REVIEW: OWYN Plant-Based Protein Shakes (Only What You Need)

Flavors Tried: Vanilla, Chocolate, Cold Brew Coffee, Cookies & Cream

Price: $33 for 12-pack ($2.75 per bottle)

Nutrition: 180 Calories, 7g Fat, 10g Carbs (5g Fiber, 4g Sugar), 20g Protein

OWYN Protein Shakes

To this point, I haven’t had a great history with ready-to-drink protein shakes. Sometimes I thoroughly enjoy them, like Premier Protein Shakes, but other times I truly dislike them, like Rockin’ Protein Builder Shakes.

When I saw these OWYN (Only What You Need) protein shakes on sale at my local store, I knew that I had no choice but to give them a try with very low expectations.

Seeing as these protein shakes are plant-based, my expectation was that they would taste very “Earthy,” but I decided to go in with an open mind.

OWYN Nutrition Facts

Nutritionally speaking, OWYN is similar to many other shakes out there. You’ll typically find that pre-made protein shakes contain closer to 30 grams of protein per bottle, but when it comes to plant-based protein, you’ll typically find them slightly lower in protein.

Plant-based protein (especially pea protein) has a very strong flavor, so you can’t include quite as much as whey protein or else the flavor will be overpowering.

OWYN does have “Pro Elite” protein shakes that contain 35 grams of protein, but those are not included in this review. I have to imagine that the flavor of those will not be as good, but I’ll update this review if I get my hands on those.

UPDATE: I got my hands on the Pro Elite series, and you can find that review here.

All of that being said, 20 grams of protein is still a solid protein shake, so I still consider this a great protein snack. Plus, with low sugar and a fair amount of fiber, I’m overall impressed with the nutrition facts.

OWYN Vanilla Protein Shake Review

OWYN Vanilla Protein Shake

The vanilla OWYN protein shake is described as “smooth vanilla” and it definitely delivers on that description.

When I was a kid, I used to drink vanilla Hershey’s milkshakes all the time, and this flavor actually transports me right back to that time.

I would love it if this protein shake were a bit thicker, and I’d describe the consistency much closer to milk than a milkshake.

Still, the flavor tastes just like a vanilla milkshake, which I absolutely loved.

Pouring OWYN vanilla shake

I will admit that you do get a slightly bitter aftertaste with this shake, which is likely the plant-based protein coming through. It’s not enough to ruin this protein shake for me, but in a perfect world, it would not be there at all.

I wouldn’t describe the aftertaste as Earthy, just bitter. Still, it’s not at all overpowering, so I really enjoyed this shake.

As far as plant-based shakes go, especially for vanilla flavor, this is a winner.

OWYN Chocolate Protein Shake Review

OWYN Chocolate Shake

Right when I opened the dark chocolate OWYN protein shake, I could tell it was going to be delicious. You’re hit with a really rich chocolate scent rather than a chocolate protein powder scent (like I experienced with the Ghost protein shakes), so you can tell it’s going to taste rich.

This dark chocolate protein shake truly tastes like rich dark chocolate. If you enjoy dark chocolate, I can promise that you’ll love this protein shake.

Pouring OWYN chocolate shake

The protein shake might be a little bit too bitter, but that’s coming from someone who isn’t crazy about dark chocolate (I’d choose milk chocolate over dark chocolate every single time).

To me, this tastes like eating dark chocolate that’s 90% cocoa instead of one that’s 80% cocoa. In other words, you taste some extra bitterness as if there’s just some extra cocoa powder in the drink.

Still, this protein shake tastes like a true chocolate shake. You would never know this was a plant-based shake, and there is absolutely no earthy flavor at all.

I truly enjoyed this protein shake way more than I thought I would!

OWYN Cold Brew Coffee Protein Shake Review

I am a lover of cold brew coffee, but I’ve come to learn that most things labeled “cold brew” are really just coffee-flavored and served cold. Rarely do products actually taste like cold brew coffee.

To be honest, this OWYN coffee shake does actually taste like a cold brew.

Of course, since it’s flavored, it tastes like a cold brew after adding creamer and syrup to it, but it truly does taste like quality coffee and not just like bad coffee flavoring (like the Vital Proteins cold brew protein bar).

When I first started drinking coffee, I would add French vanilla creamer to it to help mask the bitterness of the coffee, and this shake reminds me a ton of that.

If you’re someone who enjoys adding vanilla creamer to your coffee, you’ll love this one. I truly cannot taste the protein in it.

Plus, each bottle contains 150mg of caffeine, so it can take the place of your morning coffee!

OWYN Cookies & Cream Protein Shake Review

This cookies & cream OWYN shake is interesting, but I can’t quite pinpoint the flavor to describe it to you.

The shake is on the sweet side, but it’s truly delicious. It reminds me of the “cream” part of cookies & cream, but you don’t taste much of the cookies.

If you’re expecting Oreo flavor, you definitely will not get that.

However, the balance of the sweet vanilla cream flavor with the subtle hint of chocolate is really, really good. In fact, this may be my favorite of all the flavors.

No, it isn’t like drinking Oreos, but it’s darn good. As someone with a pretty big sweet tooth, I really love this one.

Overall Thoughts

Considering my rough history with ready-to-drink protein shakes combined with the fact that I don’t typically love plant-based protein, these OWYN protein shakes absolutely blew me away.

They’re not perfect; I would ideally eliminate that slightly bitter aftertaste that these shakes contain, and I’d love it if they had a little bit more protein (although their Pro Elite series with more protein is also very good).

On flavor and drinkability, these protein shakes are awesome. If you’re not plant-based, I still think these are extremely enjoyable and I highly recommend trying them.

If you are plant-based, then these protein shakes are a no-brainer.

Here’s how I’d rank the flavors I tried from favorite to least favorite (but don’t misconstrue it, I actually enjoyed them all):

  1. Cookies & Cream
  2. Chocolate
  3. Cold Brew Coffee
  4. Vanilla
OWYN Protein Shakes
REVIEW: OWYN Plant-Based Protein Shakes (Only What You Need)
These plant-based protein shakes taste better than any other vegan shakes I've tried, and they are true to their flavors. Many plant-based shakes have an "Earthy" taste to them, but you would never know that these shakes were plant-based.
Flavor Accuracy
Overall Taste
The Good
No Earthy flavor
Tastes just like vanilla & chocolate milk
Contains fiber
The Bad
20 grams of protein is lower than many other shakes
Has a very slight aftertaste
Could be thicker
Give 'Em A Try
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