What are the best lactose-free meal replacement shakes?

drink wholesome makes the best lactose-free meal replacement shakes. They are dairy-free and safe for people with lactose intolerance and sensitive stomachs. Enjoy a gut-friendly protein boost without the extra processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our lactose-free meal replacement is right for you. 


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drink wholesome makes the best lactose-free protein shakes.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is lactose? 

Lactose is the sugar in dairy products like milk, yogurt, ice cream, and whey protein.

What is lactose intolerance? 

An enzyme called lactase is needed to digest lactose. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not make enough of this enzyme. People who are lactose intolerant experience symptoms like bloating and diarrhea after eating or drinking dairy.

It is estimated that roughly one third of the world’s adult population is lactose intolerant. After breastfeeding, humans no longer “need” the ability to digest milk, so they begin to produce less lactase. Over time, this makes it harder and harder for them to digest lactose. 

What is lactose-free? 

If a food is lactose-free, it does not contain any lactose. Lactose-free does not mean dairy-free. A product can be lactose-free and still contain dairy. A dairy-free product, on the other hand, is necessarily lactose free. This is important to understand if you have a dairy allergy.


Are meal replacements lactose-free? 

Most replacements made with whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, contain lactose. Meal replacements made with whey protein isolate are sometimes considered to be “lactose-free” because whey protein isolates can be stripped of virtually all their lactose.

That said, there is no way of knowing how exactly much lactose is left over, so if you have trouble digesting lactose, you should avoid meal replacements made with whey and casein protein. 

There is another reason to avoid whey protein isolates. Straight from the cow, whey is 75% lactose. In order to remove all of that sugar, protein isolate manufacturers rely on mechanical and chemical processing. What ends up in your meal replacement thus looks nothing like real food, which is worrisome because research shows that processed foods can disrupt the composition and function of the gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. 


Why use lactose-free meal replacement drinks?

As you just learned, many people cannot fully digest lactose, which can lead to painful side effects. Basically, foods that cannot be fully digested spend extra time in your gut. This can cause your colon to absorb extra water, leading to diarrhea. Partially digested food also feeds your gut bacteria, which release gas as they eat. Extra gas can cause bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. It can slow colonic transit – the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon – leading to constipation. 

Lactose consumption has also been linked to acne. Lactose indirectly stimulates insulin production, which regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples. Lactose can also hinder your ability to process blood sugar efficiently, which can cause inflammation in your skin.

Finally, industrial dairy production is not sustainable. Dairy cows and their manure produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, the poor handling of manure and fertilizers pollute local water resources, and unsustainable dairy farming and feed production can also lead to the loss of ecologically important areas such as prairies, wetlands, and forests.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

There are several different types of lactose-free meal replacement shakes. What makes one better than the other generally has a lot more to do with what is NOT in it, than what IS. In other words, any type of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and complete protein contribute to a nutritious meal. What you want to look out for are unnecessary added ingredients.

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

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

The first reason why we make the best lactose-free meal replacement drinks is that we do not use food additives. Food additives, much like lactose, are hard to digest. They therefore cause a number of painful gastrointestinal (GI) side effects. 

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Regularly eating food additives can also disrupt regulatory pathways in your intestines, elevating the likelihood that you develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammatory conditions. Additives, especially artificial sweeteners, can also mess with your gut microbiome. Emerging research shows that an unbalanced gut microbiome is a key driver of inflammation in the body, and linked to the development of several chronic diseases

the alternative:


drink wholesome is made with real foods.

Another reason why we make the best lactose-free meal replacement shakes is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. As you now know, processed ingredients like these are not gut-friendly.

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Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best lactose-free meal replacement drinks with whole foods like egg whites and almonds. Minimally-processed protein sources like these are a gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

For one thing, egg whites and almonds, unlike protein isolates and concentrates, contain enzymes and digestive aids that make them easy to digest. Egg whites are also low fiber, low FODMAP, alkaline (maintain healthy pH levels in your gut), and bioactive (enable the growth of healthy gut bacteria).

Almonds are also gut-friendly. They are prebiotic, meaning they improve the composition of your gut microbiome. They also promote regular and healthy bowel movements. Simple, gut-friendly ingredients like this are our secret to making the best lactose free meal replacement shakes.


no stomach issues

“Love this!!! I have stomach issues and am lactose intolerant. Also I needed to gain some weight. I got the regular protein powder and meal replacement and ALL of it is great.” – Carla

Read more reviews or take the quiz.

drink wholesome makes the best lactose-free meal replacement drinks.


