When Beachbody launched P90X in 2005, it was unlike anything that people had ever seen.
The marketing was in-your-face.
The moment you switched on the television, you’d see Tony and his motley bunch of ripped dudes spring around, lifting dumbbells and doing them crazy ab exercises.
They called it Muscle Confusion. Well, it had people confused for sure.
The sales skyrocketed and within a few years, it was Beachbody’s biggest money churner.
Concealed stealthily within this program was Shakeology, Beachbody’s flagship product, which would turn out to be another massive success in the years to come.
Tony called it the ‘best meal of the day’ and that it was crammed with all the vital nutrients and herbs you needed to function at your best.
To top it off, it was green. Anything green had to be good, right?
Cut to today, the market is flooded with meal replacement shakes that can give Shakeology a serious run for its money.
If you have always been a Shakeology guy, then this article will help you understand which one of these two is a superior choice and why.
On the other hand, if you are new to the whole meal replacement powder lifestyle, then this article can be a starting point for your research. It will show you what factors to look for while selecting the best meal replacement out there.
What is Shakeology?
Shakeology is a low sodium meal replacement shake manufactured and marketed by Beachbody.
It is one of the first meal replacement powders that harped on the difference that one would feel in their lives with a plant-based complete meal, as opposed to a junk and meat filled one.
Some smart branding, the success of Tony Horton’s P90X, a multitude of factors came together to make it one of the most popular meal replacement powders in the United States.
At one point of time, Shakeology was the toast of the town, much like Metrecal was in the 60s.
Part of the success can also be attributed to Beachbody’s pyramid sales program where it hires normal people as coaches, who then sell the program and Shakeology to new potential customers.
While using Shakeology is not compulsory while signing up for Beachbody’s fitness programs, it is highly recommended.
Picture this. You are one month into a grueling 90-day fitness program. But you don’t even look close to what the before and after pictures promised, which makes you wonder if it’s Shakeology that you are missing out on.
That works amazingly well. People subscribe to it.
But to give them their fair due, they have constantly been working on the formula.
If you see the current version, it’s a far cry from the original Shakeology, which tasted chalky (At least a couple of flavors did) and had a very basic nutrient profile.
What Is Their Mission?
Beachbody calls it a ‘Shake you can trust’, ‘the smartest investment’, ‘nutrition you need’.
All the branding is aimed towards people who want to make healthier meal choices, but are unable to because of various reasons.
With Shakeology, Beachbody aims to give you a complete meal that will curb hunger pangs, keep you energized, improve your digestion, help you lose fat, all of this while ensuring that your nutritional requirements are fulfilled.
To an extent, Shakeology does deliver on these promise, but there are a few caveats that we will discuss.
There are 60+ ingredients in a single shake, that contains 16-17grams of protein, phytonutrients, adaptogens, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, soluble fiber, prebiotics and probiotics, all at 160-calories a shake.
No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners.
Further, it is low on the glycemic index and is now backed by a smallish clinical study, that showed that people drinking Shakeology had fewer hunger pangs throughout the day. (1)
What is Kachava?
Ka’Chava is a meal replacement shake that finds its origins in the predominantly plant and natural ingredients based diets followed by indigenous tribes in South America.
That sounds gimmicky at first. But it’s true, every bit of it.
Despite not having access to what we call conventional food, these tribes lead an active, wholesome lifestyle because of their eating habits, that involves more superfoods.
That’s what Ka’Chava aims to deliver in a tiny packet.
A meal that is packed to the brim with important nutrients that are otherwise impossible to consume through a regular diet.
When it was launched, it was designed as a quick, convenient way to consume nutrients, without relying on junk food. The primary target audience were athletes.
But with the current fitness buzz, where even the average joe is looking to make healthier food choices without cutting corners, it serves as the perfect alternative to takeaway food.
Rather than driving halfway across town to buy a grease-filled meal, why not opt for a Ka’Chava shake that gives you 24.75 grams of protein, soluble fiber, Omega-3, antioxidants sourced from super fruits, adapatogens, phytonutrients, probiotics and other digestive enzymes?
Does that sound very similar to Shakeology? That’s because it is similar to it.
But Ka’Chava has an edge over it.
What Is Their Mission?
Ka’Chava’s founder Simon Malone was just another face that you’d meet on a busy street in America.
He got so pooped with the corporate culture that he sold everything he owned and took off on a tour of the wide world.
That’s where he got introduced to the diets of the indigenous tribes in South America.
Their average meal seemed miniscule in quantity compared to what the average American consumes, but was way more superior in quality and ingredients.
