The best meal replacement for breakfast is a contentious topic that always seems to invite polarizing views.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Thank you Kellogg!
How can you start it with hideous-tasting powder instead of a real meal?
Well, here’s the thing.
You should most definitely consider starting your day with a real meal that gives you the energy, the mental clarity and the focus to power through the next few hours at least.
Real food is probably the best way to do it. But how many of us have the time and energy to wake up in the morning and cook a four course breakfast?
Probably none of us do.
Instead, we cut corners and gulp down a glass of juice (liquid calories) and force some cereals or some oats down our throats and rush to work or college.
Neither are we meeting the calorific requirement, nor providing the body with the nutrients it needs after a prolonged fast.
I’ve been in a similar situation and have spent over two years researching about this exact topic.
Guess what I found? Meal replacements can be the best breakfast you’ve had in a long time.
Not only do you get a precise amount of calories, you also have the opportunity to select a meal replacement that’s crammed with veggies, fruits and herbs.
Brain power? Check. Energy? Check. Better than junk food? Absolutely.
Why Meal Replacements for breakfast Are a Better Choice for Most People
This is 2020.
We just don’t have the time to cook. That’s a stark reality. It seems a little dystopian in theory. But maximum nutrition, with the bare minimum effort is the way to go for food these days.
Even if we do decide to go the old fashioned way and cook a breakfast, it’s not possible to match the kind of nutrients that a meal replacement provides you with.
Also, the commonly pitted argument that meal replacement powders are not real food does not hold water anymore.
Most meal replacement foods have revamped their formulas to plant-based and include as many fruits and veggies as they possibly can.
They Contain Everything You Need and Then Some
According to the government, the current eating patterns in the United States are far from healthy.
Most of us are eating more sodium, saturated fats and added sugars than what’s considered healthy. As expected, we are not even eating close to the recommended intake of veggies and fruits.
Meal replacement powders have precise macro and micro nutrient ratios. Not only do you get a precise amount of carbs, fats and protein, you also get 30-50% (on an average) of your RDI of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
How’s that for the first meal of the day? In fact, many meal replacement powders contain more than 100% of your RDI of some vitamins and minerals, which are very difficult to source from food.
This is what helps you power through the day. It keeps you active physically and mentally.
Unlike a sugary breakfast that causes an energy surge, followed by a dramatic crash, a meal replacement powder will keep you energized all day.
Extremely Easy and Convenient to Make
If you have been burning the candle at both ends, then you could do with a few extra winks in the morning.
Meal replacements are super easy to make. Most of them take less than a minute, but even if you want to amp up the nutrient count and add some more fruits and veggies, it will not take more than five minutes.
How’s that for convenience? You are out of the kitchen in less than 10 minutes.
In fact, I have blended my meal replacement shakes in my car, a lot of times when I woke up a few minutes too late, or was getting late for my morning presentation.
Comparatively Cheaper and Way Better Tasting
The average price for a meal replacement shake is $2 per meal. Where do you get a full-sized meal at that price?
We are talking about a calorie-dense, nutrient-rich, macronutrient adjusted meal by the way. Not just pancakes and syrup.
Oh, they taste better too.
Contrary to popular notion, meal replacements are a far cry from the unappealing goop that they are made out to be.
Modern versions are akin to a creamy, milkshake and available in more flavors than you can count.
That’s one less excuse to not use a meal replacement for breakfast.
Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Breakfast
When I started to research about meal replacements, there were two names that kept popping up every now and then. It was Kachava and Soylent.
It was neck to neck between these two brands and after scrutinizing every ingredient in the minutest of detail, I came to the conclusion that Kachava was the better bet.
Kachava – By Far the Best Tasting Breakfast Meal Shake
It’s been three years since I have started using Kachava shakes for breakfast and yet I still freaking love it. By far the best tasting meal shake I have ever had. Unlike other heavily marketed shakes like Huel, Kachava delivers on all of its promises
My pick of the two flavors is the vanilla. Before that question pops up in your mind, I have not had taste fatigue either.
Taste buds of steel.
Why Is Kachava a Good Option for Breakfast?
