REVIEW – You don’t have to be on a diet or an athlete to benefit from dietary science. The rule of thumb when it comes to food is really just to know what you’re eating. Mana has created complete meal solutions that come in either a powder that needs to be mixed or a ready-to-drink formula. Both can completely replace a meal in easy to manage quantities that will allow you to lose, maintain or even gain weight to meet your health goals without worrying about trying to balance nutrients. Ready to learn more about ManaDink and ManaPowder meal replacement products? I was.
What is it?
ManaDink and ManaPowder meal replacement products are complete meal solutions that you can portion out to easily meet your dietary needs. Counting calories is a pain. Mana makes it easy.
What’s in the box?
Shown here is the Starter Kit and the Taster Pack.
The Starter Kit contains
- MANA customized Nalgene Bottle
- MANA scoop
The Taster Pack contains
- 2 Servings of ManaPowder – 1 Origin, 1 Choco
- 2 Servings of ManaDrink – 1 Origin, 1 Choco
ManaPowder is available in a standard pack of 35 meals or a family pack of 140 meals
ManaDrink is available in a box with 12 ready-to-drink meals.
What you need to know is that ManaDrink and ManaPowder meal replacement products have some serious nutritional science on their side.
- 42 essential nutrients
- 4 new types of protein (6 total)
- 1 new type of fat (6 total)
- 5 new types of fiber (8 total)
- 38 vitamins & minerals
- New forms of 3 minerals: Mg, K, Zn
- Rich in algae omega-3 (EPA & DHA)
- Complete spectrum of amino acids
- Low glycemic index (29)
- No GMOs
Here are links to the nutritional details to both products. ManaDrink Nutrition | ManaPowder Nutrition
Design and features
Mana formulas come in either dry pouches ready to be mixed with water or in ready-to-drink Tetra Pak bottles for quick consumption.
Both the ManaDrink and smaller sized ManaPowder shown below provide a single meal. The larger pouches below contain roughly 5 servings.
How you use ManaDrink and ManaPowder meal replacement products is up to you. The below chart is for ManaPowder and shows the ratio of powder to water. I found the meal descriptions to be pretty accurate and an easier way to gauge how much to make, whereas just measuring the water always made me want to go up a serving size at first.
To make the Medium meal, start with 450ml of water.
Add in 3 scoops (or 15 heaped tablespoons, so don’t misplace the Mana scoop). It packs in good so being able to thump the scoop into the bottle helped.
It will kinda stay clumped after added to the water so you’ll need to vigorously shake your bottle to break it up.
And the result is about 600ml of Choco Mana.
If you choose to go with ManaDrink, just twist off the lid and have at it. They’re good at room temperature or in my opinion much better fresh from the fridge.
As I’m sure is the case for many of you, I definitely haven’t been getting out enough over the last year. Luckily that hasn’t resulted in me ballooning in size, but I have had to watch it. When the Mana care-package arrived I decided to start by replacing my lunch every day for the first week to see how it would go. I alternated between the Origin and Choco flavors and usually went with the 3 scoop meal size.
Both ManaDrink and ManaPowder meal replacement product flavors surprised me with a consistency that was very much like a smooth milkshake. Very drinkable with no grit and no chalky aftertaste. The Origin flavor had notes of oat and almost peanut butter. The Choco flavor totally reminded me of chocolate milk as you might expect and was easily my favorite. My wife, who’s a runner agreed that these were indeed pretty darn tasty without a let-down finish. Win!
The ManaPowder itself isn’t really powder as the name might imply. It’s closer to a brown sugar consistency which resulted in me measuring it out just like brown sugar where you kind of pack it into the scoop. It’s plenty easy and the pouches help in that you can press from the outside, however, it does makes you work a bit harder to mix it up. Maybe that’s their plan?
Regardless of how hard or long I shook the Mana bottle there was always some clumps. The good news is because of the ManaPowder’s texture it tasted more like a small bite of a protein bar instead of a clump of dry powder. I ended up not minding them all that much. For the record it happens with both flavors. In the below image you can see a worst case where the clump is the size of a marble.
To minimize this, I picked up some stainless whisk balls that I can drop in the bottle prior to shaking. These definitely helped, but still didn’t eliminate the issue. The other trick I employed was adding some crushed ice. That also helped as well as providing a slushy-like texture.
At the end of the first week I had dropped 5 pounds and the only change in my routine was replacing lunches with ManaDrink and ManaPowder meal replacement products. Still walking the dogs twice a day but no other real exercise (which isn’t my point other than to let you know I didn’t add any new calorie burning activities). I still had my usual egg breakfast or a bowl of cereal, and a normal dinner, even the occasional dessert and didn’t experience any adverse effects digestively either. What I did notice is that after my Mana lunch, I didn’t snack because I wasn’t hungry. That’s pretty killer in my opinion. The other thing was that I didn’t have to figure out what I was going to have for lunch. Bonus!
Last week I took a work trip and brought a handful of ManaDrinks with me as back up. They completely saved me for a breakfast when I was running out of time and for a lunch when I just had my head down and forgot to eat. They taste exactly the same (provided you’re measuring scoops properly when you use ManaPowder) and are super convenient. I also like that they’re using the Tetra Pak containers which can be dropped right in the recycling bin when you’re done.
I used a blender a couple times (solves the clumping issue) and added some frozen blueberries one morning, and bananas for a lunch one day. It added some variation given that there’s only two flavor bases at the moment. I’m hoping they provide something new in the future. Maybe something fruity or green superfood-ish? If you do want to get creative they’ve got a a whole tab of their website dedicated to recipes with smoothies and even cookies! Interestingly enough, they’ve also entered the meat alternative market with ManaBurger. That’s something I hope to try soon as well.
The only other tip I’d offer up is to pick a bottle that works for you if the Nalgene isn’t your thing. In my case the Mana bottle is great, but the lid has a lot of surface area to hold liquid after shaking. I picked up Humangear’s capCap+ which adds a smaller opening for drinking and a cool way to tuck the lid out of the way.
What I like
- Tastes great, can outright replace a meal
- Kept me from snacking
- Available in a mix or ready-to-drink
- Cost effective at less than $2/meal for ManaPowder and less than $3.50 for ManaDrink
What I’d change
- Solution for less clumping
- Add new flavors
I’ve been super happy with how ManaDrink and ManaPowder meal replacement products have worked for me. I really like both flavors, how easy it is to make and that it keeps me from snacking. It may not be a gadget, but it does feel like the meal equivalent to finding a keyboard shortcut that saves you a ton of time. For me, Mana is a great fit.
TasterPack • $20 for 1 of each flavor ManaDrink, 1 of each flavor ManaPowder
StarterPack • $22 for bottle and scoop
ManaDrink Origin • $42 for box of 12
ManaDrink Choco • $45 for box of 12
ManaPowder Origin • $69 for 35 meals (7 5-serving pouches) | $245 for 140 meal pouch
ManaPowder Choco • $71 for 35 meals (7 5-serving pouches) | $250 for 140 meal pouch
Discounts available with subscription
Where to buy: drinkmana.com
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Mana