What Are the Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men in 2019?

Whey protein shake with the title "What are The Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Men"

When you think of meal replacement shakes, the first thing that comes to mind is probably those infomercials from the the 90s aimed at female chronic dieters. That may have been the target audience two decades ago, but things have changed in recent years.

Not only has the quality of meal replacement shakes dramatically improved, men are beginning to get in on the action too, and for good reason.

With shakes to slim down, bulk up or just maintain, the market is flooded with so many options for men. In this article I’ll answer some of the most common questions on the topic and help you choose the best meal replacement shakes for men.

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Product Details
Our #1 Rated

Labrada

Lean Body Hi-Protein Meal Replacement Shake

Lean Body Hi-Protein Meal Replacement Shake
40 g of fast & slow release proteins, a sustained flow of vital amino acids with 6 g BCAAs. Gluten free.
Our #1 Rated

Labrada

Lean Body Hi-Protein Meal Replacement Shake

40 g of fast & slow release proteins, a sustained flow of vital amino acids with 6 g BCAAs. Gluten free.

Met-Rx

Meal Replacement, Whey Protein Powder

Meal Replacement, Whey Protein Powder
Low fat meal replacement with generous 36 g of protein, over 7 g of BCAAs. Chocolate flavored powder. Gluten free.

Met-Rx

Meal Replacement, Whey Protein Powder

Low fat meal replacement with generous 36 g of protein, over 7 g of BCAAs. Chocolate flavored powder. Gluten free.

N53

Lean 1 Cookies & Cream Fat Burning Meal Replacement

Lean 1 Cookies & Cream Fat Burning Meal Replacement
Fat burning formula with 20 g of protein to define muscles. 27 minerals and vitamins added for nutritional support.

N53

Lean 1 Cookies & Cream Fat Burning Meal Replacement

Fat burning formula with 20 g of protein to define muscles. 27 minerals and vitamins added for nutritional support.

Naturade

Vegan Smart Plant Based Protein Powder

Vegan Smart Plant Based Protein Powder
20 g protein using whole food complex. Nine different fruits & vegetables polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids.

Naturade

Vegan Smart Plant Based Protein Powder

20 g protein using whole food complex. Nine different fruits & vegetables polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids.

ViSalus

Vi Shape Weight Loss Protein Powder

Vi Shape Weight Loss Protein Powder
Mix tastes like a cake. Low in fat, sodium and sugar. Lactose free and gluten free. 12 g of protein per serving.

ViSalus

Vi Shape Weight Loss Protein Powder

Mix tastes like a cake. Low in fat, sodium and sugar. Lactose free and gluten free. 12 g of protein per serving.

What is a Meal Replacement Shake?

The main aim of a meal replacement shake, as you can tell from the name, is to replace a solid, well-balanced meal with a shake alternative. When choosing a formula, you have control over elements such as calories and nutrition.

Meal replacement shakes and protein shakes are very similar and the two are often confused.

The easiest way to distinguish between is by looking at their nutritional profile.

Meal replacement shakes should contain appropriate levels of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. This is to replicate what you would normally consume through solid whole foods.

On the other hand, protein shakes usually focus on high protein, low carbs and not much else.

What Can a Meal Replacement Shake Do for Me?

Weight Loss

The general consensus when it comes to using meal replacement shakes for weight loss is to substitute two meals a day with a shake and eat one well-balanced regular meal.

Most people prefer to save the real food for their evening meal because that’s when they are least time pressured.

In one clinical trial, volunteers were given either a meal replacement or a food based diet over a 40 week period.

Results indicated 62% of the meal replacement group lost more than 5% of their initial body weight, proving that this can be an effective strategy in weight management. (source)

Calorie Control Made Simple

Counting calories is an essential part of weight control.

With solid foods, things are often not so straightforward. Weighing, measuring and even nowadays with mobile app technology, tallying up calories still gets tiresome for most.

This is one reason meal replacements are particularly great for calorie control. You know exactly what is in each serving therefore simplifying the counting process.

Curbs Appetite

Another important factor for weight loss is hunger. When your goal is to shed a few pounds, the last thing you should want is to feel your stomach grumbling way before lunchtime.

Protein and fiber have significant satiety factors due to the slower rate of digestion. Therefore meal replacement shakes with sufficient levels of both are known to reduce hunger and make you feel fuller for longer. (sources 1, 2)

Workout Warrior

With weight loss, if you want to get lean you also need to think about combining exercise into your plan.

Muscle is the powerhouse of the body and to keep it in tip-top condition

you need protein.

As meal replacements contain protein, they could prove beneficial for your workouts.

When you hit it hard in the gym, your muscles take a battering and start to break down. Protein preserves muscle mass therefore allowing you to push yourself harder for longer to maximise gains and recover faster too. (source)

Weight Gain

For all the hard gainers out there who struggle to put on weight, meal replacement shakes could be an alternative way to raise your BMI without jeopardising your health.

If you find it hard to gain weight, you need to up your calorie intake. This is where the problem often lies, as some men find it difficult to consume enough food, especially if they are extremely active.

Whether your desired goal is gaining muscle or just pure pounds, adding extra “meals” in the form of a shake to your regular diet is guaranteed to increase your calorie intake.

Whey protein powder in scoop with vitamins on plate on wooden background

Nutritional Support

How healthy is your diet? Are you someone who skips breakfast? Would you prefer to hit the fast food chain on the way home from work because you haven’t got time to cook?

If the answer is yes, then you could be missing out on some very important nutrients.

