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Best Meal Replacement Shakes Reviewed For Lasting Hunger Relief

last updated Dec 03, 2019

Daily life is not getting any easier. It seems like each year brings a faster pace and more things to fit into each day. This increasing pace can make it hard to fit in basic meals let alone healthy meals. Anyone with a food restriction faces an even greater challenge as more and more of our meals are sourced for convenience. It is times like these where best meal replacement shakes can make the difference between rushing through every meal and shaving a few minutes off early in the day so someone can enjoy some relaxation in the evening.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

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Vega Essentials
98.5/100 our score
Materials
99
Portability
98
Value
99
Potency
98
Vega Essentials
Why is it better?

20g of Protein

10% Daily Value of Potassium

4g Fiber

Only 1g of Sugar

Certified Vegan

Gluten-Free

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Vega Essentials
Test Winner: Vega Essentials
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
45
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1000
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Materials Portability Value Potency By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
Materials
99 %
Portability
98 %
Value
99 %
Potency
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$34.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Materials
97 %
Portability
98 %
Value
98 %
Potency
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$15.98
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Materials
96 %
Portability
95 %
Value
97 %
Potency
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$49.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
Materials
94 %
Portability
95 %
Value
94 %
Potency
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$39.97
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Materials
92 %
Portability
91 %
Value
90 %
Potency
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$32.39
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Materials
89 %
Portability
90 %
Value
91 %
Potency
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$42.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Materials
88 %
Portability
89 %
Value
90 %
Potency
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$59.94
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Materials
87 %
Portability
88 %
Value
87 %
Potency
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$19.22
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Materials
83 %
Portability
84 %
Value
85 %
Potency
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$26.39
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.5
Materials
80 %
Portability
81 %
Value
81 %
Potency
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$33.74

Top 10 Picks

1. Vega Essentials

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
Vega Essentials
Amazon Link
Materials
99
Portability
98
Value
99
Potency
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$34.99
Pros:

20g of Protein

10% Daily Value of Potassium

4g Fiber

Only 1g of Sugar

Certified Vegan

Gluten-Free

Cons:

High Price-Per-Ounce Cost

Vega offers an assortment of shakes and mixes that many fitness enthusiasts expect from any company in this market. They stand apart, however, in that all of their products are formulated without the use of animals or their byproducts. They are a vegan-friendly company as their name implies and they are of the opinion that vegan products should be just as effective for their consumers as non-vegan products. A quick glance at their Essentials mix's contents list makes that clear. The product offers 20 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 10% of the consumer's daily value of potassium.

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Certified Vegan
Labels can be misleading, particularly on products sold in the United States. Vega, however, is not a company that likes to keep their customers in the dark. The statistics on their products are right there on the label as is the fact that the product is gluten-free. They took it one step further with the assertion that their product is vegan, however. They had the contents of their product certified so that their customers would be absolutely certain that the shake contains no animal products whatsoever.

10% Daily Value of Potassium
Potassium is an incredibly important component of a balanced diet. This is especially true for people who live an active lifestyle, yet few people know the effects that potassium has on the body. This often-overlooked compound helps reduce bloating and aids the body in producing its own proteins and amino acids. This, in turn, helps the consumer build muscle and stay leaner. Vega was clearly aware of these effects because each serving of their shake contains 10% of the consumer's daily value of potassium which sets people on the right path to get as much potassium as their body needs to stay lean and healthy.

Cost and Value
This is one of the most expensive products on the list when the price-per-ounce is compared. Vega's certification and gluten-free formula help to justify the high price tag, however. They are also one of the best sources of potassium on this list, which is an important consideration for anyone who may be lacking this crucial component elsewhere in their diet.

