Meal replacement shakes and a vegan diet are two of the hottest trends sweeping over the nutrition and supplement industries. Offering benefits for everyone from athletes to regular people looking to lose weight or stay healthy, everyone seems to have tried one or the other.
Where things start to become a little more tricky is when people try to combine the two. This is because, when you try to find a good meal replacement shake that can be used when you follow a plant based diet and lifestyle, you will see that your options are much more limited.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though, as there are a number of great plant based meal replacement shakes out there. That is why we will now take your through our list of the best vegan meal replacement shakes there are, to ensure you find one that meets all of your needs.
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake: Rootana
Rootana is a vegan meal replacement shake that has been carefully designed with a patented formula. Containing 27 different vitamins and minerals, it has nothing in it but scientifically proven, vegan friendly ingredients, with no artificial flavors, colours, or sweeteners in sight.
Each serving of Rootana contains 400 calories, meaning it can easily be used by everyone. The formula is perfectly balanced with a breakdown of 43 to 44% carbs, 20 to 21% protein, 14 to 16% fat, and 7 to 9% fibre, ensuring all of your needs are catered to.
Rootana is powered by pea protein isolate, one of the most powerful, popular, and complete alternatives to whey on the market. With a fabulous profile of amino acids, it is a perfect choice for keeping your body strong and healthy.
You then have oat flour supplying Rootana’s complex carbohydrates, as well as additional protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Its slow release nature will continue providing energy for an extended period, while keeping you full, healthy, and supple.
Sunflower seed oil is used as a source of healthy omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids and also boasts a range of antioxidants. This allows it to repair and prevent damage to your body at a cellular level while reducing the signs of aging and protecting you against a range of ailments.
Golden milled flaxseed is then used to add additional protein, fibre, and omega-3 fats, which provides additional benefits like lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Coconut sugar is used to provide the shake’s distinctive sweetness. Unlike regular sugar though, it actually helps to regulate blood sugar, rather than spiking it, while being rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium, potassium, and zinc.
The Rootana formula is then rounded off with sunflower lecithin, which gives the shake its stability and offers a number of cognitive benefits.
Available in a choice of original and cacao flavours, it is easily mixable in just 10 seconds.
Rootana provides a great tasting, well rounded vegan meal replacement shake that is quick and convenient to use, even on the go, to ensure you can always meet your daily calorie and nutrient needs.
Who Should Buy Rootana
- People who want a great range of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in their shake
- People who want no artificial flavors, colours, or sweeteners in their meal replacement
- People seeking a shake that offers around 400 calories per serving
- People seeking a meal replacement that benefits both their mind and their body
- People after the top vegan meal replacement on the market
- People looking for meal replacements that are easy to mix
Who Should Not Buy Rootana
- People who want a large choice of flavours
- People who want a meal replacement shake with a particularly high protein content
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Loss: Instant Knockout Complete
Instant Knockout Complete meal replacement shakes are specifically designed to help you maintain muscle while losing weight. This ensures you lose weight in all of the right places and everything that comes off is fat, rather than lean mass. And the guys from Instant Knockout are specialised in weight loss, having produced weight loss aids for athletes needing to make weigh ins for over a decade.
It is packed with a perfect balance of 35 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbs per serving, plus high doses of fibre and essential amino acids.
Sourced from pea protein powder, oat flour, and organic brown rice protein, it fuels your workouts while supporting your muscles.
A blend of chia seed protein, golden flax seeds, and MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) then provides all the essential nutrients still missing, such as healthy fatty acids and vitamins and minerals, to keep your heart, mind, and body healthy throughout your weight loss journey.
Featuring fewer calories than a traditional meal at just 400 per shake, while still containing all the nutrients your body needs and a fabulous vanilla flavour, the Instant Knockout Complete meal replacement shake is perfectly designed to help you lose weight safely and efficiently.
A 2 week supply, which includes 14 meal replacement shakes, costs $59 and includes free shipping, working out at $4.21 per serving, making it more affordable than most regular meals.
