Shakes are a popular way to lose weight – but which product do you turn to?
There are many options out there, some are much better than others.
This post compares 18 Shake vs Shakeology, two brands that are popular in their own right.
Each of the brands has many passionate followers. So, which one is better?
Don’t want to wait? Skip straight to the final comparison.
The company behind 18 Shake just focuses on that one product, marketing it as a Luxury Meal Replacement.
The site heavily relies on hype and sales tools. For example, you’ll see patterns like this.
I’ve seen a similar offer every time I’ve been on the site – so it doesn’t seem to be a limited time offer. It’s also misleading. You only get that price if you buy multiple bags at a time.
You have to provide your address and phone number to even see the pricing.
There are a few other products. These are supplements designed to be used with 18 Shake. But, the company offers very little information about them.
The site feels very manipulative, with an excessive emphasis on marketing and few details.
Still, you can buy online and there is no focus on automatic subscriptions. Customers do get the shakes too. So, it certainly isn’t a scam.
Shakeology has a very different focus. It comes from the parent company Beachbody, which uses network marketing.
Network marketing is an income model, allowing people to earn money promoting the products. It’s not entirely a bad thing – but it does lead to biased reviews.
In fact, most of the Shakeology hype comes from distributors, not customers.
On the plus side, Beachbody does specialize in many health and wellness products, including weight loss and exercise programs. While some of them are questionable (like 21 Day Fix), others may work for many people. The focus means Beachbody has more expertise in health and weight loss, which is nice.
The Shakeology site also manages to mostly focus on what the products are, with less hype and manipulation.
Like 18 Shake, there are some other products present. The main ones are the boosts below.
They’re designed to offer extra nutrition. The site offers details about what each contains, along with how they’re meant to work.
Reviews for both brands suggest that the shakes taste good, although personal preferences vary. But, the number of flavors is very different.
If you tend to have the same flavor each time, this may not be an issue. But, flavor variety could help you continue with a shake regimen in the long-term.
The only flavors from 18 Shake are chocolate and vanilla.
This is an incredibly poor selection. The flavors are also extremely common and just about every brand offers them.
Shakeology has two different types of shake, vegan and non-vegan. The flavors are similar for each, but there are some differences as well.
This is a wider selection of flavors and includes some more unusual options.
Neither brand is amazing for offering dietary options. But, they would still appeal to different audiences.
The shakes are labeled as soy free and gluten free, although soy lectin is still used as an ingredient. Both flavors use whey protein, so they’re not suitable for vegans or those who are lactose intolerant.
Shakeology does cater to vegans and non-vegans with its shakes. However, their products aren’t guaranteed to be gluten free or soy free. This is mostly because of cross-contamination risk, although the vegan shakes do use oat protein.
Other potential allergens include milk, tree nuts, fish and eggs.
This makes Shakeology a poor choice for people sensitive to any of these components.
18 Shake is mostly sold through the company’s website. You can either buy a single bag or a bundle with multiple bags and other bonuses.
The style offers limited flexibility. But, there are only two flavors to choose from anyway. The shakes are sometimes present on Amazon as well, at a similar price to the website.
Shakeology is sold through the company Beachbody, which uses direct sales. So, the main way to buy the shakes is through distributors.
Customers can also order online through Shakeology’s website.
Beachbody promotes ordering through autoship. This provides a discount and automatically sends products each month. The idea is something to be wary about, as some people experience issues canceling such systems.
There is also an emphasis on getting people to join as distributors and obtain further discounts. Such an idea can work, although it isn’t as powerful as it sounds.
From time-to-time, Shakeology products can be found on Amazon, eBay or similar sites. But, that’s rare, as distributors are not allowed to sell that way.
Both brands are fairly expensive, compared to the market average. Supporters argue that this isn’t a problem, as the products are high-quality. You still save money if you have the shakes instead of takeout or processed meals.
Even so, pricing is important, especially with all the competing brands.
The price for 18 Shake strongly depends on how you purchase. The retail price is $89.99 per bag, which each bag containing 16 servings. That calculates to around $5.60 per serving.
If the shake helps you lose weight, it might be worth that price. Even so, it is more expensive than many other brands.
But, the price does change if you buy more at a time. For example, the best current deal costs $239.95 for 5 bags. This calculates to roughly $3 per serving. That’s still on the high side but it is much more reasonable.
Shakeology offers two sizing options. The first is 24 single-serve packets, while the second is a resealable bag of 30 servings. Both cost $129.95 each. That calculates to around $5.40 or $4.30 per serving, depending on the size.
Choosing the 30-serving container is more cost-efficient. However, this only gives you one flavor at a time, although you can alternate month to month.
The single serve packets allow flavors to be mixed, such as 8 chocolate, 8 vanilla and 8 strawberry shakes each month. Either way, the cost per serving is high.
You can get discounts by signing up for autoship or joining as a distributor. Both processes come with risks and complexities. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully first.
Nutrition is one of the most important comparisons with shakes. Shakes with more protein and fiber tend to be more filling. A focus on natural ingredients is important too.
The table below highlights the current nutrition profile for the chocolate versions of each shake. Vegan and non-vegan options are included for Shakeology, as these are different.
Formulations do change over time. However, the details here are up-to-date currently and reflect general patterns across the products.
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Whey concentrate & isolate
Plant-based (mixed sources)
The first thing to mention is the differences in serving size. A serving of 18 Shake is smaller. So, it's no surprise it is also lower in calories.
