11 Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes - Shakes Lab

11 Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes – Shakes Lab

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Last Updated on November, 2022

Meal replacement shakes can help you in various ways since they’re loaded with essential nutrients and are great for weight loss. They tend to have the same nutritional value as a balanced meal and come with various benefits that make these shakes worth trying.

But, a big reason why many don’t drink meal replacement shakes is their taste. Despite being suitable substitutes for a nutritious meal, these supplements sometimes taste plain awful. They can be chalky, bland, bitter, or straight-up nasty.

That’s not the case for all of them, though. Plenty of options have a great taste while featuring desirable benefits. If you’re interested, read through this list of the best tasting meal replacement shakes to find out more!

Editor’s Choice
kaged clean meal
Kaged Clean Meal
Ingredients
Taste
Price

5.0

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

#2nd Best Choice
HLTH Code Complete Meal
HLTH Code
Ingredients
Taste
Price

5.0

5.0

4.9

Overall Score

4.9

#3rd Best Choice
kachava meal shake
Kachava
Ingredients
Taste
Price

5.0

5.0

4.8

Overall Score

4.9

11 of the Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes

a human holding kaged clean meal
HLTH Code Complete Meals on the table
kachava products on the floor
sated complete keto meal shake on the table
transparent labs mrp on the floor
a human holding Instant Knockout Complete
a human holding orgain organic nutrition shake and orgain plant protein shake
katefarms nutrition shake on the table and a human touching it
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meals on the floor
310 Meal Replacement Shakes on the table
a human holding ample shake

BEST TASTING MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKES IN A NUTSHELL:

1. Kaged Clean Meal (Best Overall)

Kaged Clean Meal
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

Overall Score: 5.0

Meal replacements tend to be risky business at times. Some are strictly for athletes, while others are just bad because of their ingredients. But, Kaged Clean Meal is an option filled with nothing but the cleanest and healthiest ingredients, all while being suitable for most diets.

It’s an easy-to-make meal replacement shake filled with most macro and micronutrients you’ll need throughout the day. It’s designed to include everything you’ll need for weight loss and nutrients to help with muscle growth.

Featuring 21 organic vitamins and minerals and much more, it’s also got you covered in micronutrients. The best part is that all of this comes from whole food ingredients, making it a very healthy option that doesn’t have many side effects.

a human preparing kaged clean meal
a human holding kaged meal shake bottle

It’s also non- GMO and gluten-free, something that most people will appreciate. It prioritizes health, and despite that, it features an excellent taste while using healthy ingredients. As long as you follow a healthy schedule, it will help you lose weight and gain some serious muscle.

Finally, all customers will love Kaged’s value for money. The meal replacement shake is available at only $2.25 per serving if you have a subscription. Even without one, it’s still only $2.5 per serving, making it one of the most affordable options, despite its great benefits.

If it’s not clear yet, Kaged ranks first on our list with very good reason. All the options here taste really good, but Kaged is on the next level. On top of that, it has a nice selection of fun flavors, great nutrition, and provides exceptional value for money. What’s not to like about it?

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Kaged Clean Meal Chocolate Peanut Butter-flavored shake (240 Calories):

Calories: 240
Protein: 28 grams
Carbs (Sugar, Dietary Fiber): 18 grams (1 gram, 2grams)
Fat: 4.5 grams
Available flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla Cake, Snickerdoodle (Best flavor=Chocolate Peanut Butter)

Pros

Exceptional nutritional balance for weight loss.
Great value for money.
Comes in a nice variety of sweet flavors without excessive sugar.
Lots of protein in each serving without too many calories. Great workout drink.

Cons

Available only through the company’s official website.

2. HLTH Code Complete Meal (Fan Favorite and Equally Perfect)

HLTH Code Complete Meal
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

5.0

5.0

4.9

4.9

Overall Score: 4.9

HLTH Code Complete Meal isn’t called that just for show. It’s a complete meal replacement, with just about everything your body needs to grow healthier. While everyone has different needs regarding the human body, HLTH offers the whole package, perfect for just about anyone.

It comes with a massive macronutrient profile and isn’t lacking in micronutrients either. One of the biggest concerns people have while buying a meal replacement shake is the variety in all the nutrients offered. Well, it’s safe to say HLTH’s variety is good.

