The 7 Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes in 2023 (Actually Tasty)
Meal replacement shakes and protein powders have always had a bad reputation when it comes to taste. “Chalky”, “artificial”, “undrinkable”, “sandy”… and many more negative adjectives have been often used to describe them.
Well, I rounded up a list of the best tasting meal replacement shakes to bust this myth and show you how far the industry has evolved.
Truthfully, during the last 10-15 years both the meal replacement industry and the protein industry have made huge leaps forward, and there are now some incredibly delicious shakes. Don’t get me wrong, you can still get a crappy, unmixable shake, but you will find none of them here.
I’ve personally tested over 300 shakes, and I must say that 95% of my experience has been positive. However, only the best tasting shakes have made it to this list.
#1 Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shake
Rootana Real Food Shake
- Best-tasting chocolate shake
- No artificial sweeteners
- Plant-based, without soy
- 21g of protein, 400kcal
#2 Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shake
LYFEfuel Daily Essentials
- Perfect for Women
- Ultra healthy
- Plant-based, 34 real food ingredients, no soy, no gluten
- 110kcal, 18g of protein, 9g of fiber
Our Top Picks for Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes
For those who want to know the answer of what the best tasting shakes are, here is a brief overview:
- Rootana – Best Tasting Meal Shake
- LYFEfuel Daily Essentials – Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shake for Women
- HLTH Complete Meal – Best Tasting Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake
- Ka’Chava – Best Tasting Vegan Shake
- Huel Ready to Drink 2.0 – Best Tasting Vegan Ready to Drink Meal Replacement
- Vegan Complete 360 – Best Tasting Shake in the UK
- YFood – Best Tasting Shake in EU
A little bonus for those who are interested in the best-tasting protein powders:
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
- MyProtein Impact Whey
- LYFEfuel Recovery
- Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey
How Did We Rank the Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes
So why should you trust us?
Over the past 5 years, Latestfuels has been the leading website when it comes to meal replacement shakes. We’ve tested over 200 products in a fair, unbiased, and fact-based way.
For this ranking of the best tasting meal shakes, we’ve taken all the meal replacement shakes into consideration and rank them according to the following criteria:
- First Impression Taste. How good does the shake taste the first time you have it?
- Long-term Taste. Does the meal shake get boring after a while?
- Texture and Consistency. We tend to prefer a thicker, more consistent, better-blended shake.
- Mixability. We hate dealing with clumps or bits that don’t mix.
- Nutrition. Ultimately, the best meal replacement shakes should be able to provide you with all you need, and not rely solely on taste.
This last point is something I want to remark on. It’s quite easy to make a meal replacement shake taste good by adding tons of sugars, highly processed ingredients, and syrups. Examples of this include Herbalife, Lean Body Labrada, Atkins Shakes…
We take nutrition very seriously, and we will only recommend meal replacement shakes that actually benefit your health, not harm it.
Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes
1. Rootana Plant-Based Meal Replacement Shakes — Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shake
Below, we list some meal replacement shakes fall in the premium category and might not fit everyone’s budget. However, you don’t need to pay extra to have an excellent-tasting meal replacement drink.
Rootana offers 95% (in terms of nutrition) of what the healthiest meal replacements do (LyfeFuel, for instance), but at less than half the price per calorie.
Besides, Rootana is still a great plant-based shake that has all essential nutrients per meal. It just has fewer vegetables and fruits (greens), so it’s not as rich in phytonutrients (non-essential nutrients).
What you will get is a 400kcal vegan shake, with 20g of protein, plenty of fiber, all the omega-3 you need, and no soy or artificial sweeteners. Not even stevia or other natural sugar alternatives.
In fact, Rootana uses organic coconut sugar instead to sweeten the shakes, and this is clearly noticeable in the taste. It is cleaner and without any weird aftertaste artificial sweeteners can leave in your mouth. Furthermore, with recent studies showing some concerns about the effect of artificial sweeteners on the gut microbiota, we appreciate having a clean shake.
More importantly, the Chocolate shake is incredible. It’s more raw, dark and natural than many other chocolate shakes. It’s not like the sweet milkshakes (keyword milk), but rather closer to a 85% Cacao chocolate bar. This flavor profile often is better liked by men.
That said, we think anyone will enjoy Rootana shakes.
2. LYFEfuel Daily Essentials Shake – Best Tasting Meal Shake for Women
LYFEfuel Daily Essentials is our #1 pick for the best tasting meal replacement shake for women for a few reasons:
- Lower calorie content better fitted for women
- Excellent nutrition
- Rich in vitamins & minerals that women lack
- Incredible taste, never gets boring, and it’s easy to mix
- Sweeter than Rootana, generally does better with women on tasting tryouts
Regarding the nutritional value LYFEfuel offers, there’s little to complain about. In just 110kcal, it offers you 18g of protein, 27 vitamins and minerals (in high quantities), omega-3, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, organic greens, antioxidants and more.
It’s a plant-based meal replacement shake without soy, artificial sweeteners or gluten, which makes it very friendly to your gut. They use sustainably sourced ingredients that are minimally processed so that they lessen the loss of any nutrient.
