Do you like sipping your calories? Then a meal replacement shake is an excellent option for you. Meal replacement shakes are nutritionally balanced beverages made to replace the traditional meals with a low-calorie alternative. They are healthy meal options which help to sustain your fitness goal.
The modern meal replacement shakes market is flooded with many meal replacement shakes options. Every product claim to be high quality with a promise to deliver the ultimate performance. For this reason, it’s a daunting task to select the best meal replacement shake from the host of options. A profound research is the best line of attack to conquer this complicated market. I have spent many days research for the qualities of high-quality meal replacement shakes, and this is what I found.
A high-quality meal replacement should:
1. Supply low carb, sugar, and sodium content
Meal replacement shakes are popular supplements because they supply plenty of essential components including proteins, vitamins, and fiber to the body. However, they contain a sugar component which doesn’t belong to the healthy ingredients. Sugar is often used in the meal replacement shakes for taste purposes.
Before buying any product always check its sugar component and ensure its low. High sugar levels will make it difficult to achieve your fitness goals. Your liver is responsible for processing sugar when the levels are high the liver convert sugar to fat which is stored in the body. The best meal replacement shake should contain less than 3 grams of sugar.
In addition, the meal supplement shake should contain low carbohydrate to help you lose weight faster. Although carbohydrates supply energy to your body, it’s highly advisable you go for products with low carbs. This will help you to maintain low-calorie levels which will, in turn, help you achieve your fitness goal.
A good meal replacement shake should contain no more than 300mg per serving. Maintaining low levels of sodium enables the body to reduce water retention. It helps in controlling problems linked to high sodium levels.
2. Be filling
If you have ever consumed a meal replacement shake and hunger didn’t abandon you it’s simply because it didn’t contain the right ingredients. Such a meal replacement shake is a hurdle to your fitness goal. A good meal replacement shake should make you feel saturated. When you control the hunger, it becomes easy to lose weight. How do you know a product is capable making you feel fuller?
The ingredients responsible for the saturation are protein and fiber. Protein is a key nutrient to effective weight loss and is also known for its filling feeling. According to a study, the increased ingestion of protein has a positive effect on fullness. For this reason, it’s wise to buy meal replacement shakes with high protein content, if you want a product to keep you fuller for longer. Specifically, 12g to 20g of protein in a single serving is ideal.
Like protein, fiber keeps you fuller for longer. Therefore, you should go for meal replacement shakes with the right amount of fiber. The right amount of fiber should be between 3 grams and 5 grams per serving. Besides, you can supplement the amount of fiber by taking a few fruits or veggies on the sides of the meal replacement shake.
The taste of your ideal meal replacement shake is paramount. The pleasure derived from the product is hugely dependent on the taste. Good taste will bring satisfaction and encouragement to stick to the plan. This will lead to increased performance which will give you a better chance to attaining desired results. The meal replacement shakes come in different flavors including banana, cappuccino, chocolate, and vanilla.
However, if you find a meal replacement shake with all the right attributes except for taste, try using healthy additives to improve the taste. You can use fresh fruits, powder mixes, nuts, and other healthy products.
4. Be easy to mix
While some meal replacement shakes are ready to drink, others are purchased in powder form and must be mixed with other liquids before consumption. You should take into account the miscibility of the powder replacement shakes because they do not mix will every beverage. Some of the shakes only release their full flavor when mixed with milk. Therefore, if milk is not your favorite drink, look for a meal replacement shakes that can be mixed with other liquids. The ideal product should easily mix with your favorite drink without compromising on the performance.
5. Supply probiotics and healthy fats
If you are getting started with meal replacement shakes, buy products with a lot of probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms which improve the immune system and boost digestive health. If your gastrointestinal tract has enough of these bacteria, the digestion process becomes smooth, and problems like cramping, gas, and diarrhea are prevented. Many consumers complain of stomach upset when they consume meal replacement shakes. This is caused by protein; an ingredient which requires plenty of energy to process. This problem can be countered by consuming meal replacement shakes with plenty of probiotics.
Also, your ideal meal replacement shake should contain healthy fats (monosaturated and polysaturated fats). Are you concerned about dietary fat, like many people do? You should also know that not consuming enough good fats can lead to health problems. Healthy fats support cell signaling, metabolism, hormone production, immunity, and tissue health. But the reason you need them in the meal replacement shakes is their ability to improve the absorption of nutrients. Also, healthy fats keep you feeling saturated between meals. A good meal replacement should supply not more than 7 grams of total fat.
Although meal replacement shakes, provide an easy way to nourish the body, before investing in any product, you should take into account all its aspects. Consider both the benefits and the downsides of the product before making any decision.
It’s important you consider all the ingredients and put more emphasis on their sources. Buy a product with ingredients that meet the quantities and qualities we have highlighted. The best meal replacement shake is made with 100% natural ingredients. You should also, avoid meal replacement shakes with tropical and partially hydrogenated fats, they are not good for your heart health.