What are the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes?

drink wholesome makes the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes with a short list of simple ingredients. If you need a quick, easy meal without added caffeine, extra processing, or added junk, you have to come to the right place. Order samples to see if our caffeine-free meal replacements are right for you. 

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

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

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 and 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, for example, contains 5 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, which is nothing 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, 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 naturally contain caffeine.

What are the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes?

Unfortunately, caffeine is not the only added ingredient that you have to worry about when it comes to meal replacement shakes. Many meal replacements contain a litany of ingredients that can cause painful side effects and long-term health problems. 

When you strip away all the marketing, meal replacements are nothing more than a quick and easy way to get calories and nutrients into your body. They should therefore not look fundamentally different from any of the other foods you eat on a regular basis. Many meal replacement companies would have you believe otherwise, however, and shower you with unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of their products trying to hide the fact that they are selling crap.

The heavily-processed and artificial junk in your meal replacement is not good for you. The only good it does is improve the bottom line of the company selling it to you. Do not let yourself, or your health, be another victim of mainstream marketing. What you need is a meal replacement shake with a short list of simple, familiar ingredients. Keep reading to learn more.

Why drink wholesome?

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes is that we do not use any food additives, period. Even in small amounts, these added ingredients can lead to uncomfortable side effects, especially for those with sensitive stomachs.

Food additives go through such extensive processing that they no longer resemble real food. This makes them tough to digest and gives your gut bacteria more time to eat them. As these bacteria break down these additives, they release gas, which can result in symptoms like bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. Additionally, it can slow down colonic transit, which is the time it takes for food to pass through your colon, potentially causing constipation.

In certain cases, partially digested food additives can cause your colon to either absorb too much water or prevent water absorption altogether. This situation is known as osmotic diarrhea, and explains why some people may experience a sudden urge to visit the restroom after drinking a meal replacement shake.

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

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, 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

Moreover, consistently consuming food additives can interfere with the regulatory processes in your intestines, potentially leading to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammatory disorders. Certain additives, such as artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can also upset the balance of your gut microbiome – the community of microorganisms living in your gut. A well-balanced gut is a major factor in preventing inflammation various chronic diseases.

the alternative:


drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best meal replacement shakes without caffeine is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Other meal replacements often contain whey and casein, which are derived from the cheese and yogurt production process. These ingredients are known for causing digestive issues.

Lactose, the sugar present in dairy products like whey and casein, is hard to digest for most adults. As you are now aware, foods that are difficult to digest frequently lead to painful side effects. It is thus a good idea to steer clear of whey and casein whenever possible.

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chocolate meal replacement powder lifestyle image 2

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Nearly all other meal replacement powders contain one or both of these protein sources.

Protein concentrates and isolates undergo intensive mechanical and chemical processing, at times involving solvents like hexane. Consequently, what you ingest differs significantly from whole, unprocessed food.

Your digestive system is designed to handle minimally processed or unprocessed foods, not protein concentrates or isolates. This is why research indicates that consistent consumption of refined ingredients like these can disturb your gut microbiome. Once again, an imbalanced gut microbiome is a matter of considerable significance.

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Instead of relying on protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best meal replacement shakes without caffeine using egg whites and almonds. Protein sources like these, which undergo minimal processing, provide a gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, whole foods such as egg whites and almonds are packed with enzymes and digestive aids that make them easy to break down. Egg whites have an added benefit of being low in fiber, low in FODMAPs, alkaline (helping maintain a healthy gut pH), and bioactive (encouraging the growth of healthy gut bacteria).

Almonds are also incredibly beneficial for gut health. They possess prebiotic properties, meaning they enhance the diversity of your gut microbiota, while also promoting regular and healthy bowel movements. It is simple, wholesome ingredients like this that serve as our secret to creating the best caffeine-free meal replacement shakes.


simple and delicious

“I spent so many hours looking shake for my picky kids. This is hands down the best one I’ve come across – simple ingredients and they love how it tastes. My husband likes it too!” – Julie

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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.