Food Tips

The 7 Best Meal Replacement Shakes And Smoothies

Meal Replacement Shakes And Smoothies


The next time you don’t have time to sit down for a meal, don’t settle for a bag of chips or some crackers and hummus and call it dinner. Your blender can be an ideal meal-maker in a pinch, letting you whip up a smoothie with all the nutrients of a complete meal. What’s more, some store-bought shakes can do the trick when you’re that rushed for time.

But there’s a big caveat when it comes to shakes and smoothies as meal replacements. Lots of store-bought drinks and homemade smoothies are too high in sugar with not enough protein, fat, or fiber to constitute as a meal, let alone keep you feeling full until your next nosh. (Looking for a snack on the go?

What to do? Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, author of The SuperfoodsRx Diet, says to look for shakes and smoothies with at least 325 to 400 calories, 15 to 25 grams of protein, at least 5 grams of fiber, and around 10 to 13 grams of fat from a healthy source like avocado, fish oil, olive oil, or nuts. Here, 7 shakes and smoothies that meet all those requirements and have everything you want in a meal—minus the things you don’t.


Store-Bought Shakes
1. Isopure Original 

Isopure’s motto is “protein so pure you can’t see it,” and while we’re not one to fall for marketing hype, the company actually accomplishes this with a protein-packed drink that has a texture so smooth it could be juice. In fact, the drink’s only flavor, Alpine Punch, tastes basically like juice—but juice with a whopping 40 grams of whey protein and 25 grams of carbs in every 20-ounce bottle. But since the shake has only 260 calories and no fiber or fat, pair it with ½ an avocado or handful of nuts for a complete meal. Get Isopure at GNC for $4 a bottle.

2. Orgain Organic Nutritional Shakes

Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake


If you’re looking for an all-organic shake that you can get on the go, look no further than Orgain. All four flavors—creamy chocolate fudge, sweet vanilla bean, strawberries and cream, and iced café mocha—pack 16 grams of protein from grass-fed whey and casein powder.  Each 11-ounce shake has only 255 calories, 7 grams fat, and 2 grams fiber, so you’ll need to supplement with a handful of nuts, some sliced avocado, or yogurt with fruit.  Find Orgain at pharmacies like CVS and Rite Aid or in grocery stores for less than $10 per 4-pack.

3. EAS Myoplex Original Shake
Designed as a post-workout pick-me-up, this shake from EAS does double-duty as a meal replacement when you’re tight on time, delivering an incredible 42 grams of protein from a mixture of whey and pea powders, along with 300 calories in every 17-ounce carton—the drink also has enough carbs and fat to keep you satisfied until life slows down. Find it in dessert-like flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and cookies and cream in stores like Target, Walmart, and CVS for $3 a carton.

4. CalNaturale Svelte Protein Shakes

CalNaturale Svelte Protein Shake


What we like about CalNaturale Svelte Protein Shakes: They’re low in sugar, made with organic, non-GMO soy protein, and come in awesome flavors like banana crème, cappuccino, and spiced chai, along with the standard chocolate and French vanilla. Each 11-ounce bottle has only 180 calories and 11 grams of protein, so save these drinks for when you can pair them with something small like 2 boiled eggs or ½ cup cottage cheese with fruit to turn it into a complete meal. Find 4-packs at TheVitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods for about $10.

Homemade Smoothies
5. Ensure Copycat
While there’s nothing wrong with drinking Ensure in a pinch, the popular meal-supplement line doesn’t have enough protein (only 9 grams per 8-ounce bottle) to make it a complete meal. Instead, John’s Hopkins nutritionist Joshua Nachman likes to make his own Ensure copycat fromalmond milk, almond butter, and protein powder. His recipe delivers a whopping 21 grams of protein, along with 526 calories and 43 grams of fat in every 8-ounce glass, when made with Vega Protein and Greens powder.

½ c almond milk
½ c coconut milk
2 Tbsp almond butter
1-2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp Vega or whey protein powder

Blend all of the above and serve. Makes 1 serving.

6. Peanut Butter Banana Power Breakfast

Peanut Butter Banana Power Breakfast Smoothie


Greek yogurt and peanut butter deliver 25 grams of protein, along with 8.5 grams fat and 6 grams fiber, in every 370-calorie serving of this power smoothie that’s perfect for your morning meal.

1 medium banana
½ c fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 c fat-free milk
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
6 ice cubes

Blend all of the above and serve. Makes 1 serving.

7. Get-Ahead Gingerbread Smoothie

Get-Ahead Gingerbread Smoothie


Get festive with this gingerbread smoothie that also makes an ideal meal replacement or even post-workout snack. With a winning combo of yogurt and nut butter, this spicy smoothie clocks in with 420 calories, 24 grams protein, and 39 grams carbs per serving.

7 oz 2% Greek yogurt
1 c ice cubes
¼ c frozen sliced banana
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp each nutmeg and cardamom

Blend all of the above and serve. Makes 1 serving.

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