  62. Thanks so much for this review. I was debating on the Vega One as I needed a dairy-free alternative and wasn’t sure how all of these supplements compared. Ordering a sample from Amazon right now.

  63. Hello will vega one help my digestion as much as shakeology? I used to take shakeology and lived be way I felt and it improve day digestive system a lot. Is vega one digestive enzymes/probiotics the same as shakeology? I had to stop shakeology because I couldn’t afford it anymore. I might try vega one vanill. Thanks

    1. Maria, I know Vega also has digestive aids, however, everyone is different. I’d test it out to see how you feel. Worst case you go back to Shakeology, best case, you save money.

  64. I am wondering what your thoughts on Nutrfusion Phood would be. It seems like a good meal replacement alternative. I am looking for something I can do in a shaker bottle and not have to use a blender for. I just wonder how well it compares to the Shakeology. Thanks

  65. Thank you for this article. I started Shakeology last year and just could not afford it anymore. Then I started looking for an alternative and came across your article. I decided to do the Natures Bounty. I LOVE IT!!! Been doing it for 7 months now. My favorite is the chocolate. I add a banana, crushed ice, fresh ground peanut butter. I blend it and it is just like ice cream! I also love the price! I can buy this at my local Walgreens. They run specials all the time. Buy one get one free. They run about $18.

    Thank you again for the great information!!

  66. I must say, very well-written article. I appreciate your perspective in not necessarily “bashing” the beachbody product but simply provide OTHER alternatives! Wohoo! I was just NOT sold on the idea of paying so much for a marketed supplement and I went searching. I found this article to be very informative and just letting us who want to change their lifestyle possible instead of breaking the bank. So thanks!!! I am looking into trying Vega One!

  67. THANK YOU for this review. Wow, is it ever hard to find information from people not invested in “coaching” you into what amounts to a monthly $180CAD Shakeology bill in this highly down-turned market.

    I think that if Beach Body really cared about people’s health, and really believed that Shakeology was the panacea, they would make it widely accessible. I wonder if they’ve ever done the math on charging half the price and servicing twice the customer base?

    At the end of the day, BB is merely a multi-level marketing company like any other, and they’re in it to make a buck. BUT… unlike other MLM’s… BeachBody has created an army of untrained, uneducated ‘coaches” who, simply by paying to become MLM distributors for BB, have auto-magically morphed into a role where the implication is that they are qualified to give health and fitness advice to others (even though these “coaches” might just as well be selling kitchen products or make-up for all they know about health and fitness). It’s absurd.

    I was part of a facebook page for one of Canada’s top coaches and REGULARLY on that page, “coaches” would write in to ask questions about whether their customer with high blood pressure or pregnancy or whatever other condition could safely consume Shakeology – as though the other “coaches” knew the first sweet thing about dispensing medical advice. And they would have whole conversations about the answer, without ever once mentioning that the customer needed to get that answer from a medical professional. I got so turned off by that, I quit the whole thing.

    Anyway… I really, really LOVE Shakeology Chocolate, and so does my very picky teenage son who hates most foods on the planet and is very hard to feed. No matter, I cannot in good conscience spend almost $200 of my family’s grocery budget on something that lasts 3 weeks for 2 of my 6 family members. We tried Vega One, which we both detested. Thanks for the suggestions of Orgain, Nature’s Bounty and Garden of Life. I think I’ll start with whichever of those I can get at Planet Organic and go from there.

  68. I love Nature’s Bounty. The company also issues coupons online at and in the Sunday paper periodically. Not to mention, it often goes on sale BOGO free at Walgreens and CVS. You can’t beat that!

  69. What kind of recipes do you suggest using with these products? How would you prepare them if you wanted to use them instead of shaekology? thanks!

    1. Hey Susana – I actually just released a little recipe ebook (10 free) which you can see in the sidebar. If you like (and download) the free recipes, I do have a full list of alternative recipes.

  70. Love love love this article and the educated comment section. This is my first time to add to a comment section, so here goes:
    I have been using shakeology in my green and fruit smoothie thinking it had the best ingredients. I’ve recently become less infatuated with it, especially after reading your article. I discovered Omnihealth at Walmart which touts itself as a generic sub for shakeO. I like the “superfoods” research and believe it’s what my 52 yr old female body needs. I’m a suppliment nut: probiotics, krill oil, tumeric, sulfer, vitD, magnesium plus my shakeO. I’m thinking I’m going overboard and perhaps defeating my empty nest health mission?? Your thoughts?? AND What do you think or know about Omnihealth? Thanks in advance. You seem to have really done the research. Love your unbiased opinions based on that research. (Ps about to cancel my beachbody coach discount…!)

