Top 10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes & Drink Powders for Weight Loss (2023)


The best meal replacement shakes can be a real lifesaver when it comes to getting your daily nutritional needs. A high-quality meal replacement powder can also help you lose weight.

The best meal replacement shakes are potent with vitamins, minerals, protein, and other ingredients to help you recover. They allow you to feel full for as long as possible, making it easier to eat less and lose weight.

However, not all meal replacement shakes are formulated equally. Some shakes contain low-quality ingredients and fillers that can be very harmful to your body. Others are no different from average protein powders. Some contain artificial flavors or additives that inhibit weight loss and will cause nasty side effects or adverse reactions.

We want to help. Our editorial team tested, rated, and ranked the best meal replacement shakes in the world. Here’s what we found after reviewing dozens and dozens of available options online, and this list is finalized as the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss.

The Top 10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes of 2022

All meal replacement shakes claim to help you replace meals. However, not all of them work as advertised. After much deliberation, thousands of dollars spent on testing and tasting, here’s how we ranked the best meal replacement weight loss shakes available today:

*Note: Despite this being an ordered list of the top 10 best meal replacement shakes for losing weight, they are not in specific or exact sequence in terms of all the ranking factors discussed below. This product comparison list has been finalized out of a few dozen formulas, and these are the top-rated weight loss shakes that are best suited for viable meal replacement options.

PhenQ Complete Meal Shake

PhenQ’s Complete Meal Shake is one of the internet’s most popular meal replacement shakes. The powdered formula mixes easily with water or the beverage of your choice and is designed to replace one full meal.

PhenQ targets those who want to boost energy, control cravings, and get extra weight loss help. Each serving contains 16g of protein to help you feel full and repair your body after a workout.

And, like all suitable meal replacement shakes, Complete Meal Shake contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals while tasting amazing. If you want to satisfy cravings while enjoying a great-tasting formula with proven ingredients, then PhenQ’s Complete Meal Shake may be the right choice.

Organifi Complete Protein All-in-One Mix

Organifi’s Complete Protein is an all-in-one mix featuring 20g of healthy plant proteins to stop sugar cravings, making it easy to stick to your diet and exercise goals.

Another perk of Organifi’s Complete Protein is that it’s 100% organic and plant-based – something not all shakes on this list can claim to offer. There’s no soy or whey; instead, Organifi uses pea protein, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and flax seeds as protein sources.

If you want an all-in-one meal featuring plant-based protein and a rich blend of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, then Organifi’s Complete Protein may be the right choice. Just mix it daily with water to enjoy a satisfying shake.

Exante Meal Replacement Shakes

Exante offers a lineup of meal replacement shakes packed with ingredients we don’t see in other formulas. Each shake has digestive enzymes, for example, to boost absorption and reduce bloating.

Where Exante excels, however, is with its ability to block appetite. The shakes contain a unique ingredient called Slendesta, which acts as a mighty hunger blocker and curbs cravings for 3+ hours.

If you like diverse flavor choices, then Exante’s Meal Replacement Shakes may be the right choice for you. The company offers flavors like Strawberry, Mocha Meal, Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Mint, and Fruity Milk Cereal, among other popular options. You can even get a sampler pack with multiple flavors to find the one you like most.

Lanta Flat Belly Shake

Lanta Flat Belly Shake is a metabolic superfood formula to boost metabolism while eliminating stubborn fat throughout your body – particularly around your belly.

Belly fat is one of the most challenging types of fat to target. It stubbornly clings to your body long-term, and it’s one of the last sources of fat to disappear when losing weight.

Lanta Flat Belly Shake uses five proven ingredients to:

  • Target belly fat to accelerate metabolism
  • Switch your body into fat-burning mode
  • Ensure you get all the nutrients you need to support your weight loss goals.

Key ingredients include ginseng, cinnamon bark, mangosteen, ashwagandha, and EGCG from green tea extract.

