4 Best Meal Replacement Bars for Weight Loss

What are the best meal replacement bars?

Meal replacement bars can be an effective and efficient way to reduce calories in their diets and lose weight. While not recommended as a long term weight loss solution, there are certain bars that can be helpful in weight loss in the short term without compromising healthier long term weight loss goals.

The Noom team has compiled a list of meal replacement bars for weight loss that may help you drop unwanted pounds without excluding a lot of the necessary nutrients that are needed to maintain good health.

1. The PROBAR Almond Crunch

The PROBAR Almond Crunch meal replacement bar for weight loss is ideal for anyone with food allergies or lifestyle food restrictions. Vegetarians, vegans, and those who are gluten free can also enjoy this bar because it contains no gluten or ingredients derived from animals. This bar works as a filling and energizing breakfast or lunch replacement but probably doesn’t have enough calories, protein, and other benefits to serve as a proper stand in for dinner.

Instead of skipping meals throughout your busy class or work day, plant-based protein bars with loads of natural ingredients like this can help you maintain a balanced diet and prevent you from overeating by the time you get a chance to sit down for a regular meal.

Nutritional snapshot:

  • 18 grams of fat
  • 48 grams of carbohydrates
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • 19 grams of sugar
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 370 calories


Tapioca syrup, oats, dates, sunflower seeds, almond butter (almonds), cashew butter (cashews, sunflower oil, cashews, flax seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, crisp brown rice, dried cane syrup, expeller pressed canola oil, sliced almonds, vegetable glycerine, rice syrup, natural flavors, oat flour, pumpkin seed, molasses, and salt.

Even though this is one of the best meal replacement weight loss bars, it is not ideal for low carb dieting or for casual snacking between regular meals, however. Because it’s higher in calories, you’ll want to use this as a meal supplement.

2. IsaLean Bar Chocolate Cream Crisp

The IsaLean Bar Chocolate Cream Crisp is one of the best meal replacement bars for weight loss when it comes to replacing a low calorie snack or a meal because it is high in protein, low in calories, and low in fat. It also scores low on the glycemic index for those following a low glycemic diet and it is gluten free, as well.

Nutritional snapshot:

  • 270 calories
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 28 grams of carbohydrates
  • 18 grams of sugar
  • 18 grams of protein
  • Vitamins and minerals


Protein blend , cane sugar, chocolate coating (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, milk fat, soy lecithin, natural flavor), maltitol, ground almonds, glycerin, sunflower oil, nonfat dry milk, natural flavors, gum arabic, vitamin and mineral blend Contains milk, tree nut (almond), and soy (lecithin) ingredients. Manufactured in a facility that also processes eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts.

This bar won’t work for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant because it contains whey protein and other milk-derived ingredients.

3. Quest Nutrition Coconut Cashew Protein Bar

The Quest Nutrition Coconut Cashew Protein Bar is high in protein and fiber, low in carbohydrates, gluten free, and keto friendly. The sugar alcohols contained in this bar are claimed by Quest to be not harmful to your body and come in at only 4 grams. Because it’s so low in calories, this bar can be enjoyed as a snack or meal replacement and is one of the best meal replacement bars for women or men following a strict low calorie diet.

Nutritional snapshot:

  • 170 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 25 grams of carbohydrates
  • 17 grams of fiber
  • 1 gram of sugar
  • 20 grams of protein


Protein blend (whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate), isomalto-oligosaccharides* (prebiotic fiber, 100% natural prebiotic fibers derived from plant-based sources), almonds, water, erythritol, dried coconut. contains less than 2% of the following: cashews, sea salt, natural flavors, lo han guo, and stevia.

This bar won’t work for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant because it contains whey protein and other milk derived ingredients.

4. OATMEGA Chocolate Coconut

The OATMEGA Chocolate Coconut energy bars come in under 250 calories which makes them one of the best meal replacement bars for weight loss or as a snack on a low calorie diet. It’s also fairly high in protein and works well for busy people with active lifestyles who require snacks between business, recreation, commuting, and workouts.

Nutritional snapshot:

  • 200 calories
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 22 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of fiber
  • 5 grams of sugar
  • 14 grams of protein


Grass-fed whey protein concentrate, chicory root fiber, whey protein crisp (whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, rice flour, tapioca starch, calcium carbonate), gluten-free oats, vegetable glycerin, tapioca syrup, sugar, sunflower oil, coconut, chocolate liquor, responsibly-caught fish oil (anchovy, sardine, tilapia), natural flavors, almonds, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, sea salt, and monk fruit extract.

Contains milk, fish, tree nuts, and soy. May contain traces of peanuts.

Should you use energy, protein, or nutrition bars for weight loss?

As with any meal replacement diet that relies on a quick fix mentality, the resulting weight loss from any of these bars is virtually always unsustainable. You may also end up eliminating healthy nutrients your body needs in one way or another (because no weight loss bar can serve as a genuine stand-in for a real meal).

To lose weight effectively, long term, a personalized weight loss program is the only way to go. Check out Noom to see for yourself how well it supports your individual needs.

  • Meal Replacement

Sometimes life can be too busy for you to get a full meal, or maybe you just can’t be bothered to cook. Perhaps you want to lose weight for that upcoming family wedding, but fasting is not the answer. Even if you don’t feel you have time, skipping meals is not a recommended option, it’s like trying to run your car on an empty tank of gas.

The best meal-replacement bars can have enough calories to stop your stomach from making those strange sounds as you sit at your desk. They can also give you the energy and nutrients you need to get through the busy day ahead. Meal-replacement bars offer a healthier alternative to just grabbing a Snickers from the office vending machine.

But how do you choose the right bar without ending up with a piece of candy or something with more calories than that tempting lunchtime burger? Hopefully, here we’ll give you some tips and look at some of the best meal-replacement bars available today.


High Protein

A sugar-free bar, which has a chunky peanut butter flavor. It’s low in carbohydrates but high in protein.


High Protein

A sugar-free bar, which has a chunky peanut butter flavor. It’s low in carbohydrates but high in protein.

Luna Protein

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Low glycemic index means that these bars digest slowly, giving long-lasting energy. Contains 12 grams of protein.

Luna Protein

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Low glycemic index means that these bars digest slowly, giving long-lasting energy. Contains 12 grams of protein.


Builder’s Protein

Ideal for fitness enthusiasts. Designed with essential amino acids to boost workouts and assist recovery.


Builder’s Protein

Ideal for fitness enthusiasts. Designed with essential amino acids to boost workouts and assist recovery.

Nature Valley

Protein Chewy Bars

Made from roasted peanuts, almonds and coconuts. Without gluten, it provides high levels of fiber and boosts energy.

Nature Valley

Protein Chewy Bars

Made from roasted peanuts, almonds and coconuts. Without gluten, it provides high levels of fiber and boosts energy.

How to Choose the Best Meal-Replacement Bars

Meal-replacement bars may look similar to many of those dreaded candy bars, but they’re packed with high amounts of protein. Often called protein bars, the protein usually comes from soy, milk or whey protein with some companies even adding powdered protein for a more protein-dense bar. It’s the protein which fills you up and stops your hunger pangs when skipping a meal.


The first thing you should look at when choosing the best meal-replacement bar is the quality of ingredients. Ingredients added for flavor and consistency like sugar or corn syrup can pile on those empty calories. Try to choose a bar that uses as natural ingredients and sweeteners as possible.

Many of the best meal-replacement bars will be gluten free, with more now becoming plant based and vegan friendly. Check for potential allergens like soy or peanuts before choosing a bar.


Just as important as the ingredients is the taste of the bar. Nobody wants to feel like they’re eating a protein-loaded piece of cardboard. Natural fruit and sweeteners can add to the flavor without adding too many calories. A chocolate or chocolate coating will also add to the flavor without being as unhealthy as a normal full-fat chocolate candy bar.

Meal-Replacement Bars and Your Dietary Goals

The other key factor is what you expect from your meal-replacement bars. If you want to lose some weight, you should be opting for a low calorie meal replacement bar. Various studies have shown that meal-replacement bars can help you as part of a calorie-controlled diet.

Some bars will offer a decent balance between weight loss and muscle building. These can be used as a snack bar for bulking up or meal replacement when trying to lose some weight. For more specific needs you can even make your own homemade meal-replacement bars tailored to your specific needs as shown in the following YouTube video.

Meal-replacement bars for Men Versus Women

A close look at the ingredients on a meal-replacement bar will reveal substances that are meant for specific purposes. The different compositions will depend on how your body is constructed, your level of fitness and how much muscle you want (or don’t want) to gain.

The larger your body is the more protein you’ll need to keep it going. A bodybuilder using a low-protein bar may find his muscles are actually shrinking rather than growing. Likewise if as a woman you go for bars with high protein used by bodybuilders you’ll put weight on rather than lose it.

Men generally require around 10 grams of protein while most women only need about 8 grams. Fiber requirements for men and women also vary, with men needing 38 grams of fiber a day compared to the 25 grams which is enough for women. Some bars have even be designed to meet the specific nutritional needs of women.

The Best Meal-Replacement Bars

We’ve looked at some top selling meal replacement bars from leading brands available today. In our opinion these are the five best meal-replacement bars, just choose which one meets your goals, or even which sounds tastiest!
Our #2 Rated our #2 rated


Peanut Butter Bar

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Our rating

For people looking to lose weight, these bars are an ideal choice. Using whey and soy protein they combine nutritious ingredients with tasty ones. If used for breakfast or lunch, you’ll get all the protein, minerals and vitamins your body needs through the day.

At 230 calories a bar they’ll help you with weight loss if used as a meal replacement. Snacking on the bar between meals will give more calories than you should eat if you’re on a weight loss diet. Contains no gluten, so you don’t have to worry about any intolerances, but they use natural milk which makes them unsuitable for vegans—a plant-based minty chocolate option is also available.


No added sugars.

Highly nutritious.

Peanut butter base tastes great.

Gluten free.



Potential allergens in soy and peanut.

Unsuitable for vegans.

Only contains 1 gram of dietary fiber.

Our #3 Rated our #3 rated

Luna Protein

Gluten free Protein Bar

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Our rating

Luna Bars have been especially formulated by women to meet a woman’s nutritional needs. Each bar has only 170 calories so you can use it as either a snack or meal-replacement bar as long as you don’t overindulge between meals. With 3 grams of dietary fiber and 12 grams of protein, it’s also a good source of calcium, iron and vitamin D.

