Ample O, V & K Reviewed: Capable of the Best and the Worst
Incredible brand for food quality and variety with some surprising shortcomings
At a Glance | Opinion | Products | Nutrition | FAQ | Extra Info | Verdict
Ample Meals is a company who stands for nutritional science, education and the importance of prime ingredients. Furthermore, they tailor their food to the customers diet habits, and as such, they are one of the few brands offering a “standard”, vegan and keto meal replacement shake.
There are multiple positive Ample reviews, and we were highly impressed by their shakes too, but we found one big flaw. So, here is why we think that Ample shakes can be the best, but currently are not.
- Ships to: USA
- Avg. Price/meal$$$| From $4
- Subscription15% off
- Nutrition Profile:Vegan*, Keto
Ample is capable of the best and the worst. They have some of the best prime ingredients and nutrition; but almost incomprehensibly their products are lacking in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Thus, the shakes are not “complete”.
Besides, their flavour is good and the shakes are tasty, but they only have flavour available. You see the picture; Ample has a great baseline, however, they are failing in the details.
What We like
- Great tasting shakes. I’ve tried over 100 different products, but very few taste as good as Ample shakes do. To my surprise all 3 variants were incredibly smooth and easy to mix. My personal favourite was the Keto Chocolate; but the rest were flavourful, too.
- Top-notch prime ingredients. This is key to achieve optimal nutrition and ultimately any healthy diet. We really like the emphasis that Ample puts on the quality of the ingredients and the process that goes choosing them.
- No-soy, no-gluten, no GMO, no artificial sweeteners. In a world where artificial nutrients and chemicals are everywhere, it is hard to find real food. Ample shakes offer you food sources without any additives.
- Shakes for everybody: normal, vegan and keto options. Because not all of us respond equally to every diet; Ample offers 3 different variations of their shakes. Ample K is one of the best keto meal replacements shakes, and Ample O and V are great without having to go into ketosis.
- 30-day taste and quality guarantee. If you do not like it, you can return the product and get your money back. That is great customer service.
- Added probiotics and prebiotics. It is great to see the addition of these to help you with digestion and overall gut health.
- 15% subscription discount. Rewarding regular customers is important, and even more when your base price is a little high. Thus, the 15% subscription discount is a blessing for those who enjoy Ample meals.
What We dislike
- Lack of micronutrients. This is the biggest flaw of all 3 Ample products: they do not provide you with all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function. You will have to supplement it from another source in your diet.
- Only one flavour available. All 3 Ample shakes are only available in the Original flavour. I would expect this to change in the future, but can make consuming Ample products boring in long term.
- The price. Premium meal replacements that use real food ingredients are not cheap (Ambronite); and Ample is no exception. Top-notch ingredients come to a cost, and unfortunately, Ample products will not fit everyone’s budget.
- More flavours. This would make the Ample experience even more enjoyable, if you could have more variety in your meals.
- Full micronutrient profile. There are other companies that have a similar nutritional approach to Ample and offer all the vitamins and minerals that you need. Thus, as a customer, I would like to know that I am having a complete and balanced meal every time.
- Worldwide shipping. This is less of a concern for US citizens, but for people living elsewhere, having access to a brand like Ample would be great.
But how do Ample shakes taste? This is often the deciding factor for many, since you will have to like it in order to drink it regularly. The answer is pretty great.
As mentioned above, I was blown away by both the taste and the texture of all Ample drinks. They are a bit on the sweet end, but very pleasant and easy to drink.
The texture plays a big factor on this, and surprisingly the shakes were very easy to mix; even in the bottle format. This is not often the case, with many meal replacements needing a shaker or a blender for a truly smooth experience.
My favourite was Ample Keto Chocolate. It has nice milk-chocolate like flavour with the right amount of sweetness to it.
Original Vanilla and Berry (Ample V) were also delicious, but not to the level of the Keto shake. In the plant-based, there was a small hint of pea-protein. Ample O, on the other hand, has a more milky background taste; due to the whey protein (which I personally prefer).
What PRODUCTS does AMPLE offer?
Ample produces three variations of powder meal replacements; the original, the vegan version and the keto version. Interestingly, all three are nutritionally different; even if, they all are fat heavy. However, most of the primary ingredients remain the same. We find this to be a positive cue, since it demonstrates their knowledge about nutrition and ability to engineer different products. We hope to see similar things from more companies in the future.