For starters, it is completely plant based. I am not a vegan, nor a fanatic.
But I consume a fair share of meat during the day and starting my day with a plant based meal has made a significant difference in the way I feel. For the better, that is.
Also, at 270 calories a shake, it’s the perfect calorie count for breakfast.
There are great recipes for Kachava but I usually add some almond milk or skim milk to my shake. But even if I drink it with plain water, I am not consuming an excessively low or high, amount of calories.
Kachava Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in it?
There are 70+ natural ingredients in each Kachava Shake that includes 18 veggies, 9 fruits, 5 adaptogen herbs and a blend of 3 probiotic bacterial strains.
That gives me zero bloat or flatulence. In fact, I feel that starting my day with probiotics has helped improve my gut health and also helped me lose weight.
Each shake also gives you 25 grams of plant based protein with an excellent amino acid profile. You get all 9 essential amino acids, as well as the non-essential ones. If you exercise, this is a complete protein that you need to build lean muscle tissue.
Even if you don’t, this is exactly the kind of protein that you should consume, rather than a single source plant protein.
Who Is Kachava Best For?
Kachava is aimed at techies who clack away on their computer screens with zombie like fervor, often forgetting the fact that they need to eat.
It’s max nutrition, zero effort.
But, the nutrient profile is so good that just about anyone who wants to eat a hassle-free, healthy meal, can use it.
Be it an athlete, or a student or a busy wall street exec, anybody can use Kachava.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
Kachava’s customer reviews are largely positive. Most users who have switched over to Kachava from other brands talk about how light it feels on the gut. Some people tried other alternatives to Kachava and then returned back to it
People also like that they are getting a truckload of fruits and veggies, which is real food as opposed to faux food.
The taste and texture are comparable to a milkshake, unlike the sandy, gritty texture that a lot of cheaper shakes have.
Kachava is priced at less than $5 a meal for one time buyers and at $3.99 for subscribers. That’s ridiculously cheap for the kind of nutrients, convenience and taste it provides.
It may not be the cheapest option out there, mind you. But I prefer paying the extra buck when it comes to my health and well-being. That’s priceless, aint it?
One of the most distinctive features of Kachava is that it has more fruits and veggies than any other meal replacement shake in the market. Yet, it does not shoehorn you into inadequate macros or lackluster protein count.
#2 - Lyfe Fuel - Best Bang for Buck Alternative - Cheaper than Soylent and Just as Good - Tastes Better to Me
Lyfe Fuel is this tiny, US-based company that manufactures a range of nutritional products. Their meal replacement shake in particular, has such an impressive nutritional profile.
To top it off, theirs is one of the cheapest options in this list. Makes it a very serious alternative to Soylent.
In my opinion, Lyfe Fuel tastes slightly better as well.
Why Is Lyfe Fuel a Good Option for Breakfast?
The All-in-One Daily Essential Shakes contains organic green veggies like Kale, Parsley, Wheatgrass and Alfalfa along with a berry blend and probiotics.
All of this at just 110 calories a shake is an insanely good way to start your day.
At the same time, you are not losing out on any of the important stuff, mind you. You get all the vitamins, minerals and other essential micros that you need.
Lyfe Fuel Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in It?
Lyfe Fuel gives you 27 organic botanical ingredients in each shake. With 18 grams of plant-based protein that’s sourced from pea and brown rice, it’s pretty close to Soylent in the nutrient profile.
Also, the blend makes it a complete protein with a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score of 1, just like Soy and Whey.
In addition to this, there are 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fat. No matter what your fitness or nutritional goal is, Lyfe Fuel fits in like an old glove.
Who Is Lyfe Fuel Best For?
Along with the basic demographic that prefers meal replacement powders, it also works great for budget-minded shoppers with a discerning eye for the ingredient list.
Unlike cheap shakes that are crammed with fillers (read Herbalife), Lyfe Fuel is the best you can get at this price.
Each shake gives you 150% of your RDI of Vitamin D. There are very few meal replacements that can make that claim.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
Lyfe Fuel’s shakes are considered to be amongst the best in the business, even when compared with large brands like Soylent, Huel and Kachava.
