Boasting only 140 calories, Shakeology meal replacement shake claims to reduce cravings, supplement weight loss and help build lean muscle mass. The product is however only available from the official website, which is based in the US.
Below we have reviewed Shakeology against our review criteria to help consumers make an informed decision.
- Contains ingredients that have nutritional benefits
- Only contains 140 calories
- Only available from the US
- No clinical trials on product as a whole
The main component in Shakeology is whey protein isolate. Below is an examination of Shakeology and the claims made by its manufacturer – Beachbody LLC – that it can help supplement weight loss, reduce cravings and build lean muscle mass.
Claimed weight loss benefits
Shakelogy claims to help you lose weight, reduce hunger cravings, increase your energy and improve your digestion.
How Shakeology Works
Shakeology is a meal replacement shake manufactured by Beachbody LLC. It is claimed that by taking this weight loss shake instead of a meal you can lose weight, reduce those cravings, increase your energy and improve your digestion.
So what is meant by a meal replacement? Well it is created to help you lose weight by taking a large chunk of the calories you would have been consuming, and replacing them with a healthier alternative that provides a lower number of calories (as well as a range of nutritional benefits). By conforming to this strictly, the user may lose weight as their daily intake of calories should have dropped dramatically.
This is because weight is gained by taking on board a lot of calories, and through either poor eating habits or physical inactivity, these calories may not all be burnt. As a result, the calories are stored as fats in the body. Since Shakeology only contains 140 calories, it should allow the user to avoid this problem as (if they have a healthy lifestyle) their calorie intake will be below their basal metabolic rate – or BMR – the amount of energy expended by humans (and other animals) when at rest.
And since Shakeolgy is rich in protein, which is said to have the effect of leaving a person fuller more quickly and for longer (meaning it does have appetite-suppressing properties) – the user may also refrain from snacking, which may add unnecessary calories to your daily intake. The sweet taste of Shakeology (e.g. chocolate) is also reported by some users to reduce cravings for sweet things.
In addition, the whey protein included in Shakeology does have clinical support with regards to supplementing weight loss and building lean muscle mass, specifically when the user is undergoing a training program, which is why it is recommended that customers who purchase a course of Shakeology train 3 times per week. This will be discussed further in the ‘clinical studies’ section below.
Key Shakeology Ingredients
Whey protein isolate – which can be up to 90% protein – is one of the major groups of protein that is found in milk and contains essential amino acids that help supplement muscle growth. It also has a number of clinical studies, with a couple supporting the claim that it supplements weight loss.
Other ingredients contained within a Shakeology shake are ‘Quinoa’, a grain that has double the protein of that contained in rice, and three times as much as couscous. Chia, which has traditionally been used as an ‘energy booster’. And Sanchi Inchi Oil which is said to be rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.
Being packed full of these types of ingredients means that despite only containing 140 calories, the richness in protein and omega-3 should, in theory, leave the user feeling satisfied.
First off, it should be noted that there are no clinical studies performed on Shakeology as a product in itself. Because of this, the following section will look at the clinical trials (if any) of some of the main ingredients contained within Shakeology. It should also be noted that there is a range of ‘Shakeology’ products available, and for the purposes of this review, the ‘Proprietary Super-Protein Blend’ shake will be examined.
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein is one of the major groups of protein that is found in milk and contains essential amino acids that help supplement muscle growth. It is also an alternative to people who are lactose intolerant and has a number of positive health benefits with the support of a range of separate trials.
In regards to the muscle building properties of whey protein, a study that was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism came to the conclusion that: “Whey protein supplementation during resistance training offers some benefit compared to resistance training alone.” In addition, “males who supplemented with whey protein had a greater relative gain in lean tissue mass.” Essentially, the study found that there are much better gains in strength when training is partnered with Whey Protein supplementation.
Whey protein also has some clinical support with respect to weight loss, according to one study (published in Nutrition and Metabolism) – participants “lost significantly more body fat and showed a greater preservation of lean muscle compared to subjects consuming the control beverage.”
A further study – where the participants were resistance-trained males – also concluded that “whey isolate provided significantly greater gains in strength, lean body mass, and a decrease in fat mass compared to supplementation with casein during an intense 10 week resistance training program.”
Sacha Inchi is a plant that is native to Peru and is often marketed as a ‘wonder food’ as it is claimed to have many health benefits. The main form of Sacha Inchi is ‘Sacha Inchi Oil’, which is often consumed in whole form and extracted from the plant seeds. The oil is often touted as being a rich source of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.
