Last Updated on October, 2022
While running, the entire body gets worked, and a lot of effort goes into the process. That’s why professionals or even runners in training need a lot of practice to achieve their goals. On top of that practice, care is also essential. This includes maintaining a healthy diet filled with lots of nutrition.
But, in the middle of training and all, it can be challenging to prepare meals for yourself. Sometimes, it can even be challenging to eat a full meal if it’s already in front of you. That’s why some runners opt to drink meal replacement shakes instead.
If you’re looking to do the same but don’t know how to get started, we’re here to help. We’ve prepared a list of reviews for the nine best meal replacement shakes for runners based on testing and research by our team.
Check it out to learn more about each one, including how they can help and which one suits you best.
- 9 of the Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Runners
- 1. Ample Recover (Overall Best Choice)
- 2. Shakeology Meal Shake (2nd Best Choice)
- 3. Ambronite Complete Meal Shake (3rd Best Choice)
- 4. SlimFast Advanced Nutrition
- 5. PhenQ Complete Meal Shake
- 6. Atkins Mocha Latte Protein-Rich Shake
- 7. Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
- 8. Carnation Breakfast Essentials
- 9. Ensure Original Nutrition Shake
- When Should Runners Consume Meal Replacement Shakes?
- Should You Drink Meal Replacements Before or After Running?
9 of the Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Runners
1. Ample Recover (Overall Best Choice)
Made specifically with the needs of athletes kept in mind, Ample Recovery is our top pick for runners. There are a lot of reasons why that’s the case. The nutritional value alone is something that speaks for itself.
Each serving of this shake features 33g of healthy carbs paired with 31g of grass-fed whey protein, giving your body every bit of energy it needs to keep on running. That’s not all, though, as the shake is also loaded with micronutrients.
Micronutrients are one of the most helpful things for runners, as they fuel the body in various ways. They help with optimal athleticism. This mainly includes micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, iron, different electrolytes, and more in Ample Recover.
While having all of these great benefits, this meal replacement shake lacks any harmful additives and GMOs which might hinder your performance or ruin your health. It’s a natural option filled with nutrition that doesn’t feature soy, gluten, or artificial ingredients.
Long story short, it’s one of the best options for runners because of its outstanding nutritional profile and ingredients. It can give you a good chunk of your daily nutrition and the necessary fuel for your next run out. It’s available in one flavor, which is chocolate.
While there’s not much variety in flavor, it’s still easily one of the best tasting shakes out there with a creamy texture. It tastes sweet and can be a great treat for chocolate lovers, and it’s healthy at the same time.
The only big downside is that this shake is pricey. But, given all its advantages, you can argue that it’s well worth it if you can easily afford it. There aren’t many options better suited for runners than the Ample Recover with all its macronutrients and micronutrients.
- Calories: 400
- Protein: 31g
- Carbs: 33g
- Fat: 15g
2. Shakeology Meal Shake (2nd Best Choice)
Whether it’s the nutritional value, weight loss, or muscle recovery, Shakeology Meal Shake is one of the best options. This shake is excellent for muscle recovery, containing 17g of protein sourced from whey protein isolate, quinoa, pea protein, and flax seed.
Shakeology Meal Shake comes with 160 calories, 16g of carbohydrates, and 5g of healthy fats in terms of nutrition. Shakeology’s low carbs might be a downside as you won’t be getting as much energy as other shakes might provide.
On top of its excellent nutritional value, Shakeology contains absolutely no artificial sweeteners or any other type of artificial ingredients that might be bad for health.
Running burns many calories and puts stress on your body, which means you lose essential nutrients during your run.
To help you regain those nutrients, Shakeology comes with nutrients like adaptogenic herbs and botanicals. These are great stress busters and help you recover all the nutrients instantly. Shakeology also comes with vitamins and minerals to help you reach your RDI.
Weight loss is pretty common among people these days. It’s no surprise that it’s not an easy task for many. With all the prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber in Shakeology, you can certainly aid your weight-loss journey.
