Protein is a very important component of our body. It is found in bone, muscle and skin. Our body requires protein to produce hormones, enzymes and other chemicals that aid in bodily processes. While we source protein from some of the food that we eat, a lot of people turn to protein supplements in order to up their intake. This can be done for weight loss, increased energy, better athletic performance and to even fill in nutritional gaps.
Plant-protein powder isn’t a new concept. It’s actually been a supplement since the 1950s. However, we now have a large selection of plant-based protein powders for women available for consideration, each with different protein sources, different nutritional components and even different flavors.
Have you been thinking about adding a protein powder to your routine to enjoy the advantages of protein? If so, you might be overwhelmed with all of the different options that are available.
In this article, I want to compare three popular brands for you. This includes Kos Protein, Orgain and Shakeology. As a female nutritionist and personal trainer, I understand the benefits of protein and have used it in my own life. I hope to break down these three brands for you, so you better understand what goes into a high-quality protein product.
Comparison Table of KOS Vs. Orgain vs Shakeology
$49.99 (28 servings)
4.8/5 (very smooth after shaking)
$33.99 (20 servings)
4.2/5 (sometimes gets clunky, makes it hard to drink)
$164.95 (30 servings)
3.9/5 (you better use a blender)
Overview of Kos Plant Protein
Kos has created their plant protein powder using ingredients that will cover all of your bases. With a full amino acid profile and a fruit and vegetable blend, you get so much more than just protein from each serving. Because it has been created with the use of plant-based ingredients, it doesn’t cause bloating of GI upset, like a lot of dairy-based proteins do. Skip the old school whey protein thanks to Kos Plant Protein.
A lot of people don’t realize that peas contain protein in them. It’s assumed that all fruits and vegetables are pretty low on the protein scale. In fact, peas are a very abundant source of protein. They’ve become a popular option for vegan and plant-based protein products. Protein in Kos Plant Protein is also sourced from flax, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and chia seeds. These ingredients contain protein, but also amazing components like omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, fiber and antioxidants. This is truly an all-in-one approach to a healthy protein beverage.
This all-in-one plant protein shake from Kos contains 160 calories in each serving, with an impressive 20 grams of protein. The protein is sourced from pea protein, but there are many other nutritious ingredients that provide you with all kinds of essential vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, D and B vitamins. This is thanks to the fruit and vegetable blend added in. Ingredients like apple, carrot, cranberry, broccoli, mushrooms, tomato and pumpkin seeds are all extremely nutrient dense.
A digestive enzyme blend has also been added to boost your digestive process (amylases, lactase, protease, lipase and cellulase). The proprietary Kos Vitamins and Minerals Blend is also an inclusion, which is composed of amino acids, potassium, zinc oxide, selenium, folic acid and more.
What I Like
I really like the number of flavors that are available for Kos Plant Protein. There are currently eight different varieties offered, with some unique flavors included like blueberry muffin, chocolate chip mint and salted caramel coffee. If you’re someone that likes to use their protein powder on its own, this is a great option for you. If you like to mix your protein in with a number of other ingredients, you can still choose from the unflavored or vanilla varieties that are available.
What I Don’t Like
Unfortunately, this protein powder from Kos contains coconut in it, so it must be listed as containing tree nuts. Tree nuts are one of the nine most common food allergy ingredients, so I feel like this kind of limits the number of people who can use this product. As a nutritionist, I’ve worked with a lot of people that have food allergy restrictions, and I personally like brands that try to accommodate as many people as possible.
Overview of Orgain Organic Protein Powder
The Orgain brand was founded in 2009 by Andrew Abraham, M.D. Abraham is a cancer survivor and integrative medicine specialist that was interested in creating a protein product that would focus on clean nutrition, delicious taste and really high-quality ingredients. If you’re not into protein powders like their Organic Protein Powder variety, they even have different protein bars and other drinks available.
There is an impressive 21 grams of protein in each serving of Orgain Organic Protein Powder. Six grams of prebiotic fiber helps keep your gut health in check. It’s vegan, free of soy and even gluten free. It’s hard to find anything wrong with this amazing protein powder from Orgain.
Orgain offers a few other protein options in addition to this Organic option. They have a whey-based variety if you want something a bit more traditional. They also offer a Keto Organic version and Simple Organic, which contains minimal ingredients.
Orgain Protein Powder contains 18 different ingredients, also providing you with a nutrient-dense protein option. Its protein is based on three ingredients: pea protein, brown rice protein and organic chia seeds. It’s a great option if you’re trying to find something that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar. There is just one gram of sugar per serving for the flavored varieties. It’s also USDA certified organic, so you know you’re getting only the best and safest nutrition when you use Orgain Organic Protein Powder as part of your daily routine.
What I Like
I like that Orgain Protein Powders come in a few different, really delicious flavors. Some of my favorites include cookies and cream, pumpkin spice and the iced coffee is really delicious. It even allows you to cut back on your coffee habit, replacing your morning brew with something that’s much more nutritionally beneficial. Even with these great flavors, Orgain’s product is very low in sugar.
What I Don’t Like
This specific protein powder doesn’t contain any kind of fruit and vegetable blend. I like that Kos chose to include something like that in their formulation. It would be nice to have some additional nutrients included in this protein.
Also, non-organic natural flavors are included in this product. As a nutritionist, I’ve learned that non-organic natural flavors can be made up of many different things. It can be something natural like fruit and vegetable juices, or it can be something less healthy, like MSG. The manufacturer doesn’t have to disclose where their natural flavors are actually coming from.
