Best Paleo Meal Replacement Shakes
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can feel daunting. Everywhere you look, experts recommend this, not that – vegan, or keto, low carb, or low fat. The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition.
Sometimes it takes trial and error to figure out what works best for your body. Whether you’ve found that you thrive on a paleo diet or you’re looking to try it out for the first time, here are 12 of my favourite paleo meal replacement shakes that can help on those busy days when cooking is not an option.
Ample (Editor’s Choice)
Ample’s meal replacement shake is paleo-friendly, high protein, and low carb. One of the defining factors of a paleo diet is consuming all-natural ingredients, and Ample fits the bill.
The shake is made with healthy fats, quality proteins, antioxidants, electrolytes, and probiotics – you’d be hard-pressed to cook a meal that checks all of these boxes. At 400 calories and 25g of protein per serving, the shake can also help you maintain a calorie deficit needed for healthy weight loss.
All of that aside, I love Ample simply because of the taste and texture – it is creamy and delicious and comes in both vanilla and chocolate flavours.
No Chalky texture
Aids in digestion thanks to the probiotics and fibre in the shake
Main protein is derived from whey, which may not be suitable for those who restrict all forms of dairy from their paleo diet
Can be considered quite pricey
Second on our list is Garden of Life’s Raw Meal Replacement Shake. Comparable to Ample’s shake, this meal replacement also contains high-quality protein, probiotics, and antioxidants, as well as digestive enzymes and less than one gram of sugar per serving.
As the name would suggest, this shake is made from raw, uncooked ingredients, meaning you don’t have to worry about any nutrient loss in the cooking process. On the flip side, some can find raw foods more difficult to digest.
Since Garden of Life’s Meal Replacement Shake is made from plant protein, namely pea protein, strict paleo diet followers might opt out of this one. Whether or not you should consume legumes on a paleo diet is a topic for debate, but at the end of the day, it’s a personal choice and comes down to how you feel when you eat it.
For me, plant protein is a wonderful and sustainable option, and if you’re trying to consume fewer animal products that this could be the drink for you!
Raw, non-GMO ingredients
Variety of flavors to choose from
Bit of a chalky texture
- Not suitable for those excluding legumes from their diet
The Primal Kitchen brand is a staple in a paleo pantry. Unlike the last two drinks we talked about, however, this shake sits at only 90 calories per serving, so you’re better off using this drink as a supplement to your meal rather than as the meal itself.
The protein source in Primal’s drink is whey isolate, which is a form of whey that many believe to be acceptable in a paleo diet since the lactose is virtually all removed. Because of this, Primal’s shake might be the one for you if you’re especially sensitive to dairy.
This meal replacement shake is also keto-friendly, so this is ideal if you’re trying to limit your sugar or carb intake, whether for weight loss or general health.
Made from whey protein isolate, a protein with one of the highest biological values, meaning it is easily absorbed and used by the body
Primal changed the original formula to remove all soy from the product, which changed the texture and made it more difficult to blend into liquid (this could also be considered a pro if you’re sensitive to soy, of course!)
- Only 10g of protein per serving – pretty good, but definitely not as substantial as Ample or Garden of Life’s meal replacement shakes.
Next up, we have Designs for Health: Pure PaleoMeal, a protein meal replacement made from bone broth.
Clocking in at 110 calories per serving and 17g of protein, this might be the shake for you if weight loss is your goal. However, just like Primal Kitchen shake, 110 calories means that this drink is also more suitable as a supplement to your protein intake rather than as a whole meal itself.
The Paleo PureMeal also contains several added vitamins and minerals, including B12, magnesium, and zinc. And, don’t let the “bone broth protein” label scare you; the meal replacement shake actually has a nice vanilla flavour!
Bone broth has many health benefits, including improved gut health and immune-boosting qualities
- Formula contains added vitamins and minerals
- No plastic, comes in a glass container
A little pricey
Last but certainly not least, we have Reignite Wellness Paleo-Inspired all-in-one Shake. This meal replacement shake is made with beef protein peptides, so just like Pure PaleoMeal, even the most hardcore paleo diet followers will approve.
With each serving coming in at 100 calories and 20g of protein, this is another that I can recommend if weight loss is your goal. But don’t forget that 100 calories is too few to be considered a substantial meal and should be used as a protein supplement or alongside a healthy meal.
The paleo-inspired all-in-one shake also includes a hand full of essential vitamins and minerals to help maintain your energy levels so you can avoid that after-meal slump.
No dairy or legume derivatives
Great for those with a sensitive gut
Some may find the formula too sweet
Why drink a meal replacement shake in the first place?
Meal replacement shakes can be beneficial for many different reasons.
If weight loss is your goal, then meal replacement shakes can help you limit your calories while making sure you’re getting all the protein and nutrients your body needs.
If you don’t feel like cooking or your schedule is especially busy, meal replacement shakes are can help you free up some time without compromising your paleo lifestyle.
If you’re brand new to a paleo and don’t have a clue where to start, adding a meal replacement shake to your daily routine is a great place to start while you try new recipes and learn the basics of a paleo diet.
The bottom line is that life gets in the way sometimes, and rather than stop by the nearest fast food joint, having a paleo meal replacement shake handy is a great way to stay on track and feeling good!
What is the paleo diet?
Paleo is short for paleolithic, meaning the foods that people ate during the paleolithic era. This era dates back 2.5 million to about 10,000 years ago, and the diet is also known as the stone age diet or the hunter-gatherer diet.
Generally speaking, the diet comprises fish and meats, fruit and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. No no’s for a paleo diet include dairy, grains, legumes, processed sugars, and soy, though as discussed above, many people will make certain exceptions based on their own goals and tolerances.
The gist of the paleo diet is to return to an ancient way of eating, before junk food, fast food, and processed food even existed. And, there are many benefits to taking a page from our ancestors’ diet book.
Why consume a paleo diet?
The paleo diet is known to have many health benefits. People love a paleo diet for many and diverse reasons, from healthy weight loss and improved digestion to lowered blood pressure and more balanced cholesterol levels.
When I first tried a paleo-based diet a few years ago, I noticed that my meals kept me more full for longer, but without any bloating or discomfort. This is because a paleo diet eliminates more foods known to cause gas or stomach pains, like beans or milk. I also noticed my skin cleared up completely! This is thanks to the anti-inflammatory qualities of a paleo diet.
So, which is the best paleo meal replacement shake?
Drum roll, please …. Ample! Ample’s paleo-friendly meal replacement shake wins in my books because it is the most complete shake on our list. At 400 calories, 25 grams of protein, healthy fats, fibre, and more, I don’t feel like I’m compromising my health goals just for the convenience of a shake.
And, on top of that, Ample’s shake is the best tasting with the best texture. No matter how healthy a shake is for you, if you can’t stomach it, then it’s no good!
At the end of the day, all of the paleo meal replacement shakes on this list can help you free up some time during your day without compromising your health goals. When you don’t have to worry about preparing three meals a day, you can worry about spending time doing the things you love – which is the point of living healthy in the first place!
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