I am always on the look out for new products to try out. Of course patients are always asking me about products, but its hard to stay on top of so many. A friend of mine gave me a new meal-replacement shake that she wanted me to test out. Its called “Orgain” and claims to be an organic, high protein, nutritional drink. She gave me the chocolate protein flavor to try and she has been using both flavors (chocolate/vanilla) as a meal replacement for after workouts or as a snack. Orgain was developed by a doctor who was undergoing cancer treatment. He used this product to help stay healthy and maintain his weight during treatment.
There are several things I like about the product. First, its gluten free. Not that their would be any reason for there to be gluten in the product to begin with. Also the taste was pretty good. I used it as a meal replacement for breakfast and was not hungry at all until lunch (I did pair it with a banana).
It is sweetened with brown rice dextrin, cane juice, and brown rice syrup. But, because of those ingredients, it is pretty high in carbohydrates (32g of carbs, 13g of those are added sugar). You need to get the sweet taste from somewhere and I would rather have it be real sugar than the fake stuff. Some of the other “low carb” drinks are sweetened with Nutri-sweet or Splenda. If you are going to have something sweet, its definitely better to have the real stuff.
I was pretty impressed with the amount of antioxidants included in the product. There are 130mg worth of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables in the product. The equivalent of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Of course, you can’t just drink this and not eat your fruits/veggies! It is NOT a replacement of those foods it just adds to it!
I wish it had more protein. Maybe 20g of protein and a little less carbohydrate. It would be 2 servings worth of carbs for a diabetic, but it does have enough protein (16g) to balance out the effect of those carbs.
The main issue that people may have with the product is the cost. It is $3-4 per 11oz box. The cheapest I found it online was $3.22. I think thats pretty expensive for something you are going to drink every day (if you are going to use it that way), it would cost you over $100 a month! That’s probably 3/4 of what I spend on food for the month! (I eat for free at the hospital where I work, 2 meals per day).
Ok, so who should drink this stuff? First, I would use it with my hospitalized patients. I think it is slightly better than the Ensure/Boost products usually recommended for patients who can’t eat much food. It definitely has less sugar and more protein than those products. If you are going through cancer treatment or have a lack of appetite for whatever reason, using this product could help get you some much needed protein and vitamins.
Orgain could also be used as a meal replacement for weight loss, but I would use it sparingly. Liquid food is not a good idea for losing weight, but if its between drinking this product or having nothing at all, its better to have something. If you are not trying to lose weight and only want to gain muscle, try adding some fruit/protein powder to it and use it as a base for a smoothie after a weight lifting workout. So, overall, I would recommend this product to people looking for some type of shake or meal replacement. It is a little expensive, but it can be worth it to try to maintain strength or for a easy post workout shake or meal replacement! Enjoy!