Mana Drink Review | Scientific Nutrition at its Finest

Mana Mark 6 Review
Mana Mark 6, the latest iteration.

This is the long overdue Mana review; an in-depth look to the biggest brand in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the original brands in the old continent, that took inspiration from Soylent’s formula and success; and brought it to Europe. So, where is Mana now at? Is Mana the meal replacement that you have been looking for? Here’s a dive into both ManaPowder and ManaDrink.

With the new iteration, Mana Mark 6, there have been some changes in the taste, texture and nutritional aspect of Mana meals. Have these been for the better? Find out in this Mana Drink review, if Mana Mark 6 is a significant improvement over Mana Mark 5.

Mana Drink Review at a Glance

Flavours: Original and Choco.

Opinion

Overall Feeling: Good, but I Want to See More

While doing this Mana Drink review there were two things that pop into my mind:

  • This is an excellent product, with a great company behind it and great customer support. It’s what all Soylent users would want and a superb brand on its own.
  • Nonetheless, I feel like Mana has failed to offer a diverse enough portfolio until recently. Both the powder and the RTD only have two flavours; which could get boring fast.

Hopefully, looking at the recent positive sales figures and the founder’s ambitions; Mana will keep expanding and that it will be successful doing so.

Meanwhile, I will recommend Mana shakes to those looking for low-carb meal replacements or a good “neutral” shake.

What I like

1. RTD and Powder are identical. Often the customer is forced to made the choice between the powder and the ready-to-drink based on the flavours available or nutrition. I like the fact that this is not the case for Mana, freeing the buyer to buy what they want.

2. Mana Family Pack. The 140 meal superpack is the best way to get affordable meals at home.

3. Multiple omega-3 sources. Mana has one of the most comprehensive omega-3 profiles in the whole industry. Taking into account that the western diet is deficient in this essential fatty acid; this is a big deal.

4. Site navigation, user experience, and quantity of information. Looking good is important, and providing the user with a pleasant buying experience even more. Not many achieve so, but I think Mana’s site is easy to navigate. On top of that you will be able to access a ton of information about the ingredients and the products.

5. Mana Origin is still easy to like and one of the best tasting “neutral” drinks.

6. Improved Choco flavour. This is much better than the old chocolate flavoured Mana and actually comes close to Origin.

What I dislike

1. Only one nutritional profile. In reality both Drink and Powder are the same product. While this enables the user to freely choose between the two, also limits who can purchase Mana.

2. Maltodextrin and isomaltulose. Less nutrient rich than other carbohydrate sources.

3. Shaker is not great. Not only you need to buy the shaker aside, but it is very uncomfortable to drink from. The mouth’s sizing is awkward and doesn’t allow you to drink comfortably.

4. Small lumps when mixing powder in their shaker. This is less than with Mana Mark 5, but there are still some clumps in the shakes.

Improvements

1. More products and flavours. The first thing I would like to see from Mana are more products; or more specifically, something different from a nutritional standpoint.

2. Make Mana Drink available in the USA.

Mana Drink Shake Review

Mana Drink Taste Review

Mana Mark 6 Origin Taste Review
Mana Origin is still the king.

Looking back at Mana Mark 5, I think that overall Mark 6 is an improvement in both taste and texture.

In particular, the new Choco flavour is 2 levels above the old Dream; and it’s actually harder to choose between Origin and Choco (whereas before it wasn’t a fair fight).

The bigger change besides Choco is the increased liquidity of the RTDs (before 330ml=400kcal vs now 330ml=330kcal). As a consequence, the RTDs are less buttery/fatty, and wash better in your mouth. However, I can see why people would prefer the old buttery Mana Origin.

