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Fact checked by Robert Iafelice, MS, RD, LDNFACT CHECKED
Updated On: July 20, 2023
In our fast-paced society, the need for a quick, accessible, and nutritionally balanced meal solution has become increasingly important. Enter Ka'Chava, an emerging star among meal replacements for weight loss. With its thorough nutritional profile, Ka'Chava has quickly become popular among people trying to lose weight while keeping their bodies well-nourished. But how good is Ka'Chava really?
In this Ka'Chava review, we'll lift the lid on this meal replacement to discover whether a Ka'Chava meal is really providing health benefits and helping more than your wallet get lighter. Read on to get the full story.
Ka'Chava is a plant-based meal replacement powder that attempts to offer a complete nutritional profile in a handy and simple-to-consume form. It is designed to act as a complete meal replacement by providing a blend of vital nutrients, including proteins, carbs, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, Ka'Chava protein powder purports to deliver steady energy, encourage satiety, and enhance general health and wellness.
Ka'Chava is suitable for people who follow vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diets. It includes various whole-food ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains. These components supply phytonutrients, antioxidants, and other beneficial chemicals while adding to the shake's nutritional value.
Ka'Chava is available in powder form, making preparation quick and simple. Simply blend or shake the powder until smooth after adding water or another beverage that you prefer, such as almond milk or coconut water. This makes it a good option for people who lead hectic lives or when it is challenging to prepare a full meal.
Ka'Chava is frequently used as a meal replacement by people trying to control their weight or streamline their diet. It seeks to assist people in maintaining a calorie deficit or supplying their nutritional requirements in a simple and regulated way by offering a balanced combination of macronutrients and micronutrients.
Ka'Chava meal replacement shakes are available in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, and matcha. It is a soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly product.
You can't help but be impressed by the more than 85 combined ingredients in every Ka'Chava shake. They have covered all your plant-based nutrient bases with their seven proprietary blends. However, because they are proprietary blends, we are not told how much of each ingredient we're actually getting.
We can get a general idea of ingredient dosages by doing a few calculations (i.e., total blend quantity divided by the number of blend ingredients). However, when we do that, it becomes apparent that most ingredients are underdosed in terms of the recommended daily allowances and clinical testing dosages. That is a big problem.
Throw in the fact that the human body was created to consume whole food versions of fruits and vegetables and add in the pretty exorbitant price of Ka'Chava (more than double your average protein shake), and you can't help but conclude that Ka'Chava simply does not stack up.
Overall Verdict: FAIL
The 85+ ingredients that comprise Ka'Chava are grouped into seven blends. Here's an overview of each of these blends.
The protein blend is made up of the following ingredients:
Yellow Pea Protein, Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein, Organic Sacha Inchi, Organic Amaranth, and Organic Quinoa.
Yellow pea protein forms the basis of the blend as it is a complete protein source. You get a complete, balanced amino acid profile by complementing it with other sources, such as brown rice protein. This ensures that your body receives the nutritional material it needs in amino acids to replenish, restore and rebuild muscle tissue. Research indicates that 25 grams of protein is adequate to promote protein synthesis leading to post-workout muscle development.¹
Note: As if the proprietary blends on the label aren't bad enough, there is also a discrepancy with the numbers they give. For example, this blend lists 29.25 grams of protein, but you actually only get 25 grams per serving).
The Omega EFA/ Fiber blend comprises Organic Pure Whole Grain Oats, Organic Acacia Gum, Chia, and Flax. Ka'Chava's omega blend aims to supply healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, this mixture may contain ingredients to help cardiovascular health and general well-being, such as flax seeds and chia seeds.
The fiber in this blend also helps with weight loss. Being insoluble, fiber helps fill the stomach without adding calories. It also acts as a cleansing mechanism for the digestive system.²
Interested in a stand-alone omega-3? Check out our article on the Best Omega-3 Supplements.
The antioxidant blend consists of Organic Coconut Flower Nectar, Acai Berry, Organic Maqui Berry, Camu-Camu Berry, 100% Organic Strawberry, 100% Organic Tart Cherry, 100% Organic Blackberry, Organic Blueberry, and 100% Organic Raspberry.
I found it interesting that the first listed ingredient, organic coconut flower nectar, is a sweetener. Considered a healthy refined sugar alternative, it undergoes minimal processing and retains several important minerals. However, for a sweetener to be the highest-dosed fruit ingredient is not a promising sign.
The antioxidant content of this blend aids in reducing oxidative stress and advancing general wellness. We are not told how much fruit you're getting, so we are in the dark about how effective the phytonutrient content is.³
The adaptogen blend is made up of Organic Maca Root, 100% Organic Shiitake Mushroom Mycelia, 100% Organic Maitake Mushroom Mycelia, 100% Organic Reishi Mushroom Mycelia, 100% Organic Cordyceps Mushroom Mycelia, and 100% Organic Ginger Root.