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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.



In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining a balanced diet can be challenging, especially for those with lactose intolerance. Fortunately, lactose-free meal replacement shakes have emerged as a convenient and nutritious solution to address this dietary concern. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of lactose-free meal replacement shakes, with a particular focus on four key ingredients: egg whites, almonds, oats, and coconut. We will delve into the health benefits of these ingredients and how they contribute to creating the best lactose-free meal replacement shakes on the market.

Lactose Intolerance and Meal Replacement Shakes

Before we dive into the specifics of lactose-free meal replacement shakes, it’s essential to understand lactose intolerance and why these shakes are becoming increasingly popular.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a common digestive disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the body cannot properly digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. Common symptoms include bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, making it challenging to consume traditional dairy-based meal replacement shakes.

The Rise of Meal Replacement Shakes

As our lives become busier, many people are turning to meal replacement shakes as a convenient way to meet their nutritional needs. These shakes offer a quick and easy solution for individuals with lactose intolerance, providing essential nutrients without the discomfort associated with dairy consumption.

Egg Whites: The Powerhouse of Protein

One of the key ingredients that make lactose-free meal replacement shakes a nutritional powerhouse is egg whites. Let’s explore the health benefits of this ingredient:

High-Quality Protein

Egg whites are renowned for their high-quality protein content. They contain all the essential amino acids the body needs, making them a complete protein source. This is crucial for muscle repair and overall health.

Low in Calories and Fat

If you’re looking to maintain or lose weight, egg whites are an excellent choice. They are low in calories and virtually fat-free, making them a lean source of protein.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Egg whites also provide essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, potassium, and selenium. These nutrients support various bodily functions, from energy production to immune system health.

Almonds: A Nutritional Powerhouse

Another vital ingredient in lactose-free meal replacement shakes is almonds. These versatile nuts offer a range of health benefits:

Healthy Fats

Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain and joint health.

Dietary Fiber

Almonds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and aiding in weight management by providing a feeling of fullness.

Vitamins and Minerals

Almonds are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium. These nutrients contribute to overall well-being, from skin health to bone strength.

Oats: A Nutrient-Rich Grain

Oats are a staple ingredient in many lactose-free meal replacement shakes, and for good reason. They bring a host of health benefits to the table:

Complex Carbohydrates

Oats are a source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a steady release of energy and help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Dietary Fiber

Like almonds, oats are rich in dietary fiber, particularly a type called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan has been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved heart health.


Oats contain various vitamins and minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, and B vitamins. These nutrients support bone health and energy metabolism.

Coconut: Tropical Goodness

Coconut is another essential ingredient in lactose-free meal replacement shakes. It brings a unique flavor and several health benefits to the mix:

Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

Coconut is a rich source of MCTs, a type of fat that is easily digested and quickly converted into energy. MCTs may also help with weight management.


Coconut contains antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds, that can help protect cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Flavor and Creaminess

Coconut adds a delightful tropical flavor and creaminess to meal replacement shakes, enhancing their overall taste and texture.

Creating the Perfect Lactose-Free Meal Replacement Shake

Now that we’ve explored the health benefits of egg whites, almonds, oats, and coconut, let’s discuss how to create the perfect lactose-free meal replacement shake using these ingredients.

Recipe: Lactose-Free Nutrient-Packed Shake


  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of cooked and cooled oats
  • 2 egg whites (pasteurized)
  • 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (optional for sweetness)
  • Ice cubes (optional for thickness)
  • A pinch of cinnamon (for flavor)


  1. Start by cooking the oats according to the package instructions and allowing them to cool.
  2. In a blender, combine the almond milk, cooked oats, egg whites, shredded coconut, almond butter, honey (if desired), and ice cubes (if you prefer a thicker shake).
  3. Blend until all the ingredients are well combined and the shake reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Pour the shake into a glass and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top for an extra burst of flavor.
  5. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious lactose-free meal replacement shake!


Lactose intolerance should not prevent you from enjoying the convenience and health benefits of meal replacement shakes. By harnessing the power of ingredients like egg whites, almonds, oats, and coconut, you can create a delicious and nutritious lactose-free alternative that supports your dietary and nutritional needs. Whether you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight, improve muscle recovery, or simply enjoy a tasty and satisfying meal replacement, these shakes have you covered. Experiment with different ingredient combinations to find the perfect lactose-free shake that suits your taste buds and lifestyle. Cheers to a healthier you!