    1. Hey Alison – I haven’t tested Omnihealth yet so I can’t comment on that. Regarding supplementation: here’s my thoughts. I personally use supplements. They make my life easier (and I LOVE turmeric). HOWEVER, eating the right whole foods is ALWAYS the best solution. Supplements are short cuts. A lot of nutrients can get lost in the processing of supplements, especially the way many supplements are mass produced. I think there is a growing movement (perhaps years down the road) towards small batch production.

      Bottom line: taking supplements can be a great way to get nutrients, but eating healthy whole food sources should be the foundation.

  71. Hi Owen,
    I’m like many of the above folks. Currently drinking Shakeology and really like it, buuuuut, really having a hard time with the cost. I am leaning toward Vega One, but was curious of your thoughts on the Protein shakes from Costco- Premier Protein?
    I am following the 21DF and have lost 10 lbs in 40 days but still have 20 to go. Not sure I can continue with the cost though. Thoughts? Comments?
    Thank you for all the information. Very helpful!

    1. Hey Nicole – I’d recommend Vega One for the most similar experience. Haven’t personally experienced the Costco brand, so I can’t comment here. Congrats on the weight loss! Just remember that it’s a lifestyle and it doesn’t have to equal a car payment.

    1. I like Amazing Grass super greens (currently in my cupboard), haven’t tried the Amazing Meal but I’ll add it to my list. I definitely think it hits all the superfood boxes at first blush.

  72. I see that the Garden of Life Brand is also Gluten Free; bonus!

    What I need to know is 1) Is it gritty or does it blend up smooth in a high powered blender? and 2) Is the taste over-powering or can it easily take on the taste of whatever you put in it?

    I was considering trying the non-flavored so that I can make it however I want. You know, endless possibilities and all 🙂

  73. I found this article to be very helpful. Thank you so much! I have never tried Shakeology but have friends that swear by it. I about croaked when I saw how much it cost! After reading a few of your articles I decided to try Vega One. I liked it but the Stevia aftertaste bothered me. I added 1 tablespoon of PB Fit peanut butter powder I found at Sam’s to a single scoop of the chocolate Vega One. It covered up that aftertaste very nicely. I really enjoy drinking it every morning ?

  74. Excellent article. Thank you so much for posting it. I had been contemplating jumping on the Shakeology bandwagon but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that high price for a protein shake. Your comparisons cover all the key points and have helped me decide on my next purchase. Very well written, thanks again.

  75. Thank you for this article. I read this back in June, when I knew I wasn’t going to renew my Shakeology subscription. I saved it on my phone so I had a list of recommended products to try. While I loved Shakeology, I couldn’t justify paying $130 a month for it.
    I tried Vega One, but found it made me constipated (or at least the one I bought had a very low fiber content – considerably lower than Shakeology). I tried Orgain Slim, and while I liked it, I did not like that it required 2 rounded scoops and only had about 10 servings in such a small container.
    Right now I’m trying Garden of Life Raw Meal and so far I love it. This one is 20g of Protein per scoop and 120 calories and 5g fiber (20%), which is perfect for me.
    I have it in the afternoon during the 2:30-3p “I want to eat everything” slump.
    I have been mixing it in my Magic Bullet, but I’m finding it to be very grainy. Should I be mixing this in my blender instead?
    Thanks again for writing such a great article. It really saved me.

    1. Jonelle, So glad you found something you love without having to renew a subscription for it. Yes, try blending it if you are finding it grainy, or adding some healthy fat, avocado, coconut oil to help with consistency, even a half of banana might help with that.

  76. When I saw this article on google I was curious as to your findings & I wondered how many posts before a salesperson comes in to talk about the wonders of Shakeology.
    I tried the 21 day fix last year & had successful results. The vegan chocolate is by far the best tasting vegan choc meal replacement out there IMO. Garden of Life doesn’t taste as good but it is much more healthy (it’s organic which is extremely important to me (Shakeology isn’t) & costs less. Arbonnes (organic) vanilla is the best tasting out there IMO. I’ll stick to GOL. Thanks for the great article! I’ll keep looking for updates.