- Meal Replacement
- 400kcal/meal & 600kcal/meal
- 27P/25C/50F % of Energy from
- 4g of added sugars/10g of Saturated Fats per serving(400)
- Starts at $4
- Dairy and Nuts
- Meal Replacement
- 400kcal/meal & 600kcal/meal
- 20P/23C/58F % of Energy from
- 6g of added sugars/10g of Saturated Fats per serving(600)
- Starts at $6
- Meal Replacement
- 400kcal/meal & 600kcal/meal
- 13P/15C/72F % of Energy from
- 2g of added sugars/21g of Saturated Fats per serving(600)
- Starts at $6
- Dairy, Nuts
Brief Ample Original Review
Ample O or Ample Original is their non-vegan shake. This is because it uses grass-fed whey protein concentrate as protein source.
Nutritionally, it is a low-carb, high fat meal replacement shake; with 21g of fat per 400kcal serving (33% of RI). While this high fat approach might be unusual for some; it is a diet that has been quite popular over the last decades in order to combat obesity and type II diabetes. Even if scientific evidence is lacking; it is true that a high fat diet can help you lose weight when coupled with caloric restriction and high quality fats.
That is exactly what Ample O offers, top-notch ingredients to boost your diet, help with satiety and overall gut health. In order to do so, it has added probiotics and prebiotics, as discussed in the nutrition section.
How Can I Purchase Ample O?
You can buy the original versions in convenient one-use bottles (400kcal and 600kcal) or a bigger pouch (more affordable and better to store). I recommend using the latter for regular use. Not only because it is cheaper, but also because it mixes better in a shaker and allows you to customize it easier.
Brief Ample V Review
Ample Vegan is, obviously, a plant-based meal replacement shake. It is very similar to Ample O, but with no ingredients from animals. It contains all the macronutrients you need, and some vitamins (like Vit B12) and minerals. In my opinion, Ample V is one of the best dairy free meal replacement shakes that you can buy in the USA.
What Are the Differences Between Ample O and Ample V?
Truth is that the differences are minimal. The main difference is that the source of protein is a mix of pea and rice protein, instead of whey protein. It is remarkable that they have not used any soy, making this product one of the few soy-free meal replacements.
Otherwise, Ample V is even higher in fats (both total and saturates) than the original version (while lower than Ample K). It is also slightly lower in protein.
Brief Ample K Review
Ample K is the one of the best keto meal replacement shakes available in the US. However, it is a shake aimed at people doing a ketogenic diet. Thus, we do not recommend start consuming it, before reading about ketogenic diets and how your body adapts to them.
As displayed in the picture, it is available in bottles of 400 and 600kcal; as well as, bigger more economical pouches. If you are an avid ketoer, I recommend you to buy the latter with the 15% subscription discount to get the most out of your money.
Ample K is now available in two flavours: Vanilla Cinnamon (Original) and Chocolate.
Differences Between Ample K and Ample O/V
Just like Ample O, Ample K uses whey protein concentrate; therefore, it is not suitable for vegans. In fact, talking about protein, Ample K is the blend with the lowest amount of protein. According to Ample, this is to ensure that you stay in ketosis.
Besides, Ample K also has some electrolytes and macronutrients not found on the other blends. This is to avoid the keto flu (fatigue, unwellness) that happens due to lack of minerals (more prominent on keto diets).
Finally, you will notice that the quantity of fats and saturated fats (from coconut) are increased in order to provide you with all the energy you need. Ample K fats come from MCTs (C8 and C10) primarily (70%).
Ample’s nutritional philosophy follows that of a high-fat low-carb profile (HFLC). Ample K being the most extreme case, as discussed, with only 6g of net carbs (a true keto product).
While we are more fond of higher protein diets, HFLC diets can be suitable for many people, too (Westman et al., 2006; Paoli et al.,2011; Gibson et al., 2015).
Something else to remark about the composition of their products is that they are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy free and have no artificial sweeteners.
- 10g of Coconut oil. The reason for high saturated fat content. Coconut oil is rich in MCTs.
- Macadamia nut oil. It is up to 85% monosaturated fats and it is also unusually high in palmitoleic acid. Some research has shown positive effects in LDL-cholesterol level.
- Chia seed oil. While chia seed is has a 3:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and the first has been found to be beneficial for health and cardiovascular disease(CVD) prevention, there is not definite proof of chia seed oil having an active effect lowering CVD risk (de Souza et al., 2015).
- Sunflower Lecithin. Rich in choline, a neurotransmitter precursor necessary for the production of acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is necessary at the muscle junctions in order to activate them.
What does all this gibberish and fancy data mean? For one, that they have handpicked this fats. They are not often found in meal replacements, more common options being, sunflower oil and linseed oil.
Two, for most people it will be too much fat and too rich on saturated fats. We are not saying is not balanced, just that this balance might take time to get used to. Also, it might be worth noting that the fat quantities are over the recommended values in by the US health authorities, FDA, ESFA and WHO.
