Shakeology Vegan Meal Replacement


This is a Shakeology Review for just the dairy-free and vegan varieties. Note that they do have flavors, which contain dairy!

I joined the P90X craze several years ago. To this day I think it is one of the best at-home fitness programs ever created (If you think there are better, do tell!). Both my husband and I saw real results, and though it was difficult, we enjoyed having the schedule and goals in place. What we didn’t love was the meal plan. It  was dairy-heavy requiring us to make many modifications and the consistently recommended Shakeology supplement was whey-based.

Fast forward to P90X2 … I’m seriously tempted to trial this program. Have any of you done it yet? Tony Horton and the Beach Body team have reportedly lightened the workout lengths (very nice), and they’ve added more flexibility to both the fitness AND the diet segments in P90X2.

Tony Horton’s talks with the media have revealed his prior plant-based roots and a desire to promote all healthy diets, without defining one set of rules for everyone. According to Horton, “P90X2 takes that philosophy a step further with grain-free, vegan and high-protein plans — all healthy, varied options.”

This philosophy has spilled over into their product lines, and new vegan versions of Shakeology have emerged! I receive quite a few requests for dairy-free meal replacement drinks, and this new version of Tropical Strawberry Shakeology definitely tops my list of recommendations.

At first, I followed the directions, blending half the packet (reserving some to trial in a smoothie) with a little unsweetened milk alternative and ice. Here were my Shakeology review notes …

Vegan Shakeology Review - Strawberry Dairy-Free Meal Replacement

The Pros: Dairy-Free Nutrition, Diet-Friendly, Low Sugar

  • It is fairly low calorie (160 per serving), but packs in so many nutrients including: 15 grams of protein from raw sprouted brown rice, 9 essential amino acids, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and loads of “superfood” ingredients for antioxidants.
  • The vegan shakeology suits a variety of special diets. By ingredients, it appears to be gluten-free (see dietary notes) and made without top allergens (soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free).
  • It is fairly low in sugar. Most of the sugars come from the fruit powder blend (strawberry, apple, banana, pineapple, papaya) since the only added sweetener is essentially stevia). It’s almost dessert-like and when blended, not bad compared to other options on the market.

The Cons: Rice Protein Texture, Cost, Too Sweet?

  • Since it uses a brown rice protein base, it has that “powdery” texture. If you’ve had brown rice protein, then you know what I’m talking about. Some people love it. I’m not a big fan, but when blended into a smoothie, the texture mellows quite a bit.
  • Shakeology strawberry is a little overly sweet in my opinion. They could have chilled on the erythritol and stevia just a touch.
  • This isn’t a cheap meal replacement! I can say it is out of my budget for reqular purchase, but if it fits your needs, it may be worth the price tag.
  • They pack a lot of info onto that packet, but fail to note if it does supply any of your days essential vitamins and minerals. I couldn’t find that information anywhere, which leads me to believe that adding some other ingredients to the shake will make it a better “meal.”

I over road most of the “cons” by turning the rest of my Shakeology sample into a meal replacement shake. I tossed it in the blender with fresh strawberries, a frozen banana, and just enough unsweetened almond milk. It was a tasty nutrient-packed treat.

Though I would give the Strawberry Shakeology 4 stars, just knocking one star off for the cons noted above, I have since trialed the Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, which just nudges this review up to 5 stars. I’m not quite sure what the difference is – perhaps it is the simple addition of cocoa powder or the fact that it doesn’t includ erythritol – but the texture of this variety is a little silkier and the flavor is delicious.

Vegan Shakeology Review - Chocolate

The Chocolate Vegan Shakeology is still a touch too sweet for my tastes to enjoy straight with water, so I jumped ahead and whizzed half a packet with a frozen banana. It was pure chocolate malt goodness. Even half a package offers a good dose of protein, fiber, and loads of extra goodies, so I feel comfortable in recommending this product as a supplement to smoothies. Plus, it was VERY filling!