That’s testimony to the quality of the brand.
There are a lot of positive reviews about the presence of natural ingredients and the fact that the shake is grain, dairy and gluten-free.
The taste is not that bad either.
Lyfe fuel’s All-in-one shakes are priced at $2.5 for one timeshoppers and $2.25 for subscriptions.
That’s only a feather more than what a Soylent shake costs. But in exchange, you get a lot more natural ingredients, fewer carbs and less than half the amount of calories.
Side Note – Great Option for Weight Watchers
Lyfe Fuel is a very underrated option for weight watchers. It’s just 110 calories. Great protein blend, low carb, low fat.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better pick really.
#3 - Shakeology - Best Alternative to Kachava but More Expensive
Beachbody’s Shakeology has an ingredient list that almost rivals Kachava.
It is crammed to the brim with veggies and fruits, it has always harped on the greens that it contains, and it delivers some vitamins, minerals and aminos that you’d find really difficult to source from your meals.
If Soylent doesn’t work for you, then Shakeology is the best bet.
Why Is Shakeology a Good Option for Breakfast?
Apart from the fruits, veggies and shit ton of micros you mean?
Well, it’s just 140 calories a shake. If you are on a restricted calorie diet or are counting calories for that matter, then it works slightly better.
On the flip side and unlike other shakes like Herbalife, Shakeology gives you a lot more leeway to add ingredients to make a smoothie. Even if you were to add a whole bunch of greens and a heaped scoop of peanut butter, it would still be less than a 400 calorie shake, that is Soylent.
Shakeology Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in It?
Shakelogy gives you 16 grams of protein, 19-grams of carbs and just 0.5 grams of fat in each shake. All of these are sourced from the natural ingredients that it contains. I would have preferred more fat. But because of the low calorie count, I have a lot more options to be creative.
There are two protein blends to choose from, dairy and plant based. No shoehorning.
There are 1.735 grams a blend of ingredients that Beachbody calls Superfoods, a non-dairy probiotic blend, almost 1.5 grams of fruit-based antioxidants, 2.8 grams of herbs and 1.2 grams of soluble dietary fiber.
Like I said, this is crammed to the brim with goodies.
Who Is Shakeology Best For?
It’s perfect for anybody who’s looking to eat healthy without fussing over meal preps.
The versatile nutrient profile and the low calorific value means that you can consume one or more of these shakes any time of the day and still, be within your stipulated calorie intake.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
Shakeology earns the distinction of being one of the few meal replacement shakes in the business that have been around for over 15 years. The reviews have remained largely positive over the years and to their credit, they have constantly changed their formula with changing times.
While it has been used primarily as a weight loss tool, given that it’s sold alongside Beachbody’s fitness programs, their user base has expanded greatly over the years. A lot of regular users who do not exercise have also improved their overall appearance and health with Shakeology.
The only possible reason, why someone may dislike Shakeology is due to the cost.
Each Shakeology meal is priced at $5.41 for normal customers. It reduces ever so slightly to $4.08 if you are a registered Beachbody coach.
Side Note – Constantly Upgraded Vitamin Profile
Shakeology is one of the few brands that constantly upgrades their vitamin profile based on the what we can be sourced abundantly from food and what cannot.
For example, they started to fortify their shakes with Vitamin C, D, E, Vitamin K2, Folate, and Vitamin B12, which were more difficult to source from food.
#4 – Soylent – Great Choice for Coffee Drinkers
Soylent made some waves back in 2014, when they got that crowdfunding campaign going for their launch. For a long time, they were the defacto choice for anyone considering meal replacements.
This is the one brand that comes very close to Kachava. The only reason why I opted for the former is the slightly better veggie/fruit content.
That said, if you are a like caffeine, Soylent will probably be the better option for you.
Why Is Soylent a Good Option for Breakfast?
Soylent ticks some of the most important boxes that I look for while considering a meal replacement shake for breakfast.
It is plant based, has a decent protein to carbohydrate ratio, is more like a mid-day meal in terms of calories and tastes much better than it did in its early iterations. But what impresses me the most is that it contains 28 essential micro nutrients in every shake.
