The Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Picky Eaters

What are the best meal replacement shakes for picky eaters?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for picky eaters. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for picky eaters. 

What is picky eating?

Do you know a picky eater? Picky eating is when a child (or adult) refuses to eat certain foods or groups of foods. Parents of picky eaters often worry that their child is not getting the nutrition that he or she needs to grow and develop, but research suggests that this is usually not be the case. That said, in some cases, picky eating can lead to malnutrition, which can affect growth and development. One study found that picky eating in preschool children resulted in significant detrimental impacts on growth, nutritional status, development, physical activity, and health status. 

If you are concerned that your child is suffering from malnutrition I recommend that you consult a pediatrician. If you are just looking for an easy way to improve your kid’s diet, however, then a meal replacement is a great place to start. Results of a randomized, controlled study show that daily oral nutritional supplements promote catch-up growth in young picky eaters who are at risk for malnutrition. 

It is worth mentioning that although picky eating is most common in young children, it also affects adults. The elderly are partially susceptible to increased picky eating or food selectivity, which research correlates with an increased risk for malnutrition. If you are a parent, caregiver, or a picky eater yourself, adding a meal replacement shake to the menu might be a great idea. A quality meal replacement is convenient, nutritious, and has a pleasant smell, taste, and texture.

How to pick a meal replacement. 

Among the nutrients that parents of picky eaters are most concerned about is protein. Protein is essential for growth and development as it is found in every cell of the body, serving as one of the building blocks of muscles, skin, and bones. Protein is also a key component of antibodies that protect the body against illness. Needless to say, getting enough of it is crucial for everyone. This is why I recommend that you choose meal replacement with lots of protein, at least 20g per serving. 

There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people prefer ready-to-drink shakes because they are more convenient, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like shelf stability and texture, but they look nothing like real food and are hard to digest. This is why I recommend that you make your own shakes with powder. That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! Keep reading to learn more about how to pick an easy to digest meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying meal replacements for picky eaters, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

First of all our meal replacements pack a protein punch – 30g per serving in addition to healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and other nutrients. They are also made simple, easy to digest ingredients, which are listed on the front of the package so you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Essentially, drink wholesome combines the delicious nutrition of real food with the convenience of a supplement. It is perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

Again, drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for picky eaters. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for picky eaters.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

The Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Diabetics

What are the best meal replacement shakes for diabetics?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for diabetics. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for diabetics. 

Looking for a meal replacement for diabetes? 

If you have type 2 diabetes, the foods that you eat can have a huge effect on your blood sugar levels. Meal replacements are no exception. A good meal replacement will not spike your blood sugar. A bad one, on the other hand, can make your blood sugar go haywire. What makes a meal replacement good or bad is its nutritional content and ingredient list. 

You should avoid meal replacements with lots of Added Sugar as it can trigger blood sugar spikes. Since 2018, the FDA has required that the Nutrition Facts label include how much sugar has been added to the food, so this should be easy to find. It is always expressed in grams, and anything over 5 grams is too much. Naturally occurring sugars, like those found in fruits and vegetables, are safe to eat. There is no association between natural sugar and diabetes since this type of sugar is digested and absorbed more slowly. The amount of naturally occurring sugar in a food can be found by subtracting Added Sugar from Total Sugar.

You should also avoid meal replacements sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Several studies have shown that artificial sweeteners may increase cravings toward sugary and sweet foods, which can lead to binging and feelings of withdrawal. Other studies have linked artificial sweeteners to a higher risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor for pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Finally, you should also choose a meal replacement made with minimally-processed ingredients. Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates can cause hyperinsulinemia (abnormally high levels of insulin). While high-protein, low-carb foods like these are low on the glycemic index, they can still measure high on the insulin index. In other words, while protein concentrates and isolates do not spike blood sugar the way that most carbohydrates do, they can still result in an insulin spike. This is because protein has an insulinotropic effect (it promotes insulin secretion).

Why drink wholesome

Not only are our meal replacements made without added sugar and artificial sweeteners, but they are also made with minimally-processed real food protein sources. Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming meal replacement. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are a diabetes-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. drink wholesome is also food additive-free, which sets it apart from most meal replacements. Keep reading to learn more. 

