We tell you it's a meal replacement shake. We tell you it's more than just a protein shake. But, what are the actual ingredients? Let's take a look.
First, just a couple of things to note. I'm using the chocolate flavor as my example.
Second, I'm starting with ingredients after the typical nutrition facts. You all know what those mean.
Folic Acid: It's normally found in foods such as dried beans, peas, lentils, oranges, whole-wheat products, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach. Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Benefits include: reduced likelihood of Spina Bifida in newborns, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
Biotin: Found in eggs, organ meats, nuts, nut butters, soybeans and other legumes, whole grains and cereals, cauliflower, bananas and mushrooms. It's a complex vitamin B known as Vitamin H that helps the body convert food into energy. Biotin can thicken hair, nails and beautify Skin. It contributes to healthy metabolic, nerve, digestive and cardiovascular functions. Biotin’s primary purpose is to help break down fatty cells and help metabolism.
Pantothenic acid: Found in foods like mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, legumes, salmon and collard greens. This ingredient (Vitamin B5) helps with oxygen utilization efficiency. It helps fuel oxygen to your muscles, which reduces muscle soreness and aches. It contributes to the alleviation of conditions like asthma, hair loss, allergies, stress and anxiety, respiratory disorders and heart problems.
Phosphorous: Found in yogurt, salmon, steak, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hard cheeses, brazil nuts and lentils. Calcium and phosphorus bind together to form crystals that make up bones and teeth. Together they strengthen bones and keep them strong for a lifetime.
Iodine: This ingredient is widely known to help with your thyroid and can be found in fish, shellfish, garlic, lima beans, summer squash, sesame seeds, soybeans, turnip greens and spinach. Iodine is also beneficial for breast, stomach, brain, and other important tissues. The symptoms of iodine deficiency include frustration, depression, mental retardation, poor perception levels, goiter, abnormal weight gain, decreased fertility, coarse skin, chances of still birth in expectant mothers, constipation and fatigue.
Magnesium: Found in nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Magnesium helps build bones, enables nerves to function, and is essential to the production of energy from food. It has effects on diabetes, heart health and PMS.
Zinc: The most important food source for Zinc is meat. It's beneficial for your immune system. It helps decrease the acceleration of skin and muscle aging. Not only that, it can be beneficial for your digestive tract and managing diabetes. Zinc deficiency can result in depression, rough/pale skin, diarrhea, hair loss and fatigue.
Copper: Found in liver, meat, seafood, beans, whole grains, soy flour, wheat bran, almonds, avocados, barley, garlic, nuts, oats, blackstrap molasses, beets and lentils. Health benefits of copper include proper growth of the body, improved health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes, preventing premature aging and increasing energy production. It can also help with regulated heart rhythm, balanced thyroid glands, reduced symptoms of arthritis, quick wound healing, increased red blood cell formation, and reduced cholesterol. Having enough copper in your diet can lead towards deficiencies such as osteoporosis, infections, and glucose problems.
Manganese: The best natural sources of manganese are green vegetables, brown rice, coconuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Also present in a lot of berries and spices, it helps your body properly digest and use the other ingredients like zinc, copper, and iron better. Not only that, there have been studies that show that manganese can help treat things like: epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, Schizophrenics, Rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and more.
Chromium: The best food source of Chromium is broccoli. It's also found in grape juice (yes that means red wine), whole grain breads and cereals, lean meat, organ meats, cheese, mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, potatoes, prunes, bananas, nuts, orange juice and molasses. It regulates blood sugar (which reduces food cravings), and helps insulin transport glucose into cells, where it can be used for energy. Chromium also appears to be involved in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. This in turn can help regulate potential for diabetes and speed up metabolism.
Molybdenum: Commonly found in legumes, including beans, peas and lentils, leafy vegetables, grains, nuts and liver. It jump starts antioxidants, fights inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
As you can see, even the “basic” foundation of Shakeology Ingredients boasts some good benefits. So the big question is: ok great, why can’t we just eat healthy and get these? You can! But, most people don't and they require supplements to get the recommended levels.You should consider the price. To match the serving of all of these ingredients in everyday food will cost you more than a $4.33 serving of Shakeology. Watch this short video to get an idea of what your grocery bill might look like if you tried to buy everything separately (and keep in mind the quality of the ingredients you'd need to buy to match what's in one bag).
