Meal replacement shakes are assisting millions of Americans – and people all over the world – to take better charge of their health, lives and overall fitness. They help users lose weight faster and diet more successfully every day. In addition, the shakes have become part of exercise and fitness regimens which leads to better workouts and living.
But just how healthy are meal replacement shakes? How exactly do they work and are they safe to drink? These are just some of the many questions people have about the shakes. If you are using them or are planning to, then you should know the answers to these questions, and a few others out there. Here is everything you need to know about meal replacement shakes, some great tips and other very useful information.
The Purpose Of Meal Replacement Shakes
The first thing you should know, is what the purpose of a meal replacement shake is. Intended to be used as a substitute for regular, solid food meals, the shakes are mostly designed for losing weight. Since they are much lower in calories than a normal solid meal, they help to reduce the amount of calorie intake. Some meal replacement shakes contain extra protein, vitamins and minerals. These can assist people in gaining weight or extra muscle as well. There are many different types of shakes available today, depending on your need. You can even make your very own personalized shakes if you prefer.
For those looking to lose weight or thinking of dieting, the weight control shakes are used as a way to replace daily meals you would normally take. Some people will ingest either one drink for breakfast, lunch or dinner and eat at least two other solid meals. Others looking to lose weight faster, consume at least two shakes a day. On the other hand, protein shakes for meal replacement are used more as way to boost or enhance a person’s work out. Using the shakes as a supplement, they can exercise, plan or keep a better fitness regimen.
The Pros and Cons of Meal Replacement Shakes
As with everything else, there are always pros and cons to meal replacement shakes. At the same time, a certain segment may have a different opinion about the shakes than others do. Overall though, the consensus on the shakes is mostly positive and good. After all, when used correctly, they can deliver great results for the individual using them.
Besides the nutrition, protein and vitamins, shakes also offer you a significant amount of convenience. They are quick and easy to make so they are perfect for people on the run. You can also take them just about anywhere and even save them for when you are ready to drink them later. Lastly and most importantly, the meal replacement shakes are usually low on calories. That’s one of the reasons they work so well as a dietary aid or replacement meal.
There are thousands of different kindsof shakes available on the market today. Some are marketed as the best meal replacement shakes for women. Others are made for men looking to bulk up or gain more muscles. A few shakes contain a combination of both of these provisions. Whatever your need may be, chances are that there is shake created just for you in mind. For the most part, a large majority of the shakes available for consumers, are used as a form of diet aid.
The problem is that not all of them are made the same way or with the same ingredients. You need to understand how each will work since ingredients affect our bodies differently. Before you take any protein shake diet, shakes for weight loss or protein shake meal replacement, do some research. Find out as much information as you can about the power drinks before you add it as a part of your dietary plan. You can also use well researched insightful articles on the subject or products from sites or businesses dedicated to just that. Below are some of the most common pros and cons you can expect from meal replacement shakes.
Pros Of Meal Replacement Shakes –
- They are very convenient, portable, quick and easy to use.
- You can make your own customized shakes, depending on your particular needs, taste preferences and ingredients you want to use.
- Shakes help you curb the need to eat solid foods during the day or night so they can help you avoid overeating.
- Easier to track calorie intake since by drinking a shake, you can do your own calorie counting.
- They offer vitamins, fibers, protein and other essential ingredients.
- Are healthier and more nutritious than a quick burger and fries meal or many other junk food or fast food
- Very convenient and great for people on the go who don’t have time for cook, make or eat a full meal.
- Very effective when it comes to losing weight or helping you diet since they are low on calories.
- Provide a much better weight management option to you than regular meals.
Cons Of Meal Replacement Shakes –
- Shakes can be less nutritious than a regular meal since some of them lack nutrients or have limitations as far as minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
- Can promote laziness in people since a person can end up supplementing the shakes for exercising regularly.
- The drinks don’t really offer much to the users as far as long term planning. Most people cannot go on drinking shakes all their lives. Once they have to go back to eating solid foods, the weight can come back.
- Not too much information yet available on the long term effects it has on average weight users. Most studies have been done only on either obese or really overweight individuals.
- Can become boring after drinking them for a while. The meals we eat daily can change as opposed to the shakes.
Types of Shakes Available
When it comes to meal replacement shakes, there are many different types available. Some are weight loss shakes for women, meal substitute shakes or protein drink diet. Other shakes are for weight loss or for individuals looking to gain more muscle. No matter the shake, there is probably one that will suit your needs. Yet there some really important issues you should be aware of about power drinks and how they work.
Shakes alone can and will help you if you are trying to gain, lose or control your weight. However, the results will materialize much faster for a person who is truly committed to losing weight or sticking to a healthy diet habit. This means that drinking the shakes alone, without some form of discipline or commitment, will likely produce less than the desired results. Before you choose a shake, you need to know certain requirements the drink should have. On the other hand, there are also some ingredients or prerequisites to avoid in some smoothies.