Best FlavourMana Drink Origin (Powder)
TasteNeutral is a mix of creamy buttery soy milk with vanilla and oat undertones. Very easy to like. Choco has a similar creaminess, but with a mild cacao flavour (stronger than Mark 5).
TextureCreamy, but less dense than previously (particularly RTD). It combines well with water and achieves a great consistency. There’s no weird fibres or hard bits, just some soft powder clumps.
Easy to MixThe shakes mix easily, but they do leave small lumps.
SatietyNo issues in this regard, each shake will keep you full for 3h+ with no issues.
Easy to CleanYou don’t get any oat fibres or similar stuck to the shaker, which makes it easier to clean. However, the Mana’s shaker’s mouth is too narrow to fit your hand. I would recommend using another one.
AfterthoughtsThe Mark 6 RTDs are less thick and dense than Mark 5. While this has improved Choco, I’m split with Origin. On the plus side, the flavour doesn’t linger as long as it used to; and it has a better aftertaste.

The Mana Flavour

One thing I discovered while consuming Mana products was that they all have a distinct flavour. This is particularly true for the RTDs. They are very fatty, buttery, creamy. This is what I call the Mana flavour.

Mana Drink Nutrition Breakdown

Mana ingredients
Soy, pea, sunflower oil, coconut, flaxseed… some of the ingredients that can be found in Mana.

As I might have mentioned multiple times, Mana Drink took inspiration in the American brand Soylent when developing their product. As such, Mana has a very scientific approach and this can be proven by all the details they provide about their ingredients.

Interestingly, Mana provides with multiple studies and lab certificates of their ingredients within their site. It is more information than what a regular user would need, but a great tool for those who want to know every little detail.

It can all be found here.

Mana Shakes Nutrition Overview

Mana PowderMana Drink
Kcal/meal400330
Macros (C/F/P)34/22/4435/21/44
VeganYesYes
KetoNoNo
FeaturesLactose FreeLactose Free
Non-GMOYesYes
OrganicNoNo
Includes ProbioticsNoNo
Artificial SweetenersYesYes
Synthetic AdditivesYesYes
Contains All MicronutrientsYesYes
Controversial IngredientsMaltodextrin, IsomaltuloseMaltodextrin, Isomaltulose
Based on the Original flavour.

Ingredients (Origin): Protein (Soy and Pea Protein Isolate, Oat Protein, Hemp Protein, Brown Rice Protein, Algae Protein), Maltodextrin, Vegetable Oils (Canola Oil, Oil from Schizochytrium sp. Microalgae, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Oat Oil, Cold-Pressed Flaxseed Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin K1), Oat Beta-Glucans, Isomaltulose, Inulin, Carrot Fibre, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Stabilizer (Acacia Gum, Xantham Gum), Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Sodium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Lactate, Zinc Gluconate, Potassium Iodate, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Golic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D2, Sweetener (Sucralose), Flavouring.

Ingredients (Origin): filtered water, protein (soy and pea protein isolate, oat protein,  hemp protein, brown rice protein, algae protein), maltodextrin, oat fiber, isomaltulose***, inulin, carrot fiber, vegetable oils (canola oil, oil from . microalgae, cold-pressed coconut oil, sunflower oil, oat oil, cold-pressed
flaxseed oil), emulsifier (soy lecithin, cellulose, cellulose gum), vitamin and mineral blend (sodium chloride, potassium citrate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, magnesium lactate, zinc gluconate, potassium iodate, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, folic
acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D2), vitamin E, vitamin K1, sweetener (sucralose), natural and artificial flavouring.

Energy

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All Mana Powder products use a recommended serving of 400kcal, which is 1/5th of the daily recommended for an average adult. Drink, on the other hand, provides you with 330kcal or 1/6th of your daily intake.

Both Drink and Powder are heavy on fats and rather low in carbohydrate content.

More precisely, 44% of the energy comes from fats; which is 9 points higher than the recommended by the European Food and Safety Agency. As for carbs, they provide with 35% of the total energy; 10 points lower than the minimum for most health organizations.

At Mana, we follow the recommendations of the EFSA/WHO, as well as the latest clinical studies in human nutrition. The ratio of macronutrients in Mana products most closely mirrors that of the Mediterranean diet, i.e. with moderate carb intake, and higher protein, vegetable (fibre), and oil intake. The Greek diet, for example, consists of almost 40% fat, 40% carbs, and 20% protein. However, more important than Mana’s precise macronutrient ratio is that it contains valuable and protective nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, which improve our immune system and health.

