Saturday, June 23, 2012

IsaLean vs. Shakeology (updated 11/24/2013)

Three times in the last week I've been specifically asked about the difference between Shakeology and Isagenix. This is a tough one only because my last posting was about The Ultimate Reset. I don't want people to think I am trying to "bash" Beachbody by any means. They are a terrific company, I love their workouts and their coach network is great. But being in the business of health and wellness I get a lot of these questions and need to put my research and information all in one place for easy reference (and so I'm not typing them out every time I am asked about them).

First, let me tell you my experience with the shakes and then we'll go into more objective details. Obviously, since we're just talking Shakeology, I am not going to do a comparison between that and an entire Isagenix program, just the IsaLean Shake. This is one of the core products in any Isagenix program.

I started using Isagenix products in February of 2010. I was cleansing on a regular basis, putting top notch nutrition in my body and my body was responding in ways I thought it never would. I felt great inside and out. The following December I decided that I wanted to also become a Beachbody coach because I loved health and wellness and physical fitness cannot be separate from that. I joined the network of coaches and was promoting the workouts through my old blog, Facebook and through word of mouth. I had a few people purchase programs through me but it became more difficult since people don't purchase a program every month. In order to make this a successful business venture I was going to have to share a consumable product that would have to be reordered every month. At that point the #1 consumable product Beachbody had was Shakeology. I bought some to try and share. I figured if people didn't want a whole program, they could at least do a shake a day right?

Observation #1
Two or three days a week I would have Shakeology in place of one of my IsaLean shakes. I noticed some gurgling in my stomach but there were no other noticeable differences in how I felt. I did, however, notice one HUGE drawback to the shake... the taste. I tried everything I could to make it palatable and the only thing that worked for loading the chocolate shake with milk, banana and peanut butter. The greenberry version - forget it! Nothing worked for that one.This was hard for me because my IsaLean shake was simply added to 8oz of water, blended for about 10 seconds and it tasted like a Wendy's Frosty. I had sent samples of the Shakeology to friends and I received the same response from them - they hated the taste and there was no way they were going to do that everyday.

Observation #2
After a few months I decided that I needed to do a few consecutive days of the shake to see if it would change how I felt or my performance during workouts. Instead of doing my IsaLean shake for breakfast, I substituted the Shakeology (with much doctoring for taste). I only made it three days. On day two I began having some digestive issues and was in the bathroom a little more than normal. By day three it was BAD. If I felt the urge to go and didn't it was going to be all over for me. This was especially difficult as I am a teacher and you can't just leave your classroom at anytime. You have to WAIT for another teacher to stop what they are doing so they can watch your students. I decided that day that there was NO WAY I was going to share this experience with anyone else. Oddly enough, this was the most common issue asked about in the coach network groups I was in on Facebook. "What do I tell a client who has developed digestive/gastrointestinal issues with Shakeology?" The "go-to" answer was to tell them that their body was adjusting to the dense nutrition and to give it time. My body was used to dense nutrition and I still had a horrible experience with this. I could not accept that answer. The Shakeology was returned the next day.

Now, those two observations I had while using Shakeology were just that... MY EXPERIENCE. I am not saying everyone who uses it has those issues but they aren't that uncommon from what I've heard from friends and other coaches. I would definitely not recommend it for someone who is already suffering from gastrointestinal issues.

So enough of my experience... let's move to a more objective comparison between Shakeology and the IsaLean shake.The first issue that always comes up is... you guessed it... price!

Price Comparison

Shakeology - Chocolate, Greenberry, Tropical Strawberry, Vanilla or Chocolate Vegan
(1-30 ct bag, 30 servings)
RETAIL@ $129.95 = $4.33 per shake (updated 11/24/13)
*TEAM MEMBERSHIP @ $107.96 = $3.60 per shake
**COACH PRICING @ $71.97 = $2.40 per shake (assuming a 40% discount as I used to receive)

These prices do not include the cost of items added to the shake to enhance flavor such as fruit, milk, soymilk, peanut butter, PB2, etc. that I required.

*Team membership cost: $2.99 per week 
**Coach membership cost: $40 annual, $14.95 monthly fees

IsaLean Shake - Chocolate or Vanilla (updated 11/24/13)
(2 - 14 ct canisters, 28 servings)
RETAIL @ $103.90 = $3.71 per shake
*REWARDS PRICING @ $79.90 = $2.85 per shake

*Rewards membership cost: $29 annual, no monthly fees

Summary: Let's assume that the nutrient content in either shake were equal, per serving at a retail price the IsaLean shake is clearly the better choice. Upon first glance the Coach pricing for Shakeology seems to have the IsaLean shake beat but I can't help but wonder what the price WOULD be if you factor in the monthly and annual fees to get the Coach and Rewards pricing. Want to do the math one more time?

Shakeology @ $2.40 per shake (coach pricing)
Annual fee: $40 / 365 days = $0.11 daily
Monthly fee: $14.95 / 30 days = $0.50 daily
Total daily shake price: $2.40 + $0.11 +$0.50 = $3.00 per shake per day

IsaLean Shake @ $2.85 per shake (rewards pricing)
Annual fee: $29 / 365 days = $0.08 daily
Monthly fee: NA
Total daily shake price: $2.85 + $0.08 = $2.93 per shake per day

In my book the IsaLean shake comes out in front in terms of price. Now for some price is not an issue, for me (living on a budget with a toddler who eats everything in sight), price is definitely an issue and although it might not be much (only a $2.10 savings per month for IsaLean over Shakeology) that is still money in the bank for our household.

Nutritional Comparison
There is no doubt in my mind that the ingredients in Shakeology are top notch. Most of those berries and extracts you can't find in your local market. The IsaLean shake has some of those too. Where I see a huge difference is in the protein base of the shake. Both shakes have whey protein. Whey has been proven better at helping burn fat and calories than soy however... here's a little bit of education for you. Did you know there is a big difference between protein isolate and protein concentrate? I was not aware of this until recently.

This excerpt is from Dr. Mercola's website in regards to choosing the right whey protein. You can view the entire article here.