2. Slimfast Advanced Nutrition

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Slimfast Advanced Nutrition
Amazon Link
Materials
97
Portability
98
Value
98
Potency
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.98
Pros:

1g of Sugar

20g of Protein

Lactose and Gluten Free

6g of Carbs

Convenient Packaging

Cons:

Contains Artificial Sweeteners

Slimfast is quite possibly the most well-known meal replacement brands. Their products are sold nationwide as well as in many international markets. Skeptics claim that their reputation is simply built on the age of the brand but a closer look at their ingredients list reveals that their shakes truly are ideal as alternatives to standard meals. They offer a full 20 grams of proteins and only 6 grams of carbs as well as a single gram of sugar despite their delicious taste.

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1g of Sugar
Meal replacement shakes have to walk a fine line between tasting good and making sure that they aren't packing in sugar and carbs. It's a hard balance to achieve but Slimfast, one of the most recognized brands on the market, has seemingly perfected their formula to provide rich, delicious flavors without overloading their customers' sugar or carb requirements. This is done in part through the use of artificial sweeteners which some people cannot ingest. But for those who can, these shakes have only 6 grams of carbs and 1 gram of sugar.

Convenient Packaging
If someone uses shakes because they are always on the go, stopping long enough to measure and mix a shake might not be an option. These are the situations where Slimfast really shines. Their products are individually packaged and come in an array of flavors so that their customers can just grab one from the fridge on their way out the door without having to break their stride.

Cost and Value
Slimfast is a company known for affordable quality which is part of why they're carried by most major grocery stores. That value extends even further when they are ordered online because the customer is able to go directly to the source, so to speak. Their low price is not their only value, however. They are a convenient option for people who need to keep moving, even those with lactose and gluten-free diets. Both of these groups can struggle to find products that meet their needs and Slimfast's formula offers them a great option that really opens this product up to a wider market.

3. Complete Start Starter Pack

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Complete Start Starter Pack
Amazon Link
Materials
96
Portability
95
Value
97
Potency
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.95
Pros:

100% USDA Certified Organic

20g of Protein

12g of Fiber

Unique Flavors

Soy, Dairy, and Gluten-Free

Cons:

Relatively High in Carbs

Over 200 Calories

This Starter Pack is the only product sold by Complete Start and it is clear that they have poured their everything into it. The multi-flavored pack is USDA certified organic as well as free of gluten, soy, and dairy. Each packet is intended to serve as a complete breakfast and boasts 20 grams of protein as well as 12 grams of fiber to make sure that the consumer stays full without causing their bodies any distress. The set also comes with a brand-specific shaker bottle so that Complete Start's customers are ready to go as soon as their purchase arrives.

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100% USDA Certified Organic
More and more people are becoming aware that the food labeling system in America is not as clear as it should be. Some terms, such as "organic" or "100%" does not always mean what the consumer is led to believe they mean. Complete Start, however, went the extra step to earn their organic certification from the USDA. This certification is the closest that a product can come to prove without a doubt that their products are produced from organic materials.

Soy, Dairy, and Gluten-Free
Food allergies and sensitivities make eating infinitely harder and the difficulty only grows with each restriction. Complete Start was thankfully designed around the idea that as many people as possible should be able to enjoy the company's line of products. To that end, these mixes are soy, dairy, and gluten-free. Consumers with food allergies can rest a little bit easier knowing that an entire line of meal replacement products was designed with their needs in mind.

Cost and Value
These products are little tricky to pin down in terms of their price-per-ounce, but they measure up very well to their competition when the prices-per-unit are compared. Their variety of flavors, organic certification, and balanced blend of nutrients bring a lot of value to the table. The fact that they have been designed to function together and provide a rounded experience for the consumer is just the icing on the cake.

