Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake in Chocolate and Vanilla Review


I recently had a chance to try a few different products from the Arbonne Essentials. I thought I’d share my experiences with you.

The first product I tried was the Arbonne Protein Shake Mix. I will say that, thanks to Hubby, I have been able to try a wealth of different protein powder shakes from almost every major brand out there. So he was my “taste buddy” on this little trial run as well.

A few things about Arbonne Essentials before we go any further. They strive to “keep it simple”, keep it healthy, and to make “good for you” products that are free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, cholesterol, trans fats, and 100% animal product free. These are vegan products, and they take that seriously. They have a very comprehensive line of products to address a multitude of needs.

So, back to the shake. I got to try chocolate (Our favorite flavor for EVERYTHING!) and vanilla. We tried to read on the package what the ingredients were, what the nutritional breakdown was, stuff like that. Nothing to really be found. Okay. Let’s look at the pamphlet that came with it. That tells me that it’s “pea protein” blend, 20 grams of it. It’s gluten free. It has coenzyme Q10, alfalfa, ginseng, and flax seed. Unless that doubles as an ingredient list, I have no idea what else is in there. That’s a little…frustrating. I tear into it and I’m immediately hit with a smell that I most closely identify with….latex paint?!? That can’t be right. We dip our respective fingers in and give the dry power a little taste. “Not chocolate” says Hubby. There’s a very strong vegetable flavor that immediately overpowers any hint of chocolate that might be there. Okay, well, it’s dry. You’re not supposed to taste it dry, so let’s add the requisite water and let the flavors bloom. I notice right away there’s A LOT of powder. Hubby’s go-to protein powder has been Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey powder, and for comparison purposes, it’s a much smaller scoop. He has a few different shaker bottles, so we select his best big one and give it the old “30-second shake up”. There’s chunks of goo everywhere. So Hubby shakes some more, and with great vigor this time. No luck. It’s a chunky mess. Well, sometimes it helps to sit in the fridge a bit and let the particles super-saturate and help the process. So sit it shall.


After an hour, we take it out, noticing that it’s started to separate a bit, but after a couple of shakes it’s still kinda gloopy. Hubby gamely offers that he’s “had worse” and goes in for a taste. He immediately tells me it’s got a very chalk-like consistency and it’s kinda gritty. There’s a very strong veggie taste, even pepper-ish, and the aftertaste that remained as “horrible”. The smell is still off, but I will myself to give it a go and I regret it almost immediately. He’s right, something is off. I really can’t taste any chocolate, but it’s closer to a malted V8. Hubby gamely goes back for more, and after 3 sips, he says he can’t finish it. Just so you know, I’ve seen this man chug things that would choke a billy goat, all in the name of fitness. For him to tell me he can’t finish is shocking to me. I open up the vanilla and smell the same “latex paint” smell from before and I’m not even going to torture ourselves and go through this again. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even mix it.

I have to wonder if there was something off about the samples I received. For company to be so high on their products that they send out samples like this tells me there must be something there, and hopefully this was just an anomaly.

I also got a chance to try their Energy Fizz Sticks, but that is for another post! =D

I received the above products free of charge from a Arbonne representative.  I am not obligated in providing a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the brand and/or product, which may differ from yours.



11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Louise Boyes
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 05:29:22

    I use this protein powder all the time and whilst it did take a while to get used to the flavour I’ve never had it ‘gloopy’ before! It mixes perfectly well in the shaker and I use more water than suggested as I like it runnier. I love it.

    • linettefm
      Oct 31, 2013 @ 00:22:55

      I did think the texture was really off so maybe this sample was not produced to their normal standards. There was no way of getting around the description and “gloop” was really what happened with separation, so it did seem off. I could not stomach the taste and I have tasted some awful stuff when it comes to “optimal nutrition” and going by your description and experience, I hope there have not been recent changes made to the formula. Thank you for sharing because I do like to hear feedback 🙂

  2. Kaylin
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 22:59:57

    I’ve done Isagenix before and Arbonne taste like a treat compared to others. I LOVE the Vanilla Arbonne shake, I normally make it with Almond Milk, Banana and a packet of the Arbonne enzyme packet. I only did the 14 days worth but Im trying to order some more.
    With that said I did lose 30 lbs on Isagenix in about 45 days and 8 lbs on Arbonne in 14 days.

  3. Amanda
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 13:27:52

    I have been an avid drinker of arbonne protein powder for over a year. Recently, there was a change to the formula and much like you described it is like drinking latex paint. I am not sure what they changed but it was a change for the worse. Before it was the best tasting protein powder I had ever tried!

    • linettefm
      Dec 13, 2013 @ 00:06:19

      You’re not the first to tell me this. I’m actually kind of disappointed, because I came in with high expectations, hoping to join Hubby on the “Health Shake” train. My search shall continue!

    • Lindsay Hill
      Jan 14, 2014 @ 04:18:06

      I had a friend order some in early December and still hasn’t gotten it because there was a fire that caused devastation of some plant that they use in it so they had to make a substitution to fill orders. Its been on backorder for over a month now, not sure when the initial incident happened.

  4. Courtney
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 14:48:14

    I just tried the chocolate sample pack today, I received it from my cousin’s gf just yesterday. It’s not the greatest tasting… I haven’t tasted a lot of protein powders but the one I do like is the MusclePharm Combat Powder. The arbonne one was too thick and grainy. It kind of tasted like artificial chocolate. Are Arbonne products really what they claim they are? I’m still very skeptical… the products are more expensive than products in high end stores!

  5. Tiamaria
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 19:38:23

    Kaylin, I would stick with what works

  6. lgryphon
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 17:47:28

    I got some Arbonne protein powders because my son works there and we get them real cheap. I actually like the taste of protein shakes, so I figured how bad can they be? Well, I got the answer soon enough. To me, they’re awful. There’s a weird undertaste that I can’t identify. I can mask it in the vanilla, but I haven’t found anything that will do that for the chocolate. I’ll keep trying because the price is unbeatable. If I had to pay full price, though, I’d stick with Lean1.

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