Whey Protein Isolates have Dangerous Forms of Protein

All whey protein isolates are devoid of nutritional co-factors including alkalizing minerals, naturally occurring vitamins, and lipids, which are lost in the processing... This renders them deficient and overly acidifying. Unlike whole protein food concentrates which does not acidify your body due to its alkalinizing minerals, whey protein isolate are over acidifying. 
Whey isolate can be a serious liability.

If chronically consumed in large amounts (such as with bodybuilders or athletes) without alkalizing foods, it can acidify your body and over time may lead to metabolic acidosis with consequences that include waste of muscle and bone tissues, total metabolic shut down, and increased vulnerability to degenerative disease.
Many cheap whey protein isolates are produced from acid cheese; they're byproducts of acid processing, which is a cheap way to separate whey from the curd. Most of these whey products are rated below pet foods because of the inferior quality of the protein, which is actually more of a nitrogen waste product than one that will produce health benefits that are mentioned in the featured study.
Additionally once the fat has been removed from whey protein isolate, you lose some of the most important components of its immunological properties, such as phospholipids, phosphatidylserine and CLA. All of the IgG immunoglobulins, which are an excellent source of glutamine and glutamylcysteine, are also bound to the fat globule, and therefore lost in the processing of whey isolates.
So the bottom line is that if you want to use whey protein, PLEASE do not use an inferior whey isolate as there is no doubt in my mind it will cause more damage to you than benefit."
This is the protein that is in the Shakeology formula (with the exception of their new vegan Tropical Strawberry flavor which uses brown rice protein). Personally, this frightens me. Instead of protein isolates, Dr. Mercola says to choose a high quality protein concentrate for the following reasons (also found at the link above):

"There's no shortage of whey products on the market, but unfortunately most of them will NOT give you the health benefits associated with high-quality whey. First of all you want to use a whey protein concentrate. High quality whey protein concentrates also have glutamylcysteine, the major precursor to glutathione, which is another phenomenal anti-aging nutrient.  
There is probably no other area of processed foods where you need to be careful than in selecting a high quality whey supplement. 
Most whey proteins are processed from ultrapasteurized milk and many are exposed to acid processing. Heat and acid damages the protein and makes it insoluble in water. This is one of the key ways to differentiate high quality whey protein from inferior ones."
Isagenix makes no effort to hide the source of their whey protein. It is sourced out of New Zealand from grass-fed happy cows. Why do they call them happy? These cows are only milked during their natural milking season. They are not given hormones to keep them in a constant state of lactation. This keeps their stress levels down thus.... Happy Cows! In addition, the whey is undenatured, meaning it is processed at a low heat, so the natural and live enzymes are not killed off. It does not go through the acid processes mentioned in Dr. Mercola's article therefore it is soluble in water and easily absorbed by the body. You can read about this process here.

I also want to include this link to a comparison chart I found very informative about the whey Isagenix uses compared to the most competitive brands Chart

Summary: Again, there is no doubt that Beachbody has included some of the finest quality ingredients that you just can't find in your local grocer. I am actually excited to see they use Himilayan sea salt and other great nutrients for flavoring such as stevia instead of nasty artificial flavorings. For me all of that is over-shadowed by the fact that they utilize an inferior protein source for their shake which is actually acidic to the body. Part of the reason I chose Isagenix was because I had been diagnosed with a condition that was highly reactive to acidic foods and beverages and I knew that their products were designed to help neutralize the body. At the time I was not aware of the difference between the two protein sources. Had I known then there is no way I would have ever put Shakeology in my mouth. I later found out that disease loves two things - and acidic environment and lack of oxygen. Guess I should have done more research early on, right?

Meal Replacement Comparison
The last question I'll address is that of these shakes being a full meal replacement. This is a statement made by

As a rule of thumb for weight loss, a meal replacement should contain fewer calories than you would normally eat in a meal. While 200 calories is likely too few to tide you over until it's time to eat next, 500 may be too many, so try to pick options between 300 and 400 calories.
One serving of Chocolate Shakeology contains 150 calories and 18 grams of protein. You could easily increase this count by adding fruit, milk or juice however you are also adding to the amount of sugars which most people on a meal replacement plan are highly sensitive too. Not to mention the added grocery costs making the shake more expensive. This was required for me to make the shake palatable enough to drink.

One serving of the Newly reformulated IsaLean shake contains 240 calories and 24 grams of high quality protein (the former formula had 23g of whey protein). When on a weight-loss plan it is not recommended to add other ingredients to the shake due to the perfect balance of carbs, fats and protein that are optimal for safe and effective weight-loss. However, when on a maintenance plan, adding fruit or powdered greens is highly favored since weight-loss is not a concern. Yes, that would increase the cost of the shake however it is not required as the shake tastes great as is.

Summary: Though neither shake meets the 300 calorie count as recommended by, the IsaLean shake comes much closer and has more protein per serving meaning your sense of fullness will last longer than that with Shakeology.

Reformulated IsaLean Shake Information
In August 2012 Isagenix released a reformulated version of the IsaLean shake. Here are the key differences as stated on their website

  1. Myo-IsaLean Complex™—The new myo-IsaLean Complex features 50 percent more undenatured whey protein than the prior Exclusive IsaPro Complex. That’s to say that the amount of whey increased, while the amount of casein decreased. (Note: Calcium caseinate was removed and replaced with milk protein concentrate, which is 20 percent whey.) Both whey and milk protein are quality proteins, but it’s whey that packs the higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Those BCAAs are also absorbed more quickly to fuel muscle maintenance and growth (1). The extra milk protein also comes in handy because it’s absorbed more slowly, lowering glycemic response, keeping your plasma amino acid levels up over time, and warding off hunger (2).
  2. Double the filling fiber—With 8g of fiber (double compared to the previous Natural Creamy Chocolate and Vanilla flavors), the new shake flavors help keep your gut healthy and regular. The fiber also helps keep blood sugar stable and you feeling fuller, longer. The extra fiber comes from flax seed and new isomaltooligosaccharides.
  3. Prebiotics—What are isomaltooligosaccharides, you ask? Besides being hard to pronounce, this gluten-free fiber (often used in Japanese cuisine) is also “prebiotic,” meaning that it feeds healthy “probiotic” bacteria in the gut (3). These good microbes, fed well, help make up a healthy intestinal flora that can be important for gut health, the immune system, and more.
  4. Low glycemic—Can you say “slow carb”? With slightly fewer grams of carbohydrates and sugar, and more fiber, the shakes are much less likely to spike blood sugar. Getting off the blood sugar roller coaster is critical for healthy insulin control, to minimize cravings, and for healthy, long-term weight management (4-6).  
  5. Healthy fats—The new shakes have a more balanced fatty acid profile containing more omega-3 fatty acids in each serving from flax seed along with heart-healthy olive oil (the main source of fat). Also, the new shakes contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil, which are unique in that they are easily absorbed for quick energy and may support greater energy expenditure and weight control (7, 8). Note: A minor increase in cholesterol comes from the increase in whey protein.
  6. Easier to digest—More digestive enzymes, especially lactase, make the new shake flavors more easily broken down in the gut. Lactase, in particular, helps with breakdown of the milk sugar lactose, which is already low in the shake overall.
  7. Soy free—Soy, as a protein source, has never been used in IsaLean Shake. However, lecithin derived from soy was previously used as an emulsifier leading to some confusion because of a soy allergen warning on the label. To make the label easier to understand, soy lecithin is now removed.

