When the pandemic hit, you’d think people would give up on meal replacements since everyone’s forced to stay at home and there’s technically no more excuses to NOT cook a proper meal. I, for one, thought about it and experienced it myself.
But it didn’t last long…
Once I got settled in my work-from-home arrangements, I suddenly had no work-life balance in my own home and could barely make food even when I was working at the kitchen counter. Life still giving me lemons in 2022, eh!
I was also less motivated to work out ever since being stuck at home all the time, and I slowly began to get the dreaded Quarantine Bod. So I considered meal replacement shakes again to make sure I stay healthy and in shape (which is all the more relevant with what’s happening these days!).
I’d already had a few unfortunate experiences with a few well-known meal replacement brands in the past, but thanks to those experiences, I’m now smart enough to read the labels first and do thorough research before buying meal replacement shakes blindly.
Take a look at it here for those that do not what it is.
So About Ka’chava…
Ka’chava, meaning “earth” in the Mayan language, is a product borne from its creators’ desire to reconnect with nature and follow the ways of South America’s ancestors when it came to healthy eating.
The brand proudly states that their product is “heavily inspired by ancient wisdom” and incorporates numerous ingredients that were part of the Aztecs’ diet back in the day.
Founder Simon Malone wanted a meal replacement that not only made you look good outside but would certainly make you feel good inside; not only will it help you achieve your body goals, it’ll also make sure it nourishes your whole body to fuel you on the journey of life.
Ka’chava goes on to claim that their meal replacement shakes have no additives nor sweeteners, and are made to be your ready-to-go meal that can provide your body with the right balance of fiber, proteins, good fat, and nutrients to keep you healthy and fit.
With over 70 plant-based ingredients, Ka’chava states in its website that not only are their shakes good for your body, they’re also good for the environment, too! The more plant-based products you consume, the negative impact there is on mother nature.
By simply replacing one meal a day with Ka’chava, you’re sure to be healthier and happier while keeping the Earth happy and healthy too. Imagine that!
Let’s Get into the Nitty-Gritty…
What is Ka'chava's Meal Replacement Shake Made of?
Ka’chava is wholly plant-based and, as you can see from their website, is impressively vegan and FREE of:
- Artificial Sweeteners, Colors, and Flavors
While I see a lot of other meal replacement brands that also offer gluten, dairy, and/or soy-free options, most of them fall short when it comes to preservatives and added sweeteners. Ka’chava so far stands out from the crowd by keeping everything natural.
A LOT of ingredients can be found in one serving of Ka’chava’s meal replacement shakes (did I mention they use over 70 plant-based ingredients to make Ka’chava?) and it would take me forever to list and review each. By the time I’m done with the 10th ingredient, you’ve probably clicked X-out already, on this review!
So instead of boring you, below is a quick look over everything found in Ka’chava and what they do for your body.
Ka’chava groups their ingredients into the following:
Plant Protein Blend
The brand uses 5 types of organic plant protein namely, Sacha Inchi, Yellow Pea, Amaranth, Quinoa, and Whole Grain Brown Rice -- majority of which have been staples in the Aztecs’ diet. These plant proteins provide all 9 essential amino acids that the body needs to be in tip-top shape. Their plant protein blend makes up that whopping 25g of protein per serving, an amount which you rarely see in a vegan meal replacement shake.
Made up of herb roots like Maca Root, and mushrooms such as Shiitake and Reishi, this blend helps your body deal with stress and keep it in a state of homeostasis. (2)
Ka’chava’s antioxidant mainly consist of several kinds of berries which are known to carry high amounts of antioxidants. Berries such as Rasberry, Acai Berry, and Blueberry (among others) are berry good at reducing the risk of developing certain diseases and might even help prevent certain types of cancer. (3)
Omega EFA/Fiber Blend
Consisting of chia seeds, flax seeds, organic whole grain oat, and organic acacia gum, the Omega EFA/Fiber blends helps to hit two birds with one stone: to improve your digestion as well as keep your heart and joints healthy. (4)
This blend has over 17 organic supergreen ingredients such as Kale and Spinach that are known to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy digestive system. (5)
Digestive Enzyme Blend
The enzymes Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Lactase, and Lipase make up this blend which help to quickly break down the ingredients in Ka’chava and ensure all the essential nutrients are absorbed by the body. (6)
Ka’chava includes probiotics and prebiotic such as Inulin, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus Acidophilus which aid to encourage growth of healthy and beneficial bacteria in the gut. (7)
These include our daily needed vitamins such as Vitamins C, A, D, E, and Bs.
This blend is made up of daily essential minerals such as Folate, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Iodine, among others, to help our body function properly. (8)
These ingredients include natural sweeteners such as Lo Han Fruit extract, natural flavors like cacao and vanilla, soluble vegetable fiber which helps to make you feel full, and coconut milk to make the shake creamy.
For a complete list of the ingredients, you can check it out on Ka’chava website (9).
As mentioned earlier, I’ve experienced nausea and constipation from some meal replacements I’ve tried throughout my fitness journey. As well as some pre workouts as well.
Yet, the worst were the ones that not only made me sick but also failed to deliver what they promised since they used artificial ingredients because it was cheaper to do so.
Because of these experiences and with hours of thorough research, I was able to develop a strict personal checklist when it comes to choosing my next meal replacement shake. I would like to point out that I used this extensive research not only to review Ka’chava but to compare it to other meal replacement like Huel you can check it here.
My checklist for a quality meal replacement shake since then has been:
- At least 10g of protein (10)
- 10g or less of sugar (10)
- Not less than 3g of fiber (11)
- More than 2g of fat and (10)
I should be getting above 30% of the daily recommended values for vitamins & minerals per serving (10)
And you know what? Ka’chava ticked all of that! Not gonna lie, I was impressed the first time I read their labels.
