GudPod Review: Is It Worth It?
GudPod is a countertop appliance that fits under kitchen cabinets and when combined with their proprietary Pods, promises to make protein shakes, pre- and- post-workout shakes, meal replacements, green drinks, and weight management shakes easy, fast, and hassle-free.
The company tells us that GudPod is “like a single serve coffee maker for protein shakes” and is quieter, faster, and easier than a blender.
All you have to do is add water (or the liquid of your choice) to the calibrated drinking cup, place it on the machine, add your pre-filled Pod, and press the play button. In less than 60 seconds, your shake will be ready to drink—without having to worry about making shakes with a bulky blender or adding to your dirty dishes.
If you drink powdered drinks on a regular basis, you know what a pain it can be to constantly clean shaker cups or your blender. If you don’t use these cups, though, you’ll probably end up with unappetizing grainy clumps in your drink, and who wants that?
With GudPod, have you finally found something that requires little-to-no cleanup and delivers smooth, well-mixed results? Or, is it simply a cool piece of tech that will provide little value for your money?
Here, we’ll help you find answers to some of your most important questions about GudPod. First, let’s talk about the device’s details.
How Does GudPod Work?
In all, there are three main parts to the system: 1) the GudPod device, 2) the pre-filled Pods, and 3) the calibrated drinking cup. Let’s take a closer look at each.
By itself, the black plastic GudPod machine doesn’t look a whole lot different than a traditional coffee maker.
On the bottom, there is a flat platform where the BPA-free calibrated drinking cup goes. Simply fill the cup with liquid to the line and place it on the flat platform.
Just above the cup, the bell-shaped Pod (also BPA-free) clicks into place, which is pre-filled with the supplement of your choice. Keep this thought in mind, because we’ll talk come back to it soon.
At the very top of the machine, you’ll find three cup sizes (depending on the amount of shake you’d like to make), as well as a play button.
When you’re ready to go, choosing your cup size and pressing the play button will cause the Pod to descend into the liquid. Once this occurs, the bottom of the Pod will drop down, releasing the powder it contains into the liquid.
Attached to the bottom of the Pod are three fins, which mix the powder into the liquid as it spins. Over the course of 60 seconds, the Pod will change directions several times to ensure even mixing results.
When mixing is complete, the Pod will return to its original position, and your shake is ready to enjoy.
After you’re finished, the only cleanup required is to wash the calibrated drinking cup, which is dishwasher safe. The pre-filled Pods are recyclable.
The GudPod machine sold for $199 at the time of our research, with a retail price of $249.
Standard shipping was free, although you could add 3-day shipping for $75 and next day for $165.
Pods were only available with Performix’s Pro Whey + protein supplement in Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, Vanilla flavors, priced as follows:
- 30 Pack: $69.99
- 60 Pack: $129.99
- 90 Pack: $179.99
According to the company, they’ll soon have many other supplements and brands available, including Ultimate Nutrition Prostar Whey and IsoCool.
GudPod’s CEO told us that each of their countertop devices come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H.
GudPod also comes with a two-year replacement warranty against manufacturing defects, with no cost to the consumer.
At over 11 pounds, it’s designed to last a minimum of 75,000 cycles, which means it could feasibly provide decades of service if used 2-3 times per day.
With this in mind, GudPod’s customer support can be reached at 602-358-8572, email@example.com, and via an online contact form.
How Does GudPod Compare to Traditional Shakers and Mixers?
It’s important to note that there weren’t any online customer reviews for GudPod during our research and we didn’t test the device firsthand. As a result, everything discussed here is based on our observation, as well as what we learned from their website and the company’s CEO.
With this said, the traditional methods of mixing powdered supplements involve the good ol’ spoon or shaker cups. The problem with both of these is that you’re often left with chalky, unappetizing clumps.
And even if you achieve smooth results using electric shakers (also known as vortex mixers), the process is often messy, and you still have to wash dishes after each shake, which can quickly become a burden if you’re drinking 2+ servings per day.
And it’s here where GudPod seems to shine: The device doesn’t hold water, so you won’t have to worry about the buildup of mold or bacteria in a tank. Each single-use Pod quickly attaches and detaches, and is recyclable.
You’re left with smooth results in less than 60 seconds, and the only thing you have to clean is the calibrated drinking cup (or, just throw it in the dishwasher).
From this perspective, GudPod clearly seems to deliver real-world convenience. But in the bigger picture, will it deliver value? Here are some potential drawbacks we thought about when researching:
Limited Supplement Selection
Although the company tells us that you’ll soon be able to enjoy all kinds of powdered supplement drinks, there’s currently only one protein powder available from Performix.
While Performix seems to have a mostly positive customer reputation (we’ve reviewed several of their other supplements in the past, including SST, Iridium SSTi, and SST Glow), protein powders are usually a highly personal choice.
Finding the right one to meet our needs is often a lengthy trial and error process, so we might be less likely to switch to a new brand just for the sake of convenience.
Even if you like Performix’s protein powder, you’ll still be bound to supplement manufacturers with whom GudPod contracts, so there’s always going to be some kind of limit on your selection.
Will You Save Time with GudPod?
