For anyone on the go or for fitness enthusiasts looking to make a diet change, meal replacement shakes can help, but there are several options depending on your fitness goals.
For example, for some, meal replacement drinks are an excellent option for weight loss, while for others can help with muscle or weight gain. Besides these objectives, they can also help in adding nutrients and vitamins to your diet in a manner that is easy yet sustainable.
Meal replacement shakes are also great ways to introduce roughage, amino acids, and healthy fats to your diet. However, depending on your budget or objectives, finding the best meal shakes is a potential challenge. Depending on your dietary needs and preferences, you must find ingredients and options that are most suitable.
To make things easier, this article dives into some of the best meal replacement shakes that can help you add nutrients that benefit your lifestyle.
- What is a Meal Replacement Shake?
- Nutritional Facts to keep in Mind
- 5 Best Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes
- 7 Best Meal Replacement Shakes For those on the Go
- Which Is Better for Your Health and Wellness?
- Who Should Seek Meal Replacement Shakes?
What is a Meal Replacement Shake?
Meal replacement shakes are shakes that may replace meals or supplement nutrient intake. Depending on your dietary goals, meal shakes can replace meals, supplement meals, or add additional nutrients to your diet.
For a well-balanced meal replacement shake, some aspects to consider include calories, nutrients, and antioxidants. One major reason people want breakfast replacement shakes is due to time constraints and their effectiveness in aiding weight loss.
It also helps those looking to gain weight, as you may consume meal replacement shakes in between meals or help in cases where you would usually skip meals. For many individuals, it’s quite common to skip breakfast, and meal replacements serve as a nutritious and time-effective solution to ensure they get an adequate amount of calories and nutrients. Besides being practical for individuals on the go, it was estimated that the meal replacement shake market will reach US $18.9 billion by 2032.
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Nutritional Facts to keep in Mind
While having a quick thick shake on the go is convenient, making sure that you’re aware of the nutritional value of your meal replacement shakes is crucial.
Depending on your dietary requirements, calories in drinks have a vital role to play. Keeping your meal replacement shakes between 150 to 250 calories is a healthy range of calories for individuals. That said, for anyone looking to gain weight, it’s advisable that you select an option that at least has upwards of 300 calories.
Vitamins and Minerals
When it comes to vitamins and minerals available with each meal replacement shake, you must ensure it has at least one-third of your daily nutritional requirements. Nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium along with a variety of vitamins help keep your immunity and resistance intact.
When it comes to additives, you must keep an eye out for added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and fillers. Besides this, thickeners and gums, vegetable oil, vegetable fat, and soy protein are also items to spot before taking any drinks. Other things worth keeping an eye out for are artificial sweeteners. While many products have them, these can cause gastric distress, migraines, headaches, depression, and weight gain.
When it comes to macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are important to consider. Good meal replacement shakes at least have 15 grams of protein per serving. Besides this, making sure that it has no more than 25 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fat is also essential.
4 Best Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes
1. Spinach-Based Meal Replacement Shake
Spinach is a great source of iron and vitamin D, and this homemade shake is perfect for those whose goal is health and wellness. Along with the spinach, green apple and avocado come in the mix which helps make it rich in fiber as well!
If you’re someone who likes going for a morning jog or cycling, this nutritious shake is an excellent way to jump-start your day.
- Milk / Oat Milk – 1/2 Cup
- Spinach – 2 Cups
- Kiwi – 1 chopped
- Tofu – 85 Grams
- A Quarter Avocado
- Half a Green Apple
2. Strawberry Blast Smoothie
When it comes to refreshing drinks that are tart yet nutritious, this strawberry meal replacement recipe is a great option. It is simple and easy to make, as it relies on only a few components and has oats for fiber. Strawberries are excellent for antioxidants, so they reduce the toxins in your bloodstream and kidneys. It also features peanut butter, oats, and milk as reliable sources of protein.
For anyone looking for a quick meal to grab before your morning yoga or workout at the gym, this strawberry smoothie is a quick thick shake that fits the bill.