If you were to start your day with Soylent, you are more likely to meet your RDI of some of the most important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function at its best.
Soylent Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in It?
Soylent is designed to provide you with at least 1/5th of your daily calorie intake, when a 2000 calorie meal is used as a baseline that is.
400 calories may seem like a lot for breakfast. But the average American breakfast is at least 600-700 calories in comparison.
Also, when it comes to calories, I firmly believe that it’s the quality that matters. With Soylent, you are getting 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 20 grams of largely monounsaturated fats and 37 grams of carbs. It is also a low sodium meal replacement which is great since consuming sodium regularly will have a negative impact on your blood vessels and blood pressure.
That’s way better than 200 junk calories.
Who Is Soylent Best For?
Soylent is perfect for a wide demographic of people including zombie-like techies, ninja moms, students, athletes and average working people like me.
It is one of the most perfectly engineered (hate to use the word) meals in the world.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
A lot of users who have used Soylent 1.0, can’t stop raving about the newer, upgraded formula. The nutrient profile has improved. But the most significant improvement is in the taste.
Believe me, I have had my share of thick, porridge-like shakes in the morning and there’s nothing worse to start your day with. Soylent tastes delicious in comparison. It has a very milk-like taste, with strong notes of black coffee.
Just like Kachava, it is super light on the tummy. I have had zero gut problems with it.
At just $1.82/meal for a one time purchase and $1.50 for subscribers, Soylent is amongst the cheapest meal replacement shakes that you can find.
In comparison with Kachava, that’s fewer veggies and fewer herbs and adaptogens. But if you are willing to overlook that, it’s a lot of savings.
Side Note – Ready to Drink Meals
Another reason why a lot of people prefer Soylent is that it’s available in pre-bottled, ready-to-drink varieties.
If you hate blending shakes in a shaker for some reason (undissolved gunk), or you are too busy to blend a full-fledged smoothie, then this just works better, doesn’t it?
#5 - KOS Protein – Clean Label Protein Powder for A Smoothie
While this is not a meal replacement powder in the real sense, given that it lacks the ingredients that one typically expects in one, KOS Protein is a great protein powder smoothies; if you are a smoothie lover.
If you like to start your day with a smoothie, a lot of times, you may go overboard your daily recommended calorie intake, because meal replacements average between 200-400 calories a shake. A scoop of peanut butter is 90 calories. A banana is about 90. That’s 600 calories right there.
KOS protein at 170 calories is one of the cleanest label proteins in the business. It is low cal, clean and is top rated for its taste and texture.
Why Is KOS a Good Option for Breakfast?
KOS contains just the bare minimum ingredients that you need to fuel your day with.
This means that you have a lot more leeway to throw in additional ingredients to fix DIY smoothie.
Throw in some seeds for Omega 3, add some probiotics for your gut, some fiber to keep you full, your options are endless.
KOS Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in it?
There are five primary ingredients in KOS that deliver the 20 grams of plant based protein. There’s Pea Protein, Pumpkin seed, Chia, Flax seed and Quinoa. It's also a creatine-free protein powder if you like to stay away from creatine.
Apart from giving you an easily digestible protein blend, these seeds are also rich in monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids.
This should keep you fuller for hours afterwards.
Other than this, the only other ingredients are organic coconut milk, Peruvian Cacao and monk fruit.
If you hate the aftertaste that stevia leaves, give this a shot. You’ll love the clean, mild sweetness of Monk fruit.
Who Is KOS Best For?
KOS is ideal for weight watchers and athletes who don’t mind some elbow grease in the morning.
While it’s great for use as a standalone protein powder, it does take some effort to turn it into a complete meal.
If you prefer a more hands-off option, check out some of the other shakes in this list.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
KOS Protein is one of the top rated vegan protein shakes in the market.
It receives a lot of positive feedback for it’s great texture and taste. The texture is very creamy and non-gritty, which is a common complaint for vegan proteins.
The Monk Fruit has a very clean sweetness, which is another reason why customers seem to love it.
