Is Shakeology Dangerous?
After discussing this issue with my clients and fellow coaches, I felt the need to share this information. Recently, a popular food blogger Food Babe posted an image about different protein powders and what is inside them. Many of you know I drink Shakeology almost daily. I have been drinking it for probably 3 years. My husband and I order 2 big bags of it a month and we both love it! Most of my family members drink it as well. It is a product i 100% believe in and recommend to clients who are looking to lose weight, gain energy, help their digestive health or need help getting all their daily nutrition because of their busy schedule.
This is the picture posted by Food Babe, read the article here.
1. Food Babe has the “Dr. Oz Effect.”
Many Dietitians like myself role their eyes when people say, “Well, on Dr. Oz he said…” or “Dr. Oz said ___ was good for me, so ____.” Do you know Dr. Oz gets paid sponsorship to represent the items he talks about on his show? He is an incredible heart surgeon, I’m not sure when he became a nutrition expert.
For example, so many people started taking Raspberry Ketones as soon as Dr. Oz talked about them on his show. Are they all they claim to be? No! Read about Raspberry Ketones and misleading information here.
Dr. Oz is a great Tv personality, great at playing games (sometimes very educational & informational), but you have to take most of the products he recommends with a grain of salt. I believe Food Babe has that same effect. Her audience is so large and connected, people will believe anything she says as truth. I believe she is doing a LOT of great work, but some of her articles, such as this, are false.
2. Heavy Metals.
The heavy metal of concern with shakeology is Lead. Lead is a natural element. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the natural levels of lead in soil range between 50 and 400 parts per million. Lead has serious health implications when the levels in the body get too high. In children, this can bd learning disabilities, nervous system damage, muscle growth problems and more. In adults high lead levels can mean complications during pregnancy, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, etc. Just like children should not be eating, licking or playing with lead based paint, children should not be playing in parks and gardens with high levels of lead. (You can read more about lead testing here).
Lead in the soil can be transferred from to the roots, the stem and the leaves of produce.
Those concerned about lead in their foods should make sure their diets are rich in calcium & iron as it prevents lead from being absorbed. Lead IS in our fruits, vegetables and other plant based foods. Even organic fruits and vegetables contain lead because it is in the soil (not the pesticides). It is important to wash all of your fruits and vegetables well, but washing will not get rid of the lead inside the produce. While no amount of lead is deemed “safe” by any standards, it is an element in our diet’s we cannot avoid. If you are eating a well rounded diet (containing calcium, iron & vitamin C) there is no higher risk of developing lead poisoning from eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
3. Shakeology is a whole foods formula.
Shakeology is minimally processed and contains over 70 natural fruits, berries, herbs, vegetables, etc. Due to the fact that small amounts of lead are naturally occurring in our produce, there may be small amounts of lead in whole foods formulas such as shakeology and the other plant based shakes such as Vega. Beachbody never puts heavy metals into the formula.
Do you honestly think I would recommend something that was bad for you? I’ve had blood work done many times, I’ve never had high heavy metal levels, neither has any of the customers or clients I know who drink it.
4. Refined Sugars
In shakeology, Fructose is added to give the shake a natural sweetness. Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits. So it is “processed” and “refined” from fruits. The term “refining” means to remove by a purification process, certain coarsenesses or impurities. Sugar refining is the process of extracting out the sugar from the plant materials and then removing other unwanted materials from the extracted raw sugar. These substances can include remaining stalk fibers, soil, insect parts, molds, bacteria and waxes. There are 6g of sugar per serving of shakeology. Less than a bowl of grapes, apple or banana. I’m okay with the fact that the fructose was refined from the natural plants and am thankful there are no harmful artificial sugars in shakeology.
Learn more about where shakeology ingredients come from here.
GMOs are Genetically Modified Foods. Beachbody goes through great lengths to ensure their products are of high value. They cannot make the non-gmo claim right now because it is not available in all areas where the products come from. They make every single effort to make sure that the source of ingredients are not GMOs and I personally 100% believe that Beachbody has our best interests in mind. There is a reason shakeology is higher costing- you get a better value and the security of knowing you’re ordering from a company that CARES.
6. Whey Protein Isolate.
Whey protein Isolate is more processed than other types of protein powder. Isolates contain 90-94% pure protein. This is better quality protein. The whey is pasteurized and the lactose (milk sugars) have been removed, making it an okay choice for people with lactose intolerance. Whey protein isolate is a more pure form of protein compared to others (concentrates, hydrolysates or casein). If people choose not to eat dairy or drink whey protein, then Shakeology comes in two vegan flavors made of plant based protein sources.
Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that is marketed to dairy farmers to increase milk production in cows. In a statement from Beachbody, they said that the whey protein isolate that is used in Shakeology is the highest commercial grade available and it does not come from cows treated with rBGH.
8. A few of the other Shakes..
Muscle Milk: I’ve talked in the past about how it is pretty much glorified milk.
Slim Fast: Garbage. Full of artificial and filler ingredients. I’ve been telling clients this for a long time.
Vega: Vega is a plant based protein powder, and similar to Shakeology, I believe the heavy metals are because the shake is a whole foods formula, not because the company is purposely putting them there.
Herbalife: I believe certain products of theirs use non-GMO soy. But I could not find any definitive answers.
My husband and I are going to continue to drink shakeology on a regular basis. I believe the nutritional quality of shakeology is far superior to anything on the market. It gives us quality protein and is also our all-in-one multivitamin, prebiotic and daily greens. Shakeology isn’t just a protein shake. There is so much more to it.