Best Meal Replacement Shakes: Healthy Alternatives that You Have to Try

Meal replacement shakes are becoming increasingly popular among people as an option for those on-the-go. If you’re short on time and need something tasty and nutritious, then there are some great options available to fulfill your needs.

Companies normally create their best meal replacement shakes with single or multiple goals in mind, allowing them to cater to a wide audience of consumers. On the flip side, the general population has a tendency to think of the best meal replacement shakes as being geared only toward athletes working on increasing their calorie and protein intake. However, there are options available for those who are looking to lose weight, boost muscle growth, or have medical needs related to food consumption.

meal replacement shakes

With so many products claiming to be the best meal replacement shakes on the market, it may leave you scratching your head wondering which one might be the best for you. Never fear. We have compiled a list of the best meal replacement shakes to save you worry, time, and money.

Meal Replacement Shakes FAQs

What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?

The best meal replacement shakes are meant to be a substitute for a meal. They are designed to help to keep a person’s daily calorie intake down, keep hunger at bay, and include a balanced amount of micro and macro-nutrients delivered. They can come in liquid or powder form, allowing for ease of use. They provide a practical alternative for those who may not be in the mood to cook by offering a pre-measured amount of product ready to go.

What Do the Shakes Do?

They provide essential nutrients that a person may not normally get through their regular diet, The best meal replacement shakes will offer a good and proper balance between calorie intake, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and sugar.

Why Do Shakes Work?

They work because they allow the person using them to consume fewer calories while keeping their bodies filled with the nutrients it needs to survive. The best meal replacement shakes, when combined with a normal diet and exercise, can improve the overall health without starving or depriving yourself.

Where Can You Buy the Best Meal Replacement Shakes?

If you scour the web, they be found if you look hard enough. The easiest place to find them is Amazon.com, but for those inclined toward use of shakes for sport purposes, websites such as GNC.com and bodybuilding.com.

Price Range

With the variations in packaging and forms (liquid vs. powder), we found that the range in pricing for the best meal replacement shakes depends on the quality and nutritional stats. Those with more nutrient dense formulas tend to creep up to the more expensive side of the scale versus the rest of shake options.

How We Reviewed

We weighed the pros and cons of price, ease of use, calorie intake, amount of protein, and other healthy ingredients for each of the various meal replacement shakes. With these parameters we feel confident that we’ve provided a list of the 10 best meal replacement shakes available to consumers. For the many who are concerned about what they are putting into their body, they will be able to use any of the shakes options included on the list we’ve compiled.  

Overall Price Range of Meal Replacement Shakes

milk shake

We found that the form of product (liquid vs. powder), ingredients, and the inclusion of extra nutrients in the products provide a wide variety of prices. We typically found that the higher priced shake options were geared toward those on the athletic side or on course regarding their diet, and typically they are more nutrient dense. 

What We Reviewed

  • Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake
  • Garden of Life Organic Meal Replacement
  • Premier Protein 30g Protein Shakes
  • Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shake
  • Vega One All-In-One Plant Based Protein Powder
  • Amazing Grass Organic Plant Based Vegan Protein Superfood Powder
  • Slim Fast Original
  • Atkins Ready to Drink Protein-Rich Shake
  • ONLY PROTEIN Chocolate Meal Replacement Jug
  • Core Nutritionals MRP Full Spectrum Meal Supplement

Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake

Sale
Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake, Creamy Chocolate Fudge - 16g...
  • Includes 12 (11oz) ready to drink Orgain Organic Nutrition Creamy Chocolate Fudge All-In-One Nutritional Shakes
  • 16 grams of organic protein (from organic whey protein concentrate and organic grass fed milk protein concentrate), 2g...
  • USDA organic, gluten free, vegetarian, kosher, non-GMO, soy free, carrageenan free, free of antibiotics and hormones. No...

Features

The Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake is a ready-to-go product, is packed with 16g of protein, is great for those with busy lifestyles, students, and for pre or post workouts. All products from this company are soy free, gluten free, and non-GMO. Most of the products are also certified organic. For those who are lactose intolerant, it may not be the best product for you since it does contain milk.

PROS

CONS

  • 16g of organic protein
  • 250 calories
  • Soy and gluten free
  • Contains milk
  • 12g of sugar
  • Not all options are vegan

Garden of Life Organic Meal Replacement

Sale
Garden of Life Organic Meal Replacement - Raw Organic Fit Powder,...
  • HIGH PROTEIN: 28 grams of lean, complete plant protein powder to support weight loss diets
  • FAT BURNER: This unique protein drink includes clinically studied ingredients including Green Coffee Bean Extract, RAW...
  • FIGHT CRAVINGS: This vanilla protein shake includes RAW Organic Ashwagandha to help fight cravings

Features

If you’re looking for a product that’s labeled as raw organic, vegan and high protein, look no further. This shake version differs from other Garden of Life options because it includes several additional clinically studied ingredients, including Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract, Raw Food Created Chromium and Organic Cinnamon. Garden of life produce this meal replacement shake with 28 of protein, allow you to empower your life and restore balance to your body and diet.

