11 of The Best Meal Replacement Shakes in the UK (2020)
Looking for a healthy quick bite? Tired of your meal deal sandwiches? Looking to lose weight and improve your health? Struggling to find meals that are high in protein and you can consume on the go? Struggle no more with this list of best meal replacement shakes in the UK.
I have often found myself in similar positions, first during my studies at the University of Bath, and later while working. During these times, complete foods have allowed me to eat healthy, stay within my budget, and keep a positive mindset.
In order to make it easy for you to get started, I have made this list with the top complete foods available in the UK. I have taken into account my experiences over the past 3 years; and shared my expertise on the topic by creating this best of UK list.
Latestfuel’s Top 3 Meal Replacements in the UK
Meet the Expert
I’m Enaut, the owner of Latestfuels and I dedicate my life to testing all the meal replacement shakes in the market.
Over the past two years, I’ve been lucky enough to convert my passion into my job. I care about the details and I try to provide with the finest information to the readers. Then, you can feel safe with the choice that you make.
Enjoy your meal shake!
Best Meal Replacements For Weight Loss in the UK
1. Diet Extreme
Best Low Fat
- A formula low in fat and high in protein and fibre
- 13 flavours to choose from; including Chocolate Peanut and Banana Sundae
- Improved taste and texture
- Only 207kcal per shake
- Not vegan friendly
- Not suitable for coeliac’s
The Protein Works is a very reputable and successful UK supplement company. They have a wide array of protein powders, snacks, multivitamins etc. One of my favourite items in their catalogue is Diet Meal Replacement Extreme, an ideal shake for weight loss.
There’s a lot to like. For instance, their extensive catalogue of flavours: up to 13! While I haven’t had the pleasure of trying all of them, the ones I have tried have been very smooth and tasty. Perhaps too tasty…
Furthermore, I like their high protein low fat formula – different from the other options. Both fibre and protein are very efficient at keeping you satiated. On top of that, The Protein Works adds CLA, MCTs, konjac glucomannan, green tea extract and acetyl-L-carnitine to help you to lose some extra pounds. These supplements are very common among people that are looking to lose weight.
Make use of their fast next day delivery and get one of the best weight loss meal replacements with ease. Plus, get a 40% discount with the code LATESTFUELS40!
There’s also a vegan diet shake for those looking for plant-based alternatives.
|per serving||Diet Extreme||RI (%)
Ingredients (Banana Sundae): Protein blend (soy protein, whey protein isolate, micellar casein), oats, maltodextrin, dietary fibre (inulin), flavouring, vitamin & mineral blend, medium chain triglycerides, glucose syrup solids, microencapsulated conjugated linoleic acid, konjac glucomannan, thickener (xanthan gum), green tea extract, salt, acetyl-L-carnitine, sweetener (sucralose), colouring (curcumin).
Diet Extreme contains soy, milk and oats.
Good For: People that want smaller meals to lose weight.
2. Keto Meal Shake
- Keto shakes are great for weight loss in short diets
- Delicious chocolate flavour
- Real food shake
- Vegan, no GMO ingredients, no soy
- Only one flavour available
- Recommended for ketogenic diets
Ambronite’s new Keto Meal Shake is ideal for those looking to lose some weight. Ketogenic diets restrict the amount of carbohydrates you consume in order to put your body in a fat burning stage. Thus, with this shake you can easily have a keto meal without having to worry to count your carbs.
Even if you are not following a ketogenic diet, you will find Keto Meal Shake very filling and satisfying. Made with ingredients that you will recognize, it is optimized to help you with digestion and make you feel better. You can also purchase Ambrogreens, which will give you a boost for your green and veggies without adding many calories. All together it will ensure that you can lose weight savely and healthily, getting the nutrients that your body needs.
One one of the downsides of Ambronite product is the price, since they are a premium brand. Thus, you can use the code LATESTFUELS to get 25% OFF in your order and/or buy in bulk for better prices.
