Last Updated on March, 2023
It’s only natural that people often compare the different meal replacement shakes out there and try to find out which one is best. But, it’s a topic with many different outcomes depending on the people debating it.
Many have discussed the differences between meal shakes. Unfortunately, more often than not, their final answers are biased towards a specific manufacturer or shake. We’re here to provide a meal replacement shake comparison without any of that.
Today, we’ll be comparing some of the most popular meal replacement shakes based on their nutritional facts and other important, objective details. That way, you can look at each one from a neutral standpoint and decide which is best for you. So, let’s get started!
Comparing Some of the Most Popular Meal Replacement Shakes
There are lots of essential aspects when it comes to the qualities and worth of meal replacement shakes. So, we’ll be breaking each of these down into different parts and discussing them individually and fairly.
Before we do that, though, let’s take a look at the shakes we’ll be comparing:
- Ample Recover
- Garden Of Life
- Beachbody Shakeology
- Ambronite Complete Meal Shake
- HLTH Code Complete Meal
- Soylent Meal Replacement Shake
- 310 Meal Replacement Shake
- Organifi Complete Protein
- Vega One Organic All-in-one Shake
Each of these forms our list of meal shakes that we will be comparing in this article. So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s get started with the main points. We’ll start with the biggest and most important qualities first!
Macronutrients are the biggest form of energy for our bodies. They’re the nutrients we consume the most and are very important for meal replacement shakes. A meal gives us lots of macronutrients, as long as it’s healthy. So, it’s only fair that a meal replacement does the same. (1)
We’ve compiled the macronutrient information of every one of the shakes in our list and each of their serving sizes. You can easily figure out their nutritional density and what they offer you each time you drink one.
|Names of Shake||Serving||Calories||Fat||Protein||Carbs||Sugar||Fiber|
|Garden Of Life||36g||130||2.5g||20g||13g||<1g||3g|
|Ambronite Complete Meal Shake||95g||400||15g||24g||40g||12g||8g|
|Soylent Meal Replacement Shake||414ml||400||24g||20g||36g||1g||3g|
|310 Meal Replacement Shake||29.6g||110||3g||15g||6g||0g||5g|
|Organifi Complete Protein||39g||170||6g||20g||8g||3g||1g|
|Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake||40g||140||3.5g||20g||11g||1g||6g|
|HLTH Code Complete Meal||79.5g||400||27g||27g||13g||2g||9g|
Not everyone might be familiar with how SOME of the things on the list might be helpful, so we’ll be covering a bit more on the most important ones next. Here’s how and why your body uses these and why more or less, they are better in your shake:
First and most importantly, we have the calories. Most people drink meal replacement shakes to cut down on calories, but that’s not the most important thing for weight loss. What matters is what sources you get those calories from and how you use them. (2)
It would help if you had lots of these to give your body energy. Try to get each meal to around 300-400 calories at the very least. Otherwise, you might consume too little of them. This leads to nausea, fatigue, and many other issues with your physical health.
Up next is protein, which is widely considered the most important macronutrient. This is one of the main selling points of meal replacement shakes and is very helpful for the body. Most meal replacement shakes get most of their calories from protein, which is excellent.
It helps us lose weight and build muscle. On top of that, it repairs existing muscles and other parts of the body by fixing tissues while also helping with the formation of helpful hormones and enzymes. (3)
So protein is an essential macronutrient for which you should always meet your daily quota.
Carbohydrates have developed a terrible reputation. But they’re not all horrible. In fact, some carbohydrates are very healthy and necessary for the body to function correctly. Without them, you might fall for certain diseases. So it’s essential to eat lots of healthy carbs. (4)
Meal replacement shakes are (usually) filled with carbohydrates like those, including sugar and fiber. You don’t need to cut down on them to lose weight completely. That might make it more challenging to reach your goals in time. You have to make sure that the ones you consume come from good sources and aren’t detrimental to your health.