At approximately $1.33 for each serving, KOS protein is a mid-range option when compared to other protein powders, which average from $1 to $3 per serving.
I am not comparing it with meal replacement shakes mind you. If you were to compare it with other meal replacement shakes, it would qualify as the cheapest option in this list.
Side Note – Award Winning Protein Powder
KOS was awarded the Gold for ‘Consumer Choice - Sports Nutrition’ by ‘Delicious Living’magazinein March 2020. For the uninitiated, that award is generally given to top-rated all-natural supplements that have clean labels and excellent customer feedback.
I think that award is rightly deserved.
#6 –Ambronite – Powering Finnish Athletes
I usually see through marketing malarkey very easily.
There’s no doubt that when Ari Huusela, a sailor from Finland gulped Ambronite on the way to completing the trans-Atlantic solo boat race, it was perfect product placement.
But somehow, that attracted me to this Finland-based meal replacement shake that’s now managed to garner comparisons to Kachava and Soylent.
Upon closer look, I quite liked what I saw.
Why Is Ambronite a Good Option for Breakfast?
Ambronite prides itself on being completely natural. This means that it does not even contain additives, preservatives, coloring or binding agents. It’s just a whole bunch of powdered real ingredients that can be blended into a shake.
Like me, if you are working towards reducing the amount of processed food that you consume, this fits the bill.
Ambronite Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in it?
Ambroniteis a blend of just 18 organic ingredients, all sourced locally from Finland.
A lot of the stuff is wild grown. Like theberries, the chlorella and the spirulina.
In addition to this, it contains spinach, nettle leaf, sea buckthorn, almond, apple, coconut sugar, oats (both protein and fiber), guar gum, and mineral salts.
For such a clean product label, it’s quite amazing that Ambronite manages to deliver 24 grams of protein (plant based blend), 40 grams of carbohydrates (primarily sourced from oats), 15 grams of fat (zero saturated fat) and 8 grams of fiber.
At 400 calories, you don’t need to add anything to it. Just whip it up and gulp.
Who Is Ambronite Best For?
Ambronite is perfect for athletes. While the nutrient profile is pretty good even for laymen, the price isn’t.
In fact, it is the most expensive meal replacement shake in the market currently.
What Are Customers Saying?
Despite the steep price tag, Ambronite commands a loyal user base who can’t stop raving about how it keeps them charged all day. There’s a lot of chatter about mental clarity, which seems to be very beneficial for busy workers and students.
The fifth iteration of Ambronite, with Nordic Oat Protein has a much creamier texture as compared to previous versions, which had a slightly thicker consistency.
Believe it or not, each Ambronite shake is priced at $7.78. While that is not overly expensive for a meal, it does sound expensive when compared to all the other meal replacement shakes in this list.
Even Kachava is almost half the cost of Ambronite. Is the cost justifiable? That’s for you to decide.
Side Note – the Energy Hype Is for Real
After listening to a lot of hype on messaging boards about Ambronite’s mysterious energizing properties, I decided to give it a shot.
Guess what? It’s for real. I whipped up an Ambronite shake in the morning and was able to power through all day without even eating lunch.
What secret are the Nordics hiding from the rest of the world?
#7 – Ample – The Keto Shake
What I like the most about Ample is that you can pick one based on your nutritional goals. There’s Ample O, the original formula, Ample Vegan also called Ample V and Ample K, a ketogenic formula.
You are not shoehorned into consuming ingredients that you don’t want to. That said, all three formulas are better suited for low carb diets.
All three contain more of healthy fats than carbs.
Why Is Ample a Good Option for Breakfast?
After experimenting with different diets over the years, I have realized that a diet higher in fats, protein and fiber helps me stay full for longer than a diet with more carbs.
Ample’s shakes use a high fat, low carb nutrition pie. To top it off, they are crammed with dietary fiber. This means that you should have fewer hunger pangs until lunch.
Ample Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in It?
Ample contains over 20 natural ingredients. If you pick the Vegan version, it is completely plant based and non-dairy. Regular users can pick the original version with Whey instead of the botanical protein blend.
