What are the best meal replacement shakes for ulcerative colitis?

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

This article was written by Jack Schrupp.

Meal replacement shakes and ulcerative colitis

What is ulcerative colitis? 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe two conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both cause symptoms like diarrhea and stomach pain, and can lead to severe weight loss.

Ulcerative colitis develops when your immune system attacks the cells that line your large intestine (colon). This causes inflammation and tiny open sores, or ulcers.

Although ulcerative colitis is not caused by what you eat, experts agree that food plays an important role in managing symptoms.

Certain foods can aggravate symptoms, while others can mitigate them and promote healing. Paying attention to what you eat and how your body responds to different foods is thus an essential part of living with ulcerative colitis. 

Are meal replacement shakes good for ulcerative colitis?

Eating for a specific condition, whether that be Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, is complicated. There is no one ulcerative colitis diet, and the foods that trigger symptoms may be different from the foods that trigger symptoms for someone else.

Moreover, specialized ulcerative colitis diets are controversial because they are restrictive, sometimes contributing to weight loss and malnutrition.

The best diet for ulcerative colitis is thus one that meets your individual nutritional needs and helps you manage your symptoms.

Despite the personalized nature of eating with ulcerative colitis, there are several universal guidelines that anyone with IBD should consider following. Eating extra calories, for instance, may be important for someone with ulcerative colitis.

This is because ulcerative colitis patients with active disease can find it hard to eat enough due to inflammatory cytokines decreasing appetite, reduced food intake due to digestive issues, or nutrient malabsorption.

It is often recommended that IBD patients, especially those experiencing weight loss, eat an extra 250-500 calories per day. A meal replacement shake is a quick and easy way to bridge this nutritional gap.

A liquid meal may also be the only food some ulcerative colitis patients can tolerate during a flare-up. It also allows for an inflamed bowel to rest and heal as it reduces the amount of bowel movements. That said, not all meal replacements are created equal.

What are the best meal replacement shakes for ulcerative colitis?

Many meal replacements are made with ingredients that can cause painful side effects and long term health problems for someone with ulcerative colitis. 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 linked to the development of ulcerative colitis

Research shows that a healthy gut microbiome modulates the production and secretion of mucins and stratification of the mucus layers that make up the intestinal mucosal barrier. An unhealthy, or dysbiotic, gut microbiome results in the weakening of this barrier, thereby causing inflammatory damage.

In case you were wondering, the intestinal mucosal barrier is a semipermeable membrane that allows you to absorb essential nutrients from food and prevents bacteria and other pathogens from entering your bloodstream.

Researchers have also found that a healthy gut microbiome contributes to inducing the expansion of regulatory T cells that reduce intestinal inflammation by mediating repair of the intestinal mucosal barrier. A dysbiotic gut microbiome thus makes you both more susceptible to inflammation, and less able to fight it.

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 ulcerative colitis.

Meal Replacement Powders

Meal Replacement Powder


Starting at $59.99

meal replacement powder samples

2 Meal Replacement Powder Samples

Starting at $14.99


drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for ulcerative colitis

We make the best meal replacement for ulcerative colitis 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









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 ulcerative colitis meal replacement shakes than with any other type of protein supplement. Order samples to see for yourself. Or, learn more about the best meal replacement shakes for IBD.



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!

For Meal Replacement Powder


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🙌

For Meal Replacement Powder


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.

For Meal Replacement Powder

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


15 min


0 min



  • 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

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.


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.