- Milk / Oat Milk – 1 Cup
- Strawberries – 1/2 Cups
- Peanut Butter – 1 Tbsp
- Oats – 1 Cup
3. Spinach-Oat Breakfast Shake
It’s important to have your greens, and this spinach oat shake helps you do that on the go. While cooking spinach can be time-consuming and not as appetizing for some, including spinach and parsley in your drink adds vitamin E, iron, and even roughage to your diet. Digestion plays a big role in your overall productivity and mood throughout your day, and this shake helps in that factor!
With spinach and milk, you also get vitamin D and protein. For vegans, substituting milk with oat milk or any can make it an excellent vegan meal replacement shake.
- Milk / Oat Milk – 3/4 Cup
- Spinach – 1 Cup
- Oats – ¼ Cup
- Parsley – ¼ Cup
- Honey – 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice – 2 Tsp
4. Chocolate-Peanut Butter Shake
In this shake, the Chocolate Orgain Organic Meal powder that helps add a huge amount of protein! For anyone looking to get fit and build muscle in the gym, this drink can help out significantly.
With an impressive 435 calories this meal shake is filling and great for anyone on the go. Preparing breakfast in your kitchen at the last minute is cumbersome, but this meal shake’s benefits are worth the work.
- Milk / Oat Milk – 3/4 Cup
- Chocolate Orgain Organic Meal Replacement Shake – 2 Scoops
- Peanut Butter – 1 Tbsp
- Oats – ¼ Cup
8 Best Meal Replacement Shakes For those on the Go
1. PhenQ Complete Meal Shake
When it comes to a shake that’s effective for weight loss and meal replacement, PhenQ is one of the best options available. With 16 grams of whey concentrate and 320 calories per serving, this meal replacement shake has 13 key vitamins for your nutritional needs.
It costs around $2.99 per meal, and this meal replacement option comes in Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberries & Cream flavors which can help make the meals seem less monotonous. With helpful digestive enzymes, PhenQ is one of the best meal replacement shakes available.
2. Orgain Organic Meal Replacement Shakes
Orgain organic meal replacement shakes help provide users with 230 calories which is a great light meal for anyone trying to lose weight. It is complete with beans, sprouts, and other vegetables, the organic vegan meal replacement provides a variety of vitamins necessary for good health.
It is dairy-free, making it suitable for vegans. It is also simple to prepare, making it ideal for on-the-go consumption. It also has 20 grams of protein per serving, which ensures your muscles get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and retain firmness.
3. Huel Powder v3.0
Huel powder is a meal replacement shake that offers complete nutrition. With carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, and vitamins, your body gets all its nutritional requirements. With vegan ingredients sourced from plants, Huel does not make use of dairy or fats sourced from animals, making it suitable for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.
Huel also has Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids which are healthy for your brain’s functions. With over 40% of its mix as low-glucose oats, Huel manages to help you feel full without overloading your calorie intake.
Exante features a unique blend of Slendesta and Digezyme, which keeps you from feeling hungry for at least three hours. This meal replacement shake is high in protein but is only 110 calories per serving. This meal replacement solution can also work as a supplement to meet your caloric or protein requirements.
With over 26 vitamins and minerals, this product also comes in a variety of flavors to keep things interesting. You may create a shake with one scoop of Exante and 80 ounces of water or as the base for a smoothie or protein shake.
5. Labrada Whey Protein Meal Replacement Shakes
The Labrada meal replacement shake comes with 35 grams of protein per serving, which makes it perfect for anyone looking to look lean. Labrada is available in over eight flavors and comes with 22 vitamins and minerals to help you meet your nutritional needs.
Whether it’s for someone looking to get trim or even maintain their physique, Labrada makes use of whey protein which ensures you maintain your figure or reach the one you want. It is perfect for professionals on the go, athletes, students, and children (so long as their pediatrician approves), Labrada is a great quick and nutritious meal.
