It’s easier to make informed decisions when you have things side by side!
First, here are the links to the information where I gathered data:
Shakeology Chocolate & Vegan Chocolate
Vega One French Vanilla
DoTerra Vanilla Trim Shake
Advocare Meal Replacement Shake
Plexus Chocolate Whey Protein shake
Nature’s Sunshine Love & Peas
Isagenix Isalean Chocolate
*PDF CHART DOWNLOAD HERE
Everyone has different goals and reasons for using a shake – so I don’t think there is the perfect shake! Real whole food would be the best thing, but for me and many others, a busy life means needing some short cuts and shakes fall into that category!
Here’s some things to consider:
Considering that most soy is GMO and soy’s estrogenic effects I will not use any protein that is soy-based. For me that eliminates all protein shakes from your local grocery store and from companies like Herbalife and JuicePlus.
Whey or Vegetarian Protein
Different people have different needs. I avoid dairy – I feel better when I don’t consume it! I’ve looked at the pros/cons of whey protein isolate over concentrate and I’m undecided which is better. Test and try them out on your unique self and see which your body prefers!
I personally won’t use artificial sweeteners and I also won’t use Sucralose. That eliminates Advocare for me! For some, erythritol is a no go and others, it’s fine. I prefer stevia or even real sugar. So many choose the chemical sugars over real sugar. For me, I prefer a whole plant based product over something developed in a lab. So companies using organic evaporated cane sugar are ok in my book but I understand if you are wanting to avoid sugar altogether. If that’s you, then look for the stevia-only sweetened shakes.
I’m a huge proponent of digestive enzymes, especially with powdered protein. It is a processed food and having enzymes really helps the digestive process. I have been the victim of awful stomach cramps with some protein drinks without enzymes! So I ALWAYS recommend enzymes with shakes – and how much better it is to buy one that already has them in there! Consider that when you look at price.
Vitamins & Minerals
I’ve included the percent of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) in the US. This means that they have added these isolated vitamins and minerals to their shakes. You will notice the vegan Shakeology does not add any fortified vitamins and so they cannot include any percents on the label. This does not mean it does not contain any, there are more whole foods in this formula and I imagine quite a few nutrients. (just thought I’d give a little explanation)
Folate or Folic Acid
I tried listing which was used, there are some labeling discrepancies though. Companies are just starting to be concerned with this and haven’t updated and listed their sources. (If you have updated info, please share)
I went ahead and listed other nutritional ingredients like superfruits, greens, adaptogens, probiotics, etc. Some people strictly are looking for a protein drink. BUT others may appreciate the added nutrients. For instance, if you are already taking probiotics and adaptagens and you could just use the shake with those ingredients that could save you money. So you would want to consider that when looking at the pricing.
Let’s not forget taste! You must be able to drink the shake!!! There is actually a couple brands that I did not include in this comparison because I SPIT them out – they were SO nasty! While ingredient wise they looked good, I just could not stomach them at all.
Keep in mind that vegetarian protein will be a little chalky. I would recommend getting a sample from a friend before you buy a bag of ANY of these shakes. The most expensive shake is the one you throw away!
I’ve used Vegan Shakeology for awhile. I do not like to use multivitamins and I really think all the adaptogens, superfruits, greens, etc. in Shakeology have to be factored into the cost–it’s not just protein. I don’t eat breakfast and I feel like it’s a good choice for some good nutrition in the morning and keeps me on track with my wellness goals! But I do think there are also other good options on this list…just depends on your needs.
Hope you find this helpful!