What are the best soy-free meal replacement shakes?

drink wholesome makes the best soy free meal replacement shakes with simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

MEAL REPLACEMENT POWDERS

chocolate meal replacement powder

(10) $54.99

MEAL REPLACEMENT POWDERS

vanilla meal replacement powder

(11) $54.99

drink wholesome makes the best soy-free meal replacement shakes.

What is soy? 

Soy is one of the most controversial foods. On the one hand, the soybean is a protein rich legume that contains little to no cholesterol or saturated fat, and lots of fiber, iron, and calcium. Soy protein is also one of the only complete plant proteins, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs, but cannot produce on its own. On the other hand, soy is an allergen, associated with adverse side effects, and the epitome of a genetically modified crop that has detrimental impacts on the environment and human health. 

Here are the top 4 reasons to avoid soy.

1. Soy is one of the “Big 8” allergens responsible for 90 percent of all food allergies.

2. Soy contains isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen similar to human estrogen. Soy isoflavones can bind to estrogen receptors in the body and cause weak estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity. Some research suggests that this can increase the risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer.

3. Soy, which is the largest source of protein for animal feed, is also second only to beef in terms of driving global deforestation and soil erosion.

4. Soy is one of the most genetically modified (GM) crops on the planet. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with GM crops, most GM crops are engineered to survive the direct application of herbicides and pesticides. This increases the likelihood that chemicals are used to grow your food, and that chemicals are in your food. According to the US Department of Agriculture, over 90 percent of soybeans grown on US farms are genetically engineered to withstand a herbicide called Roundup. Most GM soybeans therefore contain high residues of glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, which is classified as probable human carcinogen.

What is the best soy-free meal replacement? 

There are two types of meal replacements, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make soy-free meal replacement shakes with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people prefer ready-to-drink shakes because they are more convenient, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these improve characteristics like shelf stability and texture, but they look nothing like real food and are hard to digest. This is why I recommend that you make your own meal replacement shakes without soy with powder. That said, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes! 

Avoid lecithin. 

If you read food labels, you have certainly come across lecithin. Most meal replacements contain either soy or sunflower lecithin. Sometimes manufacturers do not specify which type of lecithin they are using, which probably means that they are using soy lecithin, the cheaper of the two. When in doubt, check to see if “soy” is listed as an allergen. If it is, your meal replacement probably contains soy lecithin. You should also avoid lecithin, regardless of what it is made of, because it is a food additive. Keep reading to learn more. 

Avoid food additives.

Most meal replacements are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-meal replacement shake trips to the bathroom!

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

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

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying a smoothie meal replacement, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

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
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates*, foods stripped of everything but the protein. I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The problem with ingredients that look nothing like real food is that they are hard to digest. (Your gut always prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation.)

chocolate meal replacement powder serving suggestion 1
vanilla meal replacement powder serving suggestion

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein, minimally-processed ingredients like egg whites and almonds. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. We also like almonds because they are low-FODMAP and gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our meal replacement powders are additive-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for a delicious meal without the processing and added junk.

drink wholesome makes the best soy-free meal replacement shakes with simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best soy-free meal replacement shakes.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

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.