Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Shakes >>  Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement shakes are a great way to ensure that you get all the nutrients required in one healthy drink.  You can choose the ingredients and see that the shake has minerals, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and carbohydrates in it. If you want to make the meal replacement shake at home which works out a lot cheaper you will need a blender and all the ingredients which will go into the shake. You could use the ingredients which are already at home or buy them regularly and stock them to make different shakes at home.  

If you are on a weight loss diet then low carb meal replacement shakes are preferred. Having a meal replacement shake with limited calories is something you could buy off the shelf which will tell you the number of calories each drink contains, or even make them at home with low calorie ingredients.
The ready made mixes have all the nutrients which a shake should have when it is a meal replacement but may work out more expensive and the flavors will be limited. The shake is quite easy to make and you could even make it the night before if you plan to have it for breakfast the next morning. Keeping it in the fridge chills it and makes it a lot more delicious.

Homemade meal replacement shakes can be made as per your own choice of fruits and ingredients and you can have the flavors which you like. You could add different fruits to it and make it a cocktail of various fruit juices. If you want a little more of a certain nutrient you could add this ingredient to your shake. A favorite in meal replacement shakes is one which is made with soy milk or skimmed milk as this does not contain any fat. Fruits that will help you get more nutritional value are strawberries, kiwi fruit, blue berries, cranberries, papayas, bananas and any other fruit of your choice which is seasonal. It is best to have only fresh fruits and not tinned or canned ones. Add flax seed powder for the fiber content and if you want it sweetened then a dash of honey could be added instead of sugar. Flavored yogurt made of slim milk could be used instead of milk.

Protein meal replacement shakes need the same ingredients to which protein powder which is readily available can be added.  Put all the ingredients into a blender and mix it well. You could top it with crushed ice just before having it and this will be a refreshing drink on a hot sultry day. Anybody who has ever stepped into a gym has probably also had a run-in with protein shakes. Protein is an essential nutrient for building muscle and losing fat. In this busy day and age, when it is difficult to get a full complement of nutrition, healthy meal replacement shakes can be a great idea. They are fast and easy to make—just mix a protein powder with water or milk and you are good to go. As you know, instead of three large meals a day, many smaller ones help with your fitness aims, and many people choose a diet meal replacement shake for this. Many people believe that for either aim, a bulky or a lean body, meal replacement shakes are imperative. Unfortunately, just like anything else, too much can be a bad thing. Before you start consuming protein shakes, you must realize that protein shakes are supposed to be used as a meal replacement, and not a complete substitute for a good meal. If you are eating a well-planned diet, you will not need a protein shake. Also, protein shakes have certain side effects that you must know about. Here are some of the documented side effects.
  • Allergies: Many times, some people react badly to protein shakes. This is especially common for people who are already lactose intolerant. They display symptoms like bad stomach, bloating and cramps in the stomach. If this is happening to you, try to get your protein from another source, or to use brands that have whey protein, or lactose free brands.
  • Dehydration: Protein shakes have been shown to cause dehydration. This is important for athletes and those who are training hard, as hydration is an important factor in performance. High protein intake has been showing to increase nitrogen levels in the body, which affects the kidneys. For this reason, it is important to keep an eye on your water intake, and drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
  • Ketosis: Some people claim this is an important process for fat loss, but it can be potentially dangerous. Ketosis is kind of starvation, where fat is converted into ketones, caused by fat breakdown. This may cause liver damage, and has, on rare occasions, been life-threatening. The key is to not go above the recommended protein intake.
  • Osteoporosis: Recent research has shown that a diet based on protein shakes can cause osteoporosis, where the bones are weakened, and fractures are more common place. This happens because protein shakes increase the blood’s acidity levels, so the body starts using calcium to normalize acidity levels. So a well-balanced diet is important to avoid this. This factor is especially important while choosing meal replacement shakes for women, as women are more prone to osteoporosis.
  • Kidney stones: High protein intake also causes calcium buildup in the kidney, which become kidney stones. To avoid this, drink plenty of water, and make sure that you get all the required vitamins and minerals.
Remember that you really do not need more than 40 grams for protein in a meal. Any more than this is just expelled by the body and can even be harmful. As much as possible, get your protein from whole foods instead of processed protein shakes.
Submitted on January 16, 2014