Vega One | Review

Monday, June 25, 2012


For those of you that read my blog on a consistent basis, you know that I don't do product reviews very often.  Never, in fact.  It's not that I'm against doing them.  But, I know from reading reviews on other blogs that they are often fairly boring unless it's a product that both the reader and blogger are interested in.  With that in mind, when Vega contacted me to try their new Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shakes, I had to say yes.  As someone who has a pretty rigorous workout regimen, I have often been curious about vegan protein powders and whether it was something I should incorporate into my diet.  But, I didn't want to put out the money to try them and instead rely on whole foods to fuel my body.

There are four flavors of Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shakes- Chocolate, Vanilla Chai, Berry, and Natural.  When I first looked at the ingredients and nutritional information, I was increasingly intrigued and excited to give them a try.  The protein is from pea, sacha inchi, hemp, and brown rice protein, giving each serving about 15 grams of protein.  Additionally, it contains 6 grams of fiber, probiotics, 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals, and a green blend which is the equivalent of 3 servings of vegetables!  Depending on the flavor, each serving is between 123 and 141 calories and can be mixed with 1.5 cups of water or non-dairy milk, or incorporated into a smoothie.  I tried every flavor mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, as I wanted to be sure to note the different tastes.  

The first flavor I tasted was chocolate.  It was absolutely delicious and I gulped it down in less than a minute.  However, I didn't realize how vigorously I needed to mix together the powder and almond milk and made a mess trying to do so.  The mixture was clumpy, but I didn't really mind too much since it tasted so good.  I tried Vanilla Chai next, which I found to be equally as delicious.  This time, I shook the powder and almond milk together vigorously in a closed mason jar in an attempt to avoid clumping.  It still occurred, but once again I didn't mind since the taste was so amazing.  Next I tried the Berry, but this time I wasn't thrilled over the flavor.  In fact, I didn't care for it at all.  I became very aware of how difficult it was to make the powder dissolve completely into the almond milk- very, very difficult.  Lastly, I tried the Natural flavor, which I thought had a nice, subtle flavor.  And, after shaking the powder and almond milk vigorously in the mason jar and then stirring with a knife for a couple minutes, I was finally left with a completely smooth shake.  


I enjoyed the Vega One Shakes most as a "snack" in between meals.  It helped to keep me satisfied for longer without needing to eat.  It was a nice feeling to know I was consuming something very healthy with a good amount of protein to fuel my muscles.  

The one main drawback of Vega One, for me, is the cost.  The large tub of the chocolate flavor, which contains 20 servings, is $69.99 on the website, which equates to about $3.50 a serving.  That's a lot of money!  For someone who keeps a pretty frugal lifestyle and budget, I have a very difficult time justifying the cost.  It is definitely an item I would snatch up in a heartbeat if there was a really good sale on it when I was grocery shopping, but otherwise, not something I would be tossing into my cart every 20 days.

I definitely think that Vega One is a fantastic product which appeals to vegans who maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and are looking to easily incorporate more protein and nutrition into their diet.  However, if you already take a multi-vitamin supplement, probiotics, and maintain a well-round healthy whole foods diet, I don't believe it's a necessity.  I loved the Chocolate and Vanilla Chai flavors, and would love to try them again.  But for me, I have to wait for them to go on sale ;)

Disclaimer: I was given this product to review, but all of the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.

63 comments:

  1. I am totally with you on fuelling myself with whole foods, but started using the old Vega a few months ago... the draw? Because they were switching to the new Vega One, the old stuff was half price and I stocked up. Haven't tried the new stuff yet, but I usually only use half a serving to make it last longer, too. It seems like they've changed the serving sizes for the new one though if the calories are only 130ish, though, since I get that with half a scoop of the old one~ Anyways, great review! :)

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    1. oh wow! props to you for getting the "old stuff" at half price- i'm jealous! that's a good idea about doing half servings to make it last longer, too ;)

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  2. Thanks for this review! I recently started using Vega gels during my long runs for refueling, and have been super impressed by them; I was curious about the shakes, so it's good to have a review like yours for reference. I sure am a fan of "Thrive" and Brendan Brazier, so I hope to like the shakes as well.

    (This morning I tried my first Vega electrolyte powder and was totally overwhelmed by the flavor. I bet it's great after a run, but during one it was a little bit distracting!)

