*I was provided with free products to try, but the opinions are 100% my own*
A while back I was contacted by Sara, a consultant for Arbonne International wanting to know if I would like to try their vegan nutritional shakes. For those of you who have not heard of Arbonne (like me, until Sara came along :) ), they offer high-quality skin care, cosmetics, and nutritional supplements that are all botanically-based, cruelty-free, and vegan. Being a big fan of Vega I was definitely willing to try a different product to compare to Vega. If you haven’t read my review of Vega One or just need a refresher on my thoughts, hop over here, and then keep reading.
Arbonne’s shakes come in chocolate and vanilla, both of which I got to try. The serving size is 42 grams, just slightly larger than Vega’s 38.6 grams so I used the same 8 ounces of liquid to mix it with. The first thing I noticed about the Arbonne shakes was how quickly and completely they dissolved. I had no issues with clumps, something I can’t say for Vega. As for taste and texture, Arbonne wins by a country mile. I never despised Vega’s taste although I couldn’t discern much difference between the flavors (I’ve tried the Vanilla Chai and Berry) and I could still tell I was drinking a protein shake. Arbonne doesn’t suffer from the chalky or gritty feel that many shakes have. The vanilla was subtly sweet and didn’t taste artificial. Hands down, the chocolate was my favorite. It was creamy and indulgent and loaded with chocolate flavor. It’s amazing that with a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving (5 more than Vega) that these shakes are so smooth and flavorful.
Speaking of nutritional value, protein is about the only category that Arbonne wins at compared to Vega. Here are links to each product’s nutritional chart.
That’s not to say that it lacks in anything but Vega can brag that their shakes provide 50% recommended intake of vitamins and minerals, as well as greens, antioxidants, and probiotics. Which is all well and good but as I stated in my Vega review, it’s so very important to make sure you get the majority of your nutrition from whole, plant-based meals. That being said if you’re looking for a shake that provides long-lasting fullness as a meal replacement, Arbonne comes out on top. I drank it for breakfast each time and went nearly 3 hours before feeling any signs of hunger.
Arbonne also wins in the cost category. A large tub of Vega which contains 20-24 servings (depending on the flavor) will run you about $66. Arbonne is the same price, but with 30 servings per container. Still pricey, but if you’re thinking about throwing down serious money for a protein shake, those extra servings could be a deal-breaker.
And not to throw salt in the wound, but Vega has endured a few recalls last year. In November, Health Canada asked Vega to recall about 108 lot numbers of their shakes due to the product being contaminated with an antibiotic that can cause several severe health conditions. Vega initially refused the recall but under the weight of public protest they complied about a week later. Back in June they recalled 15 lot numbers of their protein bars due to trace amounts of milk found in them. This resulted in changing the labeling to read: “May contain dairy”. You can read the FDA press releases for each recall here:
Vega One Nutritional Shake Recall
Vega One Sport Protein Bar Recall
There doesn’t seem to be as much furor about the bars containing milk as there was for the antibiotic contamination but I’m certainly disappointed by both occurrences. For one, the bars can’t really be considered vegan anymore. Strict vegans and those with dairy allergies definitely have to avoid them. As for the antibiotic contamination I don’t understand why they would resist a recall, even a voluntary one. I know that the actual chances of someone having a reaction were slim but why even take the risk? I’m sure Vega had their reasons but I don’t know if it was worth alienating some consumers.
If you’ve been wanting to try vegan protein shakes for the first time or just looking to change up your routine, consider giving Arbonne a shot. You can’t buy Arbonne in stores so if you’re interested, contact Sara at: firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her website at http://www.liveyourdreamlife.myarbonne.ca. She is very knowledgeable about all the products she sells and will answer any questions you may have in a timely manner.