Last Updated on March, 2023
There are many reasons why someone might choose a meal replacement shake as their main fitness drink. For starters, they’re a prime source of essential vitamins, more protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients in general.
But, there are many other reasons along with that. For example, depending on your fitness needs, they can help with weight loss, muscle growth, and even weight gain. They’re perfect for men looking to sort out their diet and stay fit.
One problem though, is that it’s challenging to find the best meal replacement shake. However, a few pointers can help anyone find what they’re looking for. After hours of thorough research and tests conducted by editors, we’ve compiled a list of the best meal replacement shakes for men out there based on their benefits and other factors.
9 of the Best Meal Replacements for Men
With so many options out there, it’s hard for anyone to find a healthy meal replacement for men to help with their goals. But, the choices we’re about to list are all some of the most popular and best options. Continue reading to learn more about each one:
- Top Choice to Cut Fat but Retain Muscle Mass – Instant Knockout Complete
- A Combo of Taste and Nutrition – Ka’Chava
- Top Pick for Weight Loss – HLTH Code Complete Meal
- Easily Absorbed and Easily Digestible – Kaged Clean Meal
- Top Pick for Highest Calories – Transparent Labs Mass Gainer
- Best Shake with Low Fat Rate – Premier Protein
- Top Pick for Easy Digestion – Garden of Life Raw Organic
- Great Choice for Both Internal and External Body – Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake
- Best Choice to Keep You Energized and Satisfied – Huel Powder v3.0
1. Instant Knockout Complete (Top Choice to Cut Fat but Retain Muscle Mass)
Overall Score: 5.0
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Starting with a newest, well-rounded, and one of the best meal replacement shakes for men, Instant Knockout Complete. Instant Knockout Complete is an option that checks almost all the boxes as far as meal replacement shakes are concerned.
For starters, Instant Knockout Complete is made in an FDA-registered facility. Also, it’s entirely plant-based, making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Looking at the actual ingredients present inside, literally, all of them are top-notch and are picked based upon 5-years of research on their effectiveness in various aspects.
You’ll get the likes of plant-based proteins such as pea, brown rice, and soy extract; these two are able to help you with muscle mass growth and quick recovery after workout sessions.
Apart from those, you’ll also get the advantages of golden flax seed, which is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. On top of that, flaxseed is an excellent source of dietary fiber. All of this means better heart health, weight management, lower cholesterol, and controlled blood sugar.
Other top-notch ingredients such as MCT, oat flour, and chia seed are all present and promise to deliver various benefits.
The nutritional information is right up there, too, probably one of the best out there. Calorie count is ideal in the Instant Knockout Complete; it contains 400 per serving.
There’s also 35g of protein, 13g of fat, 35g of carbs, 13g of dietary fiber, and just 3g of sugar. Worth noting that there’s 0g of added sugars in here.
All in all, the Instant Knockout Complete does its job perfectly as a meal replacement shake. If you want a filling, delicious meal replacement shake to replace your whole meals, this is it.
Also, if you’re on a weight loss journey, the thermogenic booster added in this meal replacement can be a major benefit as it can help you lose weight faster.
Everything about this shake is perfect except for the flavor options. Instant Knockout Complete has just one flavor; Vanilla. It tastes good, though!
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for Instant Knockout Complete Vanilla Flavor (400 Calories):
2. Ka’Chava (A Combo of Taste and Nutrition)
Overall Score: 4.9
Ka’Chava is a vegan meal replacement made up of 85+ natural superfoods and plant-based ingredients. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about even if you are following a strictly vegan diet.
A morning workout and then a busy day is a recipe for many people to lose track of delivering the proper nutrition to their bodies. Ka’Chava removes the edge by keeping you full and sated so you don’t go on an unhealthy food hunt between meals.
Although this is a fantastic addition to your meal plans, it should not be used as a replacement for food but as a supplement to a well-balanced diet.
This meal replacement is gluten-free, dairy-free, and even soy-free (but not taste-free). This Shake comes in five flavors that make your taste buds burst with joy at how good it tastes while still being nutritious.