Keto Meal Shake has a lovely creamy chocolate taste. It’s a rich and lingering chocolate flavour; that you can only achieve in the top quality shakes. In fact, it doesn’t taste anything like the artificial flavourings, which is very refreshing.
|per serving||Keto Meal Shake||RI (%)
Ingredients: Sunflower lecithin, Complete Plant Protein™ (pea protein, sunflower seed protein, pumpkin seed protein), cacao (14 %), MCT powder (coconut oil, acacia fiber), coconut milk, xylitol, natural flavours, almond, psyllium, chia seed, vegetable powders (spinach, carrot, beetroot, nettle), nutritional yeast, mineral salt, spirulina, natural digestive enzyme (bromelain, Ananas comosus), ProbioVita™ live bacterial cultures (Bacillus coagulans), stevia, maltodextrin.
As for all ketogenic meal replacements, this is mainly healthy fats with added MCT from coconut. You will also get some of the vitamins and minerals you need from spinach, carrot and neetle.
Keto Meal Shake contains coconut.
Good For: People looking to burn fat.
3. Huel Black
- Packed with protein: 40g per serving; and fiber
- Low carbohydrate mix, ideal for weight loss
- Made in the UK
- Vegan, non-GMO, soy free
- No added sweetners
- Tastes a bit too much like pea protein
- Only 2 flavours available
Huel’s one of the leading brand in the world, and the UK based company has especially good terms in their home country. Their latest product, Huel Black, is packed with protein and fiber, which are key for satiety and ultimately help you lose weight.
In fact, their high protein, low carb mix is great for anybody looking to lose weight. You can avoid excessive carbs, feel very full from a single meal and still get all the protein you need and more. All this, packed with all the nutrients that your body needs (vitamins and minerals included) and some probiotics to help you digest.
Huel Black is currently available in two flavours: Vanilla and Chocolate. While opinions vary, I found Vanilla to fit better with me; since chocolate had too much of pea protein taste. Both are fairly smooth and easy to drink, though. Since the minimum order is two bags of 17 meals, I recommend you buying one flavour for each bag.
Huel Black has a more earthy taste, with strong pea protein background. I found Vanilla to be the better of the two; since chocolate can taste slightly odd and artificial.
|per serving||Black||RI (%)
Ingredients: Pea Protein, Ground Flaxseed, Brown Rice Protein, Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Oil Powder, Organic Coconut Sugar, Natural Flavor, Maltodextrin, Medium-Chain Triglyceride Powder (from Coconut), Xanthan Gum, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Corn Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Steviol Glycosides, Kombucha Tea Powder, Green Tea Extract Powder,, Vitamin C, Bacillus Coagulans MTCC5856, Niacinamide, Lutein, Calcium-D-Pantothenate, Lycopene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Retinyl Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zeaxanthin, Menaquinone-7, L-Methylfolate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D2 (as Ergocalciferol), Plant-Derived Vitamin D3 (as Cholecalciferol), Cyanocobalamin.
Huel Black does contain some added sugars from Organic Coconut, in order to avoid sweeteners like sucralose or stevia. It also contains kombucha, green tea extract and the previously mentioned bacillus coagulans (probiotic).
Huel Black contains coconut.
Good For: Those who are looking for a high protein shake to fuel their exercise while the lose weight.
Best Powder Meals in the UK
1. Ambronite Complete Meal Shake
- Great to boost your health
- Real food based shakes
- Great bulk discounts
- Vegan, non-GMO, lactose-free, wheat free
- No added synthetic vitamins, all from natural sources
- Fresh, smoothie like taste
- Only 3 flavours available
Ambronite is one of the most premium brands out there, and Complete Meal Shake is their best product (top natural shake). A healthy food based shake that helps you boost your diet, without any lactose, wheat, GMO ingredients and no synthetic additives.
