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Is there a particular way to figure out the types of nutrient-dense meal replacement shakes and protein shakes that will improve your health in several ways? Most of us lead busy lives and therefore, do not spend much time thinking on the type of food or nutrients we consume each day. Over time, as a result of bad eating habits and lack of essential nutrients, we begin to experience health conditions and ailments in our bodies.
There are lots of meal replacements or substitutes out there that we can utilize to keep us in the good shape. Two of the most popular meal replacement options are Nature’s Bounty Protein Shakeand Shakeology.
But which of these offer the most benefits to the human body? Which one should you go for and which one should you ditch, depending on your personal needs? This is what we will be taking a look at in the next few paragraphs.
- 1 Protein Shakes: What are they?
- 2 Types of Protein Shakes
- 3 Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake
- 4 Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: Best Uses
- 5 Shakeology
- 6 What is Shakeology?
Protein Shakes: What are they?
One of the most popular meal replacements that most people who live and work in the United States use is protein shakes.
Protein shakes are full of protein and come in a powder form that can be mixed with liquids such as water, fruit juice or milk. When you drink protein shakes, you are utilizing one of the fastest, safest, and most convenient ways of getting protein into your body.
Protein shakes are healthy meal substitutes that provide most of your essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and amino acids, and balancing your nutrition is crucial if you want to maintain sound health.
Protein shakes are very popular these days, especially among athletes and individuals who want to shed weight as soon as possible and those who are only concerned about eating healthy but exceeding in heath as well. These shakes, most of the time, are easy to prepare, healthy, and delicious. Making them does not take too much of your time as well.
Although the American diet is tailored to meet most protein needs or requirements without the need for drinking protein shakes, our society believes that “more” is better. Some medical disorders require protein supplementation, though only a small percentage of the American population are subject to this condition.
This is why it is crucial for each person to calculate individual protein needs for optimal health or fitness.
Types of Protein Shakes
There are more than a few different brands of protein shakes out there, and this gives you the opportunity to choose the appropriate one that fits your objectives or goals.
Most protein shakes have any of the following proteins in them:
• Casein protein – This is the richest protein as it contains glutamine, an amino acid that helps in speeding up muscle recovery after intense workouts. Casein is a dairy product and may be unsuitable for people with milk allergies and vegans. The human body digests this protein slowly – making it ideal for use before bedtime as it will deliver all essential nutrients throughout the night. The best time to take casein protein is at night.
• Soy protein – Soy protein contains an excellent dose of essential amino acids and the best option for people who can’t take casein or whey proteins. So, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, this is the best option for you.
• Hemp protein – Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids and are also complete proteins. Hemp protein is an excellent option for people with lactose intolerance or other dairy allergies that may prevent them from drinking casein or whey. It is one of the few plant-based proteins that are home to all the eight essential amino acids that the human body needs to perform optimally. Hemp protein is also loaded with minerals, vitamins, live enzymes as well as other co-factors that facilitate digestion, absorption, and general wellness. Vegans can also get a lot of benefits from hemp protein.
• Pea protein – Most plant-based protein powders are loaded with pea protein as it is an excellent alternative to dairy and soy-based proteins. So for people who are on a vegan diet, this is the best option for you. Pea protein is also a great source of an amino acid known as arginine which is required by the human body for building muscles.
• Egg Protein – This is a dairy and lactose-free protein powder with a medium digestion speed. It provides high levels of lysine, an essential amino acid.
• Whey protein – This is the most commonly used variety or type of water-soluble protein among athletes. It contains all the essential amino acids that the human body needs and is, therefore, a complete protein. The human body absorbs whey protein easily and quickly and is, hence, the best option for post-workout.
The differences between these proteins are the absorption speed into the human body as well as the sources. The protein that the human body absorbs readily is whey while casein is the slowest. Some protein shakes contain only one type of protein while some have several combinations of proteins, though it is a good idea to have both the fast-absorbing as well as the slow-absorbing options in your system.
These different options also give you the opportunity to get protein shakes even if you are allergic to one particular type of protein.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake
Nature’s Bounty is a health and beauty organization based in the northern part of New York and is famous for making products and supplements that take care of the clients’ health and beauty needs. Some of their products include biotin – which helps nails and hair – and Vitamin E pills for enhancing the beauty of the skin.