That’s what gave birth to the idea of Ka’Chava, a tiny meal that you could consume anytime or anywhere without cutting corners in the nutritional content or without sacrificing on taste.
Unlike conventional meal replacement powders, where the focus is to deliver as many vitamins as you can along with a whole bunch of protein, Ka’Chava is all about giving you a meal that makes you feel great all day.
There’s no caffeine, there’s no sugar, it's a creatine free protein source, and there’s no unwanted junk
Which Brand Has Overall Better Reviews? What Are Customers Saying?
While both these brands have great overall reviews, the health halo that has surrounded Shakeology for over a decade has slowly started to fade.
Customer Reviews for Shakeology
It is now being replaced by talks about how it is overpriced for what it delivers, and that behind every Shakeology sales pitch is a Beachbody coach who’s trying to recuperate the initial investment that they made towards one of the programs.
To an extent that criticism is justified.
While there’s nothing wrong with Shakeology as a product, the marketing tactics and the whole pyramid marketing thing is an entirely different ball game altogether.
Ka’Chava’s reviews on the other hand have only progressed from good to better to best.
Customer Reviews of Kachava
Anyone who’s used their shakes can vouch for the quality, the ingredient label and the price, which is pretty close to Shakeology.
That brings us to the most important point of them all.
What are the differences in the two?
Kachava Vs. Shakeology - What Are the Differences
If you look at the overall branding for both, Ka’Chava and Shakeology, it’s very identical.
Both brands harp on the presence of superfoods that go beyond what a conventional meal replacement powder offers, which is great.
But there are some very noticeable differences in the two.
Shakeology Nutrition Breakdown
Kachava Nutrition Breakdown
Kachava Vs Shakeology Nutrition Breakdown
More Protein with Ka’Chava
Ka’Chava gives you a whopping 25 grams of vegan protein that’s sourced from Yellow Peas, Quinoa, Brown rice, Amaranth and Sacha Inchi (Inca Nut). Shakeology on the other hand gives you just 15 grams of protein that’s sourced from Flax, Brown rice, Peas and Whey. (2)
While the concentration of protein alone cannot determine the effectiveness of a meal replacement shake, it is one of the most important determining factors for a lot of athletes. Also, more protein keeps you fuller and prevents muscle loss, while trying to lose weight.
Ka’Chava is Vegan
Apart from having a lower protein count, Shakeology also contains Whey, which may make it a slightly problematic option for anyone with lactose intolerance. What’s more pressing is that they do not reveal the exact concentration of Whey in their protein blend.
For all you know, it could be 70% Whey and 30% of the plant based ingredients. Ka’Chava, on the other hand is a completely vegan shake. No dairy-based products at all, making it one of the best meal replacements for people with sensitive stomachs and who can not stomach Whey protein very well.
(Update: Shakeology now offers a vegan protein option where Whey is replaced by Oats.)
70 Ingredients vs. 60
Each serving of Ka’Chava contains 70+ ingredients whereas Shakeology contains just 60. (3)
The additional ingredients are in the Omega & Fiber blend, the antioxidant super fruits and the adaptogen blend. Again, this may not really be a decisive factor for a lot of people. But just that you know, you get more bang for your buck from Ka’Chava. When it comes to antioxidants and adaptogens, the more the merrier.
Both contain 7 grams of Sugar
Both Ka’Chava and Shakeology contain around 7 grams of sugar per serving. So not much to choose really.
Ka’Chava is more calorie dense
Each Ka’Chava Shake is around 240 calories whereas a Shakeology shake is 170 calories tops. If you are watching your weight and trying to stay in a calorie deficit, then Shakeology may be a better option.
Which One Tastes Better?
The great Jack Lalanne once said, ‘If it tastes good, spit it out’
When it comes to meal replacement powders, you are likely to spit it out either way cause most of them taste like chalk and mix like sludge.
That’s what separates a run-of-the-mill meal replacement powder from a great one.
Taste Comparison - Factors that Matter
Let’s find out how likely one of these powders are to tingle your taste buds.
Both Ka’Chava and Shakeology mix in the blink of an eye. You do not need a blender to mix it, a shaker works like a charm. There are no undissolved lumps of powder that stick to your gums. There’s not much to choose between the two here.
#2 – Consistency
Again, it’s even-steven here. Both shakes have a rich, creamy consistency with no synthetic aftertaste. Most vegan protein powders tend to have a gritty and chalky consistency that makes you crave for those smooth Whey protein shakes. That’s not a problem with either of these shakes. The milkshake-like consistency can be achieved even with water. No need to throw in almond milk or low fat milk.
