GNC Lean Shake, Mega Vitamins, Vega One and Shakeology Comparison
I dont frequent GNC very often as I try to keep my food intake as clean and whole as possible, I stopped in because I was very excited to purchase the "Six Pack" portable cooler for my husband to take to work, but thats another story :-). Since I was already there and the salesman and I were chatty I figured I'd ask him his thoughts about Shakeology. He replied, "We don't carry that, but our GNC Lean Shake is the exact same thing and half the cost."
"Wow!!" I thought, "How in the heck did I miss THAT?!!!" So I followed the young man over to the big brightly lit wall displaying this seemingly comparable product. The first thing I noticed, was that it was a PROTEIN shake. Not that there is anything wrong with a protein shake, but thats not what Shakeology is. He confirmed to me that this GNC Lean, was in fact, a protein shake (as it says on the label). He confidently stated, "Yes- and its ONLY $43! FAR less expensive than Shakeology at $129 for the exact same thing". Now, I'm not one for confrontation, but when something is grossly inaccurate, I do feel inspired to teach otherwise.....
Shakeology is NOT a protein shake. It is 1) a meal replacement, 2) a whole food vitamin supplement and 3) a nutrient dense and all natural Super Food Shake. So now I realize we are comparing apples to oranges and he, like most people, is assuming Shakeolgy is a just another protein shake. Shakeology contains protein, yes. But its doesn't stand alone as a protein shake nor does it even promoted that its a protein shake anywhere on its label. The label reads "The Healthiest Meal of the Day" on Shakeology. And there is a good reason for that, which Ill get to later. He agreed he didn't realize Shakeology was NOT a protein shake, (ok Ill forgive him- most people make the very mistake....lol). But while we are here why not take a peek at the ingredients on this (protein) Lean Shake GNC promotes.
Now, when I'm examining ingredients, my eyes immediately pass over the "carb, vitamin etc" content and I go straight for the QUALITY found in the "other ingredient" section of the label (see below). If it has quality ingredients- then its worth the price. You know the old saying, "You get what you pay for", well I want to see what I'm actually PAYING for. My first observation about this shake is that is has a LOAD of chemicals that are far from a whole food, clean health product. Carrageenan, for one. Then of all things, partially hydrogenated soybean oil(ok- that one is a deal breaker for me, but lets keep reading while we are here), artificial flavors and splenda (another deal breaker for me) . Another flaw is that it contains soy. Regardless of what the calories, carbs and protein content read, it's now irrelevant, because the ingredient quality tells me exactly why this product is so cheap. It contains hardly anything, "healthy".
There are way cleaner options you can get without adding all these chemicals that have know adverse reactions on your body. Sunwarrior is the brand of protein my husband adds to his shake, it costs the same and doesn't have all the "fake"chemical stuff. Now, obviously it's difficult to avoid some of these ingredients when eating out or as a treat when enjoying some of our favorite splurges. Those times can be the exception, but not the norm. When you are spending money to invest in your health on the premise of "weight loss", your daily health shake shouldn't have chemicals. You can get additional protein without all the added chemicals. I imagine GNC employees are supposed to "push" this particular product as it's GNC's own brand so its most likely, got the biggest profit margin, as well. Lets explore some of their other products he said were (also) great alternatives to Shakeology....
Shakeology is also a vitamin and nutrient dense shake, so he showed me their best selling (again promoting their OWN GNC brand) MEGA brand vitamins. Shakeology is the equivalent to five plates of salad. Generally speaking you can get an entires days worth of vitamins in one scoop. Sure, you could take a multi-vitamin but 1) it's a synthetic (although the GNC sales rep assured me it wasn't- again, he is misinformed). Vitamins that are synthetic are not always recognized as real food by your body. They either go right through you and are a waste of your money, or they are not absorbed and they accumulate in your body (this can be harmful and put stress on your organs). Vitamins should come from food sources, as much as possible. All formulas of Shakeology have vitamins and minerals that come from the whole foods listed on the right side of the label. Click here to learn more.
2) Vitamins are still are not providing you a meal. Shakeology also counts towards one of your snacks or meal. This vitamin option came to $13/ month if you break it down. Not a bad price, but again, you are paying for a synthetic vitamin: whats the point of even paying that?