    Thanks again for the honest assessment. I look forward to checking these out pretty soon.

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    1. love the new blog, girl! and electrolyte powder sounds awesome for long runs! when you try out the all-in-one powders, let me know what you think ;)

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  3. great review! vanilla chai sounds delicious! blended with a banana --- mmmm:) ouch on the price!

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    1. vanilla chai blended with a banana would taste amazing, i'm sure ;)

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  4. we love the vanilla-chia as well! If you mix it with frozen blueberries and bananas it tastes strangely like lucky charms cereal, weird! I've only ever boughten vega in the small single serving packs. It is so expensive! I would never dream spending 70$ on a protein supplement, there are many cheaper vega-like powders out there that deliver almost the same benefits.

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    1. lucky charms cereal smoothie sounds kinda awesome ;)

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    2. What other vega like powders out there offer the same benefits? Do you know of any off hand?

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  5. $70??!!! For that price, it better build my muscles in a day and give me 6-pack abs :)

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  6. I just recently tried the Vega One in chocolate and also loved it! I blended it with unsweetened almond milk and half a frozen banana, and it kept me full for hours. Like you, I love the ingredients and the taste, but the price tag is a little steep to buy it all the time. Although, I am saving on kombucha now that I'm making my own, so... ;)

    I really want to try the Vega vanilla chai next!

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    1. yes, definitely try the vanilla chai! especially now that you're rollin in the dough from saving so much money on kombucha!

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  7. I've always refrained from trying Vega, purely because of the cost. It is soooo expensive! I'm glad to hear that the chocolate and vanilla chai are tasty, but I think I will be like you- I will wait until I find it on sale! :-)

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    1. ;) i hear ya, sister. next time i see it on sale, i'll give you a holler ;)

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  8. I also shy away from this because of the price, even though I think it's a terrific product. I have a tub of it and use it as a supplement if I'm busy or haven't been able to eat well rounded meals. Haven't tried the berry flavor, but the natural is great mixed into smoothies.

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    1. it really is a terrific, high quality product. and i saw on the vega website that the natural flavor tub contains the most servings, so you're getting the most for your money!

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  9. that $$$! i dont run or workout, so i am good with my protein intake:) I think the clumpyess might be a design to get you a workout while shaking it;)
    great review Caitlin! What are some other protein or probiotic supplements you take?

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    1. haha richa! maybe it is ;)

      i depend on whole food proteins- nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains. i also take culturelle's dairy-free gluten-free probiotics and rainbow light's veganguard one a day multi-vitamin ;)

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    2. I wonder about the need for supplementation if you are eating a balanced diet and a little b12 help, and not really a major muscle builder:)
      hows your indian cooking getting along. hopefully there werent any disasters:) forgot to mention to wash the lentils 2-3 times to wash off any possible contamination( i buy from bulk bins at the indian store)

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    3. hmm, i'm not sure! i know i feel better when i take a multi-vitamin, but as long as you're feeling healthy and take a b-12, you're probably fine ;)

      things are going well with indian cooking ;) thanks for the tip on washing the lentils. i will definitely be doing a post in the near future and dedicating it to you <3

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  10. Sounds delish, but hmmm prohibitive. I like the way you shake it up in the mason jar. Great review.

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    1. thanks, gig! i love my mason jars ;) i hoard them like a crazy person.

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  11. I would love to hear more about your workout regimen and and what you do! Always looking for inspiration and ideas...

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    1. thanks for the idea, courtney! perhaps i will do a post about my regimen at some point ;)

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  12. I use Vega protein powders (vanilla chai and chocolate), but find that the flavors are way too strong on their own. I cut each shake with unflavored raw protein, and it's the perfect mix (for me, at least). I also use one of those blender bottles to mix all of my protein shakes, which decreases the amount of clumping. If you add protein powder to your regimen, I would definitely suggest getting one!

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    1. thanks for the advice, ashlae ;) i will definitely look into them.

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  13. Don't listen to Ashlae, she doesn't know a thing! Kidding - have you seen the muscles on that girl?

    Anyway, I only recently starting adding protein powder to my diet, as I have been lifting weights like, almost every day (which isn't good, I know! But I feel like Popeye right now). I use Warrior Foods, which I think is the tastiest of the powders I have tried. And they don't contain soy. As for Vega - I think they're okay, but the price definitely is a big turn off.