In fact, Complete Meal Shakes provides you with all the vitamins and minerals you need from plants and herbs, and not synthetic alternatives like the rest. Because most ingredients come from real food, Ambronite products come with extra nutrients (phytonutrients) to boost your focus and performance.
Available in 3 flavours; my favourite is Ginger & Apple, incredibly refreshing taste. On top of that Ambronite also offers Balanced Meal Shake Chocolate, which is the best tasting shake I’ve had. Rich, dark chocolate, reminiscent of the best ice-creams.
You can buy them in individual pouches (great to consume on the go) or 4 meal (400kcal) bags. While initial price is high, you can easily lower it by buying in discount and using the code LATESTFUELS for 25% OFF.
Complete Meal Shake is ideal for those looking for the least processed option and are looking for the out for their health.
Complete Meal Shake is smooth, with a fairly thick consistency when following the recommended guidelines.
Complete Meal Shake offers a very smoothie like flavours. Complex, rich and refreshing with a really nice texture. They blend really well and are smoother than some of the competitors.
Complete Meal Shake will satiate you for about 3h when you consume a 400kcal serving (this will vary depending the person and the amount of exercise you do).
|per serving||CMS||RI (%)
Oats, berries and fruits are the main source of complex carbohydrates and fibers. This does mean that there will be some sugar (mainly fructose), but the GI of the overall shake is below 40.
Looking at the fats, Ambronite’s Complete Meal Shake comes with an adequate dose of omega-3; well balanced with omega-6 and monounsaturated fatty acids. The shake is low in saturated fats, and contains no trans-fats.
Most of the protein comes from oat protein. With 24g per 400kcal, you will easily achieve the daily recommended.
Complete Meal Shake is also able to provide 29 vitamins and minerals purely from food; a feat that it is easier said than done.
Nuts and traces of gluten might be present in Complete Meal Shake.
Good For: Those who want the best shake they can get.
2. Purition Original or Vegan
Best UK Shake
- Great nutritional values and high quality ingredients
- Incredible variety of flavours to choose from
- UK based brand that only uses real food ingredients
- Gluten-free, dairy-free*, soy-free and free of artificial additives
- Available on Amazon
- Lacks some vitamins and minerals
- Better if you mix it with milk
Purition is a UK based meal replacement company that does top-notch shakes. They only use the highest quality ingredients and add no artificial flavourings, synthetic vitamins or sweeteners. As such, they achieve a very natural taste, that makes you feel healthy.
Their shakes are very high in protein, low in sugars and saturated fats; while rich in fibres. A combination that will ensure you only get the best nutrients.
Another great thing about Purition is their wide array of flavours. They offer 8 variations in both Original (contains whey) and Vegan. This last one is gluten-free, dairy-free and soy free. If you are having trouble finding food that settles well in your stomach, I recommend you buying the plant-based version.
If you have any doubts on what flavours to pick I recommend going for the discovery box. A set of 6 different flavours (6 meals) for just £12.99.
Tip: Use a blender for improved texture and taste!
Purition shakes are best when you blend them and add some milk to them. Even then, you will still be able to chew on the seeds, but it will be mixed better.
Overall, it feels very natural, and you can taste the seeds and the nuts mostly. For instance, you can really tell the pistachios in the Pistachio flavour.
Ingredients (Original): Whey Protein Isolate MILK, Golden linseed (flax), Sunflower Kernels, Orange (freeze dried) (6%), ALMONDS, Coconut (sulfate free), Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, SESAME Seeds, Cocoa (4%), Nutritional Yeast (B-vits), Psyllium Husk (fibre), Apple Pectin (fibre), Steviol Glycosides (Stevia).
Ingredients (Vegan): Proprietary Vegan Protein Blend (Pea, Rice and Hemp protein blend), Golden Flaxseed, Sunflower Kernels, Coconut (sulfate free), ALMONDS, Orange (Freeze Dried) (6.5%), Cocoa (4.5%), Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, SESAME Seeds, Nutritional Yeast (B-vits), Psyllium Husk (fibre), Apple Pectin (fibre), Steviol Glycosides (Stevia).