On top of all the essential vitamins, there are digestive enzymes, probiotics, Omega-3, and Omega 6. There’s also a healthy share of fiber. All in all, it’s a massive treat for your gut since it has most of everything you need to keep your stomach healthy.

Now, moving on to the things that it (thankfully) doesn’t have, I liked the complete lack of any GMOs or artificial ingredients. The formula is exceptional for anyone on keto and suitable for most others too. It’s one of my top picks for the best keto meal replacement shake because of this.

All the healthy ingredients and excellent nutrition make HLTH Code Complete Meal one of our favorite meal replacement shakes, not to mention the great taste. It’s also got more calories than some other options here. 

That, paired with the 9g of dietary fiber in this meal replacement shake, makes it very filling. No one wants a meal shake that’ll make them feel hungry again in a couple of hours, and it’s not something you have to worry about with the HLTH Code Complete Meal shake. It’s available at $3.33 a meal at the official HLTH website.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for HLTH Code Complete Meal Chocolate Macadamia-flavored shake (400 Calories):

Calories: 400
Protein: 27 grams
Carbs (Sugar, Dietary Fiber): 13 grams (2 grams, 9 grams)
Fat: 27 grams
Available flavors: Chocolate Macadamia, Creamy Vanilla (Best flavor=Chocolate Macadamia)

Pros

Very filling thanks to a relatively big calorie count and lots of fiber.
Great for anyone on a keto diet.
Exceptional for gut health thanks to its ingredients.
No artificial ingredients whatsoever.

Cons

The fat content in this might be too high for some.
Not much variety in flavors.

3. Kachava (Best Ingredients)

Kachava
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

5.0

5.0

4.9

4.8

Overall Score: 4.9

Kachava is one of the more premium options, one of the biggest names in the meal replacement shake scene. It’s been around for users and has built quite the reputation for itself, with good reason.

The fantastic taste aside, it’s another healthy meal replacement shake with some significant advantages. For example, you have the nutrition and benefits of over 85 superfoods and other organic goodies in this meal replacement. 

This includes organic brown rice protein, pea protein, plant-based protein, and many different fruits and vegetables. All of these combine to offer a diverse and helpful profile of macro and micronutrients.

It’s one of the best options for anyone who wants to go on a healthy diet, as it has all of this and no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. It’s also gluten-free and a completely vegan meal replacement shake, making it excellent for a vegan diet.

It’s big on healthy fat, antioxidants, and various adaptogens, making it suitable for the body in many ways. So, all in all, it’s a perfect package that packs a big nutritious punch. But, it does come with a hefty price tag, as it costs $4.66 a meal.

Additionally, one thing I like about Kachava is that it comes with a wide variety of tastes without using artificial flavors. This meal replacement powder is available in several delicious and sweet flavors while having fewer calories than most, which is impressive. Here’s a rundown of what these flavors and nutrients are precisely:

You can learn more about Ka’Chava meal shake HERE!

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Kachava Vanilla-flavored shake (240 Calories):

Calories: 240
Protein: 25 grams
Carbs (Sugar, Dietary Fiber): 24 grams (6 grams, 6 grams)
Fat: 7 grams
Available flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Coconut Acai, Chai, Matcha (Best flavor=Chocolate)

Pros

Lots of fun flavors to choose from.
Features a huge variety of organic ingredients.
One of the best options for vegans.
No artificial additives- all natural.

Cons

Very expensive.
Sugar content is a little high compared to other options.

4. Sated (Best for Keto)

Sated
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.8

5.0

4.8

4.8

Overall Score: 4.8

A big problem with going keto is that you have less variety to choose from, and even then, not everything is worth picking. But, this is where Sated comes into the picture. A tasty and balanced meal replacement with lots to offer for those on keto diets.

It’s a ready-to-drink meal replacement, meaning you don’t have to worry about servings or math like that. Just grab a container whenever it’s time to drink, and you’ll get a set amount of nutrients each time and many other benefits.

The fat-to-carb ratio is exceptional for anyone on keto. It’s a great drink to stay on the diet while getting much-needed nutrients in other regards, all while maintaining a good taste. What’s more is that the carbs inside are a lot more fiber than sugar, making it a very filling option that hits the spot whether you need energy or just something to curb the hunger.

One of the best things I appreciate about this shake is the micronutrient profile. A diet as restrictive as keto means that people often miss essential vitamins and minerals. As a result, they can often suffer from a lack of vitamin D or other nutrients.