Dietary Notes

  • Their allergen information is a little vague. It is “manufactured in a plant” that also processes almost all of the other allergens (surprisingly milk is not listed, which makes me wonder). Is that really a risk for this product? Manufacturing plants are quite large and most have other allergens present – are the lines in separate rooms? Always contact the company if cross-contamination issues are a concern for you.
  • Gluten-free folks take note that wheat grass and oat grass are used – two “undecided” ingredients for many gluten-free consumers.

Vegan Shakeology Review - Chocolate and Strawberry Pictured

Have you trialed any of the dairy-free Shakeology products?

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Dairy-free meal replacement shake

4.0 rating
February 11, 2020

This dairy-free meal replacement shake fills a void in the market. The ingredients are great, but they do come with a hefty price tag.

Alisa Fleming

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Alisha, Love the article! I drink the Vegan Chocolate Shakeology every single day! The good news is that Beachbody has just released new flavors for the vegan line Vanilla and Café Latte Vegan! I’m excited for the Vanilla 🙂

  2. Just found this – didn’t even know they had a vegan alternative! I’d written off Shakeology because of the whey (I’m allergic to dairy).

    As to your question about cross-contamination for people with allergies: It depends on how bad your allergy is (they come in different degrees, from mild itchiness to full-blown anaphylaxis).

    Big red flag for us is “on the same equipment as”. The risk of cross-contamination with this warning is just too high, so we avoid it.

    “In the same plant as” is iffy. If the ingredient mentioned (ex: whey) is powdery, then cross-contamination risk is very high because it can be blown around and get picked up by the ventilation system, then re-distributed throughout the plant. If the ingredient mentioned is oily (ex: peanuts), cross-contamination risk is generally low (as long as the equipment isn’t being shared). Most Western companies nowadays are generally aware of allergen risks and take measures like having employees wash their hands if they change stations in order to ensure the broadest audience possible can consume their products. “Free from” companies are especially good at avoiding cross-contamination.

    However, if you have a level 5 allergy (determined by a “prick test” performed by an allergist), you would avoid “same plant” warning labels, no matter what the ingredient was, because of your sensitivity and the severity of your reaction to your allergen.

    Hope this helps!

  3. I love shakeology, but can’t digest the whey. ( I’ve tried & don’t care for the 2 vegan flavors that shakeology offers, chocolate & tropical strawberry. I’m a vanilla person).
    What is a good alternative vegan protein powder? (Vanilla flavor specially).

  4. These shakes have whey protein. That means that they are dairy derivatives. That is not vegan.

  5. Peggy Zapalac on

    I am gluten free, and dairy free. I don’t want soy or iodine either. I have a digestive problem with bloating and gas in the afternoon after I eat my main meal around 3 pm of lean meat and vegetables. I did the chocolate one several years ago but my holistic Doctor at that time took me off of it. I no longer go to him so I’m thinking about going back to shakeology. I presently use raw protein and then add a green powder and extra fiber. Can I eliminate those two items with shakeology?

    • I’m sorry Peggy, but I can’t offer you dietary advice. I would speak with your physician or contact Shakeology if you have specific product questions.

  6. My biggest concern is led and metals.. Does anyone know if these shakes have those? I heard the green berry shake has led. Now I’m concern about led in the other flavors. I tried chocolate and loved it. I have not try chocolate vegan.

  7. I just started teh 21 day fix with shakeology. I’ve used protien powder in smoothies before, but these are a bit different. The chocolate one, which i had with frozen banana, spinach, almond milk and PB, tasted fine but not the best I’ve had. I know it’s supposed to be more than a protien so I’m sure that’s part of it. I tried the strawberry vegan today–with frozen mango and greek yogurt–and it is chalky and tastes like erythritol (sugar-free gum or medicine-y). Really disappointed considering the cost.

  8. I purchased the Vegan Shakeology and am very disappointed. It smells like Animal Feed and tastes god awful! I had trouble drinking more than one sip. I will give mine away to my neighbor. Dont waste your time or money. It will make your stomach turn.