Ample believes in the negative effects that refined sugar has in your body. Reducing added sugars in products is linked to reduction of population obesity levels and obesity related diseases (Hu FB 2013). Sugars like fructose (found in high-fructose corn syrup) have been linked to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer development when paired with excessive caloric intake (Tappy et al., 2010; Cozma et al., 2014; Khan et al., 2016).
Therefore, their concerns are understandable. However, it is worth noting these findings also remark sugar mostly acts this way when paired with an imbalance diet.
Anyhow, Ample uses organic sweet potato starch (a low GI, complex carbohydrate) and tapioca starch, long chain carbohydrate that helps in micronutrient absorption and CVD prevention (Slavin et al., 2009).
Furthermore, the total carbohydrates in Ample products are really low, being as low as 6g of net carbs in Ample K.
We usually do not make any special mention to fiber types. However, Ample has put a lot of effort in the decision-making of fiber sources, thus we think it is appropriate to do so this time:
- Organic banana resistant starch. Linked to multiple health benefits via improving the quality of the gut microbiota (bacterial ecosystem), including: improved glucose regulation, and decrease risk of colorectal cancer (via breakdown into short-chain fatty acids that promote healthy colorectal biome).
- Acacia fiber. Also connected with lower cholesterol levels, improved digestion and blood glucose regulation (Slavin J, 2013).
- Organic Jerusalem artichoke inulin. Inulin helps with the mineral absorption in the intestine.
- Organic psyllium husk. Related to healthy bowel movements.
The take home message is that Ample has a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber with resistant starch and derived products optimally designed to improve your gut health and bacterial biome.
25g (50% of RI) of protein per 400kcal means that you could get up to 125g of protein (over double the RI for a sedentary man). Ample Original uses grass-fed cow milk as prime ingredient. Both collagen and whey protein origin from those, which ensures a higher quality product.
Ample V, on the other hand, uses a blend of pea and rice protein. As discussed in other vegan products, pea protein contains all essential amino acids but is low in methionine and cysteine. Contrarily, rice protein is high in cysteine and methionine. This blend is used in many other vegan supplements, and we found to be one of the best whey protein substitutes.
The only problem comes with Ample K. The keto shake only provides with 13g of protein. Even if, it still means you will get 26% of the RI, we consider this value to be too low. Even more so, if you are combining your keto diet with exercise. We would recommend supplementing your diet with extra protein of your choice.
Uh-oh. We do not know whether Ample did not get the memo on the necessity of vitamins and minerals in order to leave, or they chose not to include them because X or Y reasons. But the fact is that Ample lacks on most. It only includes 2% Vit A, 2% Vit C, 4% calcium and 15 % iron. Nothing, basically.
Therefore, after consuming this healthy meal focused on the optimal nutrition and origin of the nutrients you get, you will end up having to a) eat a lot of fruit and vegetables or b) taking a vitamin & mineral supplement.
This is ironic in multiple fronts. Firstly, we suspect (we could be horribly wrong) that the lack of micronutrients is due to not wanting to use an artificial vitamin & mineral mix (that would kind of go against their ideas). So they include organic chlorella, barley grass, wheatgrass and organic cocoa as micronutrient sources, but end up not being enough.
Secondly, this approach ends up forcing you to consume fruit (hello sugars) and vegetables (another meal that you need to prepare?) or get the vitamin & mineral mix yourself (which is like a twisted joke from Ample).
This is something we do not often mention, but because of the emphasis Ample puts on a healthy digestive environmnet, it is worth mentioning. The following probiotics are found in Ample:
- Bacillus Coagulans.
- Lactobacillus Rhamnosus.
- Bifidobacterium Infantis.
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus.
- Bifidobacterium Lactis.
- Lactobacillus Paracasei.
Ample comes with a 40 billion colony-forming units of six different bacterial strains. Wait? What? This might be a little confusing to some so let’s do some re-cap:
Our gastrointestinal organs are filled with over 400 species of bacteria with quantities hard to put in numbers (the microbiome). The bacteria help in digestion and transport of nutrients, protect against pathogens, and sustain a balance in the digestive system (Young V, 2017).
Therefore, the custom Ample blend helps you to promote this healthy balance and keep the bacterial ecosystem ‘free’ of excessive pathogen levels.
Perhaps the biggest positive in the whole nutritional aspect is that this product is soy free, gluten free and can be lactose free. Thus, the only allergen is the macadamia Nuts.
More about Nutrition
Even more? Well, if you want to know more details about Ample’s nutrition profile and choices, they actually have a very impressive nutrition page where everything is explained in detail. See at Ample nutrition.