Although the taste is top-notch, it has no added preservatives, artificial coloring, flavor, or artificial sweeteners. Each serving comes with 240 calories per serving which is less for a man following a heavy workout schedule.
There is an array of Vitamins ranging from A to D are included in minute quantity along with 25g of Protein. All of these vitamins are vital in providing you with energy and immunity.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts about Ka’Chava Vanilla (240 Calories):
Read our Ka’Chava meal shake review.
3. HLTH Code Complete Meal (Top Pick for Weight Loss)
Overall Score: 4.8
We all know that weight loss is directly linked to cutting carbs from your diet. That’s because all delicious edibles come with carbohydrates. This aspect makes your weight-loss journey a bit complicated.
If you want a solution for this problem, HLTH Code Complete Meal is the option for you. This meal replacement holds an excellent nutritional value and is one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss. With 13g of total carbs, weight gain should be the least of your concerns.
We all know the downsides of artificial sweeteners and GMOs. Well, this meal replacement doesn’t include any artificial sweeteners or GMOs, making it a completely healthy option.
This meal replacement comes with 400 calories per serving, and you’d be happy to know that one serving of this shake would keep you full for quite some time.
Another remarkable thing about HLTH Code Complete Meal is that it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. It has enough vitamins and minerals to help you consume 50% of the recommended daily intake. There’s no soy or gluten in the meal replacement either.
Not to forget, out of 13g of total carbs, 9g is a dietary fiber that is excellent for those on a weight loss journey. This meal replacement also helps you consume 27g protein per serving, making it a great protein intake option.
One area where this shake might lack variety, is the flavors. It only comes in two flavors that are chocolate and vanilla. However, both these flavors taste great, and we certainly recommend getting this meal replacement, if you’re on a low-carb diet.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for HLTH Code Complete Chocolate Macadamia (400 Calories):
4. Kaged Clean Meal (Easily Absorbed and Easily Digestible)
Overall Score: 4.7
Look no further for a meal replacement that would go well with any diet you follow, be it Keto or Paleo. This is one of the best meal replacement shake derived from whole-natural foods that bring the right nutrient to the table for you.
It has NO MALTODEXTRIN, unlike some nameless brands in the market. Therefore, you are safe from any intake of unhealthy ingredients. This meal replacement is perfect for all busybodies and athletes to have a nutritious meal on the go.
This meal replacement is suitable for anyone determined to get the right vitamins and required Protein to push them through their workouts and challenging day.
Kaged Clean Meal uses ioWhey™ Technology on their premium whey protein isolate, which showed a 123% increase in essential amino acid absorption compared to regular whey. It includes 21 organic vitamins and minerals, is gluten-free, and has no GMOs.
There are 6.5 grams of BCAAs per serving that helps muscle growth along with providing a higher metabolism rate, making it one of the best meal replacement shakes.
It is very suitable for men on a strict diet and workout plans, mostly athletes or fitness addicts (There is nothing wrong with being one – better a fitness addict than a lazy guy at home).
It provides 260 calories per serving with a great dose of Protein to keep you striving towards your goals.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for Kaged Clean Meal Chocolate Peanut Butter (260 Calories):
5. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer (Top Pick for Highest Calories)
Overall Score: 4.6
Transparent Labs Mass Gainer is an excellent choice for gym-going men on the path to getting the fit shredded body they have been aiming for. This meal replacement helps you bulk up to keep up with your fitness regime.
Each serving of this meal replacement shake provides you with 790 calories so that you can keep up your energy and contains Creatine Monohydrate to assist your body with muscle and strength recovery.
It is made up of 100% grass-fed whey concentrated Protein and provides you with 53g per serving.
The two flavors that make your taste buds feel so good have no artificial sweeteners, no artificial coloring, and no artificial preservatives. An added benefit is that this meal replacement shake is easily mixable, so you can enjoy it without any clumps or changes in texture.
