Ranking The best meal replacement shakes of 2018 that work…

People have less time to actually start making three to four meals a day so meal replacement shakes are the future of food.

Let’s face it, they are convenient, quick and easy.

Plus they have a ton of nutrition which can help you stay healthy, lose some weight and save money and time.

The latest Research and Markets’ report on meal replacement products confirms they’re perfectly suited for the modern lifestyle, finding that the global meal replacement market is poised to grow 6.83% from 2017-2021. (1)

I want to break this into two parts to help organize everything for you.

First part will rank this years 13 best meal replacement shakes in order while the second part will go over how they work and answer some questions.

13.  Plexus Slim

Plexus

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Other Products That Compete.

Plexus Slim (another name for it is the pink drink) was created by Plexus and is a great option specially that it helps with weight loss and gut health.

Now this isn’t really a meal replacement, but you are suppose to take it before a meal so it helps suppress your appetite which in turn will help you lose weight.

One of the main active ingredients is Chromium which has shown to curb carbohydrate cravings while garcinia cambogia has been proven in many studies to help lose belly fat. (2, 3)

Now the gut part I was talking about is due to the prebiotic fiber which is pretty much food for your healthy bacteria in your gut.

Your body will eventually turn it into something called Butyrate which is shown be anti-inflammatory. (4)

12. 310 Shake

310 shake

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310 Shake is a plant-based meal replacement shake that is made from natural ingredients.

Not to mention that protein source is from plants as well so you won’t be missing any nutrients and minerals.

310 Shake uses a special protein blend called Tri-Plex protein blend which includes hemp protein, brown rice protein and pea protein.

Your body absorbs plant proteins better, but brown rice and hemp protein are low on an essential amino acid called lysine.

This is why they don’t consider it a complete protein.

310 shake comes in vanilla chai, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel and mocha.

Because it may contain dairy, it’s not vegan.

Only complaint I have seen is the plant-based protein don’t mix as well, but then others say if you add almond milk and berries, it helps with that.

11. AdvoCare Spark

advocare spark

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AdvoCare Spark is created by a network marketing company called AdvoCare which claim that this product helps with increased energy and metal focus.

That’s mostly due to their 20 different nutrients, caffeine, taurine, and B-vitamins.

If you didn’t know already, a lot of energy drinks or pre-workout drinks have those ingredients.

Another thing AdvoCare Spark has is L-tyrosine which is an amino acid to help reduce stress, improve memory and burn fat. (21)

Plus they have a ton of flavors to choose from like mango strawberry, mandarin orange and limeade.

Not only that, it’s not expensive at just over $50 for 42 servings.

10.  SlimFast

slimfast

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You probably seen millions of commercials on this product..

SlimFast is the grandfather of all meal replacement shakes and I am sure you probably even tried it at some point.

The question is…

Are they popular because they actually work, or they just been around for so long?

The answer is…

YES, SlimFast can help you lose weight if you pair it with a low-calorie diet and exercise.

Now, low calories means just go under 300 to 500 calories under maintenance.

To calculate your maintence calories, just take your WEIGHT x 15 = Calories.

Whatever you get there, start off by taking off 300 and see how that goes first.

You don’t want to go too low from the beginning because it can cause issues…

SlimFast has a program called 1-2-3 which is for weight loss and recommends you consume one healthy meal per day, two of their SlimFast Meal replacement shakes (200 calories each), and two of their snacks or snack bars (100 calories each).

That will get you around 1200 calories per day, add any more meals if necessary, remember you don’t want to go too low.

SlimFast is bit more processed compared to some on this list specially when you check out the ingredients.

9.  Soylent

soylent

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Soylent was released by a crowd-funding Silicon Valley start-up just a few years ago.

Because of a ton of support from big influencers and bloggers, they made a great name for themselves.

They initially targeted busy Silicon Valley workers and told them to replace all their meals with Soylent for 30 days without eating any other food.

The goal wasn’t so much weight loss, but to save time and increase productivity by not having to make meals.

Soylent doesn’t label themselves as a meal replacement, but a “ready-to-drink food” that packs all the nutrients you need that rivals whole foods and prepared meals.

Now that’s what they claim of course…

If you do three servings of Soylent, you will hit 2000 calories which is recommended for the average people.

Now if you are super active, it could be more than that.

Most nutritionists agree that you shouldn’t actually replace all your meals with Soylent and Canada actually banned this product because it doesn’t meet their criteria for a meal replacement product.

