The best meal replacement shakes we have tested this year
Huel vs Jimmy Joy vs the rest, in our best meal replacement shakes test.
Making an actual meal every lunch time? Who has time for that? That's where this 'best meal replacement shakes' list comes into play.
Meal replacement shakes - and other meal replacement foods - get a bit of stick in popular culture, but they are healthier than a cheese sandwich, cheaper than a deli salad. And making one takes a couple of minutes rather than a whole lunch hour.
- These are the best protein bars to give you that snack fix.
The most famous of the meal replacements is probably Huel. It's the classic pick and, sure enough, years down the line it is still one of of favourites. However, it is not the meal replacement we're using right now and isn't the cheapest option out there.
We’ve picked out some of the best options on the market, helping you cut down on hour after hour of meal prep every week.
You may also want to pay attention to a trend that has sprouted up over the last few years. Companies lie Huel and Jimmy Joy also make the equivalent of healthy ready meals, and all you need to prepare them is hot water.
Upvote your favourite. And add any meal-replacers at the bottom you think deserve a fair shake.
The best meal replacement shakes
1. HuelView now at Huel
Huel is the biggie, the meal replacement you have probably heard of before. It is still great, and the company has expanded out beyond its original offering. You can now get the more protein-rich Black formulation, which costs a little more and has a whopping 40g of protein per serving. And there's the Hot & Savoury line, which is less of a meal replacement, more of simply a meal you only need boiling water to make. The standard power is still available, alongside a budget blend, which cuts down the protein per serving to 20g in order to lower costs.
2. Huel Hot & Savoury - Mac And CheezeBuy now from Huel
Huel's savoury range is something of a game changer for those who don't want a creamy shake to gulp when replacing a meal. Its latest is really bloody tasty. We've been having Mac & Cheeze from its Hot & Savoury range for lunch for a while now and it really is a decent tasting meal. It's prepped in 5 (we'd leave it a little longer if you'd rather your pasta didn't have a touch of crunch) and it's packed with protein and some 26 different minerals and vitamins.
3. Jimmy Joy
Jimmy joy has been around since 2014 and now offers both meal replacement powders and "pots", which are meals you just add hot water to — including tikka masala lentils and Cajun pasta. However, Plenny Shave v3 is what we'd consider the company's classic meal replacement. This powder makes a somewhat thinner shake than Huel, handy if you find Huel a bit thick or gloopy.
4. BeNuView now at MyProtein
MyProtein already had its Whole Fuel range, and then it decided to make BeNu too. The company has sold the both for a while now. It doesn't appear to be replacing Whole Fuel. Is it any good? BeNu is a relatively thin shake, making it both easy to prepare and easy to drink. The Cinnamon Bun flavour tastes downright decadent and its Cereal Milk is, well, just like cereal milk. Flavours here seem slightly more complex or refined than those of Whole Fuel.
5. USN Diet FuelView now at Amazon
USN’s Diet Fuel uses plant-based protein to ensure that it is suitable for vegans. Each 55g serving contains just over 200 calories, 26g of protein, and vitamin B12 and iron - both credited with supporting the immune system and a ‘normal energy-yielding metabolism’. The protein powder is available in two flavours; chocolate and strawberry.
6. The Protein Works Diet Meal ReplacementView now at Amazon
The Protein Works points to the “slow digesting carbohydrates” in its diet meal replacement product. It knows it does not just need to replace the nutrients in a traditional meal, but to keep you full afterwards. The company offers vegan and paleo protein powder for those on specific diets, as well as a range of ‘zero syrups’ (zero calories, zero carbs, zero fat and zero sugars) to add different flavours to its shakes.
7. PuritionView now at Amazon
One of the handful of UK-based companies in the meal replacement market, Purition sells supplements as well as meal replacements, but its original range is what you want to pay attention to. The company makes a big deal about including ‘real’ ingredients – think pumpkin seeds, strawberries and pistachios – and its powder comes in nine different flavours. There’s also an unflavoured option if chai latte or macadamia & vanilla flavours aren’t your bag.
8. YFood: This Is FoodView now at Amazon
German company YFood packs a huge 33g of protein into its pre-mixed drink, which has been described as ‘a meal in a bottle’ and ‘astronaut food’. As with so many of these drinks, it’s nutritionally balanced to the point that it can actually replace the nutrients from meals as well as saving you preparation of time. Its European offering is strong, with ‘Alpine Chocolate’ among the four available flavours.
Lots of the meal replacement brands on this list are vegan free, but with Feed you get products that are not only vegan, but gluten-free, lactose-free and GM-free. Which makes them a great option if you have a number of allergies or intolerances to consider. Feed have a big range of products, from savoury meal replacement powders, including tomato and carrot and pumpkin flavours, as well as ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes, including chocolate and vanilla and much more.
10. MyProtein Whole Fuel BlendView now at Amazon
MyProtein's Whole Fuel Blend is one of the best-value meal replacements, as long as you learn how its maker's site works. There's never not a promotion on at MyProtein, meaning how much a 2.5kg or 1kg bag of this stuff costs varies from week to week. Still, there's an opportunity to bag a bargain. We're big fans of the Whole Fuel Blend's vegan salted caramel powder, which offers both a great flavour and robust semi-thick texture.
11. Vega One
Unlike some other meal replacements, Vega One contains plenty of greens. Its chocolate and vanilla flavoured powder includes broccoli, kale and spinach (among other ingredients). The company is aware you won’t always need a full meal replacement, and suggests adding it to smoothie or baking recipes when you’re not just having a glass of the stuff with water, almond milk or another go-to mixer.
12. SaturoView now at Amazon
Saturo claims it keeps you full for up to five hours, making it a popular choice with those who never have time for breakfast. In each shake portion there's 25g vegan protein and 26 valuable minerals & vitamins so pretty much all you need then to set you up for the day and beyond