Purition Original contains milk, almonds and sesame. On the other hand, Purition Vegan only contains almonds and milk.
Good For: People looking for great nutrition from a UK based brand.
- 6 different flavours available
- Thin and easy to drink shakes. Very beginner-friendly
- Very competitive price
- Chocolate is absolutely delicious! One of my favourites
- Contains maltodextrin
- Thin shakes might fail to fill you up
- Not vegan friendly
YFood is the king of flavours and great tasting shakes. Their ready-to-drink shakes are my favourite meal replacements; and their powders are very close to them. On top of them all, it is YFood Powder Chocolate, which resembles a chocolate Nesquick shake.
But Chocolate is not the only flavour that you will be able to enjoy; you can also choose from: Vanilla, Banana, Berry, Coffee and Coconut! Besides Berry (avoid this flavour), the rest are delicious.
All meals come with all the nutrients you need, including 26g of protein. All within the nutritional guidelines set by the UK government and the European Food and Safety Agencies.
YFood Powder (Chocolate) is my guilty pleasure, and if you want something tasty above anything else, then this is your pick.
YFood Powder is one of the thinnest shakes in the market. It can get a little foamy when you first shake it, though, due to the milk.
Without a doubt, some of the tastiest shakes in the market. Milky and fairly sweet. My preference: chocolate, vanilla and coconut.
This might be one of the weaknesses of YFood. Each 400kcal shake will keep you satisfied for about 3h
|per serving||YFood Powder||RI (%)
YFood Powder contains maltodextrin and milk as primary carbohydrate sources. While milk is naturally high in sugar (lactose), this is digested more slowly than pure sugars and syrups.
As for fats, it has sunflower oil and canola oil to provide you with all the necessary omega-3s and healthy fatty acids.
As far as protein is concerned, it uses milk protein as main source. A great source to get your amino acids from.
You will get all the vitamins and minerals you need with YFood’s shakes.
YFood contains lactose-free milk.
Good For: Those who consider taste the most important factor.
4. Powdermatter Original
- Great nutritional values and high quality ingredients
- Good variety of flavours to choose from
- Top 2 most affordable shake available in the UK
- 30g of protein per serving (400kcal)
- 2-day delivery to the UK
- Texture of the shakes is quite thick
- Price for small purchases is not as cheap as for bulk
Powdermatter Original is the best meal replacement in Europe when it comes to price/quality ratio. Despite having high quality ingredients, it is also the most affordable shake. You can buy it for as little as £1.0/400kcal.
Furthermore, many of the ingredients used in Powdermatter are from organic origin, and all of them are non-GMO.
Nutritionally, Powdermatter Vegan is one of the healthiest shakes you can buy. It contains a mix of super-seeds that are rich in nutrients and phytonutrients (antioxidants, for instance). Plus, it is packed with 30g soy protein isolate per 400kcal serving; making it ideal to support a sporty lifestyle.
Besides, these shakes are very filling due to the high protein and fibre content. Thus, they can also help you lose weight in a healthy manner.
I strongly recommend giving Powdermatter a try!
Powdermatter Original’s texture is not as smooth as many other here. You can almost bite into the shake, due to the amaranth and quinoa bits on the drink. I found this rather enjoyable; but might cause discomfort to some.
Overall, it feels very natural, the flavours are fairly subtle and the sweetness level is medium-low. Great for daily use and to customize it to your liking. The Chocolate Hazelnut is the best flavour, a tasty nutella like shake.
|per serving||Powdermatter V||RI (%)
Carbohydrate sources include amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat. There are no oats in Powdermatter Original.
Regarding fats, flaxseed and sunflower oil are the main fat sources in Powdermatter Original. This product has a very good balance of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, includes plenty of omega-3s per serving.
