Review: Orgain Meal Replacement

Posted in: Diet ♦ Wednesday, May 5th, 2010, 4:47 pm ♦ 20 Comments

Like many with gastroparesis, I rely on meal replacement drinks to supplement my nutrition and increase my protein intake, especially during flare-ups.  But the chemicals, fake ingredients and high sugar content have always given me pause.  How nourishing can it be if there aren’t any real ingredients in it?

So I was definitely intrigued when I came across Orgain, an organic meal replacement drink developed by Dr. Andrew Abraham, physician and cancer survivor.

After giving it a try, I’ll never go back to Boost!  Here’s why:

  • Orgain drinks are certified organic. There are no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives.   It’s still not whole food but it’s better than the alternative.
  • Each 11 ounce drink has 13 grams of sugar, which is about half the amount in an 8 ounce Boost or Ensure.  Plus, it’s real sugar not corn syrup.
  • It contains a blend of 5 organic fruits and 5 organic vegetables.
  • It comes in two flavors:  Sweet Vanilla Bean (made with real vanilla) and Creamy Chocolate Fudge (made with real cocoa powder).  Both are pretty good.
  • It’s not as sweet, thick or chemical-tasting as other meal replacement drinks.
  • Orgain uses organic whey protein, which is often easier to digest than soy.  (Note:  whey comes from milk, so this isn’t for those who are lactose intolerant or have dairy sensitivities)
  • It’s gluten-free.
  • An 11 ounce serving provides well-balanced nutrition with 255 calories, 7 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.  Plus antioxidants, Omega 3, and 24 vitamins and minerals.

The downside?  Definitely the price.  It’s about $3 per 11-ounce drink box compared to $7-$8 for a 6-pack of Boost.  But for me, it’s worth a few extra bucks to provide my body with more wholesome, health-promoting nutrition.

UPDATE 1: You can now order Orgain on Amazon via their Subcribe & Save program for about $2.35 per carton.

UPDATE 2: I’ve been drinking Orgain for about a year and a half now and it’s still my favorite nutritional supplement/meal replacement drink on the market. I drink 1 to 1 1/2 per day between meals and it doesn’t contribute to fullness, regurgitation, or any other symptoms. Here’s how I do it: in a 20 ounce BPA-free reusable water bottle, I mix half a carton (about 5.5 ounces) of Orgain with about 10 ounces of water and then fill the bottle the rest of the way with ice. This ends up being about 3.5 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber per bottle. I carry it around and sip it all day, usually refilling once or twice.

UPDATE 3: Here’s a recent FAQ Friday video about choosing a nutritional supplement drink –

If you’re interested in a comparison, here are the nutrition facts and ingredient lables for Boost High Protein, Enlive! and Orgain:

 

 

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20 Responses to “Review: Orgain Meal Replacement”

  1. Posted by: Brittney
    May 9th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    This sounds like a great supplement. Do you know of any soy (or lactose free) meal replacements that are similar? I drink Ensure but I’m not a fan of all the sugar in it.

  2. Posted by: Crystal
    May 11th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Hi, Brittney. You might want to look into Spiru-Tein. It comes as a powder that you mix with water, juice, or dairy/non-dairy milk. It has a ton of vitamins/minerals, as well as three kinds of non-dairy proteins: soy, rice, and pea. There are a bunch of different flavors but it also comes in an unsweetened variety. You can add your own sweetener (or just blend with fruit instead). I’ve tried it with unsweetened almond milk and banana and thought it was pretty good. Hope that helps!

  3. Posted by: Brittney
    May 13th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Thanks! I’ll look for the unsweetended kind. I know they sell it at the natural food store I go to!

  4. Posted by: Ellen Schmidt
    May 18th, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I just tried it for the first time today. It seemed to go down just fine and no nausea at all. I tried the choc. If you have wholefoods in your town you can get it there. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Posted by: Crystal
    May 18th, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Ellen, so glad it worked for you! I’ve been having one each day for a couple of weeks now and I haven’t experienced any symptoms with it yet. Thanks for letting us know that they have it at Whole Foods.

