Update 2/28/20. Arbonne is a company that makes a variety of supplements. Thankfully, I have a friend who is an Arbonne Consultant who was nice enough to give me a sample to help me with this review. In this review, I'll take a look at the ingredients in the Arbonne Essentials Shake. I'll taste-test it too, and show you what it looks like in the glass. This will help you better decide if Arbonne Essentials is right for you.
Arbonne Essentials Nutrition Facts
For this review, the following Nutrition Facts are for the chocolate flavor of Arbonne Essentials Shake Mix. Other flavors may have slightly different nutrition information and ingredients.
1 serving = 1 packet (45 grams). Each box has 10 packets.
One packet of Arbonne Essentials protein mix has the following nutrition information:
Amount Per Serving Percent Daily Value
Calories 160 Calories from fat 30 Total fat 3.5 grams 5% DV
Saturated fat 0 grams 0% DV
Trans fat 0 grams N/A
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0% DV
Total carbs 15 grams 5% DV
Dietary fiber 2 grams 8% DV
Soluble fiber 1 gram N/A
Soluble fiber 1 gram N/A
Sugars 9 grams N/A
Protein 20 grams N/A
In the table above, “N/A” means no dietary value established.
Let's now take a look at some of the more interesting nutrition details.
How Many Calories?
I believe Arbonne Essentials is best described as a weight-loss shake because each shake packet only has 160 calories. From my experience, weight loss shakes generally have 200 or fewer calories. That's a tad fewer calories than I saw when I reviewed Shakology, which is also popular with people.
How Much Fat in Arbonne Essentials?
The Nutrition Facts label tells us that Arbonne Essentials is pretty low in total fat, providing only 3.5 grams of fat per packet. That equals only 5% of our daily value for fat. While that's good, let's now calculate the percentage of fat that is in the shake.
The calories from fat and percentage of fat are different. Unfortunately, food labels don't tell us the percentage of fat. We have to do some math to figure this out.
As we can see in the Nutrition Facts label above, there are 160 total calories, and 30 of these calories come from fat; this tells us that Arbonne Essentials is 18.75% fat.
We can find out the percent of fat by doing this math:
Fat calories ÷ Total calories X 100
For Arbonne Essentials, the math looks like this:
(30 ÷160) X 100 = 18.75
Or if you prefer, 30/160 X 100 =18.75%
According to the FDA, anything that is 20% or more is considered “high.” So, technically Arbonne Essentials is not “high” in fat, but it's close to it. On the plus side, the shake has no saturated fat or trans fat, so that's good.
Arbonne Essentials Fiber
Each packet of Arbonne shake mix provides 2 grams of fiber. From the ingredients table above, we see Inulin listed. Inulin, also called “chicory root extract,” is popular in “high fiber” foods such as Fiber One Cereal Bars.
Inulin is often added to products because it is a way to increase fiber content without increasing the viscosity (thickness) of liquid products (such as meal replacement shakes).
Like other products, Inulin can pass through the digestive system without contributing calories to the diet. This also helps keep the calories of foods down. Another benefit (for diabetes particularly) is that inulin does not stimulate insulin production. Another advantage of inulin is that it appears to help the growth of helpful, probiotic bacteria.
Inulin is also a prebiotic. That means that it is the food of probiotic bacteria that live inside of us. As bacteria eat inulin, they give off gas, that we expel. As such, some might notice that they are more “gassy” at first when they start using the product. For what it's worth, I drank the shake (see my taste test below), I didn't notice any increase in passing gas.
The IdealShape weight-loss shake also has inulin. See that review for more info.
Sugars in Arbonne
Each serving of Arbonne Essentials (chocolate flavor) provides 9 grams of sugar.
To put things in perspective, a teaspoon has about 4 grams. So, that's about 2 teaspoons of sugar.
While the label does not tell us how much is natural vs. added sugars, from the ingredients list above, we see sugar cane listed. This makes me think at least some of those 9 grams might be from added sugars.
That said, 9 grams of sugar is a LOT LESS than what is in many other products out there. For comparison, the Gatorade Whey Protein Bar has 29 grams of sugar.
According to this NPR report, the average American eats about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is 3 times more than is recommended.
Arbonne Essentials Protein
The Arbonne shake provides 20 grams of protein per packet. If mixed with milk, the amount of protein will be more. The protein in the shake comes from these ingredients, which it calls the Arbonne Protein Matrix Blend, in this order:
- Pea protein
- Cranberry protein powder
- Rice protein
This list tells us that the protein blend has more pea protein and the least rice protein. I know that pea protein is complete. In other words, it contains similar amounts of amino acids as steak, fish, etc. This is important for people trying to lose weight. For more info, see my pea protein review.
Rice is an incomplete protein, which means it's missing some essential amino acids. For most people, this is not a big deal.