Additional Information
11/24/2013 Update - I was recently made aware that Beachbody has no removed the Suma Root from their formulation. After checking some nutrition labels I did find it was no longer listed. I'm glad they have removed this controversial ingredient from their product line. I spoke with a friend who had tried Shakeology in the past month and, despite the removal of this ingredient, she still had the same gastrointestinal issues that I had. It seems this continues to be an common problem.

I was recently made aware of some issues involving one ingredient in Shakeology, Suma Root. This question came from  the TeamBeachbody forums.
Ecdysterone - steroid tests
7/16/11 10:52 AM

I was reading the back of my Shakeology bag and it says the following:
"Ecdysterone is a naturally occurring photo-chemical compound that could be erroneously detected and flagged in synthetic steroid screening tests. That unfortunate reality caused the NFL and WADA to add ecdysterone to the list of banned substances in 2010. Athletes and anyone subject to banned substances testing should consult with their physician and athletic organization."

Beachbody - do you foresee replacing or eliminating this ingredient to allow athletes to drink Shakeology? Seems we are missing a HUGE group of people that are like minded (fit) and have no problem spending the $4/day for this (at least the pro athletes).

The following is the official response from Beachbody's Steve Edwards, Director of Results/Fitness Advisor for Beachbody.

RE: Ecdysterone - steroid tests
7/20/11 6:25 PM as a reply to abetteryoutoday.

It comes from Suma root and we've decided the benefits of Suma out weigh the negatives. We may re-think in the future or, hopefully, WADA will drop ecdysterone from the banned list since it's a natural ingredient and doesn't work in the same pathways as anabolic steroids. The actual amount of ecdysterone found in Suma is low and I've been hoping I get tested to find out if a positive test is even possible. So far, all threats to test age groups athletes have wrung hollow. However, I may get tested at World's in Sept.

The IsaLean shake does not contain Suma Root and is, therefore, perfectly usable by professional athletes with no risk of positive results on steroid testing. 

I found this information about Suma Root online here. This was put out by a company that sells Suma Root extract. I am glad to see they are upfront about the products they sell.

  • Like soy and other plant based sterols these sterols might have estrogenic properties. There is still debate in the scientific community as to whether plant based sterols provide protection against cancers or potential aggravation of oestrogen positive cancers. As this plant has been used traditionally to regulate menstrual processes, as well as to treat menopause, PMS, and other hormonal disorders, it is advisable for women with oestrogen-positive cancers to Check with their Doctor before commencing use of this powder.
  • The root powder has been reported to cause asthmatic allergic reactions if inhaled. When handling raw suma root powder or preparing decoctions with root powder, avoid inhalation of the root powder/dust.
  • Ingestion of large amounts of plant saponins in general (naturally occurring chemicals in suma) has shown to sometimes cause mild gastric disturbances including nausea and stomach cramping. Reduce dosages if these side effects are noted.
Drug Interactions:Vitamin K: This product contains Vitamin K – People taking warfarin should seek medical advice before starting consumption.
Note for Professional AthletesUnfortunately, the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) and the U.S National Football League (NFL) decided to add ecdysteroids (including ecdysterone, the one found in Suma Root) to their list of banned substances because even though it is an all-natural phyto-chemical compound which has benefits to the body and no known toxic side effects, it can be erroneously detected and mistaken for a banned substance in screening tests by WADA, the NFL and the NSF (an organization that conducts banned substances tests for sports nutrition products). At this time, tests for banned substances are not sophisticated enough to be able to differentiate natural, healthy substances such as ecdysterone in Suma Root from synthetic banned substances.
The third bullet point makes me wonder it the inclusion of Suma Root might be part of the reason I've heard so many people report gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea when using Shakeology. Just a thought.

Final Comments
I hope you have found this review helpful. Again, I have tried to be objective in providing the information that is most helpful in educating you to make the right decision for yourself. I will also say again, I am not in the business of "bashing" another company. I simply want people to KNOW what they are putting in their bodies as everything we put in has some effect, whether positive or negative, on our long-term health.


  1. I'm so glad to read this review; I am a BeachBody fan and have been lured by the claims made in reference to Shakeology. I had a similar physical reaction to what you describe, but I also got terrible headaches. I have never experienced those side effects from the IsaLean shakes. I also agree with you 100% regarding the taste. IsaLean wins hands down in my book.

    1. Isagenix reviews is a nutritional cleansing program and not a diet. By removing toxins and impurities from the body and supplying the body with the optimum level of nutrients, people using Isagenix products have experienced weight loss, increased energy, better digestion and improved overall health. Results of course will vary and will depend on your current health and other variables.