Both blends have a complete amino acid profile mind you.
Each shake gives you 25 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 21 grams of carbs and 25 grams of fat. To top this, there’s 10 times the probiotics that you’d get from Kombucha.
Along with the 25 grams of Protein, which can be sourced from Grass-fed Whey or a blend of organic rice, pea and collagen protein, and the 10 grams of dietary fiber, it keeps you feeling full and active for up to four hours after a meal.
Who Is Ample Best For?
Ample Original is 400 calories a shake and it keeps you full for up to 4-5 hours. So it’s best suited for busy individuals who find themselves snacking mid-meal, and would like to avoid it.
It’s also perfect for dieters on the Ketogenic diet, especially Ample V.
However, it does not have the most ideal micro nutrient profile. So I wouldn’t recommend this more than once a day.
What Are Customers Saying?
Keto dieters have a tough time picking meal replacement shakes because carbs and added sugar can sneak in seemingly innocuous ingredients.
But Ample has one of the best ingredient list for Keto dieters. A lot of customers who use it regularly are on the LCHF diet. While there are other shakes in this list which have fewer carbs, very few can match the carb to fat ratio that Ample has.
At $5.27/meal, Ample is a premium priced meal replacement shake. It’s more expensive thanKachava if you are looking to order once.
However, if you subscribe to bi-weekly deliveries, then it’s priced at $4.48/meal.
Side Note – Available in Breakfast and Meal Options
Ample is available in two calorific values. There’s the 400-calorie one which is perfect for breakfast and a 600-calorie one that’s better suited for meals.
#8 – Vega – One of The Oldest Meal Replacement Brands
Vega’s One, All-In-One nutrition shake is one of the oldest brands in the business, rivalled only by Shakeology. At a time when brands mushroom out of nowhere and disappear overnight, it gives you the assurance that you are opting for a tried and tested product that has been around for over 16 years.
Why Is Vega One a Good Option for Breakfast?
A well-rounded nutritional profile, a reasonable amount of veggies and fruits in each shake and one of the most impressive micro nutrient profile in this list.
I guess that’s enough reasons to consider Vega One for your morning meal.
Vega Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in It?
Each Vega One Shake contains over 20 plant-based ingredients, some of which are exceptionally good sources of vitamins and minerals.
For example, there’s enough Vitamin K to match 1/3rd cup of Broccoli, enough Vitamin C to match two cups or Blueberries and enough calcium to match 4 cups of Kale.
To top it off, there are fruits and herbs, all of this at just 10 grams of carbs.
Who Is Vega One Best For?
Over the years, Vega One has transitioned from an athlete-centric product to a more general purpose one.
Along with macros, there’s an equal focus on the micros, probiotics, fiber and Omega-3s.
20 grams of protein, antioxidants, veggies, fruits, this is a terrific option for anyone looking for a powerful start to their day.
What Are the Customers Saying?
Vega One is considered as one of the best tasting meal replacements.
It has a very thin consistency that’s almost milk like, which makes it perfect for smoothies, which often get bloated with added ingredients. Customers also like that the probiotics make it very gentle on the gut.
Chocolate is the most popular flavor, along with Mocha.
The cost for Vega One varies a lot depending on the flavor and the quantity that you are looking to purchase.
22 servings of Chocolate are priced at $1.90 per meal, which is pretty reasonable if you compare it with options like Kachava and Ambronite.
Side Note – Lacks Some Vital, Essential Nutrients
Despite a very good nutrient profile and a creamy, delicious consistency, Vega One lacks some of the most important essential nutrients, like Choline and Iodine.
Well, if it’s not lacking, then they did not mention it at all on the product label, which is strange nonetheless.
#9 – 310 Nutrition – Over a Million Shakes Sold so Far
310 Nutrition is one of the most popular health supplements brands currently, with a slew of weight loss products on offer.
The 310 meal replacement shake is in tune with the rest of the offerings from the brand.
It is a super low calorie shake that offers a very decent amount of nutrients in each shake.
Why Is 310 Nutrition a Good Option for Breakfast?
