Meal replacement shakes or drinks have already been around for decades ago. As time goes by, these drinks are getting better and better. You will never have to settle for weird and distasteful drinks just to stay healthy, lose weight, or build muscles because, nowadays, there are already a lot of options and flavors to choose from.
With this, choosing the best meal replacement shakes for your weight loss journey or healthy lifestyle could be daunting as there are a lot of meal replacement shakes in the market. That is why we have come up with this review and highlighted the best replacement shakes to help you narrow down your choices. We also include a buying guide so that you will be able to choose what is best for you.
Table of Contents
What are Meal Replacement Shakes?
Meal replacement shakes are substitutes used to provide the nutrition of a complete meal. Instead of having the usual rice, bread, pasta, or processed foods, people consume these meal replacement shakes for weight loss purposes by suppressing your appetite like a full meal does or just simply to do away with fast or processed foods. This can be in a form of bottle, can, or powdered form that can simply be mixed with water or milk.
How to Use Meal Replacement Shakes?
Again, meal replacement shakes work as a substitute for a full meal. So, instead of taking the usual breakfast, lunch, or dinner, people just take meal replacement shakes and feel satiated until the next mealtime.
There are meal replacement shakes that are already ready to drink. Some prefer it cold, so they usually place it in the fridge and just grab one when they need to. Other meal replacement drinks come in powder form. With this, you need to add it to a glass of water or milk, add the recommended scoop, and mix it well. You can also use a blender to shake it well. Some would even recommend adding fruits or vegetables to make it more delicious and nutritious. So, this meal replacement shakes are not only nutritious but are also easy to prepare with, perfect for people who are always on the go yet still want to gobble on a nutritious meal.
Best Brands of Meal Replacement Shake
As aforementioned, there are already a lot of meal replacement brands in the market nowadays. So, we have highlighted the top 15 brands of meal replacement shakes that most people love.
1. 310 Shake
With 310 nutrition’s 310 Shake you can enjoy all the nutrients of a full meal with only 90 calories. This plant-based shakes have 5 different addictive flavors that will help you enjoy your weight loss journey. This meal replacement shake is made of premium ingredients packed with all the nutrients that your body needs. This replacement solution is sugar-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, perfect for all the body-conscious and lactose intolerant.
- Sugar-free and low carb
- Can be mixed with other ingredients
- Keep satiated for several hours
- More flavors to choose from
- Chalky and gritty after-taste
The Lady Boss Lean is a delicious high-quality meal replacement shake that will help you in your weight loss journey. This premium weight-loss shake is packed with all vitamins and minerals that will keep your body grooving while shedding those unwanted fats. In addition, it will also help curb up your sweet cravings, which is one of the leading factors that cause weight gain. This drink is rBGH free, Soy Free, and Gluten Free which is perfect for you.
- Great taste
- Doesn’t have any stomach issues
- No after taste
- Nice consistency
- Has hidden sugar
- Too much sweet
Herbalife is a nutritious and delicious meal substitute that has all the essential vitamins and nutrients in an enhanced formula based on scientific research. It also contains Aminogen, papain, and bromelain to help aid in protein digestion. It has 5 flavors to choose from – French Vanilla, Allergen-free Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Wild Berry, and Piña Colada.
- Taste good
- Can be mixed with other ingredients such as milk and fruits
- Quick and easy preparation
- Help curbs appetite
- Doesn’t fully satisfy you
Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein is a meal protein replacement shake that has the purest form of whey protein that exists nowadays. Although they are a bit costly, they are among the best proteins which give good value for your money. This offers 24 grams of protein each serving to support muscle building and decrease unwanted fats. This can be easily mixed in a shaker or glass. It has over 5g of Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine and more than 4g of Natural glutamine and glutamic acid per serving.
- Tastes okay
- Easy to prepare
- Has loads of protein
- A bit expensive
Available in creamy chocolate and vanilla cream, SlimFast is a great-tasting solution fortified with all the essential nutrients that produce energy while making you lose weight at the same time. This is an advanced nutrition meal replacement solution that helps curbs hunger for up to four hours. It contains 20 grams of protein with less sugar and about 24 essential nutrients that sustain your body for hours. Plus, it also contains 5 g of fiber which aids in digestion. This meal replacement drink has been recognized as one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss.
- Taste good
- Thick and smooth consistency
- Keeps satiated for 3 hours and more
- Easy to blend
- Advertisement doesn’t correspond with the ingredients on the can
6. Ideal Shake
The Ideal Shake is a deliciously smooth tasting replacement shake that contains 2 g or less of sugar and 11-12 g of whey protein only for 100-110 calories. It also has 5g of dietary fiber and 22 vitamins that make you feel energized, stronger, and healthier for a full day ahead. Plus, you can whip this up in just seconds, perfect for a grab-and-go drink to start your day. You can enjoy a dessert-like drink while losing weight with its different flavors to choose from – chocolate, mint chocolate chip, mocha, cookies n’ cream, vanilla salted caramel, and strawberry.