If you get the right ones, try not to be fooled by the name; fats are also essential macronutrients. The meal replacement shakes above mostly have healthy fats, which give you various essential vitamins and other micronutrients. (5)
It’s an integral part of our daily diet, and the body needs it to function correctly. Unfortunately, most of the options listed don’t have much of it, meaning you should get it from other healthy sources, such as cheese, nuts, eggs, and more.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
For those that aren’t familiar, probiotics are a type of bacteria. But, unlike the germ-y kind that you might be familiar with and not so fond of, probiotics are, in fact, beneficial. They provide a wide range of benefits to the body, and it’s essential to get lots of them in our daily diet. (6)
Here’s some more information regarding which shakes on our list offer these helpful bacteria:
Another thing that you might’ve noticed we’ve mentioned on the table is prebiotics. While probiotics are helpful for us, prebiotics are beneficial for probiotics. This is because the bacteria eat these up and use them to survive longer in our body, which also means they can help us longer.
|Names of Shake||Prebiotics||Probiotics|
|Garden Of Life||Yes||Yes|
|Ambronite Complete Meal Shake||Yes||No|
|Soylent Meal Replacement Shake||No||No|
|310 Meal Replacement Shake||Yes||No|
|Organifi Complete Protein||Yes||Yes|
|Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake||Yes||Yes|
|HLTH Code Complete Meal||No||Yes|
Long story short, they’re both essential for a healthy gut. As a result, more and more meal replacement shakes are starting to include them in their formulas, and you can easily see which ones on our list have them through the table above.
One of the things we hate most in meal replacement shakes is artificial ingredients. Manufacturers use these to give their food products better tastes, make them last longer, form better textures, etc. But, the cost at which they do all of this is not worth it.
We’ll go a bit more into what that cost is soon. But, first, let’s take a look at which of the supplements from our original list feature artificial ingredients in their formula:
|Names of Shake||Artificial Flavors||Artificial Sweeteners||Hydrogenated Oils|
|Garden Of Life||None||None||None|
|Ambronite Complete Meal Shake||None||None||None|
|Soylent Meal Replacement Shake||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|310 Meal Replacement Shake||None||None||None|
|Organifi Complete Protein||None||None||None|
|Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake||None||None||None|
|HLTH Code Complete Meal||None||None||None|
There’s no shortage of issues with regularly consuming artificial ingredients, which is why you should avoid them. These ingredients might serve their purpose well. But, they do so at a high toll on the human body.
Many artificial ingredients are directly linked with digestive issues, sicknesses, and even significant issues such as cancer, all-cause dementia, kidney issues, and more. No amount of weight loss is worth facing such problems, so don’t make artificial ingredients a part of your diet. (7)
Luckily, all the shakes on our list (other than Soylent) are free from these ingredients. So you don’t have to worry about consuming anything that might ruin your health, even if you choose to drink most of these shakes regularly.
Here’s a list of the best artificial ingredients free meal replacement shakes.
Vitamins and Minerals
Next up is a topic that’s a little more complicated than the others. Vitamins and minerals are undoubtedly crucial for the body. However, what’s also important is the source you’re getting them from. (8)
There’s no denying that vitamins and minerals are excellent for your body. So, here’s a list of all the shakes and the vitamins they contain: (The list features the value of each vitamin in percentages. These percentages are the amount of each vitamin you need in your daily diet.)
|Names of Shake||Vitamin A||Vitamin C||Vitamin D||Vitamin E||Vitamin K||Thiamine||Riboflavin||Niacin||Vitamin B6||Folic Acid/Folate||Vitamin B12||Biotin||Pantothenic Acid|
|Garden Of Life||15%||15%||25%||70%||15%||60%||35%||60%||35%||20%||380%||140%||100%|
|Ambronite Complete Meal Shake||37%||48%||71%||40%||63%||76%||28%||49%||34%||36%||48%||33%|
|Soylent Meal Replacement Shake||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%||20%|
|310 Meal Replacement Shake||35%||15%||10%||20%||10%||30%||30%||25%||25%||35%||60%||210%||45%|
|Organifi Complete Protein||14%||34%||25%||67%||83%||59%|
|Vega One Organic All-in-one Shake||20%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||8%||50%||50%||50%|
|HLTH Code Complete Meal||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%||50%|
To make it a fair comparison, take a look at the calories each shake offers. That way, you can get a good idea of each one’s nutritional density. The smaller the ratio between calories and vitamins/minerals, the better the serving.
