What are the best meal replacement shakes for gastroparesis?


If you are looking for the best meal replacement shakes for gastroparesis, you have come to the right place. Learn how to supplement your diet without upsetting your stomach.

This article was written by Jack Schrupp and Brittany Adelman, RDN.

Meal replacement shakes and gastroparesis

What is gastroparesis? 


Gastroparesis is often referred to as delayed stomach emptying. If you have gastroparesis, you may experience symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and early onset satiety – you feel full after only a few bites.

Diabetes, which can damage nerves in your stomach, is the most common known cause of gastroparesis. Other possible causes include viral infections, abdominal surgery, eating disorders, and certain medications. In the long term, gastroparesis can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, and bacterial overgrowth.

Although many people with gastroparesis look to diet for answers, there is no such thing as a “gastroparesis diet.”

This is because the severity of gastroparesis varies from person to person. Moreover, gastroparesis is not a static condition, meaning symptoms vary week-to-week or even day-to-day. It is therefore important to find a flexible diet that works for you.

Are meal replacements good for gastroparesis?


During a gastroparesis flare, you may be able to stomach only liquids, which is where meal replacement shakes come in handy.

A good meal replacement shake can help you get the calories and protein you need without aggravating your symptoms.

Meal replacement shakes also allow for portion control, which is helpful because individuals with gastroparesis may not know how much food their stomach can tolerate at one time. By controlling your portions, you can reduce the risk of symptoms. That said, not all meal replacement shakes are created equal.

What are the best meal replacement shakes for gastroparesis?


Many meal replacements are made with ingredients that can cause painful side effects and long term health problems for someone with gastroparesis. Among these ingredients are food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates. 

Avoid food additives

Regularly eating emulsifiers, thickeners, sugar substitutes, and other additives can not only upset your stomach, but also alter the composition of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. This can lead to gut dysbiosis, which is a leading driver of inflammation, and associated with the development of gastroparesis.

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

  • acacia fiber
  • acacia gum
  • acesulfame potassium
  • artificial flavors
  • ascorbic acid
  • aspartame
  • calcium carbonate
  • carrageenan
  • cellulose gum
  • dextrin
  • dicalcium phosphate
  • dipotassium phosphate
  • erythritol
  • gellan gum
  • guar gum
  • gum arabic
  • inulin
  • locust bean gum
  • maltitol
  • maltodextrin
  • mono- and diglycerides
  • ‘natural’ flavors
  • rice bran extract
  • rice dextrin
  • rice hulls
  • rosemary extract
  • silica
  • silicon dioxide
  • sodium alginate
  • soluble corn fiber
  • sorbitol
  • soy lecithin
  • sucralose
  • sunflower lecithin
  • tocopherols
  • tricalcium phosphate
  • xanthan gum
  • xylitol
  • zinc oxide

Avoid dairy-based proteins

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, although not an issue for everyone, can cause side effects like bloating and diarrhea. This is in part because they contain lactose, a sugar most adults cannot fully digest.

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates

Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, which have been mechanically and or chemically stripped of everything but the protein, including the enzymes, fiber, and other natural digestive aids that help you break them down. As a result, they can cause digestive issues and possibly even disruptions to your gut microbiome

Finding a meal replacement free from food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates is hard.

In fact, 99% of meal replacements contain one or more of these problematic ingredients. This is why we created drink wholesome. Keep reading to learn more about why we make the best meal replacement drinks for gastroparesis.

drink wholesome is makes the best meal replacement shakes for gastroparesis


We make the best gastroparesis meal replacement shakes because we use a short list of simple ingredients free from food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates.

Our ingredients

egg whites

egg whites

almonds

almonds

oats

oats

coconut

coconut

vanilla

vanilla

NOT our ingredients

  • acacia gum

  • acesulfame potassium

  • artificial flavors

  • carrageenan

  • erythritol

  • guar gum

  • inulin

  • maltodextrin

  • 'natural' flavors

  • silica

  • soy lecithin

  • sucralose

  • xanthan gum

  • xylitol

Note that instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we use whole food protein sources like collagen, egg whites, and almonds, which are easier to digest and absorb.

Whole food protein sources also have unique digestive benefits: collagen can reduce bloating and improve digestive symptoms, egg whites can help restore your mucosal intestinal barrier, and almonds can improve the composition of your gut microbiome.

It follows that our customers experience fewer digestive issues with our gastroparesis meal replacement shakes than with any other type of protein supplement. Order samples to see for yourself.

Meal Replacement Powders

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2 Meal Replacement Powder Samples

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Advice from a registered dietitian


A good gastroparesis meal replacement shake should provide the calories and nutrients your body needs, while being gentle on your stomach. For instance, if a flare is preventing you from eating solid foods a meal replacement shake can provide the nutrition you need in a convenient and easily digestible form.

