Be On the Safe Side: 5 Cons of Drinking Meal Replacements

The lifestyle of people nowadays is very fast; in fact, most of us need more time for important things, and sadly, that includes prepping for meals and eating said meals ourselves. However, that may be the truth of life for some, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Skipping meals, overindulging to make up for missed meals, or eating less than what’s required, have all dire consequences for our bodies.

You may not experience them now, but along the lines, you’d probably regret that you missed all those meals. One solution many people are looking into nowadays is meal replacements in the form of shakes. They are easy and fast to prepare and can be consumed on the go. Brands even boast that their meal replacement shakes have the same nutritional value as a balanced diet. However, that fact alone is still up for contention.

But that being said, you probably know about the benefits of meal replacement shakes but do you know about their downsides? Here are some disadvantages of meal replacement shakes when you completely replace meals with them.

They Can Upset Your Digestive System

One of the most significant things about meal replacement shakes is that they lack fiber. Not all brands are like this, but most are. With that said, what is the significance of this? Well, first of all, it can negatively affect your digestive health. When you eat fast and don’t take your time to chew your food, you’re making it hard for your digestive system to digest your food properly. But why is this important?

One of the biggest misconceptions about meal replacement shakes is that they are easily digestible. The truth is no, they aren’t. Sure they are liquid since they are shakes, but they contain many artificial substances that your body doesn’t recognize as food. Your digestive system will slow down its entire process to digest these substances, significantly slowing down the process. Because of this, you might experience gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc.

They Can Indirectly Cause Weight Gain

Meal replacement shakes aren’t only popular among people who are always in a hurry. They are also massively popular among fitness enthusiasts. That said, the primary goal of why fitness enthusiasts go for meal replacement shakes is to consume fewer calories. Sure enough, some brands have fewer calories in their formula than others. However, you should always note that you should also look for the sugar content of the meal replacement shake.

Some brands contain too much sugar, which can affect your insulin levels. A messed up insulin level often means that you’d be starving quite fast, which means you’d crave a lot more food, resulting in an increased weight gain. You might want to look into your brand’s label if you think your craving is out of control after using meal replacement shakes.

No Phytochemicals

Meal replacement shakes are a great alternative to the usual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, they are not a perfect replacement for whole foods. Whole foods are still your best bet if you want to be perfectly healthy.

While it’s true that meal replacement shakes can get important macros like vitamins, carbs, calories, etc., there are still important nutrients that meal replacement shakes lack for them to be a complete replacement to whole foods, namely fatty acids and phytochemicals.

The good news is that these nutrients are fairly easy to obtain with fruits and vegetables. This is why the best meal replacement shakes are best paired with a balanced diet. In short, meal replacement shakes aren’t meant to replace whole foods except to complement them.

Low in Protein

A lot of people want different things for their diets. Some prefer more carbs, while others prefer high fat, etc. Usually, meal replacement shakes can provide these preferences, except for protein. Many meal replacement shake brands work off the FDA’s recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

The FDA’s recommended intake for protein is at least 50 grams per day, which for most of the time, meal replacement shakes can meet. However, if you’re an athlete that requires at least 150 grams of protein, meal replacement shakes may be a bad idea for a source of protein.

They Have Artificial Ingredients

As healthy as brands want to advertise their formulas, they still incorporate artificial ingredients such as preservatives, sweeteners, stabilizers, etc. Not only that, their vitamins are often synthetic, which is only subpar compared to what you can get from whole foods.

Sure, they may not be as harmful right now, but they can hurt you in the future, so it’s always recommended to pair them with whole foods to get the most out of your meal replacement shakes.

Final Words

Meal replacement shakes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and many experts and health enthusiasts recommend them. However, more than meal replacement shakes are needed to completely replace whole foods, as whole foods are still your best bet for being very healthy. What you can do, however, is to pair your meal replacement shakes with whole foods to get the best out of both worlds.