Ladder Plant-Based Shake

Ladder is the only company founded by LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger on this list. The team legends teamed up to tackle some of the biggest problems in the supplement world, and Ladder’s Plant-Based Shake is one of the company’s most popular products.

Available in a single flavor (Chocolate), the Ladder Plant-Based Nutrition Shake uses premium, vegan protein mixed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals to give you the nutrition you need to support an active lifestyle.

There’s no added sugar, and the formula has strong macronutrient values – including 20g of protein (from pea protein), 7g of fiber, 26 vitamins and minerals, and 0g of added sugar. Few other protein powders have anywhere close to 7g of fiber, which could help you feel fuller for longer.

Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic

Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic uses a weight loss secret from a Japanese island to help you burn fat quickly and easily.

While other fat loss supplements flood your body with stimulants to boost metabolism, Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic targets digestion. Each serving contains 3 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria, helping you support appetite control, digestion, absorption, and other benefits.

Key ingredients in Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic include:

  • Inulin (a dietary fiber that feeds probiotic bacteria and makes you feel full)
  • EGCG (a metabolism booster found in green tea)
  • Acai fruit (an antioxidant-rich fruit prized in weight loss supplements for over a decade).

Overall, Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic is an ideal meal replacement shake formula for those most interested in the fat-burning benefits of a powder.

Ikaria Lean Belly Juice

Ikaria Lean Belly Juice is similar to Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic, another top-rated meal replacement shakes on our list. Both are based on ingredients used in certain traditional Asian medicines.

Taking Ikaria Lean Belly Juice daily can give your body a blend of all-natural ingredients to boost metabolism and accelerate fat loss. Like Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic, Ikaria Lean Belly Juice is primarily marketed to those who want to lose weight and burn fat – not those who want to build lean muscle or support an active lifestyle.

Key ingredients in Ikaria Lean Belly Juice include ginseng, milk thistle extract, and antioxidants like fucoxanthin and resveratrol. Together, the unique blend of ingredients can signal your body to start burning fat, helping you lose weight and optimize fat burning.

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal

Garden of Life is one of the world’s best-known vegan and vegetarian supplement brands. Today, the company’s Raw Organic Meal is one of the best-value options in the meal replacement shake space.

Priced at just $27.99 for 30 servings, Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Meal features 20g of organic plant protein per serving mixed with 44 superfoods and 21 whole food vitamins and minerals. There are probiotics, enzymes for digestion, and other complementary ingredients to optimize meal replacement effects.

If you want a healthy meal on the go while enjoying plant-based protein and a vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free formula – all while paying some of the cheapest rates in the supplement space – then Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Meal may be the right choice for you.

Orgain Organic Meal All-in-One Nutrition Powder

Orgain, like Garden of Life, is a well-known brand in the vegan / plant-based protein space (although the company does offer animal-based protein as well). Today, Orgain’s Organic Meal On-the-Go Nutrition Shake Powder provides 20g of plant-based protein and 7g of prebiotic fiber per serving along with a blend of vitamins and minerals – all while being USDA Organic certified.

Priced at $41.99 for 30 servings, Orgain Organic Meal All-in-One Nutrition Powder uses clean ingredients to deliver the protein you need – all while being creamy and surprisingly tasty without adding dairy.

Key ingredients in Orgain Organic Meal All-in-One Nutrition Powder include organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, and organic chai seed. There are also unique ingredients like organic wheat grass, organic alfalfa grass, organic acai, and organic guava, among others.

Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood

Ka’Chava is one of the exclusive daily superfood blends on this list. Featuring nearly everything you need to get through the day happy and healthy, Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood aims to fuel your gut, brain, muscles, skin, hair, and heart to support whole health in multiple ways.

Inside the formula, you’ll find all of the things you would expect to see in a world-class meal replacement superfood formula. Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood contains plant protein, super greens, omega-3 fatty acids and MCTs, vitamins and minerals, adaptogenic herbs, probiotics, fiber, mushrooms, antioxidant berries, digestive enzymes, electrolytes, and more.