A chocolate chip flavor with a hint of vanilla in a nougat composition, it’s a low-glycemic bar meaning it’s broken down slower for a prolonged level of energy.


High intake of vitamins and minerals.

One of the best-tasting meal-replacement bars if you love chocolate.

Good for weight loss.


14 grams of sugar in a small bar.

May cause gas or bloating in some people.

Our #4 Rated our #4 rated

Clif Builder’s

Chocolate Mint Protein Bar

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Our rating

This bar packs 270 calories and is perfect for men wanting to bulk up their muscles. The bar can also be munched on by ladies looking for a meal-replacement bar if trying to lose weight.

A refreshing chocolate mint flavor makes a pleasant change from the usual peanut butter taste and is far too good to be saved for post-workout energy. The bars have a low glycemic index and are also free of high-fructose corn syrup and GMO ingredients or hydrogenated oils.


Refreshing mint chocolate taste.

Beneficial amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals.

40 percent of your daily recommended protein allowance.


Too much sugar with 20 grams per bar.

Coating can melt if exposed to heat.

Not suitable for vegans or people with gluten intolerances.

Our #5 Rated our #5 rated

Nature Valley

Coconut Almond Protein Bar

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Our rating

If chocolate doesn’t float your boat, these bars from Nature Valley offer a lighter granola-style selection with almonds and coconuts. The bars only pack 190 calories which makes them ideal if watching your figure. With 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber they provide a perfect boost for your metabolism.

This chewy snack is filled with nuts and flavored with toasted coconut for a flavoursome meal replacement or snack. Provided in bulk packs of six boxes with five individual bars, they’re perfectly portable.


Chocolate free with roasted peanuts and almonds flavored with toasted coconut.

High fiber content.

Light and chewy texture.

Low calories for weight watchers.


Contains gluten

not vegan friendly.

Many people find the taste to be too processed.

Contains canola oil and corn syrup.

Our Choice

Many of the bars we’ve looked at are advertiseddifferently from each other. Some are advertised for weight loss, some for energy and others for post-workout muscle repair. When choosing the best meal-replacement bars you should check hey have the correct nutritional value for your needs.

The Probar Superfood Slam bar uses only natural plant-based ingredients to meet your nutritional needs. It’s our choice for the best meal-replacement bar as the 370 calories it provides can replace a meal for even the larger of appetites. As long as it isn’t used as a snack bar, it can provide the extra nutrients you need for the busy day with no extra empty calories.

Always remember, that although the best meal-replacement bars provide protein and vitamins, you shouldn’t base your diet on them. Protein bars should be balanced with a healthy diet and only used once a day as a meal replacement. Eating a protein bar but then gorging on burger and chips won’t result in miraculous weight loss—unless it’s a turkey burger and sweet potato oven fries, which may help!

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With a vision to bring awareness to the unique health and nutritional needs of women, Eat Like a Woman® introduces healthy options inspired by the latest research in women’s health with their national launch on QVC® Television June 2019.

The Nutrition Bars, Happy Cookie®, and Life Stage Shake® are a delicious and healthy line of plant-based products that are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free with zero sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners formulated to meet a woman’s unique physiological and functional needs at every life stage.

“Until recently, it was thought that the only difference between women and men was merely reproductive,” says Staness Jonekos, Founder and CEO of Eat Like a Woman®. “Today, we know that the combination of genetic, hormonal, and physiological differences affects not only our susceptibility to disease but also how our bodies respond to diet.”

Did you know:

  • The FDA banned females from research in 1977 until recently.
  • Women do not process serotonin as well as men.
  • Women suffer from depression and mood related conditions 2 to 3 times more frequently than men.
  • Women oxidize more fat and less carbohydrates and protein compared to men during endurance exercise.
  • Women experience heart disease differently than men.
  • A woman’s digestive system differs from a man’s.
  • Women absorb nutrients more slowly.
  • Women suffer from insomnia 2 to 3 times more frequently than men.
  • A woman’s nutritional needs are very different at each life stage from the reproductive years to pregnancy/lactation, to menopause and beyond.

Jonekos continues, “The first step to personalized nutrition is the consideration of gender-differences, because they can affect many processes from metabolism to mood. Nutrition is the first step to prevent, reduce risk or manage disease for both sexes. It is time women and men have equal opportunity to achieve optimal health.”

Eat Like a Woman® functional food products embrace new science addressing a gender-specific challenge.

The Amazon best-selling book, Eat Like a Woman®, inspired this lifestyle brand and features a science-based, three-week and three-month healthy-living program with delicious recipes from our favorite celebrities.

“The year is 2019 and women are finally saying ‘#MeToo’ and ‘#TimesUp’ to discrimination. Now it’s time to respect gender differences and account for the unique health and nutritional needs of women,” adds Jonekos.

What the medical experts are saying:

“The scientific data presented is not only up to date, but also exceptionally accurate. Eat Like a Woman should become a standard referral source for all women’s health providers and for the women who seek their help.”

-Janice Werbinski, MD, FACOG, Executive Director of the Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative

“Medical science is rapidly realizing that sex matters far more than we ever imagined. It is time for every woman to start thinking about medical needs tailored to her own gender and Eat Like a Woman is a terrific place to start.”

-Larry Cahill, Ph.D., Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior School of Biological Sciences

“Eat Like A Woman scientifically explains why women, because of their unique metabolism and hormonal milieu, do not respond to food the same way men do. Eat Like a Woman has exhaustively researched this important topic that has the capability to profoundly change women’s health-and women’s lives.”

-Lauren F. Streicher, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

“Eat Like a Woman has the most comprehensive explanations with action-oriented steps to improve their health destiny as influenced by nutrition… and empower women to take charge and ownership of their eating habits and nutritional health.”

-Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, Chief Director, Center for BrainHealth®, UT Dallas, author of Make Your Brain Smarter

To find out more information about Eat Like a Woman® products and resources, visit

These Are the 14 Unhealthiest Protein Bars You Can Eat

We all know by now building muscle is the key to looking toned and skyrocketing our metabolisms. But there’s more to the equation than just lifting heavy weights — you have to make sure you’re getting proper nutrition, which includes enough protein. While most of us look to powdered products for our fix, not all of us are keen on the taste or cost they come with. That’s where protein bars come in.

If you’ve visited the health aisle of your local grocery store lately, you’ll see how many protein bar options are available. There’s every flavor under the sun, and most of them are pretty darn delicious. But, before you reach for a box of your favorites, you’ll need to pay attention to what exactly you’re eating. In many cases, your favorite protein product is no better than that Hershey’s chocolate bar found at the register. Here are 14 protein bars you need to ditch for good.

1. Luna Bar in Caramel Walnut Brownie

Skip out on this protein bar. |

Luna Bars are known for tasting delicious — but their nutrition leaves something to be desired. The Caramel Walnut Brownie bar is gluten-free, but that’s about the only thing it has going for it. Just one of these holds 200 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, and 10 grams of sugar. And to top it all off, there are only 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in the whole thing. Considering you can get nearly this much protein in just one egg, you’re better off without this one.

2. thinkThin High Protein Bar

You can get ripped without this thinkThin bar. |

When it comes to thinkThin products, you have a lot of options — but you’re well-advised to stay far away from the selection of High Protein Bars. On the surface, these seem like a great choice. They have 20 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar, which is the protein bar dream. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see they also have more than 10 grams of sugar alcohols. Breaking Muscle reminds us consuming too many sugar alcohols can lead to digestive issues including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Also, thinkThin’s high protein bars have at least 240 calories each. We don’t recommend them if you’re watching your weight.

3. ProBar Superfood Slam

Skip the ProBar and aim for something healthier. |

ProBar claims their Superfood Slam bar is a “nutritional powerhouse” complete with organic greens and berries, 10 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber. This is all fine and well until you really look at the nutrition label. This bar has a whopping 370 calories, which is basically a meal. It also has 23 grams of sugar and 18 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of which are saturated.

For women, this one bar alone will nearly fulfill your recommended sugar allotment for the day — Authority Nutrition says men should aim for under 37.5 grams, and women should try for under 25 grams.

4. Larabar in Coconut Cream Pie

You can get enough protein for those muscles without this bar. | Ammentorp Lund

Larabars are known for being nutritional powerhouses made with only a few ingredients, but after taking a look at this Coconut Cream Pie concoction, we beg to differ. While this little bar has 5 grams of fiber, it also has 7 grams of saturated fat, 24 grams of sugar, and 210 calories. And because you can find this product in with other nutrition bars in your supermarket, you may expect it to have a decent amount of protein — but guess again. You’ll only be getting 3 grams of protein with this one. Next.

5. ZonePerfect Nutrition Bar in Cinnamon Bun Cookie Dough

The ZonePerfect bar doesn’t belong in your diet. |

We love cinnamon buns and cookie dough, but maybe not in the form of a protein bar. ZonePerfect’s offering has brown rice syrup, butter, and fructose syrup within the first five ingredients, so you can already tell it’s not a healthy option. This particular flavor also comes with 200 calories, 14 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of saturated fat. Its 11 grams of protein aren’t all that bad, but it certainly doesn’t make up for everything else.

6. Gatorade Whey Protein Bar in Peanut Butter Chocolate

You’re familiar with Gatorade, so do yourself a favor and avoid this protein bar. |

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — grabbing a sports drink for your hour at the gym is very unnecessary. But, for those who do indulge in a Gatorade from time to time, just do yourself a favor and stay away from their protein bar selection. In just one Peanut Butter Chocolate bar, there are 360 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, and 25 grams of sugar. You’ll also be getting 20 grams of protein, but this is still one to skip.

7. Nature Valley Energy Bar in Cranberry Almond

You’re better off without this bar. |

We’re all familiar with the delicious and crunchy Nature Valley bars that were always in our school lunches, but the company decided to step up their game with the Energy Bar. It’s a good idea in theory, but the product leaves something to be desired. The Cranberry Almond option boasts 10 grams of protein, but it also comes with 200 calories and 15 grams of sugar. This isn’t the worst offender on the list, but you’re probably better off reliving your childhood with the classic bar for dessert.