Proprietary Protein Blend: Proteins are important for mental clarity, lean muscle building, improving skin and hair, and reducing cravings.
The proprietary superfoods in this blend include: Whey, Sacha Inchi, Chia, Flax, Quinoa, Amaranth, Brown Rice, Pea.
Proprietary Super-Fruit/Antioxidant Blend: promotes antioxidant support for a healthy immune system, heart, and optimal blood pressure.
The proprietary superfoods in this blend include: Camu-Camu, Acai, Acerola Cherry, Bilberry, Goji Berry, Grape Seed, Green Tea, Lun Hao Guo, Pomegranate, Rose Hips.
Proprietary Super-Green/Phytonutrient Blend: This is an interesting blend of the Shakeology ingredients, mainly because of what it can do. It detoxifies! The liver, kidneys, and blood get detoxification benefits that restore health and vitality.
Superfoods in this blend include: Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach, Barley Grass, Kamut Grass, Wheat Grass, Oat Grass.
Proprietary Adaptogen Blend: this helps protect the body from stress, supports the immune system, and balances the endocrine system.
Superfoods that support this blend include: Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Ginkgo, Maca, Maitake, Reishi, Schisandra, Tulsi (Holy Basil).
Proprietary Pre- and Probiotic/Digestive Enzyme Blend: helps increase nutrition absorption, promotes regularity, and improves digestion.
Superfoods in this blend include: Yacon Root, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase, Protease, Bromelain, Papain.
The “Other” Ingredients
Natural Sweetener Blend (Non-GMO Fructose, Stevia): this is how the 6 grams of sugar in each serving come to being. But unlike other “diet” and health shakes that used“Aspartame”, Shakeology has NO aspartame and uses Stevia. Stevia is found in sunflower family of sweetleaf and sugarleaf. The sweetness ends up being 300 times more sweet than artificial flavorings. The best part is, it controls diet by giving you less carbs and less chance of disease and study-proven cancer like Aspartame.
Natural Chocolate Flavor: this means that the flavor of chocolate is derived from a cacao plant, which produces natural cocoa.
Xanthan Gum: I see this in a lot of different foods that I eat (along with Guar Gum). It helps with food thickening. There are no bad studies that I have found on this ingredient, but it can contain very small doses of wheat.
Guar Gum: according to Wikipedia, this gum can help with digestion and regularity. It has a significant amount of soluble fiber which helps promote this effort, and is used for most foods to thicken appearance. Again, I couldn’t find anything too risky on this ingredient either.
So, while I'm not a huge fan of artificial ingredients like Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum, I can't find anything too harmful about them so I believe the good in Shakeology outweighs the bad by far!
Again, you might say, can't I get all these nutrients from eating the right foods? Yes, you can probably get all the everyday ingredients. The superfoods would be tougher as they are sourced from around the world. To learn more about these superfood ingredients and how they were sourced, watch this short video.
Curious? Not sure if you want to commit to a whole month? Want to see the results for yourself? Not sure what flavor to order? Join my Shakeology Taste Test and Education Group. It starts April 18 which means you need to order now! Just choose the 7 Day sampler pack and we'll taste test each flavor over the span of an entire week. During that week, I'll share with you facts about ingredients, tasty recipes and other useful information. You can ask questions and evaluate if you feel a difference in a week. I was skeptical, just like you but when I finally gave in and said I'd try, it only took a week to make me a believer!
Don't just take my work for it. In my last taste test and education group, one of my tasters had this to say:
"My favorite was definitely the Cafe Latte, and I will be buying some. Maybe also some Vanilla since it's so versatile. I had previously used a protein shake product for years. It did nothing ot help my cravings and I was always hungry within and hour or two. With Shakeology, even though I still had cravings, I was not hungry mid-morning and made it all the way too lunch - so no snacking needed. And I lost 2 lbs last week. I also felt my energy level returning to normal.
But here's the best news. I have Crohn's Disease, and it's quite severe, so I was worried what these might do to me. I stuck with a previous protein shake for so long because I knew it was giving me extra protein and nutrition I wouldn't be able to get with solid food, and it didn't hurt. With Shakeology, not only did it not hurt me at all, it actually improved my digestion! Even if it was the worst thing I have ever tasted, that alone would sell me on it :)"