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Best Meal Replacement Shakes UK

I’ve taken the time to review list of some of the best meal replacement shakes available to buy in the UK, and I’m not talking about just simple weight loss shakes, but complete meal shakes that can fully function as a complete meal replacement shake. I also made sure to add more than one vegan option because real food isn’t just sourced from animals.

12 of The Best Meal Replacement Shakes

I reviewed the 12 best meal replacement shakes available to buy in the UK right now.

Rootana Real Food Shake

Rootana real food shake

Rootana features and benefits

  • All natural ingredients
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Great creamy taste
  • Plant based
  • 30g of protein for muscle growth and repair
  • 27 Vitamins & Minerals for a complete vitamin profile
  • Vitamin A to help your skin and immune system
  • Vitamin E helps strengthen your immune system
  • Healthy fats Omega 3 and 6
  • Chromium to raise your mood

PhenQ Complete Meal Shake

PhenQ Complete Meal Shake

Features and benefits

  • Replaces 1 full meal
  • Helps to shed excess weight
  • Satisfies hunger cravings
  • 100% plant-based & keto-friendly
  • Boosts natural energy
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Perfect for on-the-go
  • 24 key vitamins and minerals
  • Low carbs
  • Only 269 calories per serving
  • Helps shed pounds with science-backed InnoSlim®
  • Boosts energy and controls cravings
  • 100% money back guarantee

Instant Knockout Complete

Instant Knockout Complete Meal

Instant Knockout Complete features and benefits

  • 35g of protein for muscle growth and repair
  • 35g of carbohydrate for energy
  • 13g of fibre for digestion and slow release energy
  • Benefit from Vitamin D whether you train indoor or out
  • Vitamin A to help your skin and immune system
  • Vitamin E helps strengthen your immune system
  • Healthy fats Omega 3 and 6
  • Chromium to elevate your mood
  • Combines well with Instant Knockout Cut for weight loss

Abnormal Complete Meal

Abnormal meal replacement

Features and benefits

  • Personalised meals – Each shake has all the nutrients and vitamins required to qualify for a complete meal
  • On top of that, each meal will contain a range of active ingredients tailored to an individuals’ health, lifestyle and goals.
  • Vegan? Gluten-Free? Stressed? Feeling lethargic?
  • Want to lose some weight? Whatever you need, abnormal. has got you covered.
  • Single serve sachets – Your abnormal. meals comes in handy single serve sachets to minimise food waste.
  • No wrestling with a big bag of powder, hunting for a plastic scoop or powder everywhere.
  • Paper Based-packaging – Each sachet is made from renewable material that you can simply recycle as part of your normal waste collection.

Help fight World Hunger – Every time you receive your subscription box, we donate to the worldwide hunger charity, Share The Meal™, and feed a starving child for a full day.

Currently offering free trial worth £23.99, which includes 7 personalised meals, a shaker and a personal nutrition guide. Use Promo code: “FREE”

How it works

  1. Take the questionnaire about your diet, health and lifestyle
  2. Get a FREE trial – Personalised meals delivered to your door
  3. Receive a 30 meal smart subscription
  4. Update your profile and re-take the analysis and your food will sync to your lifestyle changes

Shape Shake 2.0

Foodspring Shape Shake 2.0

Shape Shake 2.0 features and benefits

  • High quality protein from grass-fed milk
  • Nutritionally complete
  • Gluten free, no artificial sweeteners
  • Contains digestive enzymes
  • One of the best tasting
  • Suitable for healthy weight gain for muscle mass
  • Can replace one to two meals per day

Shape Shake 2.0 is one of the best shakes to lose weight in the UK market today. It boasts of a complete amino acid profile, has all the nutrients you want per serving, and is effectively a weight loss shake.

The team at Foodspring reworked the formula to become more of a full meal than just a simple health food or snack. They made sure it’s high protein, high fibre, low sugar, and added all sorts of helpful bits that make Shape Shake 2.0 the standard to beat in the weight loss industry.

The Protein Works Diet Extreme

Diet Extreme Meal Replacement

Best features and benefits

  • 22 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Controlled calorie intake
  • One of the best weight loss shakes
  • Fast and slow-release proteins
  • 12 months shelf-life
  • Sustained energy release
  • Under 210 calories per meal
  • Uses whey protein isolate; better than whey protein concentrate
  • Low in sugar/Low calorie
  • High protein/Good for weight gain
  • Contains fat burners for more muscle mass
  • Vegan option also available

The Protein Works Diet Meal Replacement Shake separates themselves from other top-notch shakes by adding fast and slow-release proteins. This is a unique take as most meal replacement shakes would rather use standard whey protein concentrate and call it a day.