  9. shakeology is not a protein drink. it is not as expensive when you become a coach. its not about the shakeology. it abojt have planned workouts and a complete nutrition plan with shakeology. yes I have thousands of ppl on our team that have huge transformation. but its cause of the entire system. not just shakeology

      • In terms of ingredients, yes. If you are asking about cross-contamination potential with small or trace amounts of dairy, that is always something you should discuss with the manufacturer directly.

  10. Hi there! You posted that the only added sweetners were erythritol and stevia. I was looking on the ingredients label but couldn’t find erythritol, could it be listed as something else? Thanks!

    • Now that is odd! I’ve got a copy of the ingredients that I copied down from the package and it has erythritol, but looking online, it says it doesn’t. Perhaps they changed the formula a little. That would be great if they toned down the sweetness. Thanks for pointing this out Whitney, I will update!

  11. I’m looking for normal people who are not selling Shakeology drinks that can tell me their experiences with it and if anybody has ever lost any weight on them.
    You can e-mail me at


  12. One other note in regards to allergens. Beachbody is very sensitive to all allergen concerns and this is why they have done extensive testing to ensure that the ingredients and formula for Tropical Vegan Shakeology are absolutely free from soy, whey, animal ingredients and gluten. The warning on the package is an FDA requirement based on any facility that processes or packs various ingredients and we will always take extra steps to inform and protect all of our consumers. However, when we make Shakeology, we follow very strict procedures to ensure that our manufacturing procedures meet or exceed strict FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which include immediate cleaning and breaking down of all equipment after every production batch as well industrial grade air filtration systems to ensure purity. Anybody with extreme sensitivities should always test a very small amount of any new product to ensure that they do not have any adverse reaction.

  13. Alisa – I love your honesty review and am so glad you liked the sample I sent you! I became a Beachbody Coach at the first of the year primarily because of Shakeology and how AMAZING I felt after drinking it. I researched all the ingredients and became instantly convinced it was the fuel my body needed – it was the missing link to me feeling and living healthy!

    I’m here for questions OR to send samples to anyone who is interested – just send me an email at

    Cheers to your health!

    • Nelly Mckinney on

      Jaime if u send samples to us, are we going to pay u..I have lactose intolerance and i want to try the chocolate and strawberry vegan shakeology.

  14. Hi Alisa,
    I actually signed up as a beachbody coach 3 weeks ago because A. i’m addicted to most of their fitness programs, and B. because i was interested in the discount for shakeology. I am gluten and dairy free and bought the chocolate vegan. I like it! i have also noted that my digestion has improved, MUCH less bloated at the end of the day! by 3 pm, i looked pregnant most dayS!
    I’m thinking of doing P90x next. i’ve done TurboFire/Chalean Extreme and Les Mills already. Good luck with P90X2! If you’re interested in some motivation or tips, let me know and i can give you my like page info! Just another gfree dairy free girl wanting to share the motivation for health and fitness! 🙂

    • Christine Domicello on

      Hi I’m interested in trying a sample of the vegan chocolate shakeololgy. .most protein shakes are hard for me to digest

      • You should contact them directly about a sample – You’re on Go Dairy Free, we do product reviews for dairy-free, but are not affiliated with the companies.

  15. I was curious about these, but I’ve been leery of the protein powder drinks, they tend to be too sweet for me.

    I’m still really tempted to do P90X2. I think I might bite the bullet when my gym membership expires in September. Wanna join me?

  16. Love that I can leave a comment on your new site, Alisa! I’ve tried a few P90X workouts in the past (borrowed the DVD’s from someone) and they are so hard! Way to go for sticking with the program. That takes major dedication. 🙂

    • Me too! It helps a lot when you have a buddy. I tried to do the program on my own a year after my husband and I did it together. I wasn’t nearly as in to it that time and cheated more, not doing all of the workouts.