With 30g of protein per 400kcal, Powdermatter original is one of the shakes with most protein per calorie. The vegan version uses soy protein isolate. The whey version will use whey protein concentrate, instead.
While some of the ingredients include micronutrients, Powdermatter ensures you get at least 20% of your daily needs per serving (400kcal) with a synthetic vitamin and mineral mix.
Soy is the only allergen found on Powdermatter Original.
Good For: People looking for great nutrition at an affordable price.
5. Huel Powder
- Nutritionally well-rounded shakes
- Very professional company
- Available in gluten-free and drug tested versions
- Most popular product in the market
- Fast delivery
- Flavours can be bland
- Gritty shakes
- Huel farts
Huel is one of the most professional and successful companies in the market; and Huel Powder is where all started and the key to their success. A very well rounded product, with a subtle flavour profile and a focus on nutrition.
On top of that, Huel is at home in the UK, with plenty of advantages for the UK customers, when compared to everywhere else. You can enjoy the cheapest pricings (down to £1.19/400kcal); the best catalogue; fastest deliveries and best shipping terms.
Huel Powder flavours include UK classics like Chocolate Mint, Vanilla, as well as, Berries, Coffee or Chocolate among others.
Huel Powder is known to be thick and gritty, partially due to the oats and flaxseed. Many tend to leave it overnight to soften the drink. However, I think it is quite pleasant.
The flavours vary a fair bit, and finding your favourite option will be part of the journey. Overall, they will not be as exciting as Queal or Feed, and they will have an oaty background. I go for Vanilla or Original when using Huel fairly often.
Huel shakes have plenty of fiber and protein which will help you to fill full. Usually, a 400kcal shake keeps me full for about 3h-4h.
|per serving||Huel Powder||RI (%)
The main carbohydrate in Huel Powder is oats; a great way to consume complex starch. There is also some soluble and insoluble fiber in the shake.
As for fats, it has sunflower oil and linseed mix to provide you with all the necessary omega-3s and healthy fatty acids.
Huel is a vegan shake, but does not use soy protein as source; but instead a mix of pea protein and brown rice protein. This ensures a balanced profile of amino acids.
The micronutrients in the shake come from a synthetic vitamin and mireral mix.
Huel Powder contains oats (gluten); but you can purchase the gluten free option for a little extra.
Good For: People that want to support high quality UK products.
Best RTDs in the UK
I have made a separate list for the ready-to-drink options, because I believe they appeal to slightly different audience and comparisons between powder and RTD will be biased due to the different formats.
What do I mean by this?
- RTDs will be smoother, better blended and will have a more pleasant consistency for the most part.
- There are significantly less RTD options, less flavour options and less nutritional variety/
- Powders will be cheaper than RTDs, significantly cheaper.
But you can read more about this in our guides comparing the pros and cons.
1. YFood – Chocolate
- Vegan and vegetarian RTDs available
- Highest protein in an RTD: 33g per serving
- Best tasting ready to drink shakes
- Great price
- Berry flavour not as good as the others
- Acesulfame K as sweetener
YFood is a German brand focused on ready to drink products. Their Alpine Chocolate meal replacement shake is one of the thickest and smoothest RTD; reminiscent of good chocolate meal shakes. It is, without a doubt, the best tasting ready to drink shake I’ve tried.
They have other flavours, too, including: Vanilla, Banana, Strawberry, Salted Caramel or Coffee. They are great tasting too, but a little thinner than the chocolate. Regarding the size, YFood is available in 330ml and 500ml bottles. Personally, I find the bigger bottles more suited to my needs, since with 330ml I’m always wishing for more.
The price for the 500ml bottle starts at £2.5/400kcal; with an option to a further 15% discount with subscription. With Amazon Prime you can enjoy next day delivery.
Furthermore, they now have vegan alternatives. I don’t find them as tasty as the originals, but they beat many of the competition mentioned below.