Hitting the gym after a long day at work can be an exhausting workout, and this lean body protein shake helps keep you from feeling depleted after.
6. Ripple Vegan Protein Shakes
When it comes to the best vegan meal replacement shake that comes in bottles, Ripple is among them. With 12 grams of protein, Ripple is a vegan meal replacement that is both lactose and soy free. Ripple also avoids the use of any nuts, so it’s also suitable for anyone with a nut allergy.
With 200 calories per serving, it comes with essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and magnesium. Ripple is perfect for anyone trying to lose weight, as it is dairy-free and comes in gluten-free options for anyone looking to stay trim or get additional nutrients. Besides this, you should also check out our article on the best vegan protein powders.
7. Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal is a meal replacement shake that comes with 44 superfoods as part of the nutrition plan. With 20 grams of protein per serving, this organically sourced meal supplement is suitable for anyone hitting the gym to burn off that winter weight.
Garden of Life comes from 14 organic grains, seeds, and legumes, which gives it over 21 vitamins and minerals to keep your body in tip-top shape. It also helps you feel full so you avoid overeating or having unhealthy snacks throughout your day.
8. Ensure® COMPLETE Nutrition Shake
This Ensure high protein nutrition shake is an excellent meal replacement for calories and protein. As anyone on the go knows, having a full meal in the morning is difficult when working with limited time.
Gluten-free meal replacement shakes like Ensure Complete Nutrition Shake help ensure you don’t feel bloated after consuming them. Besides this, it’s worth mentioning that it comes with a variety of vitamins and minerals like Zinc, vitamins A, B, C, and D, to help boost your immune system. This is suitable for even anyone who is lactose intolerant. This drink proves that you can have both protein and fiber in protein shakes and have them taste good.
Which Is Better for Your Health and Wellness?
It depends entirely on your fitness goals. Homemade shakes, while slightly more time-consuming, are easier to digest and less chalky to taste. However, if you’re someone constantly on the go looking to meet your full nutritional requirements, store-bought meal replacement shakes can help provide protein and iron to your diet.
If you’re looking to keep your breakfast nutritious and varied, looking at recipes is the best move. You can still add protein or additional nutrients using meal replacement powder alongside your existing meals.
Who Should Seek Meal Replacement Shakes?
Generally speaking, meal replacement shakes are excellent for anyone looking to control their intake or lose weight. Athletes, cyclists, mountain climbers, and even office workers can also benefit from their easy preparation and portability. For anyone looking to gain muscle, meal replacement shakes are an excellent source of protein when you include them alongside your existing meals.
Meal shakes are nutritious and as such, they are safe for pregnant women provided they have their doctor’s approval first.
Meal replacement shakes are excellent to stay fit on the go. While there is a common misconception that making use of meal replacements or supplements might make you lose weight, they can provide a healthy solution for anyone with a busy lifestyle.
Depending on your goals, it’s best to correspond with a physician, nutritionist, or pediatrician in the case of children, to ensure you meet your daily caloric requirements.
These meal replacement options are the best ones on the market and you will see for yourself how they work once you try them and add them to your lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do meal replacement shakes make you put on weight?
No, so long as you maintain a calorie deficit according to your metabolism. However, if you’re looking to gain weight, then making use of meal replacement shakes as supplements to avoid missing meals can help.
What are some of the bases for replacement shakes?
Traditionally, meal replacement shakes make use of dairy products. However, there are several vegans and gluten-free options available on the market that can help you meet your nutritional requirements.
What’s the best meal replacement shake for weight loss?
The best meal replacement shake for weight loss would be the Exante Meal Replacement Shake that’s low in calories but high in protein.
Is it OK to replace all meals with protein shakes?
Not at all! While protein shakes are excellent sources of protein, you still need to have a balanced diet and consume solid food for your overall health and well-being.
How many meal replacement shakes should I have a day?
It is advisable to have around 1 to 2 meal replacement shakes a day. That said, it’s important for you to consume solid food like vegetables and a variety of carbohydrates.