Meal replacement shakes are designed as a substitute for solid food. The shakes are well formulated to deliver just the right amount of calories and other nutrients. However, the nutrient composition will always vary depending on the specific shake you are using.
For instance, a shake designed to promote weight loss may have lower calories than one that’s meant for athletes and bodybuilders. Meanwhile, medically prescribed shakes can have specific hard-to-acquire ingredients that are required to treat a particular condition.
Meal replacement shakes come in different forms. Some are sold in ready-to-drink bottles. In other cases, all you get is a powder that you’re supposed to mix with water to form the shake.
But, why exactly would one want to use a meal placement shake? How does it make sense to buy these shakes instead of a solid meal?
Benefits Of Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes are very popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. However, these are not the only groups that can benefit from the shakes.
Meal replacement shakes are recommended to everyone for various reasons. These include:
● They Are Convenient
Meal replacement shakes are very convenient to use. As we’ve already mentioned, some of them come in ready-to-use form. Even the powdered form is still more convenient to prepare than a full meal.
Therefore, meal replacement shakes are a great option when you are pressed on time. They will deliver the nutrient you need pretty fast.
That’s another reason why physicians also recommend a replacement shake instead of skipping your meals entirely.
● They Support Weight Loss
Meal replacement shakes are widely used for weight loss. They help users reduce their calories consumption without starving completely. Some shakes are also high in fibers which help users feel full for a longer duration.
This means you’ll eat less food, and that directly reduces your overall calorie consumption.
However, a few trials report that the weight loss from meal replacement shakes is usually not long-term. Therefore, you can’t rely on the shakes alone if you are looking for sustainable results. You’ll need to make adjustments to your lifestyle in general.
Also, you must look for meal replacement shakes that are specifically formulated for weight loss.
● They Support Unique Nutrient Needs
Meal replacement shakes can also help you meet unique nutrient needs. For instance, athletes and bodybuilders usually have a high-calorie consumption requirement. Sometimes the requirement is so high that relying on solid food alone is not practical.
Meal replacement shakes are usually a lifesaver in such situations. They will help you get the calories you want without preparing and biting solid food throughout the day.
The shakes can also be very useful for individuals with certain medical conditions. If the condition requires you to take certain nutrients that are hard to acquire through dieting, your doctor can help you find a suitable replacement shake.
Best Meal Replacement Shake
You should know that meal replacement shakes have different nutrient compositions. Therefore, the “best shake” will always vary depending on what you hope to achieve with the shake.
Having said, here are the top three meal replacement shakes and what they can help you achieve:
1. HLTH Code Complete Meal
HLTH Code Complete Meal is formulated by a licensed doctor to give you all the nutrients you need in a convenient and tasty way.
It contains lots of crucial nutrients, including apple cider vinegar, grass-fed collagen, omega 3s and 6s, healthy fats, proteins, and fibers.
It also packs 25 vitamins and minerals added to as much as 50% DV!
The nutrient content is also spot on. For instance, it does deliver some carbs, but you only get 4 grams which are enough for key body functions but not too much to cause unwanted weight gain and other issues.
Note that this meal replacement shake does not contain GMOs or any artificial ingredients.
How to use
Just put a scoop into your bottle and add some water. Shake the mixture properly before drinking.
It comes in creamy vanilla and chocolate macadamia flavors, making it really easy to down.
You can also prepare this shake with a different recipe but monitor the items you are adding closely. You don’t want to ruin the complete meal with unnecessary fats and cards, do you?
2. Kaged Muscles Clean Meal
Kaged Muscles Clean meal is a great meal replacement shake for weight loss. It contains 21 organic vitamins and minerals, 28 grams of whey protein isolate, 18 grams of clean carbs, 6.5 grams of BCAAs, and some organic quinoa, Swedish oats, and fats from coconut MCT oil.
Clean Meal doesn’t contain any artificial additives. Not colors or sweeteners. It’s as clean as the name suggests and packs all the right ingredients to support your weight loss efforts.
Moreover, it’s known for boosting strength, thanks to the presence of whey protein. So even athletes and fitness enthusiasts will find it very useful.
It’s worth pointing out that Clean Meal is third-party tested. Therefore, its safety and overall efficacy are not a matter of guesswork. The formula has been proven by independent laboratories.
How to use
Mix two scoops of Clean Meal with 10 to 12 ounces of cold water. If you want an extra boost, mix three scoops with around 13 ounces of cold water.
The premium meal replacement shake comes in two flavors; snickerdoodle and vanilla cake.
3. Ample Complete Meal Shake
Ample Complete Meal Shake is one of the best plant-based meal replacement shakes out there. It will help you stick to your organic or vegan eating habits while ensuring you are getting all the necessary nutrients.
It contains all the needed macros. You’ll get 23 grams of carbs (11 of which are fibers), 25 grams of fat, and a whopping 270 grams of proteins.
The shake will also boost your gut health, thanks to the six strains of probiotics included in the formula.
Additionally, it contains some key electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins, plus foods and greens that deliver antioxidant protection.
The Ample Complete Meal Shake is also a favorite among most athletes because it burns fat, supports muscle synthesis, and curbs cravings.
How to use
Add 6 to 8 ounces of water in your shaker bottle containing 1 to 3 scoops of Ample Complete Meal Shake. Shake the mixture thoroughly before drinking.
Besides water, you can mix the powder with coffee, milk, and other drinks. You can even use it in smoothies. Just make sure the drink you choose is not negatively interfering with the nutrient content of the powder.
Ample should be used once or twice per day. Preferably to replace breakfast and/or lunch.
It is available in chocolate and vanilla flavor.
How To Choose A Meal Replacement Shake
There are hundreds of meal replacement shakes out there. Picking one product from these options can honestly be very overwhelming. That’s especially true when you consider that different shakes are formulated for different purposes. In other words, nutrient content varies greatly from one shake to the next.
So, if you’re in the market looking for the ideal meal replacement shake for you, you’ll need to consider the following factors:
Physicians recommend using a replacement shake containing about 300 calories per serving. Most shakes have around 200 to 400 calories, so this shouldn’t be a big problem.
Meal replacement shakes with fewer calories won’t be able to replace an entire meal to avoid such shakes.
Fibers are important for digestive health. They also promote the absorption of nutrients. Therefore, it’s good to use a shake with sufficient fiber content – 3 to 5 grams of fiber, to be precise.
Fiber is also essential if you are looking for a weight loss meal replacement shake. It will keep you full to reduce your calorie intake and boost weight loss.
Proteins, just like fibers, can keep you feel full and reduce snacking. They’re, therefore, very useful in a meal replacement shake.
Ideally, you should get 15 to 30 grams of protein in each serving.
Carbohydrates are useful for a healthy body. After all, they are responsible for fueling the body.
However, too many carbs are also problematic. So you need to strike the right balance in between.
Dieticians recommend getting around 10 to 15 grams of carbs per serving. Avoid going beyond that.
Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function optimally. You must get Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
There should be at least 10% DV of each vitamin and mineral included.
The ideal meal replacement shake does not contain more than 15 grams of fat in each serving.
The quantity aside, you also need to look at the type of fat present. Stick to shakes containing unsaturated fats. Try and get some Omega-3s.
With the right meal replacement shake, you’ll never have to skip a single meal. These shakes deliver the desired nutrients through a tasty and easy-to-prepare drink. Moreover, they can promote your overall well-being as well as your fitness goals. In other words, there is a perfect meal replacement shake for whichever lifestyle you’re living. So, pick your preferred product from the options discussed above or use our guide to find the product you want from the market.