    1. Owen Alexander

      Hi Martina,

      Thanks for your question! Vega One is higher in fiber than Vega and has the added bonus of omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics. In terms of recommendations, it depends on what your needs are. If you’re already taking a good probiotic, have a diet high in healthy fats, and don’t need the added fiber, you can stick to regular Vega. Enjoy!

  77. Thanks so much for making this article. I really appreciate all the tools and information you gave. It takes time to do research like this and you took the time to share it with others. I’ve been searching for nice meal shakes for years.
    This makes it simple and easy to weigh out all the pros and cons.
    Thanks for your help!

  78. Christine Gelmini

    I agree the cost of shakeology is just killing me. I had already tried vegan one and yes it is the closest thing to shakeology and I can get it at my local sams store at a fraction of the cost of shakeology. The only sad thing is I loved the cafe latte flavored shakeology. Have you come across a copycat recipe?
    It’s such a shame they have to do a mlm structure. I love the workout programs and I do like the shakeology, but couldn’t it be so much cheaper without the mlm?

    1. Owen Alexander

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for your question! It might not taste exactly the same as the cafe latte Shakeology, but you could try adding some instant coffee to the Vega One chocolate, vanilla, or natural flavors. Enjoy!

  79. I’m so glad that even though it’s now years later, I’m finally stumbling across this article!! It is exactly what I need. Owen – have you done any updates, or would you say this is still current? All of your information is so helpful!!

    (PS – The whole “coach” thing kills me. The ones who I know personally, are nothing like what I imagine a real nutritionist to be.)

  80. Owen thank you so much for such a thorough review. I was looking into an alternative to shakeology because I felt it was ridiculous to keep paying $129 for the product. I’ve been looking into Plant Fusion Lean and Sun Warrior brands as a replacement I would really love your opinion on those products.

    1. Owen Alexander

      Hi Gabriela,

      Thanks for your question! I haven’t tried either one of these proteins, but I can say that I like to keep things simple and Sun Warrior looks to have a far shorter, simpler list of ingredients. Furthermore, the cost is about $1 per serving whereas a serving of Plant Fusion Lean costs $2. Having said that, it’s not worth much if it doesn’t work for you. Sometimes, you have to try a few different brands until you find the right one for you. Good luck!

  81. I’m looking for a good, filling protein powder with quality vitamin supplementation and good ingredients. I took your quiz and was recommended the Vega which I’ve used before. It was pretty good, I must say, and I like its filling nature. I was wondering what you thought of Purely Inspired’s Organic Protein. When I was comparing at the store, I was mainly concerned about it containing ingredients I didn’t understand. I didn’t go with Vega because the ingredients didn’t seem as good. I’d love to know your opinion.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks so much for your question! I have not tried Purely Inspired’s Organic Protein, but I had a look at the ingredients list and nutritional information. It’s not a horrible choice, but I have some observations: It contains carrageenan as a thickener. While not inherently bad, the carrageenan used in the food industry is highly processed and has been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation. You may have noticed that it also contains a vitamin/mineral blend. These are not naturally-occurring; they are made in a lab. It’s basically a multivitamin. I prefer to get my nutrients from natural sources. Vega One is made from whole foods only so you know the nutrients you’re getting are from the ingredients themselves and not added after the fact. It also contains maca which is great for hormone regulation in women. Again, Purely Inspired isn’t horrible, but if I had to choose between these two, I’d go with Vega One. Hope this helps!

  82. Have you ever tried the Green Foods True Vitality protein? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts if so.

    1. Hi Lydia,

      Thanks for your question! I have not tried Green Foods True Vitality Protein, but I had a look at the ingredients and nutritional information. It looks like a good one to me. The only thing I can’t comment on is taste.

  83. Hi,
    I’m currently using chocolate shakeology and love the taste and blend but of course the price is outrageous. I like how the Vega sounds, and you cover everything about it except the taste! How would you compare it to shakeology?

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Taste is often a matter of subjection, but most people I talk to love the taste of Vega shakes as much as other brands (if not more). The great thing about Vega is that you know you are getting quality ingredients. You can always experiment with flavors of Vega quite easily, there are even one shake packs available so you can sample each kind and then choose your favorite. Thank you for the question, let me know how it goes!