Mana Nutrition team

Fats

Per Mark 6 serving (DRI based on EU recommendation for 2,000kcal):

Mana Powder

  • Total Fats: 19.0g, 27% of the DRI.
  • Saturated Fats: 2.0g, 10% of DRI.
  • Monosaturated (MUFA): 11.8g. This is 26.5% of the calories per serving.
  • Polyunsaturated (PUFA): 5.3g. This is 11.9% of the calories per serving.
  • Omega-3: 1.4g.

Mana Drink

  • Total Fats: 16.0g, 23% of the DRI.
  • Saturated Fats: 1.6g, 8% of DRI.
  • Monosaturated (MUFA): 9.6g. This is 21.6% of the calories per serving.
  • Polyunsaturated (PUFA): 4.3g. This is 9.7% of the calories per serving.
  • Omega-3: 1.1g.

Plenty of Omega-3… from Sea Algae

Let’s start by stating that this is not an issue at all, but a curiosity. Very few brands provide you with omega-3 fatty acids from algae (Schizochytrium sp. microalgae).

In fact, the sea algae will provide you with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaeonic acid; which are the omega-3 fatty acids linked with benefitial health effects. These are the more pure forms (utilized by our bodies).

It is even more curious due to the fact that already provide you with alpha linolenic acid (ALA, omega-3 fatty acid). This comes from canola oil (very common ingredient in the industry), which is the only “essential” omega-3. This is partially due to the fact that the body can synthetize both EPA and DHA from ALA.

Simplified EPA and DHA production process from ALA in the liver. The efficiency of the process varies with age, gender and other factors; but it is usually lower than 15%.

It is particularly interesting to see that MUFA and PUFA levels fall under the recommendations of WHO:

  • Energy from MUFAs between 15-20% of total calorie intake.
  • Energy from PUFAs between 6-11% of the total calorie intake.

All this while keeping the saturated fat content low; a formula thought to be metabolically benefitial.

Furthermore, omega-3 content is high and the omega-3/6 ratio is within the “ideal” range.

Sunflower-, Canola-, Oat-, Coconut- and Flaxseed Oil

In Mark 6, Mana has increased the amount of vegetable fat sources. The above mentioned are used because they are rich in omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The addition of coconut fat might be to get medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs). In ketogenic diets, coconut oil is seem as “subpar” choice, since most of the MCTs from coconut will be C12 (lauric acid). Lauric acid, while it has some antimicrobial properties, it is less efficient when creating ketone bodies.

MCT Coconut oil Mana
MCTs present in the coconut oil used by Mana are predominantly lauric acid (50%) and Myristic acid (18%); which have longer chains.

Carbs

Per serving:

Mana Powder M6

  • Total carbs: 33.0g, 13% of RI.
  • Sugars: 7.0g, 7% of RI.
  • Fibers: 6.7g, 34% of RI.

Mana Drink M6

  • Total carbs: 28g, 11% of RI.
  • Sugars: 6.5g, 7% of RI.
  • Fibers: 4.4g, 22% of RI.

Maltodextrin is the main carbohydrate source in both Mana Powder and Drink, paired with isomaltulose.

Maltodextrin + Isomaltulose, Key for Smooth Shakes

This combo is quite common on the industry because it allows for affordable shakes, with a thin texture and a sweet taste. However, they are often negatively seen in the community. Why?

Maltodextrin has a bad reputation due to its high GI (big impact in blood glucose levels). Even if it is a complex carbohydrate, it is broken down rapidly by the body causing a faster spikes in blood glucose than table sugar.

Isomaltulose, on the other hand, is a sugar with a low GI; thus, it is often paired with maltodextrin to add some sweetening and lower the GI.

Low Glycemic Index for both Mana Products – 29

Despite what I said about maltodextrin’s GI in the previous section, the actual GI of Mana shakes is low due to the effect of fats and proteins. These slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and make the overall glycemic index low, as shown by 3rd party studies ask by Mana.