4. RSP TrueFit LeanProtein Shake

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
RSP TrueFit LeanProtein Shake
Amazon Link
Materials
94
Portability
95
Value
94
Potency
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.97
Pros:

Unique Flavors

160 Calories

25g Protein

12g Carbs

8% Daily Value of Fiber

Vitamin Fortified

Cons:

Contains Artificial Sweeteners

RSP's product line all centers around the idea of providing athletes and fitness enthusiasts with the supplements they need to stay healthy but that is the only thing that the company lets limit them. They offer a dizzying array of products to fit nearly any need and they do so without sacrificing quality. Their LeanProtein shake is a perfect example of this commitment to quality. Vitamin-fortified with 25 grams of protein, 8% of the consumer's daily value of fiber, and only 160 calories it is the perfect replacement for most complete meals.

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Unique Flavors
A company could produce the best shake in the world and it would still go untouched by the majority of consumers if it didn't taste good. There is a seemingly never-ending quest to find the perfect combination of ingredients necessary to create a protein-packed, low-calorie, low-carb shake that tastes good enough that people forget that's it's supposed to be a "health food". Most companies have addressed this issue by offering a few flavors for people to choose from in the hopes that one or two will be palatable or even tasty. RSP TrueFit followed the same model but their flavor choices are more unique than the standard vanilla, chocolate, and berry selections although they do offer basic chocolate and vanilla. They also offer gourmet chocolate, gourmet vanilla, and cinnamon churro flavors in addition to an unflavored that can be mixed with whatever the buyer wants in order to create their ideal shake.

12g of Carbs
One key to choosing a good meal replacement shake is to make sure that the amount of protein outweighs the number of carbs. Nearly every shake on this list gets the balance right and some do the job better than others. The LeanProtein shake not only has more protein than carbs but it also has the lowest carb count on this entire list. RSP TrueFit created their mix with only 12 grams of carbs which gives their customers the option to take a serious carb reduction or to fill that carb gap in with other sources.

Cost and Value
RSP TrueFit's unique flavors and low-carb formula comes with an unfortunately high price tag. Their cost-per-ounce is a little over double the average price for the products on this ist. The blend also contains artificial sweeteners which may deter some customers from giving this mix a try. That has not stopped it from gaining a popular and positive reputation, however. Many customers enjoy the product's unique flavors and the fact that it is so low-carb seems to make the price tag worth it.

5. Labrada Lean Body

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Labrada Lean Body
Amazon Link
Materials
92
Portability
91
Value
90
Potency
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$32.39
Pros:

40g of Protein

17% Daily Value of Potassium

5g Fiber

No Lactose

Gluten Free

Cons:

Over 200 Calories

Lean Body is a line produced by Labrada Nutrition. The line has everything from bars to powders to premixed drinks that are all designed to help their customers engage in a leaner lifestyle without depriving their bodies of necessary energy and nutrients. Their premixed shakes are some of the best-rated products on the line and for good reason. They are gluten and lactose-free without sacrificing rich flavor and a smooth texture. The shakes also contain 40 grams of protein which is double the amount necessary for them to be considered healthy and effective alternatives to meals.

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40g of Protein
Labrada knows what their customers need and they do not hesitate to provide it. Their pre-mixed shakes have double the suggested minimum amount of protein for a replacement shake, more than just about any other on this list. It is an ideal amount of protein for bodybuilders, those with a fair amount of muscle density that they must maintain, and anyone who needs an extra boost of blood sugar-stabilizing protein in their diet.

No Lactose
Premixed shakes can seem like a gamble for people who cannot stomach lactose. Dairy-based sugars like lactose are go-to's for any company that wants to give their product a thicker, sweeter, and creamier consistency. Labrada took an alternate route, however, and avoided lactose entirely in the creation of their Lean Body formula. This allows anyone with lactose intolerance to enjoy the benefits of this shake without risking complications later.

Cost and Value
Pre-mixed shakes might seem like they would be more expensive than unmixed powders, but Labrada certainly is not. It is the most affordable product on this list which earns it the title of "Best Value". Consumers do need to watch its calorie count, however. It clocks over 200 calories which makes it less than ideal as a snack or as part of a meal that includes any add-ons.

