What are the best lactose-free meal replacement shakes?

drink wholesome makes the best lactose-free meal replacement shakes with a short list of simple ingredients. Now, you can enjoy a 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 meal replacement 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

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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.