Whether you are handling an extremely fast-paced lifestyle or trying to stick to a diet, ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes can be an excellent solution. With companies creating more products every month, there is such a broad choice that it can be intimidating to pick one.
However, you might want to get the best shake for the best price, so finding the perfect one for your lifestyle is paramount.
The best ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are those that match your preferred calorie intake and dietary requirements. Taste is also vital to consider, especially if you will have one each day. Among the best ones, you’ll find the Premier Protein 30g Protein Shakes and the Vega Protein Shakes.
Find out how to pick the perfect ready-to-drink meal replacement shake and the best ones on the market below.
How to Pick the Best Ready-to-Drink Meal Replacement Shake
Before jumping into the best meal replacement shakes on the market this year, you should understand what makes a specific product the best one for your lifestyle.
Without understanding what you are looking for in the first place, the choice can quickly become intimidating.
Since you will need to invest a considerable budget in it, making a conscious and beneficial choice straight away can help you avoid a lot of expensive trial and error.
Here are the three significant factors to consider – but budget and preferred nutrients are also essential.
Check the Calorie Count
The main difference between protein shakes and meal replacement drinks is that protein shakes are designed to provide you with the micronutrients you need to have enough energy during your workout routine.
Instead, meal-replacement shakes can aid with weight loss, but the aim behind it is to provide you with the nutrients you would get while a healthy diet. You can find out more about the differences between the two in the video below:
Additionally, the average calorie intake of meal replacement shakes is between 200 and 400 calories. Checking the calorie count of the product you have picked is essential to understand the effects of a specific shake on your lifestyle.
If you are attempting to lose weight, you will need to try to be in a calorie deficit. Picking a shake with a lower calorie offer will enable you to experience faster weight loss.
At the same time, many individuals might opt for these shakes to increase their muscle mass and gain lean weight. In this case, a shake that is higher in calories and more protein can help.
Generally, most replacement shakes are low in sugar and fat, making them a healthy option that can prevent you from accidentally overeating.
Nonetheless, your age, gender, lifestyle, fitness level, and habits can significantly influence the number of calories you need per day to live a healthy lifestyle.
Be Mindful of Allergens
Not all meal replacement shakes are suitable for any lifestyle. Many of them are packed with proteins and nutrients which do not derive from plant-based sources. For example, many brands use dairy, nuts, and gluten.
However, it is possible to find some brands that create shakes without any artificial colors, gluten, soy, or animal-based ingredients.
With vegetarianism and veganism rising fast, the options on the market are increasing rapidly.
However, checking the ingredients list before committing to a large pack of them or a subscription is essential to avoid side effects and wastage.
Taste Does Matter
Meal-replacement shakes have become the go-to solution for many individuals striving to live a healthier lifestyle.
However, you will have to consider that you are about to commit to them for at least a week – depending on the package’s size. Therefore, opting for a flavor that meets your taste is essential.
Today, you will find creamier shakes that make for the perfect treat and can be combined with fruits such as bananas.
Alternatively, for a summer option, plant-based, fruity drinks will give you the impression of enjoying a smoothie while consuming all the nutrients you need from your meal.
1. Premier Protein Meal Replacement Shake
Premier Protein is one of the most famous brands on the market today, and one of the most popular. The company has crafted these meal-replacement shakes with enough milk-derived protein to supply a healthy daily intake.
With a low-calorie content, these shakes are perfect for anyone trying to lose weight but do not want to renounce a tasty meal.
They come in over eight flavors, including treat-like flavors such as caramel, cookies & cream, vanilla, and chocolate. They are also gluten-free, soy-free, Kosher, and don’t include any artificial colors.
Nutritional value: 160 calories per bottle, 3g fat, 5g carbs, 210 mg sodium, 30g protein
Best for: the high content of proteins makes this shake perfect for any gym-goer. However, it only includes around 160g of protein, which means that you will need to integrate it with a light snack such as a banana with a little peanut butter.
2. Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake
This all-organic meal-replacement shake is perfect for anybody looking at living a healthy lifestyle without compromising on the quality of the ingredients used. The shakes currently come in five flavors and include strawberries and cream, bananas and cream, sweet vanilla bean, iced café mocha, and creamy chocolate fudge.
