What are the best meal replacement shakes for IBD?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for IBD with a short list of simple ingredients. If you are looking to boost your protein intake without the extra processing and added junk, you have to come to the right place. Order samples to see if our IBD meal replacements are right for you. 


vanilla meal replacement powder

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2 meal replacement powder samples


drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for IBD.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is IBD?

IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It is an inflammatory condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the small intestine and/or the colon. The two main types of IBD are: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

The exact cause of IBD is not fully understood, but it is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.

IBD is characterized by periods of inflammation (flares) and periods of remission. Moreover, the severity and course of the disease can vary widely from person to person.

IBD is a chronic condition, and while there is no cure, there are various treatments available to manage symptoms and control inflammation. They include medications, lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, and in some cases, surgery.


Are meal replacement shakes good for IBD?

Most meal replacement shakes are not good for IBD, which is too bad because a liquid meal is often the only thing individuals with IBD can tolerate during a flare-up. The average meal replacement is not safe for IBD primarily because it contains a cocktail of added ingredients, including emulsifiers, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, and flavors. Additives like these can cause inflammation in the gut and even trigger flares. They can also cause long-term gut damage.

What are the best meal replacement shakes for IBD?

The best meal replacement shakes for IBD are, as you might have guessed, free from additives. Anything that is not a real food – a food that can be found in nature – it is probably an additive. Real, natural foods are the only things our guts were designed to digest.

Eating anything other than real food is a great way to trigger gastrointestinal (GI) side effects and disturb your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. This is particularly true for individuals with pre-existing gut issues.


Why drink wholesome?

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best meal replacement shakes for IBD is that we do not use food additives. As you just learned, most other meal replacements are full of additives. Even in small quantities, ingredients like these cause side effects like bloating, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach pain.

Because they do not look like real food, additives can only be partially digested. Consequently, they spend extra time in your gut, which either causes your gut to absorb excess water, resulting in diarrhea, or feeds your gut bacteria, which produce gas. Extra gas can bring about symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation.

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 real concern surrounding food additives for someone with BID lies in their potential long-term implications. Consistently consuming additives has the potential to disturb regulatory pathways within your intestines, triggering chronic inflammation. Food additives, especially artificial sweeteners, can also disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut. For this reason, research shows that food additives are a key environmental factor in inflammatory bowel disease and other system inflammatory disorders. 

the alternative:


drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best meal replacement shake for IBD is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein protein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, can exacerbate IBD symptoms. 

Whey and casein contain lactose, the sugar in dairy. A high percentage of people with IBD also have lactose intolerance, which is the inability to fully digest lactose. As you now know, foods that resist digestion can cause a number of painful side effects. 

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 for IBD is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Almost all other meal replacement powders out there contain one or both of these protein sources.

Protein concentrates and isolates are foods that have been stripped down to their protein content through intensive mechanical and chemical processing, sometimes involving solvents like hexane. Consequently, what you end up consuming bears little resemblance to real food.

Your digestive system is designed to handle minimally or unprocessed foods, not protein concentrates or isolates. This is why a growing body of research indicates that regularly consuming heavily processed ingredients like these can disrupt the balance of your gut microbiome. This is the last thing you want if you have IBD.

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Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best IBD meal replacements with egg whites and almonds. Minimally-processed protein sources like these are a gut-healthy alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, whole foods come with natural enzymes and digestive helpers that make them easier for your body to digest. Egg whites have the added advantage of being low in fiber, low in FODMAPs, alkaline (helping maintain a healthy gut pH), and bioactive (fostering the growth of beneficial gut bacteria).

Almonds, on the other hand, are also a gut superhero! They are prebiotic, meaning they enhance the diversity and balance of your gut microbiome, and give you regular and healthy bowel movements. Simple, gut-friendly ingredients like this are our secret to making best meal replacement shakes for IBD.


no stomach issues

“Drink wholesome has literally save me so many times. I have IBD, and it’s the only thing I can tolerate during during a flare-up. Thank you.” – Dermot

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chocolate meal replacement powder

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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.