But, Sated has 27 essential vitamins and minerals along with essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Paired with this drink’s decent amount of fiber, it’s exceptional for your body as it keeps you healthy and devoted to staying keto. Unfortunately, it’s not so beneficial for your wallet, costing $5 a pop, with a pack of 12 costing $60.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Sated Chocolate-flavored shake (400 Calories):

Calories: 400
Protein: 18 grams
Carbs: 17 grams
Fat: 35 grams
Available flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla

Pros

One of the very best options for keto.
Ready to drink, meaning there’s no need for preparation.
Less than a gram of sugar, and still tastes really good.
Outstanding selection of micronutrients for keto.

Cons

Since it’s RTD, you can’t tweak the drink by adding something more if necessary.
Contains milk and tree nuts. Some people might be allergic.

5. Transparent Labs MRP (Great Value)

Transparent Labs MRP
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.8

4.9

4.7

4.9

Overall Score: 4.8

This next meal replacement is from Transparent Labs. The reason why it’s called that is that the brand offers complete transparency and aims to provide effective formulas based on scientific research.

Something true, undoubtedly, is that many products like these use cheap or otherwise harmful ingredients as a shortcut. That way, they offer convenience by sacrificing quality. But, Transparent Lab’s MRP aims to provide both simultaneously by including nothing but natural and healthy ingredients.

You don’t have to worry about consuming any cheap junk. There aren’t even any artificial ingredients in the mix. Despite that, it tastes great and goes well with water or milk, meaning you can prepare a delicious meal replacement for yourself within moments that’ll also offer lots of benefits.

Moving on to these benefits, you can expect a filling serving with lots of nutrition each time. It’s high on protein, doesn’t have too many calories, comes with a decent portion of fiber, and is a treat overall for your body and your tastebuds.

I appreciate the healthy ingredients inside their formula and the exclusion of anything artificial. What’s more, all of this comes at a highly affordable price, with a serving costing just below $2.00. Unfortunately, there’s not much variety in flavors. At least the ones they have taste good, though.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Transparent Labs MRP Chocolate-flavored shake (220 Calories):

Calories: 220
Protein: 24 grams
Carbs: 19 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Available flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla (both are great)

Pros

An excellent formula featuring nothing but natural ingredients. Nothing artificial.
Tastes sweet and natural. Very delicious, despite a lack of variety.
Great option for most because of its low calorie and high protein amount.

Cons

Sugar content is relatively higher.
Only two flavors are available.

6. Instant Knockout Complete (Great for Weight Loss)

Instant Knockout Complete
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.7

4.8

4.8

4.7

Overall Score: 4.7

Most meal replacement shakes are used for weight loss, which is no secret. Lots of people drink them for their nutrition to cut down on needed calories and burn fat. Instant Knockout Complete kicks this up a notch by focusing entirely on helping you lose weight.

The entire formula boosts the weight loss process by giving you what you need to cut down on extra pounds and get into the shape you want. It also has loads of protein.

Compared to the other products, it’s a lot more suited to physically active athletes, regular gym-goers, or straight-up professionals. The nutritional quantity is excellent for all these people. It’s suited to their daily activities without being too much for their bodies to handle after regular consumption.

There are a lot of carbs for needed energy, a vast portion of protein, and a lot of fiber that pushes hunger away. All this combined helps you lose weight while giving you the fuel you need to stay active and burn fat while gaining some healthy muscle.

It’s also got vitamin D, A, E, and healthy fats like Omega 3 and 6, along with a lot more to offer, even when you don’t look at the macronutrients specifically. Chromium also boosts your mood to help you feel pumped for each workout/training session.

Another great thing about it is that it’s fit for vegans. A big downside is that it’s only available in vanilla flavor. A pouch of Instant Knockout Complete costs $59.00, which amounts to around $4.20 per serving.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Instant Knockout Complete Vanilla-flavored shake (400 Calories):

Calories: 400
Protein: 35 grams
Carbs: 35 grams
Fat: 13 grams
Available flavors: Vanilla

Pros

Easily one of the best options here for weight loss.
Perfect for anyone that works out regularly.
Very filling and curbs hunger for hours at a time.

Cons

I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone that isn’t too physically active.
Only available in one flavor.

7. Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake (For Ease and Convenience)

Orgain Organic
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.7

4.8

4.6

4.7

Overall Score: 4.7

Another ready-to-drink shake suited to a broader range of people, there’s a healthy option in Orgain Organic. This meal replacement shake is certified USDA organic and comes with all the nutrition most people would need from a drink like this.

All ingredients used are organic and completely healthy, and the certification proves it. It’s obvious why I like that so much, as everyone wants something they know is safe to drink, right? On top of that, it’s pre-made, meaning it does all the hard work for you.

Just grab a container and drink up to enjoy an excellent, balanced range of macronutrients and micronutrients. Filled with the goodness of 21 vitamins and minerals stemming from entirely organic (and delicious) fruits and veggies, it’s a blessing to your body’s health and tastebuds.

Unlike most other options here, Orgain Organic is a lot lighter in most ways. That doesn’t mean it’s a pushover, though. It features a healthy supply of whey protein and lots of carbs for needed energy. Something to watch out for, though, is that a good chunk of these carbs are sugars.

As for taste, it doesn’t get much better than Orgain. It comes in 4 delicious flavors that are all a treat to have. On top of that, it’s also really light on the wallet, coming at around $2.60 per serving.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Orgain Organic Nutrition Strawberries & Cream-flavored shake (250 Calories):

Calories: 250
Protein: 16 grams
Carbs: 32 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Available flavors: Creamy Chocolate Fudge, Iced Cafe Mocha, Strawberries & Cream, Sweet Vanilla Bean (Best flavors=Creamy Chocolate Fudge, Strawberries & Cream)

Pros

A convenient, RTD shake you can drink no matter how busy you are.
Something more up everyone’s alley thanks to it’s light but balanced nutrition.
Comes in 4 varied, delightful, and delicious flavors.

Cons

A lot more sugar than most want in their meal replacement.
People more physically active might prefer other shakes.

8. Kate Farms Nutrition Shake

Kate Farms Nutrition Shake
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.6

4.7

4.6

4.6

Overall Score: 4.6

Keeping things organic, next up is another all-natural option from Kate Farms. Their meal replacement shake is very similar to the one we discussed previously. It’s lighter, only features organic ingredients, and is ready to drink. But, one big difference is that it’s suitable for vegans.

It’s a USDA-certified organic meal replacement with a lot of daily nutrition. This includes 16g of organic pea protein and healthy micronutrients.

What I like about Kate Farms nutrition shake is that it takes certifications seriously, which is why it has more than other options here. Other than its USDA-organic certification, this product is certified Kosher. Gluten-free, and non-GMO. Paired with being entirely organic, it’s safe to say it’s a very healthy option.

The formula is also tweaked to be easy for digestion. Since it’s organic, you don’t have to worry about anything artificial messing with your health. Unfortunately, though, there is a lot of sugar in each serving. While it makes the shake very delicious, it might also be a deal breaker for some.

Generally speaking, Kate Farms nutrition shake is one of the more simple options here. It has a light, balanced nutrition, organic ingredients, many certifications, and not too many cons. However, something you might not be a massive fan of is the price, as it costs $4 per serving. While not too bad, it’s not exactly as affordable as other shakes, either.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Kate Farms Nutrition Chocolate-flavored shake (330 Calories):

Calories: 330
Protein: 16 grams
Carbs: 38 grams
Fat: 12 grams
Available flavors: Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla (Best flavor=Chocolate)

Pros

Suitable for vegans.
It comes ready-to-drink in containers, meaning no preparation is needed.
Has a lot of certifications, including a USDA-organic certfication.

Cons

Way too much sugar for some people.
More of a simple meal replacement than a workout drink like some other options.

9. Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement (Great for Vegans)

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.6

4.8

4.5

4.5

Overall Score: 4.6

Moving on with yet another organic option (what can I say? I like healthy shakes), there’s the Garden of Life Raw Organic meal shake. It’s USDA-certified organic and also has a certification for being non-GMO. On a note that’ll be pretty positive for some, it’s also certified vegan.

While organic, like the previous two products, it’s different from them because it packs a bigger punch. Garden of Life’s raw organic meal replacement shakes have lots of protein from entirely raw and natural ingredients.

On top of that, it’s a lot more varied in its micronutrient profile. With all the greens and fruit inside this shake, it has 21 whole food vitamins and minerals. Along with that, you’ll find digestive enzymes, probiotics, and healthy fat to go with it.