It is essential to notice that, while all ingredients included are organic, the primary protein source derives from grass-fed whey. Suitable for vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, and soy-free lifestyles, these shakes are an optimal source of vitamins A, C, D, E, and B12.
Each bottle contains over 21 vitamins and minerals and ten fruits and vegetables, including acai, kale, and spinach.
Nutritional value: 250 calories, 7g fat, 32g carbs, 260 mg sodium, 16 g protein
Best for: Ideal for anybody looking at living a more sustainable lifestyle. This shake’s protein content is much lower than others, something to consider when picking other supplements to go with it. You might need to add a protein bar or Greek Yogurt that is low on calorie but high in protein.
3. Vega Protein Nutrition Shake
Today, there is no reason to think that, just because you have embraced a plant-based lifestyle, you have to give up on meal-replacement shakes altogether.
This product, designed and crafted by Vega, a pioneer in the field of protein shakes for plant-based users, has everything you need.
With just 170 calories and 20 grams of protein, these shakes are ideal for gym-goers as well as for anybody who is trying to lose weight.
The list of real ingredients includes only plant-based compounds, from alternative sources. For example, proteins derive from pea and hemp, while the flavor is the fruitful result of cocoa powder, flaxseed, and other green powders from kale, spinach, and spirulina.
GMO-free, vegan, low glycemic, soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free is suitable for most users, from environmentally conscious individuals to plant-based athletes.
Nutritional value: 170 calories, 5g fat,14g carbs, 230 mg sodium, 20 g protein
Best for: vegetarians, vegans, other plant-based lifestyles.
4. Labrada Lean Body Ready-to-Drink Protein Shake
With 40 grams of protein in each ready-to-drink bottle, this shake is ideal for gym-goers and athletes when trying to increase their lean mass.
The calorie intake of Lean Body shakes is on the high end of the spectrum compared to the other shakes above. If you plan to drink this shake as a replacement for several meals, ensure that they are coupled up with a suitable level of exercise.
Additionally, the 5 grams of fibers each bottle includes makes these shakes one of the most filling options on the market while including zero grams of sugar.
Since it is lactose-free, it is ideal if you have some intolerances to dairy.
- Café Mocha
- Cookies & Cream
- Mint Chocolate
- Plant Chocolate
- Plant Vanilla Caramel
- Salted Caramel
Nutritional value: 280 calories, 9g fat, 9g carbs, 600mg sodium, 40g protein
Best for: athletes and gym-goers. Make sure the higher-calorie content is suitable for your lifestyle.
5. Pure Protein Ready to Drink Shakes
Created by Pure Protein, these shakes are designed to offer you a blanched alternative that can work for many lifestyles, whether you are a gym-goer or office worker looking at living a healthier life.
Each bottle contains 35 grams of protein and only one gram of sugar. The result is a meal replacement drink with less than 150 calories and can be coupled with a snack on the side – just make sure it is a healthy one!
It is essential to notice that, missing fiber and fat, these drinks might not be a complete meal replacement and should be alternated to other options.
The most popular flavors on the market include peaches and cream, cookies and cream, vanilla, frosty chocolate, banana cream, and strawberry.
Nutritional value: 150 calories, 1g fat, 1g carbs, 150mg sodium, 35g protein
Best for: anybody looking at an affordable, yet versatile alternative
6. ALOHA Organic Vegan Plant-Based Protein Drink
If you are looking for a cleaner alternative that can fit your desire for fresh meals during the summer months, ALOHA drinks are the best choice.
They are vegan, organic, and free of all GMOs. A unique feature of these drinks is that the protein source is completely natural and derived from brown rice and peas.
This shake includes 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar, making it a complete meal replacement.
However, the sweetener used is not stevia, but an extract of organic monk fruit. Flavors include chocolate sea salt, coconut, and vanilla.
Among other lifestyles, these drinks are ideal for:
- Plant-based lifestyles
- Paleo diets
Nutritional value: 170 calories, 6g fat, 11g carbs, 220mg sodium, 18g protein
Best for: anybody who loves organic, plant-based alternatives that are entirely natural
7. OWYN – 100% Vegan Plant-Based Meal Replacement Shakes
These shakes are perfect for anybody who needs a higher calorie and protein intake during the day.