YFood’s texture is as thick as smooth; even if the newer iterations are a little thinner than the originals. Most similar to the already made protein shakes sold on stores.
Milky chocolate taste, without the soy background other RTDs (Soylent, Saturo have). It will be very familiar to you, if you have consumed chocolate protein shakes or milkshakes.
The 500ml (500kcal) version will keep you full for about 4h, thanks to the high protein content.
|per serving||Yfood||RI (%)
For carbohydrates, YFood uses milk (sugars derived from lactose) and maltodextrin. The second is not the most nutritional ingredient, but allows the shake to be smoother. Fiber comes from oat and rice starch.
The milk used is 1.5% fat (low-fat), thus the fat content needs to come from elsewhere. In this case, it comes from coconut powder and canola oil (omega-3 source).
Guess where the protein comes from? Yes, milk plus they add some extra milk protein. Great source, as it contains a well balance amino acid profile, as well as, slow and fast release proteins.
Each 500ml bottle will provide you with 25% of the daily micronutrients.
YFood contains milk but no lactose (they use lactose free milk).
Good For: Those dreaming with chocolate milkshakes and want the best tasting shakes.
2. Mana Drink – Original
- Most compact RTD
- Great omega-3 profile
- Very filling
- Best vegan RTD
- Gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO
- Flavours a little flat
- Salty background taste
- Need to drink water after
Mana is a very successful company that offers vegan meal replacements. Their trademarks are science based formulas, and shakes that are high in fats and low carbs. However, what makes Mana Drink special is how compact their RTD is. 330ml give you 400kcal; making it the most calorie dense ready to drink.
As such, Mana is ideal to take it with you to the office, or drink it on the tube while you are commuting. However, I recommend you having a bottle of water in hand.
Another great thing about Mana is the array of flavours: Dream (Chocolate), Love (Red Fruits), Sunlight (Tropical) and Origin. In my opinion, Origin is the best with a nice vanilla milk taste, but Dream has a nice cacao touch, too.
If you are unsure to what flavour you will like best, don’t worry about it. Buy the taster pack and try them all out (also available on Amazon, clicking the link above).
Have all the nutrients and more with Mana, while enjoying a tasty meal.
Unlike Saturo and Soylent, Mana Origin is the best flavour in my opinion. The others are a little flat and have a salty finish (from the vitamins and minerals) that do not go well with the flavours.
Because Mana is so compact, the drink does feel a little more buttery and fatty.
You will have no problems to be full for 3h.
|per serving||Mana Drink||RI (%)
Mana Drink (Origin): water, maltodextrin, soy protein isolate, canola oil, isomaltulose, oat beta glucans, emulsifier: soy lecithin, oil from microalgae Schizochytrium Sp., cold pressed coconut oil, sunflower oil, bulking agent: microcrystaline cellulose, sodium potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, bulking agent: cellulose gum, cold pressed flaxseed oil, sweetener: sucralose, vitamin A, thiamin, tiboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D2, vitamin E, vitamin K1, flavouring.
Perhaps, Mana’s strongest point is the better rounded fatty acid profile. They provide you with plenty of omega-3, including EPA and DHA (that have proven beneficial effects) that are not included in many others. They achieve this by using oil from algae, a very rare ingredient indeed.
Mana contains soy.
Good For: people looking for flavours and scientific nutrition.
3. Liquid Meal Runtime
- High in protein with added BCAAs
- Delicious chocolate taste
- Bulk and subscription discounts
- Not vegan
- Only available in one flavour
Liquid Meal, together with YFood Alpine Chocolate, is one of the best tasting meal replacement shakes you can have. They are milk based, smooth and creamy shakes that remind you of delicious chocolate milkshakes.
