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Comparison of Meal Replacement Shakes

written by: Bobby Mathew • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 2/10/2011

Bodybuilders and dieters alike use meal replacement shakes. There are many popular shakes out there. A meal replacement shake comparison like the one below will give you a better understanding of what's best for your needs.

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    A meal replacement shake is really a liquid meal that is low in calories and dense in nutrients. They are intended to be ingested in place of a meal to allow people to lose weight, stay healthy, and build muscle. They are usually high in protein, low in fat, and have a moderate amount of carbohydrates and pack several vitamins and minerals. A meal replacement shake comparison like the one listed below will give you a better understanding of which one is right for you.

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    Least Recommended Shakes

    Ultra Slim Fast seems to be the least recommended shake by many people. The nutrition information for Ultra Slim Fast is as follows:

    • Serving Size: 8 oz
    • Calories: 220
    • Fat: 1g
    • Carbohydrates: 46g (35g of sugar)
    • Protein: 7g

    While the shake is low in fat, many people are unhappy with the fact that there is 35g of sugar in the shake. Simple carbohydrates are something that many dieters want to avoid at any cost.

    Ensure Lite and Zone Perfect are slightly better options than Ultra Slim Fast. The nutrition information for Ensure Lite is as follows:

    • Serving Size: 8 oz
    • Calories: 200
    • Fat: 3g
    • Carbohydrates: 33g (18g of sugar)
    • Protein: 10g

    The shake has slightly less calories than Ultra Slim Fast, but the amount is negligible. There is significantly less sugar in this product than in Ultra Slim Fast, which is a plus for many dieters. The protein content is also higher, which helps people have a feeling of fullness. The nutrition information for Zone Perfect is as follows:

    • Serving Size: 8 oz
    • Calories: 260
    • Fat: 8g
    • Carbohydrates: 29g (22g of sugar)
    • Protein: 11g

    Zone Perfect is nearly the same as Ensure Lite, with few exceptions. It has slightly more calories and more sugar on the one hand. On the other hand it has enough fat and protein to keep you feeling full. The meal replacement shake comparison of these last 3 products alone show that you should look elsewhere if you want a quality shake.

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    Better Ideas for Meal Replacement Shakes

    If you are watching your carbs, here are some good options. Myoplex Low Carb has much less calories and carbs than nearly any meal replacement product you can find. It also has an abundant supply of protein which should help you feel full. The nutrition information for Myoplex Low Carb is as follows:

    • Serving Size: 11 oz
    • Calories: 120
    • Fat: 3.5g
    • Carbohydrates: 2g (1g of sugar)
    • Protein: 20g

    Atkins has a meal replacement shake that is similar to Myoplex Low Carb in many respects. It's also a great option for people that are watching their carb intake. The nutrition information for Atkins meal placement shakes are as follows:

    • Serving Size: 11 oz
    • Calories: 170
    • Fat: 9g
    • Carbohydrates: 4g (2g of sugar)
    • Protein: 20g

    If you have moderate to high carbohydrate needs, you might require something different. The ideal meal replacement shake for this comes from Met-Rx. The nutrition information for Met-Rx shakes are as follows:

    • Serving Size: 11 oz
    • Calories: 170
    • Fat: 2.5g
    • Carbohydrates: 20g (8g of sugar)
    • Protein: 20g
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    Final Words

    A person can draw many conclusions from this meal replacement shake comparison. The excess sugar content in certain shakes (Ultra Slim Fast, Ensure Lite, Zone Perfect, etc.) may cause crashes that make you feel hungry later. The low-carb meal replacement shakes (Myoplex, Atkins, etc.) have sufficient fat and protein content to help you feel full. However, they may not help you if you lead a physically active lifestyle. Since no diet is as successful as one that includes exercise, it may be a good idea to go with Met-Rx and keep yourself physically active.