Speaking of convenience: No, you won’t have much to clean afterward with GudPod, and you're likely to get smoother results than with traditional shakers, but will it save you time? Let’s run through a quick scenario:
You’re hitting the gym pretty hard lately, so you drink two servings of protein powder once per day; about an hour before you work out and again within 30 minutes of completing your workout.
Because your first serving is consumed at home, GudPod could definitely come in handy—just set everything up and press play while you put on your gym clothes.
However, since each Pod comes into contact your liquid and was likely manufactured in a factory (of unknown origin), you’ll definitely want to wash it off with soap in advance. In other words, rinsing out the drinking cup won’t be the only cleaning step in the process.
But what happens after you work out? Since your body needs a protein fix within 30 minutes of finishing, you bring a pre-filled shaker to the gym, add water after your sweat sesh, and you’re good to go.
In this example, GudPod certainly provides convenience, but in a lot of instances, you won't be able to eliminate the use of shakers and other mixers.
GudPod’s Ongoing Costs
If you purchase a 90-Pack of Pods, you’re paying $2 per serving. Add in the cost of the machine over the course of a year, and your total GudPod expense increases to about $2.27 per serving.
Comparatively, a 90-day supply of bulk protein powder will typically cost you between $60 and $80, or about $0.66 to $0.88 per serving. Even if you add in the $20 cost of a higher end electric shaker, your traditional per-serving cost is still less than $1.
But here’s the thing: As we discussed in our example above, if you’re working out anywhere other than at home, it’s highly likely that you’ll still need to purchase bulk protein powder and carry a shaker with you to the gym, so GudPod won't eliminate this expense.
The Bottom Line: How Much Value Will GudPod Provide?
We already outlined GudPod’s numbers, but as we often discuss here at HighYa, making an informed buying decision involves not just price, but also value.
In other words, if you’re especially busy, despise the extra couple minutes it takes to rinse out shakers, consistently work out at home, or are passionate about new tech, we could see GudPod’s meaningfully higher per-serving price (three or more times the cost, in some instances) delivering a solid value.
Outside of this? It seems GudPod was only recently released, so it’s too early to tell if the system provides value for the majority of customers. The manufacturer, GudPod, Inc. based out of Carefree, AZ, doesn’t seem to have released any other products to date, either.
Interview with GudPod’s CEO
The good news is that we had an opportunity to speak with GudPod’s CEO, Tasso Koken, about the device’s past, present, and future—including its value proposition. Here’s what we learned:
How did the idea of GudPod come about? What were some of the biggest challenges the team faced during development?
GudPod’s founder, who holds a PhD in microbiology and spent 10 years on Wall Street and in the healthcare industry, was taking his daily regimen of supplements one morning.
As his wife walked by, she said, “You know, if you could put all of that in a Keurig K-Cup, I’d take it along with you!”
A light bulb went off in his head, so he spent the next few months developing a concept. From there, he was able to secure seed capital and a few investors, build some prototypes, and even hired the former lead engineer for Keurig’s homebrew machines.
From the outset, the team wanted the GudPod device to be bulletproof—not just for home use, where their research shows most consumers will use it 2-3 times per day, but also for use in professional gym settings where it could be used 50 to 250 times daily.
Although Tasso noted that the GudPod team didn’t encounter any big roadblocks during development, they currently have four patents issued for their technology, with another 23 pending.
And while they’re building licensee agreements with big names like GNC, VitaminShoppe, and Bodybuilding.com, Tasso mentioned that—like any other startup—they’re on a mission to let the industry know who they are and the immense value their technology can offer.
Currently, there is only one supplement from Perfomix available, When will more be added? Can you tell us what they will be?
Tasso told us that several supplements from Ultimate Nutrition will be available late January/first week of February 2017, while the company is in talks with dozens of the biggest players in the industry for more releases later in the year.
GudPod’s Pods are frequently compared to Keurig’s K-Cups. Are they fully recyclable?
Unlike K-Cups (only parts of which are recyclable and must be disassembled), Tasso told us that GudPod’s Pods are made from food grade polypropylene. As a result, simply toss them in your recycling canister when you’re done—no disassembly required.
In the future, the company is looking to make their Pods fully biodegradable.
Who is GudPod’s target market? What about the meaningfully higher per-serving cost compared to traditional protein supplements?
Initially, Tasso noted that the company’s marketing focus is on amateur athletes and sports nutrition enthusiasts.
However, during 2017 they plan to add at least a dozen powder-related brands to their lineup, including weight management, senior supplements, and more, in order to expand their market reach.
2018 should see the release of many more vitamins, minerals, meal replacements, senior supplements, green/organic drinks, and even pharmaceuticals—basically, taking existing products out of capsules (and the pain of taking multiple per day) and putting them into pods.
Like any new technology, Tasso mentioned that he foresees the price of GudPod’s machine and its Pods decreasing as scalability increases, further boosting the per-serving value.
They’re also able to increase or decrease the diameter of their Pods, depending on a licensee’s needs, which will give them greater flexibility, even for things like stacks.
In the end, the GudPod team seems excited about what the near future holds as they focus on bringing customers a high-quality, user friendly platform with valuable utility.