When it comes to healthy eating, everyone wants a quick fix or solution. Juicing and meal replacement shakes are increasingly becoming popular, and there is lots of talk about their health benefits. However, there is no dispute that boosting your intake of veggies and fruits is good for your health.
Raw juice and meal replacement shakes both have benefits for your body but in different ways. Either one is useful when you want to increase your intake of vegetables and fruit and create less product waste. No matter what option you choose, the trick lies in using the right ingredients in the right amounts.
Knowing why you choose meal replacement shakes over juicing will empower you to properly feed your body’s needs in the best way. Read on, and this article will guide you through.
Juicing vs. Meal Replacement Shakes: Which Is Better?
Shakes or juices are excellent meal replacements options, but you should not overdo it. It’s fine to occasionally replace a meal with a smoothie or juice.
Make sure you don’t do it too often, though, as you would be denying your body several key nutrients it needs, In particular, for juices, you are likely to be spiking your blood sugar levels too frequently.
Why Choose Juicing?
While doctors may express their disagreement on the exact health benefits of juicing, most agree that when you add raw juice to your daily diet, it helps you consume more essential vitamins.
While juicing has its shortcoming, it also has its share of benefits.
Cleanses, Detoxifies, and Energizes
Because raw juice is essentially living nutrients extracted from plant foods, they are good at cleansing and detoxifying the body. For the best results, drink juice on an empty stomach as that easily flushes through your system.
- This is a good option if you normally are not very hungry in the morning.
- Recommended when you want your digestive system recharged.
Promotes Healthy Eating
Raw juice can also be considered as medicine. It contains the unique ability to deliver an intense nutrient burst that would otherwise demand that you eat outlandish amounts of vegetables and fruits.
- If vegetables are not your thing, juicing is an excellent way of squeezing them into your daily diet.
- Juicing is a great way of sneaking more essential nutrients into your day.
- Adding fruit makes drinking it easier if you are just starting to experiment with juicing.
Cons of Juicing
Juicing has its share of drawbacks, especially if consumed excessively. If too much fruit is used, your calorie count can go up quickly.
It could also potentially spike your blood sugar levels rapidly. Keep the fruits to a minimum – enough to just make your drink slightly sweeter.
Leaves Out Useful Pulp
Many machines used in juicing retain the pulp when you juice veggies and fruit, leaving out the pulp, the most nutritious part.
All the fiber and some vitamins are normally stored in the pulp.
The Time and Hassle Required
It’s not just health concerns. The process itself takes time as you have to factor in the actual juicing process and to clean the machine.
If you are time-conscious, you may want to look for juicers that are dishwasher-safe.
Besides the expense of acquiring the juicer itself, the process of juicing requires a considerable amount of produce.
Granted, it’s fairly inexpensive to buy fresh produce, but the quantity you will need could dent your grocery bill.
Why Choose Meal Replacement Shakes?
Had we been living in a perfect world; we would have all the time each day to prepare healthy homemade meals.
We would also sit down to mindfully eat them. But given our busy lives nowadays, it comes as no major surprise that meal replacement shakes have grown exponentially in popularity.
Provides Important Nutrients
Meal replacement shakes not only help you pack in more calories but also help in keeping you satisfied for longer periods.
From a replacement shake, you get the vital fiber and a host of nutritional add-ons like chia seeds, maca, and spirulina, among others.
- Smoothies are comparable to a “liquefied” meal. Good when you need to quickly get vital nutrients.
- Smoothies and shakes are a convenient way of filling up when on the move.
- Shakes are an excellent partner for your training. They help in building muscle and recovery from intense workouts.
If you normally have a strong appetite in the morning, you can explore ways of creating your ideal shake that packs in nutritionally beneficial ingredients.
Easily Digested and Assimilated
Meal replacements provide a good amount of fiber because it is known to slow down digestion, thus keep you fuller. However, the rate of nutrient absorption can be slowed down.
When juicing, you strip away the fibrous content of the vegetables and fruits, leaving only the nutrients and water in the produce’s flesh. Fresh juices thus deliver mineral and vitamin content more efficiently and faster.
Supports Weight Management
It’s the rich protein content in meal replacement shakes that gives you a feeling of fullness.
Research suggests that even replacing just one meal per day with a meal replacement produces a significant energy deficiency, thus aiding in weight loss.
If you want to shed those extra pounds, consider incorporating meal replacement shakes into your routine each day as they can be quite beneficial.
