The 7 Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men, Expert Picked
In the current society, men are expected to go to work, be extremely productive, exercise 3-5 times a week, socialize, take care of the family, have time for their significant other, and even find time to practice their hobbies. However, finding time to do all this, eat properly, and have a healthy diet is almost impossible. This is where the best meal replacement shakes for men can be of huge help.
With the pressure of social media and the will to live longer, men are expected to be active and eat healthily. However, eating healthy often requires cooking and meal prepping, as takeaway options are filled with carbs, sugars, and unhealthy fats.
I was trapped in this rat race, eating way too many pizzas, bagels, and low-quality sandwiches. I couldn’t find time to meal prep and my body, mood, and productivity were suffering.
It was when I found meal replacement shakes that my life changed. In a matter of minutes, I could get a meal with 25g+ of protein, healthy fats, and all the essential vitamins and minerals that I was lacking in my diet.
Instantly, I felt more energized, more focused, and in a better mood. I was able to get back in shape, give my best at work, and have energy for my late-afternoon workouts.
That’s why I think that men’s meal replacement shakes will change your life, too.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Picks for Meal Replacement Shakes for Men
- Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes for Men
- #1 Instant Knockout – Best Meal Replacement Shake for Men for Weight Loss
- #2 Rootana -Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake for Men
- #3 HLTH Complete Meal – Best Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake for Men
- #4 LyfeFuel Daily Essentials – Best Low Calorie Meal Replacement Shake for Men
- #5 Ka’chava – Best Natural Meal Replacement Shake
- #6 Huel Black – Best High Protein Meal Replacement for Men
- #7 Naked Mass – Best Protein Shake for Men for Weight Gain
- Meal Replacement Powder vs Meal Replacement Shake
- Things to Look For Before Buying a Meal Replacement Shake
- How to Include A Meal Replacement Shake in Your Diet?
- Meal Replacement Shakes to Avoid as a Man
- Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men FAQ
- Conclusion – The Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men
- You Might also Be Interested In
Our Top Picks for Meal Replacement Shakes for Men
- Instant Knockout – Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men for Weight Loss
- Rootana – Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shake
- HLTH Code – Best Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake
- LyfeFuel – Best Low-Calorie Meal Replacement Shake
- Huel Black – Best High Protein Meal Replacement Shake
- Ka’chava – Best Natural Meal Replacement Shake
- Naked Mass – Best Weight Gain Meal Replacement Shake
Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes for Men
I’ve touched upon the many benefits that I saw after introducing 1 or 2 meal replacement shakes a day in my diet.
However, there are many benefits to consuming meal replacement powders as part of a healthy diet:
- Increased energy levels
- No sugar crashes
- Easy way to get in your protein
- Boost your micronutrient intake (vitamins and minerals)
- Ensure you get all the essential nutrients, like omega-3
- Better mood
- Increased productivity
- Weight loss
- Build lean body mass
- Boost your libido
- Have more time to spend with others
- Control your budget
And these are just some of the benefits that meal replacement shakes can bring you.
#1 Instant Knockout – Best Meal Replacement Shake for Men for Weight Loss
- 400kcal – 35g of protein
- Designed to keep lean body mass and weight loss by MMA athletes
- Increases workout performance and improves recovery
- Great for men that are active
- Good to build muscle
- Can pair with CUT for extra weight loss
- Only 1 flavor
Losing weight can be a tough task, particularly when you are living a busy lifestyle that limits the time you can spend working out and taking care of your diet.
That’s where Instant Knockout can help you out. Designed by MMA athletes to help them lose weight without losing lean body mass, it has 35g of plant-based protein per serving together with plenty of fiber.
Research has shown that high-protein diets are more efficient at keeping you full. Similarly, dietary fiber intake has been linked with lower body weight in epidemiologic studies. Thus, this combo is ideal to keep you full and help you in your weight loss journey.
However, this is not the only reason why Instant Knockout is one of the best weight loss meal replacement shake for men. You can also pair it with CUT, their thermogenic booster that will help you increase your metabolism, and help you burn fat faster.
All of these, without neglecting the nutritional aspect. Each serving of Instant Knockout delivers 400kcal, plenty of healthy fats including omega-3s, and 26 essential vitamins and minerals.