PROS

CONS

  • 28g of protein
  • 170 calories
  • Vegan friendly
  • Powder form
  • Contains Stevia
  • Designed specifically for weight loss

Premier Protein 30g Protein Shakes

Sale
Premier Protein 30g Protein Shakes, Chocolate, 11 Fluid Ounces, 4 Per...
  • Each shake contains 30g of protein with all the essential amino acids, 160 calories, 1g sugar, low fat, 24 vitamins and...
  • Recipient of the American Master of Taste Gold Medal for SUPERIOR TASTING ready-to-drink protein beverages in a national...
  • Available in three deliciously smooth and creamy flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberries & Cream, enjoy them as a...

Features

Premier Protein Shakes contain milk proteins, a combination of whey protein and casein protein, which can support the ability to sustain energy for longer periods of time. The shakes contain all nine essential amino acids that the body needs to receive from food, because the human body cannot produce them itself. There are seven delicious flavors to choose from, to ensure that you never tire of the same one over and over. Premier Protein was the recipient of the American Master of Taste Gold Medal for SUPERIOR TASTING ready-to-drink protein beverages in a national taste test by Chefs In America in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

PROS

CONS

  • 30g of protein
  • 160 calories
  • Uses whey protein
  • Several flavors to choose from
  • Contains milk
  • Contains Sucralose

Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shake

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Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shake, Strawberries 'N Crème, 25g...
  • EVERYDAY PERFORMANCE - MUSCLE MILK GENUINE Protein Shakes include a blend of high quality proteins that help fuel...
  • WORKOUT. RECOVER. MOVE FORWARD. MOVE FAST. - 25g high quality protein; 160 calories; 0-1g sugar; 5g fiber; Excellent...
  • USAGE - MUSCLE MILK Genuine shakes can be used pre-workout, post-workout or as an anytime protein-rich meal option or...

Features

Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Shakes provide high-quality proteins, at 25g per serving. This product can help build and maintain lean muscle, and you won’t have to worry about your waistline at only 160 calories per serving. The shakes are also gluten-free and are also suitable for most individuals that are lactose intolerant. The proteins in these shakes attain a Protein Digestibility Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) Score of 1.0. In layman’s terms, it is the highest quality score a food protein can have. 

PROS

CONS

  • 25g of protein
  • 160 calories
  • No caffeine included
  • Per serving price is a little high
  • Contains Sucralose

Vega One All-In-One Plant Based Protein Powder

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Vega One All-In-One Plant Based Protein Powder, Chocolate, 1.93 lb, 19...
  • Note: The seal includes hole by manufacture to exclude passage of air, oxygen, or other gases
  • Tubs of Vega One includes an inner vented seal, the holes are characteristic of the inner seal
  • 20g of premium, plant based protein from pea, hemp, SaviSeed, and flax for a complete amino acid profile

Features

If you are looking for a non-GMO, vegan certified, low-glycemic, gluten-free, and no dairy or soy ingredients, then this shake product by Vega may be the one for you. Every serving has 20 grams of plant-based protein (from pea, hemp, SaviSeed, and flax), greens, probiotics, as well as 50% DV of 8 vitamins and minerals. With 6 different flavors to choose from, this puts it high on the list of best meal replacement shakes you must try. 

PROS

CONS

  • 20g of Protein
  • 150 calories
  • Includes probiotics
  • 6 flavors to choose from

  • Contains Stevia
  • 13g of carbs

Amazing Grass Organic Plant Based Vegan Protein Superfood Powder

Amazing Grass Organic Plant Based Vegan Protein Superfood Powder,...
  • All-in-one nutritional protein shake with 20g complete protein from organic pea protein, organic quinoa, organic hemp...
  • 7 alkalizing greens, 9 nutrient-dense fruits & veggies, 6 carbs, 0g of sugar, 3g of fiber.
  • 2 full servings of fruits & veggies per serving. Alfalfa, Spirulina, Chlorella, and Acai.

Features

The Amazing Grass brand, is an all-in-one nutritional protein shake with  protein from organic pea protein, organic quinoa, organic hemp protein & chia. It brings to the table 20 grams of protein at a low 140 calories for those who count what they eat. With this shake product you have the option of adding it to any drink or adding it to a recipe. Such a versatile product might be what you’re looking for to integrate into your everyday life. 