    I'm glad you did this review though - I might have to give this flavour a shot. Maybe. If you reallyyy think they're that good (since I trust your opinion, and all). :)

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    1. haha..you're so funny, isobelle ;) i don't know that i've seen warrior foods before, but one of the reasons that i really like vega is that it contains no soy. soy protein isolate protein powders are no good(for me).

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  14. I was almost thinking I should get some Vega until I saw the price - almost $70? I could tons of nuts, seeds, pulses and proteiny goodness for the same price. Whole foods as protein is clearly the way to go!

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    1. yeah, i think it all depends on your diet and whether you need to incorporate more protein/nutrients. but i completely understand where you're coming from.

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  15. Unfortunately, nutritional shakes are very expensive. The shake that I currently drink has been consistently increasing in price over the years.
    Something you might try is to puree a ripe banana in a blender/cuisinart food processor first, then add almond or rice milk (my personal favorite)and shake powder (I prefer unsweetened shake powder because the banana sugars will sweeten it for you). I find that you really need to use a blender/food processor to get shakes to mix up nicely.

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    1. it is unfortunate, lala. thank you for your advice ;) i will definitely give your suggestion a try :*

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  16. I agree! I'd like to hear about your work out regime and your normal day-to-day diet/routine. I need some tips and suggestions. I'm a healthy eater, but need to spend more time exercising.

    I've been trying to just get my daily nutrition from eating well balanced snacks throughout the day. It seems to be the cheaper way to do things and provides more variety. I am tempted to try these shakes though. Sometimes they'd be good to have on hand in a pinch! :)

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    1. haha, ok ;) one day, i will write about my workout routine ;)

      i totally suggest the shakes if you have the money and need something you can easily prepare- grab and go ;)

      some people do better with snacking throughout the day. i'm a strict 3 meals a day gal, myself. i just do not like snacking. but, everyone is different ;)

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  17. Thank you for the honest and thorough review. I've wondered about Vega One in the past, but they're definitely out of my price range! Plus, I don't really have needs for a vitamin shake. I feel I'm getting my requirements met through whole foods (like you suggest), and I'm not trying to become a body builder. At least not yet... :)

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    1. you're welcome, cadry! i'm glad that my review has answered all the questions you have about the product ;)

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  18. I was one of the lucky ones that caught a huge sale when they were switching to the new product. I love their product but have a hard time hitting purchase button because of the price. I have found that I enjoy it in my smoothies post workout. It does help with muscle soreness and keeping me full. I usually use the natural so that it doesn't interfere with the flavor of my smoothie. I bet on their own the vanilla and chocolate would be great.

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    1. chocolate and vanilla are amazing on their own, for sure ;) i'm sure the natural is perfect for smoothies, and make it nice and thick, too ;) thank you so much for your feedback!

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  19. I had the same problem with the clumpiness, but that all went away when I used my small blender! I even add ice and it tastes even more refreshing after a workout!

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    1. thanks for the tip, taylor! sounds great!

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    2. I use a one third base of coconut water or agave juice to mix/dissolve the powder then add vanilla or chocolate almond milk. That way you avoid the clumpiness

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  20. Hi,
    I bought some of this stuff and like it but is it really Vegan? They don't actually say it's vegan and it has "gelatinized mica" in it. I know this sounds like a dumb question, but I find it odd that it doesn't say "vegan" or even "vegetarian" anywhere on the can. Maybe they think "plant based" is more accessible to the masses??

    It *is* really expensive. I don't know if I'll buy it again. And - TMI alert - it makes me gassy.

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    1. hi anon! it does say on the website that the products are 100% plant-based(meaning vegan). http://myvega.com/about/guiding-principles

      i would tend to think the same thing. i think sometimes people are turned off by the label "vegan" and feel more comfortable purchasing something that is "dairy-free" and "plant-based".

      loved your tmi alert. probably from the probiotics? ;)

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    2. but mica isn't a plant. OOOOOOH!
      (that's why i don't like the term plant based. minerals and fungi and bacteria and yeasts aren't plants, but they're totally vegan!)

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  21. If you compare the new formula to the old it has half the nutrient/vitamin content for the same price & less product!Your better of with the old!