8. PowerBar ProteinPlus Bar in Chocolate Brownie

This bar doesn’t belong in your diet. |

PowerBar is well-known for offering athletes a tasty protein-filled snack for after their workout, but be sure to skip the ProteinPlus bars. The Chocolate Brownie bar is the biggest offender, as it has a whopping 330 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 27 grams of sugar. The bar’s 30 grams of protein may seem worth it, but trust us, it isn’t.

9. Detour Lean Muscle Bar in Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch

You don’t need all the fat and calories this bar offers. |

With 420 calories and 18 grams of fat, this is one seriously hefty snack. The Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch bar is particularly offensive, as it contains 9 grams of saturated fat and 17 grams of sugar alcohols, which is sure to give you digestive distress. Even with 32 grams of protein, Detour bar’s bad outweighs the good.

10. Clif Bar Chocolate Brownie

You can do better than this Clif Bar. |

Clif Bars have been a favorite of the outdoorsy types for many years, and for good reason — they’re tasty, made with organic ingredients, and have protein and fiber to sustain you during your adventures. What the company fails to remind you of, however, is how much sugar these tasty treats contain. The Chocolate Brownie bar has a particularly offensive 21 grams of sugar. If you look on the ingredient list, don’t be fooled by the organic label before the three different types of syrups, either. Sugar is sugar — it’s all going straight to your waistline, organic or not.

11. Balance Bar in Chocolate Craze

You don’t need this sugary protein bar. |

Balance Bar’s follow what they call the 40-30-30 plan to help keep your blood sugar levels steady. This means each bar contains 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% dietary fat. That all sounds great until you look at the nutrition facts for the Chocolate Craze bar. It has 14 grams of protein, but it’s not really worth it when you see it comes with 18 grams of sugar, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 200 calories.

12. Amazing Grass Green Superfood Bar

This bar sounds healthy, but look at the nutrition facts. |

If you’re a fan of plant-based protein, then you’ve probably heard of the Green Superfood nutrition bar. This product incorporates farm-fresh veggies, fruits, and nuts for a bar that’s full of nutrition. Unfortunately, that’s not all it’s packed with. Just one of these has 220 calories, 7 grams of fat, and a whopping 24 grams of sugar. You can tell yourself all that sugar is from natural and organic resources, but your waistline most likely won’t know the difference.

Also, it’s not too impressive in the protein department. One bar only has 6 grams. If you’re going to go for this company’s bars, we suggest this Chocolate Peanut Butter one over the original.

13. KIND Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants

This KIND bar won’t help you with your gains. |

KIND bars look plenty healthy — after all, you can see the nuts, seeds, and fruit right through the clear plastic package. Unfortunately, it might look better for you than it actually is. The Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants bar only comes with 3 grams of protein for the 170 calories. If you’re still devoted to KIND, you can try going for one of their Strong & KIND bars to get a better protein boost and less sugar.

14. OhYeah! Bar in Chocolate Caramel Candies

Many of these protein bars are as bad as candy bars. |

The bar may say “oh, yeah!” but your body will say “oh, no.” Any of the flavors for the original recipe OhYeah! Bar are bad news, but the Chocolate Caramel Candies version is a particular offender. This bar contains 350 calories and 7.5 grams of saturated fat. You’ll also get 15 grams of sugar and 13 grams of sugar alcohols. For all of the bad stuff, 26 grams of protein is really not worth it.

Luna Bar Review – 17 Things You Need to Know

  • User Comments
  • 12 Answered Questions

Luna Bar, manufactured by Clif Bar, is a soy-based protein bar marketed for women. Luna Bar claims to meet the nutritional needs and provide energy throughout the day for the active woman. Some of the vitamins and minerals in the bar, such as iron and Vitamin B12, are important pieces of nutrition for women and do provide energy, but Luna Bar fails to disclose the dosage of them.

Without knowing the concentration of vitamins and minerals, it’s difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of Luna Bar in sustaining energy in consumers. Our research team decided to take a deeper look at Luna Bars to aid women in deciding whether they should make Luna Bars a part of their diet. Here’s the team’s findings.

Luna Bar can be purchased through their .

Luna Bar Readers: Noom is offering our readers a 14-day trial, for a limited time. for this special offer! Overview

What Is Luna Bar?

Created and distributed by Clif Bar and Company, Luna Bars are a collection of different flavored nutritional bars that were created for women by women. They are supposed to be specially designed to provide women with their daily nutritional needs, which are featured on the store’s website.

They’ve been around since 1999 and can be bought on their official website, through online retailers, or in local grocery stores. You’ll find some natural ingredients and vitamins in the bars, which is great. However, there are also some ingredients that can cause some concern.

Luna Bar Competitors

Product Rating Review
Clif Bar read
thinkThin Bars read
Medifast read
Pure Protein read
Noom read
Other similar products: JuiceFestiv, DHEA, Maximum Test,

×Explanation of Price

This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.

  • = Initial product cost is less than $5
  • = Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
  • = Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
  • = Initial product cost is $151 or more

How Did Luna Bar Start?

According to the official website, Clif Bar and Company Co-Chief Visionary Officer Kit Crawford created the Luna Bar in response to the need of a nutritional bar that is specifically designed to meet the dietary needs of active women while providing the great taste other nutritional bars lack.

Experts agree that nutritional bars can be beneficial, but not all nutritional bars are the same. Luna Bar ingredients vary depending on the flavor and type of bar, but the vitamins and minerals found in them are consistent.

Some of the minerals and vitamins listed on the Luna Bar’s label include dicalcium phosphate, Ferrous Fumarate (Iron), Beta Carotene (Vit. A) and Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12). This is great because your body needs vitamins in order to function correctly and grow, according to National Institutes of Health.

There are 13 vitamins that are vital for the human body, and the bars contain many of these. However, the label fails to show the dosage of each vitamin and mineral. Not knowing how much you are taking means it’s impossible to know if you are taking the daily recommended amount.

Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.


Luna Bar Claims

The company claims that they have created a dietary bar that meets the needs of active and athletic women by providing them with the necessary nutrients their body needs. According to their website, the Luna Bars are gluten-free and made to give you energy throughout your day. They also claim that the bars are made of organic ingredients along with fiber and protein.

Still, their website offers no links or references supporting their claims that the recipe and ingredients used in the bars work. The main ingredient is a protein grain blend that contains soy protein isolate, organic soy protein concentrate, organic milled flaxseed, and organic alkalized cocoa.

Soy protein is derived from plants and can offer many benefits for women, such as muscle repair and growth. But since the Luna Bar nutrition label fails to disclose the dosage of these ingredients, you don’t know if you are getting enough to have a real effect on your body. Even worse, you don’t know if you are not eating too much.

Although taking soy proteins and dietary supplements with soy concentrates are considered safe for a short period (around six months), it’s possible that taking high doses for a long period can cause negative reactions. Some of these side effects include nausea, constipation, and abnormal tissue growth. This is why it’s important that you are aware how much soy is there and what other ingredients you are taking in.


Luna Bar Ingredients

The main ingredients for the nutritional bars are pretty much the same. However, there are a few differences between each bar depending on the flavor and type of the Luna Bar. Here are the main ingredients found in the majority of these bars:

  • Protein Grain Blend: Organic Rice Flour, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Alkalized Cocoa, and Organic Roasted Soybeans
  • Organic Dried Cane Syrup
  • Organic Brown Rice Syrup
  • Inulin
  • Organic Sunflower Oil

Does it Work

Does Luna Bar Work?

If you do some research on the Luna Bars, you’ll find that it contains many ingredients, minerals, and vitamins that have been proven to have a wide variety of health benefits. For example, rice flour is gluten-free, high in fiber, and can also help maintain healthy liver function by removing triglycerides and cholesterol from the liver and taking them to the parts of the body where they are needed. Inulin has shown to reduce constipation, improve gut health, and help improve absorption of calcium and electrolytes.

There are also some issues that stand out about the product. As mentioned before, the lack of dosage information makes it impossible to know whether the intake amount is healthy or not.

When looking at the Luna Bar nutrition reviews found on several online retailers’ websites, it is clear that the majority of negative reviews concerned the taste of the bar and not its efficiency.

However, there were some complaints about the amount of sugar in some of the bars. And even though research has shown that sugar can give you an energy boost, there is also a big decline of energy afterward, as stated in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral News. Too much sugar can also lead to many health complications.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests no more than 90g of sugar per day, and this includes natural sugars such as the ones found in fruit.

Luna Bar And Weight Loss

If you are wondering if Luna Bars are healthy for weight loss, according to Luna Bar’s nutritional information, it can give you a small boost of energy and contains protein that your body needs to keep going. You should keep track of how much sugar you are taking in because this can actually make you gain weight.

Another problem with sugar is that scientists have found that it is also very addictive, which can lead you to eat more nutritional bars than you should. The majority of positive Luna Bar nutrition reviews were about how great they taste was and how they wanted to keep eating them.

The fact that they’ve been around for so long and have so many positive reviews suggests that many people feel that they are effective. There are different varieties with less sugar or more protein, but none of the ingredients found in these bars have been proven to help with weight loss.

Perhaps if you ate a nutritional bar instead of a meal, the smaller calorie intake might result in some weight loss. Just keep in mind that although Luna Bars are gluten-free and non-GMO, that doesn’t mean that you can eat as many as you want without negative consequences.


Eating a Luna Bar

Since men’s and women’s bodies are not the same, they require different amounts of minerals and vitamins in order to function properly. Luna Bar set out to design a nutrition bar that meets the daily dietary needs of a woman’s body. You need to remember that these are made to be eaten in between meals in order to give you the extra boost and vitamins to keep going.

They are not meant to replace your meals and nor are they meant to be some miracle bar that will help you lose weight or make you healthy. All studies show that the best way to live a healthy life is to eat a proper diet, exercise regularly, and rest when needed. Luna Bar ingredients are just supposed to help on those days when you need extra energy.


Luna Bar Varieties

When Luna Bars first hit the market in 1999, they were specifically designed to give active women the extra energy they need to get through the day. Clif Bar and Company decided to take advantage of its success and expand by offering several different versions that can meet specific dietary needs and desires. Here are the different varieties:

Luna 5G Sugar

This type of Luna Bars appears to be healthier for weight loss than the original. They contain the same protein grain blend that the original bars feature and also the same blend of minerals and vitamins.

However, it only contains 5 grams of sugar per serving, which is about half the amount of most of the original bars. These nutritional bars are also gluten-free and only contain 180 calories compared to the 190-200 calories the original bars have. They also have less protein than Luna Bars.

