Choosing The Most Suitable Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes
Fitness and diet supplements in the form of shakes have been quite popular for many years now. However, meal replacement shakes are a relatively new phenomenon that are widely misunderstood.
Many people think that they are no different to protein shakes that are commonly used in the fitness industry. In reality though, they are a lot more than that. And if you were to use a basic protein shake to replace a meal, then you could be doing more harm than good.
Meal replacement shakes (MRS) must offer all round, calorie controlled nutritional meal in the form of one single drink.
Most MRS come in convenient powdered form which can be mixed with water or milk. Some even come ready made so they can be thrown straight into your bag and are ready whenever you are.
When it comes to meal replacements, it is important that they provide all the essential nutrients that a well-balanced and healthy diet would provide. Essentially, they have to deliver:
- Healthy fats
MRS have been shown to be successful in reducing weight, especially as a tool to kick start your diet with easy to digest and nutrition packed meals. But it is important to remember that meal replacement shakes should be used as a short term tool as are not a substitute for a overall poor diet.
If you follow a strict vegan diet, then making sure you get all these nutrients in high quality form from plant based ingredients will be a top priority. To help you find the best quality products that will make your health, diet and fitness plans become reality, we have done some research into the most popular vegan meal replacement shakes.
The results are below, and you will definitely find a great option for your personal needs.
Our Top 5 Vegan Meal Replacement Recommendations
1 – Garden Of Life Organic Meal Replacement
If organic certification and high-quality ingredients is an absolute priority, then Garden of Life is your go to product. Yes, it’s not the cheapest replacement smoothie available, but quality does come at a price.
One of the main nutrients your body will need during a fitness diet is protein. With each serving containing 28 grams of very easy to digest plant proteins, you should have your daily needs satisfied. Even when you’re in training.
One problem with meal replacements is that you can still crave food. And when you give in to your cravings then you can quickly overload on nutrients and your diet plan can be ruined.
To help reduce those cravings to a minimum, this product contains ashwagandha and 36% of your daily fiber needs. This will sufficiently suppress hunger for several hours until it’s time for your next meal or snack.
You will also be able to choose from 4 different flavors including original, coffee, vanilla and chocolate. Once you realize how well this shake works it’s a good idea to stock up on a few different tastes to provide a bit of diversity in your day.
The only real downside is that it can take a couple of days to get used to the slightly grainy and chalky texture. However, using a blender can make it a lot smoother and more appetizing.
- 28 grams of plant protein per serving
- Organic Ashwagandha added to help reduce food cravings
- Each serving provides 36% of daily fiber needs
- Available in 4 flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, Original
- Certified gluten free and 100% organic
- Slight grainy texture takes getting used to
- Coffee flavor can be very strong
2 – Vega Essentials Nutritional Shake
Vega Essentials is another leading brand in the food supplements market targeting vegans. They are known for their very high quality products and pay very close attention to ensuring a full certified organic product.
This particular shake comes with everything you could wish for. First of all it contains 20 grams of plant based protein. The main source used is pea and hemp protein as well as flaxseed which makes it very easy to digest at the same time.
To give you the full benefit of a balanced meal substitution it also contains plenty of dried leafy greens, veg and fruit. The result is a significant boost in your daily mineral, Omega 3 and vitamin intake. Ideal for a first thing in the morning shake.
With 3 flavors to choose from you can provide a bit ore diversity to your taste buds, especially if you plan taking this for longer periods of time. This will help you stick to a diet much more easily.
The main downsides to this option are that the flavorings can be a bit on the sweet side, but a bit of almond milk can help with that. Also, you might want to consider using a blender to fully dissolve it to avoid gritty textures.