    2. suma root was removed from shakeo a few years ago

    3. Thank you for the update. I have also updated my review to reflect this information.

  2. I will say this, cool view points but as someone who says they did their research you have a few red flag points that make this all seem very biased. Am I a coach yes, do I believe in shakeology and what it does for people yes. I also am the type of person that is open to peoples opinions and view points. Shakeology is whey protein isolate, which is more than 90 percent pure protein. Not sure it gets better than that. Aside from that Shakeology isn't used as a pre workout supplement we have energy and endurance for that. You compared prices stating "lets assume" the nutrtion is of equal value when clearly its not. You also stated about artifical flavoring which shakeology doesnt have artificial flavors nor preservatives. I can go on and on but let the facts be the facts. Put Your shake up ingredient for ingredient, line item for line item and lets do a real comparrison. On another note you talked right away about how you couldnt make $$$ because people dont need a program every month. Thats interesting in a country that is fighting an epidemic of obesity. The main point is to help people and the $$$ will follow. Not how many workouts you can sell. Thats what coaching is about. You also stated that you had digestive issues, well shakeology will "clean" you out due to the fiber and digestive enzymes. So you can say because its nutrient dense and that your body was "used" to that, but its evident that your body was "cleansing" itself. The only thing I can agree on with this article is prob your reaction to greenberry. As I felt the same way, but learned in time and with trying different recipes its good when made right. Btw, what scares you about Sprouted brown fermented rice as a protein (perhaps you should research that). Since you are making claims about how bad the protein in shakeology is. Not sure I understand if its that bad and We come up with not one but 2 Chocolate Vegan now shakes how does what you have even compare seeing as theres no animal products in either one of these shakes? Where did you get ur calorie count from? Theres 140 in greenberry, 150 in chocolate and 160 in tropical. You add to the shake and get anwhere from 140-400 calories depending on what you put in it. Anyway I can go on and on. Your opinion is just that but if you are gonna post facts do more research. Shakeology is helping people change their lives and beachbody doesn't cut corners to have subpar products. I would love to see the ingredient list on this Isa Lean. Put that up and Ill put up Shakeology let the facts do the talking.

    1. Anonymous(2) - thank you for you post and your viewpoints as well. I would like to address some of the points you brought up.

      Whey protein isolate - I have no doubt that it is 90% pure protein however it is the process to get it to that point that I object to. As stated in the original post by Dr. Mercoloa "All whey protein isolates are devoid of nutritional co-factors including alkalizing minerals, naturally occurring vitamins, and lipids, which are lost in the processing... This renders them deficient and overly acidifying. Unlike whole protein food concentrates which does not acidify your body due to its alkalinizing minerals, whey protein isolate are over acidifying." This just doesn't seem to me like a good situation from a health standpoint.

      Brown rice protein - Let me clarify, I was not stating that the brown rice protein terrifies me, but the acidic state of whey protein isolate. I have yet to do my research on the vegan shakes but will be looking at it soon. A vegan shake would actually NOT scare me if I could verify that all the other ingredients were of high quality (which I've said that I do believe Shakeology uses high quality ingredients with the exception of the whey protein. I think they could do better in that department) but I would not CHOOSE to use a vegan shake due to the health benefits of undenatured whey protein concentrate. You can view that blog in the June archives. You can also do a simple Google search for "benefits of undenatured whey protein concentrate" and you will find article after article touting how great it is. Also, the day I published this particular post on Shakeology was prior to the reveal of the new vegan Shakeology flavors.

      Artificial flavors - my actual statement was, " I am actually excited to see they [Beachbody] use Himilayan sea salt and other great nutrients for flavoring such as stevia instead of nasty artificial flavorings." Please reread this statement as I believe it was not read correctly the first time.

      Calorie count - My mistake. I will go back and correct the original post to reflect the correct calorie counts. I was looking at the Chocolate Shakeology label as I was typing. I can only guess I made a simple type-o however, with the lower calorie count my statement about it not being an adequate meal replacement still stands. Yes, you can add items to it to increase the calories but, again, that would also increase the sugar counts as well as the overall cost of the shake.

      Digestive issues - I actually do not have digestive issues. I made reference to a condition I was diagnosed with that is highly reactive to acidic foods and drinks however, it has nothing to do with my digestive function which is perfectly fine :)

    2. Anonymous (2) - here is my continued response. I had to break it apart due to restrictions on comment length.

      If you would like to do a comparison of our ingredients please be my guest. Currently I do not possess the time to do a complete item by item comparison myself as I am 37 1/2 weeks pregnant and preparing for the arrival of our baby boy in just a few weeks. As I stated before, Shakeology contains lots of domestic and exotic ingredients that have great health benefits however, again, I don't have the time to research each one and compare. Frankly I don't see the need to. I believe the points I made are plenty enough for one to make their own educated decision on what product they choose to use, if indeed, they are comparing these two particular products. Our labels can be found on

      Lastly, the Business aspect of Beachbody - My desire is also to help people improve their health and physical shape. We are indeed in the midst of an obesity epidemic and I see it everyday as a teacher. It kills me inside to have a 15 year old student who is about to undergo bariatric surgery and on more medications than I can count on both hands. But it would be ignorant to ignore the fact that Beachbody is a network marketing and direct sales company. Coaches are there to help others AND make money doing so. There is no shame in earning an income while helping others change their lives. Any smart business person knows that in order to KEEP customers you have to have a product that they keep coming back for. For Beachbody, that is Shakeology. "Joe" is not going to purchase P90X this month, TurboFire next month and RevAbs the month after. Great NWM companies have to have a consumable product to continue to grow and continue to increase revenue without having to find a new customer base each month.

  3. Shakeology has allowed my friend to stop taking 40 pills per day for Crohns disease. Her doctor said she'd be taking these pills for the rest of her life. Shakeology has allowed my aunt to stop taking her Fibromyalgia meds (so far so good). She has been off a week and usually after 2 days shes in extreme pain. Shakeology has allowed my grandma, who has polymyalgia, to gain the energy to start mowing her own lawn as well as walking around a very big park once a day. Prior to this, she's been inactive as long as i've been alive. I've never heard testimony such as this, from people drinking any other shake. Am I a Beachbody coach? Yes. So, if anyone would like to speak to those 3 people (2 who are not coaches), we can make that happen. Facts are facts.

    1. Erikia - thank you for your response. I'm glad to hear you have friends and family who have been helped with good nutrition.

      Do I think Shakeology can help those looking to improve their current state of health ? Sure. As I've stated previously there is no doubt that Shakeology incorporates some great ingredients that can certainly benefit a person's well-being. My review is based primarily on three things
      1. My personal experience with the product as a former BB coach
      2. The cost factor between the two products
      3. The difference between the primary components of the shake - they whey protein.