Other than the percentage and ratio between calories, one other thing you have to consider is where the vitamins and minerals are coming from. As mentioned earlier, the source is vital. For example, vitamins and minerals from fruits like an apple are better than artificially added or synthetically created.
While this might sound difficult to keep track of, it’s not if you know what you’re doing. All it takes is a little bit of research and label-reading. So before buying a shake, please look at its nutritional information and ingredients.
There should be more information on the vitamins and minerals there. While reading these, look for ingredients that sound like they are real foods and not chemicals or artificial products.
While synthetically created vitamins and minerals aren’t the worst things in the world, those from natural sources are much better for the body. So, opt to choose shakes with those instead, as your body will be able to absorb them more effectively.
The most important thing is digestive enzymes when it comes to gut health. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough of these on their regular diets, which might make them prone to unexpected issues like stomach aches or more serious digestive diseases. (9)
It’s essential to have a good mix of these in your diet. There are all kinds of different digestive enzymes in meal replacements, with many other names. Every good meal shake contains these because of how vital they are, including most of the ones on our list.
|Names of Shake||Soy-Free||Dairy-free||GMO-Free||Gluten-free||Organic|
|Garden Of Life||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ambronite Complete Meal Shake||Yes||Yes||Yes||Not 100% sure||Yes|
|Soylent Meal Replacement Shake||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|310 Meal Replacement Shake||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Organifi Complete Protein||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|HLTH Code Complete Meal||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
All of the ingredients mentioned in the table have their importance. However, many of them are potential allergens and could be harmful to people drinking them. For example, gluten, dairy, and soy are generally okay but horrible for those who have an allergy.
On the other hand, we have GMOs that are bad in general and should be avoided. Then there are certifications for each of these, including whether or not a shake is vegan or organic.
Many people are picky about things like these, which is why the table above is one of the most important. Now that you know these details about each specific shake, you can pick out the most suitable ones for your preferences.
One final thing to check up on is the price. Again, we’ll list their most common retail prices, not any discounted ones from special subscriptions or offers
|Names of Shake||Price (per each serving)|
|Garden Of Life||$1.80|
|Ambronite Complete Meal Shake||$5.49|
|Soylent Meal Replacement Shake||$3.50|
|310 Meal Replacement Shake||$2.43|
|Organifi Complete Protein||$1.36|
|Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake||$3.69|
|HLTH Code Complete Meal||$4.00|
Now that you’ve seen the prices per serving for these shakes, all the differences in certain qualities make sense. But, unfortunately, in most cases from our list, you get what you pay for. For example, Ample, being a nutritionally dense and filling shake, is easily one of the most expensive ones.
Once you make them a part of your daily diet, you have to buy meal shakes more and more often. This means meal shakes are a big investment, and you need to make this investment wisely to make sure they don’t make your wallet lose weight too.
But don’t be too stingy with your money either. If you’re buying a shake, at least buy one that’ll help you. Spending less money on something that won’t help is a much bigger waste of resources than spending a bit more money on something that’ll help.
Related: What to look for in a meal replacement shake?
With all of the things this article keeps in mind, you can easily compare the different qualities of all 12 shakes we mentioned and decide which one is better for you. With so many things listed, you should be able to find the perfect fit for your particular needs.
It’s essential to be mindful of what you’re eating, especially for supplements such as these. Now that you know which ones to choose, make sure you don’t make the wrong decision to save a few bucks.
If you’re interested in learning more about these shakes and want to find out which ones taste the best before making a purchase decision, read through the details here. We hope that you can make the best decision for yourself with the help of everything we’ve shared!
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