That’s not the only way it is good for the body. Most people with allergies will love to know that there’s no dairy, tree nuts, gluten, or soy in it. Plus, you won’t find artificial additions since it prides itself on being organic. Because of all this, it’s another very nice option that gives the body the necessary fuel while keeping it healthy.

It’s a shake capable of helping with digestion, weight loss, and muscle gain, and it comes with many certifications that prove its quality. On top of that, it’s available for only $34.99 a container on the official website.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement Vanilla-flavored shake (130 Calories):

Calories: 130
Protein: 20 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Available flavors: Vanilla, Vanilla Chai, Chocolate, and Lightly Sweet (Best flavor=Vanilla)

Pros

A good option for most people. Especially those that want to lose weight.
Lots of neat certifications that prove great quality.
Has much-needed digestive enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

Cons

Some might find the calorie count too low.
Some customers have complained about the texture being chalky.

10. 310 Meal Replacement Shake

310 Meal Replacement Shake
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.5

4.6

4.5

4.5

Overall Score: 4.5

The entire point of this list was to go through over meal replacement shakes that taste great. While we’ve certainly done that, and all the options above are delectable, they don’t have a vast range of variety. Well, that’s something that changes with the 310 Meal Replacement Shake.

This organic and vegan meal replacement is a light drink that acts as a hunger stopper for anyone going about a busy schedule. If you don’t have the time to whip something up or just want something healthy without too many calories, it’s a good option. That’s especially true because of the variety in its flavors.

Even the pickiest eaters will find something worth liking in all the options offered by 310. Most of them taste amazing, and they’re pretty sweet and creamy. What makes this even more impressive is that there are no artificial additives and little to no sugar in the entire formula.

As for nutrition, it’s packed with superfoods that give various advantages. You get all your essential macronutrients and added benefits from organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These include antioxidants, iron, and more.

It’s an option highly recommended for anyone on keto because of its nutritional balance. There aren’t many carbs in it, and the few there are mainly fibers that help the gut and keep you full. Plus, it’s available at $2.85 per serving on the official site, which is a great price.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for 310 Meal Replacement S’Mores-flavored shake (110 Calories):

Calories: 110
Protein: 15 grams
Carbs: 7 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Available flavors: Vanilla, Salted Caramel, S’Mores, Chocolate, Vanilla Cake, Chocolate Icing, Cookies N’ Cream, Horchata, Toasted Coconut, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, and Peppermint Swirl. (Best flavors=S’Mores, Cookies N’ Cream)

Pros

Little to no sugar or any artificial additives in the formula.
Packed with superfoods and lots of healthy, organic, vegan-friendly ingredients.
Comes with a plethora of amazing flavors to choose from.
Keto-friendly.

Cons

Not the most nutritious option here even among the lighter options.
Calories might be too low for some.
Anyone that’s more physically active will probably need something stronger.

11. Ample 

Ample 
Ingredient
Taste
Effectiveness
Price

4.5

4.5

4.4

4.4

Overall Score: 4.4

Wrapping things up with a bang, here’s Ample. It’s a delicious meal replacement that’s become increasingly popular recently, and with a good reason. It’s a well-rounded formula featuring lots of nutrition and a fantastic taste.

First off, let’s go through the nutrition. On top of the usual, Ample will give you probiotics, electrolytes, antioxidants, prebiotics, and so much more your body might miss out on depending on your daily diet. Adding these to your daily intake helps you, making certain functions a lot easier and significantly affecting your health overall.

Thanks to the fiber and a hefty sum of calories, it’s also quite filling. Each serving is delicious and will leave you wanting more. But the shake is filling enough so that you’ll have no room for seconds, which is what the whole point of a supplement like this is, no?

Because of this, it’s perfect for replacing any big meal in a day. Whether that meal is dinner, lunch, or breakfast is entirely up to you. Either way, the nutrition in Ample will ensure you aren’t missing out on anything important and will give your weight loss goals a boost at the same time. The product has zero gluten, soy, GMOs, or artificial stuff.

It’s available in two delicious flavors. While that isn’t much variety for my liking, the options available are still tasty enough to make up for it to an extent. As far as price is concerned, you might want to sit down for this one. Ample costs $7.50 a meal, making it easily the most expensive option.

Read the complete ample review here.