- Taste great
- Helps curb appetite
- A lot of flavors to choose from
- Smooth and nice consistency
- Low sugar content
- Gritty or chalky taste
7. Vega One
This protein powerhouse is everything you want in one scoop, perfect to start your day. Available in different flavors: chocolate, cholate mint, mocha, French vanilla, vanilla chai, plain unsweetened, coconut almond, and berry, you will never feel like you are starving yourself from all your cravings. This all-in-one replacement meal has all the protein, probiotics, antioxidants, omega 3s, vitamins and minerals to keep your body always on the go. This fortified drink is USDA certified organic and vegan certified. Plus, it is low glycemic and free from gluten, soy, and dairy ingredients.
- Can be mixed with fruits for extra taste
- Help curbs sugar cravings
- Great taste
- perfect for vegans and lactose intolerant
- New version has high salt content and too much sweet
- Heavy metal content
Orgain Organic is a naturally smooth and delightful meal replacement drink with 7 grams of organic fiber and 21 grams of organic fiber per serving. This drink is USDA organic, soy-free, and gluten-free and is also perfect for people on a vegan or kosher diet. You can mix this with milk, water or your favorite protein shake for a quick healthy meal. This is the cleanest protein packed with complete Amino Acid that you will ever crave.
- Ease of mixing
- No stomach issues
- Fair priced
- Contents inside are only half full
- Chalky after taste
Soylent is a complete substitute meal that is not only sustainable and satisfying but also affordable. This is a ready-to-drink meal that is perfect if you don’t have the luxury of time to prepare a hearty and healthy meal or even to eat. This complete meal is packed with 20 grams of plant protein and 36 essential nutrients to keep you on the go throughout the day. plus, you get to burn your carbs without sacrificing your taste buds.
- Good taste
- No strong smell or taste
- Contains a good amount of calories
- Ready to drink
- Help curbs cravings
- A bit expensive
10. Premier Protein
Enjoy this Premier Protein as a grab-and-go breakfast, a healthy afternoon snack, or a pre- or post-workout drive. They are fortified with 30 grams of protein and complete amino acids, 24 vitamins and minerals, 1g sugar, 5g carbs all in 160 calories. This premier meal replacement shake has no artificial coloring and soy ingredients.
- Packed with all the necessary nutrients
- No artificial coloring
- Soy-free and gluten-free
- Ready to drink
- A bit expensive
11. Pure Protein
Pure Protein lets you enjoy a healthy and nutritious meal replacement shake with all its delicious taste. this Frosty chocolate shake is loaded with 4 grams of carbs, 35 grams of protein, and a good amount of calcium. This Frosty Chocolate shake provides you with 35 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, and an excellent source of calcium. Plus, this has low sugar content yet tastes amazing. This is perfect for busy professionals or students who don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal.
- Taste pretty decent
- Lots of protein without too much sugar
- Ready to drink
- Can be brought anywhere
- Slight metallic taste from the can
- A bit pricey compared to powdered meal replacements
12. Isagenix Shake
The Isagenix Shake is a healthy and nutritious meal replacement that is clinically tested to promote healthy weight loss and muscle building. It has low-glycemic content with 24 grams of high-quality protein. This is also fortified with all the good fats, branched-chain amino acids, enzymes, and vitamins and minerals to nourish your body for a full day’s work. This is an all-natural drink that doesn’t contain artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors.
- Tastes good
- Can be mix with other drinks
- Easy to mix
- Great consistency
- Keeps you full until the next meal
- Clumps of powder are present upon mixing
Huel has been one of the most trusted and popular meal replacement shakes for years now. It is available in 4 different flavors: Gluten-free – unflavored, unsweetened, gluten-free Vanilla, Vanilla, Unflavored Unsweetened. This vegan replacement shake is packed with 27 essential nutrients, 7.9 g of fiber and 29.6 g of protein. It is designed to give your body all the nutrients it needs, making it a perfect long-term meal replacement substitute.
- Taste is not too sweet nor bad
- No known side effects
- Doesn’t make you feel hungry for hours
- No stomach or bathroom problems
- cheap, quick, and easy meal replacement
- Something wrong with consistency not water-soluble
14. Garden of Life
Garden of Life is an on-the-go replacement shake that contains 20g of plant protein and 6 grams of fiber to aid in the digestion of protein. This drink is perfect for post-workout recovery as it is loaded with clean and organic protein. Plus, it also contains about 21 vitamins and minerals to nourish your body. No worries, as this replacement meal is USDA certified organic, non-GMO project verified, and NSF gluten-free certified. You can have this meal replacement shake in 4 different flavors—chocolate, vanilla, vanilla chai, and lightly sweet.