Mana Glycemic response
The glycemic index of Mana (Mark3) was set to be 29 by the study. This is considered low. The insulin index is 41.

Oat Beta-Glucans, What are They?

Perhaps, the one unusual listing on the ingredient list is “oat beta-glucans”. “What are they and what is their function?” you might wonder.

They are polysaccarides that naturally occur on the walls of some bacteria, fungi and cereals (in this case oats). In fact, in this instance, they act as fiber, as well as, helping to improve high cholesterol and acting as immune-system enhancers.

This is not an ingredient that other shakes do not have, but it is usually not mentioned since it comes with the oats (when oats are used as carbohydrate source).

8 Sources of Fibre, But Similar Amounts to Mark 5

Lastly, as far as to carbohydrates is concerned, I want to mention that Mark 6 offers fibre from 8 different sources (as opposed to 3). They’ve included inulin, carrot fibre, hemp fibre, pea fibre, algae fibre, cellulose and soy fibre. Seemingly, this has been an indirect effect of the new protein sources bein added.

That said, Mana Mark 6 has more fibre than direct competitors like Soylent.

Protein

Per serving:

Mana Powder

  • Total Protein: 21g, 42% of RI.

Mana Drink

  • Total Protein: 17.0g, 33% of RI.

Sources (both): soy and pea protein isolate, oat protein, hemp protein, brown rice protein, algae protein.

Without a doubt, this is the area where Mana shakes have changed the most from Mark 5 to 6. In the previous iteration, Mana relied solely on soy protein isolate; whereas now, as shown above, it has 6 different sources.

Soy protein isolate is a very standard vegan protein source due to its great amino acid profile and high PDCAAS score (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score). In fact, it is one of the best plant-based proteins when taken in isolation.

So why change? This is to improve the overall amino acid profile even further and offer a wider range of nutritional inputs. It also has a positive effect on the taste of the final shake.

Mana Mark 6 amino acid profile
The amino acid profile of M6 Mana powder according to Mana.

Micronutrients

Besides the changes in the protein profile, the new Mana Mark 6 has also updated their vitamin and mineral profile. They now offer 14 essential vitamins and 17 essential minerals per serving.

Both, Mana Powder and Drink, will still provide you with at least 20% and 16% (respectively) of all your daily micronutrients. These vitamins and minerals will come from a synthetic mix.

Mana Mark 6 powders vitamin minerals
Vitamins and minerals in Mana Powder. This numbers will be slightly smaller in Mana Drink due to the smaller serving size.

Allergens

Mana products contain soy (from soy protein isolate) and soy lecithin; as well as oat (oat beta-glucans). Mana also has small amounts of gluten.

Mana Drink Shakes vs Other Meal Replacements

ManaDrink is one of the main companies in Europe and as such it has very high standards. While in Central Europe Mana has taken a very advantageous position, when it comes to the western side, they face fierce competition; including two of the biggest brands (Huel and Feed.) and other RTD manufacturers with very similar products (Saturo).

Currently, Mana is available worldwide. Below you can see how it compares to some of the other products sold in the US and/or Europe.

Overview

These are some of the most popular vegan meal replacement shakes you can buy.

ManaPowderHuelPlenny ShakeSoylent
kcal/serving400400400400
Macros (C/P/F)35/21/4440/30/3047/20/3338/19/43
Protein (g)21302019
Sugar (g)6.51315
Fiber (g)6.77.08.26.0
Fats (g)19.013.013.020.0
VeganYYYY
Keto-friendly?NNNN
OrganicNNNN
Gluten-freeNY*NY
Soy-freeNYNN
Synthetic AdditivesYYYY
GMONNNY
All based on powders.