Now before you jump the gun thinking it was due to some banned ingredient, it wasn’t.

It was due to the fact that Canada when replacing ALL your meals only 30% of the calories and come from fat.

If you replace all your meals with Soylent, that number it’s 32% so it blew over…(7)

Personally, I wouldn’t ever replace ALL my meals with any kind of meal replacement, but one or two is fine.

Soylent wasn’t designed as a weight loss product, but it does have a ton of nutrients and works great for a meal or two.

8.  GNC Total Lean

gnc total lean

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GNC Total Lean shakes are oat based, so they have a ton of fiber and anti-oxidants which most meal replacement shakes don’t have…

The truth is oats are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can consume.

There is a very powerful anti-oxidants called avenanthramides which helps lower blood pressure, improves blood flow and is anti-inflammatory. (8,9)

Another thing oat fiber has is beta-glucan, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar. (10,11)

The main goal for GNC’s Total Lean is to help support muscle growth with their high-fiber meal replacement shakes.

With 180 calories per serving, this high fiber meal replacement shake keeps you full.

Priced at $39.99 for 16 servings, it’s pretty affordable too plus GNC offers a money back guarantee.

7.  Vi-Shape

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Vi-Shape shake mix is released by Visalus which is part of the ViSalus Body By Vi Challenge Kit.

This has a special proprietary Tri-Sorb protein blend which has both soy and whey protein.

I personally not a fan of soy protein because there are some valid arguments against it but for it as well.

Studies have shown that it reduces your LDL cholesterol (good one) and increases the risk of prostate cancer, but then there are studies saying it reduces the risk of heart disease. (12, 13, 14)

Also, Soy contains something called isoflavones which is considered endocrine disruptors.

In other words, they mess with your hormones and might even increase or decrease estrogen in your body. (15)

Whey protein on the other hand is found in MOST protein products out there which body builders love because it’s absorbed much faster than any other protein source.

Whey is better at promoting muscle growth, and even help with fat burning compared to other protein sources (16, 17, 18)

Vi-Shape shakes are low in fat, sodium, sugar and are gluten-free.

Plus it has 26 different vitamins and minerals, and a good source of calcium and fiber.

6.  Shakeology

shakeology

Shakeology truly took the world by storm and made this list, but is it really surprising?

Shakeology comes from a company called Beachbody, which is one of the hottest fitness MLMs in the world.

Also, they haven’t really classified what this really is…

  • Is it a meal replacement shake?
  • Or a weight loss supplement?
  • Maybe a protein shake?

According to their website it’s both all and none of the above…

Now Shakeology is an “ultra premium superfood shake” that’s meant to be a 130 to 170 calorie snack.

Which really isn’t a meal replacement, but you can add more ingredients to your shake to bring that up like peanut butter for example (if you are not allergic to nuts of course).

What Shakeology doesn’t want to do is associate with low quality meal replacement shakes that are low in nutrition…

Beachbody is big on addressing the nutritional gaps and their Shakeology shake is filled with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics and anti-oxidants.

Funny thing is many people use Shakeology for weight loss purposes.

It packs in 17 grams of protein which is come from why, pea, chia, flax and quinoa.

Plus they taste great which is always great and come in cafe latte, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, greenberry and tropical strawberry.

They also have several vegan options.

5.  IsaLean Shake

isalean

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IsaLean Shake is by a company called Isagenix and is their meal replacement shake.

This is part of their 30 day diet program and formulated to promote weight loss and build lean muscle mass.

Each meal replacement shake packs a whooping 24 grams of protein from why and isolate which is actually really good.

Also, they are soy-free, gluten-free and low glycaemic.

There has been many studies on low-glycaemic foods that help with diebetes and promotes weight loss. (19)

When it comes to the diet program, it’s very similar to the SlimFast diet where you replace one or two meals with a meal replacement shake.

Another positive is that the IsaLean shakes have 8 grams of fiber and BCAA’s (branched-chain amino acids) which help with muscle growth. (20)

You can get this meal replacement shake in many different flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

Also they offer kosher shakes as well.

4.  Vega One

vega one

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Vega One Shakes are organic, all-in-one, plant-based meal replacement shakes that avoid diary protein all together and offer high amounts of amino acids.

This is great for both weight loss and building muscle mass.

It’s very easy to prepare a Vega One shake because all you need is water and ice.

Plus, they offer easy recipes for all kinds of all-ons and mix-ins to make this shake into a fully balanced meal.