  6. Posted by: Carrie
    May 18th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I prefer Nature’s Way Alive! Rice Protein Vanilla for my liquidy supplements. (Vitacost or Amazon have the best deals on it) It has EVERYTHING that one could need….without the fat and fiber which those suffering from gastroparesis can’t handle. Even my high energy multi-vitamins back in the day didn’t have the B vitamins this does. Lots of good stuff missing from a persons gastroparesis diet… and even better, it TASTES great and mixes well. The Rice and Pea Protein is easier to digest than soy protein for me too.

    http://www.vitacost.com/Natures-Way-Alive-Rice-Protein-Vanilla?csrc=GPF-033674155455

    -Cheers,
    Carrie

  7. Posted by: Carrie
    May 18th, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Just wanted to add that when compared with other powder protein and vitamin supplement mixes…Nature’s Way Alive! Rice Protein Vanilla takes the cake! Spirutein is tolerable…..but this actually tastes good and I look forward to my smoothie half at one point in the day and half later!

    -Carrie

  8. Posted by: Crystal
    May 20th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for the info, Carrie! I’ll check this out.

  9. Posted by: Steve
    May 29th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    This sounds like a great supplement. Do you know of any soy (or lactose free) meal replacements that are similar? I drink Ensure but I’m not a fan of all the sugar in it.

  10. Posted by: Emily
    June 3rd, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for the info, Carrie! I’ll check this out.

  11. [...] common dietary staple followed by nutritional supplement/meal replacement drinks (Boost, Ensure, Orgain, Carnation Instant Breakfast, etc.).  Rice, pasta, cereal, bread/toast, soup, crackers, yogurt, [...]

  12. [...] Note: This drink does have quite a bit of sugar, about 19 grams, most of which comes from the strawberry juice and banana puree.   Still, it has less sugar [and far fewer fake ingredients] than Boost, Ensure or Enlive. [...]

  13. Posted by: Steph
    February 12th, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I tried the vanilla flavor and it made me quite sick. I have the chocolate and I will give it a try but my word of warning is to buy it individually (whole foods sells it and that is where I got mine). Try it to see how you like it. I tried it because while I have pretty much maintained my weight on solid food I need to gain quite a bit and I have tried boost but it too made me sick (a tolerable level but more than certain solid foods). Maybe I just am not tolerant of these types of drinks in general.

  14. Posted by: Crystal
    February 12th, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Hi, Steph. Thanks for the sharing your experience. Certainly not everyone will tolerate the Orgain, so it’s definitely a good reminder to try it before you buy in bulk! On the whole, my clients have had a better experience with Orgain than the other drinks, but they don’t work for everyone. Hope you find something that works well for you!

    Warmly,
    Crystal

  15. Posted by: Mae
    March 30th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you SO much for the recommendation of the Orgain. I’ve been battling getting in enough calories per day because I so often am limited to only liquids. Ensure, Boost, and other similar products give me pretty bad headaches so that really made it tough when I didn’t have time to make a smoothie or something at home (like when I am out and about or visiting the office). The Orgain has been a God-send. It REALLY helps to keep my energy levels high when I am out and can’t juice or make smoothies, etc. AND, I’ve had no adverse side effects to it, which is amazing because I’m sensitive to everything. :)

    Since so many GPers have a hard time with products like these I thought I’d also mention that Rainbow Light Protein Energizer is AWESOME. It has 500mg of Spirulina, along with a super green veggie blend and is very easy to digest. It is so yummy in a smoothie. It’s lactose and soy free too and has no artificial additives or vitamins to upset a delicate system. I love it and its been so helpful for me to keep me going.

  16. [...] 1 carton of Orgain [...]

  17. Posted by: Sheila
    August 23rd, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I tried orgain last week, the mocha. I siped on it for a little while cause I was concerned I would have the same reaction I did to ensure….terrbile pain. I stopped about half way cause I was feeling full. Then the pain hit and my lisp started burning really bad. My lip even split. I had this same reaction to watermellon. I was told I had burnig mouth syndrome too. Do you think it is the vegtables that I am having a reaction to. I was so disappointed I had this reaction to orgain.

    Thanks

  18. [...] you’re a regular Orgain drinker, you’ve probably noticed that the meal replacement drink isn’t quite what it [...]

  19. Posted by: Sharon Smith
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I tried Orgain for the first time this week and while I found the taste okay and loved that it made me feel full and satisfied for a long time, I was disappointed to discover that I got bowel cramps, bloating and diarrhea. :( I do have some lactose intolerance and wondered if that might have caused my problems?

  20. Posted by: dave
    September 1st, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    orgain is 99.3 lactose free, so most should be okay with it.. i am lactose intolerant and do not have an issue..

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