Tyler has had over 20 years of experience in sports and physical exercise. He utilizes scientific methods such as progressive overload and macro calculations, as well as mental techniques like mind muscle connection in his training. He shares his teachings as senior coach at Total Shape. Read more more about us here
Meal replacement shakes are increasingly becoming a great dietary tool to help people lose weight. For a long time, I didn’t recommend these to my clients as they often lacked essential nutrients.
While things have changed for the better, many vegans are still struggling to find shakes that are both plant-based and contain the right macro and micronutrients to support weight loss.
After several months of extensive testing, we have managed to come up with a list of the best vegan meal replacement shakes that might just help you avoid all those crappy ones out there.
Our Top Products 1 - Ample V
While it usually takes a UN resolution for our team to agree on supplements, it only took a few days and a vote from our dietitian to come to an agreement that Ample V is the meal replacement shake we will all recommend to our vegan clients.
First of all, Ample V comes in large enough portions to actually replace a breakfast or light lunch.
And many people commented that the 20 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per serving might be the reason it keeps them full .
CONS 2 - Organifi Complete Protein Meal Replacement
This was the other product in our hot debate, and it would be our top organic choice.
It also claims to be formulated with essential vitamins and minerals that some vegans could become deficient in.
This is also one of the favored products for some of my keto clients as it contains MCT oils that may help boost your ketosis .
One of the main reasons we bumped it down to second place is that the flavor choices are a little bit limited.
3 - Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake
Orgain Organic has been one of our favorite companies for various supplements.
This meal replacement shake stood out for us because it seems to be the only one to confirm that there is no sugar at all.
As a ready to drink protein shake, I like that it fits into my bag so that I can drink it when it suits me. It beats having to prepare it before I leave home in the morning.
CONS 4 - Vega One Organic All-In-One Shake
Vega One claims to be one of the few available meal replacements that contains only organic and essential nutrients.
This covers many of the important nutrients like B6 and B12 that vegans often need to supplement.
Along with a good dose of plant-based protein, it’s also claimed to be a great source of digestive enzymes that may help you absorb the nutrients faster.
CONS 5 - Garden Of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement
This Garden Of Life Raw Organic meal protein powder doesn’t just focus on quality protein sources, but it has aimed to eliminate a lot of the crappy additives and sugars that are all too common.
By combining brown rice and pea protein, Garden of Life has also ensured that your body may get the full range of amino acids to support weight loss and muscle recovery.
We found that Garden Of Life works well as a protein shake, but also as one of the best vegan replacements for smaller snacks.
CONS 6 - PlantFusion Complete Meal
PlantFusion has created something that is more than just a vegan protein powder.
This plant protein shake has been formulated to include organic green superfoods that might give you a significant boost for your immune health.
With 20 grams of protein per serving, it’s also a suitable option for non-vegan athletes who are looking for more diverse protein sources in their diet.
CONS 7 - Soylent Meal Replacement Shake
With 400 calories per serving, this Soylent product could be another option that might be suitable for anyone looking for an option that could be used to replace breakfast or lunch.
What we liked about it is that along with a good macro balance, it might provide a good boost in the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
It happens too often that we see clients deficient in nutrients because their meal replacements don’t make up for the food they aren’t eating.
CONS 8 - Complete Start Meal Replacement Shake
We got a good few positive comments about this plant-based meal replacement, with folks saying that it seemed to keep them full for longer.
With 20 grams of protein in each serving, it should give you what your body needs to help with muscle recovery and building.
One thing we did notice is that you might notice a slight stevia aftertaste, but it doesn’t last too long.
CONS 9 - Oxyfresh Pea Protein
This meal replacement drink is mainly based on peas as a source of protein, which has been shown to be rich in arginine . For athletes, this could be a good reason as arginine plays a role in muscle building.
Unlike other vegan protein products, we saw a lot of comments online that it’s surprisingly easy to mix. As a result, you shouldn’t end up with a lumpy mess.
That may also explain why it seems to be quite popular with families as well.
CONS 10 - Huel Vegan Powdered Meal
Huel has created a powder that is also aimed at replacing meals rather than snacks with 400 calories per serving.
This also delivers 30 grams of protein, which should be enough for the majority of athletes.
