Wondering how to make meal replacement smoothies?

Learn how to make the best meal replacement smoothies. Making a meal replacement smoothie is a quick and easy way to meet your wellness goals.

How to make meal replacement smoothies.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is a meal replacement smoothie? 

With busy lifestyles and demanding schedules, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to prepare a balanced and healthy meal every day. This is where meal replacement smoothies come in.

A meal replacement smoothie, also known as a meal replacement shake, is a drink intended to replace the nutritional value of a meal. It can be used as a convenient, on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Meal replacement smoothies can also be an important source of nutrition for people who have trouble swallowing or digesting solid food. 

How to make a smoothie meal replacement?

There are two types of meal replacement smoothies, ready-to-drink (store-bought) smoothies, and smoothies made at home with a blender. Homemade meal replacement smoothies can be made from scratch, or with meal replacement powder, which can be mixed with just milk or water. Many people choose the latter option because it is more convenient, and because you know exactly how much fat, carbohydrate, and protein you are getting. 

I highly recommend that you make your own meal replacement smoothie either from scratch, or with meal replacement powder, because ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like taste, texture, and shelf stability, but can cause uncomfortable side effects and long-term gut damage (more about this soon).

Making a meal replacement smoothie from scratch. 

To make a meal replacement smoothie from scratch, you are going to need a good blender. You are also going to need good sources of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and complete protein.

For fats, I recommend avocado and nut butter. For carbs, I recommend bananas and oats. For protein, I recommend either dried or liquid egg whites. I know this last one sounds weird, but egg whites are a delicious, easy to digest source of complete protein. Pasteurized egg whites are also perfectly safe to eat, and you cannot taste them in your smoothie.

Here is my favorite meal replacement smoothie recipe:

-1/2 avocado

-1/2 banana

-1 cup spinach*

-1/4 cup oats

-4 tbsp creamy peanut butter

-4 tbsp unflavored egg white protein powder

-1-2 cups dairy-free milk

*I add a cup of spinach for extra fiber.

This meal replacement smoothie is nutritionally balanced, filling, and affordable. It is a great way to powder your day, take care of your gut, and achieve your wellness goals. If this sounds like too much work, however, you may want to consider using a meal replacement powder.

Making a meal replacement smoothie with meal replacement powder.

If you value convenience, and do not want to have to worry about getting the right balance of nutrients, I recommend making meal replacement smoothies with meal replacement powder. All you have to do is mix the recommended serving size with 1-2 cups of milk or water. You do not even need a blender if you have a shaker bottle.

That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! Keep reading to learn more. 

Why drink wholesome?

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best meal replacement powder is that we do not use any food additives like gums, lecithin, flavors, and artificial sweeteners. Even in small amounts, additives can cause painful side effects, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. 

Food additives undergo such extensive processing that look nothing like real food. Consequently, they are challenging to digest, which gives your gut bacteria extra time to feast. As gut bacteria eat, they release gas, and the more time they have to eat, the more gas they release.

Too much intestinal gas can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. It also has the potential to slow down colonic transit – the time it takes for food to traverse the colon – resulting in constipation.

In certain instances, partially digested food additives can cause your colon to either absorb excess water or prevent it from absorbing water altogether. This phenomenon is known as osmotic diarrhea, and is the underlying reason why meal replacement shakes can send people rushing to the bathroom.

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

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

Moreover, a diet rich in food additives has the potential to disrupt regulatory pathways within your intestines, contributing to the development of conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Food additives, particularly artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can also interfere with the delicate balance of your gut microbiome. This is a primary driver of inflammation and has been linked to various chronic diseases.

the alternative:


drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best meal replacement powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many other meal replacements are made with whey and casein, which are derivatives of cheese and yogurt production. These ingredients have a reputation for triggering digestive problems.

Lactose, the sugar in dairy, can pose digestion challenges for certain individuals. As you just discovered, foods that are tough to digest often lead to discomforting side effects. It is thus in your best interest to avoid whey and casein if you are able.

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chocolate meal replacement powder lifestyle image 2

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best meal replacement powder is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Nearly all other meal replacement powders contain one or both of these protein sources.

Protein concentrates and isolates undergo rigorous mechanical and chemical processing, occasionally even with solvents like hexane. The final product consequently looks very little like real food.

Your digestive system is meant to handle minimally or unprocessed foods rather than protein concentrates or isolates. This is why research points to the potential for ingredients like these to disrupt your gut microbiome. Again, this a unhealthy gut is absolutely not something you want to deal with

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Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best meal replacement powder with egg whites and almonds. Minimally-processed protein sources like these offer a gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, whole foods such as egg whites and almonds come equipped with enzymes and digestive aids that facilitate their digestion. Additionally, egg whites have the added benefit of being low in fiber, lowFODMAP, alkaline (which supports a healthy gut pH), and bioactive (fostering the growth of beneficial gut bacteria).

Almonds are also a gut-healthy option. They are prebiotic, meaning they improve the diversity and balance of your gut microbiome. They also promote regular and healthy bowel movements. Simple ingredients like this make for healthy, delicious meal replacement smoothies. 


no stomach issues

“I was looking for meal replacement that I could use everyday and not have any gums in it and have just simple ingredients. I love the simple aspects of the company because simple is better for your health.” – Morgan

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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.