Luna Protein

According to Luna Bar’s nutritional information, this nutritional bar contains 12 grams of protein per serving and are low glycemic, which is supposed to slow down the digestion of the bars and allow you have prolonged levels of energy. Even though they contain three more grams of protein than the original bars, they have fewer calories but more sugar. Some of the bars, such as the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Luna Bar Protein, have as much as 14 grams of sugar.

Luna Rica

These are the newest additions to the Luna Bar family. They are named after the Spanish word that means rich or delicious, and these bars focus on the quality of ingredients and taste. It’s certified by the USDA as an organic snack bar that is made with gluten-free and non-GMO ingredients.

If you check out the Luna Bar ingredients list on the official store website, you’ll see that although this nutrition bar is made with organic ingredients, it does not feature the same vitamins and minerals the other bars provide. You’ll also notice that they have a lot more sugar than the other varieties. Other than the organic ingredients, this seems more like a snack bar than a nutritional bar.


Luna Bar Flavors

In addition to the different varieties of Luna Bars, there are also many different flavors that have been created in an effort to satisfy your sweet tooth while providing essential vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the top flavors:

Nutz Over Chocolate: According to the Luna Bar Nutz Over Chocolate nutrition label, there are 7 grams of sugars in this bar, which come from Organic Dried Cane Sugar. Although that may sound more natural and healthier, there is not much of a difference between that and regular refined sugar.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Luna Bar is part of the protein bar collection. These not only pack more protein per bar compared to regular Luna Bars, but they also have 3 grams of fiber, which can help relieve constipation and maintain a healthy weight. However, it also contains a lot of sugar as well.

S’mores: You’ll notice that the ingredients read natural flavors, cocoa butter, and organic cocoa, but you want to keep in mind that it is not dairy free. S’mores Luna Bar is not vegan and may contain traces of milk.

Where to Buy

Where To Buy Luna Bars In Bulk

Luna Bars have been around for a while and can be found at most major supermarkets and local grocery stores. But if you want to know where to buy Luna Bars in bulk, then going directly to official store website or other online retailers would be the best option. They are not very expensive, and you can usually find some great deals on websites like Amazon.

Side Effects

Potential Luna Bar Side Effects

One of the most significant issues found while researching these nutrition bars is that the label doesn’t provide you with the dosage of the ingredients, vitamins, or minerals that the bar is made of. This can be problematic for several reasons.

Although most of the ingredients found in their products are considered safe in moderate portions, if too much is taken, then health problems can arise. For example, Inulin, which is the main ingredient in their nutritional bars, can be used to fight constipation and help weight loss. But too much can cause stomach problems. Too much protein isolate, another main ingredient, can cause nausea, headache, and fatigue.


Any Luna Bar Lawsuits?

In 2013, the Environmental Research Center filed a lawsuit against Luna Bar’s parent company, Clif Bar, and Company, alleging that several of its products, including one of the Luna Bars, contained lead. There was also another lawsuit filed in 2016 against Clif Bar and Company for advertising the Luna Bars as healthy even though they failed to meet the federal and state requirements needed to make these claims. This suit has been dismissed, but the reasons have not been disclosed.

Luna Bar Alternatives

Here are some of the top alternatives to Luna Bar:

Primal Kitchen Dark Chocolate Almond Bars

This nutritional bar has 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and only 3 grams of sugar. It contains many natural ingredients such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, and honey, and the extra proteins are supposed to curb your appetite and help you eat less while getting the energy you need. However, it doesn’t have the same mixture of vitamins and minerals that most Luna Bars have.

Aloha Chocolate Fudge Brownie

This nutritional bar features 14 grams of plant-based protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of sugar. It is also soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and USDA organic. Another big difference is that this bar is vegan, whereas Luna Bars aren’t. It also comes with a complete amino acid profile and only 9 grams of fat.

Zing Bar Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

This nutrition bar is not only gluten-free, but it also doesn’t contain any soy either. Instead, it uses whey protein and organic peanut as its protein source. It has a total of 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 15 grams of sugar. They use real dark chocolate, which has shown to have antioxidant benefits. The ingredients are listed on the official website, but they fail to give the dosage of each item, which can be a problem.

Luna Bar Reviews

The official website doesn’t offer any reviews of their products, but because Luna Bar has been around for so long and can be found in a wide variety of different locations, finding customer reviews on their products was not that difficult. Reviews varied from flavor to flavor a little bit, but for the most part, they had positive reviews. Some wondered if vegan Luna Bars were available, but they’re not. Most of the bad reviews had to do with taste and not the effectiveness of the bar.

Luna Bar Results

It seems that most people who try Luna Bars enjoy them. However, there is no real science backing up the claims made that they contain the right ingredients to keep women healthier and give them more energy. If you are more concerned about taste, then this may be the bar for you.

“So addicted to these things! I love that the nutrients are geared towards women, but I catch my husband sneaking them once in a while! They’re so delicious you can trick yourself into thinking you’re having dessert when you’re actually having a healthy snack.”

“They are simply sweet protein bars that can sure cure a sweet tooth and fill a hungry tummy up when it needs substance. If you love sweet bars this one might just be for you.”

“This was VERY sweet, too sweet for me to eat. I ended up giving them to the kids to eat and they weren’t terribly thrilled with them either.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Luna Bars

What’s the real deal with Luna Bars? These bars have solid ingredients so if you like the way they taste then they can make a good meal replacement. However, they are marketed as “snack bars” which could lead people to eat too many of them because they appear to be healthy leading to weight gain. This is the reason we are reluctant to give them the stamp of approval for weight-loss.

If the time has come to jump-start your weight loss, you may want to check out a program that’s backed by scientific research.

We have reviewed a lot of weight-loss products this year, one of the absolute best is called Noom. This program was designed by medical professionals with your weight-loss journey in mind. You gain access to human coaching, personalized meal plans and so much more.

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I was traveling by air recently and eating my usual “lunch on the go”—a protein bar and an apple. Across the aisle, I noticed another passenger eating a candy bar. It made me think about recent studies documenting the deplorable state of the average American diet, and the rising rates of obesity.

Yet, at first glance, the snack he was enjoying and my quick lunch seemed similar. We were both eating a rectangular bar coated with chocolate icing. I wondered: is my protein bar really a healthier option or is it a lot more like a candy bar than I’d care to admit?

So, I carefully compared the nutritional contents of a Snickers Bar, a Luna Bar (Nutz Over Chocolate, my personal favorite) and, for good measure, a Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar. Here’s what I found.

  • Calories. The Snickers bar had the most calories per serving (250). But the serving size of a Snickers bar was larger: 52.7 grams, versus 48 grams for the Luna Bar and 42 grams for the granola bar (both of which were 190 calories per serving). This means that, gram for gram, the calorie counts were similar.
  • Fat. The Snickers bar had 12 grams of fat. That’s roughly twice as much fat as the other two bars, and more than a third of it was unhealthy saturated fat.
  • Sugar and salt. Again, the Snickers bar was the loser, with its 27 grams of sugar being well above the 11 grams in the granola bar and 10 grams in the Luna Bar. However, the salt content was lowest in the Snickers bar.
  • Protein. True to its billing as a high-protein food, one Luna Bar has 9 grams of protein — that’s up to 20% of an entire day’s requirement. The Snickers bar had 4 grams and the granola bar, 3 grams.
  • Fiber. To be considered “high-fiber,” a food should have 5 grams of fiber per serving. Only the Luna Bar came close to this, with 4 grams of fiber.
  • Vitamins and minerals. The Luna Bar provides a decent dose of calcium (35% of your daily needs), iron (30%), folic acid (100%), and vitamin D (15%). Not bad! The other bars contained no significant amounts of these nutrients.

And one more thing…

Luna Bars are marketed as “The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women” because of the calcium, vitamin D, iron, and folic acid in each bar. So, if you’re a woman, will these bars make you healthier? And what if a man (like me) eats these bars regularly?

It’s true that women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, so it’s important for women to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Women are more likely to become deficient in iron thanks to menstrual bleeding. And women of childbearing age should get enough folic acid to help prevent certain birth defects in their children. Even so, the amounts of the nutrients in a Luna Bar are unlikely to have much impact on the health of the average female (or male) fan.

So which snack will you choose?

When you get right down to it, a Snickers bar isn’t all that much worse than many nutrition bars. For example, the difference in calories shrinks when the portion sizes are equalized. And the protein content of these bars won’t make much difference for the person who already eats a well-balanced diet with other good sources of dietary protein. Nevertheless, I can’t recommend a daily candy bar, although the occasional splurge probably won’t harm you.

Remember, the “value” of any food has to be considered in the context of a person’s overall diet, including the total balance of calories, protein, fat, and sugar consumed throughout the day. And let’s not forget that the calories you burn through physical activity also matter a lot. I planned to work out as soon as I got home from my trip. I hope my fellow passenger was planning to do the same.

  • In a matter of seconds, a good meal replacement beverage, bar, or shake can deliver enough calories and nutrients to keep you going for hours.
  • Soylent Cafe Coffiest is our favorite meal replacement option because it delivers a welcome dose of caffeine along with plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins, and more.

Truth be told, I rarely miss meals these days. I work from home most of the time, so the kitchen is pretty easy to access and tends to be stocked with foods I like to eat. In years past, however, I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I found myself sitting in morning traffic after rushing out the door without eating breakfast. Often I would even find myself sitting at my desk for hours before realizing I had yet to consume anything but coffee.

While missing breakfast is less of an issue on a day-to-day basis for me now, I still manage to forget to eat a real meal or to bring along sufficient on-the-go food almost every time I travel, which tends to happen a few times a month. This leads to a lot of pizza and donuts purchased in Penn Station or to buying wildly overpriced pre-made airline sandwiches that are always just a bit too small to satisfy.

For at least the near future, though, I’ve got it all figured out. That’s because there is a case of Soylent Cafe Coffiest meal replacement beverages on a shelf downstairs. Next to that, you’ll find a box of PROBAR meal bars. Thus as long as I can find the 45 seconds or so that it takes to chug a beverage or chow down on a bar, I’ll have about the same amount of calories and balance of nutrients that a decent breakfast would have delivered. Now, remembering to replenish my supply of meal replacement products once they run out? That’s another issue entirely.