These particular ingredients help Shakeology stand out and make Shakeology an excellent weight-loss shake. There’s plenty of variety in flavors as well, and, for vegans, there are vegan flavors that contain entirely plant-based ingredients.
Shakeology’s whey flavors come in chocolate, vanilla, cafe latte, Greenberry, and Strawberry. The vegan flavors are chocolate, tropical Strawberry, cafe latte, and vanilla. Each of them have a sweet taste and are specifically designed with a superior taste kept in mind.
- Calories: 160
- Protein: 17g
- Carbs: 18g
- Fat: 5g
3. Ambronite Complete Meal Shake (3rd Best Choice)
When you’re running regularly, your body needs a wide variety of different nutrients to keep up. This includes lots and lots of proteins and healthy carbs, but it also has various other things which regular meals might not always give you.
To ensure that you don’t miss out on these, the Ambronite Complete Meal Shake is a great option. Not only does it come with 25g of protein and 43 grams of carbs, but the shake also has a very vast nutrient profile. For example, there are many premium fats and rich fiber in each serving.
On top of that, you’ll get lots of Omega3 and the goodness of natural ingredients such as berries, fruits, and more. These give the body energy and help with running regularly, giving you the strength to go the extra mile each time you step on the track.
What’s more, is that this meal replacement is entirely plant-based. Not a single one of the ingredients uses animal products, instead focuses on vegan options. It focuses on giving the body everything it needs to function well until the next meal and gives athletic runners the boost to keep going.
It comes in 3 different flavor options. These include berry, banana, and the original flavor of the shake. Each of these have varying tastes. The banana and berry are sweeter, whereas the unflavored option is purposefully bland.
Lots of consumers aren’t that happy with the taste. Some find it chalky and strange, whereas a few like it for what it is. At the end of the day, it’s still an exceptional vegan option which features no GMOs, no dairy, and no wheat.
- Calories: 400
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 43g
- Fat: 16g
4. SlimFast Advanced Nutrition
Good things come in small packages. Well, you can say this about SlimFast Advanced Nutrition. Helping you replenish all the post-run nutrients, this is an excellent meal replacement shake.
Running keeps you fit, but you might end up with an injury if not accompanied by the proper nutrition and recovery. To help you keep up and running, Slimfast offers 20g of protein that’s made to help you recover instantly.
Running causes muscle tears and fatigue, but you can quickly heal your body with a massive chunk of protein inside Slimfast. Not to forget, you need vitamins and minerals to stay physically fit, and Slimfast comes with 24 different vitamins and minerals.
It contains a sufficient amount of vitamin C to prevent post-run tiredness, but it also comes with loads of potassium to regain the lost electrolytes. One bottle of Slimfast contains 180 calories and 7g of carbs, and 9g of fats.
Despite the shakes’ excellent nutritional benefits, perhaps the best thing about Slimfast meal replacement shake is that it comes in convenient packaging. The easy-to-hold bottle is small and can easily be held and consumed.
The shake comes in five delicious flavors; Vanilla, chocolate, strawberries & cream, orange cream & swirl, and bananas & cream. All of these have a thick texture and a taste that’s bound to satisfy your sweet-tooth.
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 20g
- Carbs: 7g
- Fat: 9g
5. PhenQ Complete Meal Shake
Most people have a big problem with meal replacement shakes because they’re filled with potentially harmful or unhealthy ingredients. That’s why so many runners pass on them, as they could be bad for them. GMOs, artificial ingredients, etc, are all common contributors to this.
The PhenQ Complete Meal Shake is an option that is completely free for these. It’s the perfect fit for runners, as all of its ingredients are entirely safe to eat for most. It’s non-GMO, sugar-free, and gluten-free. Because of this, most people should be able to drink it.
That’s not all that’s good about it, though. You need nutrient-dense foods if you’re planning to run regularly, and that’s something this meal replacement shake can offer. With 16 grams of whey protein and 13 essential vitamins and minerals, it’s a brilliant option for any athlete.