Between the three available flavors, there’s only a difference of 1g of sugar, with the Chocolate flavor at 7g while Vanilla and Coconut Acai at 6g. But all three clock in at well below 10g so that’s a big check for me.
Ka’chava provides you with 25g of plant-based protein, 4-7g of fiber, 7-8g of good fat, and at least 40% of the daily recommended values for the majority of vitamins and minerals found in their shake.
Lastly, you get 240 calories per serving (equal to two scoops) which I think is a decent amount for a meal replacement shake for people who are conscious of their calorie intake.
It’s safe to say that Ka’chava could be the ideal on-the-go meal replacement shake thanks to its clean, whole, and healthy ingredients.
Where is Ka’chava made and where does it get its ingredients?
While Ka’chava heavily takes inspiration from ancient wisdom originating from Central and South America, the brand is based and manufactured in Southern California.
The brand also states in its website that they source most of their ingredients supplies in the USA who use sustainable growth practices but also outsource internationally when necessary.
Is it FDA Approved?
The brand states in their website that it strictly follows FDA regulations and even goes above and beyond what’s required when it comes to product safetyand labeling… (12)
...but that’s about it. Can’t help but feel they’re dodging the question.
Bottomline: Ka’chava is, at the moment, NOT FDA approved.
What Are the Benefits of Adding Ka’chava to One’s Diet?
Aside from the 7 benefits Ka’chavas wears you’ll get from their shakes, you also enjoy the convenience of healthy nutrition by being able to make a shake in just 2 minutes.
You simply add 2 scoops of Ka’chava meal replacement shake to a blender, your preferred liquid, and throw in other healthy ingredients in the mix and just hit blend. With one serving, you fuel your body with all the nutrients Ka’chava has to offer.
They 7 key benefits Ka’chava talks about are (13):
- A boosted immune system
- More energy
- Improved digestion
- Better appearance
- Weight management
- Muscle growth and recovery, and
- Improved mental health
How “Good” is it for My Gut Health?
Ka’chava has formulated its shakes to include natural ingredients that can promote a healthy digestive system by adding more fiber, probiotics, Vitamin D, Digestive Enzymes, Zinc, and Magnesium.
This helps to prevent a “leaky gut,” lessen bloating, and make your bowels do its thing on a regular basis.
Can it Help Me Lose Weight?
Ka’chava does state in its website that it’s not made to be a weight loss shake BUT its formulation can also benefit those who are looking for a healthy meal replacement to shed some unwanted pounds.
Their shakes can help keep your metabolism up while helping you feel full longer during the day. I tried other meal replacements like Huel and Shakeology and Kachava is the one the helped me the most when it comes to weight loss simply because of its ingredients and flavors, I even included it in my challenge to lose weight by only eating 2 protein shakes and a meal per day, because it was that good.
Does Ka’chava Have Any Side Effects?
Ka’chava has a high amount of fiber compared to the majority of existing meal replacement brands and, in rare cases, may have side effects such as nausea, gas, cramping, and diarrhea caused by probiotics and digestive enzymes. (14)
It’s also worthy to note that all their shakes contain tree nuts so if you’re unsure of whether this might affect your health, it’s best to consult a doctor first.
The brand also recommends that pregnant women looking to consume their meal replacement shakes should consult their doctors and get their approval prior to consumption.
Can I Replace All My Meals With Ka’chava?
I mean, yea, you can… your body, your choice, right?
However, it is NOT recommended to replace all your daily meals with meal replacement shakes. It just wouldn’t be a healthy option in the long run. (15)
While shakes like Ka’chava are nutrient-dense and designed to replace a meal, it’s intended to provide you with vital nutrients when you’re on the go and unable to sit down to have “real food.”
What Customers Say About Ka’chava
Ka’chava has a sparkling 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 24241 reviews found on their website where many customers praise the meal replacement shake’s taste, particularly the chocolate flavor.
Notably, many of the positive reviews are from users who are either transitioning to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle or looking for a tasty plant-based supplement that doesn’t have bad sugar in it, can lessen the “munchies,” and give them more energy.
Interestingly, the negative reviews also complain about the taste of Ka’chava’s shake and find it way overpriced for a meal replacement at $69.95 a bag (15 servings) / $4.66 a meal for a one-time purchase.
If you head over to their Amazon store, echo similar positive reviews but varied negative reviews with complaints about the shake’s flavor and texture, excessive clumping, customer’s allergic reactions, and steep prices. (17)
So Is Ka’chava Worth It or Is It Just Overhyped?
Is Ka’chava overhyped? In my opinion, no.
Apart from my own positive experience with their meal replacement shakes, customers talking about positive results after using Ka’chava far outweigh the negative reviews the brand gets on its website and on Amazon.
But is it worth it? Hmmm. This is where it gets tricky.
While their ingredient list and environmental cause are very impressive, the price and limited flavor choices can possibly become the deal breakers.
If you have no time to prepare nutritious meals and you’ve got the extra budget for a super whole body meal replacement shake like Ka’chava then I’d say it’s definitely worth it.
If you’re budget conscious at the moment, a little picky when it comes to flavor, and don’t really care for all the benefits that Ka’chava offers with its shakes, then this meal replacement might not be worth it.
While the company does offer a $10 discount on every bag if you get a monthly subscription, it’s price range is still up there compared to its competitors.
You might be better off settling for a cheaper albeit less nutritious alternative.
What do you think of Ka’chava? If you’ve tried their shakes, we’d love to know your experience in the comments below!
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