Why does having fast and slow-release proteins matter? Because it contributes to sustained satiety. Fast-release proteins help with that feeling of being energised while slow-release proteins help keep you full for longer periods.

Feeling full reduces your tendency to have sweet cravings, effectively curbing your sweet tooth. This makes the formula suitable for those who have weight gain goals or those who want a protein shake that can help in losing weight.

The product also has actual fat burners to help with your weight loss goals, namely carnitine, glucomannan, and green tea extract. The only thing I don’t like here is the price, as it’s easily 25-40% more expensive than some of the other premium brands in the protein shake and complete shakes categories.

BeNu Complete Nutrition Shake

BeNu Complete Nutrition Shake

Best features and benefits

  • NEW from Myprotein
  • 1 meal contains a third of your daily need of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Digestion and immunity support
  • Low Sugar
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • 3 great flavours
  • Ready in under 1 minute
  • As low as £1.59 per serving

BeNu Complete Nutrition from Myprotein is a nutritionally complete meal, and one of the easiest ways to get all the nutrients your body needs.

Each serving contains a nutritionally rich formula of gluten-free oat flour, whey protein concentrate and soya protein isolate, along with essential vitamins and minerals.

Garden of Life

Garden of Life All in One Nutritional Shake

Some of the best features and benefits

  • 40% Protein per serving
  • One of the few nutritionally complete shakes
  • 44 Different superfoods
  • 21 essential vitamins and minerals
  • 1.5 billion CFU probiotics
  • Can be used to lose weight
  • Gluten free, dairy free, soy free
  • Safe for vegans

We see Garden of Life Meal Replacement as the next best option because it’s one of the most robust meal replacement shakes ever. If you’re looking for one of the best weight loss shakes, this can be a good pick if you’re on a healthy diet.

Then we also have to mention that Garden of Life’s reputation as a high-quality wellness supplement company is pretty untarnished. After all, you’ll be taking something that comes in a can every day for at least a month, so always buy a shake from a company that’s known for product safety on top of quality.

Well rounded, high protein, lots of probiotics per serving, quality company and formula, you just can’t get any better than this, folks.


Slimfast Protein Replacement Shake

Benefits I think you’ll like

  • 23 essential vitamins and minerals
  • No Added Sugar
  • One of the best weight loss shakes in the market
  • 15 grams of protein per serving
  • Includes a dietary plan for weight loss
  • Simple, no frills, and focused formulation

SlimFast is one of the most popular meal replacement shakes due to how it’s advertised specifically to help with your weight loss goals. After all, one of the reasons why people use them is to lose weight, so going all-in on weight management is always a good marketing idea.

One of the best things about SlimFast is how it’s not a new product at all. If anything, SlimFast has been around for decades through their SlimFast Diet program.

The program involves eating two meal shakes per day plus three snacks. They also guide you into what meal to make on your own for a complete healthy diet. This way, you can start losing weight naturally.

SCI-MX Diet Meal Replacement Protein Powder

Sci Mx Diet Meal

Features and benefits

  • Nutritionally a great complete meal replacement
  • High protein
  • High quality protein source
  • High fibre
  • Healthy fats
  • Moderate amounts of carbs and fat
  • High in Zinc, Iodine, and Calcium
  • 25 grams of protein

SCI-MX Diet Meal Replacement Protein Powder looks like one of those products that are serious about being a low calorie meal replacement shake. Their macro ratio is really ideal, mimicking a “balanced” meal with 25 grams of protein, 14g carbs, and 4.7g fat.

Each serving contains 30% of your daily vitamin and mineral needs, which means you can easily replace one third of your meals with their product. You can go beyond and replace one to two meals if you think you’re up for it.

It also lists green tea extract as an active ingredient. Green tea extract is one of the best fat burners in the industry thanks to its antioxidant content.Green tea extract works by increasing fat oxidation inside the body, which can lead to better than normal energy yielding metabolism.

As to why it’s ranked this low despite the good formulation, there are other premium meal replacement shakes out there that work better for the price.

If you find yourself short on meal prep time, do you just give up on your weight loss goals? Of course not! There are plenty of other methods and ways for you to plan your meals, and one of them is by taking the meal replacement shakes available in the UK.