Also, carefully monitor the ingredients that go into your shake.
Promotes Eating Healthy Portions
Meal replacements help you to easily monitor the amount of nutrients that you consume.
This ensures you get enough nutrients to support satiety and keep you feeling full when you are between meals without unnecessarily going overboard.
This not only helps in preventing blood sugar spikes but also aids in weight maintenance.
Shakes are also good in supporting long-term health as they minimize the risk of serious health issues typically associated with overeating such as heart disease and obesity.
Meal replacements are a great way of supplementing the protein you would typically get from food such as:
- Dairy products.
The protein supplementation in shakes also adds calories that your body turns into useful fat.
Good for BodyBuilding and Workouts
When working out or bodybuilding, protein is an essential nutrient that plays an important role.
Athletes using protein shakes as their snack between meals or occasional meal replacement can feel fuller for longer and build more muscle.
Allows Room for Creativity
Besides the veggies and fruits, you can add protein- and calcium-rich ingredients into your shakes such as almond milk, Greek yogurt, and soy milk.
More bulk can be added to your meal replacement shakes by adding some peanut butter or whole oats. These types of ingredients turn your shake into a healthy, rich filling meal replacement that keeps you full for longer.
Cons of Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes are not without a few disadvantages.
You Need to Watch the Calories
If calorie intake is a major concern, you need to be careful about the ingredients that go into your smoothie, and closely watch the portion sizes.
Most veggies and fruits don’t carry lots of calories, but the count could increase quickly if you start adding peanut butter, Greek yogurt, oats, avocado, and vanilla-flavored soy milk.
Risk of Sugar Going Overload
Like you can easily have calorie-overload, it’s also quite easy to experience sugar-overload when whipping up a smoothie or shake.
Adding ingredients such as flavored milk and yogurt may need to be closely monitored as they are high in sugar content.
When these are combined with the natural sugars found in veggies and fruits, it’s quite easy for the sugar to skyrocket.
Both juicing and meal replacement have their pros and cons.
Understandably, people tend to get quite passionate about whether it’s better to juice or reach for a meal replacement shake—but the truth is that both have their place. Both can help you in getting your vital phytonutrients and also shed off unwanted pounds.
However, for greater ease and fully understanding what nutrients you’re digesting, a meal replacement will come out ahead.
After all, the Nutrition Facts of a meal replacement shake will list exactly what you are consuming, rather it be fiber, protein, adaptogens, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and so on.
With this knowledge, you can then begin to adjust the rest of your diet accordingly so that you can reach your fitness or weight loss goals faster.
It is, however, vitally important to review the Nutrition Facts because there are several cheap meal replacement shakes made with artificial ingredients that can cause more harm than good to your health.
If you’re looking for a powerful meal replacement shake created with nutrient dense whole food ingredients, check out our Shakeology meal replacement review.
It will give you a better idea of what a healthy meal replacement shake should look like.
Our Top Recommended Meal Replacement Shakes
|Shakeology is our most recommended meal replacement shake because it's a nutrient dense shake that includes:
Thus, making it perfect for weight loss, increased energy, digestive health, reduced cravings, and overall better health.
Plus, Shakeology has stood the test of time as it has been around since 2009 without compromising its whole food ingredients. Instead, Shakeology has improved their flavors in taste and potency, and has even added vegan and gluten free options.
|Ample Meal is an interesting meal replacement as it focuses more on healthy fats. Ample Meal includes:
With Ample Meal, you can get a nice fulling 400 calorie meal with 2 scoops or do a single scoop of 200 calories if your goal is weight loss. Similar to Shakeology, it’s free of all the artificial junk that most meal replacement shakes have today.
|MacroMeal is another interesting meal replacement shake as it contains a blend of fast, medium, and slow digesting protein that delivers sustained energy. MacoMeal also includes the following core ingredients:
Although not technically a meal replacement as it’s low in carbohydrates, people have found it to be filling because of the MCT oils and slow digesting proteins.
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- org: Good and Bad: Juicing and Protein Shakes
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- com: Smoothies, Shakes, and Juices: Drinking Healthy 101
- com: Expensive Juice Cleanses You Can DIY Cheaply at Home
- com: Raw Juice vs. Smoothie? When to Choose a Meal Replacement Shake
- com: Pros & Cons of Juicing vs. Blending Smoothies – Which Is Better?
- com: Meal Replacement Shakes, Benefits + Best Options