Sacha inchi does have a long history of being used in traditional and alternative medicine, but despite this, there have not been many studies on its effects and properties. However, there has been some preliminary research, which has found Sacha Inchi Oil to be beneficial to people with high cholesterol levels. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2002 also found that Sacha Inchi contains an unusually high concentration of ‘tryptophan’ – an amino acid that is essential in the production of serotonin which is a nervous-system chemical involved in the regulation of the appetite.
Chia is a desert seed coming from the plant Salvia Hispanica. In traditional medicine, Chia seeds have been used as an energy booster, predominantly due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, antioxidants and calcium.
Recently, there has been a growing support for the weight loss properties of Chia seeds, with its advocates claiming that it helps you feel full and so acts as an appetite suppressant, which ultimately leads to you eating less and losing weight. However, one 12-week study researching the potential weight loss benefits of Chia seeds found that it had no effect on the participants’ weight or appetite, and the trial ended with the group consuming Chia seeds having no substantial and noticeable reduction in body weight.
The lack of evidence for Chia seeds makes any claim that it is a super-food that can supplement weight loss redundant, although it should still be taken into account that Chia seeds are a good addition to a healthy and balanced diet and can in fact be used as a much healthier alternative to processed grain like white bread.
Shakeology Side Effects
Shakeology is a safe product to use for the most part, unless you are on certain medications or an expecting mother, in which case some of the ingredients may not be suitable for consumption due to a lack of information regarding the effects it has on these groups of people.
There is a warning on the official Shakeology website that some first-time users may experience digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas and constipation. However, it is noted that such discomfort is in the vast majority of cases only temporary and will usually go away within a week or two. It is advised that if you do suffer from these symptoms, that you reduce the serving size from 1 scoop to half a scoop. If the problems persist however, you should visit your doctor.
Additionally, in regards to Whey Protein, if taken in very high doses, the following side effects can arise: stomach pains, cramps, reduced appetite, nausea, headache, and fatigue. So it is also advised that when using Shakeology, to stick to the recommended daily allowance to avoid a high intake of whey protein.
Overall, Shakeology should be a safe product for consumption, particularly if you do not have any health issues. However, if suffering from diabetes or on medication relating to diabetes, it is advised to see a doctor before starting a course of Shakeology. Additionally, it is not recommended to take the product if pregnant as not much is known about the effects of the ingredients on expecting (and breast-feeding) mothers.
How to Use
Shakeology is first and foremost a meal replacement, and so the best time to take it is when you would traditionally get something to eat, i.e. the standard time that you would put aside to have breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Some users have also pointed to using it as a pre and post workout drink as well as something to curb cravings. However, the recommended guidance is to use Shakeology as a meal replacement just once per day, and should not be used to replace more than 2 meals in a single day.
Shakeology also comes with the guidance that to maximize the potential of the supplement, you should work out 3 times per week and phase out unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits.
Who Makes It?
The company behind Shakeology is Beachbody LLC, the company that is also responsible for the P90x and INSANITY fitness plans. It is an American multi-national corporation that uses multi-level marketing. The general opinion of Beachbody LLC is mixed with some customers endorsing it whereas others have made complaints regarding their billing and dishonest advertising. However, as a multinational corporation with annual sales of roughly $400 million, it has a lot of support and credibility.
The company has a huge framework, with message boards and chat rooms, as well as an incredible amount of content regarding the products it sells. All of these resources can be accessed through their website – BeachBody.com.
Where to Buy Shakeology
Shakeology is shipped from the US, so if you are an international customer, it should be kept in mind that there will be shipping charges that can amount to a considerable amount. As a US product, the main places to buy Shakeology are directly from the website. Buying directly from the website will cost an international customer $129.95 (£80.38) plus additional shipping charges – for a 30 day supply. This means that one shake costs over $4, or approximately £2.50.
Does Shakeology Meet our Approved Criteria
Money-back-guarantee: There is no mentioned of a money-back guarantee on the official website.
One-off payment: Yes, although the product is only available to purchase from the official website.
Manufacturing Standard: It is claimed that the product is made under GMP standards.
Accompanying Diet Plan: There is no accompanying diet plan, although diet and exercise advice is available on the website.
Ingredients and quantities disclosed: We could not find a full ingredients list on the official website.
Company contact details readily available: A phone number is provided for ordering, but other than that no contact details are provided – just an online form to fill in and an online chat feature.
Shakeology does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria as there is money-back guarantee or diet plan and some information is lacking from the official website, including company contact details.
Shakeology contains whey protein that does a small amount of clinical support for its muscle building and weight loss properties, as well as a number of ingredients with potential beneficial nutritional effects. However, Shakeology is only available to purchase from the official website and must be shipped from the US. Although the company is well-established, some information is also lacking from the official website.Google+
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