Unfortunately, Instant Knockout only comes in 1 flavor, but you can mix it with berries, cinnamon, or some peanut butter to transform it completely.
#2 Rootana -Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake for Men
- 0 artificial sweeteners – not even stevia
- Great for everyday used – balanced macros
- Plant-based formula, no soy, no dairy
- Dark Chocolate is delicious
- 20g of protein per serving
- It’s not gluten-free
Rootana offers one of the best value propositions.
Their meal replacement powder is fully plant-based, has 0 artificial flavors or sweeteners, and it’s one of the healthiest alternatives in the market.
As such, Rootana is the perfect meal replacement shake for men that are conscious about their budget, but want something healthy.
It comes with 400kcal per serving, 21g of protein, 7g of fiber, 16g of healthy fats, and 27 vitamins and minerals. All from real food ingredients, and without low-quality ingredients like maltodextrin or syrups.
Rootana uses plant-based proteins. A blend of pea protein and brown rice protein provides you with a full amino acid profile.
Considering the recent publications about the negative effects artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols might have on our bodies, it’s also pleasant to see that Rootana doesn’t have any – which is rare.
On top of that, Rootana shakes are some of the best-tasting meal replacement shakes that we’ve tried. The Dark Cacao is absolutely mind-blowing. It mixes perfectly into a smooth rich cacao shake.
#3 HLTH Complete Meal – Best Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake for Men
- 4g of net carbs, keto-friendly
- 1:1 protein-to-fat ratio ideal for nutrient absorption
- Great for fat burning
- Easy to drink
- Includes digestive enzymes, probiotics and 9g of fibre
- High in fats – optimal for keto
- Contains dairy
Are you following a keto diet or want a low-carb meal shake?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. HLTH’s formula only has 4g of net carbs, which makes it ideal to keep your body in a fat-burning state.
This makes HLTH one of the best meal replacement shake for men’s weight loss, as it comes with 27g of premium protein as well. Plus, it is one of the few meal replacement shakes that includes whey protein.
Designed by metabolic doctor Ben Bikman, it has a 1:1 protein-to-fat ratio optimized for fat burning and nutrient absorption. It also includes digestive enzymes, apple cider vinegar and multiple sources of protein to make sure you are absorbing all the protein.
Not only that, but each serving comes with 50% of your daily values for vitamins and minerals!
When it comes to taste, HLTH Complete Meal is a thinner shake than the rest, and unlike other keto meal replacement shakes, it’s easy to drink and digest. It does not give you any stomach pains.
It might also help you fight brain fog and avoid any kind of carb/sugar crash. Thus, helping you with productivity.
#4 LyfeFuel Daily Essentials – Best Low Calorie Meal Replacement Shake for Men
- Low in calories but high in nutrients
- 110kcal, with 20g of protein
- Vegan, soy-free, no artificial sweeteners, gluten-free
- Has added digestive enzymes, probiotics, and adaptogens
- Highest in protein/calorie
- Great as post-workout supershake
- Not very affordable
- Only 2 flavors
This is one of our favorite meal replacement shakes and often the top 1 on our lists.
In this case, it’s also one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss for men, due to the low caloric output. That’s, ironically, the reason why it’s lower on this list, though.
Even if LyfeFuel Daily Essentials is the healthiest meal replacement shake you can buy, men tend to need more calories – and LyfeFuel is a little low, with 110kcal per serving. Of course, you can always add some milk, peanut butter or bananas to the mix, but we are looking for shakes that make our lives easier.
And I say this, even when I consume LyfeFuel regularly.
However, if you don’t mind the lower caloric output, then LyfeFuel Daily Essential is an incredibly nutritious meal. It comes with plenty of plant based proteins, omega-3, fiber, superfoods, antioxidants, and adaptogens. It will take care of your gut health.
It is a nutrient bomb that will enhance your health like no other meal replacement. It will energize you, help your hair and skin, boost your mood, and help you fight aging. A great meal replacement shake for men over 50 or those following a low calorie diet.
That said, LyfeFuel Daily Essentials is also ideal as a protein shake replacement to have after your workouts and promote muscle growth. This is the primary way I use it and it has greatly enhance my recovery.
