Vega Shake & Go Smoothies

shakeIf you read my last interview with vegan pro triathlete Brendan Brazier, you can understand why I was a tad less excited to try Vega Shake & Go than I normally am about trying a new Vega product.

Brendan described Vega’s Shake & Go Smoothie as a “mass-market product” that “doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of nutrition as Vega Health Optimizer.” And this from the guy who created it!

The truth is, Shake & Go is more about convenience than anything else. The name says it all: Put a few tablespoons in a shaker cup, add water, and you’re set. Unlike most protein powders or meal replacement shakes, there’s no need for a blender.

Given Brendan’s description and the concept, I first thought that while a fat couch potato might enjoy this product, a strapping young lad like myself would have no use for it.  After all, I make fresh, green, custom smoothies for myself every day.

And, as is always the case when my thinking rests on the assumption of me being a strapping young lad, I was wrong: The convenience of Shake & Go has really come in handy. And nutritionally, it’s actually got a lot going on. (See the ingredient list later in this post.)

The Taste

At first I didn’t love it. Like most of the other Vega products I’ve tried, Shake & Go has what I describe as an “earthy” taste. Basically, you can tell that it’s healthy — I’ve come to realize that when protein or meal placement powders taste really good, it’s because they contain lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

vega shake and go close up image 300x225

Vanilla Almondilla: When it comes to supplements, green is good

But as I’ve started to make Vega products like Vega Sport Performance Optimizer and Vega Sport Performance Protein part of my routine, the taste has grown on me. I think it’s another instance of the “recalibration” Brendan describes in his book Thrive: as your taste buds become accustomed to more natural flavors, you start to enjoy them more. Not only that, but you lose the taste for artificial things. As an example of this, I recently tasted the way protein powder I used to love, and was shocked when all I could taste was the Splenda!

I tried two flavors of Shake & Go: Choc-a-Lot and Vanilla Almondilla. At first, I preferred the vanilla, which has a strong almond extract flavor. But as I tasted more of each, I started to like the chocolate better, as the almond flavor of the other one got kind of overwhelming. If you’re going to try one of these, I’d go with the chocolate, and just realize that it might take a few days to grow on you.

The Nutrition

Vega products never fail to deliver in the nutrition category. It’s almost funny to look at Shake & Go’s ingredient list in light of Brendan’s description of it as a mass-market product. Here are the ingredients in the Choc-a-Lot Shake & Go:

Organic green pea protein, natural flavors, organic coconut palm nectar, flaxseed, hemp protein, organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic green food blend (alfalfa grass, organic kale leaf, organic spinach leaf, organic broccoli sprout, spirulina), xanthan gum, digestive enzyme blend and dairy-free probiotic blend (L. acidophilus, B. bifidum).

It’s hard to imagine Jane Couch Pototo or Joe Meathead or anyone else in the “mass market” comparing ingredients in different meal-replacement products and coming across this list, isn’t it?

It may not be Vega Health Optimizer, but it’s good enough for me.

The Convenience

Just as advertised, Shake & Go dissolves nicely in water in a shaker cup or even a water bottle.  Not gritty at all.  I’ve found that adding a few ice cubes improves the taste and helps the powder dissolve even more quickly.

There have been more than a few occasions when I was in a hurry and didn’t know what I could eat quickly on the way out the door or before a workout, when I was happy to remember that I had Shake & Go in the pantry.  And as I said, I really didn’t expect to benefit from this feature of the product, because I gave myself way too much credit for being organized and never late for anything. (Just ask my wife.)

Vega Sale This Weekend!


As it happens, all Vega products are on sale through Sequel Naturals’ website this weekend (Friday, July 30 through Sunday, August 1).  Just enter coupon code CJ-SUMMER10 at checkout and you’ll get 15% off anything you buy from Sequel Naturals.

I know it took a lot of convincing (from trying free samples) before I finally decided to plunk down my own cash for Vega products, which are certainly not cheap.  If you’re in the same boat I was, here’s your chance to try them for a little bit less money than usual.

In the interest of disclosure, you should know that Vega sent me Shake & Go to try for free, and that I’ll earn commissions on the purchases of Vega products through the links in this post.  So while you are welcome to call me greedy and evil for wanting to make a few bucks from my website, you may not call me deceptive.

Enjoy your weekend! If you’re finally getting a break from the heat like we are in Maryland, take advantage of it!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this – like you I make my own (amazing and beloved) smoothies every morning so I’ve bypassed this product with little interest.