Here’s the nutritional information and key facts for Ample Vanilla-flavored shake (400 Calories):

Calories: 400
Protein: 25 grams
Carbs: 11 grams
Fat: 28 grams
Available flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla (both are great)

Pros

Exceptional nutritional range and density.
Many important inclusions, like antioxidants, pre and probiotics, etc.
No GMOs, soy, gluten, or artificial additives.

Cons

Very, very pricey.
Only two flavors.

How We Ranked These Best Meal Replacement Shakes?

Meal replacement shakes and spoons with powders on the floor

Now that the rankings are done, let’s discuss how we made them, so you know how reliable our list is. That said, we took a lot of things into consideration at the time of writing.

We reviewed the ingredients and nutritional information of our shortlist meal replacement formulas. This includes their protein sources, whether or not they have artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, etc.

Of course, that’s not all, since the best meal replacement shake will always have variety. So we dove further into things and checked whether or not they have high protein content, digestive enzymes, certifications, and more. That way, we could filter out a bad meal replacement shake from a good one and pick that instead.

Then, we checked out what other people had to say about them. This mainly includes customer reviews on official websites and popular sellers like Amazon. We also went into forums to see more detailed discussions about these meal replacement shakes.

After that came more profound research into potential side effects or downsides to see what each meal replacement product is like in the long run. From there, we were able to pick out the best meal replacement shake, not just good ones.

Once we had our top 11 nailed down, the rest came down to the most important thing of all: self-testing. Through that, we decided what each shake’s strengths and advantages are, after which we were able to form this list of reviews on the best meal replacement shakes in terms of taste.

So, everything you see on the list above was formed with hours upon hours of extensive research (along with lots of taste testing to find the best meal replacement when it comes to taste) and compiled into one shortlist for you to go through. But, enough about that. 

Now that you know so much more about the best meal replacement shakes, it’s essential to understand what a meal replacement shake is and how to choose one. So without further ado, let’s go over these topics in detail before we draw things to a close.

What are Meal Replacement Shakes?

Meal replacement shake and spoon with powder on the table

The answer to this question isn’t as complicated as many people make it out to be. If you’re familiar with protein powder or protein shakes, you already know what a meal replacement shake is since it follows nearly the same principle.

Like protein powders or a protein shake, meal replacement powders are easy-to-make and nutritious drinks. But, instead of focusing solely on one thing like protein shakes, meal replacement shakes are a lot more varied in nutrition and taste.

Another similarity they have to protein shakes or protein powders is that they’re used for weight loss by many. But, most meal replacement shakes are also for those that want to go on a low-calorie diet without wanting to skip important nutrition.

That’s why meal replacements are loaded with more than just high protein. They have good fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and can even help you with healthy weight gain if that’s what you want instead of just losing weight.

In short, a meal replacement shake has most of what a protein powder has but so much more to go with it. They tend to taste better too, if you pick the right one, and I think that by now, there’s plenty of information here for you to do just that.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Meal Replacement Shake

If you didn’t already, now you know what a meal replacement shake is. But, something you probably don’t know is how to choose the best meal replacements. So let’s go through that to ensure the one you get is the best meal replacement shake possible for yourself.

Look for the Type of Protein and Dosage

High protein amounts aren’t the only thing that matter. There’s no point in consuming dozens of grams of this nutrient if the protein sources aren’t good. Of course, the same can be said the other way around, as protein sources don’t matter if the dosage is too low.

That’s precisely why you need to watch out for the protein type, and amount in your meal replacement shakes. Now, there are a lot of options here.  

You can go with something like whey protein, or you can go for organic pea protein or organic plant-based protein.

a human holding Meal Replacement Shake

There are plenty of options, including lots of different vegan proteins. We aren’t here to argue about what you should choose between animal-sourced or vegan protein. Both are good options in their way and have lots of benefits. So, whey protein concentrate and plant-based protein alike are good options to go with in terms of quality.

Then there are options like soy protein, which is another type of plant-based protein. While this is also healthy in various ways, it can be unsafe for many people because soy is a major allergen. So, be extra careful while picking out the type of protein in your meal replacement shake.

As for the quantity, the average protein shake/protein powder has about 20-25g of the nutrient. While this is good, you might want something with a light amount, around 15g, if you’re using meal replacement shakes for weight loss while not planning to work out much.

If you’re physically active, you should go for something between 20-30g.