6. BSN Syntha-6 Whey

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
BSN Syntha-6 Whey
Amazon Link
Materials
89
Portability
90
Value
91
Potency
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$42.99
Pros:

22g Protein

Includes Amino Acids

Cold Stone Creamery Flavors

Cons:

High in Carbs

BSN's inventory centers on two markets: nutrition and first aid. They are a company that wants to make sure their customers have the necessary tools to keep moving and their products are designed to do just that. Their shakes cover a variety of consumer needs but their most popular is their Syntha-6 Whey Protein powder. The product comes in a variety of flavors based on Coldstone signature ice cream creations and includes a healthy dose of amino acids. Not only do their customers protect their muscle density with amino acids but they get a tasty treat in the process!

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Coldstone Flavors
If you have gone out for ice cream in the last twenty years, there is a good chance that you have made your way into a Coldstone. They are a one-of-a-kind shop with over a dozen flavors and a few dozen mix-ins that add up to a staggering number of combinations. Most people would not associate this level of sugary delight with a meal replacement shake, but BSN took the risk and it seems to have paid off. Their Coldstone-licensed flavors are a huge hit among consumers, hitting the sweet tooth hard while still keeping the consumer on track with a healthy mix of protein, carbs, fiber, and amino acids.

11g of Essential Amino Acids
Amino acids are one of the nearly unsung heroes of weight loss and bodybuilding. Serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts have long known that amino acids are essential for the body sculpting process but the information has not yet spread through the general public. Amino acids encourage the body to consume stored fat instead of muscle when it needs some energy which leads to a higher level of fat burn and a more defined muscle tone. BSN is a company well-aware of these benefits which is why they included more than 10 grams of essential amino acids in their Syntha 6 shake blend.

Cost and Value
The price-per-ounce of BSN's Syntha-6 is higher than almost any other this list has seen yet, but there's a fairly good reason for this. Their flavors of one-of-a-kind and their inclusion of amino acids gives them a fat-burning boost over most other mixes on the market. The formula is fairly high in carbs which is a big drawback for some. Others, however, will find the mix of protein and dessert-like flavors enticing enough to take the higher carb level into account while still going with the Syntha-6 blend.

7. MET-Rx Original

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
MET-Rx Original
Amazon Link
Materials
88
Portability
89
Value
90
Potency
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.94
Pros:

35g Protein

36% Daily Value of Potassium

3g Fiber

Aspartame-Free

Cons:

Relatively High in Carbs

Over 200 Calories

MET-Rx has the most well-rounded line of meal replacement products of any company featured here. Their customers can choose from canned or bottled goods, premixed drinks or dry powders, bars or tablets. The possible combinations for their products are nearly limitless which means that their customers can customize the combinations to fit nearly any fitness goal. Those just starting out or setting the foundation for their product selections will find the original premixed drinks to be the most versatile. They are aspartame-free, packed with over 30 grams of protein, and offer 36% of the consumer's daily value of potassium.

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Aspartame-Free
Aspartame used to be in everything but more and more people are steering clear of it. Some don't like the taste but others are out-and-out allergic to the stuff. It has been known to cause headaches, hot flashes, and upset stomach aches in those who have an allergy to it. And while it was once a go-to low-calorie sweetener for nearly every processed food on the market, MET-Rx has joined in the growing number of companies who refuse to use aspartame.

35g of Protein
MET-Rx Original has 35 grams of protein per serving. Given that the ideal minimum for a replacement shake is 20 grams per serving, this means that MET-Rx included over 50% more protein than most of their competitors which makes it an ideal product for bodybuilders or those who may not get much protein in the rest of their diet.

Cost and Value
MET-Rx does not come cheap. Their prices are among the highest on this list but the pre-mixed convenience and the staggeringly high protein count more than account for the price. The shakes also have more than 30% of a consumer's daily requirement of potassium as well as 3 grams of fiber. The downside, at least for most people, is that the shakes are over 200 calories each and they have a relatively high number of carbs. While this will help keep consumer full, it also means that the shakes are less suitable for snacks or as part of a larger meal.

