Healthiest Meal Replacement Shakes – November, 2018 Reviews & Buyers Guide

Meal replacement shakes work as an alternative to other meals. Like all dietary supplements, meal replacement shakes are not the ultimate nutrition panacea. However, they do offer great benefits including weight loss and improved metabolism. Whether you take most of your meals on the go or simply want an effective solution for weight loss, meal replacement shakes are great options. They eliminate the concern of creating a balanced meal that does not overdo calories. Meal replacement shakes help to fuel the body and help you to stay lean. Here are some of the best meal replacement shakes on the market.

Types of Meal Replacement Shakes

There are two main types of meal replacement shakes: liquid and solid. It is advisable to consider usability when shopping for meal replacement shakes. Although it is relatively easier to consume liquid meal replacement shakes, solid shakes provide more satiety and often mimic normal eating patterns making them ideal for weight loss programs. However, the market is flooded with a whole range of milk replacement shakes. Choose one that fits your budget, taste, schedule, and body.

Meal Replacement Shakes and Weight Loss
Some meal replacement shakes are packed in cans while others are in powder form that can be mixed with water or milk. Top meal replacement shakes contain up to 400 calories and significant amounts of proteins, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Therefore, meal replacement shakes are great options for getting healthy and having low-calorie meals on the go. However, the nutrient composition of meal replacement shakes varies considerably.

Meal replacement shakes can help you avoid unhealthy meals. They are portable and convenient, which is why they are effective in helping you resist the temptation to eat unhealthy foods. One of the biggest challenges many people face when it comes to losing weight and eating healthy is finding time to prepare healthy meals. Busy or stressed people find it much easier to grab processed, convenient foods or junk foods than to prepare healthy meals. Meal replacement shakes eliminate this problem because they are easy to drink or eat on the go and are much healthier than junk and processed foods.

Meal replacement shakes have more benefits than just losing weight. However, they should not replace normal meals altogether and should only be used to supplement meals. Replacing normal meals with meal replacement shakes could cause metabolic disorders. However, supplementing normal meals with replacement shakes helps to promote insulin and leptin production as well as lower the risk of developing metabolic disorders. In general, meal replacement shakes are effective in weight loss and hormone balance.

Meal replacement shakes help to keep you lean and fit. This is great for overall health and for people who work jobs that require them to be nimble and light on their feet. High-stress environment often takes a toll on the body, which may result in weight gain. Therefore, meal replacement shakes have great health benefits that should not be taken for granted.

Proteins
Meal replacement shakes have two main types of protein: whey and soy. Although the two are quite similar in effectiveness, they taste quite different. In general, whey protein has a distinct vanilla flavor while soy protein has a strong nutty flavor. In addition, many people consider whey protein shakes much smoother than soy protein shakes.

Cost Savings
One of the main challenges that people face when they are in a meal replacement plan is finding the right foods as healthier foods are often quite expensive. In fact, junk foods are quite cheaper than healthy foods. In addition, healthy foods often take time and effort to prepare. Junk foods encourage many people to forsake their health for convenience. This is one of the main reasons why many people consider meal replacement shakes healthy alternatives to traditional meals. The shakes provide all the health benefits of low-calorie diet plans while lowering the cost associated with eating healthy.

Meal Replacement Shakes and Blood Sugar
Both liquid and solid meal replacements shakes have positive effects on blood sugar levels. Maintaining blood sugar at healthy levels helps to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, it minimizes weight gain with time. Meal replacement shakes also help to body fat, which promotes cardiovascular health. In addition, the shakes have anti-cancer effects including suppressing tumor growth and the growth of cancer cells. Meal replacement shakes contain casein, which is slowly digested. This is desirable for people with weight loss goals who want to achieve satiety for longer. However, it may be problematic for older or sick people with slow or impaired gastrointestinal systems.

A considerable advantage of meal replacement shakes is that they allow you to continue snacking, eating or drinking even when you are on a weight loss diet. While it may sound too-good-to-be-true, snacking on a planned schedule does not result in significant weight gain. This means that you do not have to limit yourself to skipping meals, which is great news for people who love to snack. Contrary to the common misconception, meal replacement shakes provide some freedom when it comes to food choices and eliminates the pressure of trying to figure out a healthy meal or snack. Being overly restrictive with your diet may lead you to question whether it is all worth it, which is not what you want to do if you are looking for sustainable health improvement.