That way, you’ll balance things out, and excess protein won’t be in your body. Now that you know about checking for quality and quantity let’s move on to other things.

Look for Dietary Fiber

Fiber is one of the most important things in all meal replacement shakes. There are simply no ifs and buts about it. Absolutely everyone needs fiber for their gut. That’s precisely why you’ll want to look for a meal replacement shake with lots of fiber.

While you should generally eat foods with lots of fiber, it’s vital for meal replacement shakes. After all, it’s one of the most significant differences between a protein powder and meal replacements. That’s because the latter tend to have lots of fiber while the former barely has any.

Besides the obvious health benefits of this nutrient, there’s the bonus of fiber, making food more filling. If there’s more fiber in a food, you’ll feel less hungry for a lot longer. This is great for weight loss and fat burning since you can avoid eating extra calories for longer.

Any good meal replacement shake will have about 3-10g of fiber. Anything less than this will likely make you hungry soon unless the calorie count makes up for it. But, higher calories mean less chance of fat burning and weight loss.

Calorie Count

Now, this is a trickier one. Unlike fiber which is generally the same for everyone, calories are a lot more complicated because many things come into play.

For example, will you use meal replacement shakes as a healthy snack or a weight loss drink?

Do you plan to exercise a lot/remain physically active, or are you on a schedule that prevents you from being very active that way? What kind of physique do you have? What are your daily goals and needs?

an apple, measuring tape, and calorie counting chart on the table

In short, there are plenty of questions. Only you know the answers to these, which will help you decide what kind of calorie count you want in a meal replacement shake.

We’ll give some examples to make things a little easier for you. For example, the best meal replacement shakes for physically active people will have around 300-400 calories. On the other hand, lighter ones meant as a snack will generally have 150-250 calories.

Do keep in mind that calories aren’t a bad thing. They’re excellent since they’re what give your body energy. We need around 2000 of them on average in our daily diet, and meal replacement shakes should have the amounts we’ve mentioned depending on your needs.

Fats

To clear one gigantic misconception right off the bat, fats are not bad for you. They’re, in fact, very, very good for you if you consume the right ones. Besides, they’re a macronutrient, so you’ll need them if you want to grow healthy.

That said, fats are definitely bad for you and won’t help with weight loss. Unfortunately, the usual meal replacement powder tends to feature these fats, so you’ll have to avoid them.

All the best meal replacement shakes will always have more unsaturated fat than saturated fat. Saturated fat can raise the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood, opening you up to a new world of issues. This includes higher blood pressure and increased risk of various heart diseases and strokes.

There’s no more straightforward way to put it. Ensure your meal replacement shake doesn’t have too much saturated fat and has a good amount of the unsaturated kind, as it’s healthier in every way.

A healthy ratio between the two is what you need, with saturated fat on the lighter side.

Certifications

This isn’t a topic we need to delve too deep into because it should be pretty obvious why certifications are a good thing. The more certifications a product has, the more you can stay assured of its quality.

For example, by checking for certifications, you’ll know if organic meal replacements are what they say they are. Then there are certifications about other ingredients and the product itself, which are also a relief in their way.

Additionally, certifications are essential for those with allergies. You’ll only want to trust meal replacement shakes that have certifications or guarantees for being free of certain things. For example, meal replacements that are certified gluten-free,soy-free, etc.

Macronutrient Profile

Macronutrients are the most significant selling point of meal replacement shakes, mainly because nutritional value is the whole point. That’s why the best meal replacement shakes always keep a good balance in their macronutrient profile.

Regardless of whether it’s plant protein or animal-based, you’ll want lots of that. You’ll want lots of healthy fats instead of saturated fat. Lots of fiber for your gut health and the filling, as well as various other healthy carbs and a good amount of calories.

Once you find something with the right macronutrient balance for your needs, you’ll know it’s the best meal replacement shake for you.

Depending on what kind of diet you’re going for, you can consult your dietician or a health expert to decide the best meal replacement for you.

How Filling is it?

While this is already covered here, it’s important to reiterate. There’s no point in buying meal replacements if they’re not filling. Any meal replacement powder or shake is there to help you lose weight or balance out your nutrition.

If it isn’t filling, that just means you’ll want to eat more things or drink the shake again. That ruins the whole point of a “complete meal” and will also strain any body weight loss goals. That’s why you should go with something with a decent amount of calories and fiber to ensure that it’s filling.