Arbonne Essentials Ingredients
Here is a list of the ingredients in Arbonne Essentials. Read the table from left to right, and this tells which ingredients are the most and which are the least plentiful:
Pea protein isolate Cranberry protein Rice protein
Sugar cane Cocoa powder Natural chocolate flavor
Sunflower oil Corn starch Inulin
Xanthan gum Stevia leaf extract Flax seed
Gum acacia Guar gum
Read the table from left to right, and this will tell you the ingredients present the most and those present the least. For example, since “guar gum” is listed last, it's present in the lowest amount.
Here is a list of the vitamins and minerals in 1 packet (45g) of Arbonne Essentials (chocolate flavor):
Nutrient Amount Per Serving Percent Daily Value
Vitamin A 620 IU 12%
Vitamin C 9 mg 15%
Vitamin D (ergocalciferol) 50IU 13%
Vitamin E (D and L alpha tocopheryl) 5 IU 17%
Thiamin 0.22 mg 15%
Riboflavin 0.25 mg 15%
Niacin (niacinamide) 3 mg 15%
Vitamin B6 0.3 mg 15%
Folate (folic acid) 61 micrograms 15%
Vitamin B12 1 micrograms 17%
Biotin 25 micrograms 8%
Pantothenic acid 1.7 mg 17%
Calcium 153 mg 15%
Iodine 23 micrograms 15%
Magnesium 61 mg 15%
Zinc 2 mg 15%
Selenium 11 micrograms 16%
Copper 0.3 mg 15%
Manganese 0.3 mg 15%
Chromium 18 micrograms 15%
Molybdenum 11 micrograms 15%
Sodium 360 mg 15%
Potassium 120 mg 3%
As can be seen from the table, for the most part, there is not an overabundance in any vitamin or mineral. For the most part, Arbonne Essentials is giving us about 15% of our daily value for each.
When originally reviewed, the product contained 480 mg of sodium (20% DV) which technically made it “high” in sodium. The product now has less sodium – 360 mg, which is 15% Daily Value. It is no longer considered “high” in sodium. This is a good move. I am told that the sodium comes from sea salt.
Originally the product contained 340 mg of potassium (10% DV), but this appears to now be reduced to 120 mg, which is only 3% of the Daily Value. Why was potassium reduced?
What is Inner G-Plex?
Arbonne Essentials contains a blend of ingredients that it calls Inner G-Plex. It's a cute name because “Inner G” sounds a lot like “Energy.” Based on that name and one of its ingredients (that I'll cover below) I take this to be a subtle hint that the Inner G-Plex ingredients are supposed to give people more energy.
Each packet of Arbonne Essentials provides 37.5 mg of these Inner G-Plex ingredients:
Coenzyme Q10 Alfalfa leaf powder
Kelp powder Ginseng root powder
Read the table from left to right to see which ingredients are the most and least in the compound.
To me, the standout ingredient in the Inner G-Plex blend is kelp powder. Kelp is a source of iodine.
Iodine helps us make thyroid hormones. As some know, the thyroid hormone regulates our metabolism and energy levels. In fact, one of the signs we are low in thyroid hormone (hypothyroid) is that we have little energy. Some people might be so tired that they may have to take naps during the day because of this.
So, the idea is that by providing iodine, will help bump up our thyroid hormone levels and give us more energy. It's a great idea if it works. I don't think it does, though, because I've never seen proof of it. Also, most cases of hypothyroidism are not caused by a lack of iodine in the diet.
Tip. If you ever see kelp or seaweed in weight loss supplements, this is the reason why.
I've seen kelp/seaweed in other things I've looked at previously, including:
See those reviews for additional information.
Coenzyme Q 10 does help us make energy, but whether or not this gives healthy people more energy is debatable. As for ginseng there are several different types of ginseng out there. Arbonne Essentials doesn't say what type it has. That makes it hard to comment on that ingredient.
Is Arbonne Essentials Vegan?
Yes, Arbonne Essentials is certified Vegan. There is a vegan certification stamp on the box.
Is Arbonne Essentials Organic?
I don't think it is because I don't see an organic certification or claims about being organic on the package. None of the ingredients say “organic,” either.
What About Allergies?
The Arbonne box states that the Essentials shake is made in a facility that also processes milk, eggs, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. As such, this may be an issue for people with allergies to those foods.
Is Arbonne Essentials Gluten-Free?
Yes, the box states it is both gluten-free and fructose-free too.
Is Arbonne Made In America?
Yes, Arbonne Essentials is made in the USA.
Who Makes Arbonne Essentials?
Arbonne Essentials is made by the company Arbone International LLC. They are located at 9400 Jeronimo Rd, Irvine, CA 92618. Their phone number is 949-770-2610. According to the Better Business Bureau, the company employs over 500 people and that does not include all the Independent Consultants.
Arbonne has been a BBB-accredited business since 1989 and had a rating of “A+” when the review was updated. Here is their BBB file. See that for updates and additional information.
