Being busy or tired is not an excuse for eating unhealthy foods. The health and wellness industry provides a wide range of diet supplements to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. If you need supplements to substitute your meals, the market offers multiple best meal replacement shakes. Since manufacturers use varying ingredients, it is crucial to ensure you buy shakes with clean components that do not harm your health. The best meal replacement shakes provide your body with all the essential nutrients it needs to function correctly. They are available in varying amounts and flavors for you to select.
What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?
Meal replacement shakes are supplements that contain nutrients similar to those in your meals. Even though they vary in composition depending on the brand you are buying, the best shake has a balanced amount of macronutrients, including protein, carbs, and fats, and micronutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. A protein shake is not a meal replacement shake as it lacks several other nutrients. It is ideal for pre and post-workout use for muscle building and repair.
The meal replacement shakes come in powder form, which you mix with water or milk. You can also get them in the ready-to-drink option. Besides drinking shakes in place of your usual meals, you can also have them as snacks. They prevent you from eating junk and processed foods, which are bad for your health. Besides, they are easier to adopt, unlike making sudden changes to your diet.
How to Choose
As mentioned earlier, the best shakes contain safe ingredients that do not pose any health risks. However, there is much more that makes a product the best meal replacement. Continue reading for more details.
- Calorie amount
The best shake provides your body with enough calories to energize your body in between meals. The market has branded with 90-600 calories. Those with low calories can help with weight loss, as they help you keep your calorie intake minimal. However, they are not replacing your meals with enough energy to keep you going. You need a meal replacement shake with a balance of calories and nutrients; thus, it does not deprive your body anything it requires to function as it should.
- Quality of ingredients
Go for brands with organic ingredients from natural sources. Avoid shakes with artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. Such components foster weight and do not have beneficial nutrients.
- Protein levels
An excellent meal replacement shake should contain at least 15g of protein per serving. Some products have over 20g, which is good. Protein ensures you feel fuller for longer to prevent cravings and bar you from consuming more calories. They also aid in weight loss and lean muscle building.
- Carbohydrates amount
Note that the more carbs you ingest, the more weight you gain. That is why if you are using meal replacement shakes for weight loss, go for those with minimal carbs and more protein. Your body will use the few carbs and turn to protein and fat for energy, which reduces weight gain.
The best meal replacement shake has low amounts of healthy fat and lacks Tran’s fats and cholesterol. Fat is an alternative source of energy like proteins.
This is another essential shake component. It eases digestion and ensures steady nutrient absorption. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate with no calories.
- Sugar content
Sugar contributes to weight gain. Purchase a shake with low sugar levels, such as one gram or three grams. One with natural flavor and sweetener is great. Products with artificial sweeteners cause a spike in your blood sugar, and that is something you do not want. Besides, the human body uses this type of sugar fast, causing you more craving for it.
- Other nutrients
Make sure the shake you are buying contains minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. They support various bodily functions to keep you healthy.
Best Brands of Meal Replacement Shake
Below are examples of the best meal replacement shakes to consider buying.
- 310 Shake
310 Nutrition is a popular name in the diet supplements industry. One of the products it offers is 310 shake, which many users consider on the list of best meal replacement shakes. Available in a delicious, chocolate flavor, the shake offers 15g of triplex plant protein from brown rice, hemp protein, and pea. The amount is adequate and should keep you full in between meal times. It also assists with muscle development to help you achieve a lean body.
The 310 shake contains 90calories, which are helpful if you are consuming the drink for weight loss reasons. It will help you keep your calorie intake in check. With the 1bilion CFU probiotics in the shake, it improves your gut health and prevents issues such as bloating and gas. The greens blend in this product provides your body with 20 vitamins and minerals to support various functions in your body. The shake also provides a natural energy boost and fosters metabolism, but it does not contain caffeine. However, it has a high fiber content to foster a healthy you.
Add one scoop of 310 powder to 12 fl oz cold water, milk, or your favorite beverage and enjoy. Have one or two servings per day. One pouch gives you 28 servings, and you can use the shake alongside 310 Thin for more significant results. The shake is gluten, soy, dairy, and sugar-free and has no artificial flavors or sweeteners. It is also keto and paleo-friendly and easy to prepare.
- Herbalife Shake
As one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss, each serving of Herbalife contains 90 calories, 9g protein (from soy protein isolate), 9g sugar, 13g carbs, 1g fat, and 3g fiber. The calories are quite low and may not be enough to replace a healthy meal. However, you can mix two scoops of Herbalife with 8-ounces (240ml) of milk and get 170 calories in total.
The fiber in this shake fosters proper digestion. However, the protein level in this product is low compared to other brands. It may not keep you full for longer than other shakes. Nevertheless, one-gram fat is a suitable amount for your health. You can also blend Herbalife with water or fruit to make a delicious smoothie.
Benefit from the 21 vitamins and minerals in the shake that has no trans fats or cholesterol. One pack provides 30 servings with each portion being two scoops of Herbalife. The flavors to choose from are French vanilla, cookies and cream, orange cream, dutch, wild berry, mint chocolate, and café latte.