Most of the users have stated that they love the taste and texture of Transparent Labs Mass Gainer shake, which makes it the best meal replacement shake that is easily digestible. (Every one of us is mainly interested in the taste and if we would love it, right? I mean, who would want to drink a bitter concoction like Polyjuice)
The meal replacement also includes a total of 114g of natural Carbs per serving that fuel muscle growth and recovery.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for Transparent Labs Mass Gainer Chocolate Glaze Donut (790 Calories):
6. Premier Protein (Best Shake with Low Fat Rate)
Overall Score: 4.5
Maintaining muscles and staying fit can be pretty tough when you’re usually busy. That’s because it requires you to meet specific daily nutritional intake criteria. Premier Protein is one of the best meal replacement shakes to help you meet these criteria without a hassle.
It’s a premixed meal replacement shake that comes ready in a container, meaning you don’t even have to spend time preparing it. Just grab a container and drink it on the go whenever you need to.
These containers include a shake worth 160 calories and an impressive 30 grams of protein.
The protein in this meal replacement shake comes from sources like milk. That means it includes casein and whey protein, which take time to digest and make you feel full for longer. But, the downside is that those with lactose intolerance can’t enjoy this one.
Premier Protein comes packed with healthy fats and micronutrients. Plus, there’s only one gram of sugar inside. You’ll also find enough vitamins and minerals inside the meal replacement to get a quarter of your day’s worth. It also doesn’t have any gluten or soy.
Another good thing is that it comes in 16 varied flavors. All of these are delicious, and there’s enough variety for anyone to find what pleases them. Even if you’re the pickiest eater, the flavors offered by Premier Protein should have something in store for you.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for Premier Protein Chocolate (160 Calories):
7. Garden of Life Raw Organic (Top Pick for Easy Digestion)
Overall Score: 4.4
Garden of Life Raw Organic is a meal replacement that is loaded with 44 superfoods that will keep you energized and full until the next meal. Now, we don’t want to go craving every time we pass a KFC or Mcdonald’s.
Guess what? The ingredients are also Raw whole foods so that you don’t lose out on the essential nutrients and Protein when it is heat processed. It includes an array of healthy vegetables, fruits, and 21 vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, this meal replacement is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and even Soy free. Some of the other things that it doesn’t have are artificial colors, flavorings, and sweeteners.
If you are a vegan seeking a MRS, Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal is one of the best meal replacement shakes for you. Each serving has 20g of Protein from raw sprouted ingredients but has no GMO whatsoever.
A special ingredient would be the 1.5 billion live probiotics included that help you with easy digestion and supports gut health. It also increases the energy output of the user.
Garden of Life Raw Organic meal replacement shake focuses on providing one complete raw organic meal replacement shake by combining and using pure garden of life products.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Chocolate Cacao Powder (130 Calories):
8. Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake (Great Choice for Both Internal and External Body)
Overall Score: 4.4
A gluten-free, organic nutrition meal replacement that still has the ability to make you want another extra sip is the Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake.
Orgain Shake consists of around 21 vitamins and minerals blended together to support your immunity. This meal replacement comes in various flavors that taste great in their ways so that you can choose one that fits your taste buds.
My opinion is that, people are on to start based on nutrition but are bound to continue based on taste. This meal replacement is gluten-free, soy-free, and has no GMOs but contains all the necessary nutrients.
A downside might be the calories per serving, which has room for improvement. It contains 16g of organic Protein that helps your body with muscle recovery and the right ingredients to assist you in weight management.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake Creamy Chocolate Fudge (250 Calories):
9. Huel Powder v3.0 (Best Choice to Keep You Energized and Satisfied)
Overall Score: 4.3
Huel Powder V3.0 is a complete nutritional meal replacement package consisting of 27 essential vitamins & minerals, Protein from peas and brown rice, along with both pro and prebiotics.
This meal replacement shake has no animal-based products, thereby making it suitable for vegan men to have a quick meal replacement while on the go. It is also lactose-free, has no GMOs, and is all-natural flavored.
Huel v3.0 contains omega 3 and 6, which includes slow-release carbs to keep you full and energized for extended periods. This is convenient to curb your unnecessary cravings in a healthy manner by keeping your body sated for long periods.