It’s an ideal option for the body as it promotes healthy weight loss and muscle growth while also boosting various functions. These can help you improve your running routines and build upon them further, allowing you to improve yourself by improving your body first.
On top of all that, it comes in 3 delicious flavors, which include chocolate, vanilla, and strawberries and cream. It’s also an affordable option considering everything it offers while also providing a reassuring 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Calories: 269
- Protein: 16g
- Carbs: 5g
- Fat: 16g
6. Atkins Mocha Latte Protein-Rich Shake
Most people might take on running to improve their overall health. This includes cutting down on weight and developing muscles. The Atkins Mocha Latte Protein-Rich Shake is one of the best options for those who can relate to this.
It’s got ideal nutrition for losing weight and building muscle. There are 15 grams of protein in each serving accompanied by only 4g of net carbs, including only a single gram of sugar. There’s 5g of fiber, and the shake includes lots of other nutrients which help the body.
This shake gives you fuel to keep running, but it also includes all the proper macronutrients and micronutrients to ensure that your body stays in optimal condition during all of your efforts. It’s an excellent option which is especially good for anyone that loves coffee.
The Atkins mocha latte shake uses real coffee inside it. It’s the perfect shake to drink during breakfast because it has as much caffeine as the average cup of coffee per serving. Pair that with all the vitamins and minerals inside this product, and you get a massive burst of energy to help you with your everyday ongoings.
Runners need energy, and this meal replacement provides precisely that. With ideal nutrition for maintaining muscles and losing weight, it’s a good option for anyone into fitness and is excellent for most runners. It’s also keto-friendly and gluten-free, which is a bonus.
- Calories: 170
- Protein: 15g
- Carbs: 4g
- Fat: 9g
7. Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
Besides keeping you healthy and keeping the environment safe, Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Shake offers the cleanest source of protein.
Made out of sustainable and organic plant-based products, this plant-based shake is the perfect drink to help you refuel after an intense run.
Moreover, this shake is also excellent when it comes to recovering muscle.
The inclusion of natural ingredients like brown rice, chia seeds, and pea protein means increasing your athletic performance and aiding your weight loss. Since these ingredients contain fiber, Orgain organic can also be used as a weight-loss drink.
The nutritional value this shake offers is second to none. There are 21g of protein, 4g of fat, and 15g of carbs in each serving. Calories might seem a little low at just 150 calories per serving, but the macronutrient content makes up for it.
It’s also worth mentioning that this meal replacement vegan-friendly shake is soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Also, there are absolutely no artificial ingredients in this vegan shake.
The nutritionally rich shake also comes in delicious flavors. There’s chocolate, chocolate coconut, peppermint hot cocoa, and creamy chocolate fudge flavor.
- Calories: 150
- Protein: 21g
- Carbs: 15g
- Fat: 4g
8. Carnation Breakfast Essentials
Starting strong in the morning is always great for your body. Carnation Breakfast Essentials is the ultimate meal replacement shake to help you consume the essential nutrients first thing in the morning.
Featuring 10g of protein and 250 calories per serving, this meal replacement can be used as a snack, a mini-meal, or breakfast.
Convenience is also an upside for this shake as it comes in convenient packaging.
The small ready-to-drink bottles are great for those with a busy schedule, so pick the bottle, open the lid, and take your nutrients.
Not to forget, Carnation Breakfast Essentials also contains vitamins and minerals that your body needs. To put it into perspective, Carnation Breakfast Essentials contains calcium as much as a 6 oz cup of yogurt, helping you keep your bones strong.
There’s also a variety in taste for runners. The shake comes in rich milk chocolate, classic french vanilla, creamy Strawberry, and mixed berry flavor.
- Calories: 240
- Protein: 10g
- Carbs: 41g
- Fat: 4g
9. Ensure Original Nutrition Shake
Helping you maintain weight and lose it, Ensure Original Nutrition Shake is our last pick on this list of nutritional meal replacement drinks. As discussed above, every runner needs refueling as running makes you exert a lot.
