I’ve tried dozens of meal replacement shake options like Huel 3.0 and MRE from RedCon1. While some shakes are better than others, there is always an underlying problem…
No matter how many good ingredients are put in, there are always a bunch of ingredients that are bad for you and I simply don’t want to be putting into my body.
For instance, they often include nasty ingredients like:
- Excess Sodium
- Corn Starch
- Artificial Flavors
- Xanthan Gum
I wanted a healthy meal replacement shake that would provide my body with only natural, good for you ingredients that was also naturally high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein as well as the all important phytonutrients.
The kind of shake I can both take as a meal replacement as well as a post workout shake to refuel my body for faster recovery.
So I went on a mission to create my own homemade formula that was simple in design, effective in nutrition and taste at least as good as the best tasting semi-healthy shakes on the market
Pro Tip: no decent nutrition meal replacement shake is going to taste wonderful.
Ingredients For 1 Homemade Meal Replacement Shake
- Whole Oat Powder – 1/3 cup
- Unflavored Whey Protein Powder – 25 grams
- Green Banana Flour – 1/4 cup
- Sugar Free Peanut Butter Powder – 2TB
- Chia Seeds – 2TB
- Raw Cacao (Chocolate) Powder – 1TB
- Sunflower Lecithin Powder – 1 1/3 tsp
- Xylitol (or favorite sugar substitute) – 1TB
Approximate Nutritional Profile
- Calories – 543
- Carbohydrates – 69g
- Protein – 37.6g
- Fiber – 19g
- Fat – 17.5g
- Potassium – 990mg
There are of course dozens of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients not listed because the exact amounts can vary slightly but this is an extremely healthy formulation of whole foods.
Plus as you can see it is PACKED with potassium which is so crucial for athletes and hard to get in a standard diet, even a healthier one.
As for the flavor, it’s a very mildly sweet chocolate, banana, peanut butter delight. It’s a far cry from heaven on your tastebuds but even my wife who literally hates every meal replacement shake she has ever tried, thinks it’s decent. In fact, she said “it’s pretty good” haha.
Now let’s take a snapshot look at each of the ingredients, what they do for you and why they are in this shake.
Meal Replacement Ingredients Snapshot
Whole Oat Powder
Whole oat powder is a staple in any quality meal replacement shake and for good reason. It’s an extremely nutrient dense food chalked full of healthy carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
It’s also pretty easy on the digestive tract for most people and whole oats are a staple of many athletes pre-workout regimine.
If you are supplementing with whey protein by itself I recommend going with whey protein isolate as you can see in my article when is the best time to supplement with whey protein.
However, standard whey protein is still highly bioavailable and there is so much total protein in this meal replacement shake there is no reason to spend the extra dollars on isolate.
Green Banana Flour
While green banana flour doesn’t contribute any protein, it’s an amazing ingredient for athletes due to its extremely high quantities of vitamins and minerals.
In fact, just two tablespoons of green banana flour has roughly the same amount of potassium as 7 whole bananas.
And because it has starch resistant characteristics, it may even reduce insulin sensitivity which is of course a positive for weight management. (study)
Sugar Free Peanut Butter Powder
In powdered form it loses some of the healthy fats but we will make up for that with the chia seeds and sunflower powder.
Plus, peanut butter powder helps give the shake a rich, creamy peanut butter taste which goes great with the banana and chocolate flavors.
Chia seeds were brought into mainstream nutrition by one of my all time favorite books “Born to Run”.
Quite arguably the healthiest food on the planet, chia seeds are packed full of an amazing array of vitamins, minerals and extremely healthy fats including omega 3 fatty acids.
Raw Cacao (Chocolate) Powder
I’ve been preaching the health benefits of dark chocolate for years and it has been a staple in my diet for nearly a decade now. In fact, I believe in it so much I added it to my Super Foods Multivitamin.
Loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients galore. Not only will it help power up your body but it will help power up your mind as well.
Sunflower Lecithin Powder
Because sunflower oil is often heavily refined (processed), sunflower lecithin powder can sometimes come with a bit of a negative connotation by association, however these are two very different foods as lecithin powder is made via cold processing to preserver all of the nutrients.
Sunflower lecithin powder is rich in choline which may help improve memory and brain function, improve heart health and boost metabolism.
It’s also rich in other essential fatty acids such as phosphatidylinositol which can help improve HDL or good cholesterol. (study)
Of course, you can use any sweetner you wish for this shake. I personally prefer xylitol as it has a low glycemic index (GI), has antibacterial properties and may even help prevent tooth decay. (study)
It also has the added benefit of being a 1:1 substitute with regular table sugar. Meaning 1 tablespoon of xylitol is equivalent in sweetness to 1 tablespoon of table sugar.
However there is only 24 calories in a tablespoon of xylitol compared to 48 calories in regular sugar.
And there is no nasty aftertaste associated with xylitol unlike what most people report with stevia.
I’ve been taking this exact homemade meal replacement shake for a few weeks now and I’ve been more than happy with the results.
I typically take it about 1 hour before my workouts (I take it on my off days too) and I’ve noticed a big uptick in how my endurance carries throughout the course of my weight lifting and running, as well as much quicker post workout recovery and less next day soreness.
I expected that due to the high levels of vitamins, minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and of course the amazing potassium levels.
However, I did not expect to see my energy levels skyrocket throughout the course of the whole day and they have.
Whereas I would often see a bit of an energy crash in the afternoons after I’ve already put in significant hours at work, done a heavy workout, played with and helped get the kids down for their nap…
For the last two weeks I haven’t even felt remotely tired during this time.
I actually may consider manufacturing this recipe for sale in the future simply because I am getting so much benefit out of it and then I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of mixing it up myself every day haha.
In the meantime though, I’m going to keep mixing up 1 week of shakes at a time and absolutely believe its worth your giving it a shot too.