A lot of Nature’s Bounty supplements focus on improving one’s health, with multivitamins and probiotics. One of the most popular supplements in their arsenal is the Complete Protein & Vitamin Shake Mix, or simply Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake. Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake contains a perfect mixture of whey protein concentrate, and soy protein isolates combined with a healthy dose of carbohydrates.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake is often marketed as a “woman’s supplement” – that supports multiple areas of the human body, both inside and out – and comes in a pink tub. It is uniquely formulated to tackle the significant nutritional needs of women.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: ingredients
The following are the ingredients that you will find in a tub of Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake:
• Xantham Gum
• Cocoa – processed with alkali
• Soy Lecithin
• Oat Fiber
• Proprietary Protein Blend – Whey Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate
• Tricalcium Phosphate
• Natural Flavors
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake also contains other unique ingredients such as collagen, probiotics, B vitamin, flaxseed, digestive enzymes, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and electrolytes.
The shake has a blend of 1 billion probiotic bacteria per serving and comes in two different strains: Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus. You will also find a digestive enzyme blend of papain and bromelain.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake contains no artificial sweeteners or flavors.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: Nutrition
One serving of Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake has two scoops and 120 calories:
• 13 grams of carbs (6 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber)
• 2 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat)
• 15 grams of protein
Although you may not find as many nutrients as should be expected in a solid meal replacement meant for clinical settings and on a micronutrient basis; however, you will find up to 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of at least nine vitamins:
• Several B-vitamins
• Vitamin C
• Biotin, etc.
You will also find up to 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D.
On the other hand, essential minerals seem to take the back seat in this meal replacement protein shake. Yes, you can still enjoy up to 23 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium, but magnesium, iron, and potassium fall under 10 percent. Selenium is not even mentioned anywhere on the nutrition label.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: Benefits and Effectiveness
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake comes with a lot of vitamins. Most people are deficient in Vitamin D – a super essential and highly crucial nutrient – and this product provides just the right amount for your daily needs.
Biotin is a vitamin B component found in egg yolk and has links to nail and hair health. This component is also part of the ensemble that makes up this innovative health product. Deficiency of this B complex vitamin can lead to hair loss, anemia, dermatitis or skin inflammation, and loss of appetite. Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake does not contain any Vitamin A or Vitamin K.
The calcium content of this protein shake powder is substantial, and this could be a crucial factor for women since they have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men. Calcium is, therefore, a great addition as it supports bone health. However, the mineral content in Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake is somewhat disappointing.
Another aspect that is emphasized with the marketing of this product is the presence of hydrolyzed collagen and its links to joint and skin health. However, in one serving of Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake, you can only find approximately 3 grams of collagen, as against the standard daily dose of 5 to 10 grams. This shows that Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake may have come up a bit short in this area.
Significant Health Benefits of Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake
One of the most significant benefits of using Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake has to do with digestive health. There are two digestive enzymes, one billion probiotics, and a 4-gram hit of fiber. This remarkable combination can improve digestion as well as the rapid absorption of nutrients significantly. These ingredients are essential and must always be part of any meal replacement shake since the human body thrives on more than just minerals and vitamins.
“Proprietary protein blends” of whey protein concentrate and soy protein isolate does not indicate the exact amount of each protein that is used in the production of Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake. Some people believe soy protein and whey concentrate do not contain high-quality nutrients. In fact, studies have shown that soy protein is not as effective as whey protein. Whey concentrate is also inferior to whey hydrolysates and whey isolates, thus making the protein quality – and amount – present in Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake very low.
In addition to this, Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake tastes like dark chocolate or something along the lines of a rich cocoa taste that is somewhat bitter. If you are not a fan of chocolates, you may find the taste disappointing as well.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: Ease of Use
Using this protein shake does not require an in-depth study of rocket science. All you need to do is to mix two scoops of protein with eight fluid ounces of skimmed milk, cold water or a milk alternative. Blend or shake the mixture for about 10 seconds, and it’s ready to go down your throat smoothly.
This protein shake has a smooth consistency that leaves no chunk within or on its surface. The scoop handle may be a little small for you – which could create a little mess – but you can clean up quickly after you’re done taking your protein shake.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: Best Uses
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake is ideal for women looking to tone up, boost weight loss or for general maintenance of the human body. The nutrient blend in this protein shake addresses the critical nutritional needs of women who want to look and feel their best all the time.
