Meal replacement shakes are often frowned down upon by many people. The argument against them is that physical food will always be better than liquid food. To an extent, that argument does hold. However, meal replacement shakes aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, on some occasions, they become an absolute necessity.
The benefits of these shakes are mostly related to the sheer convenience they provide. Due to everyone having a really busy schedule nowadays, preparing meals for yourself can become a really hard task. Sometimes, if you don’t have the time to prepare a meal, you can just prepare a shake and take it with you. There’s no time limit to it, you can drink it throughout the day or drink it in one go.
There are a lot of nutrients one needs to be wary of in order to be healthy. Sometimes, it gets too hard getting the right amount of all these different nutrients. A shake made from different ingredients can help provide you with essential nutrients all in one go. Moreover, some shakes, such as protein shakes provide more protein in fewer calories as compared to their food options. Protein shakes are a great option for people looking to lose weight or lean bulk.
Another great benefit of these shakes is that liquid calories are easier to consume as compared to solid. If you’re someone looking to gain muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus, even if it’s a small one. Even if you’re not looking to gain muscle, let’s say you’re really skinny and you want to put on weight. For skinny people, eating lots of food isn’t easy. Therefore, if you’re skinny, you likely won’t be able to eat as many calories required to gain weight.
That’s where the replacement shake comes in handy. You can drink hundreds of liquid calories much easier as compared to a few hundred calories from solid food. This is also why mass gainer shakes are so popular amongst people looking to gain weight. Therefore, meal replacement shakes do have their benefits, convenience being the biggest benefit of them all. Here are a few of the best:
This milkshake provides people with a much-needed break from the same old chocolate or vanilla protein shakes. Those who frequently use protein powders would know this feeling, it gets boring really quick. Usually, these protein shakes don’t taste that well and the only reason you continue taking them is to enhance your progress in the gym. However, the Core Power milkshake helps you get rid of those tasteless protein shakes for something with good protein content and good taste.
The milkshake comes in a variety of different flavors. It ranges from banana, coffee, and also comes in the traditional chocolate flavor. You would think a shake like this would have a lot of fat and less protein. However, as mentioned at the very front of the bottle, the shake contains a decent 26g of protein with a minimal amount of fat. It’s also not that calorically dense with just 210 calories. You can easily fit this as a snack or a protein shake during the middle of the day to meet your daily protein requirement.
Another good entry protein-wise, the muscle milk protein shake delivers in more than just the protein department. Protein is an essential building block for our body and more importantly, for our muscles. However, there are other nutrients too that one must consider after a workout, one of which is Potassium. Muscle Milk not only contains an adequate amount of potassium, but it also contains a decent number of essential vitamins.
This protein shake is a great overall package. It contains only 160 calories alongside a decent 25g protein serving. In order to get potassium, you’d need to eat a lot of bananas. One banana serving is approximately 100 calories. Therefore, you’re likely to eat more calories eating bananas in order to get that potassium as compared to this shake. If your goal is to lose weight, then the muscle milk protein shake is able to provide you the nutrients you need in much fewer calories.
Huel is a combination of essential vitamins and minerals that really encompasses almost everything a person needs for the day. It’s made from ingredients such as pea protein, oats, flaxseeds, brown rice etc. All these ingredients are naturally occurring which makes this shake even better. The only artificial thing used is a sweetener for taste, which is actually a good thing as it means less sugar is involved.
Another great thing about Huel is that it contains what many meal replacement shakes don’t: Omega-3. It’s is a highly essential nutrient for the body as it helps us stay alert, energized, and more mentally sharp. There are over 3 grams of Omega-3 in this shake and the shake has by far the best fatty acid profile amongst all others. The shake itself is inexpensive, there are over 28 added vitamins, and it contains a decent amount of protein. It’s as close as you can get to a perfect meal.
A special Homemade recipe
This is a shake that I myself make at home for myself often. The great thing about this shake is that you can customize it according to your needs and tastes. It’s a highly tasty shake that contains a moderate to high protein but it does contain quite a lot of calories. However, that’s the thing about this shake, it’s not light either. It’s a full meal replacement shake.
The shake ranges from anywhere between 400-800 calories, depending on what you put inside of it. I’ve experimented with a lot of ingredients and this was usually the range that came up. When one needs to be in a caloric surplus, this shake comes in really handy, especially as a breakfast shake since people usually don’t have time for breakfast. Mass gainers usually come with a low protein to calorie ratio. They also contain a lot of calories, a huge excess.
Although an excess of calories is required to gain weight, those calories should also be meaningful. The recipe here is entirely made up of naturally occurring things which are easily available and you likely use them in your daily routine as well. Let’s get started.
- Low-fat milk or Almond milk- One glass
- Peanut Butter (one or two spoons)
- Whole-grain Oats
- Bananas or any fruit you like
- Whey protein powder (optional)
- Any other thing you’d like to add for flavor as long as it’s not too sugary or calorically dense
If you have Whey protein powder with you, then this recipe goes from a moderate protein amount to a high protein amount. It makes for a very powerful breakfast replacement meal packed with all sorts of nutrients. The protein powder provides the protein. Even if you don’t have one, the oats and peanut butter are there to cover up for the protein content. The oats also contain complex carbohydrates to fuel you throughout the day.
There is the banana that is there for more than just taste enhancement. The banana and Oats together contain a decent amount of fiber. Then, to top it all off you have the milk. Milk also adds to the protein count and is a good source for Calcium. You can also customize the shake by perhaps substituting the banana for some other fruit you like. You can also choose eggs as a replacement source of protein (depends on your taste).
Adjust the portion sizes of each ingredient to find the caloric intake right for you. Overall, it’s a great shake worthy of a meal replacement that has helped me achieve my fitness goals for quite some time now.