Meal replacement shakes are developed by scientists to hone your diet and soothe your stomach — while smashing the price floor on a healthy meal.
Gut health is a vital consideration when choosing food. Anyone can avoid soy while maintaining a sustainable plant-based diet. There are many soy-free meal replacements available, and we have reviewed a few dozen of them to find the top seven for your consideration.
Using meal shakes to save time, avoid soy, and help your stomach.
You may be avoiding soy for allergies, upset stomach, or many other reasons. Whatever it may be, there is a shake that fits with your lifestyle. Each meal shake replacement is developed to be high in protein and healthy. Among the soy-free meal replacement shakes, some examples are organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Why Meal Replacement Shakes?
A meal replacement shake is as convenient as waking up to a handsome nutritionist preparing your breakfast. The only difference being a meal replacement shake is affordable. (And your boyfriend won’t get jealous.)
Soy-free and extremely soy-free
While all of the shakes on this list are soy-free, some of them are made in facilities that process soybeans. For each one, I tell you if it’s…
- Safe for people for Soy Allergies
- Undetermined if it is made in a soybean free facility
- Could be cross-contaminated with soy.
When people say convenient meal, they mean a five-minute microwaved meal. A slowly spinning meal in a box is extremely depressing. And more so they, despise the name, can’t feed a hungry man.
Meal replacement shakes go far beyond that level of convenience. Some — like Katefarms Komplete — are ready to drink, and others are mix in the bottle — like Ample V. These two require no clean-up, which is time wasted and just as often forgotten. Even the slow meal shake that needs to be mixed is fast in comparison to other convenient meals.
Even the meal replacement powders that need to be mixed are convenient. They get you your time back from grocery shopping and maintaining a pantry. I like to cook, and keeping a well-stocked pantry is a real chore.
I recommend replacing either breakfast or lunch with a meal replacement shake. Even though someone can replace all three meals for long periods of time with meal replacement shakes, the social isolation and boredom aren’t worth it, especially for people new to the products. Start with a manageable amount and see if it works with your lifestyle.
There are few meals cheaper than a meal replacement shake. Almost none, if one considers the nutrition, and I do. Combined with the time you save, you can enjoy that time with friends eating a nice social dinner together.
Health and Habit Benefits
Weight loss is a matter of knowing how much calories you burn and how much you consume. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.
Weight loss works best when it is aided by meal planning and counting calories. Both of which are made stupidly easy with meal replacement shakes.
Feeling satisfied helps with cravings. One of the foremost things I look for in weight loss shakes is the amount of fiber. Fiber is proven to help digestion. Allowing greater absorption of vitamins and minerals and making you feel full — so you don’t keep eating meals that you don’t need.
Replacing Soy Protein with plant-based protein blends.
Soy protein is popular because it is a complete protein. That means it has all 9 essential amino acids your body can’t produce. Imagine trying to write an email but your keyboard doesn’t have all the letters. Say your missing, ‘a’, ‘f’, ‘s’, and ‘g’.
The same holds true for your body repairing itself. It needs those 9 letters to build lean muscle and other tissues.
The most popular protein, whey protein, is also a complete protein. But it is made from milk, and those on a vegan diet need to stick to plant-based protein.
That’s where plant based protein blends come in.
Some proteins, like pea protein powder only has some of the letters. And another like brown rice protein powder has the others.
Mix them together and your body is working again with a complete amino acid alphabet. That is, non-coincidentally, the most popular plant-based protein blend.
Protein is essential for a healthy diet all meal replacement shakes should have a high amount of protein. Even if you eat just protein you can still gain weight, but the influx of amino acids insures your muscle doesn’t deteriorate. Weight loss is best when it is just fat being lost.
Almost all meal shake replacements are high in protein, but some are higher than others.
Gut Health and Meal Replacement Shakes.
Because meal replacement shakes are developed by nutritionists and doctors they are tailored to many different diets and lifestyles. While all of them on my list are soy-free, some are better for gut health than others.
Along with being soy-free, meal replacement shakes work with having probiotics, digestive enzymes to improve gut health. These boons are graded when analyzing shakes. All shakes should be digestible. As such gluten-free shakes are available and dairy-free.