When selecting a shake, try using one that is very low sugar. That’s because the liver processes glucose or fructose – sugar – and converts it to fat in your body. Three grams of sugar or less should be sufficient. You should also try using a diet beverage with an average of 200 to 400 calories per use. If you choose a protein shake, then it can help you lose weight too. Protein reduces the cravings to eat again by slowing down our digestion. In turn, we feel fuller for much longer periods of time. Meal replacement drinks to lose weight should also contain healthy fats such as polyunsaturated fats and mono. In addition, pick one with vitamins and fiber which also helps you feel fuller longer as protein does.
Lastly, avoid meal replacer shakes that are too high on sodium. The recommended amount is 2,300 milligrams a day. Remember, the more salt we consume, the more water our bodies retain in order to balance out the extra salt in our bodies. Having an additional 400 mg of salt in our system can lead to a person gaining 2 pounds in weight. Reducing water retention also helps avoid several problems which are associated with high sodium levels. Although it may be difficult to find a drink which meets all of these requirements, there are some that have most of them, are balanced or are close enough. Below are some of the different types available and for what purpose they may give better results.
Shakes For Women
Women tend to pay more attention to details than men do. That may explain why they are likely to be more conscious about their weight than men are. There are countless types of shake diets for women available today. Since these drinks are created or designed specifically for them, they tend to work better than a regular, generic type of shake. Although this section is focused on women’s meal replacement shakes, we must point out that there are many highly rated meal replacement shakes for men as well.
When it comes to the best diet shakes for women, the primary prerequisite is calories and nutrition. Because most women will use them for weight loss or dieting, the beverages will usually contain anywhere between 200 to 400 calories, on average. They will also have macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fiber and protein. Since macronutrients will help you feel more full and satisfied, it is essential to choose one that includes a share of them. That will end up in making you feel less hungry and less likely to want to eat again later. Shakes like these will contain hunger-blocking ingredients such as the highly rated IdealShake, Meal Replacement Shake, Cookies ‘N Cream, w/ Hunger Blocker.
Slimming meal replacement shakes or smoothies will contain a few grams of fat, as well as some fiber and protein. You can also add your own choice of protein by mixing in vegetables, fruits or other ingredients with your brew. One of the things that’s really important and you should take into consideration, is the taste of the shake. After all, if you are going to be drinking one a few times a week, you need a power drink that not only does the job, but also taste good enough to make you want to drink it again.
Weight Loss Shakes
Believe it or not, research has shown that nutritional supplement shakes can be just as effective for losing weight as other conventional, structured weight loss meal plans. On average, some people tend to eat 4 to 6 small meals per day. This is important because a weight loss beverage will end up replacing at least one or two of your daily meals. Most of these brews work as supplements, not a replacement, of a healthy diet. The Chocolate Protein Shake from Dr. Sara Gottfried, is a great all in one meal replacement shakes for women.
An average 140 pound woman consumes between 75 to 109 grams of protein per day. The recommended average from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is about 46 grams though. In a way, using a good weight loss shake powder, or high protein meal replacement drinks, can help you with this issue. That’s in part because most of them, contain a miniscule amount of protein, while others include more. The choice you make depends on your need of protein intake. Just keep in mind that there are some differences between protein shakes and meal replacement shakes.
Some To Consider
The past few years, there has been an explosion of power drinks, meal replacer shakes and diet drinks being sold. With so many to choose from, it is hard to make a choice. Based on extensive research trying to find some the the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss, we came across some impressive reviews about IdealShape, Herbalife and Beachbody’s Shakeology. You can read a really helpful Ideal Shape Shake Review here for more information about them.
Below, we added some for you to consider since they are some of the best or highest rated diet or weight loss shakes available now.
Protein shakes are different than weight loss meals. That’s because protein drinks are not necessarily designed to replace a meal since they consist of mostly protein and little or no carbohydrates at all. They are also largely used by men or women who want to build muscle and muscle tissue. At the same time, protein meal replacement powder can offer you more nutrients. They typically have a 2:1 ratio of carbs vs. protein. A great protein beverage should have between 200 to 500 calories, protein and carbohydrates.
According to conditioning and certified strength specialist Marie Spano, R.D. “Women may actually benefit more from protein powder than men do.” Still, protein shakes or powders can help women who want to build muscle, maintain muscle or lose weight. But, unlike weight loss shakes or shake meal replacements, they are usually taken while combined with some form of exercise or fitness workout. Below, are some of the highest rated meal replacement shakes you should consider.
Recipes For Meal replacement shakes
Another alternative to contemplate about shakes is making your own. There are countless advantageous recipes available. Most were created by people just like you and some, by experts, doctors and fitness gurus. For those that choose to make their own brews, the reasons may vary. Some do it simply because they might not like the processed food or ingredients found on some being sold. There’s also the option of being able to customize the power drink to your specific needs.
A real incentive to making your very own personal smoothies or brewed shake, is that it lets you dictate the taste – which is very important. In most cases, making your own could actually end up costing more money though. But that all depends on exactly what you will be adding to it and so on. When making your own homemade meal replacement shakes, you can do a smoothie, protein power beverage, weight loss shake or a combination and mix of them all. Just remember that when you have to make your own meal replacement shakes, more time and attention is often required. Plus, there will be the extra cleaning that comes from making them yourself as well.