      #1 is personal, #2 and #3 are just an objective look. I might prefer one product over another but I will not hesitate to be fair and point out the good things should they exist. Not doing so would be ineffective for me and only show me to be and ignorant product-pusher. My goal is to provide information so people can make the educated decisions for themselves.

      "I've never heard testimony such as this, from people drinking any other shake." The reason for this is that it's not the shake that is the miracle. It's the body. When you put nutrition in the body, the body is able to function as it was designed. I had my own health restored this way. You can find it in the May archives titled "I'm Back!" There is also a restoration story in the June archives. I have numerous if you would like to read more.

      As for the health claims in your response - might I recommend that you edit them to be compliant? Statements such as those above could cause the FDA to target your company for investigation and shut down as has happened with many other health companies who's associates have made medical claims about their products and disease or pain. This blog is totally public and can be seen by anyone. I would hate to see Beachbody targeted because I really do love the company and their workout programs.

    2. I don't think anyone said that Shakeology was a bad product. Just stated that Isagenix is a better product. I agree with that statement. I compared them ALL before deciding to use a product. And my research told me that Isagenix was the best out there for my purpose. And I will say, I have used many, many products with protein through the years, and as far as I am concerned, Isagenix protein is "THE BEST" out there!!

  4. Thank you for this review! It has some very helpful key points. I would like to also respond to the anonymous poster above. Having loose bowels and stomach cramping a few weeks into starting a new shake is not an indication of body detox. It is an indication that your body does not like what it is putting into it. Body detox should NOT include those symptoms. The detox symptoms I am most familiar with people experiencing when on a high quality cleansing and nutritional program are headache and or fatigue(within the first couple of days). These symptoms will subside after several days on a high quality program and you begin to feel better, have more energy and your body begins to function on levels it hasn't been able to in years. Whoever has told you that loose bowels are a form of detox is dangerously misinformed or misleading.
    Thank you again, great article.

  5. I just tried the isagenix shake for the first time yesterday. I have Shakeology and I drink it a few times a week, so have more experience with it. I found the Isagenix to be smoother and better tasting, although Shakelogy is also very good. I'm just not a huge chocolate fan so I liked the vanilla option of Isagenix. Probably the main reason I don't use Shakeology more is that it gives me gas! (sorry TMI). I will have to test the Isagenix more to see, but at least the one shake I had did not give me that problem.

    I compared the very basic nutrition of the shakes (cal, fat, protein, carbs, etc.) and they really are basically identical. The issue is that the serving sizes are different with Shakeology being a 40 g serving and Isagenix being a 61 gram serving. So if I change the serving size of the Isagenix to 40 g, everything is very close...Isagenix has just about 17 more calories and little bit more fat, due to using the less processed whey concentrate vs. isolate (I am guessing). Isagenix is somehat lower in sodium but otherwise everything else (protein, sugars, carbs, etc.) is pretty equal when you make the serving size the same.

    I didn't do a price comparison, but by comparing on a serving size basis, you are getting a little more for your money with a serving of Isagenix.

    So I think I will continue to evaluate Isagenix more, I do like the less processed whey protein aspect of it, the flavor, and if I don't have the gas issues it will be the winner.

    I am not affiliated with either company...just a consumer.

  6. Thanks very much for a thorough analysis... it's very difficult to sort through the marketing hype that everyone puts out. I've been very happy with Isagenix; losing weight is not really an issue for me, but I work out regularly and feel I get a good boost.

    By the way, Isagenix's French vanilla flavor just doesn't do it for me (I guess it's new?), and I wouldn't go with chocolate either. But plain vanilla, together with rice milk and frozen fruit, makes for a perfect smoothie. YMMV.

    1. I HATE the new French Vanilla flavor. I love Isagenix and use it daily, but I've had to switch from ordering packs because they come with the new French Vanilla, to ordering individual canisters of Creamy Vanilla until supplies run out. When that happens I will be searching for a new product since I don't like chocolate and the French Vanilla flavor is unpalatable to me. I wish they would have simply added a flavor and still kept the original vanilla. Too bad they will be losing customers over this as my entire download hates the taste.

    2. I have not tried the new vanilla but I wad never find of the creamy vanilla. I love the chocolate though. Have you tried adding anything to it to improve it? Personally I would rather keep the nutrition of the shake and add fruit or other ingredients to enhance the flavor. I just won't compromise on not having at least one shake a day. They are just too valuable to me health-wise to look for anything else.

    3. Just wanted to add that Isagenix responded recently to the fact that quite a few people did like the previous vanilla better than the new formula (though it was better nutritionally). They added a new flavor to the IsaLean Pro version called Natural Vanilla. It lacks the cinnamon taste, and in my opinion tastes much more like the previous vanilla formula.

      Although it is not available yet in the regular IsaLean shake, you can still get the old formula by ordering the Kosher shakes (these are the old formula). Hope this helps...

    4. I know my response is a bit late, but I just want to let you know that the Kosher Vanilla shake tastes like the old vanilla so I have been ordering that since I found out and it's back to amazingly yummy shakes for me! I don't dislike the new vanilla shake, I just don't like it as much because of the cinnamon, but if you add 1 or 2 Tbsp of PB2, it tastes a bit like a peanut butter cookie. With the kosher IsaLean vanilla, I use 1 scoop of IsaFruits, water and a few ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and...OMG!! It's amazing! If you use a few ounces of OJ with the kosher vanilla, it tastes like a creamsicle. Sooo good! I also have it plain and it's really yummy that way, but it's nice to be able to mix things up a bit from time to time. I have felt so much better since using Isagenix products and would recommend them to everyone. I used to feel down all the time, but I'm now smiling and positive more often than not. I've lost weight, gained energy and my doctors are amazed at my test results. I've tried Shakeology and it's just not for me. The taste, the price, the digestive thanks.

  7. Thanks for the comparison of the two shakes. I was looking for something paid for by neither company. I just started BB workouts and love them, but I have a family member who sells Isagenix. I wanted to pick the best nutritional option but didn't want to dis my relative. Thanks to your blog, he'll be getting at least one order from me. BTW - we did not experience any gastrointestinal distress from our 7-day free supply of Shakelogoy.

