What are the meal replacement shakes for acid reflux?

Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition

drink wholesome makes the meal replacement shakes for acid reflux. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of meal replacements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. This makes it perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for nutrition without the processing and added junk. If you suffer from GERD, or any other digestive disease, order samples to see if our meal replacements are right for you. 


easy to digest

“I have a sensitive stomach, so most meal replacement powders leave me with gas, bloating, constipation, and stomach pain, but not this one.” – Shon

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drink wholesome is the best meal replacement for acid reflux.

What is GERD?

Can meal replacement shakes cause acid reflux?

What are the best meal replacement shakes for acid reflux?

Why drink wholesome?

What is GERD?

You have probably heard of acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. What you may not have heard, however, is that severe acid reflux can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. GERD is a common disease that affects about 20% of the population, and the most common symptom is frequent heartburn. Foods known to trigger heartburn delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer. They also cause the esophageal sphincter to relax, which allows stomach acid back up (reflux) into the esophagus. 

The foods you eat affect the amount of acid your stomach produces, and eating the right kinds of food is key to controlling GERD. Eliminating certain foods from your diet is one of the best ways to mitigate GERD symptoms. An elimination diet can also be used to learn whether or not certain foods cause or aggravate your symptoms, which is important because every stomach is different; a food that causes GERD symptoms for one person may not cause them for someone else.

It follows that there is considerable controversy over which foods actually cause symptoms. There are, however, a few foods that everyone agrees are common acid reflux triggers. They include (but are not limited to) alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus, tomatoes, garlic, mint, onions, spicy foods, fatty foods, fried foods, and processed foods. This last one is pertinent when it comes to meal replacements. As you will soon learn, most meal replacements are full of heavily-processed ingredients that can upset your stomach.

Can meal replacement shakes cause acid reflux?

Some meal replacements cause heartburn, and if your meal replacement gives you acid reflux, you have come to the right place. The rest of this article is dedicated to helping you better understand what is in your meal replacement, and how it affects digestion.

making meal replacement shake

What are the best meal replacement shakes for acid reflux?

Most meal replacements contain heavily-processed and/or artificial ingredients that can upset your stomach and cause heartburn. Emulsifiers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors are a few examples of the additives known to trigger symptoms. It follows that the best meal replacement powder powder for acid reflux is one that is made with a short list of simple ingredients. The more your meal replacement looks like real food, the easier it will be to digest. Continue reading to learn more.

drinking meal replacement shake

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best meal replacements for acid reflux is that we do not use food additives. The majority of meal replacements, both shakes and powders, contain many additives. Added ingredients like these can cause acid reflux, even in small amounts.

Food additives look next to nothing like real food, making them hard to digest. As a result, they spend extra time in your digestive system, causing an overproduction of stomach acid, and feeding the hungry bacteria living in your gut. Gut bacteria produce gas while they eat, and extra gas can put pressure on the small intestine and stomach, pushing stomach acid into the esophagus and causing heartburn.

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

Yet another reason to steer clear of food additives lies is their lasting impact on your gut health. Regularly ingesting additives can disrupt your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help with food digestion. This can impair your ability to digest and absorb food, leading to more and worse acid reflux. 

the alternative:


drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best meal replacements for GERD is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many other meal replacements are made with whey and/casein protein, which are byproducts of making cheese and yogurt. These dairy-based protein sources frequently bring about digestive issues, especially for the millions of people with lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance lack the enzymes needed to break down lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, food that is not fully digested can result in painful side gastrointestinal (GI) effects, including acid reflux.

vanilla meal replacement powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate meal replacement powder lifestyle image 2
drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best meal replacement shakes for acid reflux is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Virtually all other meal alternatives rely on either one or both of these protein sources, which have been stripped of everything but the protein. They appear on the ingredients list as “pea protein” or “whey protein,” rather than as “peas” or “whey.”

The creation of protein concentrates and isolates involves substantial mechanical and chemical modifications. At times, chemicals like hexane are used to draw out the protein. Consequently, the shake you consume bears only a faint resemblance to real foods.

Your digestive system is designed to handle unprocessed or minimally processed real foods, not synthetic or highly processed ingredients. Consuming anything aside from real foods can lead to issues, especially for individuals with pre-existing GI conditions like GERD. Though the long-term consequences of consuming processed ingredients like protein isolates are not fully comprehended, emerging studies suggest they can disturb the gut microbiome.

Beyond their role in digestion, the gut microbiome serves as a vital defense against harmful agents, contributes to educating the immune system, and has an impact on numerous physiological functions. Disturbing the equilibrium of the gut microbiome has thus been linked to various chronic illnesses. Given this connection, I strongly advise against using meal replacements that contain protein concentrates and isolates.

chocolate meal replacement powder serving suggestion 1
vanilla meal replacement powder serving suggestion 2

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best meal replacement shakes for GERD with real foods like egg whites and almonds. The egg whites undergo a process of pasteurization and drying, while the almonds are simply roasted, pressed to extract some oil, and finely ground. These natural protein sources are a gut-friendly substitute for protein concentrates and isolates.

In contrast to protein isolates and concentrates, real foods are equipped with enzymes and natural digestive aids that help with the digestion process. Additionally, egg whites are alkaline, low in fiber, and low FODMAP, rendering them especially easy to digest. Almonds, on the other hand, bring prebiotic qualities into play, supporting the diversity of the gut microbiome. They also contribute to regular and healthy bowel movements.

Basically, we make meal replacements that are kind to the gut by using simple, real food ingredients.


no stomach issues

“I’m 42 and have been dealing with acid reflux for year now. This is, to date, the only meal replacement that doesn’t cause symptoms. I’ve been having a tough time eating solid food lately, so having a good, safe meal replacement on hand has been important.” – Alex

Read more reviews or take the quiz.

drink wholesome is the best meal replacement for GERD.


chocolate meal replacement powder

(39) $59.99 - or subscribe and save up to 15%


2 meal replacement powder samples


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.