2019's 10 Best
Meal Replacement Shakes
Losing weight can be a difficult task, and eating a healthy diet each day for every meal is a big component of it. Meal replacement shakes provide a great alternative to other meals, as they are packed with tons of protein, lots of vitamins and minerals, and some carbohydrates and fats. They can give you all the nutrients you need to have plenty of energy to get through the day.
These products are also very quick and convenient, making them easy for on-the-go meals or snacks throughout the day. For many people, being rushed during mealtimes means stopping for fast food or other unhealthy, quick meals. Meal replacement drinks provide another option, allowing you to mix up a drink in just seconds and consume it in about the same amount of time. These shakes are not only highly convenient, they are also very healthy.
How Meal Replacement Shakes Work
One of the best things about meal replacement shakes is that they contain tons of nutritional value but help you to easily limit excessive calories, making them healthy, beneficial, and great for dieting. These shakes usually contain somewhere between 200 and 400 calories, providing about the same number of calories as a low-calorie healthy meal would.
There are also meal replacement shakes that may have serving sizes of between 400 and 800 calories. These shakes are most commonly called mass gainers and are used by individuals who are looking to increase their weight and muscle size and who work out often. These shakes can be used as either a meal replacement or as a snack throughout the day. Jump to Our 10 Best Meal Replacement Shake List
Meal replacement shakes are most often taken one or two times per day and replace standard meals in your diet. The most common meals to replace are breakfast and lunch. These shakes can also be a great way to make sure you don’t miss breakfast in the morning. Studies have shown that missing breakfast can actually increase the risk of type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Don’t skip your breakfast, people.
Meal replacement shakes are commonly packed full of protein and fiber, giving your body lots of energy and keeping you feeling full while preventing excess absorption and storage of fats or carbohydrates. This can increase your body’s total metabolism and fat metabolism and force your body to burn its current energy stores without creating new ones.
The Health Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes
One of the most common uses of meal replacement shakes is to promote weight loss. These supplements can also be used to supplement extra calories needed throughout the day or to increase muscle gain and improve total body health.
HEALTHY OPTION TO REPLACE A MEAL
With the wide variety of fast food options available, it can be difficult to find a convenient food option that fits your dietary needs and time constraints. Meal replacement shakes are packed with protein, providing lots of energy that will last for hours after consuming the drink.
Like we mentioned, one of the main uses of meal replacement shakes is to enhance weight loss. Many ingredients in these products help the stomach to feel fuller for longer and to slow the rate of digestion and absorption. Fiber plays a major role in this because it is not easily digestible and so it passes through the body relatively untouched.
Some shakes contain no sugars, carbohydrates, or fats. These products are very healthy and can play a big role in promoting weight loss. By eliminating these ingredients, consuming these shakes does not cause any extra fat storage, forcing the body to burn its current stores to provide energy but still provide you with what you need.
INCREASED MUSCLE GROWTH
Because protein is found in almost all meal replacement shakes, muscle and strength increases are often benefits of taking them. Protein is composed of amino acids, which plays a major role in creating new cells in the body, particularly muscle cells.
The protein powders included in these supplements are often whey (fast digesting) or casein (slow digesting), which allows them to be used readily by the muscles in the body to create new muscle tissue and repair any tissues that were damaged.
IMPROVED OVERALL HEALTH
Meal replacement shakes often contain a number of other vitamins and minerals that are very important in the body. These can play a role in blood pressure control, bone health, and immune system function, among others.
Certain nutrients can also help to increase overall heart health and reduce the chance of heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks. They can also decrease the risk of diabetes, a condition that can lead to a number of other health problems.
What to Look for When Buying Meal Replacement Shakes
Most meal replacement shakes boast that they can cause weight loss, but it is important to note that not every product is created equal. There are some basic guidelines that you should look for when determining which product you should buy.
One of the biggest ones is the total calories per serving. If you are trying to stimulate weight loss, selecting a product low in calories is critical. Checking the amounts of fats, carbohydrates, and sugars is also important. You want a healthy balance of macros in your shake. If it’s all carbs, that’s likely not a good thing.
It is also important to play close attention to the ingredients in your shake to be sure that it has healthy, beneficial components. There are a wide variety of ingredients that can be used by companies that produce these products, but here are a few of the ingredients that are used most often.
WHEY PROTEIN POWDER
Of all of the main types of protein, whey is considered to be the most effective. This type of protein is developed from milk, and it is very high in protein. Whey protein also has lots of BCAAs, which play a major role in protein synthesis to stimulate new muscle growth in the body and increase the production of energy. Whey protein also helps to promote muscle recovery. This can help you get the most out of each of your workouts by stimulating muscle repair and reducing lactic acid buildup in the muscles during workouts.