There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shake bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people buy ready-to-drink shakes instead of meal replacement powder because they value convenience, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these help with shelf stability (sitting on the shelf for a long time without spoiling), and can replicate the creamy, dairy-like mouthfeel that people crave. Although this sounds like a good thing, food additives look nothing like real food and can cause a number of side effects. This is why I recommend that you make your own meal replacement shakes with meal replacement powder. Unfortunately, however, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes. You will therefore have to read ingredient lists to find the good ones. The rest of this article is dedicated to teaching you how to pick easy to digest diabetic meal replacement shakes.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying diabetes meal replacement shakes, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? As I mentioned earlier, most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

 

Again, drink wholesome makes the best diabetic meal replacement shakes. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for diabetics.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

The Best Paleo Meal Replacement Shake

What is the best paleo meal replacement shake?

drink wholesome makes the best paleo meal replacement shake. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome is the best paleo meal replacement shake

What is the paleo diet? 

The paleo diet is all about eating like our ancestors ate 10,000 years ago – during the Paleolithic era. In a nutshell, it stresses eating whole foods over processed ones. Paleo-friendly foods include meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Are meal replacement shakes paleo? 

If you insist on avoiding processed foods altogether, then meal replacement shakes are not an option. If you are willing to compromise somewhat on what constitutes “processed food,” however, then meal replacement shakes can be a great addition to your diet. 

There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water, which requires a blender or a shake bottle. The convenience of a ready-to-drink shake may make this format seem like a no-brainer, but very few (if any) ready-to-drink shakes are paleo-friendly. Most are made with either whey (dairy), soy (legume), or pea (legume) protein, all of which are decidedly not paleo. Most ready-to-drink shakes also contain food additives, which were definitely not on the menu during the Paleolithic era. This is why I recommend that you make your own meal replacement shakes with meal replacement powder. Unfortunately, however, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes. 

Why drink wholesome?

Our meal replacement powders are made with simple, paleo ingredients. Our vanilla flavor, for example, is made with egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, vanilla, and monk fruit. Egg whites and almonds are an excellent source of paleo protein. Almonds and coconut are a good source of paleo fats. Oats, although traditionally considered a no-no on the modern paleo diet, are now considered to be a source of paleo carbohydrates. According to new research, residue analyses on an ancient grinding tool recovered in Southern Italy demonstrate that early modern humans collected and processed oats. Moreover, instead of flavoring our meal replacements with flavorings or extracts like other companies, we use pure ground vanilla beans, and instead of using sugar or artificial sweeteners, we use monk fruit, a small, melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia.

We put our short list of paleo ingredients on the front of the package so you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Most meal replacement companies, on the other hand, tuck their ingredients away in a remote corner of the packaging because they have something to hide. Keep reading to learn more about the top ingredients to avoid when buying paleo meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying a paleo meal replacement, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body it not paleo.Your gut might also not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Again, drink wholesome makes the best paleo friendly meal replacement shakes. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome is the best paleo meal replacement shake.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

The Best Meal Replacement For Kids

What is the best meal replacement for kids?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement for kids. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement for kids.

Kids need to eat healthy.

Eating healthy food at a young age is essential for growth and development. It also helps to establish habits and nutritional knowledge that will serve your child throughout her life. Moreover, eating good food can help kids achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Believe it or not, nutrition for children is essentially the same as nutrition for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — fat, carbohydrates, protein, etc. – children just need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. Please refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 to learn more about your child’s nutritional needs. In a nutshell, they should be eating a balance of foods like protein, fruit, vegetables, and grains, and limiting foods high in added sugars and sodium.

What is a meal replacement? 

A meal replacement is a product intended to replace the nutritional value of a meal. Many people use meal replacements as a convenient, on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Although meal replacements are often championed as a weight loss food, they can also help you gain weight, or simply get the nutrition that you need to be healthy. 

There are two main types of meal replacements, ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes and meal replacement powders. Meal replacement powders, like protein powders, must be mixed with milk or water.

Can kids have meal replacements?

Kids can absolutely have meal replacements. That said, meal replacements should not replace normal food. Whenever possible, you should feed your kid balanced, nutritious meals. For most kids, this should be more than enough to cover their nutritional needs. Some kids, however, may need an extra calorie or protein boost – maybe they are picky eaters, maybe they suffer from a chronic illness, or maybe they have a dietary restriction. If this describes your kid, a good meal replacement can be a life saver. 