Do Not Believe Everything on the label

Meal replacement shakes are classified as supplements and should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the FDA is not as thorough when testing meal replacement shakes as it is with normal food. Like other supplements, meal replacement shakes are tested by third parties. Therefore, their nutrient claims may not match the actual ingredients. Consider buying meal replacement shakes whose calories from fat, proteins, and carbohydrates match the total calories marked on their nutrition panels. Remember, the FDA allows a 20 percent margin of error on calories and nutrients.

Some meal replacement shakes have potential negative health effects. Be careful when buying shakes that claim to boost energy or contain a list of herbal ingredients. While there are some top brands, others contain herbal supplements that may interfere with medications or interact with foods you eat on your normal diet. For instance, shakes that contain bitter orange can boost the stimulating effects of caffeine, which may lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Always try to find out what you are putting in your body to ensure your safety.

Some meal replacement shakes contain multiple servings. This means that you may be eating double or triple the calories throughout the day. Some shakes are taken in small portions, which often lead to greater hunger or lower satiety. If your meal replacement shakes leads to more hunger, it means you might be tempted to eat more throughout the day, which may ultimately lead to weight gain.

Body Composition Changes

Some meal replacement shakes are eaten with the hope of building up lean body mass or reducing body fat. Without the discipline to establish and stick to an exercise routine, your body will have no choice but to store the extra protein you eat. This may not lead to muscle gain. However, some meal replacement shakes are designed to retain muscle mass even when you lack exercise. Meal replacement shakes can be incredibly effective in reducing fats and building lean muscles if combined with a good exercise regimen.

Healthiest Meal Replacement Shakes

Our Favorite
This shake provides up to 20 percent of the daily needs for vitamins and minerals. The major drawback of this shake is that it contains hydrogenated oil, which is a source of trans fat.
$82.08
Highest Rated
MET-Rx Original Whey Protein Powder, Great for Meal Replacement Shakes, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Extreme Chocolate, 2.54 oz. Packets, 40 Count
This shake offers raw, vegan, and certified organic meal replacement with a blend of more than 30 superfoods mixed in. It is considered a great option for people who have deficiencies in the rest of their diet.
$59.99
Highest Quality
Huel Starter Kit - Includes 2 Pouches of Nutritionally Complete 100% Vegan Powdered Meal, Scoop, Shaker and Booklet (7.7lbs of Powder - 28 Meals) (Vanilla)
This meal replacement shake is packed with lots of essential nutrients and ingredients. A significant advantage of this shake is its 1:1 ratio of protein and carbohydrates.
from $159.99
Iconic Grass Fed Protein Drinks, Chocolate Truffle (12 Pack) | Creamy, Low Calorie, High Protein Shakes | Lactose Free, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Kosher | Low Carb Snack & Breakfast Drink | Keto Friendly
This shake is packed with lots of proteins and vitamins. It is more like a protein powder that is infused with vitamins. It meets 100 percent of your dietary needs for vitamins.
$33.99
Slim Fast Advanced Nutrition High Protein Ready to Drink Meal Replacement Shake Variety Pack
This meal replacement shake has a lot going for it. It is packed with proteins and is one of the most affordable meal replacement shakes on the market. In addition, it is full of flavor and has a nice aroma.
$45.50
Soylent Meal Replacement Shake, Cafe Coffiest/Cafe Mocha, 14 oz Bottles, Pack of 12 (Packaging May Vary)
This is not just a meal replacement but also a food replacement shake. It is designed to meet all your dietary needs. When it comes to micronutrients, this shake leaves no stone unturned.
$39.00
LABRADA - Lean Body Ready To Drink Protein Shake, Convenient On-The-Go Meal Replacement Shake for Men & Women, 40 grams of Protein – Zero Sugar & Gluten Free, Chocolate (Pack of 12)
This is a meal replacement shake that targets fitness enthusiasts. It balances amino acids to deliver some of the most effective protein sources including milk protein and whey protein isolate.
$28.90
LYFE FUEL Meal Replacement Shakes - Essential Nutritional Shake Made With 25+ Superfood Ingredients, Low Carb Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder & Organic Greens - Keto (Vanilla Chai, 24 Servings)
It contains high quantities of nutrients including protein, vegetable and fruit powders. Its protein blend has multiple sources.
$42.95
Kate Farms Komplete Vanilla Meal Replacement Shake, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free, Organic Plant Protein Ready to Drink, Case of 12
This meal replacement shake is super underrated considering its smooth blend of clean proteins and other nutritious ingredients. This shake delivers significant amounts of proteins with every scoop.
from $42.93
Chocolate Plant Protein and Meal Replacement Shake | 310 Shake is Gluten and Dairy Free, Soy Protein and Sugar Free | Includes Recipe eBook | 28 Servings
It contains low quantities of sugar, yet is quite tasty thanks to one of its key ingredients, Stevia extract. It contains just the right amount of ingredients to help you with your weight loss goals.
$69.99