With a big difference. They are much, much, much healthier. Each Liquid Meal serving will provide you with 500kcal, 36g of milk protein and all the nutrients your body needs per meal. In fact, Liquid Meal is best taken to fuel your sport activities, with the extra added BCAAS.
The price of Liquid Meal starts at £3.4 per bottle, but it can go as low as £2.5 if you make use of the 15% subscription discount and bulk purchasing. Both prices include free delivery to the UK.
If you are looking for a vegan alternative, however, you will love the next product on the list Huel Ready-to-Drink, so check that one out.
Liquid Meal Chocolate is a very sweet milk chocolate shake with a nice lingering aftertaste. It might have some saltiness, for those used to low salt meals.
Each bottle should keep you full for about 4 hours.
|per serving||Liquid Meal||RI (%)
Liquid Meal relies heavily on milk (fat reduced) and milk protein. These makes the shakes a little sugary on paper (lactose), but none of it is added. However, the overall GI of the shake is medium-low.
Besides, it does not only use milk protein, but also has some added BCAAS (4000mg) in the form of L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine.
Most of the fats in the shake will be provided by sunflower oil.
On top of that, you will get 25% of your daily vitamins and minerals per bottle.
Liquid Meal contains milk.
Good For: chocolate milkshake lovers and high protein meal addicts.
Why Should You Replace Your Meal Deal with a Shake?
Because you are sick of eating the same sandwich everyday.
In all honesty; there are many pros to consuming a shake:
- Healthier and more complete nutritionally than your average sandwich.
- With 400kcal costing you around £1.3 on average; most complete food shakes will be cheaper.
- Personalized nutrition. Looking for high protein? Enjoy a fully nutritional shake with 30g of protein per 400kcal! Looking for a low carb option? Drink your meal replacement shake with under 40% carbs.
- Struggling to find vegan options? There are plenty of shakes available in different flavours; chocolate, vanilla, berries, bananas…
- Achieve your health goals by being able to easily count your calories and tailor the macros.
Furthermore, meal replacement shakes are suitable to replace any meal. Breakfast, brunch, elevenses, lunch, tea, dinner, supper… There is a shake for every moment.
Not convinced yet? Let’s have a look to Latestfuel’s best meal replacement shakes in the UK. I am sure you will find what you are looking for.
You can also look at our selection of meal replacement bars, if you were looking for a solid alternative.
How I Evaluated the Products
Quality of Ingredients and Origin
Because my bias to analysing each product from the nutritional standpoint, the quality of ingredients is fairly important for me. Particularly, because it allows me to compare them from a less subjective point of view.
In this case, ingredients that are closer to food (not ultra processed) and contain more of the initial nutrients are valued higher. Not just simply because they are closer to the original form, but because they will have a wide array of nutrients and chemicals including some that we might not know about (particularly important with vegetables and grains).
I also look at the origin of ingredients, preferentially being from the UK or the EU, because I believe that this are hold to higher standards; as well as, helping the local producer.
Closely related to the last point, I think nutrition is one of the most important (if not the most important) quality to judge. However, judging this is not as straightforward as you might think, because even if there are guidelines (NHS, European Food And Safety Agency or WHO); what perfect nutrition is remains unknown.
It is also mildly subjective, as some will prefer lower carbohydrate diets; while others will tend to fall in the high protein diet trend etc. I personally prefer high protein products, which might cause a mild bias in the list.
All things taken into consideration, I have evaluated the quality of ingredients, the nutrients in the meal replacements (fats, sugars, protein, carbs), their compositions, scientific knowledge about the benefits etc. when deciding which ones are “the best”.
Taste and Texture
Now, for many this might be the most important point when deciding which meal replacement to buy. However, the issue is that this area is incredibly subjective.
Have you ever been in a curry house? Trick question, the answer is yes. Think about what people order: some will go for Tikka Massala; the more adventurous will go for Madras or Vindaloo; and the sweet tooth will go for Korma.