#5 Ka’chava – Best Natural Meal Replacement Shake
- Real food ingredients, 70+added superfoods, digestive enzymes
- 240kcal, 25g of protein, and all the vitamins and minerals
- No artificial sweeteners, no-gmo, no gluten, no soy
- A super healthy meal
- Can help you with focus and mood
- Very expensive
- Best to use blender to mix
Ka’chava is a premium superfood blend.
It’s a close competitor of LyfeFuel, and it comes with 75+ superfoods, 25g of vegan protein per serving, and all the essential nutrients your body needs.
All from whole food ingredients and without any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or additives. This makes Ka’chava an incredibly nutritious meal and one of the most complete meal replacement shakes for men.
A balanced meal, that is gluten-free, has zero artificial sweeteners, and will put in shame on most meal replacement shakes.
Unfortunately, this comes at a cost, as this meal replacement drink is also one of the most expensive in the market.
As such, we can only recommend it to those who want an extremely healthy meal and are willing to pay the price for it.
If you do, however, you won’t regret it, and you will have the chance to choose from 5 exciting flavors including Coconut Acai, Chai, or Matcha.
#6 Huel Black – Best High Protein Meal Replacement for Men
- 40g of protein per 400kcal
- Plant-based, gluten free, no soy
- Sweetened with sugar and stevia
- 6+ flavors to choose from
- Very affordable
- Super popular
- Chocolate is pretty bad
- Not the tastiest
If your aim is to build lean muscle and muscle growth, you might be looking for a meal replacement shake that’s high in protein.
Above, we’ve mentioned three excellent options (Instant Knockout, HLTH and LyfeFuel), but Huel Black cannot be forgotten.
Each 400kcal serving comes with 40g of vegan protein, all essential nutrients, and a balanced meal that’s gluten free and soy free.
Huel is well known for their focus on nutrition, and Huel Black is their low-carb, high protein meal replacement without any artificial sweeteners – but has stevia! It is the ideal meal replacement to replace protein shakes or to have after your workout.
It can be used to gain weight or as part of a balanced diet.
Another positive thing about Huel Black is that it comes in over 6 flavors, even though they recently got rid of their best flavor (Peanut Butter). I recommend going for Salted Caramel, now.
#7 Naked Mass – Best Protein Shake for Men for Weight Gain
- Designed as weight gainer
- 1,250kcal per serving!
- Clean formula, without fillers, artificial additives or sweeteners
- Whey-based premium blend (vegan also available)
- Super effective
- Lacks essential nutrients
- Only for building mass
Naked Mass is not a complete meal or a pure meal replacement shake.
Rather, it’s a protein shake high in calories designed to help you gain weight. It’s a close competitor of other great weight gainers like ON Serious Mass, and it’s aim is to help you build muscle mass.
If you are looking to increase your calorie intake this is the best protein powder for Men.
Naked Mass offers a clean formula without any of the nasty fillers other protein powder might have. This with just 3 ingredients: organic maltodextrin, whey protein isolate, and micellar casein.
This should be your go to option if you are looking for a high calorie shake, as it has 1,250kcal per serving!
That said, make sure that you have Naked Mass as part of a balanced diet and maybe even have it with other meal replacements to ensure that you are getting the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs!
BONUS: HolFood – Whey-Based Meal Replacement Shake for Men
- 35g of whey-based protein per serving
- 400kcal, and all essential nutrients included
- Chocolate is like a milkshake
- Mixes incredibly well
- 2 flavors only
- Only in the US
Hol Food is a Canadian meal replacement shake company that has some of the best high-protein meal replacement shakes.
Their blend includes 35g of whey protein, unlike most other brands on this list that use plant based protein. Whey protein is one of the best sources of protein with high absorbability and a great amino acid profile to promote lean muscle growth.
Like the best meal replacement shakes, it provides you with all essential nutrients, plenty of fiber, has low sugar content and includes 26 essential vitamins and minerals.
This meal replacement powder is also ultra tasty, thanks to whey protein. Hol Food’s meal replacement drinks are like milkshakes. The Chocolate is fantastic, and an absolute treat.
A meal replacement shake worth looking if you live in the US.
Meal Replacement Powder vs Meal Replacement Shake
This is a topic that I’ve covered in other articles, but if you are doubting whether you need a meal replacement shake or a protein powder, here’s a brief summary.