When choosing a meal replacement option for yourself, make sure you find something you will actually enjoy. Getting calories into yourself need not be an unpleasant experience just because you’re in a rush. You can shop by flavor, by dietary concerns, by calorie count or nutrition profile, and so forth.

Also consider where you will consume a chosen meal replacement. It’s great if you find a meal replacement powder that makes truly delicious shakes, for example, but not so great if you need to eat during a commute. Fellow motorists probably want your hands on the wheel, not stirring a beverage. If you take public transit, your fellow subway riders have probably seen it all, but will still appreciate you eating a bar instead of whisking up a protein shake.

You don’t have to be perennially busy with work, school, commutes, travel, and life in general to use meal replacement products. They can also make a handy and healthy part of your daily routine, aiding with fitness goals, adding vitamins, minerals, and other needed nutrients into your diet, and even by saving you money. Many meal replacement options cost just two or three dollars per serving; try getting a balanced meal at that price and you’ll probably come up short.

Here are the best meal replacements you can buy:

  • Best meal replacement overall: Soylent Cafe Coffiest
  • Best meal replacement bar: PROBAR Superfood Slam
  • Best meal replacement powder: Garden of Life Meal Replacement Powder
  • Best high protein meal replacement bar: BSN Syntha-6 Protein Crisp Bar
  • Best meal replacement drink for weight loss: Atkins Ready to Drink Shake

Updated on 10/25/2019 by Connie Chen: Updated prices and formatting.

The best meal replacement overall

source Soylent

A single bottle of Soylent Cafe Coffiest (12-Pack) delivers a balance of essential vitamins and minerals along with protein, fiber, carbs, and most importantly, caffeine.

Here’s the first and probably the main reason why I like Soylent Cafe Coffiest: the shakes taste good. I would drink it simply for pleasure, but I appreciate that the shake contains as much nutrition as you would expect to get from a decent sandwich or bowl of soup.

A single 14-ounce bottle packs in 20 grams of protein, 12-percent of your daily fiber and carbohydrate needs, and 20-percent of multiple vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E, magnesium, potassium, and more.

Also, at 400 calories per serving, a bottle of Cafe Coffiest will keep most people feeling full and with plenty of energy for a number of hours. That energy is also partially thanks to the fact that Cafe Coffiest delivers the same amount of caffeine as an average cup of black coffee. The shake also contains the amino acid l-theanine, which naturally counteracts the jittery feeling that caffeine causes in some people.

So to sum it up, after consuming a bottle of Soylent Cafe Coffiest, you’ll be more alert, more energized, not hungry, and not jittery. Also, for the record, there are several other flavors at your disposal, including Chai, Vanilla, and Cacao.

With more than 800 reviews posted on Amazon, Soylent Cafe Coffiest has a four out of five-star average rating. One self-professed Soylent aficionado calls it “meticulously well balanced human fuel,” while another says it is a perfect meal replacement option for “a busy young professional who is moderately health obsessed.”

A writer from Eater calls Soylent perfect for people who “often skip breakfast” due to a hectic schedule. In a review from BestProducts, a product tester noted the “pleasant and not-too-sweet taste” and was “impressed… by how filling” the beverage really was.

Pros: Excellent source of vitamins and minerals, contains same caffeine content as a cup of coffee, sufficient calories for hours of energy.

Cons: Slightly chalky mouthfeel

The best meal replacement bar

source PROBAR

The PROBAR Superfood Slam Meal Bar (12-Pack) packs 370 calories into a three-ounce bar, so you can ingest a small meal’s worth of nutrition in just a few bites.

While I heartily endorse PROBAR meal bars as meal replacement foods for the busy professional, the harried parent, or the starving student, I have to admit that my own primary use for these tasty, calorie-packed bars is as a snack while hiking.

A PROBAR has about a hundred calories more than you’ll find in the average energy bar promoted for use by the outdoorsman or athlete, so carrying these just makes sense when you’re worrying about gear weight during a trek or climb.

The fact that said calories are derived from a range of healthy ingredients doesn’t hurt, either. A PROBAR Superfood Slam Meal Bar features flax, oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and a host of other healthy ingredients. The bars are certified to be made using non-GMO sourced foods and to be free of soy and of gluten, so Celiac patients need not abstain. Also, thanks to the fruits and natural sweeteners, these bars taste good. Which you’ll appreciate when one is standing in for a sandwich.

With more than 800 reviews posted online, the PROBAR Superfood Slam Meal Bar enjoys a solid 4.5-star average rating. One sated customer calls them “tasty, filling, and nutritious,” adding that the bars are perfect for “outdoor activities.” Another person says PROBARs are “great for busy days when you don’t have time to eat, or for breakfast on mornings you’re in a rush.”

A write up from TrailSpace calls PROBAR Superfood Slam bars “a meal in a pouch” that has plenty of “nutritional balance.” A GearJunkie reviewer called these bars “an organic whirlwind of uncooked and un-processed raw foods.”

Pros: Lots of calories and nutrition in small bar, sweet and tasty, free of soy and gluten

Cons: Too sweet for some palates

The best meal replacement powder

source Garden of Life

A shake made from Garden of Life Meal Replacement powder offers you an excellent nutritional boost with ingredients that build muscle, deliver vitamins, and keep you full.

When you use Garden of Life Meal Replacement Powder to make yourself a healthy shake, you are using a product created from no fewer than 44 so-called “superfoods.” Organic flax seed? That’s super good for you. Organic spinach? Ditto. Organic lentils? Also good for you. And so on and so forth. So yeah, actually, this powder is pretty much a super food, buzzwords be damned.

But lots of meal replacement products are made from organic this and sprouted that and GMO-free the other thing. What I like about this and other high-quality meal replacement powders is that the serving size is in your control. If you go with the recommended one scoop whisked into a glass of water, you’ll be getting 120 calories, 20 grams of protein, plenty of carbs, lots of vitamins and minerals, and very little fat indeed.

Need a bit more post-workout protein? Or want a few more calories to power you through the morning? No problem, just add another half scoop. Want just a little afternoon fuel? Have a half scoop. Unlike with a pre-packaged meal replacement drink or bar, it’s up to you to have as much or as little of this super powder as you want each and every time.

With a stunning 7,000-plus ratings posted online, Garden of Life Meal Replacement Powder gets a laudable 4.1 out of five-star average score. One super fan hits all the main points when she calls the powder “ridiculously healthy” and a great way to have “more energy” and to stay “full for a surprising amount of time.” She also adds that it’s even delicious, especially when blended with fresh fruits in a smoothie.

A video review with BestProteinPowder4Women called Garden of Life powder the “top pick” for a natural meal replacement powder product. A Bodybuilding reviewer says the powder “tastes amazing” and is “super convenient… on the go.”

Pros: Easy portion control, dozens of healthful ingredients, loaded with probiotics

Cons: Shakes require vigorous stirring or blending to remove chunks

The best high protein meal replacement bar

source Protein Crisp

Whether you’re trying to build muscle or you just really want to stay full, a BSN Syntha-6 Protein Crisp Bar (12-Pack) is a great way to do it.

If you’re looking for a meal replacement that has optimal nutritional balance and that delivers all the essential vitamins, minerals and that covers all the food groups, then a BSN Syntha-6 Protein Crisp Bar is probably not the best choice for you. These things aren’t an ideal choice for daily consumption in lieu of breakfast, in other words.

If you need an occasional energy-boosting meal replacement bar for those days when you’re just too busy for lunch, they’re a good choice, however. If you’re a fitness enthusiast looking to speed up muscle growth, they’re a great choice.

A BSN Syntha-6 bar, on the other hand, packs 20 grams of protein into 230 calories. That means you will get a serious infusion of the protein needed to repair and grow muscles following a serious weightlifting session, or the protein needed to keep your muscles in good repair during a long hike, a weekend on the river or surfing the waves, and so forth.

Although these bars lack some of the nutritional balance needed for use as an everyday meal replacement option, all that protein will keep you feeling nice and full on the occasions when you do turn to a BSN Syntha-6 Protein Crisp Bar as your stopgap meal replacement choice. As an added bonus, they taste more like a candy bar than a meal bar, too.

With 5,500-plus ratings and counting, these protein powerhouses have a mighty 4.6-star average rating on Amazon. One consumer calls them “delicious, low on sugar, high on protein.” Another brand fan says the bars are “easy to eat and digest,” alluding to a common problem among other high protein products.

A product tester from Stack3d praised the BSN Syntha-6 bar’s “combination of flavor and consistency,” while a writer with the site Sean’s Skillet called them “delicious” with a great blend of ingredients “to balance the sweetness.”

Pros: Very high protein count, great taste, good price point

Cons: Less nutritional balance than other options

The best meal replacement drink for weight loss

source Atkins

A single 11-ounce Atkins Ready to Drink Shake (12-Pack) can satisfy your hunger pangs despite only delivering a modest 160 calories.

Dieting sucks. But hitting your weight loss and fitness goals rocks. The more you can reduce the unpleasantness of the former, the more likely you are to attain the latter. One of the best ways to reduce your overall caloric intake and speed up the progress toward weight loss and fitness gains is to find a meal replacement option that is low on calories, big on great taste, and that has enough protein to keep you feeling full enough to ward of snacking.

Enter the Atkins Ready to Drink Shake. One of these 11-ounce shakes can stand in for your breakfast whether you’re on-the-go, trying to lose some weight, or both. You can also sip an Atkins shake as part of a workout routine, adding much-needed protein without adding lots of calories. Anytime and anywhere you drink one, you’ll appreciate the fact that the Milk Chocolate Delight flavor actually tastes great.

The fact that this stuff is gluten-free and high in calcium is lovely, too. One serving supplies 20% of your daily need of more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, including vitamins K, E, and B12.

With hundreds of reviews logged, Atkins Ready to Drink Shakes earn a tasty 4.6-star average. One satisfied buyer appreciates how a shake “curbs the carb craving” and taste good, too. Another calls them “great for a quick breakfast on the run.”

A writer from Consumer Health Digest appreciated how each shake “provides you with… proteins, fire, vitamins, and minerals that the body require.” A review from ProDietReviews said the shakes can help “make weight management both tasty and convenient.”

Pros: High protein and low calorie, great taste, good balance of vitamins and minerals, great low price

Cons: Less filling than other options

Buyers, beware. Not all bars or drinks are created equally.