Along with a good selection of vitamins and minerals, you also get some digestive enzymes, which may help to make your digestive system a bit more effective.
The main reason this is listed at the bottom of the list is that we weren’t too impressed with the flavor, which is a bit on the bland side.
During our research, we focused on certain areas that you should always keep in mind before making a final decision among the best vegan meal replacement shakes in this list.
1 - Consider Your Dietary Restrictions
Plant-based protein supplements are most often used by vegans. But many other athletes like to use plant products like pea and brown rice to provide them with a range of different sources.
However, some of the plant-based blends available might not be suitable for all people, as they may contain soy and gluten. These are among the most common food allergies, and, unfortunately, they are common ingredients.
You should also keep a close eye on sugar as that might not just be a problem for diabetics. Blood sugar spikes might cause problems, including increased hunger cravings.
2 - Match Your Meal Replacement With Your Diet Goals
Don’t just grab the first vegan meal replacement powder you find as they all have different macro balances. You’ll even find some that are specifically designed for bodybuilders during a bulking phase.
Yes, that means putting on weight, which for many people, would not be a healthy choice.
If your normal breakfast is 300 calories and you’re aiming to lose some weight, then you don’t want a shake that provides more than that.
There are some diet apps like Noom that might help you with this, or else it could be a good idea to talk to a dietitian.
Also note that the nutrition you get from protein powders are different from meal replacement shakes. While some vegan meal replacement shakes can be used as a post-workout drink, doing so will still depend on your dietary goals.
We have a detailed discussion on the differences between a protein powder and meal replacement that you may want to check out.
3 - Look Out For Artificial Ingredients
Many people believe that all plant-based protein products are always healthy. Unfortunately, there are too many food and nutrition supplements that use artificial sweeteners and flavors.
Some studies have been conducted that have revealed that these sweeteners could be causing more problems, including problems with weight gain .
Here’s a good rule of thumb
If a product label doesn’t specifically say that it doesn’t include artificial substances, then the chances are that it does.
And if you see things on the nutrition label that sound like they came out of a chemistry lab, then that’s a good warning sign too.
4 - Always Check For Hidden Animal Products
Usually, you’re going to be fine if you see a vegan certification. But don’t assume that a label that just makes reference to plant ingredients also means it doesn’t contain hidden animal substances .
And there are two things to look out for most.
Gelatin is one, and it’s most often used as a filler, which is unnecessary to even start with. The other one is Lipase, which is sometimes part of a digestive enzyme blend and often sourced from animals.
To be on the safe side, stick with something that is USDA vegan certified.
5 - Figure Out Which Meals To Replace
One thing many folks get wrong is to just use a standard vegan protein powder to replace a snack or meal. While it may have enough grams of protein, it could be lacking in other essential nutrients.
If you’re aiming to replace breakfast, lunch, or even dinner, then your shake needs to contain the right balance of macros as well as minerals and vitamins.
More on this shortly.
6 - Flavored Vs. Unflavored
Personally, I like the flavored meal replacements as I usually drink them on their own. However, if you’re looking to combine it with a green health smoothie, then an unflavored product might be the better choice.
Let’s face it, green superfoods might not work all that well with a peanut butter flavored shake.
Yes, I have tried it, and it’s not a good idea.
7 - Important Vitamins And Minerals
Do not ignore nutritional micronutrients in your choice. Depending on the brand, you will find some very wide ranges of vitamins.
And here’s the most annoying thing.
What is a vegan meal replacement shake?
What are the benefits of taking a vegan meal replacement shake?
Are vegan meal replacement shakes good for wei ght loss?
How long should you use vegan meal replacement shakes?
Do vegan meal replacement shakes actually work?
Can you live off of vegan meal replacement shakes? Which Vegan Meal Replacement Shake Should You Pick?
Because we were initially a bit undecided about the top recommendation, we brought in a dietitian for some nutritional advice. Based on her input, we narrowed our best vegan meal replacement shakes down to Ample V.
With enough macros to replace breakfast or a small lunch, it might just give you enough flexibility to feel full for longer and successfully lose weight. It also tastes good and contains probiotics that may benefit your digestive system.
Place your order today and then make sure you report back to us on social media about your experience.