Consuming enough protein and calories on a vegan diet or plant-based lifestyle is a challenge for many; that is why OWYN has created these protein-packed shakes.
All the ingredients are from natural sources such as pea protein, oat powder, and organic flaxseed oil.
Each bottle contains over 23 minerals and vitamins and is free of artificial ingredients.
Among the most popular flavors, you will find chai and chocolate, but you can mix and match them with the “variety” pack.
Nutritional value: 300 calories, 10g fat, 31g carbs, 330mg sodium, 20g protein
Best for: vegans and plant-based, gluten-free lifestyles
8. Muscle Milk Pro Series Protein Shake
If you are a hardcore gym-goer or athlete and are looking for a ready-to-drink meal replacement that will supply you with enough protein and energy for your workout, Muscle Milk drinks are the perfect option.
They include over 34 grams of protein in each bottle and provide over 320 calories.
The high levels of fibers make sure that you can feel full and satisfied for longer, even during a workout.
The proteins in this shake provide all nine essential amino acids you will need for a healthy lifestyle along with slow and fast releasing compounds. Such a sustained delivery allows you to enjoy the benefits of these shakes for longer.
While they don’t contain added sugars, these shakes come in delicious flavors such as banana crème, cookies ‘n cream, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberries and cream.
In most cases, the shakes are dairy-free to be more suitable for anybody with lactose intolerance.
Nutritional value: 320 calories, 15g fat, 14g carbs, 360mg sodium, 34g protein
Best for: athletes and gym-goers – the high protein content is perfect for muscle growth and post-workout muscle recovery.
9. Mana Mark 6 Drink
Mana Mark 6 is one of the most innovative meal-replacement drinks out there. They come in boxes of 12 bottles, which lowers each meal’s price to under $3.
However, drinkers won’t need to compromise on the quality of ingredients used or sustainability.
On their website, you can find all the nutritional information you need before buying and the tests performed on the formula.
One of the features that make this product one of the most loved ones is that it can be combined with any other dink, but it is delicious.
The 12 month shelf life allows you to reduce wastage, and the small size of each bottle makes it perfect for consuming anywhere, at any time. Even better, the bottles don’t require refrigerators to be enjoyed.
The flavors that you will find today on the market are Origin, Sunlight (Tropical), Dream (Chocolate), and Love (Red Fruits).
Nutritional value: 330 calories, 16g fat, 28g carbs, 520mg sodium, 17g protein
Best for: high-calorie drink perfect for athletes who are environmentally conscious or plant-based.
10. Soylent Plant Protein Meal Replacement Shake
This is a vegan-friendly meal-replacement that is a little different from the ones we have seen above.
Each bottle contains 400 calories, an amount suitable for any athlete and gym-goer, or just for a healthy lunch that does not need sides to be complete.
Each bottle contains 20 grams of protein, as well as three grams of fiber.
Other nutrients such as iron, Vitamin D, and magnesium make it a complete meal replacement. Flavors include Cafe Mocha, Cafe Vanilla, Cafe Variety, Chai.
Nutritional value: 400 calories, 21g fat, 36g carbs, 300 mg sodium, 20 g protein
Best for: anybody who prefers a simple plant-based version
11. MET-Rx Original Whey Meal Replacement Shakes
This shake is one of the most popular among athletes and bodybuilders due to the high content of each bottle’s proteins.
Unlike several other products on the market, this shake’s protein derives from whey and casein. The combination makes it a perfect alternative if you focus on muscle building rather than just losing weight.
Each shake also contains over 250 calories, which is the ideal content to fill full during the day or have enough energy for your most intense workouts.
While it only comes in two flavors (chocolate and vanilla), the silky taste is bound to make any user fall in love with these shakes.
Nutritional value: 250 calories, 3g fat, 18g carbs, 420mg sodium, 36g protein
Best for: athletes who need a higher protein intake than the one offered by a standard meal.
12. REBBL Super Herb Dark Chocolate Protein Elixir
REBBLis one of the pioneers in the industry of organic, ethically sourced meal-replacement shakes that are good for your health.
