Meal Replacement Shakes - A Healthy Choice
replacements came into prominence several years ago, when a company called
Met-Rx introduced a unique formula that was unlike anything else on the market.
This revolutionary product was billed as a means to build
muscle and reduce
bodyfat. They go by many names: Myoplex,
Rx-Fuel, Met-Rx, etc. They are ideal for bodybuilders, dieters and those who are
these products are a high
moderate carbohydrate food source that is rich in
They are designed to provide a maximal amount of nutrients in a format that is
not inclined to promote significant body fat storage. Per serving these powders
usually contain 250-300 calories, 35-45 gm of protein, 20-25 gm of
carbohydrates, and 2-4 gm of fat. They also have between 50-100% of the RDAs for
most of the major vitamins and minerals. Protein sources typically consist of
whey, calcium caseinate, milk protein isolates, sodium caseinate, and egg
albumin, which are all derived from milk and egg. Carbohydrate sources usually
consist of maltodextrin (short glucose chains), corn syrup solids, or sucrose
(table sugar). Fat comes in the form of partially hydrogenated oils such as
canola or coconut oils.
Unlike many of today's popular "diet shakes", meal replacements are very
low in simple sugars. Because simple sugars
are rapidly assimilated into your blood stream, they tend to cause a
corresponding surge in your insulin levels. This oversecretion of insulin
produces a spillover effect that is directly associated with increased fat
storage. In fact, sugar-based products can actually promote greater bodyfat
levels than high fat foods, making them highly undesirable for maintaining a
lean, healthy physique. Instead of simple sugars, meal replacements use
maltodextrin as their primary carbohydrate source. This wheat-based derivative
is complex in nature and thus enters your blood stream in a "time released"
manner. This helps to stabilize insulin secretions, minimizing the potential for
excess fat deposition.
These products obtain their protein from high-quality
whey and egg sources rather
than cheaper alternatives. By nature, whey and egg proteins are maximally
absorbed into your body. This allows a greater amount of
protein to be utilized for important
functions such as tissue growth and repair-a critical factor if you are a
As a rule, meal replacements are best utilized as an adjunct to a
well-balanced nutritional regimen - not as a substitute for natural foods. They
fill a specific dietary niche, but by no means are a complete source of
nutrition. Hence, their overuse can lead to a disparity in dietary ratios as
well as a deficiency in vital nutrients. Combining meal replacements with
natural foods is the best way to satisfy all of your nutritional requirements,
ensuring an optimal intake of nutrients.
practice, it is best to eat a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner, using shakes
as "interim" meals. It is widely recognized that a diet consisting of small,
frequent meals (five or six a day) spaced out every two to three hours provides
optimal nutritional utility. Eating in this fashion increases metabolic
function, regulates blood sugar levels and stabilizes various hormonal
processes, allowing your body to operate at peak efficiency. Furthermore, it
helps to suppress hunger and thus prevent the temptation to snack on "empty
calorie" foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar. Since meal replacements
are convenient and easy to prepare, they facilitate your ability to consume
quality nutrients at regular intervals without expending a great deal of effort.
On the other hand, meal replacements will not directly build your muscles or
make you stronger. There is a prevailing misconception that they have powerful,
"steroid-like effects" that will miraculously transform your body from fat to
fit. However, despite the hype, muscular development can only be achieved
Although consuming adequate dietary protein will aid in the muscle building
process when combined with a dedicated weight-training regimen, simply adding
meal replacements to your diet will have no effect on building better muscles!
Benefit of meal replacement Shakes:
are conveniently packaged in powder form and can be mixed into an
easy-to-drink shake in a matter of minutes.
Meal replacements are very low in simple sugars.
They helps to suppress hunger and thus prevent the temptation to
on "empty calorie"
foods that are high in fat and sugar. However, the majority of people find
it difficult to adhere to this rigid schedule.
People who don't eat nutritious whole foods could also benefit by
substituting a meal replacement shake for a typical high-fat, high-calorie
At a cost of less than two dollars per
they are, without question, a cost-effective way to get a quick meal.
They are a healthful, well-conceived food source that provides a convenient,
cost-effective way to supplement your diet. They can be a very attractive
nutritional option with wide ranging applications.
Word of Caution:
There is a prevailing misconception that they have powerful,
steroid-like effects and will miraculously transform you into a muscular
Adonis. However, despite the hype, muscular size can only be increased
through intense anaerobic exercise. Although they can help in the muscle
building process when combined with a dedicated
simply adding meal replacements to your diet will have no effect on building
since the protein is animal-based in nature, these products would be
inappropriate to those on a strict
Their overuse can lead to a disparity in dietary ratios as well as a
deficiency in vital nutrients.
Moreover, when consumed in excess, the high protein content can
sometimes be damaging to your system, potentially leading to kidney ailments
and other maladies
In final analysis, while meal replacements are not a panacea, they certainly
can play a role in your nutritional scheme.