Do you find that you are getting tired of your meal replacement shake and want something different?
If you are, I am reviewing 2 shakes that I came across recently – Kachava and Soylent.
I also enjoy a change now and then, but I need to know that the new choice will be as good as the last and supply me with all the nutrients, vitamins, and proteins that I need.
Meal replacement shakes are great for people on-the-go and can be used to replace breakfast, lunch, or even a late dinner. Do not use them to replace all meals! Nothing beats a healthy, home-cooked meal, and your replacement should never do that.
These two shakes claim to be completely natural, which is a must for me. I don’t want to start drinking chemicals, flavorings, and artificial colorings.
I looked more closely at these two powder-based meal replacement shakes – here is what I found.
What is Kachava?
Kachava is a plant-based superfood powder that is mixed or blended with ice-cold water to make a full meal replacement drink. Some users mix it with milk, almond milk, or fruit juice. It can also be used in smoothies and claims to be delicious when you add in avocado, peanut butter, or banana.
The website looks very professional and gives a transparent description of the product, reviews, and all the ingredients in it. There is a great recipe section with loads of scrumptious treats that you can make using Kachava.
The company was started by Simon Malone in 2012. He left the corporate world to focus on his health and was inspired by ancient tribal remedies that he found in the jungles of Thailand. The product contains many of these natural ingredients. The company is located in Henderson, Nevada, USA.
The supplement was made with the aim of providing an easily digestible blend of essential nutrients, vitamins, and proteins. It claims to be suitable for people of all ages. In the mix are over 70 plant-based superfoods.
The product can be purchased on their website and on Amazon.
What is Soylent?
Soylent is also a meal replacement powder that is mixed with water. Once again, some users add it to milk, almond milk, or blend it into smoothies with added ingredients.
The website is also very comprehensive with full disclosure, reviews, and ingredient information.
Soylent was started in 2013 by a group of software engineers who met in Silicon Valley. They were all working together and living off a diet of frozen meals and fast foods. The founder, Rob Rhinehart, together with the others, decided to create a healthy meal replacement. Being software engineers they decided to ‘engineer’ healthy food.
The name Soylent was based on a book. It also makes you guess that the main protein ingredient comes from soy. They claim that ‘soy is the most complete plant-based protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids’.
The product range has expanded to include drinks and energy bars and is available on their Website, Amazon, and in over 2000 retail outlets in the USA.
How are they different?
Both products are powders that offer a comprehensive range of proteins, nutrients, and vitamins. After having a closer look, there are some differences.
One of the main differences between these two is the source of protein that is used.
Soylent exclusively uses soybean protein. They refer to it as ‘soy protein isolate’ and explain that the ‘isolated protein portion of the bean that is engineered to create a higher quality protein’. Soy is a complete protein in that it supplies all 9 amino acids. It is also sustainable and ethically produced. The soybean that is used in Soylent is grown in the USA on farms that have to comply with strict quality standards and limits on the use of heavy metals for fertilizing.
The protein in Kachava comes from multiple plant-based sources. It contains no soy protein at all. The proteins included are organic sacha inchi protein, organic whole grain brown rice protein, yellow pea protein, organic quinoa, and organic amaranth.
Let’s look at some of these in more detail.
Sacha Inchi is a plant that is found in Peru. It is also known as Jungle peanut or Inca peanut. The protein comes from the seeds and is rich in Vitamin E, omega-3, and omega-6.
Quinoa is an on-trend superfood that is attracting much attention. As well as being high in protein, it also offers large amounts of Vitamin B, Vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and antioxidants. Quinoa is an ancient food that is now becoming a health fad with foodies the world over.
Amaranth is also known as kiwicha. This tiny seed is very high in protein and is also a gluten-free grain choice.
Calories indicate the amount of energy your body gets as it breaks down food. Soylent offers 400 calories, while Kachava offers 240 in a serving. If you are looking for energy, Soylent comes out best with almost double the amount.
One thing you definitely want from your meal replacement is a good Daily Value of Vitamins. While Vitamins are naturally obtained from fruit and veggies, so many people, me included, simply do not eat enough of these.
Looking at the ingredient list for these two products, Kachava gives a far more detailed breakdown of the vitamins that you will be getting. The Soylent list is a bit lacking, only giving an overall 20% value for many of the Vitamins.
Vitamin A is vital for normal vision, reproduction, and boosting the immune system. Kachava offers a large 83% of your required DV. Soylent comes in at only 20%.
Vitamin C is vital to strengthen your immune system and help ward off illnesses like colds and flu. Once again, Kachava wins with a DV of 33%, compared to 20% in Soylent.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Soylent has 20%, while Kachava has a large 67% of your daily requirement.
Kachava also has larger amounts of Vitamin B1, B3, and B2. Vitamin B types all work towards maintaining good health and well-being.