Recipe For a Protein Shake
2 scoops vanilla whey protein.
1-1/2 cups skim milk.
1/2 cup dry oatmeal.
1/2 cup raisins.
12 slivered almonds.
1 tbsp peanut butter.
If you want to check out some different ones for weight loss or other usage, then take a look at the 23 Best Protein Shake Recipes For Weight Loss here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Meal Replacement Drinks
It is very common for people to ask a lot of questions about a topic as complicated and important as meal replacement drinks. That’s because they can cover so much ground. They could be used for weight loss, gain, convenience, control or eating clean. There are numerous other reasons as well. No matter which one you may fall under, chances are that you will have a question or two about the subject. Even more so when there are so many different brands being sold today. For someone who is new to food supplement shakes for weight loss or just getting started, the amount of information can be overwhelming.
Just keep in mind that the meal replacement drink you choose is simply taking the place of either breakfast, lunch or dinner. No matter which one you select, you can always make changes as you go along. If you see something that’s working for you, then stick to that. On the other hand, you may also need to change the drinks or methods; especially if you notice little to no results after a few weeks or months. For those that may still be confused or hesitant, below, we have gone over some of the most important questions you may have on the subject of meal replacement supplements.
Is IdealShake gluten free?
The Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla and Mocha versions of IdealShake are all tested as gluten-free. The Cookies ‘N Cream though, is not. Keep in mind that they are manufactured in a facility which does produce products containing soy, eggs, milk, wheat and nuts though.
Are there any allergy concerns?
For the most part, most shakes do not cause allergies. But when it comes allergies, the causes or triggers can be substantial. If you are allergic to a certain ingredient, then be sure to read the contents on the label before choosing or drinking one. You should always consult a doctor if you are prone to allergies or have any reactions to a drink.
How many shakes can I consume per day?
When it comes to protein shakes, the number can widely vary. Some may ingest anywhere between 1 to 4 protein drinks a day. The number depends on whether or not you are trying to build muscles. For those trying to lose weight, you can consume 1-2 a day.
Do shakes contain caffeine?
Caffeine works as an appetite suppressor and usually reduces a person’s desire to eat. Most weight loss supplement shakes do contain some form of caffeine; especially chocolate flavor shakes. Cocoa contains caffeine – about 12 mg per tbsp – which explains why chocolate flavor shakes have more. Still, there are a few diet beverages with little to no caffeine at all. The quantity will largely depend on the brand and/or flavor you choose.
Will Meal Replacement Shakes interact with any medications?
According to the FDA and ConsumerReports, there are certain medications you should avoid mixing with some fruits, vegetables and drinks. If you are taking some sort of medication and you are unsure of the side effects, then it is best to consult a doctor; especially before drinking any meal replacement shakes or certain foods. Here is a list from the FDA explaining how to Avoid Food-Drug Interactions. Also, Don’t mix your meds with these foods.
Can I use Meal Replacement Shakes while pregnant?
There are a few shakes that can be taken by women while they are pregnant. However, this all depends on the drinks you choose. To be safe, always check with your physician before using any product if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Can I use Meal Replacement Shakes while breastfeeding?
Just like for women who are pregnant, some shakes are safe to drink while breastfeeding. It is best to consult with your doctor since you want to be certain about the shake you will consume. This should be done to ascertain that both you and your baby will get proper nourishment as well.
Where To Buy The Shakes From
In the event that you have finally decided on a particular kind of nutritional shake meal replacement and want to know ‘where can I buy meal replacement shakes?‘, then there are a few places you can obtain them from. The first thing you want to make certain of is that the place is a recognizable and trusted source. For one, you can always return it if you have any kinds of problems. Secondly, you may also get better prices or discounts with your purchase.
You can buy good shakes for weight loss in whole foods stores and grocery stores. Other places are Walmart, Amazon and Target as well. Depending on the type of diet replacement drink you select, you can sometimes buy them directly from the company’s website. Amazon is an excellent online store to buy some of the most effective weight loss shakes because of a few reasons. You can easily read reviews from other customers who have tried and used it. There, you can see whether or not they are worth your time, effort and money. Plus, free shipping may also be an option in some cases, depending on the quantity you purchase.
As more and more people begin to discover the numerous benefits from using meal replacement shakes, the market will continue to grow. That is always great news for the consumer since they will end up with more choices and a larger selection. On the other hand, it will also mean that there will be more items to review and be informed about.
Once you have essentially decided what type of optimal meal replacement shakes you want and for what purpose, the rest will become easier. Of course this all depends on exactly what you want to accomplish. Although there are thousands of products and hundreds of methods to use, the most important factor is you. In the end, your determination and drive will help you obtain your goal much faster and quicker.
Just keep in mind that weight loss, dieting and exercising are not easy and require some dedication and devotion. The more you commit to whatever it is you want to achieve, the more likely you are to succeed. Meal supplement shakes are great and can make a difference in your life. Your next step is to find the right one for you and begin to work on reaching your goal right away.