Even so, the two brands have similar levels of protein, fiber and fat. This should give them the same appetite-suppressing power.
The most important difference is sugar. 18 Shake just offers 1 gram of sugar per serving, while Shakeology has 7 grams. This is partly why Shakeology is higher in calories too.
Being higher in calories isn't necessarily bad. It can mean the shake is more filling.
But, it's a problem when those calories come from sugar. 7 grams of sugar is also high for a weight loss product, especially as sugar has negative health impacts.
The pattern makes 18 Shake much better for keto and low carb dieters as well. A serving only has 3 grams of net carbs, which can work well. On the other hand, Shakeology has 11 grams of net carbs per serving.
The higher levels of sugar help explain why Shakeology gets so many positive reviews. The sugar would make the shake taste better. This may be important if you struggle to drink shakes regularly.
Both brands are considered meal replacement shakes. They’re designed to offer similar nutrients to what you would get in a meal.
With 18 Shake, you’re getting roughly 30% of most key nutrients. This includes vitamins A, B12, C, D, E and K, along with zinc, chromium and folate. There are some exceptions. For example, you get just 15% of calcium and 4% magnesium (you can see the full label here).
The values for Shakeology are more varied (you can see the full label here). Most of the nutrients are present at 35%. However, some are 50% (folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6), while others are higher, such as 300% the daily value of vitamin C.
Interestingly – this comparison just applies to the non-vegan Shakeology products. As the site Pure Shake Ingredients Reviews explains, the vegan shakes aren’t fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. This is probably to keep the shakes as natural as possible.
The vegan shakes would still offer some nutrients, just fewer than the other options.
Aside from simple nutrients, Shakeology focuses on other areas. These include:
The extra blends could potentially improve health. If nothing else, improving your gut bacteria is important and probiotics can be powerful. Of course, you could get the same benefits from your diet.
The superfruit blend may be one reason why the sugar content is so high. However, Shakeology does include organic cane sugar as an ingredient too.
18 Shake uses a different idea.
There is no focus on superfood blends at all. Instead, the shakes use a compound called fibersol-2. This is a patented type of fiber that is meant to suppress appetite.
But, does it work better than other types of fiber? It’s not clear. 18 Shake offers no proof. Besides, the fiber content is 5 grams per serving. That’s not an exceptional amount.
Of the two, Shakeology tends to be more unique. But, neither offers radical advantages.
Reviews are tricky for both products – and for shakes overall.
Customers are often biased by personal perspectives and experiences. Many have no basis for comparison either. Instead, people often try shakes until they find one that works. They then stick with that brand.
As such, most people won’t know whether there are better options out there. Plus, there are distributors and affiliates for these brands, who have their own motivations.
18 Shake reviews are fairly mixed. Some people find that the shakes work well and taste fine as well.
Others find that they taste horrible.
In fact, many positive reviews rely on smoothie recipes to mask some of the taste of the powder. Doing so is an option – but a frustrating one.
If you’re going to use a shake regularly, it’s best if it tastes good on its own.
Reviews for Shakeology tend to be positive. Most people really like the shakes – although they’re less convinced about the price and the model.
As with 18 Shake, the benefits often don’t come from just drinking the shake. You still need to add extra ingredients. This is true for most protein shakes but it does add to the price.
Still, Shakeology products do seem to taste good however they’re used. Adding other ingredients is mostly a nutrition decision.
The most common critique is simply, why bother? Shakeology isn’t that unusual, not enough to justify the high price tag.
Distributors often focus on the way that the shakes are worth the price. You can also afford them by cutting out junk and takeout.
This is mostly true – as long as you were eating junk initially. Still, the argument ignores that there are cheaper brands that offer the same general benefits.
For those who have the money, Shakeology could be a good choice. At worst, the company has aggressive marketing and high pricing. But, the products themselves should work fine and reviews support that idea.
18 Shake vs Shakeology – Which is Best?
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For buying in bulk
For autoship and membership
*Nutrition data is for the whey chocolate version
There is no clear winner between Shakeology and 18 Shake. The best choice depends on what you need.
- For vegans: Shakeology is the only option.
- For low carb and keto: 18 Shake is the best choice.
- For gluten or soy free: Stick with 18 Shake.
- For taste: Shakeology gets better reviews and has more flavors to choose from.
- For price: The base price is roughly the same. 18 Shake appears cheaper if you're prepared to buy in bulk.
- For weight loss: 18 Shake is probably more powerful, as it has less sugar.
- For health: Debatable. Shakeology has more beneficial ingredients, including probiotics and superfood blends. But, it has much more sugar as well.
My personal preference of the two is 18 Shake. The main advantage of Shakeology is the superfood and probiotic focus - but you can get those benefits from real food.
Many smoothies offer those benefits anyway. For example, you could make any one of these superfood smoothies from Legion Athletics and add protein powder to the recipe. You could also choose additions like wheatgrass powder or spirulina for extra nutrients.
What’s Right For You?
Both of these brands do work and offer different advantages. But, there are countless other options. Some are more powerful nutritionally, while others are much less expensive.
The table below highlights key alternatives and you can check out our recommended protein powders page for more.
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Price per Serve
Garden of Life
Dr. Axe also offers 23 protein shake recipes that you could try out using any of these powders.
You can also check out our other protein shake reviews and comparison posts.
Want to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?
Weight loss is a huge industry, with no shortage of hype. But, long-term weight loss doesn't come from a crash diet or a popular fad.
Instead, you need sustainable habits and healthy foods.
Check out my recommended weight loss products to see where you can get started