Being USDA certified organic means it’s only one of the few on the market with that label.

Not to mention it’s gluten-free and non-GMO verified.

That’s always a plus 🙂

In addition, Vega One shakes give you 50% of your daily value for vitamins and minerals.

Which is awesome!

They come in plenty of flavors like vanilla, chocolate, plain unsweetened, coconut almond, mocha, and berry.

3.  18 Shake

18 shake

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18 Shake is branded as the “luxury meal replacement” and is made from ALL natural ingredients.

Again, like the higher send stuff, this contains no gluten, no soy and no artificial sweeteners.

There is a lot of buzz about this meal replacement shake.

One of the reasons is it has a top quality “dual-protein formula” that uses both whey protein and whey protein isolate which helps with weight loss and muscle building.

Not only that, it packs fibersol-2 and 24 vitamins and minerals that will keep you full for a while.

The kicker is each shake is only 90 calories which is one of the lowest I have seen.

Now I recommend you added stuff to this shake because 90 calories won’t keep you full for very long, but it does have fibersol-2 which is an appetite suppressant.

2.  Herbalife Formula 1

herbalife formula 1

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We all know about Herbalife and it’s one of the biggest network marketing companies in the world.

They also have one of the most successful meal replacement shakes out there called the Herbalife Formula 1.

Now sure it’s one of the more processed one including ingredients like hydrogenated oils, but they have updated their formula to have more healthy ingredients.

No matter what, that’s still better than eating fast food.

Herbalife Formula 1 packs in 21 vitamins and minerals, 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

The protein source is from soy isolate and casein.

Casein is slow digesting protein and it keeps you full longer.

Not only that, this meal replacement shake comes in at only 170 calories.

On top of that, this shake includes biotin, which is a b-vitamin that helps with skin and healthy hair.

Herbalife Formula 1 according to reviews out there is one of the more tastier meal replacement shakes out there and comes in flavors like banana caramel, dulce de leche, mint chocolate, piña colada, and cookies ‘n cream.

1. Opti-Fit Lean Protein Shake

opt-fit lean

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Optimum Nutrition makes one of the highest quality and well balanced meal replacement shakes out there.

The reason I chose this as the number 1 is simple…

It is the most balanced out of all of them and contains only 200 calories per serving.

In those 200 calories, it packs in a crazy 25g protein, 3.5 grams of fat and 6g of fiber.

The carbohydrates in the Opti-Lean Protein Shake comes from oats, chickpea and chicory root.

Not only that, it has raving reviews.

So there you have it, this is my top 13 meal replacement shakes list and I really hoped you enjoyed it!

Now, i am going to get into some deeper questions for you all.

Why Should you Use Meal Replacement Shakes?

Meal replacement shakes are really good for people that have busy lives and don’t want to eat fast food everyday.

Not to mention as long as you are in a caloric deficit, it can promote weight loss and lean muscle gain.

Benefits Of Meal Replacement Shakes

The big plus for meal replacement shakes is it lowers your daily calorie intake, but there is more to the story than just that.

The proteins in meal replacement shakes also help act as an appetite suppressant and keeps you full longer.

This is due to the fact it reduces appetite hormones such as GLP-1, PYY, and CCK and also reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin. (21, 22)

Plus, high protein intake increases your metabolism which in turn helps you burn more fat. (23)

Meal replacement shakes also fills in the nutrient gaps if you are low on something from your regular diet.

Side effects of Meal replacement shakes

The most common side effects are bloating, cramping, gas and diarrhea and is mostly due to the ingredients in the meal replacement shakes.

This is why always choose the best for your body because everyone is different.

I have personally had those side effects with some meal replacement shakes, while with others I had nothing.

Recommended Dosage For Meal Replacement Shakes

I personally would follow the label on the particular meal replacement shake.

With my personal experience, I wouldn’t replace more than two of your meals because real foods still beat this stuff regardless.

So if you are eating five meals a day, make sure only replace two at the most.

Another cool study I have seen is anything that has 20 grams of protein or more helps reduce hunger by 50 to 65%. (24)

Conclusion

Meal replacement shakes are great, but don’t get too carried away with them and start replacing all your meals.

Not only that, make sure you choose the best one for your body to avoid any of those side effects.

Having that said everyone, I hope you enjoyed this meal replacement shakes review and if you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments below…

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See you at the top,

meal replacement shakes

-Jesse Singh

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