There are lots of excuses for skipping meals and not getting in the mid morning and afternoon snack. I don’t have time, I had to play chauffeur to the kids after school, I had to work late so I made yet another trip to the vending machine. Whatever it is that stops you from getting in your 5 meals a day, there is a solution. Meal replacement shakes can help you to get the nutrients you need, speed up your metabolism, keep your blood sugar regulated and still keep up with a busy schedule.
While there are a lot of benefits to using meal replacement shakes, you shouldn’t depend on them to completely take the place of healthy whole food meals. Synthetic blends are just not as good as the real thing at delivering an abundant variety of nutrients. But if you have to make a choice of not eating, or putting 75 cents into the break room vending machine again, a replacement shake is perfect. Plus, for high level athletes and body builders, you will need the extra densely packed nutrients and calories without having to eat a ton of food.
So what does a meal replacement shake provide?
A good shake formula will have a healthy balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat in addition to vitamins and minerals. Many blends will be sugar free or have just enough artificial sweetener to add a little flavor.
Protein is difficult to get in many snack foods and is provided in most shake mixes. You can find soy protein in many drinks, or for those who have an allergy, whey protein could be good choice. Many egg white protein sources are available also in shakes.
Fat is also found in many shakes. You usually won’t find saturated fats, but essential fatty acids for added nutrients. Essential fatty acids from flax and borage may also be included to improve fat balance. Other ingredients may include probiotics, and digestive enzymes.
You can also find a healthy mix of fiber in the insoluble and soluble forms. Vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants can also help to neutralize free radicals that build up from high levels of activity.
Meal replacement shakes come in a couple of forms. The pre-packaged form is a ready to drink shake that comes in a variety of flavors, most commonly chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, and are easy to grad from the fridge when you are in a hurry.
The other way is to buy the powder protein blends. This method requires either a shaker cup with a lid or a blender. When using a shaker cup, you can mix your ingredients with water, milk, or yogurt for a fast and tasty shake. Or get out the blender and add your favorite fruits such as bananas, strawberries, peaches, pineapples or blueberries. Also a popular mix is adding chocolate or peanut butter. Be careful though when making these additions as they can add a lot of calories and sugar.
There is a meal replacement shake for everyone. Endurance and strength athletes, weekend warriors, busy moms and anyone who is looking to lose weight and get is shape, the choices are endless. So make no more excuses for not getting in your meals and try some ready made shakes or even get some recipes for blending your own meal replacements.