I love protein shakes. I’m not sure that I really “need” them–I don’t work out excessively or diet, or even use these as meal replacements–but I like the idea that I’m at least getting some vitamins and minerals in an easy-to-drink, delicious chocolate product. Sadly, the only flavors on hand were vanilla (not my favorite) and chocolate mocha (not my favorite, as I hate coffee); but I generally like chocolate flavors, so that was the one I went with.
The one thing I did not think about–I assumed the flavors were artificially created–is that, this being mocha, it might have actual caffeine in it, which it does. I have a certain sensitivity to caffeine, and while the myriad of energy drinks I’ve reviewed certainly indicate I don’t mind drinking it for a good reason (i.e., to stay awake during early morning hours at work), if I would have noticed it sooner, I probably would have just gotten the vanilla instead. I took a couple swigs of this in the early morning after a workout, and having just woken up, there was no way I needed a caffeine or energy burst that early in the morning…that’s what the workout was for.
Onto the taste: As can be expected, this stuff is actually pretty good. There’s definitely some mocha in there, but just as I expected, the chocolate flavor is the dominant flavor, with the mocha simply providing some support. So if you’re a huge coffee fan, you might be a little disappointed. If you’re a chocolate fan, chances are you’re going to really like this. True to form, I only had about half a bottle, and so the 30 or so mg of caffeine I ingested gave me some brief, but noticeable jitters (there is about 65 mg per entire bottle). Of course, if you drink coffee or any other sort of caffeine-filled beverage on a daily basis, you probably won’t even notice such a small amount.
As with just about every meal replacement shake I’ve ever had (which aren’t many), there’s a chalky texture. It doesn’t bother me that much–in fact, I actually kind of like it–but I’m sure some will be put off by it and so it’s worth mentioning. Also like every other meal replacement shake I’ve had, it didn’t replace jack for me…I was still hungry after drinking it, and have even been known to drink one as a beverage with a (small) meal, so if you’re actually wanting this to replace a meal for you, you might also have to add in an extra dose of your own willpower (or it might naturally work…of course; these things work differently for different people).
But whether you enjoy it as just a vitamin-loaded snack, a post-workout refresher, or as a meal in and of itself, it doesn’t really matter, because these taste pretty darn delicious, and at a surprisingly decent price point, too ($3.29 for four 10 or so oz. bottles). I just wish they carried these all the time; I may have to settle for getting their regular diet shakes, which function in a similar way (and have the plain chocolate flavor, which I love).
Overall: 7.5/10. A delicious shake that provides a nice helping of both protein and caffeine, while still delivering in the flavor department. The chocolate is the dominant flavor here, with a slight hint of mocha trailing behind. Value is here in spades, with a four-pack retailing for a mere $3.29…a good price for protein shakes, which seem to be rather exorbitantly priced. A great deal, but unfortunately only occasionally available as a special buy. If you see it, be sure to pick it up!