This Tasty Protein Shake Keeps Me Full For Up To 4 Hours (& Doesn't Taste Like Feet)* (2024)

Integrative Health

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December 06, 2023

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By Braelyn Wood

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Braelyn Wood is the Deputy Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University, along with a certificate in marketing.

This Tasty Protein Shake Keeps Me Full For Up To 4 Hours (& Doesn't Taste Like Feet)* (3)

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December 06, 2023

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No one understands the struggle of sticking to a nutrient-dense diet on a busy schedule more than me. I often find myself scarfing down chickpeas straight from a can at 3 p.m. on a chaotic workday or concocting a bland salad from tofu, kale, and cucumbers late at night.

These less-than-satisfying meals leave me staring at my cupboard, wishing there was an easy (and tasty) way to get in the calories and nutrients that I need every day without hours of meal prep. It seemed like an impossible request—but then I tried Ka'Chava's Whole Body Meal.

The plant-based shakes combine protein powder, fiber, supergreens, superfruits, adaptogens, probiotics, and digestive enzymes into an on-the-go meal that actually tastes good. And I should know; I've replaced my lunch for two weeks with the brand's shakes to see whether they kept me satisfied, energized, and satiated.* Here's what happened.

Need to know:

  • Ka'Chava Shakes promote feelings of satiety for me for up to 4 hours.* Each shake has 25 grams of plant-based protein from pea and brown rice protein (which are sources typically higher in leucine). Plus, they're an excellent source of fiber with 6 grams in every serving.
  • The vanilla and chocolate flavors taste amazing. Lots of plant-based protein tastes like dirt, but these shakes were closer to a not-to-sweet melted milkshake. Typically, I have to blend my protein into oatmeal or smoothies; I could actually drink Ka'Chava when it was just mixed with water.
  • I noticed a few areas for nutritional improvement. The brand focuses on whole foods, and you can actually read the ingredient list without an advanced degree. But the supplement facts panel doesn't share the leucine amount (an amino acid necessary for protein synthesis). Each shake also has 5 grams of sugar, with added gums on the excipient list.
  • I'll keep drinking Ka'Chava once I run out. I loved drinking Ka'Chava shakes as an easy meal replacement or snack on days when I'm super busy. They're easy to make and taste great—plus they're healthier for you than many of the fast-food alternatives that I might be tempted to turn to.

Why you should trust us

I replaced all of my lunches with Ka'Chava on workdays for two weeks to see how well this meal replacement supported my body's needs. I only consumed shakes made from combining Ka'Chava's powder with water—and I tried two flavors.

What is Ka'Chava?

Founded in 2014, Ka'Chava makes two products: Whole Body Meals and Snack Bars. Along with offering fully plant-based products, Ka'Chava stands out for sticking to a clean ingredient list packed with superfoods, i.e., fruits and vegetables rich in health-promoting nutrients.

This Tasty Protein Shake Keeps Me Full For Up To 4 Hours (& Doesn't Taste Like Feet)* (6)

Image by Braelyn Wood

What you need to know about Ka'Chava shakes

The Whole Body Meal from Ka'Chava is essentially just a protein shake, but I'd argue it's a really darn good one. A single serving delivers 25 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, and 24 grams of carbohydrates, including 6 grams of dietary fiber (technically making it an "excellent source").

As someone who eagerly wants to expand the diversity of the foods that I eat, I'm impressed by the ingredient list for the Whole Body Meal. It combines more than 85 superfoods, nutrients, and other plant ingredients into a single product, ranging from organic maca root to reishi mushroom. Every sip delivers not only plant protein but also superfoods, adaptogens, and probiotics.Talk about a supercharged protein powder!

While this might sound like the recipe for an overwhelming ingredient list, I actually found the emphasis on whole foods lent itself to a really transparent ingredient list. For once, I didn't feel like I needed an advanced degree to understand what I'm consuming.

What's more, a majority of the ingredients are also organic, and there's a relatively lean excipient list, which means there aren't too many "other" ingredients added to the shake. (I'll go into more detail on the ones that are added later on!)

Personally I wouldn't consider Ka'Chava to also be a replacement for my daily multivitamin or probiotic (like I've seen some people say online). It only delivers 100% of the recommended daily value for five vitamins and minerals: vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, chromium, and molybdenum. Plus, the brand doesn't share the strain source of the included probiotics.

Instead, I'd think of Ka'Chava Whole Body Meals as just that: meals or snacks with a clean profile that are best complemented with an overall healthy diet.

Image by Braelyn Wood

How much protein is in a Ka'Chava shake?

As a vegetarian, I sometimes struggle to get enough protein; we believe women should aim for at least 100 grams of protein per day at mindbodygreen, which is almost twice the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)1.

Drinking a Ka'Chava shake can help me get almost a quarter of the way toward that goal with 25 grams of protein per serving (i.e., two scoops)—pretty impressive for a meal that takes less than 30 seconds to prepare (and doesn't taste like feet).*

That being said, I would be remiss to note that plant-based protein often has less leucine than its animal-based counterparts2. This essential amino acid is necessary for protein synthesis, and you typically want at least 2 to 3 grams in your serving of protein. While Ka'Chava opts for pea and brown rice protein—known for their higher leucine content among plant protein sources3—there isn't a typical amino acids profile provided to call out the leucine content.