Overview of Shakeology
Shakeology created a line of nutrition shakes back in 2009 with the help of wellness experts and enthusiasts, including Darin Olien, who is the CEO and creator of Beachbody. Beachbody strongly recommends that you use Shakeology products along with the program to help you lose weight, reduce unhealthy food cravings and to support a healthy digestive process. It’s intended to be consumed daily, providing you with 16 grams of protein in each serving. Different superfoods, adaptogens and nutrients have also been added.
One big unique feature about Shakeology shakes is that they come in a large variety of flavors. You can get your nutrition from this product, but without having to compromise taste. Some of the flavors I’ve tried and enjoyed were Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Whey, Chocolate Caramel Brownie and Strawberry. Shakeology also offers a number of other supplements that you can use alongside their protein drinks to regulate your digestion better and increase your collagen consumption.
Shakeology is based on a blend of different proteins, such as whey and pea. There are other vitamins, antioxidants and herbs added as well. For a boost in gut health, Shakeology has also added digestive enzymes and probiotics to their shakes.
The exact formula may vary a little bit from flavor to flavor. For example, the green blends have vegetable and fruit powders included, such as kale, goji berry, pomegranate and chlorella. If you’re looking to up the nutritional components of your shake, there are Shakeology Boosts that add in extras that benefit your energy levels, digestive health and the condition of your skin.
What I Like
I like the variety of flavors that are available from Shakeology, but I am also a big fan of the large number of nutrients that are inside of it. It’s a great way to fill in some of the nutritional gaps that are in your diet, you can use Shakeology to lose weight, it makes you feel more energized throughout the course of the day and can even help get your GI health in check.
What I Don’t Like
Shakeology is considered an MLM business, which is a multi-level marketing company. This is essentially a networking business, and products are sold by individuals selling them and marketing them on different social media platforms. I feel like MLM businesses can get a little annoying at times, depending on who you’re buying from. After all, these people are trying to make money by getting you to reorder more products. You do have the option of purchasing Shakeology directly through the brand’s website as well.
Comparing Cost and Overall Value
Trying to decide what kind of protein you want to purchase may very well come down to the price that you’re going to have to pay in order to try something. The cost of Kos Protein Vs Orgain Vs Shakeology can vary quite a bit, so let’s take a look at a quick breakdown.
Shakeology shakes are sold in a number of different sizes, flavors and types. This will affect the actual cost. The Vanilla Whey Shakeology comes in a 30-serving bag that costs $129.95 for a one-time purchase. The Chocolate Caramel Brownie Plant-Based Vegan Shakeology is $79.95 for a one-time purchase.
If you’re interested in Kos Protein, the cost is currently $49.99 for a one-time purchase. You save money by purchasing multiple packs at one time, or you can choose to subscribe and save 15 percent off your order.
Organic Protein Plant Based Protein Powder currently retails for $33.99 for a one-time purchase. This definitely makes it a very affordable option compared to Kos and Shakeology. Keep in mind however, this product is very much just a protein powder. It doesn’t contain the fruit or vegetable blends that the other two protein options include.
If flavor is something you’re concerned with, I would have to recommend Shakeology as the winner. They have the most versatile flavor profile among these three brands, and all of the flavors are really delicious. Some of the Shakeology flavors include stevia to cut back on some of the sugar that’s included in a single serving, but some of the flavors still contain as much as seven grams of sugar per serving.
I personally enjoy using an unflavored protein powder on a day-to-day basis. I mix a scoop in with my favorite berries and fruit. Because of this, Orgain would be the product I would choose if you were interested in doing the same thing. Kos and Orgain also offer their unflavored / unsweetened varieties, but you have the option of choosing a flavor as well.
Comparing Quality of Ingredients
I recommend purchasing an organic protein powder if it’s in your budget and if you find one that provides you with everything that you’re looking for. You can rest assured that it’s free of dangerous contaminants and chemicals. Of course, this often raises the price point quite a bit compared to non-organic options. The two organic protein powders that I’ve chosen for this review (Orgain and Kos) are both very affordable options considering how healthy and safe they are. You can expect to pay a lot more for similar protein products. Shakeology also contains some organic ingredients, however the product itself is not USDA certified organic.
Main Differences between KOS, Orgain and Shakeology
When we discuss the main differences between these three products, I would have to say that I feel like Orgain and Kos are similar, with Shakeology having a little bit different of a formulation. Orgain and Kos are USDA certified organic and contain very safe and natural ingredients. Shakeology is not certified organic, and there are some ingredients I don’t love (natural flavors and stevia). With Shakeology having a bit higher of a price point, it’s lower on my list of protein options that I love.
Which Is the Better Protein Powder: Shakeology, Orgain or KOS?
When it comes to choosing a protein product that provides you with an impressive amount of protein in each serving, contains a lot of nutrients and is affordable, the product that stands out the most to me is Kos Protein. It contains a fruit and vegetable blend, digestive enzymes, KOS vitamins and minerals and so much more. It’s priced under $50 for a one-time purchase.
Orgain is a close second in my opinion, but the only thing missing is the added nutrients and enzymes. This isn’t something that everyone wants in their protein powder, so it might be perfectly acceptable to you. If you’re taking another supplement each day that has some of those ingredients, then your bases are already covered.
The Bottom Line
In order to ensure that your body is meeting its protein requirements each day, protein powder is a fast method of adding nourishment to your routine. It’s beneficial for weight loss, performance, muscle mass development and as a way of staying full for longer periods of time without having to consume unnecessary calories. The protein powders that are available for purchase may seem endless, but the search doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think. Kos Protein, Orgain Organic Protein and Shakeology products are all excellent options to start out with in your search.