We are living in a world where everything needs to happen fast or right away, with every minute counting towards how we manage our time. The same thing goes for fitness and wellness, with just about every new fitness or diet program claiming to help you with your weight loss goals or “gain muscle” in less than two weeks or in 30 minutes.

PhenQ Meal Replacement Shake #1

The thing is, there is no real fast way to becoming healthy and achieve weight loss goals. Long term weight loss goals require a lifetime of dedication and discipline with regards to what we eat, and most of the time you can solve this through eating real food. Eating real food for your weight loss goals can be done with meal prep.

A good example of meal prep is making a menu centred on a high protein healthy meal every day for muscle gain. But let’s face it: People no longer have the time to prepare their meals.

Blogs on the internet will tell you that it will “just take 15 minutes,” but that’s assuming you have everything ready and someone else will do the dishes for you.

When people don’t have their meal prep game on, their tendency is to just eat anything inside the fridge or whatever looks healthy and hope that they don’t go overboard on calories or macros to lose weight, but this lack of discipline doesn’t result in weight loss at all.

What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?

Meal replacement shakes are exactly what they sound like: Shakes or smoothies formulated to replace a meal, with all the nutrients, minerals, vitamins (especially folic acid for female consumers), and other healthy goodies you would normally find in a typical meal.

Many of them contain herbs, protein powders, and even fibre sources or carb alternatives like brown rice. They are designed to replace a regular meal to help with lean muscle growth, promote normal energy yielding metabolism, and optimal health.

Whilst some people don’t think they’re real food, they are effectively a healthy meal in a shake and keep you feeling fuller for longer. The latter can help with losing weight or if someone is on a low calorie or calorie deficit diet, and they want to reduce their sweet cravings.

Sometimes known as weight loss shakes or diet shakes, meal replacement shakes weren’t really designed for weight loss, but the fact that the calories and macros are quantified can give you a sense of control with how much you eat per meal. This can go a long way for those who are struggling with losing weight or those who want to gain weight.

The control you have over the calories you consume, and all the nutrients per serving, can definitely help your typical Joe or Jane with their weight loss or weight gain goals, especially those looking at wanting a high protein diet.

Some meal also work best for those who want the best vegan meal replacement drinks. People are starting to look more into a plant-based diet, and a vegan meal replacement shake with a complete amino acid profile (not just typical weight loss shakes) creates a huge market.

Regardless of the dietary preference, the meal replacement shakes work in tandem with a healthy diet. Nothing can replace a healthy diet, but the best meal replacement shake can augment it or fill some of the nutritional gaps.

5 Key benefits of taking meal replacements

So, why would you want to substitute something that needs to be blended or stirred over your usual lunch or snack? Well, a number of good reasons:

1. Portable

Some meal replacement shakes can come in the form of powdered mixes similar to protein shakes and powders, while others come in the form of ready to drink beverages, where all you’ll need to do is shake the bottle and you have a meal.

2. Can help you avoid unnecessary eating

Similar to meal prep, meal replacement shakes can be a form of self-control with regards to appetite. Usually, when you don’t plan your meals, it can lead to eating more calories per day.

You don’t have to go outside the office or your house to buy food you’re not sure fits your low calorie intake or macro requirements. Then, it also has this psychological edge where once you’re done with your shake, you’d feel full or at least no longer craving for more. No sweet cravings, no sweet tooth. Out of sight, out of mind and it’s the same with food.

3. They state the ingredients, the protein, carb, fat content, and the calories per serving or per bottle

This ties with #2 on how the consumer is fully aware of what they’re taking, unlike typical foods that don’t even list the calorie per serving. If your diet program says you only need X amount of anything per meal or per day, these diet shakes can help give you better control over those numbers. This can result in improved weight maintenance.

4. Nutritious by default

The usual office microwaveable foods aren’t exactly the prime definition of health foods or real food, and nutrient density matters highly when you’re after optimal health. What you want to do is make every calorie as healthy and nutritious as possible, and this is what meal replacement shakes do. The calorie content is kept to a minimum while the nutrient content is maxed out as much as possible.

5. Save time

Finally, the best perk of taking supplements like these is how they save us time. Imagine having a nutritionally complete meal in just 5 minutes. No more cooking, re-heating, or unnecessary dishwashing. Just mix your meal replacement drinks and you’re done.

Why Meal Replacement Shakes aren’t all good

We highlighted some pretty solid reasons why meal replacement shakes are great for you, so now we also have to look at the other side of the coin and see what makes them not as good as they sound.

