Meal replacement supplements are intended to substitute your solid meals, helping you track exact amounts of nutrients and calories you consume. They usually come in the form of powder to be made into shakes, smoothies and iced drinks. Some meal replacement supplements are medically prescribed and these usually include more than just your required minerals and vitamins.
Most top meal replacement brands usually contain about 200 to 250 calories per serving, fortified with lots of added minerals and vitamins. Most even offer low sugar options.
The list below ranks the best meal replacement supplements on the market according to product quality, price, and customer satisfaction.
1. ViSalus VI-Shape Nutritional Meal Replacement Shake – The all-around nutritional monster of a shake. This is an ideal dietary supplement not only as a meal replacement, but for rapid weight loss and increased energy as well. It includes a combination of 25 minerals and vitamins making you more active throughout the day and even increasing your agility.
ViSalus meal replacement shakes are also healthy for your heart and are lactose and gluten free. Also, it is important to note that this product does not contain any aspartame, but is instead sweetened with sucralose which is calorie-free.
2. Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake – This supplement is packed with essential nutrients for your body as well as 50% of your daily vitamins and 25% of your daily fiber. It contains a plant based protein with complete and balanced amino acids. The nutritional shake is made from whole fruits and vegetables which are packed with natural vitamins. It is also dairy and gluten free and comes in a variety of different flavors.
20 servings per container, 41g per serving. Only 160 calories per serving. Not the cheapest meal replacement shake on the market, but one of the best as far as product quality.
3. Labrada Lean Body Meal Replacement – One of the tastiest meal replacement shakes on the market with a delicious chocolate flavor, Labrada Nutrition meal replacement shakes also offer one of the highest protein contents compared to other popular meal replacement brands (35g of protein per serving). Also included in each serving are 6,000mg of branch chain amino acids (BCAAs), 8,000mg of essential fatty acids (EFAs), and 7,000mg of Glutamine.
Each tub contains 16 servings. Allergen information: Contains milk and soy products.
4. Beachbody 3-Day Refresh – This supplement is a great pick if you aim to lose a lot of weight fast. Aside from weight loss, it helps build your fat-burning metabolism and helps you break your bad eating habits. The 3-Day Refresh detoxifies and cleanses your body while increasing your metabolism with easy-to-prepare, nutritious whole food. A detox is a great way to kickstart healthier eating habits. The products are fast acting and specifically designed to produce speedy results, helping you lose weight in just a matter of days.
Comes in a variety of 7 different flavors, $83 for the detox package.
5. Ensure Nutrition Powder – Ensure Nutrition Powder is a top recommended brand by doctors to provide balanced and complete nutrition. It is an excellent source of 26 essential minerals and vitamins and also contains 9 grams of protein per serving. It is gluten free and suitable for those that are lactose intolerant. Since it comes in a powder form, you can conveniently mix it with your favorite foods and beverages. It is one of the most convenient and complete sources of general nutrition on the market.
Each serving contains 90 calories, 10g calories from fat, 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 15mg cholesterol, 7g total carbs, 5g dietary fiber, <1g sugar and 12g protein.
How do meal replacement supplements work?
Meal replacement supplements are prepared products that you take once or twice a day in the form of shakes, bars, or smoothies. They substitute one of your main meals like breakfast, lunch or dinner. They have the recommended quantity of carbohydrates included in each meal along with fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Most have more nutritional value compared to other health products such as protein bars, energy bars or regular shakes. In addition, meal replacement supplements contain added fiber in order to fulfill your daily recommendation. They also provide a convenience to appease hunger in times when you do not have time to prepare a regular meal.
Meal replacement supplements are primarily used for weight loss. One of the best benefits of meal replacement shakes are that they are loaded with targeted quantities of vitamins and minerals, allowing you to monitor each nutrient that you consume throughout the day.
You don’t have to consume an array of vegetables, whole-grains and fruits to get your daily intake of essential nutrients. Meal replacement supplements are a convenient way to get the recommended vitamins and minerals that you need without worrying about preparing meals, or the cleanup after. They are also typically high in protein. You can get all the needed vitamins and minerals while consuming only a few grams of fat and a small amount of calories. Almost sounds too good to be true, right?
What are the side effects of meal replacement supplements?
Meal replacement supplements provide around 200 calories for each serving. Drastically cutting your calories down with meal replacement supplements can make you feel tired and fatigued throughout the day if you do not get enough calories to sustain your daily activity levels. Your digestive tract may also suffer by replacing a couple of meals a day with meal replacement supplements.
According to Linus Pauling institute report, women need 26 grams of fiber while men need as much as 38 grams of fiber throughout the day (1). Meal replacement supplements generally don’t contain much fiber which could make it hard for you to reach your daily fiber intake recommendation. As a result, you may suffer from diarrhea, bowel irregularity or constipation.
Meal replacement supplements could also affect your satiety (2). Because these supplements do not contain much fiber, you do not get the feeling of being full and you do not get the chewing benefit from having a meal. With a shake, you may consume it quicker than a meal, reducing your satiety and causing you to feel the hunger again shortly after.
Whey protein is the main ingredient of many meal replacement supplements that are not lactose free. People who are lactose intolerant should avoid these particular nutritional shakes as they may suffer stomach discomfort, nausea, cramps and bloating.
Some commercially produced meal replacement drinks contained traces of arsenic and even harmful heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury or lead, according to one study published in 2010 by Consumer Reports (3). Consuming products with these heavy metal ingredients can result in health problems such as weakness, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, headaches and constipation. Meal replacement supplements could also cause serious side effects for those that have kidney or liver problems, and they can negatively interact with diabetes medications.
If you are interested in buying a meal replacement supplement, check out our rankings above. We’ve done the research to narrow down the top 5 meal replacement shakes of the year. But you don’t have to take our word for it; try a supplement for yourself and see how you can benefit with improved health and wellness.
from Health Ranks http://healthranks.org/meal-replacement/