Whey protein comes in a few different forms, mainly concentrates, hydrolysates, and isolates. Concentrates and hydrolysates are the least pure types of protein, containing between 60 and 80 percent protein. The remaining part of the powder consists of carbohydrates and fats. Isolates are a bit more pure, containing 90 to 95 percent protein. Whey protein isolates are a healthier option, containing minimal fat and carbohydrates, and they are commonly used in meal replacement shake supplements. Jump to Our 10 Best Meal Replacement Shake List
Casein is another popular type of protein used in these supplements. Casein takes much longer to be absorbed by the body, as compared to whey protein. Casein can be very helpful for weight loss because it’s transformed into a somewhat gel-like substance when it is digested. This helps the stomach to feel fuller, which can reduce cravings and help you avoid extra calorie consumption throughout the day.
Casein protein also plays a role in muscle growth. Similar to whey protein, casein has been shown to increase muscle size and strength. It also plays a part in limiting the rate of muscle breakdown during exercise. This can reduce the amount of healing that needs to occur after a workout, speeding up the recovery process.
Calcium is needed by the bones and teeth to provide strength. It is also critical for muscle contraction. Without it, the muscles would not be able to form cross bridges, which allow for contraction to occur. Taking a calcium supplement is a great way to keep your body functioning properly by ensuring that there are enough calcium stores in the muscles and in the nerves.
Folic acid, which is also known as folate, plays a role in many important functions in the body. It can help with anemia, nutrient absorption, kidney issues, and other health problems. Some studies have even shown that it can help reduce the chance of both colon and cervical cancer. In addition, folic acid can help lower the risk of heart disease, improving your overall health. It can also help to prevent memory loss, slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce sleep issues.
Without vitamin D, your body wouldn’t be able to absorb calcium into the bones. This can lead to a variety of issues, most notably osteoporosis. Taking vitamin D supplements can increase your bone strength, helping you stay healthier and more mobile.
Multiple B vitamins play important roles in the body. There are eight main ones that are important for making energy that the body can use, improving your immune system function and speeding up chemical processes. Two of the most important B vitamins are B-6 and B-12.
Vitamin B-6 is important for controlling your body’s blood sugar levels and making new red blood cells in the body, which are responsible for transporting oxygen to the cells. Vitamin B-12 is also needed for producing new blood cells, and it helps to keep your nerve cells healthy.
Glutamine plays a critical role in controlling the effectiveness of your immune system. This amino acid is stored in the muscles, and it is used to provide fuel and energy for the cells in the immune system. Glutamine supplements can increase the amount of glutamine stored in the muscles, allowing for plenty of energy to be produced to allow for optimal functioning.
The Proper Dosage for Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes come in many different serving sizes that contain varying amounts of their included ingredients. Some products are designed to have higher amounts of protein and calories, while others aim to provide fewer calories without sugars, fats, or carbohydrates.
Depending on the goals of the product, these supplements take into account the optimal doses of each ingredient when determining the proper and most effective serving size. Because of this, it is usually best to follow the instructions on the label of your specific product. If a range of doses is provided, taking a smaller dose is usually recommended when first beginning to take them. This will allow you to recognize how the supplement affects you and to notice any potential negative side effects or reactions.
One thing that is important to note is the number of calories in each serving. Some products contain higher amounts of calories, and if you are looking to lose weight, you should avoid these products. They could actually cause you to gain weight rather than lose it.
Possible Side Effects of Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes generally have few side effects associated with them. The most common ones are related to stomach and intestinal issues. You may experience some stomach discomfort, bloating, or frequent bowel movements when taking these products. Other side effects, such as headaches or nausea, may also occur.
In addition, there is always the possibility of having an allergic reaction to the product. The reactions you may have in these instances can vary significantly. Minor reactions can include hives and rashes, but more severe reactions could result in anaphylactic shock, causing breathing difficulty and other more serious issues. These effects aren’t necessarily associated with these products in general though. Just in the specific instances of when you have an allergy to some of the included ingredients.
It is also important to note that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the production of these supplements. Because of this, children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use meal replacement shake powders. The potential negative side effects that these products could have on these groups have not been studied much, and more research needs to be done to ensure these products are safe.
- Becky Bell, MS, RD Can Meal Replacement Shakes Help You Lose Weight? HealthLine.com
- Andrea Cespedes Meal-Replacement Shakes for Men LiveStrong.com
- Jody Braverman The Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Women LiveStrong.com
- WebMD Folic Acid WebMD.com
- Carly Schuna Are Meal Replacement Shakes Healthy? LiveStrong.com
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