With 85+ superfoods, nutrients, and plant-based ingredients in total, Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood is a tricky supplement to beat. Plus, with unique flavors like matcha, chai, and coconut acai, Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood truly offers something for everyone – all at a price of under $70 per bag.

How We Ranked The Top Meal Replacement Shakes

All meal replacement shakes claim to replace meals and control cravings. However, some are better than others. To separate the world’s best meal replacement shakes from the merely average ones, we used the following ranking factors:

Appetite & Hunger Suppression

Meal replacement shakes aren’t protein powders. Protein powders add protein to your diet, but meal replacement shakes are designed to replace an entire meal. A meal makes you feel full, so a meal replacement shake should also make you feel full. The best meal replacement shakes have fiber, protein, and other ingredients to make you feel full. You don’t want to drink a 500-calorie meal replacement shake only to feel hungry 30 minutes later.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients

Another thing that differentiates meal replacement shakes from protein shakes is their nutritional value. Most protein shakes focus specifically on protein and amino acids. Meal replacement shakes, meanwhile, contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to replicate the nutrition you would typically get from a meal. Your body needs more than just protein to survive; the best meal replacement shakes are nutritionally complete.

Healthy Fats

Fats have never been more popular. Today, the best meal replacement shakes emphasize healthy fats. Many contain coconut-derived fatty acids, for example, to help you feel full while supporting physical and mental energy.

Price & Value

Some people want to spend $10 per serving on a meal replacement shake, while others want to spend $1. Fortunately, there are plenty of meal replacement shakes available for you. Our list of the best meal replacement shakes above features a range of prices for all budgets, although we emphasize good value at all price points. You should receive premium ingredients if you’re paying a premium price tag for your protein shake. If you’re paying a budget price, then you should still expect quality results.

Taste, Flavor, & Texture

Some meal replacement shakes are gritty, bitter, chunky, and unpleasant. Others are smooth, creamy, and delicious. If you’re taking a meal replacement shake to replace your daily meals, you want it to taste good. We considered taste, flavor, texture, and mixability in our rankings. We taste-tested each meal replacement shake and considered customer reviews for flavor.

Complementary Ingredients

We considered the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, protein, healthy fats, and other ingredients in each meal replacement shake. However, we also thought of other complementary elements. Exante’s meal replacement shakes, for example, had a unique component called Slendesta, for instance, explicitly designed to block hunger for 3 hours. We considered complementary ingredients in our rankings.

Advertised Benefits

Some meal replacement shakes claim to help you lose 60lbs in a month or supercharge your cognition. Others are more honest and realistic with their advertised benefits. We preferred meal replacement shake manufacturers with transparent, science-backed advertised benefits – not wild conjecture about what could happen when taking the formula.

Medical Advisory Board

Some meal replacement shake manufacturers have a medical advisory board with MDs, PhDs, RDs, and other nutritional or medical professionals. Marketing gurus lead other meal replacement companies with limited medical experience. We preferred meal replacement shake companies with a transparent and reputable medical advisory board.

Manufacturing Location & Ingredient Sources

Where do the meal replacement shake’s ingredients come from? Where is the shake manufactured? We considered the manufacturing location and ingredient sources for the meal replacement shake to separate the best shakes from the worst.

No Unnecessary Additives or Artificial Ingredients

We disliked meal replacement shakes with unnecessary additives or artificial flavors and ingredients. Some meal replacement shakes were loaded with added sugar or artificial sweeteners, for example, to make the powder palatable. Others contained dyes, binders, fillers, and other additives.

Moneyback or Satisfaction Guarantee

The best meal replacement shakes are backed by money-back or satisfaction guarantees. Some of the meal replacement shakes above, including the Lanta Flat Belly Shake, is backed by a 365-day moneyback guarantee. Others are supported by 30 or 60-day satisfaction guarantees. We liked when manufacturers stood behind their supplements with some promise.

