Meal replacement shakes are like inviting a nutritional scientist into your own home to advise you personally on your diet. Counting calories is difficult. It takes a lifetime to learn about nutrition, and then a longer time to incorporate that knowledge into your life.
Nutrition experts have done it for you. All you have to do is be mindful of which of their products suit your lifestyle.
What are meal replacement shakes?
Protein powder is extremely straightforward, however meal replacement shakes are composed of more pieces.
Let’s dive in and understand some of these pieces.
Protein, Weight-loss, and Meal Shakes
Shake replacement meals shouldn’t be confused with Protein Shakes. Furthermore, every shake has a different focus. Some focus on weight-loss, and other on providing complete nutrition.
Protein powder and shakes contain some form of protein and nothing else. Meal replacement shakes may have some or all of the following.
- Saturated Fats
- Especially Fiber
- Vitamins and Minerals
A note of sugar. Sugar is empty calories. Meal replacement shakes do their best to limit their grams of sugar.
I will also talk about Calories. The amount of calories is a key factor in determining what is a weight-loss shake and what is a meal replacement shake.
Men weigh more than woman, as such we need more protein than our partners. Already, the benefits of meal shakes are clear. Whey protein or a plant protein are the primary ingredient in a meal shake. The protein is added in high amounts. This is because protein calories are the best you can eat.
Since all meal replacement shakes have high levels or protein, it isn’t the deciding factor in our list. Men should be on the lookout for high dietary fiber in their shakes.
Meal replacement shakes have a wide range of calories per Serving. Usually, if the calories are high, between 200 to 400, it is considered to be a complete meal replacement. If the calories are low, 200 and below, that product is likely a weight loss shake.
If your goal is weight loss, limiting calories is vital.
In the case you are happy with your weight, you should choose high-calorie products, or add more to the low-calorie products to make it a meal.
If one of the meal shake replacements has too few calories but is perfect in every other respect, consider adding more to it to completing the meal. The best two things you can add are Bananas and/or peanut butter. They quickly get you up to the calorie level you want.
Poly Unsaturated Fats
Isn’t fat what you are supposed to avoid?
Not always. Polyunsaturated fats are the type people commonly take as a supplement. Omega-3 or omega-6.
Because of their health benefits they are the best known way to advertise liver to the skeptical public.
Fortunately for you, you can dodge the liver and eat a tasty meal replacement shake instead.
Dietary fiber is an important carbohydrate. Among many of its health benefits, t aids in managing your body weight to a healthy level.
Men are recommended to have a higher dietary fiber intake than women. Up to 38g per day.
Be on the lookout for higher fiber content. Both when you are searching for a meal replacement shake, and any other food you want to eat.
Fiber content is a deciding factor in choosing a meal replacement shake for men.
Its time for you to go on a sugar detox.
Limiting your sugar intake is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Replacement meals shakes are designed to help you. They typically limit their grams of sugar to 5 or less.
Sugar is added to food to help its taste. That’s the proverbial “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” we have all heard about
With the Average american consuming between 22 to 30 teaspoons a day, it seems that the spoonful of sugar is helping more sugar go down.
There are replacements to sugar, but these commonly have their own problems. How can a meal replacement shake taste good while being healthy? The answer to that is Stevia, a plant-based sweetener.
Perhaps Mary Poppins would have sung about Stevia if she had had it.
Using replacement shakes
There are many ways to use a replacement shake. The underlaying principle is about having confidence in the shake itself. Each replacement meal has its vitamins and minerals, calories, grams of fiber, and sugar, per serving written clearly on the package.
Its part of the value! Most full meals you buy, especially fast food, will hide that information as best as they can.
As for replacement meal shakes, they want you to know about nutrition.
They make it as easy as possible to figure out what you are eating.
Replacing Fast Food
The best way to get your diet in control is to first remove fast food from your diet.
I was addicted to Fresh Slice and mini donuts for most of my collage years. I just didn’t have the time to worry about my health!
Fortunately there are people looking out for me.
I didn’t start using meal replacement shakes for weight loss, weight gain, or even to save time. Instead, it was a concentrated effort to remove bad food from my life in the easiest way possible.
Let me tell you what I mean.
Managing a pantry is difficult, having all the ingredients to cook healthy food at any time is an art in itself. Choosing the best meal replacement shake for you will mean that your pantry is stocked to the brim at all times.
Soon, you’ll have to convince yourself to eat out!
Meal replacement takes the worry out of dieting.
You already know about calorie counting. Meal replacement shakes provide anywhere from 60 to 400 calories per Serving.
What you might not know is about how fiber works to satisfy your hunger.
Health scientists are hired to design the shakes.
They know that if the shake doesn’t satisfy the craving to eat, your diet will fail. You deserve to use your willpower to progress your career and relationships. Well-rounded nutrition allows you to focus on what matters most.
Dietary fiber is an essential ingredient in feeling full. It is also a common nutritional deficiency in modern diets.