    1. I'm glad I could help. It is also good to hear that you didn't have the same adverse affects that I did. I would love to hear how you liked the Isagenix products if you did order them. Happy cleansing!

  8. All animal-based proteins acidify,whether they are isolated or whole. Chicken will acidify, fish, cheese, milk, etc... that's not news nor a negative since it's about a balanced diet. The greens and berries in either formula will help restore proper PH, and that's why it's an absolutely non-issue. Mercola was talking about protein on its own.

    Not sure why anyone would overlook this very obvious or simple fact.
    Greens are the key to proper PH, and Shakeology contains those.

    I take neither of these products, I just do my homework.

    1. Isagenix does have a Greens product which is absolutely fabulous! It contains over 50 cold-processed vegetable and fruit powders. I love to mix it in my chocolate shake to for added nutrients and because, for some odd reason, they taste great combined with chocolate. The nice thing about them is that you don't HAVE to have a shake to consume them. Unlike with Shakeology you have to consume those greens in the shake. Somedays I would rather just have the green in water. They are flavorful enough to take alone.

  9. After reading your post, I know what I should choose for me. Thank you.

  10. the original isagenix creamy vanilla is yummy!....

    1. I wasn't a big fan of the original vanilla however did purchase the new reformulated vanilla last month. I haven't tried it yet b/c I'm such a chocolate lover :)

  11. Does the protein in Shakeology come from "happy cows" as well or is it only the other ingredients that are whole foods and organic?

    1. I searched the FAQ section of the Shakeology website and found only that the whey in the shake is antibiotic-free and non GMO. I cannot find where the whey is sourced from. Isagenix whey comes from the "happy cows" in New Zealand. They are only milked in their natural season, are grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free. The whey is a grade 7 which is higher than any whey made in the USA.

  12. I've been Isagenix for about 4 weeks and I absolutely LOVE it!! I did do one cleanse and now I take 2 shakes a day with an occasional IsaPro protein shake after a workout. I have lost about 5 lbs and 13 inches all over my body....but most importantly is the way I feel!! I feel amazing and have so much energy and have been able to get through my workouts much easier! I am actually picking them up a notch!! And I am 52 years old!! I am loving Isagenix and my husband is going to give it a try too!!

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Thanks for this post....exactly what I was looking for. Too bad the one person who had all kinds of negative comments regarding the original post didn't read it properly. Thank-you for not bashing beach body....that is very honourable(spelling is correct for me...I am Canadian:) lol) of you. I do prefer Isagenix...because I know what it has done for me. I have finally convinced my husband to try it...and we are on our first day of the 2-day cleanse...YEAH!!! And for those wondering if it works. In May/June of 2010....I used a 30-day cleanse to lose those last 6-7lbs of baby weight that I just couldn't matter how much exercise I did and how healthy I ate. I actually lost 8-10lbs and didn't regain a pound when I stopped the program. I got pregnant with twins in August...yeah. After I had the twins( I only gained 40 ish lbs) I came home from the hospital a week after I had them 24lbs lighter...thought great I am less now then I was after I had my first daughter. Sadly even with my great eating/exercise lifestyle I stayed at that weight. I decided that once I finished nursing them 10 mths later that my body needed the boost again and did another 30-day cleanse. Lost 8-10lbs in that month and kept it off. I continued my increased exercise and healthy eating...without the isagenix shakes....and again a year later I was still the same weight. So in February I decided enough was enough....because an official Isagenix working on Manager and did the clease program again. Happy to say that I feel amazing and I am actually lighter then I was before I had any of my children.....again I feel amazing!! I have lost 16lbs since February and now am at the weight I was in my 20's. My husband has noticed a huge change in me and I love that I am sharing a product with people that I 100% believe in!!!! In saying all of this I am very happy for this article because I have had many people ask me the difference between the two "shakes".

  15. i heard so many great things about shakeology and then i decided to finally give it a try and ordered the chocolate flavor (this girl has horrible sweet tooth attacks). i have no problem with the taste but i did notice side effects. im experiencing headaches and im very bloated (with some gases too. yikes!) Iam a fairly healthy person, i workout regularly and my body is used to good nutrients (however not as dense as shakeology, offcourse.) i read some treads and lots of people said that all this goes away in the first week. so ill be giving it a chance for a week. if i dont feel better, then its going back for a refund. something that also annoyed me is the beachbody coach who encouraged me to buy did not warn me with any side effects. Im sure they heard about what people experienced as most of the reviews were on beachbody forums.

    overall, not a big fan of shakeology yet. hopefully the side effects will end soon.

    1. I'm sorry you too have felt the negative effects like I did. I am curious about what you ultimately decided to do. I would love to hear from you again.

  16. Mickale, thank you very much for the information. I would like your opinion on a decision I pondering. I guess you could say I am allergic to artificial sweeteners, because every time I have them I get a bad headache within 5 minutes of consuming them. I also get the same side affect from ingesting stevia. Unfortunately, sugar alternatives are being added to everything, but that is a discussion on another forum. It appears from the ingredients that the Isalean Kosher vanilla does not include any type sugar substitute. I am strongly considering using the product but can't get over the cost.

    I went to Isagenix website, and I see where the price drops to $41.95 for associated. Also, if you purchase a minimum of 6 you can receive an additional 10% off. That being said; it would cost my wife and I $167.80 a month, plus shipping, plus the annual fee.

    An alternative I found would be to purchase the Optimum Nutrition 100% Natural Oats and Whey Vanilla Bean which is $23.97 for a month supply for one person and add the Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men Multivitamins which would be approximately $10 a month for 1 person or approximately $68 per month for my wife and I.

    A few questions:
    1. How time consuming is it to become an associate with Isagenix? On a sided note, I am not interested in selling the product to others at a price I feel isn’t justified.
    2. What’s the lowest price available if I were willing to purchase in bulk?
    3. If the optimum shake is bearable, from a nutritional standpoint, would you say the optimum shake/multi vitiamin combo is a equal alternative to the Isalean kosher shake? You being an expecting Mom, I know you can appreciate my financial concern since I have three kids myself.

    Your opinion is greatly appreciated. If you have any other suggestions that do not include sugar alternatives I am open to those as well.
    Congratulations and thank you!