But what about the taste?
Well, the first impression (first taste) is not the best on this list. While you will still enjoy LYFEfuel, you might find it a little bland and lacking flavor. This is because your palate is used to the bombardment of senses that artificially strengthen food provides you. Still, you will find it nice and clean.
In the longer run, you will find that LYFEfuel is amazing. That’s what happened to us. It’s nice to have daily, we don’t really get bored of it, and it has help me cleanse my palate. The texture is pretty good, albeit I like to blend mine.
Besides, when I need more calories, I can easily add a banana and peanut butter (1 scoop) to make my special LYFEfuel Banana PB shake without feeling guilty about eating too much.
In summary, LYFEfuel Daily Essentials is ideal as a diet shake, but also as a daily boost to your health. It will make your meals something that you are really looking forward to.
3. HLTH Code Complete — Best Tasting Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake
Are you looking for a keto meal replacement shake or a low-carb shake to fit your diet? Are you afraid that it will taste awful?
Don’t worry, HLTH Code Complete Meal is what you are looking for. For a while, we tested all the keto shakes in the market (Sated, KetoChow, Atkins, Ketologic…) and HLTH Code stood out for its tastes from the start.
This low-carb meal replacement shake was designed by Dr. Ben Bikman, a specialist in human metabolism and nutrition. Its aim is to provide a nutritious shake that takes us away from the potential drawbacks of excessive carbohydrate consumption (sugar) and increases the number of healthy fats we consume.
For that, HLTH uses a very unique formula with a 1:1 protein-to-fat ratio (27g of each) that increases the absorption of nutrients. They boost this with digestive enzymes that help break protein and other nutrients down, so you get all the benefits from what you are eating.
All that said, HLTH also excels at taste. It has a better first impression, it’s more likable, than some others on this list, and it’s also considerably thinner. Personally, we prefer thicker textures, but this does make HLTH easier to consume.
Both flavors offered are great, but Chocolate Macadamia is usually our go-to.
4. Ka’chava Meal Replacement Shakes —
The truth is, when it comes to the best-tasting vegan meal replacement shakes, the competition is extremely tough. In fact, LYFEfuel and Ka’chava are so close to each other, that our Editor, Johnny, and the Editor in Chief, Enaut, go back and forth between the two.
One thing that Ka’chava has vs LYFEfuel Daily Essentials is the variety in flavors. It offers 6 excellent tasting shakes including Vanilla, Chocolate, Chai, Coconut Acai, and Matcha. Plus, the average is an A with some S meal shakes in there.
That’s why Johnny loves Ka’chava, although he admits that it’s better when you blend it with some ice. You can read his in-depth thoughts about the taste in the Ka’chava review.
So why do we think LYFEfuel is the best tasting meal shake?
Well, it comes to personal preference – we think it mixes slightly better and the consistency of the shakes is more pleasant-, but also because nutritionally is 0.1% better (that’s how close things are).
In fact, Ka’chava has always been known for being one of the healthiest shakes you can buy. It’s made with a blend of 80+ superfoods that provide you with all essential nutrients (protein, carb, fat, vitamins and minerals), plus some extras to boost your health (digestive enzymes, probiotics, adaptogens…).
5. Huel Ready-to-Drink 2.0 — Best Tasting Vegan Ready-to-Drink Shake
There is no denying that ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes have a more achieved texture and consistency than most-powder based meals. Due to their industrial mixing, the drink has a better consistency (although you do need to shake it before using it), and it’s refreshing to enjoy from time to time.
For a while, Huel used to have the worst-tasting RTDs in the market, but with the launch of the new version(2.0), they flip their position in their standings. Huel RTD is the best tasting RTD in the market, and can be bought in the US, UK, and EU.
We absolutely adore Salted Caramel and Iced Caramel Mocha, two of the most refreshing and tasty meal replacement shakes. Particularly after leaving them chill overnight in the fridge.
Plus, with RTDs you have the convenience factor. They require 0 prep and you can easily consume them on the go or at work. You don’t have to make any mess with the powder.
That said, there are some drawbacks to Huel RTD 2.0. When it comes to taste, there’s no denying that they are heavily flavored and quite sweet. In the long term, they can be a little tiring and that’s where others powder-based meal replacements do better.
Furthermore, because the RTD is pre-mixed with water, some nutrients don’t last as long. So usually, they are less nutrient-dense than our top meal replacement shakes (LYFEfuel, Ka’chava…). Huel RTD does not have any probiotics, or greens, for instance.
Nevertheless, it will still provide you with all essential nutrients, 400kcal per meal, 22g of protein and no soy.
6. Vegan Complete 360 Meal — Best Tasting Shake in the UK
I, Enaut, love Vegan Complete 360 Meal, and I truly think it’s one of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK.
It offers incredible value for the price, with top-quality nutrition and a superb-tasting shake. While it’s true that not all flavors are as great as Double Milk Chocolate, the average is pretty high. Personally, I love the thicker texture of the shakes, makes me feel a lot fuller.
However, it is true that all flavors are quite sweet, thus, it can get tiring if you consume it regularly or if you don’t enjoy sweet shakes as much.