Putting on Muscle
Alright men, now that your fat is off, you can focus on building muscle. An essential part of meal replacement shakes is there protein component. Shakes typically have 15 grams of protein to 25 grams of protein.
In order to build lean muscle, you need a steady supply of essential and Branched-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA). Your body cannot synthesize essential amino acids on their own. As such you must get them as part of your diet. BCAA are required for growing muscle.
Replacement shakes have you covered.
There are many sources of dietary protein, the most common being whey protein. There is almost plant based protein as well. These include Soy, Pea, Brown rice, and many others. These proteins are blended to provide ideal digestibility, and full amino acid profiles.
All you have left to do is to rip those muscles up with exercise!
Cooking meals takes a considerable amount of time. Normally, the trade-off is you sacrifice health for convenience.
This shouldn’t be a choice you are forced to make.
And it isn’t anymore. The convenience of meal replacement shakes often make it faster than any alternative. With the best replacement shakes you don’t even have to worry about bad taste anymore. In my opinion, the joy of eating healthy is a taste in its own.
List of the best meal replacement shakes for men.
To start you off on the right foot, we have put together a list of our perferred 13 meal replacement shakes.
My favorite meal replacement shake, Ample, will be topping this list.
Each shake has 400 Calories and 25 grams of protein. The protein has all the essential and BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). This means that the shake is sufficient for muscle growth and weight gain
It is one of the best-tasting shakes. It only comes in Vanilla, because they are confident it tastes good. There is no need to have 9 different poor quality flavors.
As for fiber, it has an astounding 10 grams. This makes it ideal for men.
The saturated fats are sourced from high-quality ingredients. Because of its complete macro-nutrient profile, it will keep you full.
Ample uses over 20 super-food ingredients to paint a complete picture of health. It has antioxidants, probiotics, and electrolytes. This is a nice touch not every meal replacement shake manages to have.
Ample is delivered in a mix-in-bottle format. This makes it one of the most convenient meal replacements shakes available.
All considered, it is among the best meal replacement options there is.
- Best taste available
- Extremely convenient
- High quality ingredients
- High Calorie
- Only available in one flavor
310 Nutrition comes in 7 flavors, Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Toasted Coconut, Mocha, and Choclate Mint
For every one serving there are 0 grams of sugar. So it should taste like crap.
Not at all. With its Stevia sweetener it tastes great. Just as if it had been sweetened with plain white sugar, but with none of the bad side effects.
In addiction, every Serving has 90 calories, and 15 grams of protein. It has a plant-based protein mix, pea, brown rice, and hemp. Pea protein is highly digestible. Soy protein doesn’t provide the same benefit. Brown rice contains vital antioxidants, and hemp protein has every essential amino acid.
Lastly, and very importantly, it has 5 grams of fiber.
- Complete vitamin and mineral portfolio
- Many flavors to choose
- Highly digestible protein
- Less affordable
Vega One, All-in-One shake is among the best meal shakes available.
Per Serving, it provides 170 Calories, 20 Grams of Plant-based Protein, and 1 Gram of Sugar.
It has enough fiber to keep you satisfied all day.
It has a complete vitamin and mineral profile. And in exceptionally high daily value, with some reaching as high as 50% daily value.
As for taste and texture, it leaves much to be desired. But, with seven unique flavors, you can find something that mixes well with your bounty of bananas and peanut butter. Available flavors are chocolate, french vanilla, vanilla chai, berry, mocha, and coconut almond.
If you want to create the flavor yourself, it also comes in unsweetened natural and natural flavors. That way, you can put on your chef’s hat. Be the man of the kitchen!
- Variety of flavors
- Poor taste and texture
Garden of Life is a wholesome provider of food. They are committed to creating with quality ingredients.
They are part of the raw food movement. This means that they leave their ingredients in an uncooked state to ensure health value.
The plant-based protein blend is created from 14 different protein sources. None of which are soy.
Some important notes about their flavors. If you are halfway through your sugar detox, avoid the lightly sweet flavor. This flavor has been sweetened with cane sugar.
Also, the chocolate flavor contains erythritol. It is safe but may cause bloating if too much is taken.
Each Serving provides 120 Calories, 20 Grams of Protein, Less than one gram of sugar, and 7 grams of Fiber.
- Comprehensive protein blend
- Extremely convenient
- Best ingredients available
- Taste needs work
Huel is working to redefine what a meal replacement is. It strives to be a meal itself. Let’s see how it holds up.
Straight out of the gate, it provides with 400 Calories every Serving. As you can see, this isn’t intended for cutting calories. It is high in carbohydrates, 42 grams per Serving. This is because of their main ingredient, oats.
Huel has more vitamins and minerals than most of its competitors. It clocks in at 27 minerals and vitamins.
It provides 29 grams of protein. It addition, it is stocked with probiotics.
Now, it only has 1 gram of sugar, which is good, but it has been sweetened with Sucralose. This is an artificial sweetener.
It comes in four flavors, Vanilla, Berry, Chocolate, and Unflavored. There are positive and negative reviews on its taste.