Similarly, there are shakes of all different kinds of textures, consistencies and sweetness levels. I tend to prefer thick and gritty shakes; not overly sweet when possible. There might be a small bias towards this type of shakes.
Shipping and Availability
Let’s not lie to each other; we come to expect next day free delivery on almost all items on the internet (Amazon, what have you done to us!). Thus, speedy service and products being on stock continuously is an important feature for this online retailers.
Must say, that for the UK, European brands do best (at least before Brexit). This is were Huel might have a huge advantage.
For some, this will be the breaking point between one brand and another. We all remember when we were broke students. Every penny matter, every penny saved was another pint in a night out.
Thus, I have put value to those offering cheap meal replacements; most of the times.
Other Factors Also Taken into Consideration
Environmental friendliness is an area of great concern for the early adopters of complete foods, since they provide a way for minimal food waste. I have considered the effort the company puts towards making a smaller impact in food and general waste when ranking the products.
Convenience is another key factor. Here is where RTDs shine over the Powders, but even between powders there are different formats, such as individual bags, big tubs or one day pouches.
Customer experience is mayhaps an area that I have undervalued. All these companies have great customer support, but certain brands shine more than others when making shopping more enjoyable.
Before You Buy
Whether this is your first time buying meal replacements or you are simply trying something new; there are few key factors to consider before you purchase.
- Vegan or not vegan? This is usually one of the main differentiating factors between the different shakes.
- What is your budget? As I have shown above, there are multiple price tags starting from £1/meal to over £5. Price is not always synonym of quality either.
- Thickness and texture of the shake. The wrong brand/product might be almost undrinkable. Think carefully about your preferences and take them into account when buying.
- What sort of nutrition are you looking for? What are the allergens on the shake? Low carb, high protein, keto… there are products for every type of user. Also, different foods will use different ingredients (soy, oat, milk, peanuts…); therefore make sure you check the allergens!
- Look for taster versions or starter packs! They are usually the best way to start with a brand (e.g. Queal).
After taking all into consideration, you are now ready! Do not be scared of trying new meal replacements out; there is a product for you out there!
Meal replacements are the perfect solution to replace those troublesome moments of the day when you have limited options. They are complete food with all the nutrients that you need. This includes healthy fats, plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates; together with vitamins and minerals. For more in the topic, check our guides section.
Most of the options mentioned in the list are vegan friendly. Ambronite, Purition, Huel… and many more offer fully plant-based meal replacement shakes in the UK.
Most of the brands mentioned above are from the UK or the EU. Usually, the delivery will be between 2-5 days; but some brands like Huel might offer next day delivery. Check individual reviews for more info.
No, there are plenty more brands that deliver to the UK. We have tried more than 40 different products and these are just our top picks. For more options, check our reviews or contact us, so we can help you out.
Most manufacturers do not recommend doing going 100% on meal replacements. This is due to the fact that there might be nutrients in food that we have not discovered yet, but are vital for a healthy lifestyle.
However, many people live in diets close to 100% and report no issues. Furthermore, there are some brands like Huel, which have done studies of them consuming only meal replacements for a month and obtained positive results.
Most people prefer to replace breakfast or lunch, since they have more time at dinner to cook. However, almost every meal replacement will be suitable for any occasion, unless it contains caffeine.
I think that it is a great time to be a complete food consumer in the UK. There are a lot of brands out there, besides the above mentioned, that deserve a chance (Jake, Vitaline, Satistlent, Runtime). These brands often have starter kits, which allow you to test all their different products.
The same way you do not always eat curry, and sometimes you order Chinese or a Domino’s because it is Tuesday (or 3 am and you are hungry); I encourage you to try out different things.
With all said and done, I hope that you found this list of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK useful. However, make sure to comment if you did not or you have any suggestions.
5. More in: latestfuels.com/resources. A compilation with different governmental guidelines and references.
6. Ultimate Meal Replacement List. List with all the brands that deliver to the UK.