There are also fabulous bundles which can bring the price per serving down and include extras like the Instant Knockout Cut fat burner and various workout eBooks and video guides. You don’t need the fat burner to help you lose weight with instant knockout complete, but the appetite suppressant qualities are never going to hurt. Here you can read more about womens and mens fat burners as reviewed by Center TRT (the leading US supplements rating body).
Who Should Buy Instant Knockout Complete
- People who want to keep their immune system healthy
- People who want to lose weight, without losing muscle
- People preparing to take part in combat sports
- People interested in combining a meal replacement shake with a fat burner
- People who want a meal replacement shake with a high protein content
- People after a meal replacement shake with essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals
Who Should Not Buy Instant Knockout Complete
- People who want more than one flavour option to choose from
- People who are shopping on a budget
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake for Digestion: Ka’Chava
Ka’Chava bills itself as “your daily super blend” and is designed as an all in one vegan meal replacement shake that benefits your brain, hair, heart, muscles, skin, and your overall health.
It boasts a carefully formulated ingredient list that features a whopping 85+ superfoods.
Its potent plant based protein blend consists of organic pea protein, amaranth, quinoa, Sacha Inchi, and whole grain brown rice protein and is ideal to fuel your muscles.
Meanwhile, the various sources of adaptogens, antioxidants, fibre, and green vegetables keep the rest of your body healthy.
The inclusion of the various vitamins and minerals and fibre, as well as added digestive enzymes and probiotics, also makes Ka’Chava extremely beneficial for anyone having digestive issues or simply wanting to boost their digestion in general.
Made exclusively of ingredients that can be used while following a vegan diet, Ka’Chava is also dairy free, gluten free, soy free, has no artificial colours, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives, and contains just 250 calories, making it suitable for almost everyone.
Currently available in a choice of five flavours, which includes chai, chocolate, coconut acai, matcha, and vanilla, Ka’Chava features some of the greatest variety of any vegan meal replacement drink choices on the market.
Priced at $69.95 per 15 serving bag or $4.66 per serving, exclusive of shipping, Ka’chava is one of the more costly vegan shakes of any kind.
However, with subscriptions that save you $10 a bag and free shipping on purchases of 2 or more bags, there are ways to bring the cost down.
Who Should Buy Ka’Chava
- People seeking a shake with a diverse vegan protein powder blend
- People who want a plant based protein shake with added digestive enzymes
- People that desire a very diverse range of vitamins and minerals in vegan protein powders
- People who want to significantly raise their protein intake
- People who want a very low calorie vegan protein shake
- People whose main goal is boosting their overall health
- People after protein powders in a great range of flavours
Who Should Not Buy Ka’Chava
- People shopping on a budget
- People who are allergic to digestive enzymes
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake For User Experience: Huel
Huel is a nutrition company that provides a range of different meal replacement supplements, giving users maximum versatility to mix and match. This helps to make sure they can achieve the results they desire, while constantly enjoying the experience.
Huel powders all boast a careful macronutrient breakdown and are packed full of amino acids, antioxidants, probiotics, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
They are then made with high quality, whole food ingredients, such as coconut, cranberry seed protein, flaxseeds, kombucha, oats, peas, rice, sunflower seeds, and tapioca.
Throughout their range they offer gluten free, soy free, high protein, low carb, low calorie, high fibre, and low sugar powders.
You also have a choice of ready to drink shakes, protein bars, and even hot, savoury, whole food sachets.
Sold in everything from individual servings to large tubs and even bundles, Huel gives you the ability to try out their incredible range of products and flavours, with very little risk.
When you have settled on your favourites, you can then get a great deal on the products you know you love by buying in bulk.
Each of the Huel products is admittedly on the upper end of the price range for these sorts of supplements.
However, with such an enjoyable and wide ranging experience, it is more than worth it for anyone who needs a little more help or comfort during their weight loss journey. You can get a break down on each of the many huel flavours here.