Since all these companies also have ready-to-drink meal replacements available, here is a comparison table for their RTD shakes:

ManaDrinkHuel RTDPlenny DrinkSoylent
Drink
kcal/serving330400400400
Macros (C/P/F)35/21/4440/30/3047/20/3335/20/45
Protein (g)17302020
Sugar (g)6.5131
Fiber (g)4.47.08.23.0
Fats (g)20.013.013.024.0
VeganYYYY
Keto-friendly?NNNN
OrganicNNNN
Gluten-freeNYNY
Soy-freeNYNN
Synthetic AdditivesYYYY
GMONNNY
All based on powders.

Huel vs Mana

Both companies sell in the US and EU. Huel, like Mana, has Powder and RTD products. Generally speaking, Huel powders have more protein and more flavours available. There’s also Huel Black, which is a low carb blend. Regarding the RTD, Huel offers 1 more flavour and it is soy-free.

Besides, Huel offers meal replacement bars, whereas Mana doesn’t. On the other hand, Mana offers a complete burger; while Huel has a Hot & Savoury meal.

 ManaHuel
FromCZEUK
Ships toWorldWorld
$/400kcal$$$$
AllergenSoy, OatGluten*
SuitableVeganVegan
Products35
Subscription10%

Products Available:

Mana: Drink, Powder, and Mana Burger.

Huel: Huel Powder, Huel Powder Gluten Free, Huel Black, Huel Bar, Huel Hot & Savoury, and Huel Ready to Drink.

Which One Should I Buy?

Honestly, it will depend on various factors. Mana will be able to offer you silky smooth shakes (particularly the RTD), which are more compact than Huel’s. Huel offers a bigger range, more flavours (in powder); but a grittier and less sweet shakes.

Mana

  • You are looking for a high fat, low carb shake.
  • You like thin and smooth shakes.
  • Better tasting RTD and choco flavours.

Huel

  • Looking for a high protein shake.
  • You are allergic to soy.
  • Unflavoured/Unsweetened is your thing.

Mana vs Saturo

This is an interesting comparison since both brands are very close to each other in the inception and location. Saturo is an Austrian brand that started by producing Soylent-like RTDs in various flavours. Only just recently, they have launched a powder product.

 ManaSaturo
FromCZEAUT
Ships toWorldEU
$/400kcal$$$$
C/P/F35/21/4435/20/45
AllergenSoy, OatSoy, Gluten
SuitableVeganVegan
Products33
Subscription10%
Saturo all products
All products that Saturo currently offers.

Products Available:

Mana: Drink, Powder, and Mana Burger.

Saturo: Powder (Whey based and Vegan), RTD (330ml and 500ml) and Bar.

Which One Should I Buy?

Saturo

  • More affordable powder meals.
  • More flavour options on the RTDs.
  • Often has good deals in the EU.

Mana

  • Better tasting shakes.
  • Arguably the healthiest of both.

Mana vs Soylent

With Mana launching in the US, it will encounter new competitors; most noticeably Soylent. Interestingly, Mana follows the nutritional philosophy of Soylent and the both offer very similar products.

 ManaSoylent
FromCZEUS
Ships toWorldUS
$/400kcal$$$$
C/P/F35/21/4438/20/43
AllergenSoy, OatSoy
SuitableVeganVegan
Products24
Subscription10%5%

Products Available:

Mana: Drink, Powder, and Mana Burger.

Soylent: Powder, Soylent Drink, Soylent Cafe, Soylent Compete Protein, and Soylent Complete Energy.

Taste

Mana Origin is a very buttery, fatty shake. There is a sweetness, but it is not as overpowering as Soylent. It is also worth noting that each Mana serving only requires 300ml of water, as opposed to 400ml for Soylent.

I would say Mana Origin is tastier than Soylent Original.

However, once we touch the flavoured options; I think Soylent’s are much better, particularly in the ready to drink format. Soylent’s are stronger (more defined flavour) and sweeter; whereas Mana’s have a salty background and the flavour is hardly there.

Which One Should I Buy?

While in paper there might not be many reasons to buy Mana over Soylent, considering the recent changes the US based company has gone through, Mana is a great Soylent alternative. They offer a very similar product, at a competitive price; they are a much more responsive company (better customer service); and have higher customer satisfaction.