- Oats as primary ingredient
- Full of micro-nutrients
- High-calorie health
- Artificial sweetener added
Owyn is another middle of the road shake. It provides everything a meal replacement shake should, 300 Calories, 20 Grams of Plant Protein, and 23 Vitamins and Minerals.
This shake takes pride in being free of the 8 top food allergens—both in the shake itself and in the manufacturing facility. So you can be sure that this shake will not set off an allergic reaction.
Owyn’s shakes are free of all artificial preservatives and flavors.
It stands out as one of the best tasting premixed shakes.
- Great taste
- Extremely convenient
- Less affordable
Ka’Chava is an interesting offering for men. It seems that Ka’Chava’s mission is to remove the limiting factor of cost and provide everything they can.
Naturally, it provides a meal’s worth of calories, fiber, and protein, as you might expect.
Also, it has probiotics, antioxidants, and 26 micro-nutrients.
Surprising to me, they also boast, including an adaptogen blend and digestive enzymes.
They achieve this by including everything that has ever been hailed as a superfood.
If you don’t want to leave any holes in your diet, I highly recommend Ka’Chava.
It also has handsome branding. The strong triangle patterns on rustic brown have an adventurous spirit.
It is available in chocolate and vanilla.
- Exhaustive nutrition profile
- Better taste
- High quality ingredients
As one can tell by the name, this meal replacement shake follows the Atkins diet. If you are following this diet, this is a first choice.
This is one of the most affordable products are available.
For its protein, it uses whey protein as one of its ingredients.
The pre-made shakes come in Strawberry, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Mocha latte, Chocolate Banana, and Vanilla. As an inside tip, the meal powder has a better taste. It only comes in vanilla.
- Very Affordable
- Higher protein concentration
- Artificial Sweetener
Isagenix provides men’s nutrition on all counts. Starting with fiber, it has 8 grams in each Serving. With this shake, one will be well on their way to reaching daily needs.
One of it’s ingredients is whey protein, which it uses to get to 24 grams of protein, just shy of the ideal 25 grams.
Isagenix has 240 calories. One can tell this isn’t a weight management shake. If that is your goal, you are best looking elsewhere.
Its high carbohydrate content supports this fact.
As a meal on the go, it is exactly what one needs.
This shake tastes excellent, as the high amount of sugar indicates. It has 12 grams of sugar.
Isagenix has a library of flavors to choose from, French Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Mint, Dutch Chocolate, Peach Mango, Raspberry Cheesecake, and Vanilla Chai.
- Great taste, mixes well
- Many flavors
- High sugar
Glucerna’s pride and joy is their Carbsteady carbs. Which they say is a blend of slow-release carbohydrates. These help manage blood sugar.
This offering is lower on fiber, which isn’t a problem if you are an older man. Men over fifty don’t need as much fiber as younger men.
There are artificial sweeteners in this shake. This means there aren’t blood sugar spikes, but the long term effects are unknown.
Glucerna meal shakes come in two flavors rich chocolate, and homemade vanilla.
- Fine Taste
- Contains artificial sweeteners, which don’t cause blood sugar spikes
- Lower on Fiber
- Contains artificial sweeteners, unknown long term health effects.
GNC has been in the game for a long time. They provide a fine meal replacement shake.
GNC Total-Lean uses whey protein powder to supply its hefty 25 grams of protein. This makes it one of the best choices for weight gain.
It is included in this list because it provides an excellent amount of fiber. This healthy carbohydrate is a distinguishing factor in wheater a meal replacement is good for men.
Naturally, this meal replacement shake provides an excellent vitamin and mineral profile.
It comes in Banana, French Vanilla, Rich Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, and Mixed Berry.
- High in dietary fiber
- Good flavor with many choices.
- Higher in sugar
Slimfast Advanced Nutrition is an all-round meal replacement shake. It provides everything a man needs, but little else.
There are four flavors: Creamy Chocolate, Vanilla Cream, Strawberry Cream, and Banana and Cream.
As you can tell, cream is important to their flavors. They recommend adding their shake as a creamer to coffee.
- Premixed Shakes are conversant
- Poor Taste
Almased is part of the Almased diet. While it provides protein and micronutrients at a great price, there are some problems.
It doesn’t provide fiber—only 0.5 Grams per Serving.
This meal replacement shake is also high in sugar.
There is one thing I like, it is made with Honey.
- Very affordable
- High in sugar
- Low in Fiber
In my experience, Ample provides the most robust and affordable meal replacement shake. It provides a complete protein profile along with poly unsaturated fats, fiber, and no artificial sweeteners. The deciding factor is the high fiber amount. Its convenience just sweetens the deal.
You deserve the best meal replacement for your lifestyle. I hope that this article will help you make informed choices.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, or gain weight, there are solutions. Importantly, there are tailored solutions for men.
Nutrition is a daunting subject to learn, it was for me. Bulking up on knowledge is the best investment you can make for your future self.
- Do Meal Replacement Shakes Work? My Experience + Facts - July 22, 2020