Who Should Buy Huel
- People with specific needs, like gluten or soy free, low fat, carb, or calorie, or high protein
- People who want to use multiple products in unison with one another
- People who want the opportunity to try different products or flavours
- People who like free gifts or the ability to create their own bundle
- People willing to commit a good deal of time and money to achieving results
- People who need a little help sticking to a nutrition plan
Who Should Not Buy Huel
- People who only plan to use their meal replacement shake occasionally
- People that are shopping on a budget
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake for Variety: Purition
Purition is a British company that produces a diverse vegan protein powder range that gives users more choice than perhaps any brand of plant based protein powder on the market.
It comes in 18 flavours, including almond, almond & orange, banana, beetroot, beetroot & chocolate, blackcurrant, cherry Bakewell, chocolate, chocolate & hazelnut, chocolate orange, coconut, coffee & walnut, hemp, peach & apricot, pistachio, strawberry, turmeric, and vanilla.
Purition is available in 12 serving bags but is also sold in single serving sachets, each of which contains 200 calories, 16 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat.
This lets you to mix and match, so you can constantly be enjoying different meal replacements that you never get bored of.
The pricing structure is just as flexible as the flavours too, with different deals available depending on the size of the bag or how many bags you choose to buy. These can start as low as $2.50 per serving though, making Purition one of the best value options available.
Purition is also well known for its varied vegan protein blend, which includes a range of plant based protein sources, such as golden pea protein, hemp seed protein, pumpkin seed protein, and sunflower seed protein. This allows it to dramatically increase your protein intake.
The powder is then packed full of other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals through a range of botanicals, fibres, freeze dried fruits, whole foods, and natural sweeteners.
Completely sulphate, emulsifier, gum, filler, starch, synthetic vitamin, and gluten free, and with no artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours, or preservatives, Purition is suitable for all.
Who Should Buy Purition
- People who want meal replacements that act like a protein shake
- People seeking a low carb, high protein powder that is ideal for weight loss
- People that want to buy lots of small protein shakes, rather than one large bag
- People desiring a shake with a blend of different vegan protein sources
- People after a good, natural source of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
- People who need a gluten free option, devoid of artificial sweeteners, colours, or flavours
- People who are shopping on a budget
Who Should Not Buy Purition
- People who want more carbs or less fat in their protein shakes
- People who want vegan shakes made from organic ingredients
How & When To Use Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes should be used as an alternative to a traditional meal.
For best results with minimal risks, they should be used to replace one or two meals maximum per day, while getting the rest of your nutrients from a healthy, balanced diet of whole foods.
They can be used at any time of day, although those that are high in carbohydrates are best avoided in the hours before you go to bed.
These types of supplements are particularly useful when following a weight loss program or directly after an intensive workout.
Their liquid nature means the nutrients are broken down quickly and effectively, so they get to where they are needed and are almost all used, rather than stored.
How Do We Decide The Best Pick: What To look For
When putting together our list of the best vegan meal replacement shakes, we made sure to test each product against the same strict, carefully chosen criteria.
To provide complete transparency on how we came to our conclusions, I want to show you exactly what factors had to be considered before all of the vegan meal replacement shakes on our list made the cut.
All of the vegan shakes we looked at had to use a good source of vegan protein, as well as healthy carbs and fats to even be considered.
We then looked deeper at the micronutrient content of each, to separate the good from the great.
Those rich in essential vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants were prioritised, while the vegan shakes containing nothing extra dropped down the ranking or were eliminated entirely.
Once the nutritional profile of a product had been established, the ingredients used to obtain it were then examined.
Shakes that used protein sources that are proven to be effective, such as organic pea protein and soy protein isolate were ranked highly, while less complete proteins fell.
The sources of carbs, fats, and other nutrients included were then examined to further separate the shakes.
We then finally looked at things like whether a shake was gluten free or if it included artificial sweeteners to make a determination on its final ranking.
When analysing the price of vegan meal replacement shakes, we focused primarily on their value, rather than their cost.
This meant that expensive vegan meal replacements would only be included if they could justify their price compared to the competition, while cheap ones were discounted if the sole thing they had going for them was their low cost.
The ideal vegan meal replacements we tried to stick to were those that offered the perfect combination of a high level of effectiveness and a fair price, which equates to maximum value.