Adaptogens are well known for their capacity to support energy levels, general resilience, and stress management. The problem is that, even though we don't know the exact dosages, the ingredients appear extremely underdosed. For example, if we take the blend dosage total of 1020 and divide it by the number of ingredients (six), we get an average of 170 grams. Yet, according to clinical trials, the effective dose for most ingredients is 250 mg or more.⁴
If you want to add a mushroom supplement to your daily nutrient regimen, check out our article on the Best Cordyceps Supplement.
The vegetable blend is made up of 100% Organic Beet, 100% Organic Carrot, 100% Organic Spinach, 100% Organic Broccoli, 100% Organic Tomato, 100% Organic Kale, 100% Organic Cabbage, 100% Organic Parsley Leaf, 100% Organic Brussel Sprouts, 100% Organic Green Pepper, 100% Organic Cucumber, 100% Organic Celery, 100% Organic Garlic,100% Organic Green Onion, 100% Organic Cauliflower and 100% Organic Asparagus, Chlorella.
This blend represents an excellent combination of health-giving vegetables. Once again, though, they seem to be minimally dosed, with 500 mg spread over 16 ingredients.⁵
For our list of quality greens blends, read our article on the Best Greens Powders.
The probiotic, prebiotic blend consists of Inulin, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus Acidophilus.
Probiotics are helpful microorganisms that support balanced gut flora. They can facilitate the breakdown of nutrient absorption of complex carbohydrates, aid in the digestion and absorption of minerals, and help the body produce vitamins, including vitamin K and several B vitamins.⁶
Probiotics contribute to human health and improve immune function by helping to maintain a robust defense mechanism. They aid in controlling immunological responses, encourage the creation of antibodies, and boost immune cell activity, all of which can help provide a more robust line of defense against pathogens.
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that provide sustenance for good gut bacteria. In addition, they encourage a balanced population of these bacteria, especially Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, by specifically stimulating their growth and activity.⁷
Prebiotics can improve general digestive health by encouraging the development of probiotic microorganisms. As a result, they can enhance bowel regularity, bulk up the stool, and lessen the chance of constipation.
Unfortunately, the labeling for this blend is less than adequate. In addition to not giving specific dosages, the Ka'Chava label also lists the blend dosage total in mg rather than the standard CFUs or colony-forming units. Furthermore, it does not list the specific strain of the species used. As a result, we are left in the dark about how effective this blend is.
The digestive enzyme blend comprises Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Lactase, and Lipase. There does not appear to be any logical reason for including this blend, as no research exists to suggest that healthy people need to take digestive enzymes in supplemental form.
If you are someone in need of digestive enzymes, we have a full article on the Best Digestive Enzymes.
The official Ka'Chava website promotes the following health benefits of taking Ka'Chava meal replacement:
Ka'Chava may improve gut health through its ability to nourish and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. The fiber content will also promote regular bowel movements, increase stool bulk and prevent constipation. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of many of the ingredients in Ka'Chava may also reduce gut inflammation.
Flax seeds, chia seeds, or other plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has been linked to cognitive wellness. They are essential for preserving the form and functionality of brain cells, promoting neurotransmitter function, and minimizing brain inflammation.
Ka'Chava frequently includes antioxidant-rich foods like berries, acai, or cacao. Antioxidants aid in defending the brain from oxidative stress and harm brought on by free radicals. Antioxidants may help to keep the brain healthy and preserve cognitive function by lowering oxidative stress.
Ka'Chava has a wide range of plant-based components, including fruits, vegetables, and superfoods, many of which have phytonutrients that may be advantageous for maintaining brain health.
Ka'Chava's combination of plant-based proteins, including sacha inchi and pea protein, promotes muscle protein synthesis and general muscle health. The synthesis of muscle protein and post-exercise recuperation depend on essential amino acids. Therefore, Ka'Chava supports the healing and expansion of muscles by offering a variety of amino acids.
The antioxidants in Ka'Chava may help shield the skin from free radical damage. In addition, antioxidants can help to preserve healthy skin and a youthful appearance by lowering oxidative stress.
Vitamins, minerals, and proteins are among the vital components found in Ka'Chava that may help preserve healthy hair. For instance, zinc, biotin, and vitamin E are all known to assist in healthy hair development. In addition, since keratin, a kind of protein, makes up the majority of the structural elements of hair, consuming enough protein may support healthy hair growth and maintenance.
