Shakeology & P90X

By Steve EdwardsThe whole Beachbody community is buzzing about Shakeology and all the great health benefits it provides. Today, Steve Edwards answers your questions about how to best incorporate it into your P90X regimen.

I’d hope so, given that it’s a meal replacement shake! [laughs] But seriously, Xers do have a different nutritional equation to consider than most people. Generally, meal replacement shakes are designed so that you drink them instead of eating a meal to help you lose weight. Of course, Shakeology fits into this mold just fine. In fact, given how nutrient-dense it is, I’d say it’s better than anything on the market. And even though it contains an entire day’s worth of many nutrients, it’s still only 140 calories.

Aren’t most of the meals in P90X nutrition plan in the 400 to 500 calorie range?

Exactly, and the average Xer won’t be served well to cut out calories. The reason is that as you get fitter your nutritional requirements change, along with your body composition. When you first start to exercise, you can lose weight by just restricting your caloric intake. But as you gain muscle, you need to eat more to continue losing weight, and this is often a lot more than you ate when you first began losing weight—sometimes it’s more than double. If you eat too little during P90X, your weight loss will plateau, along with your ability to do the workouts.

This is why we give you a lot of smoothie recipes and options. Shakeology, like any other meal replacement shake, can be a component of something larger. For meals, we suggest adding more calories from healthy fat sources, like nut butters (almonds, cashews, etc.), along with more standard smoothie-like ingredients such as fruit. This not only brings your calories into line with your diet plan but balances meals so they digest more slowly, as normal meals would.

Can Shakeology replace one of the snacks in the P90X nutrition plan?

Shakeology is a ridiculously nutrient-rich snack, a perfect snack for Xers. Because it doesn’t have much fat, its nutrients are put to use very quickly by your body. This makes it an ideal pick-me-up snack when you’re on the go. It’s better, in fact, than a lot of energy drinks. While something like Red Bull might give you more up-front punch, Shakeology will give you sustained energy because it’s providing nutrients your body needs to get things done.

Shakeology’s macronutrient ratio splits the difference among sports drink, protein shake, and recovery drink, but it can substitute for all of them in any given situation because it also has an excellent micronutrient profile. Most people are focused only on macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs), but they’re only part of your nutritional equation. Micronutrients are things like phytonutrients, adaptogens, and other scientific-sounding stuff. While we refer to these as “micro,” nutritionally, they are anything but small. Many of them are absolutely essential for a healthy life. Shakeology speeds these micronutrients into your system, which enables you to perform better.

Why don’t we hear more about the importance of micronutrients?

Not to dwell too much on conspiracy theories, but “big food,” as we call the American food industry, doesn’t want us focusing on micronutrients because they’ve been destroyed in

In nature, food doesn’t come this way. It has a balance of nutrients that help sustain life. It’s possible for food scientists to recreate this balance in processed foods, but this is expensive. Essentially, if it doesn’t fit the numbers, shareholders want to see it doesn’t happen. So they make cheap food and keep us in the dark about nutrition. This is exactly why we’re in the predicament we’re in today (with obesity), because we can make calorie-rich but nutrient-poor food cheaper than we can produce natural food.

This is why Shakeology is designed the way it is. There is no one food in nature that has all the micronutrients we need to fill the nutritional gaps in our diets—that’s why we need to eat a variety of foods. But most of us don’t do that. So at its core, this is what Shakeology is doing—filling in our nutritional gaps.

I’m doing the Portion Approach in P90X. What block(s) could Shakeology replace?

The portion plan is basically little chunks of macronutrients portioned out to help you easily balance your diet. Shakeology is equal parts carbs and protein, with almost no fat. So Shakeology can replace one block of protein and one block of carbs.

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