The Best Lactose-Free Meal Replacement Shakes

What are the best lactose-free meal replacement shakes?

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

$49.99
$49.99

drink wholesome is the best lactose-free meal replacement.

What is lactose-free? 

Lactose-free is not the same as dairy-free. These two terms are often used synonymously, but there are important differences. Lactose is the sugar in dairy, and although lactose-free products do not contain lactose, they are not necessarily dairy-free. This is important to understand if you have a dairy allergy. Dairy-free products, on the other hand, are necessarily lactose-free.

Why lactose-free?

Lactose is notorious for causing 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 a result, it sits in their gut for longer than it should. This gives your gut bacteria more time to eat, and as they eat, they produce gas, which causes bloating, cramps, and nausea. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Are meal replacements lactose-free? 

Some meal replacements are lactose-free, but most are not. This is usually because they contain whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production. If you want to be certain that your meal replacement is lactose-free, pick one that is dairy-free.

Unfortunately, lactose is not the only thing in meal replacements that can upset your stomach. Your average meal replacement is full of heavily-processed ingredients that look nothing like real food. If you have a sensitive stomach, or have had trouble digesting meal replacements in the past, you should avoid ingredients like these. Before I explain why, I need to cover one very important piece of information. 

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 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, as you just learned, causes uncomfortable side effects. 

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, 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 lactose-free 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 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 and lactose-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 lactose intolerant people. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

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


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.