Ample Original Formula Shake

This is another meal replacement shake that is loaded with vitamins. It is made from a blend of dairy-derived proteins in concentrate form. In addition, it has enough fiber content to meet the daily-recommended fiber needs of both men and women.

This shake provides up to 20 percent of the daily needs for vitamins and minerals. The major drawback of this shake is that it contains hydrogenated oil, which is a source of trans fat.

Pros and Cons

  • High fiber content
  • Loaded with proteins and other nutrients
  • Great tasting
  • Supports lean muscle growth
  • Filling for longer
  • Low Carb-Soy, gluten, GMO-free
  • Easy to digest
  • Organically sourced ingredients
  • Mixes well
  • Convenient packaging
  • None
See Product Details on Amazon

Met-Rx Meal Replacement Shake

This shake offers raw, vegan, and certified organic meal replacement with a blend of more than 30 superfoods mixed in. It is considered a great option for people who have deficiencies in the rest of their diet. This shake is packed with high quantities of fruit and vegetable powders that can help you fill the nutritional gaps. It is a great choice for vegetarians and vegans thanks to its high concentration of b12 vitamins.

In addition, it has a high protein content, and fiber content that actually exceeds many other meal replacement shakes on the market. This shake does not contain artificial sweeteners. However, it tastes great because it contains the natural sweetener, Stevia. If your diet usually skews towards organic and vegan, you will find great solace in this shake. However, its texture tends to get a bit lumpy and grainy. Therefore, you should drink it right away.

Pros and Cons

  • Packed with lots of nutrients
  • Delicious taste
  • Low fat
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Vegan-friendly
  • High fiber content
  • Does not contain artificial sweeteners
  • Tastes great
  • Tends to be a bit grainy when left for a while
See Product Details on Amazon

Huel Starter Kit

This meal replacement shake is packed with lots of essential nutrients and ingredients. A significant advantage of this shake is its 1:1 ratio of protein and carbohydrates. Many users consider this shake an excellent example of label-focused meal replacement shake because it hits all the required vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. This shake is basically raw multivitamins packed with protein as well as a blend of concentrate and isolate.

Although this shake is rich in protein, its protein content is actually lower than its fat and carbohydrate content. This is a valuable feature of a meal replacement product because it provides balanced nutrition and enhanced glycogen enhancers for people who exercise often. In addition, this shake actually tastes good and has a pleasant texture. It will keep you full for hours and is quite affordable. It does not require lots of work or extra ingredients to prepare. It has moderate fiber content and low sugar content. However, the shake does not include quick absorbing carbohydrate.

Pros and Cons

  • Nutritionally complete
  • Made from real food
  • High in protein and fiber
  • Low glycemic index
  • Vegan and vegetarian-friendly
  • Pleasant texture and tastes good
  • Easy to prepare
  • Contains artificial sweeteners
  • Does not contain quick absorbing carbohydrates
See Product Details on Amazon

Iconic Meal Replacement Shake

This shake is packed with lots of proteins and vitamins. It is more like a protein powder that is infused with vitamins. It meets 100 percent of your dietary needs for vitamins. However, the protein and vitamin content does not go above and beyond.

In addition, this shake contains probiotics to aid digestion, fiber, and flaxseed in low concentrations. Unlike many meal replacement shakes, this product does not contain soy protein.

Pros and Cons

  • High quality
  • Low sugar
  • Delicious
  • Easy to digest
  • GMO-free ingredients
  • Filling
  • Relatively more expensive than other shakes
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Slimfast Advanced Nutrition

This meal replacement shake has a lot going for it. It is packed with proteins and is one of the most affordable meal replacement shakes on the market. In addition, it is full of flavor and has a nice aroma.