Whey protein is derived from milk, and if the protein blend is plant-based, and the product will be dairy-free. There is products for lactose intolerant stomachs as well.
I prefer organic whole food ingredients, but they can come at a cost.
The problem with soy is that some people are straight out allergic to it. Or sometimes, can’t digest it well. Different plant-based protein blends fill the gap in the disparity for others and they work to be easily digestible and promote gut health. This is down by a mixture of probiotics and digestive enzymes.
You might be avoiding more than just soy. If so, some shakes on this list are also gluten-free and dairy-free.
The gold standard shake for avoiding allergens is Katefarms Komplete. It avoids all of the common allergens.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are the friendly little germs that live in your tummy. They aren’t squatters, though, and pay their rent by breaking down your food for you, so you always feel ready to move.
Prebiotics are the food that the probiotics eat. They are complex carbohydrates, including fiber, that your body doesn’t turn into energy but the probiotics do.
Digestive enzymes break down proteins. You need them to turn that nice quinoa salad into energy, muscle, or new brain cells. (For all the new stuff you’re learning 😉) Digestive enzymes exist in pineapple. Ever notice the tingling sensation in your mouth after you eat pineapple? That is bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein. So literally, a pineapple is eating you as you eat it.
List of replacement meal shakes.
On to the list, each shake is unique and fulfills a specific niche in the market. I intend to use the information you just learned to focus in on the best soy-free meal shakes.
1. Ample V
One of the first things I noticed about Ample V is how convenient it is for my lifestyle. I just fill the bottle with water and shake it to prepare the meal replacement.
All of the Ample products are designed with improving gut health in mind. They are full of prebiotics and probiotics. All of Ample’s replacement meals shakes are gluten-free.
With satiation in mind, they are full of fiber. 11 Grams per serving, which is the same as two servings of oatmeal. This means when you eat the drink, it keeps you feeling full until your next meal. This is vital for weight loss. Nothing is worse than constantly being tempted to eat food as you stick to your diet.
On their website and nutrition label, they don’t mention if their facility is soy-free. I reached out and asked them if it was. They replied yes, Ample’s manufacturing facility is soy-free.
Ample V meal replacement shakes are high in protein. It is a blend of pea protein and rice protein powder. It contains 20 grams of protein, which is the same as two-and-a-half servings of quinoa.
Ample V has four targeted vitamins and minerals. They address deficiencies that are the most common in the United States.
- Developed for improving gut health
- Safe for those with soy allergy
- Very affordable
- Comes in only one flavor.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal
Garden of Life is a company based around one idea: high-quality ingredients. All of their shakes are made with organic wholefood ingredients.
Their meal replacement shakes set the bar for the quality of ingredients in a meal replacement. Naturally, they are soy-free. Their protein blend is a mixture of pea protein and brown rice protein. In addition, it is gluten-free.
Per serving, it provides 20 grams of protein. This is very high in protein. They limit the fat in the shake.
The meal replacement shake is gluten-free.
Their ingredient list is longer than a diet book, almost. They take care to have a wide variety of ingredients in their shake. The advantage of this is they have a complete arsenal of vitamins and minerals. All of which, again, are organic and wholefood.
If you are concerned with the quality of ingredients above all else. This is the meal shake to get.
- Highest Standard of quality ingredients.
- 21 vitamins and minerals
- No guarantee on the processing facility being soy-free.
Katefarms is dedicated to avoiding allergens. Anything that a person may be sensitive to is avoided in the ingredients. It is lactose-, nut-, corn-, and gluten-free. (And soy-free of course.)
It is made in a soy-free facility.
It comes in ready to drink bottles. Just grab and go. This is as convenient as it gets.
All the ingredients are organically sourced. The concern of this product was making it work for people with sensitive stomachs — the ‘Kate’ of Katefarms is the daughter of the founders who wanted to make a meal replacement that would work with her sensitive digestion.
Its protein blend is a mix of organic pea and organic brown rice protein. It is extremely low fat if you are avoiding that. It has as much protein as two servings of quinoa, very healthy eating.
Like Ample, these meal replacement shakes are high in calories. Providing 310 calories per serving
Katefarms Komplete Meal replacements shakes are dense with agave sugar. It can cause a sickly feeling in some consumers. But, for some it may be a positive, as high sugar drinks without lactose may be a good source of energy.