Hey, wait a minute. Surely all of these replacements must be better choices than the fast food junk in the hall vending machine, right? Not always — some are nothing more than glorified candy bars or high-calorie, sugar-based drinks. Savvy marketing adds to the confusion as consumers try to sort through all the heavily hyped super-nutrition health claims on the front of the package.

So what’s a dieter to do? The only way to make an informed choice is to read the list of ingredients, nutrition label, (ignore the front label) and compare products. Ideally, the meal replacement will contain ingredients that don’t sound like foreign chemicals found in a chemistry lab! Nutrients should be primarily complex carbohydrates, with small amounts of simple sugars and a bit of fat, along with a moderate amount of protein. Look for products that fit the following guidelines:

  • 220-230 calories per serving
  • Less than 5 grams of fat per serving
  • 3-5 grams of fiber per serving
  • 10-15 grams of protein per serving
  • Fortified with a third of daily vitamins and minerals

Do your best to limit reliance on these products to a maximum of once a day, preferably only once or twice a week. To boost the fiber, you can always supplement your bar or drink with a few veggies, a can of vegetable juice, or a piece of fresh fruit.

Best meal replacement bar 2020: Snack healthily and aid weight loss with these pocket-sized bars

Whether you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake, too rushed to grab a proper meal, or just want a more healthy option for that afternoon snack, then a meal replacement bar might be a good alternative option. Providing you pick one with all the right ingredients, that is.

Meal replacement bars can also be eaten as a supplement to your three daily meals, especially if you’re working out regularly and need those extra nutrients. Why pick a meal replacement bar? Simple. While these nutrient-conscious bars are typically low on carbohydrates, they’re often rich with muscle-feeding protein.

But like all bars on the market, there are many pretenders out there who claim to have all sorts of health benefits but are actually packed with processed sugar, additives and all the things your body most certainly doesn’t want – and especially not if you’re trying to lose weight. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the right bar for you, followed by a round-up of our favourites.

Deal alert: Save 40% at MyProtein right now

You’ll find MyProtein’s bar at the top of our round-up below. Interested in buying a pack? Maybe pick up more than one, as right now you can save an impressive 40% on them (and all online purchases) with the promo code MYPGOALS. MyProtein

How to choose the best meal replacement bar for you

Can I replace all meals with a meal replacement bar?

No – definitely not. All medical experts are at pains to say that, whatever your dietary plan, there’s no substitute for a healthy, nutritionally balanced meal. Most nutritionists and health experts recommend you replace no more than one meal a day with a meal replacement bar, and do so only once or twice a week.

In reality, you should think of meal replacement bars as something to be used in an emergency. So if you find yourself working through your lunch hour, or you know you’ve got a long train journey ahead, having a meal replacement bar to hand will stave off those hunger pains and prevent you from feeling hungry or dizzy. Bottom line: going hungry is never a good idea – especially if you’re trying to lose weight, as your body assumes it’s being starved, and starts to store fat rather than burn it off.

Is a protein or energy bar the same as a meal replacement bar?

Supermarket shelves are positively flooded with bars of some kind or other – each and every one proclaiming all sorts of benefits. Protein bars are intended as a pre- or post-workout supplement to get you that additional protein to repair and build muscle. Energy bars contain high-calorie ingredients that deliver fuel to help you get through the day. Meal replacement bars will contain ingredients that overlap with both of these – but above all, they should give you (or at least go some way to giving you) a nutritional intake that reflects a typical healthy meal.

What should I look for in the ingredients of a meal replacement bar?

As always with processed foods, the devil’s in the details – so always make sure you ignore the hype on the packaging of a meal-replacement bar, and take a good look at the list of ingredients on the back. Most bars contain 200-250 calories – always remember that calories in themselves are no bad thing: you need them to function on a daily basis. Just be sure they don’t come from ingredients like processed, insulin-spiking sugars that are bad for you. Protein is an important ingredient, as are complex carbohydrates, fibres and small amounts of fats. All the meal replacement bars we’ve listed below contain varying levels of all these ingredients.

READ NEXT: Best protein bar: The best-tasting protein bars

The best meal replacement bars 2019

1. MyProtein Meal Replacement Bar: Best bar for protein

Price: £23 for 12 | Buy now from MyProtein

You’ll find MyProtein’s Carb Crusher bars on our best protein bar list – and while they’ll certainly serve you well as a supplement if you’re training, they’ll also do a good job as a meal replacement bar. Alongside 20g of protein bar, they also contain 22 essential nutrients that include vitamins A and C, zinc and calcium. The marketing blurb says that Vitamin A, in particular, is a good ingredient, as it helps aid your immune system – something that often suffers if you’re dieting and on a low-calorie meal plan.

Key specs: Weight of bar: 65g; Calories: 228; Flavours: Chocolate fudge; salted caramel

Buy now from MyProtein

2. Oatein Hype Bar: Best bar if counting calories

Price: £26 for 12 | Buy now from Amazon

Available in three flavours, each containing 192 calories or less, the Oatein Hype Bar is perfect for people who are on a Very Low Calorie Diet (where you consume 600-800 calories a day). These tasty bars contain just 1.7g of sugar and 4.8g of fat, but still pack in an impressive 18g of protein. Without the dry and bland texture of many competitors on the market, this bar lives up to the hype — though the individual flavours could benefit from being a little more distinct.

Key specs: Weight of bar: 60g; Calories: 187; Flavours: Cookies and milk; salty caramel; hazelnutty

3. Clif Energy Bar: Best bar for energy

Price: £16 for 12 | Buy now from Amazon

While these bars from Clif are marketed as energy bars, they contain enough nutrients to work as a meal replacement bar. Made with organic rolled oats, these bars a good shout if you’re working hard, and need some fuel in place of a square meal. They don’t contain any artificial sweeteners or fructose syrup – the sort of thing that usually heads straight to your waistband – and contain vitamins B6 and B12, which the Clif says are nutrients ideal for healthy energy release. We’ve linked through to the peanut butter bar, but you can also get a wide range of other flavours.

Key specs: Weight of bar: 68g; Calories: 260; Flavours: Chocolate chip; white chocolate macadamia nut; cool mint chocolate; blueberry crisp; peanut butter with dark chocolate; coconut chocolate chip; coconut almond fudge; alpine muesli mix

Clif Bar Energy Bar Crunchy Peanut Butter 68 g (Pack of 12)

£17.73 (£21.73 / kg) Buy now

4. DietNow Meal Replacement Bar: Best gluten-free bar

Price: £24 for 12 | Buy now from Amazon

The DietNow is another bar that’s intended for people following a low-calorie diet. The numbers say it all: each bar contains a solid 18.6g protein, 5.5g of fibre and just 2.9g of carbohydrates. Their natural ingredients include gluten-free oats, chicory fibre and a range of fruit peels. DietNow’s bars are available in three different flavours, but you can order a box that contains a mixture of each.

Key specs: Weight of bar: 60g; Calories: 227; Flavours: Apricot; caramel & peanut; cocoa orange

5. SlimFast Meal Replacement Bar: Best value-for-money bar

Price: £18 for 16 | Buy now from Amazon

This bar comes from the brand that’s world-famous for its meal-replacement and weight-loss products. SlimFast suggests you incorporate these bars into a meal plan that includes, yes, a range of its other products, including shakes and snacks. Each bar contains less protein than others on this list – a mere 15 grams – but they do contain caseinate, a type of dairy protein that gives you a feeling of fullness to help keep your appetite under control (according to the marketing copy, in any case). This 16-bar pack offers the best value for money, at just £1.13 per bar.

Key specs: Weight of bar: 60g; Calories: 217; Flavours: Chocolate crunch; nutty salted caramel; yoghurt fruit crunch

SlimFast Yogurt and Muesli Meal Replacement Bar, 240 g, Pack of 4

£18.94 (£7.89 / 100 g) Buy now

When you’re pressed for time but don’t want to give in to the temptation of fast food for dinner, your blender can save the day by allowing you to whip up a smoothie with all the nutrients of a complete meal. Even some store-bought shakes can help do the trick when you’re that rushed.

Even if you’re using shakes and smoothies for weight loss, know that lots of store-bought drinks and homemade smoothies are high in sugar with not enough protein, fat, fiber, or even calories to constitute a real meal—let alone keep you feeling full until your next nosh. (So if you just have a meal replacement shake, you may be more likely to binge eat later.) Here’s how to get the most out of your meal replacement shake and achieve your weight loss goals.

How to use meal replacement shakes

In reality, having a meal replacement shake on its own isn’t enough. The best way to enjoy a meal replacement shake is to pair it with healthy snacks that can help you turn it into a full-on meal. This way, you’re feeding your body all the nutrients it needs to keep you moving throughout your day.

You should aim to consume roughly 325 to 400 calories, 15 to 25 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 10 to 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fat, says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, author of The SuperfoodsRx Diet. Otherwise, you might be feeling hungry way before your next meal.

Here are 12 store-bought meal replacement shakes that stack up nutritionally. Plus, exactly what you can pair them with if you need to make them more filling on-the-go.

Premier Protein Shake Premier Protein $25.00

1. Best Overall: Premier Protein Meal Replacement Shakes

4.4 out of 5 stars
1,000+ Amazon customer reviews

With mouthwatering flavors like caramel, chocolate, cookies & cream, and vanilla, there’s something for every sweet tooth out there. And as a recipient of the American Master of Taste Gold Medal for superior taste, Premier Protein’s shakes are so smooth and delicious that you’ll probably mistake your drink for a milkshake. One Amazon reviewer says, “Love these shakes. I’m doing Weight Watchers and these have been a huge tool in my weight loss.”

Make it a meal: Since these shakes are only 160 calories, you want to bulk up with another snack. Consider having a banana (105 calories) with two tablespoons of natural peanut butter (188 calories).

Nutrition info: 160 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 210 mg sodium, 30 g protein

SlimFast Advanced Energy Meal Replacement Shakes SlimFast $20.99 $15.37 (27% off)

2. Best Value: SlimFast Advanced Energy Meal Replacement Shakes

4.3 out of 5 stars
500+ Amazon customer reviews

SlimFast’s meal replacement shakes are packed with 20 grams of protein and five grams of fiber, helping you stay fuller longer. Plus, they offer 24 different essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, iron, calcium, and zinc, to fuel your body. Enjoy them in a variety of taste-tempting flavors, like rich chocolate, mocha cappuccino, vanilla, and caramel latte. Reviewers particularly love the caramel latte flavor: “I’ve tried pretty much all of their shakes from the regular meal replacement shakes to their new advance energy shakes, and let me tell you, the caramel latte flavor—oh my goodness—is the best of the of the other flavors,” says one Amazon customer.