Kachava has an impressive blend of Adaptogens. Adaptogens help to counteract the effects of stress, fatigue, and anxiety in the body. They also help to improve concentration.
The ingredients they use are ancient tribal remedies and include exotic components like organic Maca Root, 100% organic Shiitake Mushroom Mycelia, organic Ginger Root, and 100% organic Reishi Mushroom Mycelia.
Soylent does not appear to have a component like this in the mix.
Iodine is used by the body to support thyroid health. Kachava offers a large amount of Iodine at 50% of the recommended daily intake. Soylent has only 20%. So this is a win for Kachava again.
Sugar is always a concern if you are watching your intake. Soylent has a fairly large amount of added sugar at 15g. Kachava has less at 6g. Both these values are high if you are looking for a low-sugar meal replacement drink.
Looking closer at the full list of ingredients in Soylent, it appears that it does contain sucralose which is added for sweetness. This is a bit of a downer, as the website claims that the product is 100% natural. Although Sucralose comes from sugar, it is seen to be an artificial sweetener as it is produced in a chemical process. After this process, Sucralose is hundreds of times sweeter than natural sugar.
The sugars in Kachava come from the natural fruits. The website claims that the sweet taste is from coconut nectar and lo han fruit. They state that the product does not contain stevia at all. This is great because many people try to stay away from stevia as a sweetener.
How are they similar?
Here are the main points of similarity between the products.
Benefits of daily use
Both products are marketed as powerful meal replacements with many benefits. Here are some of them
- Gives sustained energy through the day
- Strengthens and boosts muscle health
- Aids in heart health
- Supplies the body with essential nutrients and vitamins
- Increases immune support
- Aids mental health
- Adds to a healthy lifestyle
Both products come in a choice of 2 flavors. And, most interesting, people generally seem to like them! This is a win for both, as so many meal replacement powders fall short due to a chalky or awful taste.
Soylent has a choice of Original and Cacao. From the reviews, I see that people have a slight preference for the Original flavor.
Kachava has a Vanilla and a Chocolate flavor. They recommend buying one of each and using half a scoop of each in your mix. I love chocolate, so I would probably go with a full scoop of the chocolate.
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
Both products tick all the boxes in this category. They are vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. They both claim to have no preservatives or artificial flavors.
Soylent does have soy protein, while Kachava has no soy protein at all. Soylent also claims to be nut-free, while Kachava is not nut-free as it is produced in a factory where nuts may be present.
As a first impression, looking at a product’s website gives me a good idea of the product. In this case, both are very comprehensive and packed with information. I certainly got a good feeling about both these products after scrolling through the loads of information that they offer.
On Amazon, the rating for Soylent is 4.4 and for Kachava it is 4.5. So not a huge difference there. Both products have fans that won’t drink any other meal replacement shake.
Here are some key comparison points
|Protein Type||Plant based||Soy only|
What’s better about Kachava?
Looking at the ingredient list, Kachava has far more to offer. It has over 70 plant-based superfoods to start with. I also like the way the ingredients are divided up into different blends.
They clearly show the
- Plant-based protein blend
- Omega EFA / Fiber blend
- Antioxidant / Super-fruit blend
- Adaptogen blend
- Super-greens / Vegetable blend
- Digestive enzyme blend
Kachava has less sugar than Soylent which is important for me as I am always watching my weight. Kachava only has natural sugars that come from coconut milk and lo han fruits. I am not overjoyed that Soylent contains Sucralose.
What’s better about Soylent?
Soylent also gives a comprehensive meal replacement option with fewer diverse ingredients. It offers far more calories, so when it comes to an energy boost, Soylent wins.
I like the fact the product was made by software engineers who were convinced that their eating habits were bad and that they needed to do something about it.
Reading the reviews, many people really enjoy the cozy neutral oat-milk taste of the Original flavor. It is comforting and filling.
Who should get these products?
Both products will suit people looking for a natural meal replacement option. You can mix them up quickly by simply using a shaker, or you can use a kitchen blender and add ice and water to make a cooling drink.
For people who are rushed in the morning, the drinks can replace your breakfast. At the office, don’t miss lunch, rather spend a few minutes and mix up a shake.
Both websites claim that people of all ages can use the drinks. I would personally not give them to my kids. I prefer that they eat proper home-cooked meals and fresh fruits and veggies.
For people wanting a really good boost of natural vitamins and minerals, Kachava has an awesome ingredient mix of over 70 superfoods.
These powders are ideal to boost your energy and concentration levels at work or while studying. If you are not looking for a heavy-duty protein shake, but want a boost before a workout session, both products will do the job.
Soylent and Kachava both have reputable websites and good reviews.
I would prefer to go with Kachava. It has a huge ingredient list of over 70 plant-based superfoods. These provide large daily values of vitamins, proteins, nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
I also like the fact that the protein content comes from a range of natural sources and not only from soy. It also has mushroom components that have been used for thousands of years by traditional healers in Japan and China.