Ample focus on healthy gut and digestive process, with extra focus on the microbioma, is certainly to be thanked. The lack of many prime suspects in the meal replacements like soy and gluten, enable those who have very delicate gut balance to consume an easy meal. Plus the ingredients are top notch.
While the macronutrient balance is acceptable (HFLC profile, though), the lack of micronutrients is almost unforgivable. You WILL have to supplement your vitamins and minerals.
More about Ample
Ample was found by Connor (CEO), Mike Krieger (Director of Engineering) and Mark Divine (ex-navy SEAL captain). It now boosts with a team of 8 people and it has been backed by many venture capitalists. Success is often reflective of good work, and sure Ample must be doing something right.
Ample Packaging and Bottling
One of the most curious things about Ample products is how they are sold. They are in a powder version, but the powder comes in bottles so you just need to add water (or milk). As convenient as a ready-to-drink, but twice as fancy.
It does have one clear negative though. We have found ourselves struggling to find a place where to store the cardboard boxes (the downsides of living in a flat!), especially when making big orders.
Furthermore, it does mean that you are creating unnecessary waste (damn those plastic bottles), which again might be a bit ironic if considering Ample’s eco-friendly approach (not fully true, but kind of). We see the convenience though, and they are not much more wasteful than the RTD products.
Shipping and Return Policy
Ample currently only ships to the USA. We have heard that they are looking to ship internationally in the near future, but that was in Sep 2017. So when is soon?
As for orders inside the US, shipping will be free after $50. Fairly easy to achieve, most of your orders should be above that mark. Delivery should be within a week.
Regarding Ample’s return policy, they offer a 30-day taste and quality guarantee. What does this mean? That if you dislike the taste or you are unsatisfied with the product you will be able to return it. Shipping costs included. Pretty good.
Ample offers a 15% discount with subscription on all three products. They also allow you to customize the frequency of the delivery (fairly unusual) to 2, 4 or 6 weeks.
No, instead, Ample offers a 30-day taste and quality guarantee with the return shipment paid. We understand this is not quite a taster and we hope Ample changes their views on this regard. You will most likely have to make a $50+ commitment to try Ample.
Yes, consuming Ample as part of a varied diet can have multiple benefits in your health. While it is no magic potion, the high quality ingredients, probiotics and prebiotics will help your gut flora and overall health.
Yes, but only Ample K is optimized for a keto diet. It contains minimal net carbs, plenty of fiber and balanced fats that will help you keep your body in ketosis.
Ample has a vegan option, Ample V. However, the keto and original variations include whey protein, making them not-vegan friendly.
Yes, Ample is GMO free, soy free and gluten free. Ample is also free of artificial sweeteners and synthetic vitamins and minerals.
In short, no. Ample is better off as part of a balanced diet. The main shortcoming is the lack of micronutrients which are essential for proper body functioning. You could add a multivitamin mix, and you could probably live off Ample, but I would recommend against it.
Currently, Ample is only available via their online shop. There you can buy all Ample products in 400 or 600kcal bottles, or in bigger pouches with multiple meals.
Yes, but both are different products. Soylent gives you 20% of your DV per serving, but uses more processed ingredients and might lack some non-essential compounds. Ample fails to give you the micronutrients you need, but uses higher quality ingredients and delivers more than just nutrients.
If you have more questions do not doubt on asking them below, in the comment section. Otherwise, you will find more answers in the Ample FAQ section or you can contact them directly.
Time to wrap up this review. It is getting quite long.
Ample can be both the greatest meal out there and the worst at the same time. We applaud their commitment to quality prime ingredients and focus on the digestive system. Because of that, they offer some of the most natural and healthy shakes.
However, we cannot get over the vitamin and mineral deficiency in the products, which you will have to boost through your diet or supplements. At this price tag, Ample should be offering a full package.
While nutrition is important so it’s the taste. This is an area Ample meal shakes excel at. I was positively surprised to find out how smooth and tasty all 3 variants are. For that reason alone, it’s almost worth buying Ample.
Thus, if money is not an issue, I think you will truly enjoy Ample shakes.
Ample MealFrom $4/400kcal
- 3 different products: Vegan, Original and Keto
- Focus on real food ingredients and no artificial additives
- Pro-biotics to improve your digestive health
- All products taste great. They are easy to like: sweet and smooth, without any weird flavours.
- GMO-, Soy-, gluten- free and no added sugars or artificial flavours
- Lack of all the micronutrients
- Very expensive in small purchases
- Only one flavour available per variation
- All shakes have high fat, low carb profiles