What to Include in Meal Replacement Shakes
There are different varieties of meal replacement shakes on the market today. You have meal replacement shakes that serve as total meal replacements and can be used long term, and there are others that aim to help you lose weight. The latter provides fewer calories but gives that feeling of fullness that makes you eat less.
As for the taste, well, let’s just say many of the products have an acquired taste. Some have an artificial fruit flavor, others taste like grass, and there are options that have a neutral taste. Some products also aren’t formulated for complete nutrition, so users should only take them to supplement their actual meals.
In any case, meal replacements are great, and there are certainly a few ways to make your experience with them more interesting. You can, for instance, add other ingredients to your shakes to make them taste better. In this way, you’ll also find them easier to stick with and, hence, more effective.
Things You Can Add Into Meal Replacement Shakes
Here’s an assortment of additives to blend into your meal replacements to alter their flavor, improve their nutrition, or both.
What are superfoods? Superfood is the term used to describe fruits and vegetables that pack a bit more power in the nutrition department compared to their counterparts. Some also come in potent powdered blends that help your body perform better.
Examples of really awesome powdered superfoods are matcha powder, turmeric, ginger, chia, and maca. Mix any of these ingredients into your meal replacement to amp up its nutritional levels.
It’s important to remember, however, that since these products are powdery, they add a bit of dry flavor to your shake. What you want to do to balance this out is to add some of the other ingredients on this list.
While there’s nothing wrong with combining your meal replacement shakes with water, the combination doesn’t really do anything special. Ice is a pretty common additive to meal replacement shakes that boosts their overall appeal.
To do this, reduce the water you normally put into your shakes and replace it instead with ice cubes. Using ice instead of water ends up making your meal replacement look and feel like a delicious smoothie rather than some sort of paste you have to force down your throat.
Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that benefit your body in so many ways. Contained in probiotics are bacteria of similar nature to the ones living inside you. Dairy and vegetables are common examples of probiotic food.
Natto, kimchi, and sauerkraut are probiotic vegetables that make really good additions to your meal replacement shakes. What’s more, they have strong flavors that overpower the shake’s natural and sometimes unappealing flavors.
Between the two varieties, dairy probiotics are generally better. Kefir, tempeh, and Greek yogurt can be added or used as a base for your shakes. Instead of using milk and ice as your shake base, try something different by using a combination of yogurt and kefir instead.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is something your body produces naturally when exposed to sunlight. If you spend your time indoors most days, then you’ll likely be lacking in this particular nutrient. Do something about this by adding a reasonable dose of vitamin D into your meal replacement shake.
The most important thing to remember, however, is not to put too much. Double- or even triple-check your meal replacement to make sure that it doesn’t already contain a decent dose of vitamin D, as too much of this substance in your system can be detrimental.
The powdered vitamin D version is best for shakes. The gel caps can leave a fishy aftertaste and do not pair well with fruits and greens.
No matter how many times nutritionists say oatmeal is good for the body, there are some who just can’t bear the taste of it in their mouths or the feel of it as it moves down their throats. Cue the gag reflex.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to consume oatmeal that doesn’t involve eating it by itself. Oats are great to blend into your shakes. Plus, by blending them, you can alter their texture and still be able to get the healthy nutrients they provide. If you really want to soften up those oat particles, you can soak them for a couple of hours the night before.
We’ve mentioned some really great additives to mix into your meal replacement shakes, but, at the end of the day, what you combine with your shakes is all up to you.
We’re not suggesting that you mix just about anything into your liquid meals—some ingredients can actually lower their nutritional value. What we mean, instead, is that you should do your research and find out what works for you.
A surefire way to help you stick to a healthy and delicious meal replacement plan is to check out our guide and reviews. Here, you’ll find a wealth of helpful information on the most nutritious additions to your meal replacement shakes.