- Tastes amazing
- Can be combined with almond milk or other fruits for added flavor
- Label looks nice
- smooth consistency
- Uses highest quality ingredients
- Issues of dangerous levels of heavy metals
Atkins is a keto-friendly meal replacement shake that is rich in protein to give you energy for a full day ahead. This is fortified with all the essential vitamins and minerals like that of a complete meal. This protein shake provides fast and effective weight loss by limiting sugar and carbs to help burn the extra fat for fuel and energy. In addition, Atkins is supported by over 80 clinical studies to ensure that the product suits your needs well.
- Great taste
- Nice filling
- Great for those on a low-carb diet
- Perfect for those who want to cut-off sugars
- Helps suppress appetite
- A bit expensive
Benefits of Meal Replacement Shake
Meal replacement shakes offer a lot of benefits, especially for those who are meticulous about what they eat or drink. These are some of the benefits of meal replacement shakes:
- Help avoid unhealthy meals
Most people tend to skip a homemade breakfast because they don’t have enough time to prepare a healthy meal or either they woke up late and are already in a hurry. Because of this, they are most likely inclined to grab a fast food meal on their way to work, which is not at all healthy. So, thanks to meal replacement shakes it is already possible to have a healthy meal even with time constraints.
- provide nutrients that may be lacking with traditional diets
Meal replacement shakes are intended to give you all the nutrients you get with a full meal even with a cut back on calories. These shakes are fortified with nutrients, fiber, protein, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
- Help lose weight faster
Cutting back on calories is the key to weight loss. But, it is very challenging to stick up with a low-calorie diet, especially if you feel hungry. With meal replacement shakes, you can still feel satiated while taking only fewer calories. A few studies suggest that substituting 1 or two meals with meal replacement shake could speed up weight loss.
- Some have high protein content which helps on weight loss
There are many replacement shakes nowadays that have high protein content. High protein could also speed up weight loss as this leads to greater satiety. One study also found out a high-protein diet can also curb up late-night cravings.
Other benefits that are associated with high protein diets are reduced body and belly fat, increased lean body mass, and improved weight maintenance.
What are the side effects?
Some people experience side effects due to meal replacement shakes. These are some of the common side effects of meal replacement shakes:
Especially for those who just started using meal replacement shakes, it is quite expected that some would experience diarrhea as this meal plan is something new to the body. However, in time, the diarrhea will lessen. Some would still experience this because of the fiber content of the drink. Especially the lactose intolerant, they will still feel stomach upset as their stomach cannot take milk and other soy derivatives well. So, it is best to choose carefully the meal replacement shakes if you have such a condition.
- Mild headaches or migraine
Some would experience occasional headaches or migraines with the consumption of meal replacement shakes. This is because some of these shakes contain traces of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, or other elements that can build up in the body. This can later on cause headaches or migraines.
It is usually common for meal replacement shakes to have diuretic properties in them that can increase urination or the urge to urinate. This, in turn, can cause you to feel nausea. So, it is best to drink lots of liquids.
Although these replacement shakes may provide nutrients like a complete meal, it is still not a meal. Your body will still look for the nutrients from food to keep your body working.
Just like any other stuff you buy, it is best to use a guide to choose which one works best for you. So, we have prepared this buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your choices with regard to meal replacement shakes. Here are the following factors you need to consider before you make a buying decision.
- Nutrient Profile
A good meal replacement shake is only good if it offers a complete nutrient profile. That is why it is very imperative to look at the labels at the back first before you buy a meal replacement shake. It is essential that the meal replacement solution that you choose has all the needed vitamins and minerals for a complete meal.
Also, with a nutrient profile, you must also check for hidden sugars or lead content which may harm you instead of making you healthier.
- Consider the Flavor
Although the flavor is not that important for some, but this can also be a factor in compliance with the regimen. Choose the meal replacement shakes with the flavor that you want so that you won’t feel that you have compromise your palate just to stay healthy. Some brands already offer multiple flavors to choose from. Test them out to see which one works for you and stick to it.
- Makes you feel full
The main point of meal replacement shakes is that it works like a complete meal with all the nutrients in it yet with lesser calories. So, it is important that the meal replacement shake that you choose will make you feel satiated until the next meal so that you don’t have the tendency to overeat which will defeat the purpose of the whole drink.
- Texture and Consistency
It is also important that you consider the texture and consistency of the meal replacement shake. Some might have a thicker consistency which will make you feel weird. So, choose a meal replacement solution with the texture and consistency that you want.
- Serving count
Lastly, take into account the number of servings you get for your money. Always check out the number of servings that the product offers and compare it with other options. This will help you get the best value for your hard-earned money.
Meal replacement shakes are a quick and healthy substitute loaded with all the nutrients of a complete meal. These will help you lose weight in a healthy way by reducing your caloric intake. We hope our article has helped you choose the best meal replacement shake that you think will work best for you. Stay Healthy!