Healthy fats from Ka'Chava plant sources, such as coconut milk, chia seeds, and flax seeds, have been linked to several advantages for heart health. For example, omega-3 fatty acids can promote cardiovascular health, lower triglyceride levels, and reduce inflammation.
When taken as recommended, Ka'Chava is typically tolerated by the majority of people. However, like any dietary supplement, there is a chance that some people will experience some minor adverse effects. These may include:
1. Allergic Reactions: Ka'Chava includes a variety of whole food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins, and other sources. Before drinking Ka'Chava, people who know they have sensitivities to any of these substances should carefully check the product's ingredient list.
2. Digestive Problems: Dietary fiber in Ka'Chava can generally improve digestion for most people. However, in some circumstances, a sudden increase in fiber intake can result in transient digestive discomforts, such as bloating, gas, or adjustments to bowel habits. Therefore, it is best to add Ka'Chava gradually to your diet and to drink plenty of water to promote digestion.
3. Individual Sensitivities: Some people could be sensitive to or intolerant to certain fruits or proteins which are present in Ka'Chava.
There are thousands of Ka'Chava reviews available online. They represent a cross-section of opinions, though they do tend to be positive; here are a couple of typical Ka'Chava reviews from verified users:
Ka'Chava is available in the following five flavors:
In comparison to most plant-based shakes, all five flavors are surprisingly tasty.
The Chocolate version is essentially the cleaner, healthier version of a chocolate milkshake. It's made with natural cacao, rich coconut milk, and a dash of coconut nectar for a touch of sweetness.
Vanilla Ka'Chava has a creamy texture and a straightforward, clear flavor that reminds me of a traditional milkshake but with less sugar.
Acai has a tinge of luscious berry flavor blended with creamy coconut. It resembles a berry pina colada in certain ways.
Chai provides warming spices like cinnamon and a smooth vanilla finish. Matcha offers a creamy shake with just the right amount of sweetness and freshness.
All five flavors require a pretty potent blend to avoid mixability problems. You will need a blender rather than just a shaker bottle to get a smooth, grit-free shake.
Ka'Chava is available from the official website, as well as from Amazon and a number of other 3rd party sellers. One bag of Ka'Chava includes enough powder for 15 shakes.
When you purchase from the official website, you can either purchase the product as a one-off or subscribe, in which case you can set the frequency to 15, 30, 45, or 60 days. Subscribers will receive a $10 discount off the single purchase price.
A single purchase (15 meals) is $69.95. That works out to $4.66 per meal.
A subscription purchase is $59.95. That works out to $4.00 per meal.
So, is Ka'Chava worth it? Compare it to the average price of a protein powder--based meal replacement ($1.20- $1.80 per serving) and decide for yourself.
Ka'Chava may help you lose weight if a calorie-reduced healthy diet and regular calorie-burning exercise accompany it.
Weight loss requires a daily negative calorie balance, where you burn off more calories than you take in. With an average of 240 calories per serving, Ka'Chava can help achieve a negative calorie balance if used to replace one meal per day.
Yes, Ka'Chava is designed to be a complete meal replacement. It contains a comprehensive nutritional profile, including a balance of macronutrients and micronutrients.
No, you cannot and should not live off Ka'Chava. Ka'Chava is promoted as a meal-replacing shake that may be incorporated into a healthy diet. Although it can offer a complete nutritional profile, it is not meant to serve as the only source of sustenance for a protracted length of time.
It is best to have a broad and diverse diet that contains a wide variety of entire foods for long-term health and well-being. A meal replacement product may not include sufficient amounts of a wide range of essential nutrients, phytochemicals, and fiber found in whole foods.
Nutritional deficits and an unbalanced diet will likely result from relying entirely on a single meal replacement product, such as Ka'Chava, for an extended time. Therefore, for long-term health, it is always preferable to give priority to a broad and balanced approach to eating.
As far as meal replacement shakes go, almost all shakes are going to contain some sort of proprietary blend. With that in mind, we do think that LyfeFuel Essentials and AG1 offer great alternatives with proven track records.
Ka'Chava meal replacement impresses with its huge combination of vegetables, fruits, vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and pro and prebiotics. As we've found, however, many of those nutrients are dosed at very low levels. In addition, the fact that the label lists proprietary blends rather than individual doses is a massive red flag indicating that the amounts you're getting are not going to be practically significant.
Undoubtedly, each of the flavors tastes very good, so long as you thoroughly blend the powder. But the taste isn't everything. The human body was designed to consume whole foods, so you will always be better off getting your fruits and vegetables that way. Regarding a meal replacement, our advice is to find a transparently labeled protein shake (i.e. minimal to no proprietary blends) that is much less expensive and complement it with real fruits and vegetables.
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February 20, 2024
February 20, 2024
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