Soylent

  • More flavours for RTDs and they taste better.
  • Opportunity for caffeinated RTDs.
  • Available in retail.

Mana

  • Better Original or Neutral flavour.
  • You want a more solid company.
  • Better nutrition.

If you live in western Europe, you will find many alternatives, particularly if you are looking for powder shakes. Queal, Feed., Jimmyjoy etc. are all great options.

However, if you are looking for a shake that is less processed, you might be interested in the best organic and natural meal replacement shakes.

More about Mana

Mana is one of the oldest and most well known brands, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. It was created in 2014 and the Mark 1 version was out by August 2014 (this means Mana is older than other well known EU brands like Huel).

To be a little more precise, Mana is produced by Heaven Labs, and it is a project originated from the will of Jakub Krejcik (Founder and CEO). He tried developing his own convenient food at first, aiming to replace his usual diet. After some trial and error; he developed the predecessor of Mark 1 Mana and founded heaven labs, to share his creation with the world.

About the Founders

Jakub Krejcik, CEO and co-founder
Jakub Krejcik, CEO and co-founder.

Jakub Krejcik is the main father of Mana and the CEO. His professional career has mainly been at Mana; after doing a MBA in Nottingham Trent. According to him, he was lucky to convert his hobby (nutrition) into a job.

…the first idea was my own, nutrition was my hobby, and this was a personal project. I had no intention on turning it into a business. But gradually word of mouth grew and my friends and their families tried samples, so first it was 10 people, then 50, then a hundred and soon I wasn’t able to meet demand.

Jakub Krejcik, at an interview by Radio Praha.
Marek Humpl, co-founder and R&D director.

Marek Humpl studied organic chemistry with a master in science at the Charles University Prague; before he joined Jakub on founding Mana. In the company, he is the senior research director; which allows him to follow his passion for investigation.

Grigory Vyatkin
Grygory Vyatkin, co-founder and chief designer.

Grigory Vyatkin studied graphic design in St. Petersburg, before working for Bauer Media and Havas Worldwide. He also worked as freelancer before co-founding Mana and taking a primary role on the visual representation of the brand.

Zuzana Krejcikova
Zuzana Krejcikova co-founder and in charge of public relations.

Last but not least, we have Zuzana Krejcikova, a master graduated in Public Relations and Political Science. She has plenty of experience in the field, working as marketing manager in Taiko before co-founding Mana.

About Mana

Mana is a company with over 50 people as in Q2 of 2019. A company that even though it started very “early” for industry standards, made a significant jump in size in 2018 producing over 6 million meals (3 times previous year’s) and increasing its size by 33%.

This growth did not come easily, but relied on their strong presence on the Central-Eastern Europe. As such, they were able to ensure their presence in Czech and Slovakian retail stores, a huge accomplishment for any meal replacement brands.

Currently, they look to the West as they expand within the US. Therefore, if you live there, watch out for Mana.

The Spirit of Mana

Drink Mana mascot
Mana’s “mascot” represents both their science focus, as well as Grigory’s prevalence for Sci-Fi themed art.

Mana Drink is a brand focused on scientific nutrition and a clean, minimalistic expression. This last is not only seen throughout the site, but also in the compact packaging.

They aim to “change the status-quo of food production and quality” in order to reduce the impact food consumption has on mother Earth.

What Products Does Mana Offer?

During the upgrade to Mark 6 from Mark 5, Mana got rid of the extra flavours (Dream, Tropical, Sunlight). Consequently, both the powder and the RTD got reduced to Origin and Choco (which I suspect will change in the future).

Besides that, they also launched the world’s first complete vegan burger: Mana Burger.

Mana Mark 6 shakes review

ManaPowder

  • Powder meal replacement
  • Most affordable format
  • Best to mix and customize flavours
Mana Drink rtd review

ManaDrink

  • RTD meal replacement
  • More expensive than powder
  • Most convenient, best to drink on the go
  • Smooth texture
Mana burger

ManaBurger

  • Complete food
  • Includes all the essential vitamins and minerals, too
  • Fully plant based
  • Only available in few countries (DE, CZ, US)
  • Read review.