  1. May contain unhealthy ingredients. Depending on what brand you buy, the formula used may contain some rather unhealthy ingredients or fillers. Normally, fillers are used to help “thicken” the shake, add flavour, or prevent powders from caking or lumping. These ingredients may not be immediately bad for our health, but due to how the shakes are taken daily, this may eventually lead to a health problem.
  2. They aren’t a long-term solution. Meal replacement shakes are pretty handy and can be habit-forming. The convenience, the time saved, and the way it does all the macro and calorie counting for you are huge perks for consumers. However, the idea is to eventually move towards whole foods and not be permanently reliant on what is basically a bunch of nutrients in a bottle.
  3. They don’t really change eating habits. If you’re fond of snacking, taking meal replacements won’t fix that. Even if you were to lose weight within the next 30 days of taking them, resuming bad habits even while you’re still ingesting this type of product will only bring the weight back and possibly even more.

What to look for in a Meal Replacement Shake

Meal replacement shakes are great when it comes to weight loss, but what exactly should you be looking for when buying a quality meal replacement shake?


The first thing you have to look for in any supplement is the ingredient list section. If a supplement doesn’t have that, then it’s an easy skip. You may think that this doesn’t happen, but there are products out there who only print ingredients lists by themselves and are not checked by any third-party system with regards to its authenticity.

Assuming the product has the ingredients list, the next part is to read the exact ingredients included per serving.

In a typical meal replacement shake, you should expect to find a long list of ingredients. After all, you are essentially replacing an entire meal’s worth of nutrients, so the list better be long!

Usually, these ingredients are separated by blends and the blends are determined based on function. The common blends include:

  • Digestive aides/enzymes: These are ingredients meant to help absorb nutrients better or stimulate proper digestion to prevent digestion problems. [6,7]
  • Macros: These are your carbs, protein, and sometimes even fat sources. These have to be correctly stated in both dosage and what form, as some people have food  sensitivities especially with gluten and lactose and may wish to source gluten free meal replacement shakes instead.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: This blend is usually the longest on the label, complete with dosage and their corresponding daily values or %DV.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 blend: This is often a separate blend from fats as the source of omega-3 and omega-6 can be either fish oil or sunflower oil, and only one of them is for vegans.
  • Fibre and prebiotics: On top of being a great digestion aide, fibre can also help with weight loss as this gives your belly that “full” feeling which is important if you’re only taking a meal replacer for lunch or maybe even dinner. Some types of fibre also double as prebiotics, compounds that promote gut bacterial health which is important for immunity on top of other bodily functions. [1,2,8]

Next to zero fillers

The ingredients section will tell a lot about the quality of a meal replacement shake, especially when it comes to the things they add that aren’t supposed to be there called fillers.

Given that some fillers are necessary during the manufacturing process (i.e. anti-caking agents or powders that increase flowability), they should not be in high number or part of the key ingredients.

The fillers should be declared at the very least, especially when we’re talking about colorants, sweeteners, and other ingredients that give the shake texture.

Macro ratio

When it comes to weight loss, you’re always aiming for the most nutrients with the least calories per serving. More than the calories, you should also be on the lookout for a macro ratio, or how much carbs, protein, and fats it has per serving.

Ideally, a meal replacement shake should be composed of:

  • 50% Carbs (of which you also include fibre and sugars if any)
  • 30% Proteins
  • 20% Fats

The numbers can change depending on the product and your goals.

Which is the best weight loss shake?

Shape Shake 2.0 from Foodspring is the best meal replacement shake for weight loss due to its high protein content and robust formulation that promotes appetite control.

A close second would be The Protein Works Diet Meal Replacement Extreme because of how they include actual fat burners in the mix, and how the formula has fast and slow-release proteins to help curb your appetite the rest of the day or until your next meal. This can avoid snacking and intake of excess calories.

Which is the best meal replacement shake for energy?

The Protein Works Diet Meal Replacement Extreme is the best for energy due to its formula that consists of both fast and slow-release proteins. These proteins help maximise the meal replacement shake’s energy boosting effect, extending the energizing feeling throughout the whole day.

The next one would be MET-RX Original Meal Replacement because of its 35 grams of protein per serving. This protein shake makes it more filling than carbs or fat, and when you’re replacing actual meals, you want to make sure your stomach feels as full as possible.

Which is the best meal replacement shake for breakfast?

XLS Nutrition Weight Loss Meal Replacement Shake is the best not just because of the formulation, but because of how it also has an easy weight loss plan that definitely wants you to integrate exercise.

