Yes, Shakeology can be bad for you. The product was found to contain traces of lead in 2013. And although it has since been reformulated, there are more effective, less expensive ways to lose weight.
Shakeology refers to a complete line of meal replacement shakes intended for weight loss. It was introduced in 2011 by Beachbody, the corporation who is also responsible for the popular at-home fitness programs P90X and Insanity
Shakeology claims to improve health, boost energy levels, reduce cravings and ultimately, aid in weight loss. But does it actually work? Or could it be bad for you?
Let’s start with the ingredients that are listed on the label. Shakeology contains whey protein and fiber to help you feel fuller longer. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for nutrition and immune system support, along with probiotics and enzymes to support digestive health. That is all pretty standard stuff—no cause for concern here. The real issue lies with what’s not on the ingredients list.
In 2013, ConsumerLab.com released a report stating that they had found lead contamination in Shakeology’s greenberry flavor: approximately 12.7 micrograms of lead in each serving. Soon after the discovery, Dr. Oz ran a special on trace amounts of lead occurring in certain protein supplements. Shakeology was on the list, and the program received wide exposure.
Soon after the story broke, Beachbody released a statement defending Shakeology. They stated that metals were naturally occurring in some minerals, and that their product was in no way toxic. And though they refuted the claim, they decided to reformulate the product anyway. As of 2015, Consumer Reports states that lead is no longer found in Shakeology.
Even though the new formulation might technically be safe for consumption, there are now questions about whether or not it even works. There are tons of personal testimonials and positive reviews online, but these all come from the Shakeology site itself—or Beachbody “coaches” who receive a commission on the products they sell. If you read the fine print at the bottom of the Shakeology website, it clearly states:
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The products are also very expensive. The cost of Shakeology works out to be around $120 for a 30-day serving. That’s roughly $4 per 140-calorie shake, which haven’t even been clinically proven to help anyone lose weight.
Before you try Shakeology (or any other weight loss program) it’s important to consult your primary physician first. Everyone responds to diets differently, and drastically reducing your intake to 140 calories for one meal might not be safe for everyone. Your physician will be able to provide a personalized recommendation on the best approach to safely meeting your fitness goals.
Possible short-term side effects
- abdominal cramps
Possible long-term side effects