The right meal replacement can help your child get the calories and nutrients that she needs. They are also easy to make, easy to drink, and easy to clean up. Our meal replacements, for example, can be mixed with milk or water, blended into your kid’s favorite smoothie, or added to baked goods. They are versatile, delicious, and hassle-free.

Are meal replacements safe for kids? 

At the end of the day, meal replacements are just food. They are theoretically safe for anyone, including children. That said, not all meal replacements are created equal. There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people prefer ready-to-drink shakes because they are more convenient, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like shelf stability and texture, but they look nothing like real food and are hard to digest. This is why I recommend that you make your own shakes with powder. That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! Keep reading to learn more about how to pick an easy to digest meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying a meal replacement that does not cause side effects, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our meal replacement powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

Again, drink wholesome makes the best kids meal replacement. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for kids.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

The Best Meal Replacement Shakes After Dental Surgery

What are the best meal replacement shakes after dental surgery?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for after dental surgery. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for after dental surgery. 

Did you just have oral surgery? 

A liquid or soft foods diet is often required following oral surgery because patients are unable to chew solid foods due to tenderness and swelling in the mouth. It is also recommended that patients eat protein-rich foods because the body needs protein to heal. Yogurt, scrambled eggs, and nut butter are all good options. Protein or high protein meal replacement shakes can also come in handy, especially if you are on a strictly liquid diet.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for a healthy adult. Most healthy adults can get more than enough protein from normal food. Patients with healing wounds, however, are not considered “healthy” adults, and their protein needs are much higher – around 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram per day. This is yet another reason to add a protein shake or high protein meal replacement to your diet. 

Not all meal replacement shakes are high in protein. Many are, but it is important to read the Nutrition Facts to confirm that yours has at least 20 grams of protein per serving. In case you were wondering, our meal replacements contain 30 grams of easy to digest protein per serving.

If you just had a root canal, dental implants, jaw surgery, or your wisdom teeth removed, you may be looking for a good high protein meal replacement. Buyer beware! Any type (dairy, vegan, etc.) can get you the nutrients that you need, but not all meal replacements are good for you. There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people prefer ready-to-drink shakes because they are more convenient, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like shelf stability and texture, but they look nothing like real food and are hard to digest. This is why I recommend that you make your own shakes with powder. That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! Keep reading to learn more about how to pick an easy to digest meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying a meal replacement for oral surgery, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our meal replacement powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

Again, drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for after dental surgery. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the meal replacement shakes for after dental surgery.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

The Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Gain

What are the best meal replacement shakes for weight gain?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for weight gain. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement for weight gain.

Can meal replacements help you gain weight? 

Although meal replacements are often championed as a weight loss food, they can also help you gain weight. This is because meal replacement shakes are an easy way to add calories to your diet. Gaining weight is all about maintaining a calorie surplus – consuming more calories than you burn. It takes an extra 3,500 calories to gain a pound, and to gain weight at a safe rate – 0.5 pound per week – you have to consume an extra 1,750 calories weekly, or an extra 250 calories daily. Adding a meal replacement shake to your diet can help you eat these extra calories and achieve a calorie surplus. People like meal replacement shakes, as opposed to other foods, because it is easier to drink your calories than it is to chew them. For someone who has trouble eating enough, a drinkable meal can be a lifesaver.

1 serving of our meal replacement powder contains 250 calories, which makes it perfect for healthy weight gain. It also contains 30 grams of protein. Eating enough protein is essential if you are not only trying to gain weight, but also trying to build muscle. Muscle growth can occur only if muscle protein synthesis exceeds muscle protein breakdown. This is called a positive muscle protein balance. Strength training improves muscle protein balance, but, in the absence of adequate protein intake, the balance remains negative. You must therefore consume enough protein if you want to build or maintain muscle mass. 

There are many reasons why someone would want to gain weight. Perhaps you are experiencing weight loss due to a loss of appetite. Perhaps you are recovering from an illness. Perhaps you are an athlete looking to get stronger. Whatever the reason, adding a meal replacement to your diet is an easy way to put on a few pounds. Before you start chugging meal replacement shakes, however, you need to know that not all meal replacements are good for you.

There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people prefer ready-to-drink shakes because they are more convenient, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like shelf stability and texture, but they look nothing like real food and are hard to digest. This is why I recommend that you make your own shakes with powder. That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! Keep reading to learn more about how to pick an easy to digest meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying a meal replacement for weight gain, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our meal replacement powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

Again, drink wholesome makes the best weight gain meal replacement shakes. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best dairy-free meal replacement shakes for weight gain.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

The Best Caffeine-Free Meal Replacement Shakes

What are the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes?

drink wholesome makes the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome makes the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes.