8. Premier Protein Shake

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Premier Protein Shake
Amazon Link
Materials
87
Portability
88
Value
87
Potency
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.22
Pros:

30g of Protein

1g of Sugar

9% DV of Potassium

Kosher

Gluten Free

Cons:

Caramel Flavor Isn't Good

If Premier Protein's packaging looks familiar, it is likely because you've taken a peek at the nutrition shakes available at your local grocery store. They are one of the most widely-available protein supplement products on the market, known for their value and their balanced formulas. These shakes contain potassium, fiber, and protein at levels ideal for people on the go. They also taste good, which is not something every product on the market can lay claim to.

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Good Source of Potassium
Most people know that bananas are high in potassium, mostly thanks to a hit 80's movie franchise, but few people know what exactly potassium is good for. This important mineral is key to regulating fluid and acid balance in the blood as well as assisting the body in producing its own protein and amino acids. In short, it works to prevent bloating and helps the body generate amino acids and muscle so that a person can burn fat more easily. These pre-mixed shakes contain 9% of a person's daily value of potassium which is more than most people get without eating a balanced diet.

30g of Protein
The minimum 'ideal' amount of protein for a shake is 20 grams. This is enough for the body to generate and protect muscle which, in turn, helps burns fat and see exercise results more quickly. 30 grams, such as is found in Premier's products, can help a person feel fuller, longer while working to ensure that their blood sugar levels stay balanced which is key to both weight loss and the healthy functioning of the human body.

Cost and Value
These bottles are astounding affordable when the cost is broken down to the cost-by-unit level and the price is almost unbelievable. The high level of potassium and the easy-to-use premixed medium make them ideal for keeping one's energy up and hunger down while on the go all day. The product is also kosher and gluten-free which opens it up to a wider market range of consumers and gives them the same benefits and ease of use.

9. Orgain Organic Protein Powder

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Orgain Organic Protein Powder
Amazon Link
Materials
83
Portability
84
Value
85
Potency
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$26.39
Pros:

21g of Protein

0g of Sugar

Gluten Free

Kosher

Vegan

Cons:

Taste Can Be Bland

Orgain functions under the guiding principle of "clean nutrition" and every product in their inventory strives to support that ideal. From protein bars and powders to a variety of shakes, their products can be used to reach nearly any fitness and nutrition goal. The company also made sure that their product was open to a wide range of customers, some of whom are often overlooked. Their organic protein powder is vegan, kosher, and gluten-free per the product's label. It is also a great source of fiber that comes in several delicious flavors.

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0g of Sugar
Most people need a little bit of sugar now and then. Whether that sugar comes from fruit, dairy, or a refined source is mostly beside the point. Some people, however, cannot tolerate a high level of sugar or they prefer to get their sugar from a very specific source. Those looking for a zero-sugar meal replacement shake should look no further than Organi. Their zero-sugar formula has been reviewed for taste and effectiveness and received excellent comments on both fronts.

Kosher
Kosher foods appeal to a particular niche market but that doesn't make them any less important. Certain foods are made kosher as a matter of routine. More obscure substances such as meal replacement shakes, however, are rarely produced in a fashion that holds with the requirements to be termed kosher. Orgain is one of the few companies to step up to that plate and knock it out of the park with their organic protein powder.

Cost and Value
Orgain is, by far, one of the most affordable companies on this ist. Their price-per-unit is fantastically affordable and the customer gets a huge shot of value for the price. Not only is this powder kosher, but it is vegan and gluten-free as well. It has zero sugar, seven grams of fiber and a whopping 21 grams of protein.