    But the nutritional stats and ease-of-prep are quite tempting for those days when I don’t have access to a blender (was on vacation for 2 weeks without one a couple months back and definitely felt out of sorts).

    They won’t replace my own smoothies, but a package in my office drawer and another in my pantry might not go amiss.

  2. I love vega, i’ve been using it for a few months now and its the bomb-diggity. I use the sport kind in the AM and the optimizer in the PM. I found if you bought it on Amazon its alot cheaper than the vega website. Cheers!!

  3. The funny thing was that I tasted this product at the health food store this morning and just sat at my computer to order it,but thought I would read your blog first and voila — two in one — read your blog and ordered thru it. Sounds good.

  4. I don’t mean to be offensive, but I can’t figure out why to drink either. Why not try to get this nutrition from natural sources? Other then convenience when in a hurry, that is.

  5. Haven’t tried vega, but thanks for the review. The nutritional info certainly has lots of good stuff in it – like you say, these would be good if you’re on-the-go (or if you haven’t made it to the grocery store lately and you’re going to be leaving the country so you won’t be able to eat a head of lettuce in the space of a day… my current predicament!)

  6. I definitely prefer my traditional green smoothies at home but these have become a staple for me when I am on the road. I shake a serving up in a blender bottle with some almond milk and coconut water. Plain water works fine as well when I do not have time to hit a grocery store.

  7. I’m 43 and a former pro cyclist who was looking at rebuilding by body after being off any type of work out schedule due to getting married and have 2 children to which one of my children had issue when he was born until 2yrs of age. So I decided to go on a vega plan of action. I’m new to all of this but wondered if the vega shake and go is really a good quick source of meal replacement when needed or would Vega Health Optimizer be more of what I need since I’m now just slowly getting back into a physical work out schedule. I’m also looking for a suggestion on a daily eating vega plan starting off with meals, snacks and pre-work out drinks/powders and after workout drinks/powders since I tend to do better with protein powders sort of speak during my workout schedules. So any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I’m new to being or trying to be a vega person. Thanks

  8. I tried the Choc-a-Lot a few months ago and loved it with almond milk. My personal opinion based on the ingredients list is that it is a good quality product. However, a nutritional consultant in a health store steered my mother away from it and I was wondering why. She was looking for a meal replacement shake, which from your review, i gather the vega health optimizer shake would be better. Thanks for confirming that the shake & go is still a great product regardless.

  9. Hey Matt,
    After my last post, I went and did a little researching on the vega site and noticed that the Health Optimizer shake actually is loaded with synthetic vitamins. I don’t know if you already have blogged here about the health risks associated with the prolonged used of synthetic vitamins (not to mention the waste of money since they are not as effective) but it’s worth looking into. Also, while the shake & go only has vit. c, calcium, and iron, it appears that they would come from the natural sources in the ingredients list. when i look for shakes, the three most important factors i look at are: natural ingredients, no synthetic vitamins/minerals- so all whole food sourced, and amount of protein per serving. for me it’s the whole package, hence why i would choose the shake & go as more a snack to hold me over in between meals and not as a meal replacement. thanks again for the review, it enticed me to learn more about the vega brand. i think i’ll try some of their vibrancy bars next. they look pretty good ;)

  10. The chocolate flavor is one of the protein powders I circulate when it’s on a good sale (just picked up a bag for $15.99, so about $1.50ish/serving. With almond milk and a banana, it’s really good — almost too sweet when I compare it to my other protein powders, but otherwise a great and affordable alternative to my amazing grass protein powder, a habit which I had to sell my car to purchase (Just kidding….but it’s $2.99/serving, a bit pricey).

  11. One other thing, this is not an organic product, so when you’re getting two servings of vegetables, you’re also getting two servings of pesticides. Just food — literally — for thought. :-)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Not the most photogenic breakfast, but it worked! I bought a sample packet of a Vega Shake & Go Smoothie a while ago, so I busted it out for this morning’s busyness. I bought the Choc a Lot flavor (because how could that be a bad choice?), added the powder into my water bottle, shook it up, and I was set! It wasn’t bad; I like my breakfasts to have volume, but with this I could walk, talk, and count absurd amounts of cash while I drank it. I ate the banana in the car ride back to campus. Perfect for when you have your hands full!   (Matt has a great review of them the smoothies here) [...]

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