Even if you have the best intentions, there will be days when you just can’t manage to eat a healthy, balanced meal. If you’re short on meal prep time, it can be hard to find time to even sit down and eat.
An easy way to make sure you’re getting enough nutrition when you’re short on time is to drink a meal replacement shake.
This ensures that you are getting the right amount of calories, protein and nutrients even when you are very busy. Meal replacement shakes can be a quick and easy meal when you don’t have time to cook.
A meal replacement shake does not always have to replace an entire meal. If you’re feeling hungry, a small piece of fruit can be a good snack or addition to a meal. Pay attention to your body to see what it needs.
Meal Replacement Shakes and Your Health
Healthy meal replacement shakes can be a good option on the go, depending on which one you choose, says Amanda Nicole, RDN, a registered dietitian in Los Angeles.
Protein shakes are not as nutritionally complete as eating solid foods.
Some store-bought shakes contain high levels of sugar, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols. If you consume a shake with a lot of sugar, it could make your blood sugar levels go up and then fall down quickly. This will give you a quick release of energy, but you’ll feel tired not long after.
be aware that artificial sweeteners can change your taste preferences over time, making you want more sugary foods. If you’re used to the high level of sweetness from artificial sweetener, naturally tart foods will taste more bitter to you. If you are used to the taste of artificial sweeteners, healthy snacks like fruits will be less likely to satisfy your sweets cravings.
In order to find a meal replacement shake that is good for you, look for one that is low in sugar, sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners.
If you’re short on time, a shake could help give you the energy you need to make it through the rest of your day.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to miss a meal with friends or family to have a shake.
Here are the meal replacement shakes, plus how to make it into a nutritious meal:
Purium’s L.O.V. Super Meal
This protein shake can be used as a meal replacement or as a snack.
- 190 Calories
- 20 g of Protein
- 9 g of Dietary Fiber
- No Added Sugars
L.O.V. Super Meal is organic, vegan, nutrient dense meal that is made from 36+ superfoods that include green foods, veggies, mushrooms, sprouts and more. Not only that, it is gluten-free, soy-free and caffeine-free.
Contains: Vitamin A, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Selenium, Manganese, Vitamin C, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Copper and Chromium.
- Supports Healthy Immune Function
- Supports Healthy Digestive Function
- Great source of Protein and Essential Fatty Acids
Comes in two flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla Chai
Evolve Plant-Based Protein Shakes
This product is excellent for people who are following a vegan diet, are celiac, or lactose intolerant.
This shake, made from peas, contains 20 grams of protein and is dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free, so it can meet many different types of dietary needs.
Grab it in vanilla or double chocolate.
This shake contains 20 grams of grass-fed milk protein, 4 grams of fiber, and no sugar, making it a good choice when you’re in a hurry.
Even though this drink is full of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12, it is very low in fat. It is also only 140 calories, so you will need to eat something else with it to stop feeling hungry.
The news is that the protein in the product is lactose-free, so it will not upset your stomach if you are sensitive to milk products.
Soylent Meal Replacement Drinks
The fiber content is low, you may need additional fiber from other sources to make you feel fuller.
The vegan-friendly meal replacement shakes from Soylent are full meals in themselves, coming in at 400 calories each. If you’re ever in a pinch and don’t have time for breakfast, these are a great, convenient option.
One shake contains 20 grams of protein, three grams of fiber, and large amounts of vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and other nutrients.
Ripple Nutrition Protein Shake
Pure Protein Meal Replacement Shakes
Many people love Pure Protein shakes because they offer a good amount of protein (30 grams) for only 140 calories and one gram of sugar.
However, these drinks lack both fiber and fat, so you may want to drink one with a snack on the side for a more complete meal.
They come in satisfying flavors like cookies and cream, peaches and cream, chocolate, vanilla, and more.
Après Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes
This protein drink, made from coconut oil and coconut water, contains 15 grams of protein and can help to curb hunger. It is a perfect drink to have on the go.
This meal replacement shake contains a blend of pea protein, chia, and hemp. This blend provides a complete amino acid profile.
If you have no time for an actual lunch a protein shake that you can drink between meetings can be the solution.
You can’t just have a meal replacement shake by itself and expect to be healthy. Meal replacement shakes can provide you with excellent nutrition that you may be missing if you are not eating a balanced diet.
The number of calories a person needs varies greatly depending on factors such as height, weight, activity level, age, and health goals.
Most shakes only have 150-300 calories, so you might need to eat other food with it, unless you are trying to lose weight.
Shopping for a protein shake? A good rule of thumb is to find one that has 15-20 grams of protein, more than 5 grams of fiber, and 10-15 grams of unsaturated fat.