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It certainly has its perks, but it is also easy to consume too much. If you are drinking more than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (or the equivalent), you may want to consider cutting back. Too much caffeine can cause side effects like anxiety, insomnia, and nausea.  

Do meal replacements contain caffeine? 

Foods, beverages, and dietary supplements containing added caffeine must list “caffeine” as an ingredient on the Supplement/Nutrition Facts label. They are not required to list the amount of caffeine, however, so there is usually no way of knowing how much caffeine you are getting. Moreover, although some meal replacements contain added caffeine, most do not. Certain meal replacements are naturally caffeinated, however, so if you cannot have any caffeine, read the ingredient list closely. Avoid naturally caffeinated ingredients like coffee, cocoa, and matcha.

Any chocolate flavored meal replacement made with chocolate or cocoa contains some caffeine because chocolate and cocoa come from cocoa beans, which are naturally caffeinated. Our chocolate meal replacement powder contains 5 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, which is very little for someone who regularly drinks coffee, but might affect someone who never has caffeine. For reference, the typical 8 ounce cup of coffee contains 80-100 mg of caffeine. 

If a meal replacement does not contain a naturally caffeinated ingredient, it is probably caffeine-free. For instance, it is safe to say that our vanilla meal replacement powder is caffeine-free because it is made with egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, vanilla, and monk fruit. None of these ingredients contain caffeine.

There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people prefer ready-to-drink shakes because they are more convenient, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like shelf stability and texture, but they look nothing like real food and are hard to digest. This is why I recommend that you make your own shakes with powder. That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! Keep reading to learn more about how to pick an easy to digest meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying meal replacement shakes without caffeine, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our caffeine-free meal replacement powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

drink wholesome makes the best caffeine-free meal replacement power. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

Meal Replacement Shakes And Intermittent Fasting

Meal replacement shakes and intermittent fasting.

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacements for intermittent fasting. Learn more about meal replacement shakes and intermittent fasting. 

$49.99
$49.99

Meal replacement fasting. 

What is intermittent fasting? 

Intermittent fasting is a practice in which one does not eat for a period of time during the day or during the week. Popular approaches to intermittent fasting include: eating one day and fasting the next, eating for 5 days and fasting for 2, and eating within small window each day, ie. skipping breakfast and eating both lunch and dinner between 12 and 8 pm. There are many reasons why people try intermittent fasting, the most common being that it can help with weight loss. 

Research suggests that intermittent fasting is about as effective as a traditional low-calorie diet for weight loss, which makes sense because fasting is usually accompanied by a calorie reduction. Simply reducing your eating to a narrow window does not necessarily promote weight loss, however. In order to lose weight, you still have to burn more calories than you eat, and there is research to back that up. A rigorous one-year study published in 2022 shows that intermittent fasting without a calorie reduction will not help you lose weight.

What is a meal replacement? 

A meal replacement is a product intended to replace the nutritional value of a meal, often with fewer calories. Many people use meal replacements to lose weight. 

Can you drink meal replacement shakes during a fast? 

Every meal replacement has calories and nutrients (even when mixed with just water) so if you drink one during your fast, it will break your fast. 

Why use meal replacements while fasting? 

Meal replacement fasting, pairing meal replacements with intermittent fasting, can help you lose weight. This only works if the meal replacements are high in protein, however. Why protein? Although it is true that protein helps with building and maintaining muscle mass, it is also an essential ingredient when it comes to weight loss. This might sound confusing, so allow me to explain. 

Losing weight is all about achieving and maintaining a calorie deficit – eating fewer calories than you burn. Replacing a meal or part of a meal with a high protein meal replacement shake can help you achieve a calorie deficit because protein suppresses hunger. Hunger is a powerful sensation, and depriving your body of calories it thinks it needs is uncomfortable. Your body does not like to be uncomfortable, and will not shut up until you give it the calories that it wants. This is the main reason why losing weight is so hard – even the most stubborn person can only ignore the hunger pangs for so long, and will eventually eat (often more than he or she needs to). 