USDA Organic or NSF Certification

Some meal replacement shake companies have invested in USDA Organic or NSF certification, indicating they use higher-quality ingredients and are committed to maximum ingredient transparency. Some of the world’s best meal replacement shakes, including the Ladder Plant-Based Nutrition Shake, are even NSF Certified for Sport, one of the highest certification levels available, and are ideal for athletes who can’t take risks with banned substances.

What is a Meal Replacement Shake?

A meal replacement shake is a beverage that provides similar nutritional value to a standard meal.

A typical meal replacement shake has more calories, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients than an average protein shake. It’s designed to replace an entire meal – not just give you a strong dose of protein.

Not all meal replacement shakes are made equal: some can genuinely replace meals and offer nearly all the nutrition you need to survive. Other meal replacement shakes are overhyped protein powders that provide limited additional nutrient value.

Why Take a Meal Replacement Shake?

There are many reasons to take a meal replacement shake, including:

  • You have a busy, active lifestyle but still want to have good nutrition. You might put meal replacement powder in a shaker bottle, then mix it with water later in the day to get the necessary nourishment.
  • You want to add lean muscle or support an active lifestyle, giving your body the ingredients you need to build endurance and muscle mass.
  • You want to lose weight by lowering your daily calorie intake. Meal replacement shakes contain ingredients to make you feel full. Instead of having a 1,000-calorie lunch, for example, you might have a 500-calorie meal replacement shake, helping you lose weight via calorie deficit over a long period.
  • You want convenient, hassle-free meals when you don’t feel like cooking, buying groceries, or preparing large meals.
  • You’re looking for cost-effective meal options without compromising on nutrition or health.
  • You like the idea of a protein shake but want more fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in each shake to give you a more nutritionally complete meal.

Meal Replacement Shakes Vs. Protein Powders: What’s the Difference?

Most meal replacement shakes are protein powders, but not all protein powders are meal replacement shakes. What’s the difference between a meal replacement shake and a protein powder? Here are some of the main differences:

Protein Shakes Leave You Feeling Hungry

Many protein shakes are high in protein but light on other ingredients. You might try to use a protein shake to replace a meal, only to feel hungry soon after. If you want to lose weight, snacking or eating an extra meal could inhibit your weight loss goals. Meal replacement shakes make it easier to control your appetite and stick to your weight loss goals.

Whole Nutrition

Protein powders are primarily designed to provide you with protein and other ingredients to aid recovery after a workout. That’s the single goal of protein powders. Meal replacement shakes, meanwhile, are designed to provide whole nutrition. They contain ingredients you need to survive – like vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like probiotics in ProDentim).

Healthy Fats

Many meal replacement shakes contain healthy fats, including medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) and other ingredients. These ingredients have multiple benefits. They can boost absorption, make you feel fuller for longer, and support an active lifestyle, among other benefits.


Your body needs fiber to feed digestive bacteria and balance your gut microbiome. It also needs fiber to push waste out of your body and make you feel full. Protein powders rarely contain high doses of fiber. That’s a problem because 95% of American adults do not get their daily recommended amount of fiber. A good meal replacement shake contains fiber from quality sources – like flaxseed, chia, or psyllium husk.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients

Protein powders rarely contain anywhere close to your daily value (DV) of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients. Many meal replacement shakes, however, are designed like a multivitamin combined with a protein powder: you get a significant dose of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients to support overall health and wellness.

Complementary Ingredients for Digestion, Energy, and More

Many meal replacement shakes also contain adaptogens, herbs, plants, digestive enzymes, metabolism boosters, and other ingredients to help support a range of benefits. Protein powders rarely contain a similar blend of ingredients.

Large Serving Sizes

Some meal replacement shakes have larger serving sizes than protein powders. Instead of taking one 10g scoop of powder, you might mix 2, 3, or even four scoops of powder.