Just to be safe, I supplement my shakes with a cup of organic, grass-fed cottage cheese. This gives me an extra 1.27 grams of leucine to ensure my body takes advantage of the protein that I'm consuming.

This Tasty Protein Shake Keeps Me Full For Up To 4 Hours (& Doesn't Taste Like Feet)* (8)

A scoop of Ka'Chava Whole Body Meal before mixed in a Mason jar.

Image by Braelyn Wood

Summary

A single serving of Ka'Chava has 25 grams of protein from a blend of pea and brown rice protein.

How does Ka'Chava taste?

As impressed as I am by the Ka'Chava ingredients, I'm even more impressed by the taste.

Plant-based protein gets a bad reputation for tasting like a grassy sludge—and I personally can't consume most of these powers without mixing them into a smoothie, oatmeal, or protein bread.

In the name of science, I tried the Vanilla powder first and only mixed it with water. I will note some of the clumps didn't fully disappear, but I was in a rush and decided to give it a taste anyway.

I was shocked by how much I liked the consistency and flavor. The coconut milk base makes the shake creamy with a good mouthfeel and no chalky aftertaste. I'd read online that the shake was too sweet due to the addition of monk fruit extract, but I found the flavor super palatable.

The Chocolate flavor turned out to be equally appetizing. I typically avoid chocolate-flavored protein powders because they can overwhelm the rest of the flavor profile and often bring out a super artificial taste. Instead this tasted closer to a cacao latte than a hot chocolate—and I never felt the need to hide the taste under plant-based milks or ice.

Ultimately, I still preferred the Vanilla flavor, but I intend to finish every last scoop in both bags. In fact, I'm already close, thanks to my two-week experiment.

This Tasty Protein Shake Keeps Me Full For Up To 4 Hours (& Doesn't Taste Like Feet)* (9)

Author sipping on a blended Ka'Chava Vanill Shake

Image by Braelyn Wood/ mindbodygreen

How I felt when drinking Ka'Chava

I tested Ka'Chava by replacing my lunch with the shake on workdays for two weeks. My usual schedule includes eating a late breakfast around 10 a.m. followed by lunch around 2 p.m. At least once a week, I'll skip my lunch in favor of an earlier dinner around 5 p.m.

During my testing process, I was rigorous about consuming my shake every single day. It was the first time in months when I actually ate three meals per day (even though these are on the lower end for caloric intake for a meal).

When I drank the shake, I stayed full for at least four hours; the combination of fiber and protein supported my feelings of satiety4.*

Equally impressive, I found that my afternoon slump felt less prevalent on days when I drank the shake.* I attributed this to the adaptogen blend; adaptogens have a balancing effect on your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis)5, so they play a role in everything from mood to energy.*

Is Ka'Chava really good for you?

As much as I loved my experience with Ka'Chava, there are a few less ideal aspects of this formula that are worth calling out. Gums are added to the shake to help give it a better consistency, which may be a concern for those susceptible to digestive issues.

Each serving also has 5 grams of sugar. A small portion of this sugar comes from the superfruits used in the blend, but a majority is from coconut nectar. Personally, I'm a fan of coconut nectar; it has a lower glycemic index than traditional sugar due to its fiber content. Plus, it has naturally occurring polyphenols (great for antioxidant properties!) and small amounts of nutrients like zinc, iron, and calcium.

Finally, it's worth noting that plant-based protein often has a lower bioavailability than its animal counterparts. As a plant-focused eater, I'm aware of this discrepancy, but it may impact your decision on whether this powder is right for you. I didn't consider any of these cons to be a deal breaker—but I wouldn't fault those who did.

FAQ

Can you lose weight on Ka'Chava?

I avoid the scale in favor of observing how my body feels, so I can't speak to this effect. At mindbodygreen, we believe that protein powder can support a healthy body composition, as research shows that increasing protein can reduce fat mass while preserving lean body mass.

However, protein power alone is not enough to induce weight loss; you'll also need to stick with an overall healthy diet and movement.*

Is Ka'Chava worth it?

Every $70 bag of Ka’Chava powder holds 15 servings. This breaks down to about $4.50 per serving. I consider this a bargain compared to the $15 superfood smoothies at Erehwon (and the typical cost breakdown of a meal delivery service).

The takeaway

When you don't have time to make a nutrient-dense meal, Ka'Chava Whole Body Meals offer an easy alternative. The tasty shakes deliver 25 grams of protein from whole food sources in a clean formula that doesn't have any dairy, soy, gluten, or added preservatives. As I aim to skip fewer meals in the new year, I plan to keep a bag of Ka'Chava's delicious powders on hand—and you should too.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This Tasty Protein Shake Keeps Me Full For Up To 4 Hours (& Doesn't Taste Like Feet)* (2024)
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