Due to its high sugar it tastes great, so that is another pro.
- Ready to go meal replacement — as convenient as it gets.
- Free of all common allergens.
- High in sugar
I love this company for their customer education. They are dedicated to making sure that their costumers have lots of information for their diet at their fingertips. They describe everything about their products.
Now, I hesitate to call it a meal replacement shake. Why? They are huge into saying Huel is a meal — not just a replacement. It has all the healthy calories and vitamins and minerals that a person needs.
Huel meal replacements have all 27 essential vitamins and minerals. Let me put this in context for you, fruits and vegetables have around 8 different vitamins and minerals, and every one of them is considered healthy. Having 27 is like having a fruit that combines the health of three fruit and vegetables together into one.
Their protein comes from a mix of peas and rice. They have probiotics and are high fiber.
Huel is also one of the most affordable products available — even before the subscription discount. And you get a free T-shirt with your first order so you to can be a walking ad. I kid, of course. Huel is a great product.
- All 27 essential vitamins and minerals.
- Extremely affordable
- No confirmation on being a soy-free facility.
Only meal shake I know that uses pumpkin protein. I find pumpkin protein fun to say. It is blended with pea protein and brown rice protein as well. It has as much protein as two servings of quinoa. (15 Grams). It doesn’t use whey protein, so it is dairy-free.
This meal replacement shake is high in fiber at 5 grams. That is the same as a cup of oatmeal.
This shake is designed for a very low calorie diet. It’s serving size has the calories of one-third of a meal. In conjunction with its high fiber, the shake will suppress eating to excess. But even with that in mind, 110 calories per meal is very low.
The 310 meal products are gluten-free meal replacement shakes.
While 310 Meal replacement shake is made with non-soy protein, it is made in a factory that processes soy. Cross contamination may occur, leading to an allergic reaction.
- High Fiber
- Organic Ingredients
- Made in a facility that processes Soy.
It has 27, count them, vitamins and minerals. This is all the essential vitamins and minerals a person needs — the only other shake on this list that has the same amount is Huel.
It is super low calorie, once again only providing one-third of a meal’s calories.
Lyfefuel products require mixing, so it is less convenient than other shakes.
Compared to other meal replacement chains, this one is more expensive per meal, especially considering the low-calorie count per serving.
The pea protein and rice protein blend provides 18 grams of protein per serving. Lacking whey, these meal replacement shakes are dairy-free.
There isn’t a confirmation if it was made in a soy-free facility, if you are allergic to soy and you want to be 100% sure there isn’t any cross-contamination I would recommend Ample or Kate farms.
- Complete profile of vitamins and minerals.
- Helps weight loss
- Less Affordable
Orgain is a whey protein shake. It goes a step further than organic and uses milk from grass-fed cows.
This meal replacement shake has 20 vitamins and minerals in high amounts.
As compared to other meal shakes, it is lower in dietary fiber, having only 2 grams per serving.
It has a lot of added sugar, which is bad for people managing insulin spikes and those avoiding simple sugar in their diets. However, the sugar helps bring the taste to the next level.
Let me keep you in the know — when Orgain is good, it’s great. But they have serious quality control issues. Most of the time, the product is fine, loyal customers going back 6 years can attest to that. In the recent past, they have slipped.
I couldn’t find confirmation if it was made in a soy-free facility.
- High in Vitamins and Minerals
- Great taste.
- Quality Control Issues
- Not Vegan
There are many more soy-free meal replacement products available, but I hope this gives you the knowledge (and a start) to find what works best for you.
In my opinion, Ample Meal is the best one to try first. It is so convenient, all you do is pour water — or your favorite drink — into it, and immediately it becomes a meal. It tastes great. It helps your stomach. And it is soy-free. There is an immense charm to starting your day briskly with a cool cookie drink.
Whatever you may choose. Keep the community in your stomach healthy and happy. Part of that responsibility is due to avoiding soy, and sometimes it requires the help of probiotics — a fantastic tenant to be the landlord of.
Ready? Go live an active and long life.
- Do Meal Replacement Shakes Work? My Experience + Facts - July 22, 2020