High-Calorie Intake

Some meal replacement shakes have 400 to 800 calories per serving. This is intentional. You can increase calories further by mixing the powder with milk instead of water. Because the meal replacement shake is designed to replace a meal, you typically get more calories than you would in a standard protein powder.

Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement shakes offer a range of benefits over protein powders and other supplements. Some of the most significant benefits of meal replacement shakes include:

  • A healthy breakfast alternative
  • Low-calorie meals for weight loss
  • Boost energy throughout the day
  • Get nutrients to support an on-the-go lifestyle
  • Suppress appetite and avoid snacking between meals
  • Live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle

Some people also use meal replacement shakes in emergency preparedness situations. For example, you might stock an emergency shelter with meal replacement powders to help stay nutritionally complete in an emergency.

Whether using meal replacement shakes for weight loss or to balance your nutrition, you can find a range of meal replacement shakes to meet your unique needs.

Scientific Evidence for Meal Replacement Shakes

There have been many double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on a protein shake, meal replacement shakes, and similar products.

Generally, studies show meal replacement shakes work well when paired with a healthy diet and exercise routine. However, you may be disappointed with meal replacement shakes if you’re looking for a weight loss shortcut or rapid fat loss without dieting or exercising.

Studies show replacing a meal with a shake could help you lose weight. In this 2010 study published in Nutrition Journal, for example, researchers compared the effectiveness of a meal-based diet plan with a meal replacement shake diet plan. After 16 weeks, researchers found the meal replacement shake diet plan was an effective strategy for weight loss and led to significant benefits in weight loss, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

A similar study from 2018 found meal replacement shakes could improve body composition and metabolic parameters in overweight and obese people. Researchers found meal replacement shakes led to a 4.3% decrease in body weight, 4.3% decrease in body mass index, 4.3% decrease in waist circumference, and 1.8% decrease in fat-free mass, among other benefits. Researchers also found meal replacement shakes were associated with improved blood sugar and blood pressure, among other benefits.

Meal replacement shakes could help you lose weight while retaining lean muscle mass. Some people lose weight by losing fat and lean muscle mass, leading to worse body composition outcomes. A good meal replacement shake can help eliminate fat while maintaining lean muscle mass. In this 2008 study, researchers found that people following high-protein diets had better satiety and weight loss outcomes.

According to University of New Mexico researchers, meal replacement products are effective for temporary weight loss. Using single meal replacement supplements can help you lose weight and achieve better health outcomes. As proof, researchers cite one study where participants took a cereal bar with skim milk to replace a meal. Participants snacked less and had better weight loss results than people with a similar daily caloric intake without a meal replacement.

Protein shakes, and meal replacement shakes can have a proven effect on performance and recovery. If you have an active lifestyle and want to maximize muscle growth, then a good meal replacement shake can help. In this 2018 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers found protein supplementation significantly impacted performance and recovery in people following a resistance and endurance training program. However, researchers disputed some common myths about protein powders. They found no evidence that athletes “need” to consume protein during the immediate (1 hour or less) post-training time frame. However, they did see benefits associated with post-workout protein consumption in general.

Overall, meal replacement shakes and protein powders are research-backed supplements packed with ingredients to support weight loss, nutrition, health, and wellness in various ways.

FAQs About Meal Replacement Shakes

Our meal replacement shake supplement experts get plenty of questions about meal replacement shakes and how they work. Here are some of our answers to our most frequently asked questions:

Q: Are meal replacement shakes healthy?

A: Technically, supplement companies cannot advertise meal replacement shakes as being “healthy” to avoid FDA regulatory issues. However, a good meal replacement shake can provide vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other ingredients you need to support a healthy lifestyle.

Q: Are meal replacement shakes good for weight loss?

A: Some meal replacement shakes are good for weight loss, while others are not. Some meal replacement shakes are specifically designed for weight gain. Look for meal replacement shakes that emphasize fat burning or weight loss benefits. Some are designed to make you feel full while providing the smallest possible number of calories, for example.

