Meal replacement, Nutritionally complete, Complete Nutrition, Eat complete… we’ve all heard them banded around but what do they actually mean and how are they relevant to you and your goals.
What are meal replacement shakes?
Meal replacement refers to products intended to substitute an individual meal or multiple meals throughout the day. Typically they are oﬀered in ﬂavoured powder mixes to which water, milk or juices can be added, although they are also available in ready to drink preparations and edible bars.
Although it might seem to some the market is being smashed with these new and fancy products, meal replacement is by no way new! Take your Marty McFly and come back with us to as far back as the 18th & and 19th century , you could have been out in the snow guzzling a product called pemmican – this was a concentrated dried and powdered mixture of fat and protein used by the Canadian fur traders. In the 1960s meal replacements have also become a regular feature of science ﬁction, especially in the space travel genre so now think George McFly.
In 1996 the European Union have decided to regulate these products with the COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 96/8/EC 26 February 1996 on foods intended for use in energy-restricted diets for weight reduction. In summary the directive stipulates the following key regulatory requirements:
– Total number of calories 200–400 kcal
– Protein 25–50% of total energy in product
– <30% of total energy in product from fat
– Vitamins and minerals 30% of amounts speciﬁed in the regulation
In the 21st Century meal replacement shakes have exploded in popularity and surfaced into the mainstream. Here is a selection of the key products:
– Jimmy Joy
Brands such as Soylent and Huel advocate the use of nutritionally complete meal replacement as an “alternative to junk food, and even home cooking” with a focus solely on function. This inevitably has meant a great deal of compromise and detriment on taste, texture and mixability of the meal replacement powders.
But why would I want to use a meal replacement I hear you ask? Well, brands like Soylent and Huel advocate the following use of meal replacement shakes:
– They are Convenient – they are on-the-go meals for busy individuals just like you, so instead of trying to get out of the oﬃce to grab that lunchtime meal deal you go and opt for “nutritionally complete meals” with all you daily protein, carbohydrates, fats, ﬁbre, vitamins and minerals your body needs in one shake.
– Calorie restriction diets if you’ve decided to ditch the excess Christmas port and cheese pounds, using a meal replacement can be beneﬁcial as calories are controlled and you can ensure they still get the correct amounts of nutrients required
– Increase calorie consumption if you’re looking to build muscle or gain weight
Meal replacement as convenient complete nutrition?
It is a tempting option we get it… however, you may soon come to realise that your supposedly “healthy” shake has in excess of 400 kcal in it, if water is used to mix it, and even more if milk, fruits or sweeteners are added reaching in some cases over 600 kcal. Think about it this way, your favourite Maccies Burger or two mars bars!! Hmm not so tempting now right? The majority of those that use meal replacement shake powders ﬁnd taste and texture challenging and unpalatable and dare we say it a hold your nose and down it jobbie! (remember those antibiotics when you were younger, you knew that you needed it but it didn’t make it anymore fun) what we also noticed is that if you only add water to mix it what often happens is your meal replacement shake leaves you feeling deprived and craving for the foods you actually enjoy. So then what happens?.. Well your meal replacement shake ends up being followed by another more desirable meal, did someone say Mac and Cheese! And you end up whooﬁng down much more calories then you had initially set out to, did someone say complete nutrition?
Is meal replacement good for weight loss?
Feeding from (no pun) the point above, research comparing weight loss results between groups using meal replacement shakes for 12 weeks and those with reduced calories and modiﬁed lifestyle also for 12 weeks have shown some interesting results. With one and two year follow-ups, although both groups have lost weight after 12 weeks, in both the one and two year follow-ups the meal replacement group had regained signiﬁcant weight back, whilst the reduced calorie modiﬁed lifestyle group had more sustainable weight loss. It was concluded that meal replacements became a bit of a “crutch” additionally given the unpleasant taste and texture with replacement meal shakes they worked only for the short term and were not a reliable long term solution for weight maintenance.
We read through all of this over at Dare when putting together the magic that is now the motivational shake and decided we were going to be in support of a lifestyle change that gives you that balance you need between reducing calorie intake and physical activity for eﬀective weight management. Our taste rocks! and we think we are much higher than current meal replacement shake brands in terms of taste, mixability, texture etc. So the absolutely cracking motivational shake can be used as much more of a long term solution that can be encompassed into a regular habit for weight maintenance or weight loss. It is your delicious daily dose of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to function like a legend whilst also helping you tackle those hunger cravings between meals, and thereby, avoiding those high calorie meal binges. But we wont stop at just that you can choose to use the motivational shake as a pre workout motivation or post workout recovery as part of your eﬀorts in boosting your physical activity alongside reducing calorie intake.
Digestive (gastrointestinal) discomfort with meal replacement shakes?
Ever had your meal replacement and you are left feeling more bloated than an afternoon of grannys roast dinner following a crumble and custard? Yep you know the one, well a common eﬀect of using the meal replacement shakes has been digestive discomfort; nausea, cramps and bloating. The culprits are artiﬁcial sugar alcohols such as Sucralose; sugar alcohols are an artiﬁcial carbohydrate that is not well absorbed or digested by the body, and so once in the intestinal tract they are fermented by bacteria, releasing gas, which leads to bloating, cramps, pain and diarrhoea.
The motivational shake contains absolutely no artiﬁcial sweeteners or sugar alcohols and for this very reason! It only contains naturally occurring sugars and natural, non artiﬁcial sweeteners which have been shown to exert no gastrointestinal side eﬀects as those experienced with sugar alcohols like Sucralose. The use of natural sweeteners allows us to maintain minimal sugar levels which are less than 2.5g per serving and giving you a tasty shake… yum!
Are meal replacement shakes the answer?
No over here at Dare we don’t advocate it.
We understand you’re leading a busy life and for most of us this isn’t getting any slower and you might require some solutions for healthy convenient nutrition.
We believe in real food and good nutrition rather than trying to replace it with a shake, The motivational shake was designed to give you the right proportion of vitamins, minerals (26 vitamins and minerals to be precise) carbs, protein and fats to ensure you function at your best and thrive during those daily busy adventures. The motivational shake can be used to supplement that busy lifestyle and help you achieve your RDA as well as boosting your mental and physical performance…what a winning combo eh?
Meal Replacement & Dare
So we have given everything we can now and its over to you!
Over here at dare we don’t believe in meal replacement as you’ve probably guessed… but what we do believe in is a good lifestyle and supplement to help you get everything you need and cut those cravings! Our shake is plant based protein so no nasty bloating and is full of the good stuﬀ.. remember those 26 vitamins and minerals!
Oh and just for fun you get ingredients that contribute to your mental performance, help with tiredness and fatigue and boost that metabolism… so ditch the meal replacement and try good Nutrition for Motivation instead.