    1. Hi Craig,

      I've looked at the information I could find on the Optimum Nutrition 100% Natural Oats and Whey Vanilla Bean container. The big difference here is that the Optimum Nutrition product is just whey protein. It is not a complete meal replacement which the IsaLean shakes are. I checked the label on Vitacost's site and it specifically says, "Do not use as a sole source of nutrition for weight loss or maintenance."

      The Isagenix product that would best compare with this product is the IsaPro which is just the protein that is used in the IsaLean shake.

      To be an associate with Isagenix requires only as much time as you want to put in. Many people enroll as an associate to simply receive the wholesale pricing. You are not obligated to share it with anyone. That being said I must confess that when people see results from what you are doing they will ask and that can lead to sharing and a potential income stream for you and your family. But again... you can choose to not share and simply use the product. I think the latest number I saw was that 87% of members are simply product users.

      I would love to discuss this more however much is dependent on your goals and what want to products to do for you. If you could email me I could give you better specifics. Thank you for your inquiry!

    2. I'm unable to find your email address, please assist.

    3. I'm so sorry Craig! You can email me at

  17. Does Silicon Dioxide raise any concerns for anyone? It is in IsaLean Silicon dioxide, also known as silica (from the Latin silex), is a chemical compound that is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2. It has been known since ancient times. Silica is most commonly found in nature as sand or quartz, as well as in the cell walls of diatoms (frustule).[2]
    Silica is manufactured in several forms including fused quartz, crystal, fumed silica (or pyrogenic silica), colloidal silica, silica gel, and aerogel.
    Silica is used primarily in the production of glass for windows, drinking glasses, beverage bottles, and many other uses. The majority of optical fibers for telecommunications are also made from silica. It is a primary raw material for many ceramics such as earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain.
    Silica is a common additive in the production of foods, where it is used primarily as a flow agent in powdered foods, or to absorb water in hygroscopic applications. It is the primary component of diatomaceous earth, which has many uses ranging from filtration to insect control. It is also the primary component of rice husk ash, which is used, for example, in filtration and cement manufacturing.
    Thin films of silica grown on silicon wafers via thermal oxidation methods can be quite beneficial in microelectronics, where they act as electric insulators with high chemical stability. In electrical applications, it can protect the silicon, store charge, block current, and even act as a controlled pathway to limit current flow.[3]
    A silica-based aerogel was used in the Stardust spacecraft to collect extraterrestrial particles. Silica is also used in the extraction of DNA and RNA due to its ability to bind to the nucleic acids under the presence of chaotropes. As hydrophobic silica it is used as a defoamer component. In hydrated form, it is used in toothpaste as a hard abrasive to remove tooth plaque.
    In its capacity as a refractory, it is useful in fiber form as a high-temperature thermal protection fabric. In cosmetics, it is useful for its light-diffusing properties and natural absorbency. Colloidal silica is used as a wine and juice fining agent. In pharmaceutical products, silica aids powder flow when tablets are formed. It is also used as a thermal enhancement compound in ground source heat pump industry.

    1. Silicon dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in herbs, vegetables and fruits and has many health benefits. Although it is a trace mineral, silicon dioxide still provides many health benefits that people seek. The main areas in the body that need silicon are connective tissues, organs, skin, hair, bone cartilage, and the bones themselves. This means that it can be used as a remedy or relief for many different chronic illnesses and body disorders.
      It's a very beneficial trace mineral - nothing to be scared of.

  18. Or how about Xylitol: (Again in Isagenix)
    industrial production starts from xylan (a hemicellulose) extracted from hardwoods[6] or corncobs, which is hydrolyzed into xylose and catalytically hydrogenated into xylitol.

    1. Xylitol is yet another beneficial ingredient in Isagenix IsaLean shakes that you (most likely a Beachbody Coach) keep picking at. Xylitol heals and repairs the body and it reduces germs, irritants and pollutants from sticking to tissue. It helps protect teeth and gums, too.
      Xylitol health benefits also include the bones, mostly because of the re-mineralization effects. Many times, patients with osteoporosis are encouraged to ingest small amounts of Xylitol to help strengthen bones and increase bone density.

      It is also believed that Xylitol health benefits include calcium absorption, which, as we all know, aids in bone density. If the body is able to use the calcium it receives, the loss of bone density will be slowed or possibly stopped.

      Thank you for highlighting this very beneficial ingredient in IsaLean shakes.

    2. Thank you for the great information! In our home we have switched from using organic sugar to using Xylitol for a sweetener in nearly everything. The benefits of Xylitol are amazing! It has even been used to help promote natural healing of childhood ear infections. My son is prone to these infections due to his cleft palate (which interferes with eustacian tube function) so in addition the other natural remedies I mentioned in a recent blog I have also added a tiny bit of Xylitol to his baby food. I love that it is in the IsaLean shakes!

  19. Lastly: Dipotassium Phosphate (Again in Isagenix)
    Dipotassium phosphate (K2HPO4) (also dipotassium salt; dipotassium hydrogen orthophosphate; potassium phosphate, dibasic) is a highly water-soluble salt which is often used as a fertilizer, food additive and buffering agent. It is a common source of phosphorus and potassium.

    Dipotassium phosphate is used in imitation dairy creamers, starter cultures, dry powder beverages, mineral supplements, and starter cultures.[1]
    It is used in non-dairy creamers to prevent coagulation.[2]
    It is used in the production of trypticase soy broth, used to make agar plates for culturing bacteria

    As the trend of "clean eating" and doing our best to avoid processed foods I would pay the extra for Shakeology as it does not include any of these chemically processed ingredients. I'm not claiming to be an authority of either product, but in my little bit of reading of the description of these ingredients I don't have to have a Masters Degree to see the benefits of keeping as many artificial substances out of my body as possible.

    1. Thank you for calling attention to yet another ingredient in IsaLean shakes that is beneficial...
      According to
      "Di-Potassium Phosphate is a 100% natural dietary and performance enhancing supplement that plays an important role in the recovery of muscles. It is more commonly known as phosphoric acid and is considered a salt form of Phosphate.

      Used primarily by athletes and weightlifters, Di-Potassium Phosphate helps build endurance while allowing faster recovery in between exercises. Di-Potassium Phosphate is best used by someone who plans to be exercising nonstop for at least 30 minutes.

