If your diets aren’t that “sticky” drinkable meal replacement shakes can help, especially those expressly designed for weight loss. Science has shown that people are more likely to stick with their diets if they utilize meal replacement shakes, thanks to the balanced formulas, the convenience, and the nutrients they provide. We’ve got some suggestions for drinkable meals made with real food sources that are low in sugar and high in protein: perfect for losing weight while building muscle.
Everyone is busy, and as technology advances, business gets a boost. Your work comes home with you, your nights get shorter as you try to feed your family or get ready for the next day, and to keep up with all your responsibilities and make time to get to the gym, where do you have a few hours each week to meal prep?
Something’s got to give, and when it comes to staying healthy, sometimes people have to settle for fast food while they’re out and about. And even when you’re trying to eat healthy on-the-go, you just can’t be sure of what you’re getting.
Buy a salad kit: what’s in that dressing? Choose a fruit smoothie: how much sugar does it have? Either way you’re still only getting one or two of the food groups each time.
But with a drinkable meal you could be getting the nutritional equivalent of a complete meal!
Meal replacement shakes are not meant to replace every one of your meals all day, every day. Instead, they’re healthy stand-ins for whichever meal is hardest to get (probably breakfast or lunch). Even astronauts and soldiers in combat zones don’t just consume nutritional slurry. Humans need whole foods that contain irreplaceable fiber and natural nutrients.
However, that does not mean that drinkable meals aren’t good for you sometimes: they can be great if you use them well and make sure you’re buying products with the right ratio of ingredients. Those numbers are as follows.
Here are 10 drinkable meal options to choose from, all of which fall into the ideal nutrient windows for protein shakes.
With five flavors (vanilla bean, chocolate fudge, strawberries and cream, bananas and cream, and iced mocha), this is an all-organic drinkable meal with 16 grams of whey protein powder from grass-fed sources in each serving. Orgain products are gluten free, soy free, kosher, certified USDA organic, and non-GMO.
Here’s a drinkable meal for vegans with 400 calories, 20 grams of which are from protein. It’s an energy-booster for vegans and vegetarians, with solid nutrient content like magnesium, iron, and vitamin D to cover all your bases.
This low-sugar option is full of fiber (5 grams) and made with organic soy protein in flavors like spiced chai, cappuccino, French vanilla, and more. On the lower end of calories, each serving still contains 11 grams of protein for a filling drinkable meal.
The strongest option on the list for protein content, this drinkable meal has 42 grams of protein from pea protein and whey protein powders in each carton. With 300 calories and flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and cookies and cream, this is a filling and powerful meal replacement shake that can even help speed up your workout recovery.
Each bottle of Iconic’s drinkable meals contains 20 grams of grass-fed milk protein, only 3 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber. Nutrients include helpings of vitamin B12, magnesium, and calcium, with a lower calorie count than most, and unique flavors like coconut matcha and golden milk.
For those interested in plant rather than animal protein, Vega shakes have protein from hemp, peas, and other natural ingredients such as powdered greens, flaxseed, and cocoa powder. With 20 grams of vegan protein per shake and 4 grams of fiber, you can drink all your greens (spirulina, spinach, kale) in one convenient mix.
Here’s another vegan option that features coconut oil (which has the medium-chain triglycerides that can help curb hunger while intermittent fasting), and a protein blend made from hemp, chia, and pea protein. With flavor choices like mint cacao, cold brew coffee, and sea salt chocolate, you can shake up your daily drinkable meals.
Premier protein shakes come in all the classic flavors (chocolate, caramel, vanilla) and are the recipients of the American Master of Taste Gold Medal for the taste and quality of those very flavors. With a whopping 30 grams of protein, there’s a very good chance you’ll think of this drinkable meal as a treat.
With Pure you can get a shake in a can (as easy to carry around as a soda), and with 35 grams of protein, plus an array of vitamins and nutrients like iron and calcium, you may not believe this drinkable meal has only 1 gram of sugar. Flavors come in cookies and cream, frosty chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry, and more.
We’ll leave you with another protein powerhouse. Containing 40 grams of protein along with 5 full grams of fiber, Labrada’s Lean Body Protein Shake is filling and delicious and has 0 (as in none) grams of sugar. It’s also lactose free for those with a sensitivity or allergy to lactose who still want to drink their meals but can’t stomach whey.
There’s a lot to love about drinkable meals: they’re easy, they’re tasty, and they can help you make sure you’re getting the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals needed to feel your best and build muscle at the gym. Think about what you’re not getting from your whole-food choices (want more fiber or more protein?), or which vitamins you tend to supplement with, and then find the brand that best suits you.