The formula of this protein shake focuses on multiple areas such as:
• Healthy skin
• Hair and nail support
• Immune health
• Digestive health
• Hydration support
• Muscle health
• Energy metabolism
• Bone health
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: Price
The price of Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake varies from $12 to $18 for one-pound tubs and one tub delivers at least 13 servings. This means you’re looking at about 92 cents to $1.38 per serving which is cheap enough for a meal replacement (which generally hover around $2 per serving).
You should also bear in mind that there are very few minerals in this meal replacement product when comparing prices. However, only a handful of meal replacement products in its category have a plethora of ingredients linked to digestive health.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake: Takeaway
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake is loaded with calcium, biotin, vitamins, and some probiotics which makes this product very nutritious with low amounts of fat and calories. It is relatively expensive and ideal for both male and female.
It was mentioned in an earlier part of this review that there are several different types of meal replacement shakes as well as protein shakes on the market today. One of the most popular among them is Shakeology – which is a cross between a protein shake and a meal replacement shake.
Shakeology has become a hit among many people in the United States. It is marketed passionately as a “daily dose of nutrition” for all and has garnered a massive following, especially among fitness and weight loss enthusiasts.
What is Shakeology?
Shakeology is a nutritious meal-replacement and dietary shake that can be prepared with fruits, certain liquids, and healthy ingredients which provide enough calories to replace a meal. A team of wellness enthusiasts – including the co-founder and CEO of Beachbody, Darin Olien – developed this highly nutritious shake in 2009.
Beachbody is a company that sells supplements, workout videos as well as nutrition programs. The organization employs multi-level marketing techniques to sell their products – including Shakeology – and they have more than 340,000 trainers or coaches promoting and peddling the products online, primarily via social media platforms. Shakeology is widely promoted as a “superfood nutrition shake” or “meal-replacement shake” (not as a dietary supplement) that helps users by minimizing cravings for junk food and losing excess weight. The product also claims to support healthy digestion as well as boost up energy levels in the human body.
Shakeology was created to augment your healthy diet and is not intended to be your primary or only source of nutrition every day. In fact, Shakeology is not meant to replace more than two of your meals every day. This particular brand is also more expensive than other protein shakes out there and this is because it is more than a protein shake. If you need more protein in your system, this whole foods protein shake is the best option for you.
However, protein is not enough to keep you going or keep you in sound health. You need other nutrients such as minerals, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, phytonutrients, adaptogen herbs, digestive enzymes, superfoods, and prebiotics to enhance your overall health and to run at maximum capacity.
Shakeology is loaded with several ingredients which contribute to the profound effect it has on the bodies of users. Here are the components present in Shakeology:
#1: Isolated Whey Protein – This is an absorbable source of high-quality protein and is ideal for not only building but also maintaining muscle mass as well. This ingredient also contributes to the regeneration of muscles after intense workouts. Whey protein also contains essential amino acids which help to enhance cognitive focus by assisting the brain to boost the clarity of mind. Users of Shakeology have also reported losing the cravings for food, especially junk food. Whey protein is also responsible for the absence of food cravings. However, the exact quantity of this ingredient in this whole foods protein shake is unknown.
#2: Digestive Enzymes – Digestive enzymes originate from sources like papaya and pineapple and aid the breaking down of food into individual components, thereby greatly improving the rapid absorption of nutrients. This means that whatever food you eat throughout the day will readily be absorbed, thus reducing the number of nutrients left unused in your system.
#3: 23 minerals and vitamins – Shakeology contains a good measure of vitamins and minerals. So if you don’t always have the opportunity to eat vegetables or fruits, this nutritious protein shake will act as an excellent alternative.
#4: Phytonutrients – Phytonutrients include polyphenols, catechins, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, all of which possess antioxidant properties that help to eliminate free radicals from your system. Free radicals are toxic to the human body as they are responsible for damaging cells. They also promote the aging process as well as other degenerative issues that occur in the human body. These phytonutrients are powerful enough to prevent the development of any of these degenerative conditions and also play significant roles in improving your immune system.
#5: Prebiotics – Prebiotics are ingredients which work hand in hand with ‘friendly’ bacteria in your digestive tract. They are responsible for the absorption of calcium and other essential minerals. Prebiotics also contribute to improved digestion when taken via the whole foods protein shake known as Shakeology.
