Best Meal Replacement Shakes for 2018
If you want to stay or get fit, but you run a busy life, the Best Meal Replacement Shakes are worth considering. And contrary to what many people think, meal replacement shakes are not scams, at least not every one of them. If you pick carefully, you can find one for yourself, that will meet all of your nutrient needs. In this guide, we will explain to you how to do it, so read on.
What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?
As their name suggests, the primary purpose of these shakes is meal replacement. But, the original reason why people want to replace their meals with liquids is losing weight, but, they can also help adding weight. Meal replacement shakes are carefully blended, providing you with all needed ingredients one balanced meal needs to contain.
Most overweight people got there by not having a healthy diet. Let’s face it; it is hard to eat correctly, especially if you live on a tight schedule- it is much easier to order a pizza than to cook a meal. Meal replacement shakes override this- you can carry a healthy “meal” in your bag, and you will never have excuses for junk food again.
They are beneficial for gaining weight too- it is much easier to drink extra calories, even if you are not hungry (that is why sodas get people fat, the brain does not recognize them as food, even though they have more calories than most solid foods).
Meal Replacement Shakes vs. Protein Shakes
Meal replacement shakes are not protein shakes, this is something that is often confused. Yes, every balanced meal contains protein, but it has far more than that. The main purpose of protein shakes is adding or maintaining muscle mass, so they are meant for people who visit the gym frequently, and for athletes. You will hardly find many obese people who are Instagramming protein shakes, and you will hardly find a curl-head who promotes low-calories meal replacement shakes.
There are exceptions, but generally speaking, these two shake types serve different (opposite) purposes. Protein shakes are primarily designed for adding muscles, they only provide you with protein, and are not a complete meal. Meal replacement shakes are designed to be a total meal replacement and are mostly used for losing weight. But, since they are made to substitute one full meal, you can add them to your diet, in order to gain weight- it’s much easier to drink a shake, that to continue eating solid foods when you already feel full.
Are Meal Replacement Shakes Better Than a Healthy Diet?
Nothing beats a healthy diet, and that is the only truth. That is only if you are able to follow one. In truth, most people think that their diet is better than it actually is, and are always wondering how they are not losing weight.
Here is a simple test- for one week, write down what you eat (use a mobile app; the phone is always with you anyway). Keep it simple, don’t count calories, just write something like “2 eggs and bacon”. After one week, review your weekly intake, and most likely, you will get some unpleasant surprises- a lot of pancakes, pizza, fast-food restaurants, late-night fridge binges.
Nobody is perfect, but if you are not happy with your looks, and serious about losing weight, you need to replace some habits. Switching only one junk-food meal with a healthy shake will put you in a caloric deficit, and you won’t feel hungry. Before you know it, you will start trimming down. And if you want to add some weight, nothing is easier than adding a caloric shake between your two regular meals.
Choosing a Meal Replacement Shake
To completely replace a healthy meal, your shake should contain:
- Protein- we explained how a protein shake should not be confused with a meal replacement shake, but that does not mean your MRS should not contain protein, on the contrary. Proteins are the fundamental building block of your muscle growth (combined with working out of course). Also, unlike carbs and fat, it is tough to convert protein into body fat. But, even if you are not exercising (and you should!), proteins have other benefits too- protein-rich foods are heavy, and will leave you “full,” killing hunger, and reducing food cravings. You can’t go wrong with protein, the more, the merrier.
- Fiber- complex carbohydrates are not broken down that easily, which is a good thing. They stay in your digestive tract for longer, meaning you will feel full for longer. Also, they improve your digestion, since your bowels have to work a lot harder to break them down. And the fact they are harder to break down means your body will spend even more calories to process the fiber- a hidden weight-loss benefit. Try to get a shake that contains fiber, not just simple carbs.
- Vitamins and Minerals- essential for any proper diet, you want your shake to contain many vitamins. But, look for A, C, B, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc. Just don’t go too far, read the labels, and don’t go above the daily recommendations (consider your other meals and supplements as well).
You don’t want your shake to contain:
- Too many calories- every food has calories, but if your goal is to lose weight, you need that caloric deficit. Quality shakes, rich in fiber and protein, will keep hunger away for longer, opt for those.
- Too much sugar- sugar is the number one reason why most people get fat in the first place. Your shake needs to taste good, so you don’t avoid drinking it, but try to keep sugar to a minimum- that’s just empty calories. Artificial sweeteners are not suitable either, as little as possible is the best option.
- Highly-processed ingredients/Preservatives/GMO/gluten/lactose/soy- depending on your (in)tolerance, you will want to avoid some of those ingredients. You want your shake as natural as possible, but you can’t expect too much- we are not talking about raw food here, shakes are a healthy alternative to an unhealthy meal, but they are not miraculous.
5 Best Meal Replacement Shakes
SlimFast will provide everything a healthy meal should contain. Each recommended, 8-ounce serving has 200 calories and should satisfy your hunger, most of the time. But these are all high-quality calories we’re talking about- 10 grams of protein, combined with 5 grams of fiber and 24 vitamins and minerals to boost your energy and trigger fat-burning. In fact, every 8 oz serving contains ⅓ of your daily recommended dose of minerals and vitamins, making this shake an excellent choice for a high-quality diet. SlimFast has an outstanding ingredient balance and will help you lose weight.