Each serving of Huel Powder V3.0 contains 29g of high-quality plant-based proteins that your body needs. The flavor is solely derived from natural sources and is relatively low in sugar and salt.
Another upgrade in v3.0 is that tapioca starch has replaced oats to give a more refined and smoother texture to the meal replacement drink.
Here’s some nutritional information and key facts for Huel Powder v3.0 Cinnamon Roll (400 Calories):
See the Huel Competitors.
Things to Know Before Buying Meal Replacements for Men
At this point, you already know a lot about some of the best meal replacement shakes for men. But, there’s still a lot more to keep in mind if you’re looking to choose the best meal replacement shake for yourself. That said, here’s a bit more info on what you should know:
Many men drink meal replacement shakes because of how good they are for their weight loss journey. But, that doesn’t mean that your calorie intake should be kept at a minimum. While a low-calorie diet certainly does help, it can also ruin your health if you take things too far.
For example, a shake with only 100 or fewer calories per serving will make you feel hungry again just a while after drinking it. This completely ruins the purpose of meal replacements, and it is something you should avoid.
The best way to decide how many calories to look for in your shake is to determine your goal. Something around 200-300 per serving should be great for those that want to lose weight. On the other hand, you should get something with 400+ calories to gain weight.
It’s a fact that men need more nutrients than women to stay healthy because of the way their bodies are. That said, it’s why you should always look for a nutritious meal shake.
For example, the best meal replacement shake should give you the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
Essential fatty acids, healthy fats, adequate protein, amino acids, digestive enzymes, and more are all critical as well. They provide all kinds of health benefits, and you’ll need them to stay fit.
Keep Your Needs in Mind
Everything becomes much easier when you know what you’re looking for. That’s why it’s important to remember your needs and goals while looking for the best meal replacement shake.
For example, if you’re on a keto diet, you’ll need something to help you stay in ketosis. If you’re vegan, you’ll want a plant-based meal replacement shake. Other details include whether or not the shake is gluten-free, kosher-friendly, etc.
While this goes without saying, you should watch out for your allergies too. Make sure that the shake you choose has nothing that can cause problems in your body.
Specifics of Protein
Protein is arguably the most vital nutrient when it comes to meal replacement shakes for men. That’s because it helps you lose weight and gain muscles. But, there are also many different types of this nutrient that you have to remember.
That’s because different proteins are derived from various sources. In general, Pea protein, brown rice protein, organic plant protein, and plant-based proteins are examples of vegan protein.
Grass-fed whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, beef protein, etc. are not vegan proteins. Make sure to keep all of these things in mind while choosing your next meal replacement shake to avoid eating something you don’t want to.
A huge drawback to many meal replacements is that they use artificial sweeteners. This is to give the product flavor while cutting down on calories. This may seem healthy at first, but it’s terrible for the body in the long run.
You’re much more prone to severe issues like diabetes, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s if you consume artificial sweeteners regularly. That’s why the best meal replacement shake always has zero artificial sweeteners and artificial flavors. Always avoid these when buying a shake.
Related: Best meal replacements for women
Why Do Men Need a Meal Replacement Shake?
Many men miss out on a healthy meal because of just how busy modern life can be. With jobs, housework, fitness, and more weighing them down, many people opt to skip out on entire meals just to make time. While this seems like a convenient option, it’s terrible for your health.
Alternatively, some people tend to stop at restaurants and grab a quick bite to eat from there. While this is a little better than staying hungry, it’s still no good for your body. That’s where meal replacement shakes come in, and that’s precisely why they’re so important for men.
They’ve got all the nutrients men need to stay healthy. On top of that, they’re straightforward to prepare. You can make a good meal replacement shake in seconds. Some are even pre-made, meaning you don’t even have to spend a single moment getting it ready.
It’s a simple drink at first sight, but a meal replacement shake is everything a man needs to get that burst of energy while going about his busy day. Additionally, as we’ve already made clear, they’re great for fitness too, which is another good bonus.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Consuming Meal Shakes
Now that you know all about getting suitable meal replacement shakes, you must learn a bit more about what these supplements are in the first place. That said, one of the most important things to know is how they can help, and even how they might be bad for you.