Thankfully, this shake comes with 220 calories per serving. That’s not only 10% of your daily calorie intake, but it’s also enough to keep you full after an intense run. This also means you won’t be having any insatiable cravings that might make you overeat.
Moving towards the nutritional value, this shake comes with 41g of carbs, 9g of protein, and 6g of fat. Moreover, 25% of your RDI for most micronutrients will be provided with an 8 oz bottle of Ensure Original Nutrition Shake.
Replacing meals has never been easy because, with all the nutrients in this shake, you can use it as a breakfast, as a snack, or as a mini-meal. The shake’s nutritional blend isn’t only great to enhance your athletic performance, but it’s also excellent to help you refuel.
For those who find it hard to maintain their fiber intake, this shake comes with 10% of your daily dietary intake for fiber. Vitamins also come in abundance with this shake as it contains 80% daily value of vitamin C and 40% daily value of vitamin D.
Taste is another department in which this shake does not disappoint. There are seven different delicious flavors. There’s vanilla, chocolate, Strawberry, coffee latte, dark chocolate, banana nut, and butter pecan flavor. Not to forget, this shake is gluten-free.
- Calories: 250
- Protein: 9g
- Carbs: 41g
- Fat: 6g
When Should Runners Consume Meal Replacement Shakes?
Now that you know more about all these shakes, you might have difficulty deciding when you’ll need them. Well, there are a lot of situations when runners can drink meal replacement shakes. Let’s cover a few of these now:
When You Need a Quick Dose of Nutrition
Preparing a whole meal for yourself after a long day at work can be a bit tiring. That’s why runners might not get the time to get their daily nutrition, even when they want to. If that’s the case with you, meal replacement shakes are the perfect options.
These usually come in powdered form and can even be ready to drink. All it takes is a few moments to prepare them for use and chug them up, giving you a good chunk of your daily nutrition.
It’s a convenient and quick way to get that extra nutrition and energy you desperately need as a runner throughout the day.
Perfect Breakfast for Runners
Many people prefer to run before breakfast as it can be a refreshing thing to do during the early morning. If the same can be said for you, meal replacement shakes are a great way to boost productivity.
If you combine these shakes with your breakfast after running, you’ll be sure to get the benefits that your body needs for maximum results and positive growth.
For Help With Building Muscle
You can’t build muscles if you don’t consume enough nutrients. Protein, healthy carbs, fats, and more are all crucial pieces of the puzzle. Meal replacement shakes combine all of them and make them fit, helping your body grow better.
If you want running to show its positive effects on you, nutrition is vital. So, consider drinking these shakes around your running routines to give your body the help it needs. They’re an ideal option whenever you want to cut down on weight and grow some muscles.
When You Need Cheaper Alternatives
If you want to make ends meet and aren’t fond of spending lots of money every day on an excellent nutritious meal, meal replacement shakes are a fantastic thing to try. They’re relatively cheaper and can fill you up just as well while potentially offering even more benefits than a full meal.
They’re a cost-effective option that most can easily fit into their diet. So, if you want to save some bucks every day, try these out.
Should You Drink Meal Replacements Before or After Running?
There are advantages to drinking these both before and after running. At the end of the day, the answer depends on what time you plan to run. For example, it’s better to drink them afterward if you plan to run around breakfast time. Otherwise, you’ll be too tired at the start of the day.
Alternatively, it can be better to drink them before running if you plan to do so in the afternoon or evening. That way, the meal replacement shake can give you energy and help you with your activities throughout the day, including running.
That’s our list of the best meal replacement shakes for runners and all the necessary details. Now that you know more about them, you can use the information to choose the best shake for yourself to help with your everyday running routines.
Our recommended pick is Ample Recover because of its unique ingredients and nutrition-dense nature. But, all of the others on the list are great in their way. At the end of the day, as long as you choose one of them, you’ll be satisfied with the results.
Remember everything we’ve mentioned, and it’ll help you lots when it comes to pairing meal replacement shakes with running!
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