The shake’s texture is quite smooth making it easy to take. Although the shake has a high protein content, it has relatively lower fiber content than other shakes on the market. In addition, it contains artificial flavors.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Curbs hunger and cravings
  • Great taste
  • Does not contain common allergens
  • Low fiber content
  • Contains artificial flavors
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Soylent Meal Replacement Shake

This is not just a meal replacement but also a food replacement shake. It is designed to meet all your dietary needs. When it comes to micronutrients, this shake leaves no stone unturned. You can literally leave on nothing but Soylent meal replacement shake. However, it should not be used for long-term sustenance because it is loaded with carbs and sugar.

In addition, the shake has lower fiber content than other shakes on the market. This meal replacement shake is ideal for your first meal of the day because it is loaded coffee powder, which is high on caffeine.

Pros and Cons

  • Ready to drink
  • Nutritionally complete
  • Affordable
  • Convenient packaging
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Does not cause jittery effects of coffee
  • Low fiber content
See Product Details on Amazon

Labrada Lean Body

This is a meal replacement shake that targets fitness enthusiasts. It balances amino acids to deliver some of the most effective protein sources including milk protein and whey protein isolate. A considerable disadvantage of this shake is that it contains artificial sugar.

In addition, it is not the ideal option for vegans. However, it has high protein and fiber content. In addition, the shake is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Pros and Cons

  • Builds lean muscles
  • Nutritionally complete
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Free of allergens
  • Convenient packaging
  • Contains natural sweeteners
  • Not suitable for vegans
See Product Details on Amazon

LyfeFuel Meal Replacement Shake

This shake has a “shotgun approach” with a long list of ingredients. It certainly does not lack when it comes to the breadth of ingredients. It contains high quantities of nutrients including protein, vegetable and fruit powders. Its protein blend has multiple sources.

In addition, the shake’s vegetable and fruit powder provide high quantities of potassium and fiber. Its wide array of ingredients is designed to boost digestion and enrich the body with all the nutrients it can obtain from a healthy diet.

Pros and Cons

  • Nutritionally complete
  • Tastes great
  • Non-gritty
  • Easy to digest
  • Low glycemic index
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Vegan-friendly
  • None
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Kate Farms Complete Vanilla Meal Replacement Shake

This meal replacement shake is super underrated considering its smooth blend of clean proteins and other nutritious ingredients. This shake delivers significant amounts of proteins with every scoop.

In addition, it provides whole food nutrition and digestive enzyme support. The sources of ingredients include sweet potatoes, buckwheat, corn fiber, and oats.

The corn fiber is low glycemic probiotics fiber, which helps to boost digestion by improving gut bacteria. This shake is an excellent option for athletes who focus on eating clean and hitting their protein targets.

Pros and Cons

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Low glycemic index
  • Keeps you satisfied for longer
  • Encourages cell growth and repair
  • Free of common allergens
  • No added chemicals or additives
  • Tastes great
  • Not suitable for non-athletes
See Product Details on Amazon

310 Meal Replacement Shake

This shake is packed with vegan pea and a blend of superfood powders making it the ultimate clean-ingredient choice. It provides proteins and fiber to keep you feeling full for hours. It also contains low quantities of sugar, yet is quite tasty thanks to one of its key ingredients, Stevia extract. It contains just the right amount of ingredients to help you with your weight loss goals.

In addition, this shake meets the 50 percent recommended intake of vitamins and minerals from food powders instead of artificial sources. This shake is a great choice.

Pros and Cons

  • Contains superfoods
  • Clean ingredients
  • Will keep you full for hours
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Does not contain artificial sweeteners
  • None
See Product Details on Amazon

Conclusion

Research findings support the use of meal replacement shakes as effective and healthy means of losing weight and overall health improvement. It is advisable to exercise caution when choosing your product to ensure that you choose the right one. In addition, enjoy your shakes in moderation with balanced meals and a good exercise routine.

Our choice for healthiest meal replacement shake is Ample original formula meal replacement shake. This product delivers a perfect balance of essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, carbs, and caffeine. In addition, this shake tastes good; you can drink it simply for pleasure while appreciating the fact that it contains the nutrients you can obtain from a healthy meal. A single bottle is packed with proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, calcium, magnesium and potassium. In addition, one bottle of Ample original formula meal replacement shake will keep you feeling full and with lots of energy for many hours.