Make it a meal: Save these drinks for when you can pair them with something small—like 1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese and one cup of sliced strawberries—to turn them into a complete meal. This way, you’ll add about 150 extra calories, 13 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, and 2.5 grams fat.

Nutrition info for chocolate: 180 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 6 g carbs (5 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 210 mg, 20 g protein

Vega Protein Nutrition Shake VEGA $29.97 $22.47 (25% off)

3. Best Plant-Based: Vega Protein Ready-to-Drink Meal Replacement Shakes

3.5 out of 5 stars
300 Amazon customer reviews

These plant-based shakes from Vega are packed with nutrition, thanks to their impressive list of real ingredients, like pea and hemp protein, flaxseed, cocoa powder, and a mix of greens powders (from plants like kale, spinach, and organic spirulina). One shake contains 20 grams of vegan protein and four grams of fiber.

“I am a long-time vegan athlete. I’ve tried every accessible protein shake on the market, and even made my own and built custom recipes. But this stuff wins. It tastes great and it’s loaded with green plant material, minimal ingredients, and it does the trick for the least amount of money,” an Amazon reviewer writes.
Make it a meal: Paired with one sliced hard-boiled egg (prep a bunch on Sunday and keep them in your fridge for the week!) on a piece of multi-grain toast, you’ll down an additional 147 calories, 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber.

Nutrition info: 170 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 14 g carbs (4 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 230 mg sodium, 20 g protein

Labrada Whey Protein Meal Replacement Shake Labrada $36.94 $29.59 (20% off)

4. Best High-Protein: Labrada Whey Protein Meal Replacement Shakes

4.2 out of 5 stars
900+ Amazon customer reviews

While this meal replacement shake is on the low side calorie-wise (280 calories), it also boasts 40 grams of protein and five grams of fiber, making it one of the most filling choices on this list. It also has zero grams of sugar and is lactose-free, making it an excellent pick for people who are sensitive to dairy. “With 40 grams of protein and zero sugar, I wasn’t expecting much from this. Wow was I wrong! The cookies & cream is delicious!” says one Amazon customer.

Make it a meal: Snack on some celery sticks (30 calories) with a tablespoon of almond butter (98 calories).

Nutrition info: 280 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 9 g carbs (5 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 600 mg sodium, 40 g protein

Iconic Grass-Fed Protein Drink ICONIC $33.99

5. Best Lactose-Free: Iconic Grass-Fed Meal Replacement Shakes

4.4 out of 5 stars
1,000+ Amazon customer reviews

With 20 grams of grass-fed milk protein, four grams of fiber, and three grams of sugar per bottle, these shakes are a great choice in a hurry. While they’re packed with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12, they are super low in fat and only offer 130 calories, so you’ll definitely need to pair this tasty meal replacement drink (available in flavors like chocolate, coffee, vanilla bean, golden milk, and even coconut matcha) with a little something to keep hunger pangs at bay. The great news is that they’re made with lactose-free protein, so they won’t upset your stomach if you’re sensitive to milk products.

“This brand is by far the best protein drink I’ve ever had. I have tried so many different whey protein powders and pre-mixed drinks, and I can never get more than a few sips down, if that. I decided to give these a try and I am so happy I did,” a happy customer says.

Make it a meal: Simply snack on 1 ounce of almonds to boost the calories (164 more) and healthy fat (14 grams more) this drink lacks.

Nutrition info: 130 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 8 g carbs (4 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 220 mg sodium, 20 g protein

Pure Protein Shakes Pure Protein $33.12

6. Pure Protein Meal Replacement Shakes

3.4 out of 5 stars
1,000+ Amazon customer reviews

With more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon, it’s clear these shakes are a crowd favorite. And for good reason: The typical bottle offers 35 grams protein (along with calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and D) for only 150 calories and one gram of sugar. However, these drinks are low in both fiber and fat, so you may want to sip on one with a snack on the side for a complete meal replacement. Still, if you’re craving something sweet, they come in satisfying flavors like cookies and cream, peaches and cream, chocolate, vanilla, and more.

“Love this! Great amount of protein with better taste than most others. I love that Pure Protein is actually accurate with their nutrition facts unlike many other companies. Plus you really can’t beat that price!” an Amazon reviewer writes.

Make it a meal: If you’re grabbing this shake for breakfast and know you need to keep hunger at bay until lunch, drink this shake after you nosh on a slice of multi-grain bread topped with 1/4 of an avocado. You’ll boost your meal by 150 calories, 6 grams of filling fiber, and about 8 grams of healthy fats.

Nutrition info: 150 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 150 mg sodium, 35 g protein

Orgain Organic Meal Replacement Shakes Orgain $23.00

7. Orgain Organic Meal Replacement Shakes

4.1 out of 5 stars
500+ Amazon customer reviews

If you’re looking for an all-organic meal replacement shake, look no further than Orgain. All five flavors—creamy chocolate fudge, sweet vanilla bean, strawberries and cream, bananas and cream, and iced café mocha—pack 16 grams of grass-fed whey protein powder. “I love Orgain. I recommend it to everyone. I use the shakes as a meal replacement on busy days, and the protein drinks as nutritional supplements to keep up my protein levels. My elderly father has thrived since Orgain has become a staple of his breakfast meals,” one Amazon customer says.

Make it a meal: Supplement this sweet drink with about 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt topped with 1/2 cup raspberries for an additional 105 calories, 10 grams protein, 2 grams fat, and 4 grams fiber.

Nutrition info: 250 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 32 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 260 mg sodium, 16 g protein

MET-Rx Original Whey Protein Meal Replacement Powder MET-Rx $59.97

8. MET-Rx Original Whey Protein Meal Replacement Shakes

4.6 out of 5 stars
300+ Amazon customer reviews

Chocolate lovers will appreciate the silky, creamy taste of cocoa in this meal replacement shake, which boasts 250 calories and 36 grams of protein. This whey protein-based shake also features casein—the main protein in milk—that’s absorbed more slowly than whey. But when casein is combined with whey, as it is in this shake, it can enhance muscle building. One body-building Amazon customer says, “If you’re looking for a great tasting meal replacement, MET-Rx is the best. I use it every day as my lunch and sometimes my dinner too. It’s the best way to keep your weight down or lose weight, while preserving muscle mass.”

Make it a meal: Enjoy this delicious shake with one small apple for an additional 77 calories and four grams of fiber.

Nutrition info: 250 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 420 mg sodium, 36 g protein

Muscle Milk Original Protein Shakes CytoSport $35.02

9. Muscle Milk Meal Replacement Shakes

4 out of 5 stars
200+ Amazon customer reviews

The name speaks for itself: These delicious shakes pack 34 grams of muscle-building protein per bottle, along with two grams of satiating fiber. You’ll definitely find one you like, since they come in a variety of delicious flavors like banana crème, chocolate, cookies ‘n cream, strawberries ‘n cream, and vanilla—most of which have no added sugar (the strawberry flavor does contain one gram). Reviewers love it for its creamy texture and great taste. One Amazon customer says, “This stuff gets the job done. Perfect as a post-workout protein quencher!”

Make it a meal: While the protein and fiber in this drink hits the mark, 160 calories is still pretty low for a meal. Pair this meal replacement shake with a small banana drizzled with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for an extra 186 calories, 4 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, and 8 grams of healthy fat.

Nutrition info: 320 calories, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 360 mg sodium, 34 g protein

OWYN Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes OWYN $19.99

10. Owyn Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes

4.3 out of 5 stars
40+ Amazon customer reviews

Certified vegan and gluten-free, Owyn’s meal replacement shakes deliver 20 grams of plant-based protein, which is a blend of pea protein, organic flaxseed oil, oat powder, and organic pumpkin seed powder. It also offers 23 different vitamins and minerals and contains zero fillers and artificial sweeteners. Try it in chocolate or chai. “I have severe IBS and a number of health conditions that make eating real food difficult. These shakes have helped me significantly, and they taste great!” says a customer.

Make it a meal: Savor this creamy drink with a small snack, like 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries and a cup of dairy-free yogurt.

Nutrition info: 300 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 31 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 330 mg sodium, 20 g protein

Soylent Meal Replacement Shakes Soylent $39.00

11. Soylent Meal Replacement Shakes

3.7 out of 5 stars
1,000+ Amazon customer reviews

Soylent’s vegan-friendly meal replacement shakes are 400 calories, which makes them a convenient choice for a full-on meal when you don’t have time to pick up breakfast. One shake has 20 grams of protein and three grams of fiber, plus hefty doses of vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and other nutrients. “Soylent is pretty good! I love chai so I was excited to try this flavor. You can definitely taste the chai and it doesn’t taste too much like a protein drink. I am excited to try the other flavors and I love that it keeps me full for several hours,” an Amazon reviewer writes.

Nutrition info: 400 calories, 21 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 36 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 9 g added sugar), 300 mg sodium, 20 g protein

Après Plant-Based Vegan Protein Shakes Après $55.54

12. Après Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes

4.2 out of 5 stars
20+ Amazon customer reviews

With 14 grams of protein, hunger-curbing coconut oil and hydrating coconut water, this plant-based protein drink is the perfect beverage to sip on the go. Thanks to its proprietary protein blend of pea protein, chia, and hemp, this meal replacement shake also delivers a complete amino acid profile. “I have two kids under two and work for a startup 24/7. Often times I am in back-to-back meetings all day with zero time to make lunch. These save me. I grab one quickly and know that I am getting the nutrients and protein that I need in one quick drink,” a happy Amazon customer says.

Make it a meal: Pair this shake with 6 baby carrots (24 calories), 3 tablespoons of hummus (75 calories), and 11 whole-wheat pita chips (about 120 calories).

Nutrition info: 180 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 400 mg sodium, 14 g protein

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Best Meal Replacement Shakes Reviewed

Whether you’re an athlete who has trouble filling a high calorie requirement or just a busy human being, you probably know the struggle of trying to prepare healthy food that hits all the right nutrition requirements. This is a task that’s all the more difficult for people following calorie-controlled diets but fortunately, meal replacement powders are finally going mainstream. And when it comes to food replacement, only the best meal replacement shakes should be considered.