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    1. I believe the serving size is about half (one scoop) as compare to the original so works out about even

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  22. The 20 serving container is 425 grams and you can get it at vitamart.ca for $35. I think you're thinking of the 850 gram container. It's 40 servings (more if you choose the natural flavour) and that is $54 at vitamart or $70 at the Pharmaplus. So it's a lot less expensive than you think.

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  23. http://www.amazon.com/Vega-Nutritional-Shake-Chocolate-Ounce/dp/B007ARW446/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1352074579&sr=8-3&keywords=vega+one
    20 servings 29 dollars
    the big one is 50
    amazon is awesome.

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  24. It is expensive, but vitamart.ca has good prices (for those of us in Canada who can't buy from amazon.com), and they give a nice discount if you buy 3 containers at a time. They ship for free within Canada. New customers also save $10 on orders of $99 or more with the coupon code SAVE10DOLLARS

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  25. Vega One is so much easier to drink than the old Whole Food Optimzer, which felt like punishment drinking. Chocolate WFO tasted tinny. Not to mention how extremely gritty it tastes. It mixes fine with regular water. It's best in my experience to pour water into a bottle, then add the scoop of powder and shake for a few seconds. I do use a shaker bottle (without the whisk ball), so the extra empty volume makes shaking easier.

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    1. P.S. I grew up in Philly & the Philly burbs... getting ready for the Bilenky junkyard cross race on sunday

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  26. Thank you for your review. It inspired my husband and I to try the product and we love it. My favourite flavour is chocolate. I add almond milk, almond butter and some fruit. Love how it keeps me full until lunch. I am on the Virgin Diet (by JJ Virgin) and she encourages protein shakes in the morning, and this one is perfect. :)

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  27. I was very disappointed with the taste! Having gone from herbalife, who's chocolate flavour and spiced vanilla flavours are absolutely to die for, i found Vega's very artificial tasting which was weird for such a natural product?! Has that strange chemically after taste. but will be sticking with it as herbalife only have 1 dairy free shake so i much prefer Vegas ethics. Will just be experimenting with ways to improve the taste!
    The Vibrancy bars on the other hand are absolutely delicious!! Really recommend the natural one, the chocolate was nice but not as nice as the natural and the acai berry sport bar was really good too.

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  28. I'm not sure about Vega One but their protein powders are DANGEROUS!

    After a few uses I was VIOLENTLY ill. The product contains saviseed which to some people creates a violent allergy which includes, sweats, chills, extreme vomiting and diarrhea. Never felt worse in my life. A few hours after my first time drinking it I felt pretty nauseous, thought maybe I worked out too hard, the second time I was on the floor calling my husband to come home because I thought I needed to go to the hospital. No question that it was the Vega. Don't believe me? Google it, you'll find hundreds of people with the same experience. PLEASE check the ingredients of your vega powders, savi seed is scary.

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  29. Use a Blender bottle to blend the Vega. It helps a lot. Also, it blends quite nicely with Coconut Milk and you can find decent prices on Vitacost.com.

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  30. Vitacost has a sale on Vega One (BYGO 50% off) and if you apply the Happymay saving code today you get another 12% off. It comes out to 75 bucks for 2 containers. Free shipping.
    I love this stuff.

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  31. I second the comment above about getting violently ill... I'm allergic to savi seeds too-- and I'm not allergic to ANYTHING so it came as quite a shock when I was violently ill a few hours after eating the seeds - what's worse is that it took a few episodes before I was able to make the connection of what made me sick. What a shame that Vega uses them in almost all of their products! Apparently it's not an uncommon allergy. They should have a warning on the labels.

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  32. I read many reviews, including this one, on Vega One protein shakes before trying it out and I was expecting it to taste a lot better. I was very disappointed with the chalky and powdery taste. It also had a bad after taste, which I think was the Stevia. I blended the shake with one cup of non-sweetened almond milk. I didn't have a problem with it clumping because I used a blender. I ended up having to add a frozen banana so I could drink it. It definitely helped with the flavor but I'm still not a fan.

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  33. If you mix with ice, almond milk, and a banana in a blender it is like heaven!! Would you recommend this as a weight loss

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  34. It is on sale at Whole Foods right now! $30 off for the giant tub, which makes it $40.

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