Nutritionally, it aligns with what we enjoy the most. A high protein meal with plenty of fiber to keep you full and support your lean body mass. It is also low in sugars, fully plant-based and has all essential nutrients. It’s all your body really needs.
7. YFood — Best Whey-Based Tasting Shake
Are you looking for a meal replacement shake that tastes like a milkshake?
Then YFood is the brand that you are looking for. We adore the taste of YFood RTDs and meal replacement powders. They are super tasty, milky, sweet and easy to like.
In fact, it’s the one brand we are certain that 95% of people will enjoy at the first sip. It’s familiar, and with strong flavors. Our favorites include Alpine Chocolate and Coconut (mix them to get chocolate-coconut flavor), and they are often part of our “cheat meals”.
It’s not that YFood shakes are unhealthy, as a matter of fact, they are Nutriscore A and 90% healthier than anything else you eat. However, when comparing it to the best there are a few nutritional aspects that are not as great.
For instance, it’s high in sugars, although it’s all from milk. It also has more processed ingredients, which means that it will have fewer non-essential nutrients. It’s also likely to create a slightly higher blood-spike than most other meal replacement shakes listed here.
That said, if tastes is truly what matters most to you, YFood will be the brand for you.
Best Tasting Protein Powders
Let’s have a brief overlook of the best tasting protein shakes then.
Best Tasting Vegan Protein Shake
- Fully plant-based, 25 real food ingredients, no artificial sweeteners
- 25g of protein, 4.5g of BCAAs, rich in vitamins and minerals
- Clean, not very sweet taste
Best Tasting Whey Isolate Protein
Transparent Labs 100% Grass-fed
- Only premium 100% grass-fed whey
- 90% protein, 28g per serving
- Best-tasting Vanilla shake
- No artificial additives
Best Tasting Protein Shake in the UK
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
- 25g of premium whey-based protein, 5g of BCAAs
- Optimal absorption
- Best-tasting Chocolate shake
- 5-star from 2k reviews
Best Tasting Pea Protein Shake
Naked Pea Protein
- 25g of pea protein per serving
- No extra fillers
- Sweetened with sugar
- Improved amino acid profile
Best Tasting Cheap Protein Powder
MyProtein Impact Whey
- Most affordable protein powder
- Up to 15 tasty flavors
- Cookies n’ Cream and Cinnamon Cereal are amazing
- 20g of protein and 4.5g of BCAAs
Best Tasting Organic Protein Shake
Orgain Organic Protein Powder
- 21g of full organic protein
- 9 delicious flavors
- No added sugars and no artificial sweeteners
Best Tasting Natural Vegan Protein Shake
- Added mushrooms for extra health benefits
- Delicious, silky texture
- Increases your energy levels
- Creamy cacao is perfect
Best Tasting Protein Shake for Women
- Fewer calories per serving
- Extra sweet and delicious
- #1 Women’s Choice in multiple contests
- Start with Cookies n’ Cream
The truth is that there are many options for great-tasting protein powders, and it will ultimately depend on what you are looking for.
For instance, finding a tasty whey-based protein shake has been easy for a while, since most of the protein powders available were whey-based.
However, during the last decade, there has been a raise in super tasty plant-based protein powders, and long are gone the days when vegan protein drinks were chalky.
In fact, most of our favorite protein powders are plant-based (coincidence).
Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes FAQ
Yes, of course. Meal replacement shakes can be incredibly delicious and a meal that you will look forward to. The taste and texture of complete food shakes has improved massively, and it’s hard to find a bad meal shake, nowadays.
The best tasting meal replacement shake is LYFEfuel Daily Essential, and the best tasting protein shake is Recovery. If you are looking for a whey-based protein look at Optimum Nutrition.
Meal replacement shakes are extremely healthy. They are the only meals that provide you with all the essential nutrients your body needs. They have been designed to be as nutritious as possible, and they undergo strict 3rd party tests to ensure safety.
That will largely depend on your needs, but we recommend having between 1-3. Some people do 100% liquid diet but we recommend asking a doctor and doing regular check-ups before doing so.
Yes! There are plenty in fact. Some of our favorites include LYFEfuel Recovery, Wondershake, Optimum Gold Standard…
Protein shakes have improved massively, and they are closer to a milkshake. Plus, there are multiple flavors to choose from, including Banana, Cookies n’ Creme, Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, Salted Caramel…
Conclusion – The Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shake is LYFEfuel Daily
In our mind, there’s a lot of competition for the best-tasting meal replacement shakes. The average quality of shakes has improved drastically, and finding a bad one is harder than finding a good one.
However, after having tested over 300 meal replacement shakes, we believe that Rootana is the tastiest meal drink you can have.
Their Chocolate shake is raw, dark and extremely enjoyable.
Closely followed by LyfeFuel Daily Essentials, which is nutritionally slightly better. LyfeFuel can be better fitted with women, it’s sweeter and lower in calories than Rootana.
If you are looking for the best-tasting protein powder, instead, we recommend LYFEfuel Recovery (vegan) or Transparent Labs 100% Whey (vegetarian).