  84. I was very interested in the Vega One based on your article, but I have found that the prices and contents of the product seems to have changed. Most of the places I have gone sell it for $54.99 and it is only 10 servings per container. But a big downfall for me is that I have to keep sodium extremely low when possible – I was impressed when you said it was only 30 mg, but even using the link you provide, it says the sodium content is 242mg – that’s a big difference. So I’m back to square one trying to figure out what supplement to get (probably Natures Bounty).

  85. Looking for a replacement and need advice:

    First, I LOVE BB workouts. They do work and they’re perfect for me. I USED to love Shakeo. It’s the only thing I’ve ever found to get rid of my bloating and it helps my digestive issues. High fiber diets do not work for me and neither does Sculpt and Cleanse. But Shakeology new recipe has put me in urgent care twice. After ultrasounds, an MRI, CT scan and colonoscopy, discovered Shakeology was causing my issue: extreme headaches, brain fog, abdominal pain so intense I couldn’t walk for several days. Off Shakeo and feeling great but despite following the clean eating plan, I now look a few months pregnant. I need an alternative!

  86. I was curious if you had any suggestions for knock-off substitutions for the things they use in the Ultimate 21 day Reset. I know the mineralize is just Himalayan pink salt water, but I’m not sure what the following are…
    1. Power Greens Powder. A combination of 6 powerful greens, including kale, matcha, cucumber, celery, spinach and chlorella.*
    2. Optimize. A proprietary enzyme blend and added camu-camu to help support nutrient absorption and bioavailability.*
    3. Soothe. Combines two incredible botanicals: aloe vera and turmeric, which have been traditionally used to support digestive health and the body’s response to oxidative stress.*
    4. Detox. Formulated with key ingredients including Chia, Flax and Turmeric, traditionally used to help support the body’s natural detoxification processes and healthy liver function.*
    5. Revitalize. Probiotics and prebiotics which help support beneficial flora in the digestive tract.*

    I definitely would like to reboot my system, flush out the bad and get a fresh start… but I can’t afford the 199$ plus shipping price tag they expect. As someone who’s in love with your suggestion of VegaOne I was hoping you could help some more! Thank you

    1. In general, I just like to deconstruct the different packages. For example, for probiotics, Ultimate Flora is a great option. Same thing the greens, Vega has a Greens supplement but also look at Amazing Grass (pretty cheap, relatively). For turmeric, I take daily supplements (it’s just such an awesome nutrient), but there are SO many affordable options out there.

  87. Karen Schuster

    Thanks so much for this article. Super helpful and very detailed! Unfortunately Vega One seems to have changed its formula and now has a LOT more sodium than before… It’s gone from 1% daily value to 10% daily value… In case you want to update your chart. Thanks again!

  88. Owen, thanks for the research,
    Like everyone else, I came here looking for a cheaper alternative to Shakeology. The fact that something is more expensive does not make it better. There are many many reviews on-line, the majority are paid for by one of the other shakes. So finding one that isn’t, takes some time.

    My complaint with Shakeology, is the price. What I continue to find is people, as well as myself, trying to compare anything and everything to shakeology. And the methodology we end up using seems to try to favor any aspect of an alternative product so we can justify switching. If I had one thing to say about Shakeology, it is that when you are the best, this is how people will treat you, trying to find anything that is close. (and I will always keep doing this myself).

    I have been taking Shakeology for over 3 years, every single day, with the exception, of taking 1 week off every 4 months, and 4-5 times I have taken other shakes for a full month.

    I came to this review, for Garden of Life, that is the next product I want to test against Shakeology for a month. I liked your write up, but then when I saw that you had Vega-One, as your number one option(and to me, it is the best alternative I have found to shakeology, I was disappointed.) I have used Vega One, and Vega One sport. I thought 310 shake gave me the worst results(it was no better than something like slimfast or boost for me). I could tell each time I switched for a full month… I could tell within 3 days, my body was behaving differently. I did not have the same energy, I started to crave more foods, and my mind was not as sharp. I still think Vega one, is better than nothing… but for me personally… Shakeology is 2-3 times as goods as far as the results go. This is just my experience.

    You get what you pay for… and as I said above.. I will always keep looking for alternatives.. because I know at some point, shakeology will change, and I will have to find something new.

    Love the article, my only criticism, is the same one I have for myself.. We are focused on the Price as our main criteria when doing these comparisons(even if we dont fully admit it)… and I believe it compromises the true evaluation… Kudos to shakeology, but I am rooting like crazy for someone to come up with a true alternative that is cost effective. The reality is.. until someone makes something better… We are going to be stuck with high shakeology prices.

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