In this Mana Drink review, I focused in the most prominent products (powder and RTD meal replacements); but Mana also offers a complete burger in few locations. You can find all about it in my Mana Burger review.

Packaging

As I briefly mentioned above, minimal packaging is one of the focuses Mana has.

Mana Packaging
All products are sold in pre-set boxes to minimize the empty space. This is the mark 5 packaging.

Mana Drink

The powder form will always be more efficient in this regard, since you do not need to pack any water; thus the calorie/volume ratio will be higher.

As a matter of fact, Mana Drink comes in boxes of 12 bottles of 330ml. The bottles are made of Tetra pack which can be widely recycled. Each bottle will contain 330kcal (as opposed to 400kcal- Mark 5).

Mana Mark 6 Choco
Mana Mark 6 choco.

Mana Powder

Regarding Mana Powder, it is available in two different formats:

  • Box of 7 pouches with 5 meals on each (2,000kcal x 7).
  • Family Pack, one bag with 140 meals (56,000kcal). Excellent to store at home and safe some money in the process.
Mana Origin Powder packaging
There are 7 pouches per box.
Mana Family Pack
140 meals per pack!

Plus, there’s a starter pack now, to try out all the different Mana products (except the burger).

Mana Starter pack available for €15 plus shipping.

Mana Powder’s bags are made of a 3 layer structure: PET, ALU and PP. The bag can be recycled as plastics. The box in which the pouches arrive is mainly composed of recycled paper.

The Shaker

The truth is for a “premium” shaker that Mana charges you €15 (not given for free); it is very underwhelming.

Built-wise is solid, the lid closes well, and it’s not finicky. However, the mouth is too narrow, which creates two problems:

  • It’s uncomfortable to drink from. The shaker presses against your nose while you drinking.
  • Hard to wash. I couldn’t fit my hand inside the shaker to wash it.
Mana Shaker review
The scoop is fantastic and durable, the shaker is durable but not fantastic, at all.

Pricing

Unlike many of the brands in the meal replacement market, Mana does not offer any subscription options (thus no subscription discount). However, they do have a bulk purchasing option for the powder, with Mana Family.

Note: there’s a 10% subscription option in the US.

In Europe, there’s also bulk discounts (~8-9%).

  • For Mana Powder, you will get €5 off after the first box per box you add. This is, 2 boxes = €5 off; 3 boxes= €10 off etc.
  • As for Mana Drink, you can get €3 off per box you add after the first one. I.e. 2 boxes = €3 off, 3 boxes = €6 off etc.

Anyhow, let’s have a look at the cost of Mana shakes:

per servingEU (€)UK (£)US ($)
Mana Powder1.511.421.77
Mana Family Pack1.391.261.61
Mana Drink Origin2.912.63
Mana Drink Choco3.162.86
Mana Choco powder is also more expensive (about 10 cents/meal). Mana Drink is not available in the US, yet.

While Mana isn’t the cheapest meal replacement shake out there, the prices are fair and competitive. Here is how it compares to some close competitors:

per serving (cheap)EU (€)UK (£)US ($)
Mana Family Pack1.391.261.61
Soylent Powder1.50
Huel Powder1.301.101.51
Plenny Shake1.191.071.45
Soylent sometimes releases Bucket which lowers the price to $1/meal. All have 400kcal servings.

Shipping and Return Policy

Similarly to pricing, the shipping terms vary with the store that you use.

For instance, people living in Europe and Great Britain will have free delivery in orders above certain threshold (often €100). Below the threshold, shipping costs will vary on the country and order size.

On the other, in the US you will qualify for free shipping only when you subscribe. Otherwise, you will have to pay about $10 for shipping (will vary depending the order.

As far as the return policy is concerned, you will have to contact [email protected] to ask for a return. You might be able to return an item within 30 days in the EU, but it’s subject to terms and conditions.