310 Nutrition is surprisingly low on both carbs and fats.
There are just 8 grams of carbs and 1 grams of fat in each shake in the dairy version and just 2 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fat in the Vegan version. Irrespective of whether you are watching calories or looking to cut down on any one specific macronutrient, this works flawlessly.
310 Nutrition Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in It?
With 15 grams of protein and just 90-calories a shake, the 310 Nutrition meal replacement is as good as a snack.
You will need to throw in some fruits and other ingredients to amp up the nutrient quotient and to make it more like a full-sized breakfast in my opinion.
I added a frozen banana, some berries and a scoop of Avocado butter to it. Kept me full until late afternoon with no tummy problems.
Who Is 310 Nutrition Meal Replacement Best For?
Definitely weight watchers and fitness buffs. This is not an ideal meal replacement powder unless you add some more ingredients to it. 90 calories are just not enough.
That said, it does keep you full for four to five hours. 310 nutrition claims that it’s because of the Tri-Plex Protein. I have no idea what that is.
But it seems to work.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
With over 100,000 reviews and almost 90% positive ones, you can be rest assured that this is a well-received product.
The taste gets a thumbs up from a lot of users, along with the fact that it seems to curb hunger.
A lot of users have successfully used this as a weight loss tool, along with other products from 310.
310 Nutrition’s meal replacement shakes are priced at $2.42/meal for one time purchase and $1.82 for recurring purchases.
That’s very reasonable if you plan to use this multiple times a day.
Side Note – Very impressive Vitamin and Mineral profile
For a low cal weight loss shake, 310 Nutrition has a very impressive micro nutrient profile. Each shake gives you up to 30-40 % of your RDI of 17 vitamins and minerals.
So you know that you are not losing out on vital ingredients while cutting carbs.
#10 - Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal – Best Cheap Option
In terms of pure nutrient density, Garden of Life’s (GOL) Raw Organic Meal matches Kachava.
It has 44, raw, organic ingredients with zero additives, fillers and synthetic nasties in there. For the price that it’s sold at, that’s just insanely good.
Why Is GOL a Good Option for Breakfast?
There’s nothing better than starting your day with a bunch of real, organic food.
That’s exactly what you get with GOL.
To put this into context, Ambronite is another shake in this list that is completely raw and organic. GOL is priced at almost 25% of Ambronite and this has more than double the ingredients.
GOL Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in it?
GOL has 44 super foods which are segregated into different blends.
The protein for example, is sourced from a blend of 13 sprouted ingredients like Amaranth, Millet, Chia, Flax and Pea.
There’s a fiber blend that contains Tapioca fiber, Chia and flax.
The flavor blend contains vanilla, stevia and sea salt, while the veggie/fruit and green blend contains over 28 ingredients.
Each shake gives you 20 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs and just 2 grams of fat.
Who is GOL Best For?
GOL is just the kind of meal replacement shake that you can use every day.
Fruits, veggies, greens, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, with no added sugar. It has the perfect ingredient list and nutritional pie. It's also a whey-free protein powder if you don't want whey in your shake.
Not that athletes cannot use it. It has a complete amino acid profile and around 20 grams of protein at just 130 calories.
That’s a no-brainer.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
GOL’s meal replacement shakes have over 90% positive customer reviews on the internet.
Customers talk about how it helps them stay energized all day, while feeling light, instead of cramped and bloated.
That has a lot to do with the clean ingredient label and the completely natural, organic ingredients.
For a product with no added synthetics, GOL’s taste is considered top notch by a lot of reviewers.
GOL’s meal replacement shakes are priced at just $2 a meal. Think of it like a cheap Kachava.
Side Note – Misleading Information About Heavy Metals
Don’t get swayed by reading old reviews that talk about unacceptable levels of heavy metals in the GOL formula. That was caused by a batch of brown rice that they sourced in 2014. Since then, the formula has been tested on numerous occasions and come out clean.
#11 – Orgain
Last but not the least, we have Orgain or Organic Gain, an extremely clean label meal replacement shake that has been around for over a decade.
Just like Shakeology and Vega, Orgain was one of the first brands to go completely plant-based.