Note that the manufacturer provides an alternative shake for those sensitive or allergic to soy and dairy. It contains pea, rice, and sesame proteins instead of soy protein.
- Ideal Shake
Ideal Shake is another brand with low calories to aid weight loss. It has 100calories for energy, 12g whey protein, 5g fiber, and over 20 vitamins and minerals. The protein amount is moderate and keeps you full for up to 3hours. Besides, the 5g fiber is higher than what some companies are offering, which is good for your digestive system. Your body will benefit from the vitamins and minerals that support functions such as immunity.
The shake is delicious and comes in several flavors salted caramel, strawberry, and chocolate. Mix the powder with water or unsweetened vanilla almond milk and reap the benefits. It is low fat with 2g sugar and a creamy taste. Ideal shake is gluten, tree nut, and soy-free, and one pack provides 30servings.
- Vega One
If you are looking for a vegan meal replacement shake, include Vega One on your list. It is an all-in-one shake with essential nutrition you need for a healthy body. For starters, the manufacturer incorporates 20g plant protein in the product from pea, hemp, flaxseed, and sacha inchi. The real plant components are safe for your health. The greens and veggies in the shake such as organic kale and broccoli give this product a nice green color. It also provides your body with minerals and vitamins. 6g fiber is a suitable amount to help with digestion.
With the 1Bilion CFU probiotics, the product improves gut health. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids to boost your health. It is non-diary, gluten-free, non-GMO with no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Vega One is a certified vegan brand that is soy-free and low glycemic. The shake has no eggs or honey. The flavors to choose from are chocolate, berry, coconut almond, French vanilla, plain unsweetened, mocha, natural, vanilla chai, and chocolate mint.
- Lady Boss Lean
If you are a woman looking for meal replacement protein shakes, Lady Boss Lean is for you. It has 17g of whey protein to keep you full and reduce cravings. The shake also supports immune and digestive health and fat loss. It is soy and gluten-free. You can use it for breakfast, lunch, snack, or healthy baking. If you are craving for some sweet food, this shake has a mouthwatering taste. One scoop per serving is enough, and a container of Lady Boss provides 30 portions.
Each serving has 100 calories, which are minimal enough to support weight loss. The 10g carbs that include 2g fiber foster the balance of nutrients in the product. Besides, you also get essential vitamins and minerals from drinking this shake, which includes vitamins D, A, C, E, B12, and B5. The minerals list features calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, and zinc. Note that this product contains milk and has digestive enzymes as well.
- Orgain Organic
Orgain Orgain is another vegan shake with 21g protein to keep you full for longer. Besides, with the 150 calories, your body gets the energy it needs to function. Orgain comes with 5g fiber, which is a good amount for digestion. With 1g of sugar ad 3g carbs only, the shake supports weight loss. However, Orgain offers another meal replacement shake that has more essential nutrients.
It comes with 20g protein, 220calories, 11g carbs, and 8g fiber. It also contains vitamin B6, C, riboflavin, iron, and thiamine. Both shakes are vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free.
Available in vanilla cream, chocolate, banana and cream, and strawberries and cream, Slim-fast is ready to drink a shake. It contains 20g protein, 1g sugar, 1g net carbs, 180calories, 5g fiber, and 24 vitamins and minerals.
You can get it in 8-count and 12-count packs. The shake is 99.8% lactose-free and gluten-free too. The fiber fosters better digestion while the carbs prevent hunger for up to 4hours.
- Isagenix Shake
Isagenix shake offers more calories than the previous brands to ensure you easily adapt to a low-calorie diet gradually. It provides you with 240 calories, which is almost triple the amount 310 Shake offers. Isagenix contains 24g protein, 8g fiber, and 23 vitamins and minerals. It comes in delicious Dutch chocolate, strawberry cream, and vanilla flavors, and has active digestive enzymes for proper digestion.
The manufacturer does not use artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors but rather incorporates natural ingredients in making the shake.
- Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein
Optimum Nutrition offers you a meal replacement shake with gold standard whey protein. With this product, you get 21g of whey protein isolate in each serving. It also has 120calories, 1g sugar, 1g fat, and 5g of natural BCAAs. Get it in double rich chocolate and enjoy the flavor. The other tastes to choose include rocky road, strawberry banana, chocolate mint, banana cream, French vanilla, and unflavored.
Optimum Nutrition also provides the other two shakes platinum HydroWhey and Whey. The latter has 110calories and 22g protein, while platinum contains 140calories and 30g protein.
- Premier Protein
Premier Protein is another ready-to-drink shake available in a 12-count pack. The flavors to choose from are vanilla, caramel, chocolate, cookies and cream, and café latte. About protein levels, this brand offers 30g protein for weight control, energy, and muscle development. However, it contains milk proteins (whey and casein); thus, check your allergies or intolerances if you have any.
Benefit from the 160 calories, 5g carbs, 3g fat, and 1g sugar in this shake. It is gluten and soy-free and comes with 24 vitamins and minerals, including B12, calcium, and iron.
