Disclaimer: Product provided for free by Blue Star (and @Adidasshorts, right??? i’m not mixing up my benefactors again???) in exchange for a review.
I received the French Vanilla flavor. I’d like to preface by saying that vanilla is one of my least favorite protein flavors, second to chocolate. Out of the “big 3” ice cream flavors, strawberry reigns supreme, and even then I prefer the more exotic flavors over the basics 9 times outta 10. So keep my own tastes in mind when considering this review.
Shake One is designed as a morning meal replacement more than a true “anytime” shake. It leads with a whey protein isolate providing 30g of protein, backed by ~2 grams of powdered MCT oil, 7 carbs from various sources including fiber via chicory root and oat bran, some added vitamins and minerals including vitamin D from a quality source, and a proprietary 140mg energy blend.
Let me be forthcoming in saying that I have never used this shake as my sole source of energy in the morning. I work medical, which means I need to be alert from the jump; while I do not intake an excessive amount of caffeine in the day, I do take in more than 140 mg in the morning, and caffeine is only 1 ingredient in this blend, so not to rag on the product, but I always consumed it alongside an additional source of caffeine.
I do wish Blue Star was more transparent in their blends. Unlike some of these 3+ gram energy blends, where you have to worry about how much caffeine, yohimbine, or dimethylphenethylamine you’re intaking, this would not be a profoundly strong blend even if all 140mg were any 1 of its single ingredients, but it’s good to know what you’re taking in.
All in all, it’s a quite good breakfast replacement. A high protein content, some fiber, some stimulants. It usually did a pretty effective job of tiding me over until lunch, especially when mixed with some milk. We’ll get into that more later.
That said, I try to avoid any caffeine within 6-8 hours of bed, and so this never made it into my pre-bed protein/yogurt pudding. The energy blend does sort of limit the time of day in which you can have it.
Led by an isolate, I’d be surprised if this DIDN’T mix effortlessly; but it does. Even in a very small amount of liquid (~2 tbsp), I was able to achieve a smooth consistency by letting it sit in the fridge a bit. I didn’t really feel the need to include any pictures here–it looks like a vanilla protein shake.
Worth noting, it does mix a touch on the thick side, likely due to both its fiber and the blend of thickeners it has. This opens up some possibilities for it, such as puddings, glazes, etc.
Part of the reason this review came so late is because I was experimenting with various flavors and mixes. The Shake One flavors are advertised like coffee flavors, and actually include coffee in its energy blend, so I thought it would be a “French Vanilla Coffee” type flavor, but not so much. It’s just straight, intense vanilla. The tub recommends mixing it with 12 ounces of fluid, and I agree with this. Any less and the flavor is too much, any more and you lose out on the thickened texture. Here are some of the things I tried.
12 ounces of whole milk
Woah. This was incredibly rich, almost impossible to chug; I had to sip it on my drive to work, and perhaps it was the mental effect of rich-tasting foods on satiety, but it kept me full until lunch and even then I wasn’t really hungry. I would not have it this way every day, but it certainly wasn’t unpleasant.
12 ounces of ice water
Thinner, less rich, much more chuggable. A quite good vanilla shake, nothing really more to add. Probably the way most people would enjoy it.
12 ounces of iced coffee
Boy did I think I was brilliant for this one. BUT I WASN’T. The vanilla diluted the coffee flavor too much, the coffee made the vanilla much less rich, truly the worst of both worlds.
6 ounces of strong iced coffee + 6 ounces of milk
We are cooking with petrol now, boys. The perfect blend; allowing the richness of the vanilla to shine with a nice coffee aftertaste. Given the thickened texture, it’s a lot like an iced vanilla latte you’d buy from a chain coffeeshop. This is the way I enjoyed it the most, and it’s the way I continue to drink it now that my “experimenting” is over. I’d recommend @DaSlaya and @Lawrence_Butler give this a try with their own flavors.
like 2 tablespoons of milk
I thought given the thickening blend, this would make a pretty nice pudding/“sludge.” The texture ended up being more like a glaze, like cinnamon roll frosting, and the “artificial” flavor was extremely noticeable in such a small amount of liquid. 0 stars, F-, I finished it but I would absolutely not do it again.
I really like a good isolate, but it does make more sense for me for a meal replacement to utilize slower-digesting forms of protein.
The idea of a protein-based breakfast replacement including caffeine to take the place of both breakfast AND coffee is very smart, good on Blue Star for the idea.
Despite personally being indifferent at best to vanilla proteins, this was quite enjoyable. If I received more, would I use it? Absolutely. Would I personally seek it out and buy it? Not at $49.99 a tub, but given how heavily Blue Star discounts its products during sales, I think that would be a perfectly reasonable time to try out the other flavors.