- 20 grams of plant protein per serving
- Contains dried veg and leafy greens
- 25% of your daily mineral, Omega 3 and vitamin requirements
- 3 flavors to choose from: Chocolate, Mocha, Vanilla
- 100% organic and gluten free certified by vegan.org
- Flavoring can be a bit sweet tasting
- Can be a bit difficult to dissolve
3 – LyfeFuel Vegan Protein Powder
As a vegan you have probably come across the LyfeFuel brand with some of their other supplements on offer. This protein powder is one of their best sellers and will work extremely well as a replacement for meals.
It contains 18 grams of protein per serving which is certified to be vegan and organic. This does increase the price a bit compared to other options. And it’s not available in larger bulk packs to save money either.
But you do get an excellent product as it will significantly boost your intake of probiotics and antioxidants. These will promote a more efficient digestion and help to detox your body at the same time.
Unlike many other powder based shakes, this one is very easy to dissolve and doesn’t have the gritty or very chalky texture. Blending it will not be necessary.
With less than 2 grams of natural plant and fruit sugar it keeps the overall calorie levels down a lot, making it ideal for a weight loss or even diabetic diet. Taken first thing in the morning it will also set you up for the day with almost 50% of your daily vitamin needs including the all-important B12.
- 18 grams of plant protein in each serving
- Excellent option for probiotic and antioxidant intake
- Very smooth non gritty texture makes it much more appealing
- Less than 2 grams of natural plant sugar
- Up to 50% of daily Vitamin requirements
- Plenty of dried organic greens
- Price per serving is a bit on the high side
- Not available in larger packs
4 – Garden of Life Organic Raw Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla Chai
The second product recommendation by Garden of Life is this Vanilla Chai options. The chai seeds are an excellent choice if you want to boost your overall digestive efficiency.
With 20 grams of organic plant protein and a mix of 40 different greens you really get a significant nutritional boost. The proteins are also chosen specifically to be easily digestible to help you get that boost first thing in the morning or post workout.
You also get the benefit of 6 grams of fiber which goes a long way towards filling you up to avoid those hunger pains and cravings for snacks. This really helps to keep your diet on track.
The shake will also provide more than 20 minerals and vitamins that especially in the morning can boost your system after the overnight fast. You will still need to top up with vitamins throughout the day, but it makes a huge difference to your health to get this boost at the start of your day.
The main downside is the taste. Even as Vanilla Chai it is a bit bland and grainy.
- 20 grams of organic plant protein along with over 40 greens
- Excellent for workout and training recovery
- Packed with probiotics and enzymes for easy digestion
- Contains more than 20 minerals and vitamins
- 6 grams of fiber helps give you that full feeling for hours
- Vanilla chai taste is not very strong
- Quite grainy even when blended
5 – Orgain Plant Based Organic Nutrition Shake
This Orgain nutrition shake is our final recommendation and comes with the USDA seal of approval for being certified organic and vegan. For most people on a plant based diet this is a very important factor to consider.
With 16 grams of protein per serving this will help you get that boost after a workout or to start your day. It will make exercise recovery a lot more effective. And the added dried vegetables and fruit help to provide that overall balanced meal.
It’s not in powdered form, but rather comes pre-mixed in small bottles. When you’re on the go this is an ideal solution, even if at a higher price. It also means that it’s very smooth and perfectly blended.
Each box comes with a selection of flavors, however, the vanilla one is probably a bit on the bland side leaving a bit of a chalky after taste.
- 16 grams of organic and vegan protein
- Contains dried extract of 10 vegetables and fruits
- USDA certified as organic and vegan
- Ready to drink and very smooth texture
- 21 vitamins and minerals included
- Vanilla flavor is quite bland
- Costly option in the long run
All of the above options are great choices for vegans looking for a meal replacement as part of their diet. This is one way how many people choose to shed a few pounds. It’s an ideal way to make sure you get that perfect balance with all the nutritional needs. If you’re looking for a morning shake to start the day or an afternoon snack, just choose the option most suitable for your diet plan.
All in all I think this review gives some solid information and makes and makes it easier for anyone looking to try a vegan meal replacement powder.