#3 – Flavors
Shakeology offers five flavors that are available in both vegan and non-vegan options. There’s Chocolate, Pumpkin, Café Latte, Vanilla and Strawberry. You can order single flavors, monthly supplies of alternating flavors and boost sachets. The boost sachets can increase the phytonutrient concentration, add some caffeine or add some probiotics to your shake. Apart from the chocolate flavor, most of the other flavors leave a synthetic aftertaste in your mouth, which is what makes most athletes hate using these shakes in the first place.
Ka’Chava on the other hand offers just two flavors, Vanilla and Chocolate. But because this powder mixes so well with smoothies you can make a ton of recipes with Kachava which allows you to spice things up if these two single flavors are not cutting it for you.
Both flavors feel ‘natural’ with no chemical aftertaste. If anything, the chocolate feels a little too bitter, which can be attributed to the natural cocoa powder used in it. Nothing that a couple of drops of stevia can’t fix.
If you use meal replacement powders occasionally, then the cost per serving may not matter much to you, as long as it ticks all the other vital boxes.
But if you are someone who uses these shakes every day, possibly for replacing multiple meals, then even a slight difference in cost can quickly add up.
The point is, would you get swayed by a cheaper priced option, or are you looking for better nutritional value?
It’s subjective, we get it. But here’s how these two fare.
Ka’Chava Pricing Breakdown
Ka’Chava’s meal replacement powders priced at $69.95 for a bag which contains 15 meals. This means that each meal costs you $4.66 if you are looking to place a one-time order. Recurrent subscriptions are slightly cheaper, as are combo bags.
If you buy two of these bags, you get free shipping. If you subscribe for deliveries in every 15, 30, 45 and 60-days, the cost-per-bag drops by $10, making each meal at $3.99. Not cheap, but not steep either, especially when you consider the value that it brings.
Shakeology Pricing Breakdown
Shakeology retails for $130 for a 30-day supply. Add Shipping to this and it roughly costs the same as what Ka’Chava’s one-time order does. Shakeology offers super discounted shipping on a recurrent subscription, but no reduction in actual prices. The cost per 30-day supply reduces to $97.46 per unit if you are a Beachbody coach though.
Kachava Vs. Shakeology - What Is Better for What?
All said and done, how well do these shakes fit into training plans or fitness regimes with specific nutritional goals?
Let’s find out.
For Weight Loss
At 160-calories Shakeology edges out Ka’Chava, which has 250-calories, as a slightly better option for weight loss. But with 9.6 grams of fiber over 8.3 grams, Ka’Chava might help you feel fuller for slightly longer. This may benefit you in the long run by allowing you to consume fewer calories. However, if you are just looking at the calorific value, Shakeology might be a better option.
For Weight Training
This is a no-brainer choice. Ka’Chava is the clear winner with 25 grams of protein in each serving, over the 15-grams that you get with Shakeology. If you want them boulders, go for Ka’Chava.
For General Nutrition
In a lot of parameters, both these shakes go neck to neck. But with more fiber, slightly more antioxidants and a whole lot more protein, Ka’Chava is clearly the better bet amongst the two.
Which Has Less Sugar?
Both Ka’Chava and Shakeology have 7 grams of sugar each.
Which Is Better for Men?
While that depends on individual fitness goals to be fair, the higher protein content and the significantly larger concentration of super greens in Ka’Chava might make it a slightly better option for men.
To put that into context, Shakeology contains just five plant-based superfoods, that are spinach, kale, matcha green tea, chlorella and cinnamon. All terrific additions to that product label, no doubt.
But that’s tepid in comparison to what you get with Ka’Chava.
Ka’Chava contains Beet (More NO and muscle pumps), Carrot (Beta Carotene), Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, Tomato, Cabbage, Parsley, Brussel Sprouts, Green Pepper, Cucumber, celery, garlic, green onion, cauliflower, chlorella and asparagus.
That’s a lot more veggies than what you’d ever consume in a whole day.
Which Is Better for Women?
If a female athlete is looking to cut calories, then Shakeology gives you around 90 fewer calories per meal.
That’s about the only advantage that we see for women who want to use it, over Ka’Chava.
But most athletes would look beyond the calorie count these days.
Ka’Chava clearly has a better nutritional profile. It contains a bit more of everything that Shakeology offers for the same price.
The answer is a no-brainer really.
Go for Ka’Chava. It’s a much better meal replacement shake that gives you complete value for money.
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