We’ve compiled these lists of both the pros and cons that a meal replacement shake can offer. Just read through both to learn why they can be both good and potentially bad for you in different ways. First off, let’s start with the advantages:
- The most significant advantage is that meal replacement shakes are highly convenient. There’s no need to spend too much time preparing them or drinking them. It only takes a few minutes.
- Men need to focus on their daily nutrient intake as they have a generally larger and more demanding body. Meal replacements can help with this, as they come loaded with all the things you need to stay healthy.
- Since the best meal replacement shakes have a lot of protein in them, they’re a great way to build muscle. They can help you healthily maintain your weight too. They can also help you with weight loss.
- Many people are picky eaters. But, these shakes have so much variety that they can tend to all these eaters. Many delicious meal replacement shakes are available in a heap of flavors. That means there’s enough variety for anyone to find what pleases them.
- Meal replacement shakes are often very good for your overall health. Since they have various nutrients, they can aid with gut health, healthy digestion, and many other things.
Now that you know more about some of the most significant advantages, let’s cover a few potential disadvantages as well:
- It can be challenging to replace a complete meal with just meal replacements. Lots of them don’t provide sufficient nutrition, and finding some that do can be very difficult.
- Speaking of finding a meal replacement shake, it can be hard to get your hands on a trustable one. Lots of brands promise quality but don’t live up to it. Many people have to deal with constant trial and error because of this.
- Their use of artificial flavors, added sugars, and sweeteners can open you up to many diseases. Since so many shakes use these ingredients, it can be challenging to avoid this.
- Some people might not be suited to drinking meal replacement shakes regularly because of health conditions. Consider contacting your doctor for advice before purchasing one to make sure that you aren’t in the same group of people.
The Differences Between Meal and Protein Shakes
One common mistake many people make is to think that meal replacement shakes and protein shakes are the same thing. In truth, a protein shake is an entirely different thing. Both of them have many differences, and you must know them.
The most significant difference between a meal replacement shake and a protein powder supplement is their nutritional value.
A meal replacement shake will always have a bit of everything, including protein, fibers, carbs, and more. On the other hand, protein shakes will mainly focus on only protein.
Because of this, a protein shake can’t help you replace meals, while a meal shake is meant to do precisely that. This ultimately means that there are many differences in their purpose as well.
A meal replacement shake is usually for weight loss while getting a good chunk of necessary daily nutrients. On the other hand, protein shakes are generally for those only focused on fitness. It helps gain and maintain muscle mass while boosting athletic performance.
As you can see, there’s a lot that’s different about these two supplements. That’s why you shouldn’t try to use protein shakes as meal replacements and vice versa. Of course, this is an exception if the manufacturer specifically states that you can use the product in both ways.
Can Men Lose Weight With Meal Shakes?
For those who still haven’t pieced it together yet, meal replacement shakes can help men lose weight. Regardless of who you are, these shakes should help you cut down on weight as long as you choose the right one.
There are so many variations available, each with its nutritional value. As long as you pick a shake according to the recommendations and tips we’ve provided, it should also help you with weight loss! They’re exceptional supplements that are designed for losing weight.
You don’t have anything to worry about if you’re looking to get these for weight loss. Meal replacement shakes have proven to help men a lot with their weight loss goals.
Just get a meal shake with 200-300 calories and make it a part of your daily diet. After a while, you’ll notice the changes yourself!
Worth reading: Nutritional drinks for seniors
A meal replacement shake isn’t just for someone with digestive problems or chewing problems. They’re great liquid supplements that can help men with weight loss and fitness alike. We highly recommend that you try them out, because they can do the same for you.
Usually, it can be pretty challenging to pick out the right shake. But, with the help of all our suggestions given above, you should easily be able to find the right one for yourself.
Our number one pick is the Instant Knockout. That’s because it’s well-balanced and ticks all the needed boxes.
But, if that isn’t to your liking, there are many other ideal options on our list to choose from! Just remember the things we’ve shared, and you’ll do great at picking out the best meal replacement shakes for men that are out there.
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