      In addition, Di-Potassium Phosphate helps create energy and is able to assist in the process of delivering oxygen to muscles. This allows for a better overall execution of rapid and strenuous movements such as lifting heavy weights, running, or playing a sport."

      You wrote something about "artificial substances" and yet every single one of the three ingredients you've mentioned are all natural substances. Xylitol is from birch bark, Silicon Dioxide is found in many different plants (herbs, vegetables, etc.) and Dipotassium Phosphate is a naturally occurring mineral.

    2. Thank you for all the information provided here! I love that my readers are educated, have done their "due diligence" and are willing to share! I've been preoccupied lately with a very active one year old who is just learning to walk so my time to sit down and do research has been very limited.

      If there is one thing I am sure of it is that Isagenix will not put anything into their products that could be controversial or harmful for consumers. For that same reason they have removed all ingredients that are soy-derived (even if it is organic soy). There are new reports out to bring into question if soy is a health food or not and, as a result, the soy-lecithin that was used has been replaced.

      In addition, all mineral and vitamin content is also plant-derived. These natural and beneficial forms means they are readily available to the body and they are all water-soluble so whatever the body doesn't need can be easily flushed out instead of harboring in the cells.

  20. I have many friends real interested in Shakeology. I'm a firm isagenix user because I know the more superior quality of it. I do get a lot of comparisons of the vitamins and minerals that Shakeology supposedly have a higher content of. What do I say to that?

    1. Isagenix has a complete nutritional profile, enough calories to be considered a meal replacement, over 240 nutrients that your body needs everyday AND it tastes great without needing any extra ingredients... unlike some other shakes we know of :)

  21. And I ran into this coach, Justin who clearly thinks Shakeology is better. What do you think of his blog? Since Shakeokogy is popular along with the work outs, which I do and love as well. I just don't get into the hype of their shake brand. I am trying to get more info and research and educate myself more also. Thank you Mickale for enlightening so much already. And I can't believe it's been a year since you wrote this blog lol. I'm sure I ran across it last year when I had my now nearly 15 month old baby boy and fourth child as well :)

  22. Oops his blog address is

    1. Thank you! I looked through his comparison. Some of the things he says are true... and that is okay. He mentions the difference in calories - IsaLean shake has 240 and Shakeology has 150. That makes Shakeology a great *supplement* but not a meal replacement. Isalean shakes can stand alone as a meal with any added ingredients and by using only water. On a cleanse program you are SUPPOSED to have two shakes per day so his argument about the potency of the products is lacking information or he has not studied the programs that Isagenix offered.

      Your body has a limited number of nutrient receptors. It is for that reason that your professional juicers and nutritionists will tell you that you can't drink more than 8oz of fresh carrot juice at a time - you body can only assimilate so much at a time and the rest is flushed out. Even the Emergen-C packets you can find in the store need to be taken 1/2 packet at a time for the same reason. While Shakeology may be completely LOADED with all those vitamins in obscene amounts, it doesn't mean that you are going to benefit from them all. Your body will take what it needs and dump the rest. I would hate to be paying for all those exotic ingredients and the vitamins and minerals to be going down the toilet... literally.

  23. I am just curious...You said you had a condition that was highly reactive to acidic foods. Would you mind sharing this diagnosis and if not could you say if it has something to do with high ANA?

  24. I appreciate everyone's comments. I am a new Beachbody coach, and had not realized some of the side effects people can experience.

    Personally, I was actually looking for a 3rd protein shake that I could recommend people could use, and someone just suggested Isagenix. I am pretty picky, and the ingredients have to be very good quality and actually taste good.

    I haven't found a $30 protein/meal replacement shake that actually gives me energy and gives my body what I need yet. I am not sure those exist.

    The reason why I was looking for a 3rd protein shake is because I am building a fitness website, and I do realize that one brand doesn't always work for every single person. I wanted to offer what will work for people.

    I think you all did a very good job of that.

    So, when my website is ready to offer products, I am definitely going to consider putting isagenix on there.

    Since we are on the subject, what is the difference between isagenix and the Raw protein shake?

    1. Hi Mary! I'm glad the information in this blog was helpful to you. I wish you the best of luck with your fitness website.

      Due to the nature of the business behind both Beachbody and Isagenix, it would be a huge conflict of interest to endorse both products. That is a huge reason why I left the coaching community and have stayed with Isagenix. In general the leader of the companies would not permit you to remain an associate for that reason. We have numerous fitness professionals and athletes that have chosen to stick with Isagenix alone and have become very successful. I would love to connect you with some of them (if you like) to pick their brains and determine what is the right course of action for you and your business.

      I've included some links to some notable professionals that have joined Isagenix lately

      Lori Harder

      Shane Freels

      You can also check out this video about how athletes incorporate Isagenix into their training.

      Again, let me know if you would like to get connected with some experts. You can email me at Leanandclean247

    2. also... I will look into the RAW shake. I don't know much about it at this point.

    3. The Isagenix meal replacement shake comes in two flavors; chocolate and vanilla. According to my research, Isagenix provides 23 grams of protein per serving and contains many naturally occurring ingredients. Isagenix contains 1100% more fat than Shakeology And which probably why people say it's smoother(6 grams of fat compared to less than half a gram in Shakeology). Additionally, Isagenix contains more cholesterol, sodium, and overall calories per serving. Shakeology contains 150 calories per serving compared to 240 calories per serving. Isagenix also lacks the potency of the vitamins and minerals contained within Shakeology; for example Isagenix only has 40% of the daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C versus 300% in Shakeology. Isagenix lacks vitamins such as B1, B2, and B3; all contained within Shakeology. Research actually shows that you would have to consume 2 to 4 Isagneix shakes to get the same concerntraion of vitamins and minerals found in just 1 serving of Shakeology.

      Now let’s talk a bit about the Isagenix Isalean Shake price. Each canister costs $ 39.00 and contains a 14 day supply therefore for one month you will need approximately two canisters for a total cost $78.00 plus shipping. From what I have found Isagenix does offer a 30 day money back guarantee; however, I cannot find any information indicating that they offer a bottom of the bag money back guarantee like Shakeology does!