Studies suggest the majority of the US population does not meet recommendations for all the nutrient-rich food groups. Significantly, 80% of the population had intakes of over consumption of “empty calories” from fats, added sugars and alcohol. (source)

A quality meal replacement should contain adequate levels of vitamins

and minerals. In these cases, a meal replacement shake is a healthier alternative to processed convenience food.

What are the Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men?

When looking for a meal replacement shake you’ll soon realise that there are a quite number out there to choose from. It can often be difficult to work out which one is the best quality.

To help you make an informed choice, I’ve looked at the options available and chosen five top contenders for the best meal replacements shakes for men.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Labrada Nutrition

Lean Body Hi-Protein Shake

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Labrada Nutrition has formulated a meal replacement shake to help promote fat loss and nourish muscles for growth and strength.

This meal replacement provides quality nutrition and a decent amount of calories therefore could be suited for those who want to gain or lose weight.

It contains a generous serving of protein, including 6 g BCAAs to support muscle and 6 g glutamine to promote recovery. It also contains 21 g of carbs and 7 g fiber which is important to keep energy levels and blood sugar moderated.

However, this product is expensive therefore could be quite costly for those looking at long term use. Also some users say the taste of sweetener is too overpowering therefore may not appeal to everyone’s palette.

Pros
Pro 290 calories
Pro 21 g carbs
Pro 35 g protein
Pro 6 g BCAAs
Pro 6 g glutamine
Pro 7 g fiber
Pro 21 vitamins and minerals
Pro 5 flavors
Pro Gluten free
Cons
Con Expensive
Con Some find the taste too sweet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

MET-Rx

Meal Replacement Powder

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MET-Rx has created a formula geared towards the athletes among us, in addition to keeping the body lean.

It has a very generous serving of 39 grams protein, of which 6 grams is BCAAs and 3 grams is amino acid l-glutamine. You also get 17g of carbs which should give you good levels of energy and muscle gain.

It could also be a good option for those looking to slim down as it’s both low in calories and sugars.

I love the fact it comes in individual serving packets, making it a really convenient option to throw in your kit bag and use on the go.

However, one let down for this product is that some find it doesn’t mix well and has a slight “cake batter” consistency. It’s expensive too, so the cost of convenience could prove to be quite high.

Pros
Pro 240 calories
Pro 2 g sugars
Pro 39 g protein
Pro 6 g BCAAs
Pro 3 g l-glutamine
Pro 17 g carbs
Pro 25 vitamins and minerals
Pro 40 servings
Pro Individually packaged servings for convenience
Pro Aspartame free
Pro Gluten free
Cons
Con 3 g fiber
Con Expensive
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Lean1

Nutrition 53 Cookies & Cream

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Nutrition 53 is all about providing a healthy meal replacement, work out shake or a nutritious snack with the right balance of nutrients and to keep you lean.

It contains a decent serving of 20 g of protein to define muscles, 25 g of carbs for energy and 11g fiber to promote healthy digestion and satiety.

With 27 vitamins and minerals added to the mix, it should provide the nutritional support you need to stay healthy.

However, the cookies and cream flavor isn’t popular with all and for those looking for a low sugar option this may not be the one for you as it contains 9 g per serving.

Pros
Pro 240 calories
Pro 11 g fiber
Pro 20 g protein
Pro 25 g carbs
Pro Gluten free
Pro 27 vitamins and minerals
Pro Green coffee bean extract
Cons
Con 9 g sugar
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Naturade

VeganSmart Nutritional Shake

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Naturade brings us a nutritional meal replacement shake with the aim of promoting health and wellbeing.

It has adequate servings of 20 g protein for maintaining muscle, 6 g fiber to keep you feeling fuller for longer and 14g carbs to sustain your energy levels.

This meal replacement also combines a multitude of additional nutritional extras such as 22 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, probiotics and healthy fats.

It’s free from most common allergens and suitable for those with many dietary restrictions.

The downside is the high level of sugar it contains. Although it may be from natural sources, some users say it’s far too sweet to stomach.

Pros
Pro 170 calories
Pro 14g carbs
Pro 20 g protein
Pro 6 g fiber
Pro 22 vitamins and minerals
Pro Dairy free
Pro Soy free
Pro Gluten free
Pro Whole food complex
Pro Made in the USA
Cons
Con 5 g sugar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

ViSalus

Vi Shape Meal Replacement

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From Visalus comes a meal replacement shake to build lean muscle and help the body burn fat. It is also helpful for those with weight loss goals.

This shake is very low in calories, sugar and fat which makes it a good option for a healthy post-workout snack. However, when mixed with nonfat milk, the nutritional value practically doubles, making it more of a meal.

It has a good serving of fiber to keep you feeling satisfied and with 26 vitamins and minerals, it should give you the well-balanced nutritional support you need.

However, this meal replacement shake comes at a very high price so may not be suitable for those on a budget.

Pros
Pro 90 calories
Pro 12 g protein
Pro 5 g fiber
Pro 1 g sugar
Pro 7 g carbs
Pro 26 vitamins and minerals
Pro Gluten free
Pro Vegetarian
Pro 24 servings
Cons
Con Expensive
Con Too sweet for some
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

My Pick for the Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Men

I must admit it was a close call between Met-Rx and Labrada, however Labrada Nutrition gets the top spot in my book because it’s truly a meal replacement shake that ticks all the boxes.

I believe it has a good all-round balance of the most important nutritional bases – protein, carbohydrates and fiber. I think their formula could be beneficial for men who are looking to get lean and shed pounds.

Labrada Nutrition’s shake has an adequate calorie content to keep energy levels sustained, while managing to stay low fat. This makes it an appealing option for those that are watching their weight.

The formula includes 21 vitamins and minerals in sufficient levels to ensure you are getting what you need to maintain your health.

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