At first try, this nutrition shake tastes somewhat strange, much like a chocolate shake. You will eventually feel the milk taste after one or two drinks which metamorphose into a tasty and sweet drink.
Preparing Shakeology can be done with a blender if you are looking to drink a nutrition shake with a smooth, but thick texture. You can also opt for the use of a shaker – if you want to avoid the inconvenience of having to wash and clean your blender which may take more of your time. But with a shaker, you may have to sacrifice that smooth texture and make do with the tiny chunks that may develop.
This development, however, may not arise if you don’t add chunks of ice to the mixture. But all in all, the nutrition shake looks much like real, liquid food.
Take one scoop of Shakeology and add to a cup of milk or water. You can also add in two scoops of ice to give the mixture a refreshing tang. You will be regaled with the sweet scent of cocoa, though this may not appeal to you at first.
You will eventually get used to it, though.
Shakeology is available in several flavors:
• Café Latte
The creators of Shakeology have also added vegan options for people who are allergic to dairy products or who avoid them for one reason or the other. These two vegan versions – i.e., Chocolate Vegan and Tropical Strawberry Vegan – taste as good as the original flavors. These varieties of flavors are greatly appreciated by all and sundry since a majority of Shakeology competitors usually offer two significant flavors: chocolate and vanilla shake flavors respectively.
#1: Meal Replacement – Shakeology is nutrition simplified, i.e., it is meant to replace a meal. However, this product offers much more than what a typical meal provides when you eat. You will also end up saving a lot of time you would have spent preparing and eating a regular meal. If you are a busy person, then Shakeology will get you out of that hunger jail fast, without sacrificing too much time.
#2: Weight loss – Shakeology promotes weight loss; this is evident when you no longer stuff your body with unnecessary – and unused – nutrients by eating conventional foods. Taking this whole foods protein shake will supply your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to function optimally. Another salient point about using Shakeology is that it eliminates food cravings. This also helps you to remain full for extended periods, thereby facilitating weight loss.
#3: Detoxification and increased absorption of nutrients – Shakeology has a detoxification effect on the human body and also facilitates the rapid uptake of nutrients into your body. The detox effect is noticeable almost immediately after drinking a cup or two of Shakeology as you will not only feel better but also refreshed in general. Shakeology is an excellent combination of nutrients, so it is not too surprising that these nutrients can be absorbed rapidly into the human body. This is why you will experience a sudden increase in your energy levels after taking the nutrition drink.
#4: Lower Cholesterol – Cholesterol is not a problem when you consistently use Shakeology.
#5: Improved digestion – You will feel lighter, and whatever tension you always carry with you will disappear as a result of using Shakeology. This could be due to the fact that you eat much less than usual, thanks to the filling characteristic of this powerful nutrition shake.
#6: Cognitive focus – Shakeology increases energy levels (as pointed out earlier) and leads to an improved cognitive focus. You will enjoy an astute clarity of mind and balance that will enable you to carry out your day-to-day activities like a machine. This also proves the clinical fact that regular consumption of healthy nutrients greatly influences mental focus.
Most people are not too happy with having to make upfront payments before getting their hands on this nutrition shake. But then not everyone can afford to pay up to $129.95 for a one-month supply (i.e., 30 servings) of Shakeology. That means you will need to spend about $32 per week on this nutrition shake. For some people, that is way too much amount of money to spend on just protein shakes.
Other similar products cost much less, and this may be an obvious downfall that the creators of Shakeology ought to look into.
Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake vs. Shakeology
From all the facts and points mentioned above about these two varieties of protein shakes, it is evident that Shakeology delivers much more in terms of nutrients and overall benefits.
However, the price may set you back a few bucks. Therefore, if you are not too financially buoyant, you may opt for Nature’s Bounty Protein Shake. It will still deliver some essential nutrients as well, but not on the same level as Shakeology.
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Ben has been a certified personal trainer for several years now and has a passion for wellness, health, fitness like no other. He’s been educating himself on nutrition since he was in high school. His girlfriend is a professional herbalist and food healer, so he takes the health and wellness discussions into the homefront. Not only is Ben a seasoned, professional writer, but he also uses and tests health products, protein supplements, and more personally and shares his insights on topics such as protein, diets, muscle recovery, muscle building, supplements, and naturally-sourced products.