SlimFast has an exceptional taste, and this is, if you ask us, probably the best tasting shake we’ve tried. Taste is vital- if shakes taste great, you are more likely to drink them, and we think you’ll love this one. It can also go into regular meals, as an ingredient, it tastes that good. Just watch out for total calories, and your recommended daily intake, if you want to lose weight.
On top of the great taste, and excellent formula, SlimFast is clinically proven to benefit losing weight- more than 50 independent studies witness this fact. The first results should be visible after one week of regular use.
- Good formula
- Splendid taste
- Clinically tested
- Some people don’t feel full after drinking it
If you are looking for a great meal replacement shake, IdealShake is, well, ideal. It has balanced ingredients- the right ratio of proteins, fat, and carbs. But there’s more- ingredients are not only balanced but of highest quality. Proteins you can find in IdealShake are all whey. Whey is the best source of protein, and it is the one bodybuilders use, proven to be the best for muscle building. Every serving has 11-12 gram of 100% whey protein.
Furthermore, this shake only contains 2 grams of sugar and has a lot of healthy fibers, and 20+ minerals and vitamins. All this has just 100-110 calories per serving. So little calories mean you can have more than one during the day, without feeling too guilty! But the high amount of protein and fiber will block off hunger, and you will feel satisfied for up to three hours. Yes, you will be able to drink one shake, which only contains 110 calories, and you won’t feel hungry for up to three hours.
IdealShake comes in 18 excellent tastes, and most likely you will find one that suits you. As noted, it only has 2 grams of sugar, so every taste is a good option.
- Whey protein
- Low sugar
- Great formula
- Taste complains
Click Coffee Protein Drink Mix is a great combination- protein-rich meal replacement and a double espresso in one package. This makes it a perfect breakfast replacement, killing two birds with one stone- hunger and sleepiness. You will feel both full and energized. Since it’s caffeinated and contains protein, you can drink Click prior, or after your workouts.
This shake has natural flavors, colors, and contains zero gluten. The protein used to make this shake is highest-grade and is digested slowly, making you feel full for longer. Every serving contains 15 grams. 23 essential vitamins and minerals will help you maintain a healthy diet. Only 120 calories per serving, and will meet ⅓ of the daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals it contains.
It is important to note that Click shake does not contain coffee flavor nor synthetic caffeine- it has real, premium-grade double-shot espresso coffee. You can actually feel the taste of real coffee. Caffeine alone is known to trigger fat burning, suppress appetite, and will help you on your weight-loss journey.
- Protein-rich meal and coffee replacement
- Premium espresso coffee
- Only 120 calories per serving
- Not for you if you are caffeine intolerant, or for replacing dinner
LABRADA NUTRITION – Lean Body
If your main criteria when judge meal replacement shakes is the amount of protein they contain, consider Lean Body- you will hardly find a shake that includes more. This shake is made by Labrada, a company well-known in the supplements industry, which has been around for a while, 30+ years.
In each serving, you will get 35 grams of both slow and fast releasing protein, keeping you full for longer, but also providing a steady stream of amino acids, adding your muscle growth and recovery. The high amount of protein will help you add muscle mass, but will also trigger fat loss.
Besides protein, Lean Body contains 7 grams of Glutamine, which will help up muscle recovery. Also, it has 7 grams of dietary fiber, good for GIT health. It has a recommended 50/30/20 protein/carbs/fat ratio like every ideal meal should have. Lastly, it contains 21 vitamins and minerals, to complete your diet. It contains no artificial colors, preservatives, aspartame, and trans-fats. Lean Body received numerous awards for its great taste and is a real crowd favorite.
- 35 grams of protein
- Excellent taste
- Promotes muscle-building
- Calorie-heavy- be careful if your primary goal is losing weight
Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake
Ensure Plus is another popular option, and Ensure is a trusted company, making nutritional supplements for more than 40 years.
This shake favored for containing a reasonable amount of protein (13g), and 26 vitamins and minerals, 350 calories, keeping you full and energized for an extended period. It is filled with antioxidants and omega three acids, to promote a healthy heart. This is a strong, calorie-rich shake, perfect for people who need increased strength throughout their day.
Ensure is a brand recommended by many doctors, suitable for seniors too, boosting energy and promoting appetite, gaining or maintaining a healthy weight. And you don’t have to worry if you are gluten, or lactose intolerant, Ensure Plus is both lactose and gluten free.
This shake also comes pre-made. You don’t have to bother making it yourself, just put it into your bag, and enjoy. Tastes excellent, and you can choose chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or butter pecan flavors.
With rich ingredients, and high amount of calories, Ensure Plus will help you add weight real fast- and with 13 grams of protein, you will build some muscle too.
- 350 calories keeps you full for hours
- 13 grams of protein, 26 minerals, and vitamins
- Recommended by doctors
- Suitable only for adding weight, since it has so many calories 20 grams of sugars
The Top Meal Replacement Shakes market is saturated. There are some excellent options, but there are also a lot of bad ones. In this article, we tried to help, giving you advice so you can choose the best shake for your needs. We also gave five recommendations. You can’t go wrong with either of those, but if we have to pick the best one, that would be IdealShake (CHECK BEST PRICE HERE).
IdealShake has 11 grams of the best quality protein, whey, low sugar, and is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It only has around 100 calories per serving, and that is why it is the ultimate option for losing weight. But because it is rich in protein and fibers, you will feel full for longer. Yes, some people complain about the taste, but since you can choose from 18 different flavors, you will definitely find one that you will love.