10. Garden of Life Organic Meal

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.5
Garden of Life Organic Meal
Amazon Link
Materials
80
Portability
81
Value
81
Potency
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$33.74
Pros:

Multiple Flavors

120 Calories

Contains Probiotics

Gluten-Free

Vegan

Cons:

Taste Can Be Bland

Garden of Life is one of the most aptly-named companies on this list. They have a vitamin or supplement to fit nearly every need, dietary restriction, and health goal that their customers may have. They also have several shake mixes but their organic mix is one of their most popular.
Their mix contains only 120 calories, a full 20 grams of protein, and probiotics. The product is also gluten, nut, dairy, and soy-free though not all of their products are designed for such a wide range of dietary restrictions. Not everyone is a fan of the taste, but as this writer can personally attest, the product keeps you feeling full and energized for hours without hitting you hard in the calorie count.

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Contains Probiotics
This benefit might be a little controversial but it bears mentioning all the same. Many people are adamant about the benefits of probiotics. Proponents of the compounds promote them as a way to aid digestion and reduce unwanted effects such as bloating and constipation. The science on the topic is still out, unfortunately, and some people actually find that they have negative side effects such as an upset stomach after they consume probiotics. If they are even half as effective as their proponents claim, however, probiotics are an outstanding addition to any shake mix.

Gluten-Free
There are several groups of people who label themselves "gluten-free" and each has their own reason. Whether they avoid the compounds for training purposes or because of a sensitivity, gluten-free people often take their commitment to avoiding the substance very seriously. It can be hard to do since gluten has been added to more foods over the last few decades, but they can rest easy with their Garden of Life meal replacement shake. The company assures its customers that it is absolutely gluten-free and safe for use.

Cost and Value
Meal replacement shakes are best compared through their price-by-ounce rather than their overall price since containers sizes can vary so widely. Garden of Life's price-per-unit is fairly high but that price tag packs an amazing punch. Their product is free of almost all allergens, safety tested, and available in several flavors so that consumers can find the one they like best. The product mixes easily with almost any liquid and has fewer calories than just about any other mix on this list while providing a full 20 grams of protein.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Protein
Protein is the one ingredient on this list that just about everyone knows to look for. It is essential for the creation and maintenance of muscles and helps people feel fuller when they eat. Protein has also been identified as one of the substances that can help keep blood sugar levels even throughout the day so that the body does not have to deal with the strain of drops and peaks. This blood sugar maintenance helps to keep the body running smoothly while also aiding in weight loss, in part because a balanced blood sugar level leads the body to understand that it does not have to store sugars for later. Shakes should have at least 20 grams of protein per serving and must contain more protein than carbohydrates to discourage the body from storing the carbs as fat for later use.

Carbs
The human body might need more protein than carbs in order to function ideally but carbohydrates are still an important part of our diet. Some people prefer the effects of ketosis which are achieved by cutting out all carbohydrates. This is a process that should only be undertaken with the help of a doctor or nutritionist, however. For those who still partake in carbs, it is best that their shakes have no more than 15-18 carbs per serving. This is just enough to complete the necessary functions but, in most cases, not enough for the body to store it as fat.

Portability

These shakes are most often used by people with fast-paced schedules or whose schedules don’t give them time to sit and enjoy a meal when they most need one. Most products on the market are designed with this group of people in mind, but some were not. Some shakes are part of complete systems that require their users to eat and drink at specific intervals that might not be possible for busy people to remember. Those sorts of products were deliberately left off this list to highlight products that were both beneficial and portable.

Value

Meal replacement shakes are more than just a way to drink your meal on the go, rather than sit at a table with it. They are a way to ensure your body gets the nutrients and energy it needs to function as well as it can. These products can also help fill in the gaps that sometimes happen in a person’s daily diet. Their efficacy, however, is dictated by how well they provide these essential building blocks of a balanced diet.