The secret to weight loss is therefore to prevent hunger. In order to do so while maintaining a calorie deficit, you have to eat the right foods. Some foods are satiating, meaning they fill you up. Others are not. The trick is to eat more of the former, and less of the latter. High protein foods are among the most satiating foods and can help with weight loss. They keep you feeling full for longer, which helps prevent cravings and overeating. High protein meal replacements are therefore a great way to increase the percentage of your calories that come from high protein, and help you lose weight. Before you start chugging meal replacement shakes, however, you should know that not all meal replacements are good for you.

There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people prefer ready-to-drink shakes because they are more convenient, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like shelf stability and texture, but they look nothing like real food and are hard to digest. This is why I recommend that you make your own shakes with powder. That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! Keep reading to learn more about how to pick an easy to digest meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying meal replacement shakes for intermittent fasting, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our meal replacement powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

Again, meal replacement shakes and intermittent fasting are a good pairing as long as the meal replacement is high in protein. Our meal replacement powders have 30 grams of protein per serving! Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacements for intermittent fasting. 


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

The Best High Protein Meal Replacement Powder

What is the best high protein meal replacement powder?

drink wholesome makes the best high protein meal replacement powder. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome is the best high protein meal replacement powder.

Looking for a meal replacement with lots of protein? 

1 serving of our meal replacement powder has 250 calories and 30 grams of protein. The main sources of protein in our meal replacement powders are egg whites and almonds.

Why protein? 

For many people, protein evokes images of bodybuilders and muscle. Although it is true that protein helps with building and maintaining muscle mass, it is also an essential ingredient when it comes to weight loss. This might sound confusing, so allow me to explain. Losing weight is all about achieving and maintaining a calorie deficit – eating fewer calories than you burn. Gaining weight is all about achieving and maintaining a calorie surplus – eating more calories than you burn. Depending on how they are used, meal replacements can help you achieve a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus. 

Drinking a high protein meal replacement shake in between meals will add calories to your diet and help you achieve a calorie surplus. It will also add protein to your diet. This matters if you are trying to put on muscle because muscle growth can occur only if muscle protein synthesis exceeds muscle protein breakdown. This is called a positive muscle protein balance. Strength training improves muscle protein balance, but, in the absence of adequate protein intake, the balance remains negative. You must therefore consume enough protein if you want to build or maintain muscle mass. 

Replacing a meal or part of a meal with a high protein meal replacement shake, on the contrary, can help you achieve a calorie deficit because protein suppresses hunger. Hunger is a powerful sensation, and depriving your body of calories it thinks it needs is uncomfortable. Your body does not like to be uncomfortable, and will not shut up until you give it the calories that it wants. This is the main reason why losing weight is so hard – even the most stubborn person can only ignore the hunger pangs for so long, and will eventually eat (often more than he or she needs to).

The secret to weight loss is therefore to prevent hunger. In order to do so while maintaining a calorie deficit, you have to eat the right foods. Some foods are satiating, meaning they fill you up. Others are not. The trick is to eat more of the former, and less of the latter. High protein foods are among the most satiating foods and can help with weight loss. They keep you feeling full for longer, which helps prevent cravings and overeating. High protein meal replacements are therefore a great way to increase the percentage of your calories that come from high protein, and help you lose weight. 

High protein meal replacements, depending on how you use them, can help you build muscle or lose weight. Before you start chugging meal replacement shakes, however, you should know that not all meal replacements are good for you. Unfortunately, many brands are made with heavily-processed, fake food ingredients. Here are a few of the top meal replacement ingredients to avoid. 

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying high protein meal replacement shakes, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our meal replacement powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

Again, drink wholesome makes the best high protein meal replacement powder. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome is the best high protein meal replacement powder.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

Protein Powder Vs Meal Replacement

Protein powder vs meal replacement?

Protein powder vs meal replacement? Which one is right for you? 

$49.99
$34.99 or subscribe and save up to 15%

Get the scoop on protein powder vs meal replacement.  

What is protein powder? 

Protein powder is a supplement used to increase dietary protein intake. Common types include egg white, pea, and whey. It can be mixed with cold milk or water to make a protein shake. It can also be added to oatmeal, smoothies, and other recipes for an easy protein boost. People usually start using protein powder because they cannot easily get enough protein from normal food. Making a protein shake only takes a minute and it is easier to swallow your protein than it is to chew it. 