- Pure Protein
Pure Protein has not only proteins but also more calories than what some top brands are offering. It provides 160calories and 25g whey protein to energize your body and keep you full for a while. Besides, its 2g sugar and 9g total carbs are low enough to promote good health. Use this product to boost your muscle gain, weight lifting, and active body-building efforts.
Add one scoop of Pure Protein to water, shake the mixture, and savor the delicious drink.
If you like the convenience of ready-to-drink shakes, Soylent is such a product. It has balanced nutrition with sufficient proteins, calories, fats, and vitamins to keep you going. The 20g plant protein increases your satiety while the 400 calories per bottle ensure you have enough energy. A pack of Soylent carries twelve 14oz bottles of the shake. The 21g fat from sunflower oil gives you an alternative source of energy and supports other functions in your body.
However, the carbs in this product metabolize slowly to provide a steady supply of energy instead of a spike. The shake has 26vitamins and minerals to nourish your health. Besides, it is nut and gluten-free, vegan, and contains soy.
When you settle for Huel shakes for meal replacement, you get a package with two pouches. The brand provides gluten-free and unflavored unsweetened options. The vanilla flavor is delicious. Like Soylent, Huel contains 400calories. However, it has 29g protein from pea, flaxseed, and brown rice to keep you full for longer.
The minerals in this product include potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium, while the vitamins entail C, E, A, D2, B2, B6, and B12. The oats carbs give you energy and the shake has low fat and sugar. Huel is gluten, lactose, and soy-free. It is also vegan and non-GMO.
- Garden of Life
What makes Garden of Life meal replacement worth your money? The raw, organic shake contains 20g plant protein, digestive enzymes, live probiotics, 7g fiber, and 21 vitamins and minerals. These nutrients provide your body with the nourishment it needs to be healthy and perform as it should. Garden of life is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and has no dairy ingredients.
The flavors to choose from are chocolate, vanilla, lightly sweet, and vanilla chai. It has less than one gram of sugar and over 40 superfoods that include grass juices, veggies, and fruits. The digestive enzymes and probiotics boost gut health and ease digestion.
With Atkins meal replacement shake, you get 15g protein, 2g net carbs, 1g sugar, vitamins, and minerals. One box of ready-to-drink Atkins has eight 1oz bottles. It satisfies hunger and provides steady energy. The shake is keto-friendly, gluten-free, and low glycemic while containing 1g sugar only. Besides, the dark chocolate flavor is delicious and creamy to mesmerize your taste buds.
How to Use Meal Replacement Shakes
People use meal replacement shakes for varying reasons. Some use them for weight loss. Others drink the beverages when they cannot access a healthy meal or do not have time to sit down and eat. They are also good for athletes and workout enthusiasts.
You can use the shakes to replace two of your meals in a day and have one healthy meal. For example, you can have a serving for breakfast and lunch and later have a healthy dinner. Besides, meal replacement shakes are also usable as snacks in between meals to curb cravings and hunger. They also prevent you from eating unhealthy foods.
Mix a scoop or two with water or milk, shake, and enjoy the mixture. The ready-made shakes are more convenient while on the go. It is a matter of grabbing and drinking right away. There is no mixing to do. They also come in a pack with a varying number of bottles.
Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes are easy to use and convenient. Mixing with water or milk takes a few minutes. A ready-to-drink shake saves you more time. Shakes reduce the time you spend on planning and preparing meals; thus, they are ideal for busy people.
There are no calories to count when using shakes since manufacturers clearly indicate on the labels how many calories are in each serving. Some brands contain more nutrients than what you might get from the meals you prepare; therefore, they supplement your diet. They are also portable and mess-free, unlike carrying packed lunch, for example.
Shakes reduce your calorie intake for weight loss and may help you maintain a healthy weight after losing the extra pounds.
As long as you buy a meal replacement shake with safe ingredients, you should not worry about side effects. However, if you have allergies or intolerance to certain ingredients, check the components of the product you are buying. The market, however, provides shakes that are free of gluten, soy, dairy, and lactose. Others are vegan, keto-friendly, and vegetarian if you have diet restrictions. That way, you should find the right shake for you.
Buying Guide: Where to Buy
Buy meal replacement shakes from manufacturer websites, where you are sure of getting authentic products. You could get discounts, offers, or bundle deals to save you some money. You can also make purchases from reliable online platforms such as Amazon or a reputable local store near you that sells the brand you are looking for.
Meal replacement shakes are helpful products as long as you buy those with safe ingredients. Use them for weight loss and maintenance or to substitute your meals when you are too busy to cook or tired. However, not every shake has the nutritional value your body needs. Make sure the brand you purchase contains all the essential macronutrients and micronutrients in balanced proportioned.
That way, even without having a proper meal, you can get the beneficial nutrients for a shake. We have already covered some of the best meal replacement shakes to boots your health and support various bodily functions. You know the factors to keep in mind during purchase, so you stand a better chance of buying the right shake.