The next one would be SlimFast Meal Shake with almost the same weight loss program knitted closely with their meal shake recipes.

Which is the best meal replacement shake for overall health?

Garden of Life Meal Replacement is the best overall meal replacement shake due to how robust the formulation is, the quality of the ingredients used, the synergy of each ingredient, and they also top it all off with a good serving of probiotics.

I also think Garden of Life Meal Replacement’s reputation as a quality company further exemplifies why they’re the best meal replacement shake for overall health. Anything you will put inside your body has to be safe first and foremost, and Garden of Life is one of those companies that take the extra step for quality and safety.


  1. Clark MJ, Slavin JL. The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: a systematic review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32(3):200-11. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2013.791194. PMID: 23885994.
  2. Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW. The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr;19(4):818-24. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.203. Epub 2010 Sep 16. PMID: 20847729; PMCID: PMC4564867.
  3. Guo X, Xu Y, He H, Cai H, Zhang J, Li Y, Yan X, Zhang M, Zhang N, Maddela RL, Nicodemus-Johnson J, Ma G. Effects of a Meal Replacement on Body Composition and Metabolic Parameters among Subjects with Overweight or Obesity. J Obes. 2018 Dec 26;2018:2837367. doi: 10.1155/2018/2837367. PMID: 30687550; PMCID: PMC6327254.
  4. Davis LM, Coleman C, Kiel J, Rampolla J, Hutchisen T, Ford L, Andersen WS, Hanlon-Mitola A. Efficacy of a meal replacement diet plan compared to a food-based diet plan after a period of weight loss and weight maintenance: a randomised controlled trial. Nutr J. 2010 Mar 11;9:11. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-11. PMID: 20222968; PMCID: PMC2851659.
  5. Kruschitz R, Wallner-Liebmann S, Lothaller H, Luger M, Ludvik B. Long-Term Weight-Loss Maintenance by a Meal Replacement Based Weight Management Program in Primary Care. Obes Facts. 2017;10(2):76-84. doi: 10.1159/000454836. Epub 2017 Apr 5. PMID: 28376497; PMCID: PMC5644929.
  6. Ianiro G, Pecere S, Giorgio V, Gasbarrini A, Cammarota G. Digestive Enzyme Supplementation in Gastrointestinal Diseases. Curr Drug Metab. 2016;17(2):187-93. doi: 10.2174/138920021702160114150137. PMID: 26806042; PMCID: PMC4923703.
  7. Roxas M. The role of enzyme supplementation in digestive disorders. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Dec;13(4):307-14. PMID: 19152478.
  8. Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013 Apr 22;5(4):1417-35. doi: 10.3390/nu5041417. PMID: 23609775; PMCID: PMC3705355.

Meal Replacement FAQs

Can I only drink meal replacement shakes?

If you bought a meal replacement shake, then of course you can only drink them.

Even if you do think of using a spoon or scoop to just chew on them, this is not only hard to do (you will be doing quite a lot of chewing), but it will also be inefficient when it comes to nutrient absorption. The formulation of meal replacement shakes were designed to make ingredients easier to absorb in a liquid medium, so removing water from the computation can negatively affect the product’s efficacy.

Can I use meal replacement shakes to lose weight?

Some meal replacement shakes are formulated to help you lose weight, especially those with fat burners and lots of fibre in the formula. Generally speaking, they can only help you lose weight if:

– You’re controlling total calories consumed per day.
– You’re strict with using meal replacers to actually replace meals and not as a snack in-between meals.
– You’re using the recommended diet plans provided.

Some meal replacements are also meant to be taken as a post workout meal, so if you’re also doing your part in exercising, taking products like these should lead to weight loss.

What is in a meal replacement?

Meal replacement shakes often contain all the basic nutrients including vitamins and minerals. They also have a good source of protein and fibre. A few have fat in the form of plant oils or omega-3 fatty acids or MCT oils.

More specialised, premium meal replacements have digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics in the mix too.

What is the most filling meal replacement shake?

The most filling meal replacement shakes are those that have high protein content and high fibre content. This is because protein and fibre are hard to digest, which makes them filling.

On our top 10 list, the most filling would have to be USN Diet Fuel Chocolate UltraLean and The Protein Works Diet Meal Replacement Extreme.

How many calories are in a meal replacement?

This varies per product, but the average seems to be between 250 to 350 calories. Shakes that go higher often add more carbs with the intent of being a post-workout supplement while shakes that go lower are often shakes taken for weight loss purposes.

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