BLIND TASTE TEST - Chocolate Protein Powder

BLIND TASTE TEST - Chocolate Protein Powder

We tried 6 Chocolate Protein Shakes and Ranked Them

There's no denying that chocolate flavored protein shakes are a favorite among regular shake drinkers. I asked a group of women – moms, teachers, an architect, a police officer – to participate in a blind taste test of six top chocolate shakes. Can you guess which powder won our blind taste test?

How We Set Up the Blind Taste Test

For the blind taste test, I purchased six brands of chocolate protein powder, including well-known Shakeology. I gave each brand a number and dumped the powders into labeled shaker cups. Each participant received a notecard labeled with these numbers. Then, one by one, I added unsweetened almond milk, gave them a good shake, and poured everyone a clean cup-full to try. We drank each shake together before moving to the next shake so that we could try each powder immediately after combining the ingredients. Everyone was asked to try each shake – giving it an overall taste score of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), writing down their thoughts, and giving details about what they thought of each.

The Results!

Here are the results from the least-favored to the most. Spoiler – there's a tie for first.

5. Less Naked Chocolate Pea – $12.99, approx $0.92 serving

Less Naked makes great protein powders, but when it came down to the chocolate taste-test it just didn't fare well. The ingredients, however, are top notch. I later tried this product as a blended smoothie add-in and would definitely purchase again for that purpose.

Taste Tester Quotes

"Tastes bland"

"Watery cardboard"

"No flavor, tastes unsweet"

"Smoothest but lacking flavor"

"Watery, needs more flavor"

"Very watery. No flavor other than cardboard"

4. Growing Naturals Chocolate Pea - $27.98, approx $1.26/serving

Another brand with nothing artificial, I was eager to see how this pea protein fared against the others. Although it seemed to mix well, most people noted a strong protein flavor and chalkier texture.

Taste Tester Quotes


"Tastes like plastic"

"Not good, tastes like cardboard"

"Bad flavor"

"Mixes well"

"Bad smell. Strong protein flavor"

"Fake me out “cookies & cream” flavor"

"chalky, liquidy"

3. Gnarly Chocolate Pea - $59.95, approx $3.75/serving

Go Gnarly's chocolate powder was, by far, the most contested by the group. There were a couple of people that said this was a favorite, but then a couple people noted it was their least favorite. The saltiness and lack of chocolate flavor seemed to throw everyone off.

Taste Tester Quotes

"Salty and smooth"

"Not chocolatey"

"Hints of caramel"


"Not as smooth, salty"

"Graham cracker flavored!!!"

"Would be hard to drink a whole shake of this"

"Really sweet"

"Yuck, fake sugar"

"I didn't finish this one" 

2. Shakeology Chocolate Vegan - $129.99, approx $4.33

I''m not going to lie, I really thought this one was going to be a top contender even before the taste test started. It received a lot of threes with some high scores to bump it up to second place. Known for it's clean, very extensive, ingredients list, Shakeology is also the most expensive of those sampled. 

Taste Tester Quotes

"Creamy but super sweet"

"Dark chocolate"

"Didn't mix as well as others"

"Stronger dark chocolate flavor. Yum."

"Very smooth but some clumps. Very chocolatey."

"Fakish sugar"

"Didn't mix as well, bad aftertaste, very chocolatey"

"Chunky, chalky, doesn't mix as well"

"Darker chocolate"

"It looked very different from the other brands (soupy with small nutty bits)"

1. Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix – $73.99, approx. $2.47/serving

Arbonne''s chocolate shake was a real crowd pleaser. People loved the fruity undertones and smooth texture.  A few reasons why it tied for first place! 

Taste Tester Quotes

"Sweet, slightly fruity"

"Nice sweetness"




"I like this one"

1. Juice Plus Complete Shake - $110, approx $2.05/serving

Although some folks found this powder to be a little chalky, people loved the chocolate flavor and most thought it had a good balance of sweetness. It was repeatedly compared to chocolate milk.  Tied for first!

Taste Tester Quotes



"Strong stevia taste"

"Not too sweet, lightly chocolate"

"Tastes like chocolate milk"

"Smooth, delicious"

"Bit chalky but nice flavor"

"Chocolate milk"


In Conclusion

To be honest, we were not too surprised by the results. There was a wide gap between the top three and bottom two in terms of score. Looking back, the ones that performed well were meal replacements rather than straight up chocolate pea protein powders. For our next test we will take that into consideration to make a more apples-to-apples comparison.

Have you ever done a taste test of chocolate protein powders? Do you have a favorite that we missed here and you would like us to include in our next test?