Meal replacement shakes can be a nutritious and easily digestible alternative to a traditional meal for individuals with gastroparesis, especially during periods when symptoms limit food intake.” – Brittany Adelman, RDN

Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, meal replacement shakes can help bridge nutrient gaps and prevent deficiencies that can occur due to food limitations or difficulty with meal consistency. This, in turn, supports energy levels, immune health, and overall well-being.

Meal replacement shakes can also be a convenient option for individuals who have a hard time preparing traditional meals.

Just like it is much easier to drink your calories than it is to chew them, it is much easier to make a shake than it is to cook a meal. If you are pressed for time or have physical limitations, the convenience of a meal replacement shake is hard to beat. 

But, when it comes down to choosing a meal replacement for gastroparesis, there are so many options. What exactly should you look for? 

Nutrients

It is important to look for a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

  • Prioritize meal replacements with 15+ grams of easily digestible protein.
  • Carbohydrates should come from sources that are low in fiber, such as oats or rice, to minimize digestive distress.
  • You also want to find a product with healthy fats, which help promote nutrient absorption, from sources like hemp or nuts.

Try to avoid meal replacements with lots of added sugar, and be mindful of what ingredients you add, if any. Adding fruits and veggies, for example, is a great way to add nutrients to your meal replacement, but it also adds fiber, which can upset your stomach. 

Food additives

Many meal replacements are made with a cocktail of food additives like emulsifiers and thickeners. Ingredients like these can cause digestive issues and long-term gut health problems. If you suffer from gastroparesis, it is therefore important to choose a meal replacement with a short list of simple ingredients.

Allergens

While food allergies themselves do not cause gastroparesis, certain allergens may exacerbate symptoms. Pay close attention to how your meal replacement shake makes you feel, as it may contain ingredients like dairy or soy that you are allergic or sensitive to.

Are gastroparesis meal replacement shakes safe for long-term use? 


As long as they are made with a short list of simple ingredients, gastroparesis meal replacement shakes are considered safe for long-term use.

Meal replacements like drink wholesome, for example, are carefully formulated to support your digestive health and prevent symptoms like bloating and stomach pain.

That said, it is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before making a meal replacement a regular part of your diet, especially if you have specific dietary needs. With proper guidance and moderation, gastroparesis-friendly meal replacement shakes can be a beneficial and safe option for managing digestive symptoms in the long-term.

Reviews

Alice

1 week ago

Verified Purchase I tried some samples and absolutely love the drinks. I believe they should be this simple and that these ingredients make up a wonderful product that is a huge niche market! So many are full of crap and I mean that. I've scoured to find something with good ingredients and it's HARD to find!

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Mona

2 weeks ago

Verified Purchase Drinkwholesome has really changed the game for not only for me, but for my family! My mom suffers from stomach adhesions and she has to be very careful with what she eats or else she ends up at the hospital..so stressful for us and life threatening for her! She is also getting older so her protein intake matters still, so when I came across Drinkwholesome, it sounded like they were speaking to my mom’s needs!! She has drank it on and off for almost two years and this is the only meal replacement that does not trigger her stomach😍 myself and my sister and dad have drank it, and the flavor is unmatched…no more gritty taste! I gotta say, I am a chocolate lover and that powder, just thank you😋! THANK YOU FOR YUMMY MEAL REPLACEMENT POWDER AND HEALTHY AS WELL! My mom especially will benefit from a year worth since it benefits her a lot..and thank you for less stressful hospital visits🙌

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Barb

1 month ago

Verified Purchase I was being treated for SIBO, and your shakes really helped me get through that phase with no tummy upset. During another time I had to take antibiotics, my tummy became upset again and the acid reflux started back. Again your shakes saved the day. My stomach calmed down, the acid reflux went away. I learned to have a shake each time I took the antibiotic and had no stomach upset. I love, love, love your shakes. I don't think I'll ever be without them. As an older person, I have come to realize my digestive system is more sensitive. Your shakes are wonderful at protecting my stomach.

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Frequently asked questions

Protein powder vs meal replacement powder?

You may have noticed that we make protein powders and meal replacement powders. The difference between protein powders and meal replacement powders is the nutrition content. Protein powders are high in protein and low in everything else, whereas meal replacement powders contain fats, carbs, and protein because they are intended to replace the nutritional value of a healthy meal.

Collagen vs egg white vs almond protein powder?

You may have noticed that we make three types of protein powder: collagen protein powderegg white protein powder, and vegan almond protein powder. As long as you are eating a balanced diet, any type of protein powder can help you boost your protein intake. Just pick the type that best suits your dietary needs and personal preferences.

Learn more

My name is Jack and I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. Read my story, check out my short list of simple ingredients, and browse reviews from other customers to learn more.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Yogurt Cup

PREP TIME

15 min

COOK TIME

0 min

SERVES

1

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt)
  • ¼ cup drink wholesome chocolate meal replacement powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts
Instructions

Combine the yogurt and meal replacement powder. Spread the peanut butter on the top, and the melted chocolate on top of that. Sprinkle with peanuts. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Disclaimer

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.

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