Meal Replacement & Vitamin Shake:
Now, he didn't "endorse" this, but GNC carries it, and its actually pretty good. The Vega One "All in One" Shake. It has (synthetic) daily vitamins, compared to the Tropical and Vegan Chocolate Shakeology that come from 100% natural whole food vitamins. And, it IS a meal replacement. It also contains (albeit very FEW) super foods. Nineteen to be specific. It is 100% natural. Another plus.
So here is the difference I see. Shakeology has SEVENTY super foods. And its those super foods that give Shakeology it's unique profile. I believe it's also those super foods that are responsible for Shakeology's thousands of patient testimonies including ,cholesterol and blood pressure reductions, digestive regularity and improvements, and reductions in diseases with inflammatory markers. Click here for customer testimonies With Shakeology, you get EVERYTHING that Vega One offers, PLUS an additional FIFTEY ONE exotic super foods all working to improve your health, energy and recovery.
Additionally, Vega One does not use the one strain of probiotic that is proven to not be destroyed by stomach acid, Bacillus coagulans. Shakeology, does use this strain of probiotic. This is important because if a probiotic isn't able to with stand stomach acid, it will never reach the intestine to do its work.
Here is the final consideration comparing Vega One to Shakeology. Vega One costs $70 for just 20 servings. Shakeology costs $129 for 30 servings. When you compare the actual breakdown of cost per serving the difference is just 80 CENTS per day. For 80 cents more a day you are getting three times the amount of exotic super foods, best strain of probiotic and quality of shake.
GNC SuperFood Supreme:
This product is fair. It has MOSTLY fruits and vegetables, with very very few actual exotic super foods, although the label reads "over 70". In fact, I hardly see any. Its all fruit and vegetable extracts (read it for yourself). In my opinion, at $50 tub, it's very pricey for common grocery store (dried) fruit and veggies. I don't see super foods like chia seed, maca root, astragalus, ashwagandha, yacan root, goji berries, reishi mushroom and Camu camu, just to name a few of the most common exotic super foods that are in Shakeology. And yes, the sales man did endorse this which again, is his stores "own brand".
Why do I keep mentioning that endorsement? Because generic brands create more revenue than name brands. GNC employees are not there to consult what product is best for YOU. They are there to move specific products across the register. They are not trained in nutrition. They have no vested interest in your weight loss efforts, struggle, journey or success. They don't choose to sell these products. They are employed to sell. Most of their products are not natural and contain more chemicals that can cause more metabolic and cellular disruption than I care to go into. The salesman today didn't even know what Shakeology was, but he was very quick to give a direct (inaccurate) comparison.
Shakeology may or may not be for you. I promote it because I choose to. I don't have to. I personally believe in it. I know what it has done for my health and Ive seen what his has done to improve my clients health. I am a certified health and nutrition coach and also have sold pharmaceutical medications for ten years. I have a better understanding and more experience in food-science than average the 20-something sales guy at GNC. In a perfect world, we would all be eating and juicing loads of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, eating clean proteins and carbs and have truckloads of exotic super foods delivered to our door daily to boost our health and internal eco-system. But thats not the norm. Its not my norm, anyway. I'm a married and busy mom of three thats happy just get a healthy meal on the table my kids love, by dinner time. So if I can throw a $4 scoop of everything I need in a blender to save me time and get the same quality natural ingredients without added carcinogens and chemicals, then Im all for it.
It's important to understand people's intentions. I will drink Shakeology regardless . My family would still go through five bags of Shakeolgoy a month, even if I wasn't a coach. To me, it's worth every penny for the quality and convenience. I believe in it's integrity and love the ease it brings to my healthy lifestyle, regardless if someone buys it, or not.
I want to share my GNC experience with you because I believe that you should have a more fair and realistic comparison when it comes to you and your families health. It pays to be informed. So again, when doing a comparison remember that Shakeology is a
1) a meal replacement,
2) A whole food vitamin supplement and
3) A nutrient dense and all natural Super Food Shake.
When you put all three of those benefits in your body daily, you feel better, have more energy, do more, recover better and have less cravings. It's not magic. Its just good nutrition- made easy. "The Healthiest Meal of the Day" in the convenience of a bag. If the product you are comparing Shakeology to is all three of those combined in one product and has no artificial ingredients and chemicals, then you may have found something comparable.
Please share your thoughts and comment below. Was this explanation and comparison helpful?