You could also give other customers’ reviews a look if you aren’t sure just how filling a shake is, as most meal replacement products will have that information in their reviews. Either way, you need something filling, so look for that.

Price

Don’t go broke looking for the best meal replacement shakes out there. No, seriously, don’t. 

Meal replacements will become a regular part of your expenses if you plan to drink them regularly. A one-time purchase isn’t going to last you for life. You’ll need to buy more meal replacement products as time goes on if you want to keep drinking.

Yes, all of this is very obvious. But I’m pointing it out because it’s a regular expense. You’ll want to go with meal replacement products that taste good and have admirable qualities while being affordable if you’re on a tight budget.

You’d be wrong if you think that’s too much to ask for. The list of reviews above features a few of the best meal replacement powders and shakes out there that are also very affordable for anyone looking to save some bucks.

Quality of Ingredients

Capping things off is another prominent but vital thing to make sure of, making sure that the ingredients are top-notch.

Without good ingredients, you won’t be enjoying any benefits. Instead, you’re likely to get sick and face issues which is a big no.

That’s why we recommend you be extra careful while using different meal replacement powders.

Look at all of their formulas carefully, and make sure to take a look at what other people have to say. 

Healthy ingredients of meal replacement shakes

You need to find something that you know is good for you. This means something that has good ingredients, without a doubt. Whether that includes organic ingredients or specific ingredients that suit your needs is up to you. 

It’s up to you to pick your poison. Just ensure that it isn’t the literal kind of poison so you don’t end up less healthy than you were before meal replacements.

What are the Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes?

a human preparing Meal replacement shake and a human holding a bottle

Balanced meal replacements have lots of advantages to them. They help you in many ways, which is why these supplements are so popular now. But, this is something you already know by now if you’ve read everything so far. 

So now that you know exactly how to find the best meal replacement products for yourself, let’s look at the benefits they’ll provide:

  • You don’t have to take long to prepare them like a full meal.
  • Despite being so easy to make, they give just as much nutrition as a balanced meal. This includes everything you need, from high protein to necessary calories.
  • Meal replacements usually have lots of digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and many other goods. People usually miss out on micronutrients like these, eating solid meals only if they don’t plan their diet right, but meal replacement shakes have you covered.
  • There’s an extensive selection available. Brands offer something for everyone. That’s why some products are vegan-friendly, some with whey protein and other things. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for with all the variety!
  • You can take them anywhere you want. Just prepare some and put it in a bottle to take with you.
  • They’re available in so many delicious flavors, and if you choose from our list, you’re sure to find only the tastiest options out there!

Conclusion

Meal replacement shakes have a whole world of flavor to them. There are so many options to choose from that taste fantastic, and now you know what the very best ones are! 

After trying them all, the best tasting meal replacement shake of them all for me is Kaged Clean Meal. It tastes nice, has a good creamy texture, and the nutritional value is exceptional too: all at a cheap price.

We’ve done our research and snooping to find the best options. Now it’s up to you to pick which one you want to go with. Go through the reviews above carefully, and you’re sure to find something you like from our varied list of different meal shakes.

If you have any questions about the topic, feel free to drop them below. After that, you can leave it to us to solve any queries you have!

Find the Best Meal Replacement Shake for Your Needs:

FAQs

Yes, meal replacement shakes can help you lose weight, if you take them in moderation and maintain a healthy schedule.

There’s no best time to consume a meal shake. It depends on your schedule, although you should drink them at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

No, you can’t drink just meal replacement shakes without consuming food, as that’ll cause a nutritional imbalance and make you sick.

Yes, replacing meals with shakes is healthy, if you do it in moderation and have a proper diet.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATION
Kaged Clean Meal
kaged clean meal
Ingredient quality
Effectiveness
Price

5.0

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

visa, master, amex, paypal
Pros
Comes in a nice variety of sweet flavors without excessive sugar.
Exceptional nutritional balance for weight loss.
Lots of protein in each serving without too many calories. Great workout drink.
Great value for money.
Get the BEST PRICE until the end of November
Cons
Available only through the company’s official website.

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Author
Jennifer Pantall
Jennifer Pantall is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She loves tennis and has one daughter with a lovely husband that she adores. Jennifer also loves to spend time outdoors playing with her dog or walking in nature. You can find more about me here.

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