What are the best meal replacement shakes for GERD?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for GERD. They are 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 sensitive stomachs and gut issues like GERD. Order samples to see if our meal replacements are right for you.
“I have a sensitive stomach, so most meal replacement powders leave me with gas, bloating, constipation, and stomach pain, but not this one.” – Shon
drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for GERD.
What is GERD?
GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It is a chronic digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus.
The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Normally, a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) prevents stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. In individuals with GERD, however, the LES may weaken or relax abnormally, allowing stomach acid and other stomach contents to reflux into the esophagus. The reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus can lead to various symptoms and complications, including heartburn, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and chronic cough.
GERD can be managed with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, and not lying down after eating. Over-the-counter antacids or medications that reduce stomach acid production can also be used to provide relief.
Is meal replacement powder good for GERD?
People with GERD may not eat enough, or enough of certain foods, because of the pain and discomfort associated with eating. Over time, this can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. A meal replacement shake, as long as it does not trigger acid reflux, is a great way to avoid these outcomes, and ensure that you are getting the calories and nutrients that you need. That said, not all meal replacements are created equal.
What is the best meal replacement shake for GERD?
Unfortunately, the average meal replacement is full of added ingredients that are a) bad for your gut health and b) known to cause acid reflux. Sugar alcohols and thickeners like inulin and carrageenan are among the top offenders, but there are many more. This is why it is so important to read the ingredient list before buying a meal replacement. As a rule of thumb, look for a short list of simple ingredients. The fewer and the simpler the ingredients, the better.
Why drink wholesome?
drink wholesome is additive-free.
One of the reasons why we make the best meal replacement shakes for GERD is that we do not use food additives. Most other meal replacements, on the contrary, contain a cocktail of additives. Even in small quantities, these ingredients can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach pain. Food additives can also cause acid reflux.
Because food additives look nothing like real food, they are hard to digest and sit in your gut for longer than food should. If you have GERD, this is a problem for two reasons. First of all, lingering food additives can trigger the overproduction of stomach acid. Food additives can also feed your gut bacteria, which produce gas. Excessive gas can put pressure on the small intestine and stomach, pushing stomach acid into the esophagus.
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
In the long term, food additive can disrupt regulatory pathways within your intestines, increasing the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Additives, particularly artificial sweeteners, can also damage your gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms living in your gut), thus impacting your ability to digest and absorb food.
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
drink wholesome is dairy-free.
Another reason why we make the best meal replacement shake for GERD is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Dairy-based proteins like whey and/or casein protein, which are byproducts of the production of cheese and yogurt, are hard to digest for one-third of all adults. This happens because one-third of adults have lactose intolerance, meaning they lack the enzymes needed to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you now know, partially digested food can cause acid reflux and other GI side effects.
drink wholesome is made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best meal replacement for GERD is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. The vast majority of other meal replacements contain one or both of these protein sources, which are foods stripped of nearly all components except the protein. Instead of being labeled as “peas” or “whey,” they appear as “pea protein” or “whey protein.”
Producing protein concentrates and isolates involves extensive mechanical and chemical modifications. In certain instances, chemical solvents like hexane are employed to extract the protein from its natural source. As a result, what you add to your meal replacement shake bears little resemblance to real food.
Your digestive system is naturally designed to handle minimally-processed or unprocessed real foods, not artificial substitutes. Introducing anything other than real food into your body can lead to undesirable side effects. Although ongoing research delves into the long-term effects of consuming processed ingredients like protein isolates, emerging studies suggest that they might disrupt the gut microbiome.
Beyond its crucial role in digestion, the gut acts as a vital barrier against harmful pathogens, contributes to educating the immune system, and influences various physiological processes. Disturbing the balance of the gut microbiome has been strongly associated with the development of various chronic illnesses. Considering this connection, I strongly discourage the consumption of meal replacements made with protein concentrates and isolates.
Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best meal replacements for GERD with real foods like egg whites and almonds. Both ingredients undergo minimal processing – egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried, while almonds are roasted, lightly pressed to remove some oil, and ground. With this approach, we ensure that our meal replacement powders are easy to digest and beneficial for your gut health.
Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, real foods contain enzymes and digestive aids that facilitate the digestion process. Egg whites, in particular, are low fiber, low FODMAP, and naturally alkaline. making them gentle on the digestive system. On the other hand, almonds bring prebiotic effects to the table, fostering a diverse and beneficial gut microbiome composition. They also contribute to promoting healthy and regular bowel movements.
In conclusion, we place utmost importance on the well-being of your gut by subjecting our meal replacement powders to minimal processing, ensuring that the natural goodness of these real food ingredients remains intact.
“I highly recommend this to anyone with acid reflux or GERD.” – Dotsie
drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for GERD.