Q: What’s the difference between a meal replacement shake and a protein shake?

A: Meal replacement shakes tend to have more calories, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients than protein shakes.

Q: Can I survive exclusively off meal replacement shakes?

A: Some protein shakes provide nearly all the nutrition you need to survive, and you could theoretically prevail for a certain length of time off meal replacement shakes. Others, however, lack fiber, vitamins, minerals, fats, and other ingredients needed to be healthy.

Q: Do meal replacement shakes reduce appetite?

A: The best meal replacement shakes contain ingredients to reduce appetite, control hunger, and help you stick to a healthy diet. If you’re struggling with overeating or snacking between meals, for example, then a meal replacement shake may help.

Q: What’s the best meal replacement shake?

A: PhenQ’s Complete Meal Shake, Organifi’s Complete Protein All-in-One Mix, Lanta Flat Belly Shake, and Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood are some of the best meal replacement shakes available today.

Q: Who should take a meal replacement shake?

A: Some people take meal replacement shakes because they have a busy and active lifestyle. Others take meal replacement shakes for on-the-go nutrition, weight loss, metabolism, and other benefits.

Q: How do I take a meal replacement shake?

A: You mix meal replacement shake powder with water, milk, a milk substitute, or the beverage of your choice, then drink it daily to support whatever goals you have.

Q: What’s the best keto meal replacement shake?

A: PhenQ’s Complete Meal Shake is one of the best-rated keto meal replacement shake powders available today. However, many of the top-ranked meal replacement powders are keto-friendly because they’re high in calories and low in carbs.

Q: Can a meal replacement shake help me gain weight?

A: Some people take meal replacement shakes to gain weight. A good meal replacement shake can help you gain weight when taken multiple times per day, for example, or when taken in addition to meals (instead of replacing them). If you’re struggling to put on muscle or gain weight, then a meal replacement shake could help.

Q: What’s the best protein in a meal replacement shake?

A: The best protein in a meal replacement shake includes whey protein, casein protein, pea protein, rice protein, hemp protein, and other protein sources.

Q: Can I make a meal replacement shake?

A: Yes. Some people make their meal replacement shake at home using fruits, vegetables, protein powder, healthy fats, and other ingredients. Look up recipes online or experiment with different formulas to find your ideal combination.

Q: Are meal replacement shakes safe for people with type 2 diabetes?

A: If you have a health condition or are taking medication, talk to your doctor before taking any supplement, including meal replacement shakes. However, most meal replacement shakes are safe for healthy adults when used in regular doses.

Q: Are meal replacement shakes keto?

A: Some meal replacement shakes are specifically designed to be keto friendly. Look for any meal replacement shake with low calories and high-fat content.

Q: Are meal replacement shakes good for muscle?

A: Meal replacement shakes can help you build muscle mass and grow lean muscle by supporting an active lifestyle. The best meal replacement shakes contain protein and other ingredients to give your body the building blocks it needs to build muscle, for example.

Q: When should I take a meal replacement shake?

A: Some people take meal replacement shakes in the morning to boost metabolism and feel full from the start of the day. Others take meal replacement shakes to replace lunch or as a mid-day snack. Some take meal replacement shakes for dinner to help stay full all night long. Experiment with different times based on your health and wellness goals.

The Top 10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes of 2022 Final Word

Meal replacement shakes contain more vitamins, minerals, nutrients, healthy fats, and fiber than ordinary protein shakes. Meal replacement shakes can help you lose weight, build muscle, and achieve other targeted goals. Much like choosing the from the best weight loss pills on the market (see Exipure), it is always wise to choose a brand or product line that leads with transparency and focuses on quality as a priority.

To learn more about the best meal replacement shakes available today, check our list of the best meal replacement shakes above.


This article has been provided by Xwerks, a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.