Meal replacement shakes are a terrific invention. They are perfect for drinking on the go or whenever you need a nutritious breakfast or lunch but don’t have time to prepare a healthy dish. But if you're not careful, you could be doing yourself more harm than good by ingesting nothing more than a glorified sugary drink.
The next time you think you’re improving your nutrition and cutting calories by replacing your daily lunch with a meal replacement shake, make sure your shake is truly nutritious. Here’s what you need to watch out for.
Health Benefits and Hidden Risks of Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes have lots of benefits. They can be whipped up in no time at all and are easily portable for whenever you need a quick boost of energy. But many are not healthy and include an overload of sugar that makes you gain more weight, acidifies the body and causes nutrient loss.
- Weight Loss
Meal replacement shakes are an excellent way to control calorie intake, as they are generally lower in calories than most meals. Because of this, they are generally used for weight loss. As a high protein intake has been associated with increased weight loss, glugging a protein shake as a meal replacement is a good way to cut out unrefined carbohydrates and save room for the good stuff.
According to a 2003 study, subjects who followed a meal replacement plan experienced significant weight loss and improved weight-related disease. Another 2010 study found that meal replacement plans were more effective than food-based diets in achieving weight loss. The study found that participants who followed meal replacement plans also experienced a decline in inflammation and oxidative stress, which are known to cause disease.
Tip: Avoid meal replacement shakes that are high in calories or refined sugar, which will make you gain more weight and create an acidic environment in the body, where disease is free to thrive. Make sure your meal replacement shake is plant-based and does not contain hidden sugar or chemicals that may be working against your desired weight loss goals. Plant-based meal replacement shakes containing antioxidants help you naturally achieve weight loss by removing toxins from the body.
- Instant Energy
Meal replacements shakes are quickly absorbed, so they are ideal for when you need some energy right away, like during a busy workday when you don’t have time to grab a meal. They are also ideal post-workout meals, when you need a quick hit of protein for recovery and building muscle. Meal replacements shakes bypass most of the digestive process and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream because they are in liquid form and do not need to be broken down. This also makes them great for when you need to give your digestive system a break after eating too many heavy or processed foods. But if your shake contains mostly sugar and little nutrition, you are sending your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride that will leave you feeling tired, moody and hungry again in no time.
If you’re constantly running out the door without breakfast, then meal replacement shakes are brilliant. But eating nothing in the morning is better than drinking an unhealthy, sugar-laden meal replacement shake. Find a plant-based meal replacement shake full of antioxidants that can easily be added to a glass of water in the morning before you leave for work.
Here’s the tricky part. Meal replacement shakes are advertised as a quick fix for getting in your vitamins and minerals without actually eating food. But in reality, most store-bought shakes are nothing more than a tasty dessert. Another argument is that meal replacement shakes will never give you the nutrition you can get from real food. While eating whole food, plant-based sources of antioxidants is best, some meal replacement shakes are designed to help you control calories while still getting in optimal nutrition.
120 Nutrients in a Healthy Meal Replacement Shake is Possible
Dubbed the world's first 'futurefood', Maximum Vibrance provides an extensive width of nutrition from 120 carefully selected whole food, plant-based ingredients. It contains every nutrient the body needs, excluding omega-3 fatty acids, so it won’t make you gain weight or cause acidity like most meal replacements do.
The supplement is also a great source of plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and probiotics. Of course, plant protein is better for promoting an alkaline environment than animal protein. Unlike many meal replacement powders, Maximum Vibrance is a truly nourishing, sugar-free meal replacement that helps keep your body in an optimum alkaline state.
Your next meal is as easy as two scoops mixed with water, fruit juice or a smoothie. What could be better?