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Right, here's another Arbonne review, but as you're soon going to see, this isn't all sunshine and daisies - I'm about to review the Essentials Protein Shakes.
What is the product?
Arbonne have an Essentials range, complete with everything you might need to keep your body fit and healthy. One of their biggest selling products in this collection are the Essentials Protein Shakes, available in chocolate or vanilla flavouring.
Each is available in three different forms - for £49, you can purchase 1.25kg of protein powder in a bag with a scoop, £27 gives you twelve 330ml cartons of premixed shake, and £20 gives you ten sachets of powder at 45g per serving. This demonstrates that there is a solution for every budget, making the protein shakes accessible for everybody.
What makes this different?
There are many protein shakes on the market, at a variety of prices, and lots of different flavours. Prices range from around £15, up to over £70, depending on weight, company and type.
Most protein shakes get their protein from whey, defined online as a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. This makes the protein shakes unsuitable for vegans. Arbonne takes it's protein from plant sources instead, including pea, cranberry and rice. It delivers 20g of protein per serving, as well as serving up 21 essential vitamins and minerals, and is vegan friendly as well!
What is it like?
So, I first tried the vanilla flavour of the protein shakes around 2 months ago. I used one of the sachets, tipping it into a glass and adding the 250ml of cold water and stirring vigorously. The powder seemingly dissolved, leaving me with a cream coloured protein drink.
The taste was delicious - certainly the best tasting protein shake I have had. It wasn't too sweet, so it wasn't sickly, but not so bland that I didn't want to drink it. But I didn't drink it. And why? Because there was only one way of describing the texture - tile grout. It was gritty and crunchy, and left a funny coating in my mouth. It was disgusting, and so down the plughole it went.
A month later, I tried again, this time with the chocolate flavour. This one was a cocoa taste - certainly no Dairy Milk, it was more like cooking chocolate, before you put it into your cakes. Still, it was drinkable, and the more I had, the yummier it became. This time, I shook it up in an official Arbonne Protein Shaker, a plastic bottle with a wire ball inside, I presume to break up the powder so it gives a smoother texture - and it actually worked. Mixed better, I was able to drink the whole drink, which was much better than my first attempt. Result!
What did I think?
I like the idea that Arbonne gain their protein from plant sources - it makes me feel healthier already when someone tells me I'm getting my protein from peas instead of whey. And the taste of these shakes is nice - it's drinkable, whereas some other shakes I've tried are too sweet, or too thick and leave me feeling queasy.
I certainly didn't like the texture, especially the first time. The second time was much better, but it is annoying that I needed a proper Protein Shaker - I usually just use a glass and mix it up with a fork or spoon.
The sachets are easy to use, that's for sure, and I bet the cartons are even easier, as the shake is already mixed for you, so you can just grab and go. The large bags come with a scoop, and you just pop two of these in your water, so again, I see this as an easy and accessible way to get your shake. And there is the bonus of the vitamins and minerals, which most other protein shakes don't provide!
Any final words? Overall score?
So, I'm only giving these shakes 3 stars out of 5. This is because, despite the flavour being nice in both the vanilla and chocolate, the texture just didn't cut it for me. Arbonne never fails to impress me with it's products, but this time, it just let me down.
Friends have told me that they have baked using their protein shake powders, and I have tried cookies that one of my fellow Arbonne friends baked, and they were delicious. So I guess there are other ways of using Arbonne's Essentials shakes, which is a positive, but I don't think I will be running to drink one of these shakes again.
Having said that, I do have friends that love the Arbonne shakes - so maybe it is all on personal taste afterall!