PROS

CONS

  • 20g of protein
  • 140 Calories
  • Gluten-free

  • Contains stevia as a sweetener
  • No probiotics
  • Only 3 flavors

Slim Fast Original

Sale
SlimFast Original Rich Chocolate Royale Meal Replacement Shake Mix –...
  • GREAT TASTE - With an award-winning Rich Chocolate Royale flavor, SlimFast Original meal replacement Shake Mix Powders...
  • PACKED WITH PROTEIN, VITAMINS, & MINERALS - The SlimFast Original meal replacement Shake Mix Powder is a balanced...
  • CURBS HUNGER - SlimFast Original Shake Mix Powders are an exceptional meal replacement product that curbs hunger for up...

Features

Slim Fast products are generally marketed towards those looking to lose weight. They’ve created a shake that not only help curb hunger, but comes in at only 200 calories. This is great for someone looking to incorporate this product into their diet lifestyle. Slim fast suggests replacing two meals a day, which is not a difficult task to perform since the shake includes one-third of the recommended daily does of vitamins and minerals essential to the human body.

PROS

CONS

  • 10g of protein
  • 200 calories using fat-free milk
  • Helps curb hunger cravings
  • Affordable
  • Clinically proven to help with weight loss

  • 30g of carbs
  • 22g of sugar
  • Few flavor options

Atkins Ready to Drink Protein-Rich Shake

Sale
Atkins Gluten Free Protein-Rich Shake, Milk Chocolate Delight, 12...
  • Delicious, creamy milk chocolate flavor
  • Keto friendly! *9g fat, 15g protein, 2g net carbs
  • 15 grams of high quality protein per serving

Features

This product with a famous name is a shake ready serve as an alternative to not so nutritious foods that people shouldn’t eat. This product is based upon the Atkins diet, which limits carbohydrates (sugar), so the body burns fat, including body fat, for fuel. With 7 delicious flavors to choose from and keep you on course, it might mean a low-carb diet will be in your future. The shakes are ready to go, leaving you time for your busy lifestyle. 

PROS

CONS

  • 15g of protein
  • 160 calories
  • Designed for low-carb diets
  • 1g of sugar

  • Contains milk protein concentrate
  • Contains Sucralose

ONLY PROTEIN Chocolate Meal Replacement Jug

Only Protein Chocolate Fat Burner Jug, Chocolate, 18.5 Ounce
  • 100% All Natural New Zealand Whey Protein
  • No Hormones, Artificial Flavors, Soy, Gluten, Fructose, Sugar or Other Harmful Ingredients
  • Delivers the Nutrients and Energy Your Body Needs

Features

The ONLY PROTEIN meal replacement shakes contain 18g of protein, sourced from 100% All Natural New Zealand Whey Protein. Thye’ve created this shake to support fat loss and lean muscle synthesis, as well as making sure there is maximum absorption of nutrients. A great point, about these shakes, is that they contain no harmful ingredients, soy, gluten or sugar.

PROS

CONS

  • 18g of protein
  • 103 calories
  • Soy and gluten free
  • Includes the enzyme Lactase

  • Contains stevia as a sweetener
  • Few flavor options

Core Nutritionals MRP Full Spectrum Meal Supplement

Core Nutritionals MRP Full Spectrum Meal Supplement Rich Chocolate 3.1...
  • High-quality protein blend whey proteins, egg albumen, and micellar casein-rich milk protein sources; This blend...
  • Core MRP also includes a complete digestive enzyme blend to improve absorption and accelerate nutrient uptake
  • CORE MRP is different because it's not simply a protein powder

Features

Core Nutritionals MRP Full Spectrum Meal Supplement contains a blend of high-quality protein blend whey proteins, egg albumen, and micellar casein-rich milk protein sources. It also contains amino acids and rich in BCAAs, which helps promote optimal growth and recovery by providing the vital building blocks a body needs. Core MRP contains carbohydrates from oat and barley flour, providing a steady supply of nutrients because these grain-sourced carbohydrates are low in sugar, high in fiber, and digest slowly. 

PROS

CONS

  • 27 g of protein
  • 250 calories
  • No maltodextrin, fructose, or aspartame
  • Contains milk
  • 27g of carbs
  • Geared more towards athletic people

The Verdict

Even the best meal replacement shakes on this list are not a magic bullet in the battle of diet, weight loss, and overall nutrition. However, they are much healthier than the choices most people make regarding food each day. Each one offers its own unique nutrition balance, so it’s important you choose the best meal replacement shake right for you. It’s your body and your health, there is one that will meet all your needs and then some.

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