I tried one of their shakes in 2009. But frankly, I didn’t like it one bit back then. Cut to today, the shake has an upgraded creamer base, that makes it absolutely delicious.
Why Is Orgain a Good Option for Breakfast?
How about the fact that it’s one of the creamiest shakes that I have tried in a while?
Let me also add that it has over 28 natural, organic ingredients that include sprouts, fruits, veggies, seeds, greens and food-based vitamins.
That’s as good a start to my day as any.
Orgain Ingredients and Nutrition Facts – What’s in it?
At 230 calories a shake, Orgain is the perfect breakfast. Some berries, half a banana, some peanut butter and you have a 400-calorie, nutrient-dense shake that should keep you energized until noon at least. Its nutrients also make Orgain a great protein shake for sensitive stomachs.
It contains 20 grams of protein, 35 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat and 7 grams of dietary fiber. There’s one gram of added sugar, which shouldn’t be a concern, I guess.
The Vitamin profile is fairly decent. However, since it is completely food based, it lacks Vitamin D.
More reason for you to get out into the sun, I guess.
Who Is Orgain Best For?
It’s perfect for everybody who wants healthy, plant-based nutrition to power their day.
You can add this to your breakfast, lunch or dinner. It has no unwanted fillers or appetite suppressants.
Yet, it keeps you full for 4-5 hours.
The 20 grams of complete plant protein also makes it a great pick for athletes.
What Do the Customer Reviews Say?
Orgain has largely positive customer reviews about the taste, the ease of digestion and the nutrient density.
The texture is not grainy at all, which gets a huge thumbs up.
The chocolate flavor is extremely popular among users as compared to the vanilla.
There’s a lot of chatter about how each serving gives you almost 40% of your RDI of Vitamins B6 and C, riboflavin, thiamine and Iron.
Each Organic shake is priced at $2.06, which is very reasonable for an all organic meal replacement shake.
Side Note – Makes A Great Coffee Smoothie
Throw in a scoop of instant coffee powder and viola, you get a USDA organic, vegan, gluten free, non-dairy, lactose free, soy free and non-GMO coffee smoothie to start your day, at less than $2.10.
How’s that for convenience?
FAQ About Meal Replacement Shakes
There’s a lot of buzz about using real food as opposed to gulping down a premade meal every day, and I totally get where that’s coming from.
But as I said before, when it comes to meals, the quality supersedes everything.
This brief FAQ aims to answer some of the common questions that people have about meal replacements.
Q. A Meal Replacement Shake vs. Food for Breakfast
It all boils down to one thing. Can you cook a healthy breakfast every single day of the week?
If you can, then you probably don’t need meal replacements. But chances are that you can’t.
Most people neither have the time, nor the patience to cook up a healthy breakfast.
That’s why meal replacements are so much better. They are convenient, they are healthier and by now, you’d know that most of them are made of real, unprocessed ingredients.
It takes the guesswork out of eating. You know exactly what you have consumed and how much you need to eat in the rest of the day.
It takes care of vital micronutrients as well.
Q. Are Meal Replacements Good for Weight Loss?
Absolutely. This list has some amazing meal replacement shakes for weight loss that average from 90-140 calories a shake.
To top it off, these shakes have soluble fiber and protein, which prevents binge snacking before lunch.
In comparison, the average breakfast that people eat is waffles, syrup and all kinds of junk that can quickly reach up to 700 calories.
One thing to note though is you also need regular exercise to see results faster, don't expect to just drink protein shakes without exercising and lose significant weight as a result, not gonna happen.
Q. Which Meal Replacement Is Best for Mixing with A Smoothie?
There are a few in this list that make great additions for a smoothie. But my personal favorite is Lyfe Fuel’s essential meal.
It has the perfect taste and consistency for a smoothie. Even when I add one ingredient too many to my smoothie (legit problem), it does not alter the consistency too much.
Q. Which Is My Personal Favorite and Best Tasting?
It’s Kachava. Nothing even comes close to it in terms of taste and nutrition. 70+ ingredients, all natural.
How do you even beat something like that?