Each shake includes 16 grams of proteins deriving from plant-based sources such as yellow pea and sunflower. Other ingredients that you will find in REBBL Elixirs are coconut milk and dark cocoa.
What you will not find anywhere else is the addition of adaptogens such as ashwagandha, reishi extract, and maca.
Except for the Beachbody Shakeology shake, which includes the above adaptogens; plus, several more super foods to help with weight loss and overall health.
Flavors include chocolate, latte, golden milk, mint chip, hazelnut chocolate, banana nut, vanilla spice, cold brew coffee, and many others.
Nutritional value: 240 calories, 10g fat, 21g carbs, 290mg sodium, 16g protein
Best for: ethically sourced products
13. SlimFast Advanced Energy Meal Replacement Shakes
If you are looking for a low-calorie ready-to-drink option that allows you to see faster results during your weight loss journey, the products released by SlimFast are your best option.
These include 20 grams of protein and only 180 calories. While it is recommendable to integrate your meal with a side or healthy snack, you can truly achieve a calorie deficit with this filling meal-replacement shake.
Indeed, the five grams of fibers included in the blend and the presence of zinc, calcium, vitamin D, and iron, help you stay full for longer and remain energetic throughout the day.
The flavors you will find on the market include rich chocolate, vanilla, caramel latte, and mocha cappuccino.
Nutritional value: 180 calories, 9g fat, 6g carbs, 210mg potassium, 20 g protein
Best for: weight loss
14. Après Protein Drink Variety Pack
If you are looking for a filling alternative to your standard meal-replacement drink that can give you enough energy, but it is made only with natural ingredients, the Après products are for you.
Created with clean ingredients that are also plant-based and ethically-sourced, these shakes pack over 14 grams of protein in just under 170 calories.
The fibers, coconut oil, and coconut water ensure that you can fill for several hours without additional snacks or side dishes.
The blend of this meal replacement is composed of a unique mix of pea protein, hemp, and chia.
Flavors include Après Variety Pack, Cold Brew Coffee, Mint Chocolate, Sea Salt Chocolate, Vanilla.
Nutritional value: 180 calories, 8g fat, 15g carbs, 400mg sodium, 14g protein
Best for: a vegan, organic, all-natural alternative
15. Saturo Drink
In both Europe and the US, this Austrian brand is similar to the Soylent brand we have seen above. While the recipe is similar, this version offers everything you need for a healthy diet in bright green-colored bottles.
The company currently offers six flavors users can choose from, and these include original, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana, and coffee.
However, sometimes a limited edition comes up, something that loyal Saturo drinkers would not want to miss.
Saturo is one of the few companies that offer two sizes for their bottles.
While the larger ones are more suitable for an active lifestyle, they are also the ones with limited flavors.
Nutritional value: 180 calories, 8g fat, 15g carbs, 400mg sodium, 25g protein
Best for: feel satiated for longer
16. RAW Generation SATISFY & SUSTAIN Protein Shake
This is one of the best ready-to-drink protein shakes if you prefer to know everything that goes into your meal.
Created with cashew milk, it is perfect for lunch, breakfast, or dessert. The ingredient list is worth checking before committing to a purchase, but you won’t find much more than raw cashews, vanilla, dates, cinnamon, and filtered water.
Due to the 7 grams of fiber present in each bottle, you will feel full for up to 5 hours. This is a feature that makes these smoothies perfect for your breakfast or as a substitute for your plant-based milk.
The company also produces a juice cleanse collection that pairs perfectly with the high-protein meal replacement shakes. All products in the collection are raw and vegan-friendly.
Nutritional value: 210 calories, 12g fat, 12g carbs, 10mg sodium, 8g protein
Best for: raw ingredients or raw vegan lifestyle
Note Worthy Meal Replacement Shake – Beachbody Shakeology
Although not a ready to drink meal replacement shake, the Shakeology meal replacement shake is one that is worth noting because it can help super charge your weight loss efforts.
Shakeology comes in powdered form and can be purchased in a 30 day serving bag or 24 individual packets. Making it easy to place a single serving into a shaker cup and later preparing it when you’re ready.