What constitutes ‘enough’ protein is different for everyone and what is easy for one person may also not be easy for the next. For this reason, the decision to start using protein powder should be yours and yours alone. Do not let anyone tell you that you need protein powder. Consider only what makes sense for you. I will add that most people can get more than enough protein from sources like eggs, fish, and legumes. I will also add that protein is just food, so do not expect it to do anything for you that normal food cannot. 

vanilla protein powder

What is a meal replacement? 

A meal replacement is a product intended to replace the nutritional value of a meal, often with fewer calories. Meal replacements are usually a good source of protein, but not always, and there are two main types, ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes and meal replacement powders. Meal replacement powders, like protein powders, must be mixed with cold milk or water. People like using meal replacements as a convenient, on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are also championed as a weight loss food, which brings me back to the original question: what is the difference between a meal replacement and a protein shake? 

Is protein powder the same as meal replacement?

For the sake of comparison, I am going to talk about meal replacement powders, as opposed to ready-to-drink meal replacements. 

The main difference between protein powders and meal replacement powders is the nutrition profile. Protein powders tend to be high in protein, and low in everything else. This is because they are usually made with protein concentrates or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. Meal replacement powders, on the other hand, tend to have a more balanced nutrition profile. In other words, because they are intended to replace the nutritional value of a meal, they usually have fats, carbohydrates, and other nutrients in addition to protein. 

Can you use protein powder as a meal replacement? 

A protein powder can be used as a meal replacement, and a meal replacement can be used as a protein supplement. That said, every protein powder is different. Some protein powders have fats and carbohydrates and other nutrients, whereas others do not. The former make for better meal replacements. Likewise, every meal replacement is different. Some meal replacements have lots of protein per serving, whereas others do not. The former make for better protein supplements. 

The point here is that we can only generalize about the suitability of protein powders and meal replacements. The only way to know what is in your protein powder or meal replacement, and what it is best suited for, is to read the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts.

chocolate meal replacement powder

Protein powder or meal replacement? 

Many people use protein supplements and meal replacements to help manage their weight, so let us start there. Believe it or not, both protein powders and meal replacements can help you gain and lose weight. This probably sounds confusing, so allow me to explain. 

Losing weight is all about achieving and maintaining a calorie deficit – eating fewer calories than you burn. Gaining weight is all about achieving and maintaining a calorie surplus – eating more calories than you burn. Depending on how they are used, protein powders and meal replacements can help you achieve a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus. Drinking a protein shake or a meal replacement shake in between meals, for example, will add calories to your diet and help you achieve a calorie surplus. Meal replacements have more calories than protein powders, and are probably better suited for this goal. 

Replacing a meal or part of a meal with a protein shake or a meal replacement shake, on the contrary, can help you achieve a calorie deficit. The reason why this works has to do with hunger. Hunger is a powerful sensation, and depriving your body of calories it thinks it needs is uncomfortable. Your body does not like to be uncomfortable, and it will not shut up until you give it what it wants. This is the main reason why losing weight is so hard – even the most stubborn person can only ignore hunger for so long, and will eventually eat (often more than he or she needs to). 

The secret to weight loss is therefore to prevent hunger. In order to do so while maintaining a calorie deficit, you have to eat the right foods. Some foods are satiating, meaning they fill you up. Others are not. The trick is to eat more of the former, and less of the latter. High protein foods are among the most satiating foods and can help with weight loss. They keep you feeling full for longer, which helps prevent cravings and overeating. Protein powder and high protein meal replacements are therefore a great way to increase the percentage of your calories that come from high protein and help you lose weight. Protein powder may be better suited for this goal, but a high protein meal replacement can also do the trick. Our meal replacements, for instance, contain a whopping 30g protein per serving, which makes them a powerful weight loss food. 

Before you start chugging shakes, however, you should know that not all protein powders or meal replacements are not created equal. Many protein powders and meal replacements are made with ingredients that can upset your stomach, and in some cases cause permanent gut damage. Here are a few of the top ingredients to avoid. 

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements and protein powders are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements and protein powders:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying meal replacements and protein powders, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ISOMALTULOSE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, VITAMIN AND MINERAL PREMIX, CELLULOSE, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDE, XANTHAN GUM, SUCRALOSE
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement or protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement or protein powder made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements and protein powders are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our meal replacement or protein powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

Meal replacement vs protein powder? We make both with simple, easy to digest ingredients. 

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacements and protein powders.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders and meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.