A strange trend recently has been to view fiber as something only older people need to be concerned with. In reality, most people are not consuming as much fiber as they should be. This can lead to bloating, digestive issues, and even unnecessary weight gain. Certain foods like bran, vegetables, and even avocados have a high level of fiber that can help the body process food more efficiently. When meals are replaced with shakes, it is important to ensure that the shakes help their users meet the daily recommended serving of fiber so that their body continues to process foods as it should.

Amino Acids
Some of the shakes on this list contain amino acids and, more specifically, some contain BCAA or branch chain amino acids. This substance encourages the body to consume stored fat instead of stored muscle when it runs into a calorie deficit during the day. The final outcome is that the body burns stored fat at a faster rate without losing muscle mass or density

Potency

The flavor is one of the biggest factors that determines if someone will use the product they buy. Since preferences vary from person to person, shakes that offered multiple flavor options were favored more highly than those that only offered one option. Regular shake drinkers are also quick to point out that this variety is important because every company on the market has at least one flavor that is terrible. If that’s their only flavor, the product itself is unusable. The products on this list all have at least two flavors if they have any flavor at all which gives consumers the ability to find a taste option to suit their needs and preferences.

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Replacing Several Meals a Day

Only a nutritionist or doctor can answer this. As a general suggestion, however, it probably isn’t safe. The human body is complex and requires a wide array of minerals and nutrients in order for it to function properly. Shakes can replace one or two meals, but it is probably still best to sit down and eat a non-liquid meal at least once a day unless there are health complications that restrict you to a liquid diet

Meal Prepping Shakes

The shake will separate overnight but as long as it is mixed again in the morning, it should be fine. Although most of these products are dairy free, it is also important to mention that any shake mixed with milk should be refrigerated overnight. This also holds true for shakes mixed with fruits or vegetables.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

These shakes were once hard to find but they have become so prolific in the last twenty years that finding them is no longer an issue. Finding a good one, however, can take a fair amount of time and research. This list, however, did some of the legwork ahead of time so buyers could streamline their own personal selection process.

Each person has their own unique needs that will change what they look for in a shake but there are a few key points that most trainers and nutritionists agree on. The first and most important point is that the amount of protein must outweigh the number of carbs. This helps keep users fuller longer and protects people from blood sugar dips that can cause health, focus, and weight loss issues depending on their severity. It is also important to ensure that shakes have at least 20 grams of protein per serving in order for the person drinking it to receive the full benefits. Other important factors can include whether the shake is vegan-friendly or gluten-free, the amount of fiber it contains, added amino acids and probiotics, and the variety of flavors that users can try.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Should I be worried about heavy metals?

a:

This has been a hot-button issue for a few years now and the short answer is ‘no’. Most – if not all – of the meal replacement shakes on this list are tested for safety before they hit the market. There are also strong indicators that the source of the “heavy metal” accusations made them based on bad science. Consumers should always check to make sure their products are safety tested first, of course. But there is likely no more danger of heavy metals in any of these shakes than in a standard carton of eggs or a box of crackers.

q: Can these products be part of a larger meal?

a:

They can, but the meal has to be balanced. Adding one of these drinks to a “normal” breakfast will cause someone to consume more calories than they would have otherwise, in addition to higher numbers of both carbs and sugars. If someone wants to add one of these products to a more rounded meal it is best to keep the additional food light and healthy. Some suggestions would be fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, cheese, or a lean protein such as fish or chicken.

q: Can I add fruit, yogurt, etc to these shakes?

a:

Absolutely! Any additions to the shakes will change the number of calories or the amount of sugar, however. Some users suggest mixing a “snack size” portion – usually about a half-serving – and then adding in the fruit or yogurt so that the final product is not too thick of calorie-heavy.

q: What can I mix the powders with?

a:

This really depends on personal choice as there are few base drinks that would not mix well with these powders. Milk tends to be the go-to medium and most of these powders have been mixed with cows’ milk, almond milk, and soy milk depending on the dietary needs of whoever is making them. Water is another option, particularly for those who do not want a thick shake or the additional calories that come with any kind of milk.