The best meal replacements will provide you with protein PLUS all the essential nutrients your body needs. This includes healthy fats (like omega-3), vitamins (vit A, vit B, vit E…), minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc…), fiber and carbs.
Thus, complete meal replacement shakes are able to replace full meals.
On the contrary, a protein powder (whether is a plant based protein or a whey protein) cannot replace a meal and it’s to boost the protein intake.
We’ve covered the best high protein meal replacement shakes here.
Things to Look For Before Buying a Meal Replacement Shake
Buying the best meal replacement possible can be a daunting task.
There are dozens of meal replacement shakes in the market, all claiming they are the best, and that they come with hundreds of health benefits.
So how do you choose the best meal replacement?
Here are a few criteria we followed when choosing the best meal replacement shakes for men:
- Budget. Not everyone can afford to pay $5/meal, so we have looked at meal replacements that fit different budgets.
- Vegan Meal Replacement? Being vegan is trendy and might have many environmental benefits. As such, we’ve looked for a few options that include vegan protein and vegan essential vitamins.
- Gluten free? Soy Free? Dairy Free? One of the main advantages of meal replacement is that they are very allergen friendly. No matter your intolerancy, you will find a meal replacement powder that will fit your needs.
- Complete Meal Replacement. Many popular brands, like Lean Meal shake replacement or Slim Fast protein shake or Truefit meal replacement shakes fail to deliver all essential vitamins and minerals or don’t have enough omega-3. Unfortunately, many of them do not offer a complete meal, and they are a waste of money.
- Ethically sourced. We always advocate for meal replacement shakes that are ethically sourced.
- What’s your goal? Whether you want to lose weight or increase muscle mass, you will find your ideal meal replacement shake in this list!
- Transparent label. All meal replacement shake powder should have a transparent label. Do not trust meal replacements that hide their ingredients under proprietary blends as they often not have enough protein or might lack other nutrients.
How to Include A Meal Replacement Shake in Your Diet?
Meal replacements are incredibly flexible and can be used in a variety of ways.
Most people like to swap their breakfast or lunch for a meal replacement shake.
However, there is no ideal time to drink meal replacement shakes. You are free to choose, and as such, you can consume them after a workout, before a workout, during a long and sustained exercise (like a marathon), for lunch, for dinner…
In my case, I like to start the day with a high protein meal. The best meal replacement shakes for men allow me to have a boost of plant based protein in the morning (about 25g!) without having to cook.
Meal replacement shakes also don’t require any meal planning, which takes a lot of weight of my shoulders!
Plus, if you are one of those that need caffeine in the morning, there are caffeine energy meal replacement shakes to choose from.
Meal Replacement Shakes to Avoid as a Man
Sadly, there are many commercial meal replacement powder brands that you should avoid at all costs.
Some of these include popular names like Slim Fast, Atkins, Herbalife or Shakeology.
The problem with these meal replacement shakes is often one of the following:
- They don’t provide you with enough fat content. This is extremely important as men need fat for testosterone production, protecting organs, and ensure healthy body.
- Often don’t have enough dietary fiber.
- Might lack essential nutrients, thus they don’t offer a complete meal.
- They have terrible customer service and awful customer experiences.
- Their focus is often not to improve your diet, but to sell you their product.
Honestly, stay away from these meal replacements.
Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men FAQ
Yes, meal replacements can be a healthy addition to any balanced diet. They provide all essential nutrients in a drink, helping you maximize your meals.
Most people swap a shake for breakfast or lunch, but you can take them whenever you prefer.
A complete meal will provide you with fats, carbs, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, following the nutritional guidelines. Thus, you will get all your body needs within 1 meal.
Protein shakes aim to boost your protein intake. Meal replacement are designed to boost your meals, thus containing more ingredients, nutrients and calories.
Conclusion – The Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Men
Luckily, finding a good meal replacement shake is not hard.
However, finding the best meal replacement powder can be a little more daunting, due to the plethora of options that are available out there.
You will find complete meal replacement powders with plant based protein or whey protein, for weight gain or weight loss, gluten free and/or without soy!
But when it comes to the best, after testing dozens of meal replacement shakes, I believe that Instant Knockout will be your best choice.
That said, if you are looking for a value-oriented meal replacement shake, then Rootana will be an excellent choice.
Whatever your goal is, I hope that you find the meal replacement shake that works for you on this list!