Shakeology comes with the basic ingredients like the other weight loss shakes above: protein, carbs, fiber, and low in calories.
However, unlike the other meal replacement shakes above, it comes with the following additional nutrient groups:
- Superfruits & Antioxidants
- Prebiotics & Probiotics
- Supergreens & Phytonutrients
- Vitamins & Minerals
And, if you’re health conscious, you’ll be glad to know about the following as well, Shakeology contains…
- NO Artificial Sweeteners
- NO Artificial Colors
- NO Artificial Flavors
- NO Artificial Preservatives
- And Has a Low Glycemic Index
Beachbody made zero compromises when it came to creating Shakeology. As a result, they created a whole food, super food shake that gives you “Your Daily Dose of Dense Nutrition”.
Shakeology also comes in several delicious flavors:
- Shakeology Whey flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Café Latte, Strawberry, Greenberrry
- Shakeology Vegan flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Café Latte, Tropical Strawberry
You will be hard pressed to find a Shakeology alternative simply because of how much nutrition is packed into it.
It would take several supplements to equal what you get in one Shakeology shake.
If you’re serious about losing weight or getting healthier, check out my Shakeology review here.
Otherwise take on the 30 Day Bottom of the Bag Money Back Guarantee. If you don’t feel a difference with Shakeology, you can simply return your empty Shakeology bag for a refund. Place your order below directly from Beachbody…
The Benefits of Ready-to-Drink Meal Replacement Shakes
Following a strict diet and living a healthy lifestyle when your lunch break is just a little longer than 30 minutes is hard, and often the opportunity to feast on fast-food meals can be tempting.
Instead, meal-replacement shakes offer convenient options that can be enjoyed at any time.
They offer nutrients, vitamins, and minerals – everything you need to feel energized throughout the day without a large calorie intake.
They are becoming increasingly more popular, and these are the reasons that have made them so loved.
Packed with Healthy Nutrients
Meal replacement shakes are flavored drinks that can be the perfect complement for any lifestyle. They aim at replacing meals entirely, so they include all the nutrients and minerals you might need to meet a healthy daily intake.
Since they can also help you control your portions and calorie intake, these are an excellent solution if you wish to lose weight.
Indeed, when following a strict diet, the many limitations you are asked to do might limit the consumption of the essential nutrients you need to live a healthy lifestyle.
Meal replacement shakes are ideal for losing weight while ensuring that your meals include all the compounds you need.
Help You Stick to Your Diet
When on a diet, you are probably looking to eat more healthily and limit the number of calories from each meal.
However, this can result in many restrictions that are likely to stop your diet due to not feeling full or not being able to prepare a healthy meal on the go.
Instead, meal-replacement shakes are delicious and include fewer calories than the ones you would consume through a homemade or restaurant cooked meal.
All this, without having to compromise on taste or enjoyment.
They Are Perfect for a Fast-Paced Lifestyle
Aside from the health benefits of meal replacement shakes, there is also an advantage that we can’t ignore – their convenience.
Indeed, these shakes are perfect for any kind of professional or fast-paced lifestyle, and it helps you optimize your daily schedule.
This is a considerable advantage, especially when you never seem to have enough time to spend time at the gym or with your family.
Cutting down on food shopping, meal preparation, and cooking time is an essential factor that many busy individuals keep in mind when making a choice.
Picking the right one out of the broad range of offers on the market is not easy, but the tips above should have given you enough information to make the best choice for your needs and lifestyle.
When picking the right meal-replacement shake for your lifestyle, you should consider the calorie intake you aim for, your taste preference, and dietary requirements.
Of course, budget plays a significant role in the choice, but you should not forget that these drinks help you reduce the cost of your weekly food shopping while presenting you with a healthy alternative.
- Harvard Medical School: Calorie counting made easy
- RK Team Nutrition: Determining Calorie Needs
- The Vegan Society: Statistics
- Premier Protein
- Pure Protein
- PubMed: Meal Replacement Efficacy on Long-Term Weight Loss: A Systematic Review
- NCBI: Meal Replacement Beverage Twice a Day in Overweight and Obese Adults