Best protein shakes – weight loss. Why the weird post title? Most advertising you see today label all different types of shakes as protein shakes.
This is due to the mass spending of advertising companies shouting the benefits of post-workout protein shakes over the past few years.
The money was spent wisely. Almost everyone in the world now knows what a protein shake is. As a matter of fact, I bet you are probably imagining one in your head right now.
In all honesty most meal replacement shakes available today are really just protein powder shakes that have been re-branded and marketed to a new audience of breakfast shake drinkers.
While there is nothing wrong with substituting a pure protein shake for a meal, you are missing out on the added vitamins and minerals that a true meal replacement shake can offer you.
If you are considering adding a meal replacement shake to your weight loss program then you should consider the following.
As you can see, you can receive very different benefits depending on which type of meal replacement shake you choose. Before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on meal replacement shakes, you should take the time to decide what type of shake will help you achieve your overall fitness goals.
Before I get in to the review of what I believe are the top 3 products, or best protein shakes – weight loss category as the marketing industry would like to call them, I want to let you know that it is not recommended to replace all of your daily meals with a shake.
Your body needs the additional nutrients that are found in the foods you eat, and you would be doing more harm than good by weeding out whole foods. They are not meant to be a work around or fast way to lose weight without any effort.
Use replacement shakes wisely, eat healthy meals, and continue an exercise program that matches your fitness goals. You have heard me say this time and again. Hard work and dedication are the only true methods to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Price: $32 per container (note this is a 2 week supply)
Shakes per Container: 16
My Rating: 3.5
GNC Lean meal replacement shake is a fairly new product from the extremely popular GNC brand of nutritional and fitness supplements. This product has become very popular due to its branding with GNC, and the fact that it is readily available in all GNC locations.
As meal replacement shakes go it isn’t the worst out there, but it definitely falls into the bottom of the big three.
As you can see, the way that GNC packaged the product is not very economical. Yes, you can get a container of GNC Lean for around $30, but this container will only last you for 16 days using the recommended serving size.
I really didn’t like the way this was marketed, but that really isn’t why I rated the product so low.
What really surprised me about GNC Lean is the addition of Acesulflame potassium and Sucralose, both artificial sweeteners have come under intense scrutiny recently for containing ingredients considered to be carcinogens.
I realize that a new cancer risk is found every other day, and there is no such thing as a totally risk free world, but I don’t think it is too much to ask to keep this stuff out of our everyday food and beverages.
This product does contain a healthy protein mix of milk, isolate, and whey protein which is important in dietary needs, but the inclusion of controversial ingredients weighs down the overall benefit of this product.
Price: $129.95 per container
Shakes per Container: 30
My Rating: 7.5
Shakeology easily provides the most nutrient packed meal replacement shake on the market today. This shake boasts a whopping 75+ ingredients and can provide roughly 50% of your daily intake for most of the vitamins a human body needs.
The downside to this is that most of the ingredients are over kill and can be easily gotten in the other meals you eat throughout the day or an inexpensive multi-vitamin.
Another noticeable consequence of packing one shake serving with an extreme amount of vitamins is the taste. Shakeology products are the worst tasting of the big 3 in my opinion.
One glaring downside of this shake is the cost. Shakeology shakes are more than 4 times the cost of similarly valued products. This product is NOT for the budget minded!
While Shakeology meal replacement shakes also rank high in hunger curbing affects (the best of the 3), the way they go about it creates another downfall.
This product contains A LOT of fiber! Fiber is important to our daily digestion, but it is also used to create a “full stomach” feeling.
After mixing up my very first Shakeology meal replacement shake, the first thing I noticed is how thick the shake was.
It felt like I was drinking half melted ice cream or one of those extra thick ice cream shakes you have to eat with a spoon.
Once you drink the shake you will immediately feel full. The fiber sits in your stomach like hardening concrete and should prevent hunger for the next few hours. This can be viewed as a benefit, but I personally didn’t like the way it made me feel like I had just eaten a huge meal.
I give this product pretty high rankings because of the effort to provide vitamins and minerals that the body needs in a daily meal replacement shake, but I feel the groggy full feeling, poor taste, and the expensive nature of this product bring down the benefit to the average consumer.
Price: Approximately $40 per container
Shakes per Container: 30
My Rating: 9.0
First things first. Forget all of the hype over the Herbalife Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scheme.
This product gets a bad reputation due to the many agents that try to force an entire suite of nutritional products on you. (think Avon sales rep)
You can avoid all of that mess by heading on over to Amazon and just buying the product you want without any upsell or follow up sales calls.
Herbalife Formula 1 meal replacement shakes are my go to for a quick, nutritious breakfast shake.
It doesn’t score highest in any one category of taste, hunger blocking, or nutrition, but it scores high enough in all categories AND is the best value for the money.
You can pick up a month’s worth of meal replacement shakes for roughly $40. That works out to be about $1.33 per shake.
This product contains about 25% of your daily vitamin intake for most vitamins that your body needs. If you read my review of Shakeology’s product above you will understand the significance of this.
There are just enough vitamins and minerals to give you a head start on your daily vitamin intake without creating a bad tasting breakfast experience.
Please note that you will need to eat a balanced meal for lunch and dinner in order to get the remaining nutrients you need on a daily basis.
The only real negative I found with Herbalife’s product is the hunger busting ability. When mixing the powder with water, I found that it didn’t help to keep me full until lunch.
This is definitely a downside, but I found that mixing the powder with skim milk, half a banana, and a handful of frozen mixed berries solved this problem for me, and made a very tasty shake!
My overall rating for Herbalife Formula 1 meal replacement shake is based on the value for your money. Of the big 3, it is the cheapest, best tasting option available.
Most families today do not have the time to go through a sit down breakfast throughout the week. The options left to us are limited to microwaveable frozen processed meals, fast food (don’t do it!), or a quick meal replacement shake.
I personally have been drinking breakfast shakes for over a year, and they are my go to option for a quick way to get my day started.
There are many different types of shakes available to you, but you should remember to consume the correct type of shake that compliments your fitness program.
I hope that I have helped you wade through the marketing waters and made it easier to understand what you are actually purchasing when looking for a meal replacement shake in today’s nutritional supplement world.
Just remember a protein shake isn’t always a meal replacement shake!
I would love to hear from you! Please drop a comment below, and as always..
Cheers to your health!