How To Contact Arbonne
The Arbonne website lists this contact number: 949-770-2610.
How Does Arbonne Taste?
For this taste test, I used the chocolate flavor. When I tasted the dry powder, I could taste the chocolate flavor. The directions say to mix 1 packet with 9 oz of cold water and shake vigorously. I mixed 9 oz of cold water with 1 packet and blended them together in a Vitamix. I liked the taste. It wasn't too liquidity, and it wasn't too thick. It was right in the middle.
The picture shows what it looks like when mixed.
There was a faint chocolate taste that was not overpowering. There was a bit of an aftertaste, but It was not unpleasant, and it didn't last long.
I drank some of the shakes and put the rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. When I returned, I noticed that the shake had developed a foam layer on top of it which added to the thickness when I drank the rest of it. I kind of liked it foam. Even when it was at room temperature, I admit, I liked the taste.
Arbonne Essentials Side Effects
I think if you are healthy, the Arbonne Essentials shake is safe. I'm not aware of any odd side effects occurring from using the product. That said talk to your doctor if any of this applies to you.
Alfalfa might stimulate the immune system. This might be an issue for people who have autoimmune disorders. Alfalfa might also have an estrogen-like effect that may be an issue for women with hormone-sensitive cancers. When in doubt, speak to an oncologist for more insights on this.
Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, as a rule, it's wise to stop all supplements at least 2 weeks before surgery.
Does Arbonne Essentials Work?
Overall, I don't have a problem with Arbonne Essentials. It tastes OK, so if you like it, feel free to keep using it. If you are using it for weight loss, drinking one or two shakes a day, along with a snack and a healthy dinner, might help some people lose weight. But does it work better than other meal replacement shakes? I think at the end of the day, it all comes down to what you like to use.
Hello , Is this product used as a meal replacement or more like a snack ? Thanks , Robert
Robert, I believe its meant to be a meal replacement shake. It has 160 calories per shake.
Anndra Ellison says
Did you ever get feedback on the sodium content?
Hi Anndra, unfortunately I have not yet.
Hi Joe – Just a comment on Inulin. It can cause reactions for those with ragweed allergies. I learned the hard way!
Hi Laura, oh so sorry to hear that and thanks for the feedback. I hope you are feeling better now.
Stephanie McCollam says
Seems like a fair and unbiased review! Thank you! The only thing I’d like to mention is suggesting purchases from Amazon (or EBay) is not the greatest idea. For one, it’s against Arbonne’s policies, so that leaves to question who is selling the product. With protein shake powder, if it’s been opened, you’d be able to tell. But the expiration date could be an issue. For skincare products, it would be very possible to not actually get what you think you’re getting. Also, any orders bought from Amazon cannot be honored by Arbonne, meaning you have no 45-day return period, which is not good for the customer. Lastly, find a consultant in your area and be proud you are supporting a local family business. Plus, you should get great customer service and access to info you may need! We are here to help!
Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing. Amazon puts customers first and so I don’t think there would be a problem with returning things, although I can see how going through a distributor can provide a more personalized touch that some people might prefer.
There should be a blanket warning that there are some copycat products on Amazon from people with less than great intentions. Amazon is a great resource that I purchase from often, but I do try to buy from the source. (I.e when I bought my string mower, I made sure the seller was Remington).
Hi Lilly, I recently had a conversation with an Amazon rep who said people can report products that they feel are bogus.
The phone to report something # is 866-216-1072.
I was also told people can report products to them via this website:
Natasha Chitsazan says
This post is not dated… can you tell me approximately when it was written as the formulation/ingredients of the product may have changed since.
Hi Natasha, I wrote it in 2015. To my knowledge nothing has changed.
Great review. I’m an Independent Consultant with Arbonne and wanted to share a slight reformulation on Sodium.
It’s sourced from natural Sea Salt which is a plus and per serving has been reduced from 480mg to 360mg – 120mg less! My understanding is two-fold. Since we are a health and wellness company, our Advisory Board & Research & Development Lab periodically evaluates formulations based on global sourcing ingredient availability, benefit, profile, taste and need.
And, consumer quantitative feedback. By coupling these reasons, Arbonne continues to offer a vegan, gluten & GMO free protein powder whose viscosity, mixability, health benefit and taste are top of the line.
Hope this is helpful.
Hi kelly, thanks for letting me know. I have updated my review with that information. I noticed the potassium has been reduced from 340 to 120 mg. Can you tell me why that happened? Most people don’t get enough potassium.
George Pisanello says
Thanks for this, Joe. Very thorough, as usual. Just a thought: I was wondering if the foam on top (after refrigeration) was air bubbles caused by using the Vitamix. The bubbles may have just, very slowly, floated to the top in the refrigerator and become foamy due to the cold. I always look forward to your reports.
George, you are very welcome and that’s a possibility about the foam layer I noticed. I’ll look forward to seeing if anyone else notices it.