Buying from the US or Canada

While Mana is currently available in the US, not all the products can be bought there (Mana Drink).

For Canada, I do not think this will happen any time soon since the regulations would not allowed it (fat % too high to be sold as meal replacement, for instance).

Mana’s announcement.

Mana Drink FAQ

Are Mana products Gluten-Free?

Both Mana Drink and Powder contain some gluten. 1 serving of Mana Powder contains 12mg of gluten (gliadin) and 1 bottle of Mana Drink has 9mg of gluten (gliadin).

Please consult your doctor before purchasing if you have any doubts.

I am diabetic. Can I consume Mana?

You should have no issues in theory, due to the low GI (~29) of Mana products. However, it is recommended to ask the doctor first.

Is Mana Vegan?

All Mana products are vegan and contain no components of animal origin, including vitamins and minerals.

Is Mana GMO-free?

Mana does not use any GMO products and they claim they will never do.

Is Mana safe to use as only source of food?

Yes, Mana has been designed with the purpose of substituting food and has all the nutrients that you would in theory need to survive in a healthy manner. Nevertheless, I advice against such a diet unless you really wish to do it. In such a case, please monitor your health markers via medical examinations.

What is the shelf-life of Mana products?

Mana guarantees a one year shelf-life in both Powder and Drink, certainly an impressive feat. It is recommended that both are stored in a dry place, between 15 and 25 degrees Celcius.

Once opened the Powder bag will last 1 month, whereas the RTD is intended for immediate use.

Where is Mana produced?

Mana is produced in Prague.

Mana Drink vs Mana Powder, which one is the best?

From a nutritional standpoint, both are very similar to each other, with the same macronutrient profile and very similar ingredient list. It will all come down to price and convenience. Mana Drink is about €1 more expensive per meal; however, it is also the most convenient and will be better mixed (having a smoother texture).

Why is Mana so rich in fats?

There are several reasons why Mana have increased amount of fats: 1) higher content of fats supports energy metabolism via fats to form ketone bodies, which supply energy to the whole body (also to your brain) without negative effect on glycemia; 2) fats provides indispensable nutrients like omega-3s and vitamin E; 3) combination of 6 types of oil make Mana more creamy and tasty.

Is Mana better than Soylent?

It will depend on each individual; but in my opinion Mana Powder is much better. Nutritionally both the powder and ready-to-drink meals are better than Soylent’s alternatives. However, Soylent does offer more RTD flavours to choose from.


Mana Drink Review: Verdict

Mana is a banner for Central European meal replacements. The brand and the product that is recognized by most. It has a very solid foundation, as well as, good offering.

Mana Mark 6 (vs Mana Mark 5) is a step forward in all aspects: taste, texture, mixability and nutrition. The new Choco flavour is also much better than the old chocolate-based one. Only the taste of Origin might cause some divide.

In fact, both the powder and the ready-to-drink meal replacement have a pleasant taste. In particular, the Origin or Neutral variant. However, the chocolate version has also come a long way, and it is quite good.

From a nutritional standpoint, Mana is good, but limited. Both the RTD and Powder are identical to each other: vegan, low carb, high fat and share most ingredients.

Thus, Mana will be a great company to buy from if want low carb shakes, or are looking for Soylent alternatives. With the launch of Mana Family, it is now very affordable to buy the Origin powder; which makes it even more appealing than before.

Mana Drink

From €1.4 | $1.6 per 400kcal
4

Nutrition

4.0/5

Texture

4.0/5

Taste

3.8/5

Satiety

4.0/5

Price

4.3/5

Pros

  • Mana Origin is easy to like, and choco has improved a lot
  • Insane focus on nutrition and great attention to detail
  • Plenty of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Taster pack to taste all Mana products easily.
  • Great Soylent alternative in both EU and USA.

Cons

  • Only one nutritional profile: low-carb
  • Contains maltodextrin and isomaltulose
  • Shaker needs to be bought aside and it's not good
  • Small lumps on powder, doesn't mix well.
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