When to Drink a Meal Replacement Shake

Do you ever find yourself asking, “when are the best times to take meal replacement shakes? Should I have one for breakfast? What about after my workout?”

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

A weight-loss shake is an easy way to start a healthy lifestyle and lose weight!

The main goal for meal replacement shakes is to aid in weight loss. However, only reducing your calories won’t get you to your ideal weight alone. Decreasing calories can lead to cutting out the foods you love, leading to negative cycles of yo-yo dieting.

Creating bad eating habits will only delay you in achieving your weight loss goals, so building a healthy relationship with food is important. When losing weight, it’s important to stay satisfied and avoid hunger. Being hungry is a danger zone for weight loss and can cause unnecessary snacking.

Whether you’re consuming three meals or six smaller meals throughout the day, the best times to take a shake is ultimately up to you. If you find it easier to have one for breakfast, do that. If you want to snack less, have a shake before or after lunch.

Meal replacement shakes are a great way to get essential nutrients in your diet without increasing your calorie intake.

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When To Drink A Meal Replacement Shake

You may be thinking, “okay, I get how great these are, but I need to know the time to take meal replacement shakes!” The great thing about meal replacement shakes is there’s no best time to take one! It all comes down to you and when they will be most valuable.


Say you’re a busy mom with two kids running around; you probably won’t be making yourself a high-quality breakfast before getting everyone out the door. Instead, you’d grab a few pieces of toast or run out without eating. You’ll then find yourself swinging by the closest fast-food drive-thrus to curb that hunger.

Instead, you can grab your favorite shake and drink it on your way out. This will keep you out of that hunger danger zone and ensure you get the proper nutrients for the morning. If you have some extra time you could even put it in a smoothie for some extra flair.


What if breakfast is no problem for you, but your co-workers love going out for lunch. You enjoy their company but have noticed your waistline getting a little tighter the past few weeks. Although you still want to have lunch with them, you don’t need the added calories. A great time for you to have a meal replacement shake could be for lunch or right before lunch. You don’t want to miss out on that lunchtime gossip!

You might also find yourself very busy because of a huge project going on at work, and you don’t have the extra half hour to spare. This is also a great time to ensure you’re getting in a meal full of nutrients that will still help with weight loss and give you the energy to push through the rest of the day.


Meal replacements can also be used at dinner. I find that most of my clients tend to overeat at dinner time. When you’re reducing your calorie intake for the day, take a meal replacement shake for or before dinner. Having a meal replacement before can reduce how much you’re eating at dinner, which will help with weight loss.

If, instead, you decide to have a shake for dinner, you must be getting enough nutrients throughout the day as well. As we don’t want to decrease your calories too much, making sure you’re getting in a couple of meals earlier is best.

As A Snack

If you’re someone who is eating five to six smaller meals throughout the day, having a few meal replacements can ease the stress of making that many meals. You can have one after breakfast but before lunch to curb that mid-morning lull in energy.

Or you could have one on your way to the gym after work to give you the much-needed energy to push through your workout or tough class! Or take one after your workout as a treat and some extra protein for the day

Should You Drink A Meal Replacement Shake Pre/Post Workout?

This is an interesting question, and really it comes down to what works best for you.

I make sure my clients come to every session with some food in their stomachs. That doesn’t mean stuffing down a meal right before they come in, but rather a few hours before. Exercising on an empty stomach can lead to a decrease in performance and some adverse effects.

If you find it’s easy to get a few high-quality meals each day, but you’re always hungry before your workout, it might be good to have one prior.

Drinking meal replacement shakes after your workout isn’t a bad idea, either. You may find yourself very hungry after a hard workout, so meal replacement shakes can act as a hunger blocker and will provide essential amino acids for recovery. They also have the added benefit of some whey protein and carbohydrates to refuel you for the rest of your day!

Before You Drink A Meal Replacement

It’s important to remember that you can still go overboard with meal replacement shakes. Just as you can still gain weight while eating a healthy diet, you can still gain weight drinking too many.

Not all weight loss drinks were created equal either. The FDA doesn’t need to approve these supplements’ safety or anything, so companies can always be trying to get a few quick bucks from you if you’re not careful. Bad some will be filled with excess sugar and unnecessary carbohydrates, which will lead to possible weight gain. So avoid the vending machine options!

Always do your due diligence and research the reputable companies first before buying. With different nutrition gimmicks running wild on social media, it’s easy to fall for marketing tactics. Even though replacement drinks will help with weight loss, it’s not an overnight fix. They’re here to assist you, not do all of the work. So if a company is promising something that’s too good to be true, it probably is!

These shakes’ weight loss effects will happen more effectively if paired with good nutrition habits and a consistent exercise regimen. Again we’re not looking for the quick fix here, but to live a healthy lifestyle while losing weight!

Try not to confuse replacement shakes for weight loss with a whey protein shake, either. They have some similarities, but protein shakes are higher in calories, protein, and usually fats and carbohydrates. They’re extremely beneficial when it comes to gaining muscle, but not for weight loss. There is a time and a place for both, but they are not the same.


Meal replacement shakes work and are a great way to decrease calories and lose weight. You can drink them whenever they best work for you and are a perfect way to supplement a meal that you may have trouble fitting into your busy day.

There’s no best time to take meal replacement shakes; it’s really up to you! You can have one at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack throughout the day.

Don’t be afraid of drinking more than one either! Studies had shown that there were no adverse effects when people had one or two per day. But remember, nothing can supplement a poor diet! Ensuring you’re getting enough healthy foods throughout the day will only help you achieve your goals faster!

In my professional opinion, the best times to take meal replacement shakes is for breakfast and/or an afternoon snack. Most people tend to skip breakfast and find themselves snacking near the end of the day. This way, you’re getting the energy and nutrients you need, but you’re not sabotaging your weight loss programs!

Have any other questions about when to drink a shake? Let us know by commenting below!

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