Things To Consider Before You Buy A Meal Replacement Shake
Our comprehensive checks allow us to determine the best vegan meal replacement shakes for the vast majority of people. Not everyone has the same needs or goals when it comes to purchasing supplements though.
If you want to make absolutely certain that the plant based meal replacement shake you choose is right for you, there are a few important factors you need to consider.
The number of calories in a meal replacement powder can vary considerably from brand to brand.
While shakes with fewer calories can be useful for limited or intermittent use, those replacing meals with vegan meal shakes multiple times per day may want something more substantial.
Checking the number of calories in your chosen meal replacement shake matches your needs before buying it is the best way to make sure your purchase is able to help you achieve your goals.
Failing to do this can easily lead to cravings and snacking that will derail your diet.
The nutritional balance you require in a vegan meal replacement shake can vary depending on why you are using it.
Those looking to lose weight or build muscle will want a product similar to protein shakes that contains a high quantity and quantity of plant based protein powder.
Those turning to vegan meal replacement shakes for the health benefits they can offer will likely be seeking a product with a better balance of nutrients that also contains plenty of essential vitamins and minerals.
Keeping this in mind when looking at vegan meal replacement shakes gives you a much better chance of finding the one that is perfect for you.
The enjoyment of a nutritious meal replacement shake is focused less than its nutritional value, yet it is equally important, as most people will stop using it if they don’t like it.
This makes it vital that you find one that suits your tastes.
Look at both the flavours offered, to see if one appeals to you, and the reviews from other customers, to get an idea of how tasty people find it.
This will help you to find the best meal replacement shake for you, which you will be happy to keep using until you achieve your goals.
Even the healthiest meal replacement shakes can contain allergens or things that can upset the digestive system of certain people.
There will even be those who are using meal replacement products for the other health benefits they may offer, such as dealing with certain medical conditions.
That makes it extremely important to examine the full ingredients list of a meal replacement shake before you buy it.
If you have any doubts that the product you have chosen is safe for you to use or want to check it will do what you need, it is advised to speak to a medical professional before you start using it.
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake: Rootana
When it comes to selecting the best vegan meal replacement shakes out there, most people can end their search with Rootana. Made with only scientifically proven ingredients that are compatible with a vegan diet, it simply ticks all of the boxes.
Whether you are looking to lose weight, reap the mental and physical health benefits, or just make your life a little easier, the Rootana vegan meal replacement shake has you covered. Its price and naturally sweet taste even make it suitable for virtually everyone to use.
Even if you feel Rootana isn’t the right meal replacement shake for you, one of the other vegan meal replacement shakes on our list will have you covered. That means there should now be no reason left why you can’t use a meal replacement shake while sticking to a plant based diet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Before we end our analysis of the top vegan meal replacement shakes, let’s quickly go over a few of the most frequently asked questions people have on the topic.
Can You Live On Only Meal Replacement Shakes?
It is not recommended you live solely on meal replacement shakes.
As with any supplement, vegan meal replacement shakes are designed to be used in conjunction with a balanced, healthy vegan diet, in order to achieve the best results and limit any potential risks.
It is possible, however, to survive solely on vegan meal replacement shakes for a short period of time.
This should usually be reserved for when a goal must be achieved by a specific date, for example the need to achieve a certain amount of weight loss before a competition.
Are Meal Replacement Shakes Available Globally?
The meal replacement shakes on our list are all available in the US and Canada. But, not all of them are available in the UK. However, you can find a list of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK here.
How Much Do Meal Replacement Shakes Cost?
The price of a meal replacement shake can vary considerably between companies and even internally within a brand, based on factors like the size of the bag or how many you purchase.
That said, the options on this list range between roughly $2.50 and $5.00 per serving.
Depending on how you live your life, meal replacement shakes can either be seen as a necessity or a luxury but, either way, there should be options available to suit your budget.
Are Meal Replacement Shakes Good For Weight Loss?
Meal replacement shakes are a great option for weight loss as they often have all the nutrients your body needs with far fewer calories than would normally be required to achieve the same from solid food.
The liquid form of a meal replacement shake also means it goes through the digestive system much faster, so it is considerably less likely that any will be stored as fat.