Meal replacements have been around for many years, to be fair, but traditionally they’ve been used in hospital settings when patients have difficulty eating or absorbing nutrients. However, more and more meal replacement shakes are now designed for athletes and busy people on the go.

The trick with these products is that they vary enormously with regard to the nutrition they provide — and human beings vary enormously with regard to the nutrition they seek. Athletes might want more carbs. Women might want more biotin. Men might want more Vitamin D. Some folks want a lot of calories, others just want a nutritious snack.

There’s also the question of the recommended daily intake. Right now it’s about 50 grams of protein, 50 grams of fat, and 225 grams of carbs. Some meal replacements aim to give you these macronutrients in precisely that ratio (in a lower calorie dose), but a lot of people prefer entirely different ratios, particularly with regard to protein.

That’s why there’s no one answer for everyone when it comes to selecting the best meal replacement shake. It’s individual to you and that’s why, after testing many, many products, we’ve landed on a wide variety that can suit your particular needs. Here are our picks for the best meal replacements on the market.

Best Meal Replacement Picks

Best for Weight Loss
Ample Ample

Ample has a solid amount of calories and macronutrients, won’t leave you hungry, tastes awesome, and succeeds on the digestive health front.

Best for Women
Nature’s Bounty Complete Vitamin & Shake Mix Nature’s Bounty Complete Vitamin & Shake Mix

Inexpensive, nutritious, and with a rare focus on digestive health, this is a good meal replacement for women and men alike.

Best for Women’s Weight Loss
IdealShape’s IdealShake IdealShape’s IdealShake

This nutritious meal replacement is both satiating and low in calories, plus it has digestive enzymes that might help with nutrient absorption. Use code BARBEND15 for 15% off your order!

Best for Keto
Ample K Ample K

A keto-friendly shake packed with probiotics, it’s a great way to curb hunger while keeping you in ketosis.

Best for Athletes
GNC Total Lean Shake GNC Total Lean Shake

A nutritious, low calorie shake with an athlete-friendly 1:3 ratio of protein to carbs.

Best for Diabetes
310 Meal Replacement Shake 310 Meal Replacement Shake

The 310 Meal Replacement Shakes offer a tri-plex blend of protein to control hunger and promote muscle growth.

Best for Breakfast
Ample Ample

Ample is super convenient and provides a great serving of protein, fiber, and fat to keep you full until lunchtime.

Best for Men
Huel Huel

A plant-based, soy-free meal replacement that contains plenty of calories and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Best for Elderly
IdealShape’s IdealShake IdealShape’s IdealShake

A big hit of calcium and Vitamin D, both crucial for strong bones, plus plenty of B12 for brain health and fiber to help you stay regular. Use code BARBEND15 for 15% off your order.

Best Low Calorie
IdealShape’s IdealShake IdealShape’s IdealShake

Extraordinarily low in calories and high in nutrients, plus an unusual potato extract to help manage hunger. Use code BARBEND15 for 15% off your order.

Doesn’t expire

What to Look for in a Meal Replacement

Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of qualified medical advice. If you’re looking to make a significant change to your diet and training regimen, or to replace a significant percentage of your food with meal replacements, please consult your medical professional first.

So can you really replace a meal with powder? It depends on who you ask. Even when looking for the best meal replacement Shakes on Reddit, it’s hard to know where to start. There have been quite a few meal replacements out there that have aspired to completely replace food and encourage consumers to live on nothing but their product.

That has now become pretty uncommon, with the argument leaning toward what became one of Soylent’s slogans: it shouldn’t replace every meal, but it can replace any meal.

Is that a good idea? It’s complicated, and we’ll get into the specifics below, but generally speaking there’s pretty decent evidence that meal replacements can be smart for certain consumers. A meta analysis of six randomized controlled trials, published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, found that adding one of these products into a low-calorie diet — that part is important — “can safely and effectively produce significant sustainable weight loss and improve weight-related risk factors of disease.”(1) Multiple studies, like a 2018 randomized controlled trial published published in Nutrition & Health, have also suggested they can be effective at helping to manage Type 2 diabetes, perhaps by helping with calorie control or blood sugar levels.(2)(3)

When asking what to look for, well, diets are composed of calories, which are pretty much always made up of a combination of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. A good meal replacement, unless it’s marketed for an unusual type of diet (eg. keto) has a balanced combination of the three.

When looking at what makes a diet healthy outside of macronutrients, you’re more or less looking at five components.


Organic molecules that an organism needs for the proper functioning of its metabolism but can’t synthesize on its own. There are thirteen required for human metabolism.


Chemical elements that are made in the earth and can’t be made by living organisms. Plants get them from soil and animals get them from plants. There are five major minerals for humans (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium) and the rest are called “trace elements.”

Essential fatty acids

Fatty acids that we can’t make ourselves so we need to consume them. Linked to a variety of health effects such as immunity and mental health, a 2011 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the amount of Omega-6 in Americans’ diet has increased astronomically over the past hundred years.(4) You want your ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 to be as close as possible, which is why a lot of people supplement with fish oil.


A kind of carbohydrate that the body doesn’t quite digest, fiber is usually categorized by “soluble” or “insoluble,” both of which serve important functions for digestive health. It’s uncommon for a product’s nutrition label to mention what kind of fiber it contains.


Compounds found in plants that aren’t considered essential for human survival — and some are poisons — but many (like catechins in tea) are linked to health benefits and lower risks of various diseases.

When you’re assessing the quality of a meal replacement, you’re usually looking for vitamins, minerals, fiber, and if you’re lucky, Omega-3 fatty acids. While they may contain ingredients with phytochemicals (like the isoflavones in soy), they’re seldom specifically written on the ingredients list. For those kinds of supplements, you may want to look at greens powders.

So to wrap up: A good meal replacement usually has:

  • A good balance of protein, carbs, and fat.
  • A wide variety of vitamins and minerals. (Supplements typically tap out at around 24.)
  • A dose of fiber.
  • Essential fatty acids.

So which is the best for your individual goal? Let’s take a look.

Best Meal Replacement for Weight Loss


Some people might be surprised with the inclusion of Ample on this list because it’s pretty rare to see a weight loss shake with a whole 400 calories. But first of all, we’re talking about meal replacements, not light snacks, and secondly Ample has great macros: 27 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs (10 grams of fiber), and 21 grams of fat. All that protein, fiber, and fat makes for one of the most filling shakes I’ve tried and if weight loss is your goal, you want a product that will fight hunger cravings.

It’s not crazy high in vitamins and minerals, but there’s no artificial anything in this product and it has an unusual focus on digestive health, delivering 40 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria from six different strains, which could be an important part of losing weight and maximizing nutrient absorption.

Learn more in my full Ample review.

Save 15% Ample Ample

Ample has a solid amount of calories and macronutrients, won’t leave you hungry, tastes awesome, and succeeds on digestive. Use code BARBEND to save 15% on your order.

Best Meal Replacements for Women

Nature’s Bounty Complete Protein & Vitamin Shake Mix Review

Nature’s Bounty Complete Vitamin & Shake Mix

All natural and surprisingly tasty, this meal replacement shake has a lot to offer both sexes, but the reason it’s particularly popular among women is that it emphasizes a few nutrients that tend to be more highly valued by that demographic: biotin (which has links to hair and nail health), calcium, and collagen.

The collagen could be a little more highly dosed and we’d have preferred some more iron and magnesium, but in general this is a pretty well put together product, plus there are a billion probiotics and two kinds of digestive enzymes. A potential downside is the soy it contains, but then again plenty of women are advised to consume plenty of soy so this may be a pro for certain consumers.

Nature’s Bounty Complete Protein & Vitamin Shake Mix Nature’s Bounty Complete Protein & Vitamin Shake Mix Inexpensive, nutritious, and with a rare focus on digestive health, this is a good meal replacement for women and men alike.

Best Meal Replacements for Women’s Weight Loss

IdealShape’s IdealShake

IdealShake is a great product for weight loss, though I did find the Vanilla flavor to be just a little but too sweet. On the plus side it’s very low in sugar with 1 gram per serving and with just 100 calories per scoop, it’s pretty easy to keep the calories down with this product.

The wide range of vitamins and minerals is also pretty impressive with most of them approaching 50 percent of the recommended daily intake.

When it comes to weight loss, though, this is really one of the stars of the industry because of the Slendesta. Potatoes, it turns out, are one of the most satiating foods on Earth and IdealShape believes that this potato extract could make the product one of the most filling low-calorie beverages around. Use code BARBEND15 for 15% off your order.

Learn more in my full IdealShape review.

IdealShape’s IdealShake IdealShape’s IdealShake

This nutritious meal replacement is both satiating and low in calories, plus it has digestive enzymes that might help with nutrient absorption.

Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Keto

Ample K

Ample’s attempt at a keto-friendly product really the mark. Available in both 400- and 600-calorie varieties it avoids some of the common pitfalls of keto shakes, like too much protein or not enough fat. In the larger size there are 50 grams of fat and 19 grams of protein and 22 grams of carbohydrates with 13 grams of fiber and 3 grams of sugar.

As mentioned earlier it comes in a super convenient fillable bottle — finding keto snacks on the go can be extremely frustrating — and this variety of Ample actually has more nutrition than the regular kind with 25 percent of your daily Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium. Remember there are no artificial ingredients either, so there aren’t many reasons to avoid this one.

Learn more in my full Ample K review.

Save 15% Ample K Ample K

A keto-friendly shake packed with probiotics, it’s a great way to curb hunger while keeping you in ketosis. Use code BARBEND to save 15% on your order.

Best Meal Replacement Shake for Athletes

GNC Total Lean Shake

When looking at a meal replacement for athletes I tend to look at something that’s relatively low fat with about a 1:2 to 1:4 ratio of protein to carbs. Surprisingly, I found that the best option I tried was GNC’s product.

With 9 grams of protein, 32 grams of carbs (3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar), and 2 grams of fat per serving the macros are on point and the micronutrients are even better, providing roughly 30 percent of the RDI of most vitamins and minerals including magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

Learn more in my GNC Total Lean Shake review.

GNC Total Lean Shake GNC Total Lean Shake A nutritious, low calorie shake that’s especially focused on weight loss.

Best Meal Replacement Shake for Diabetics

310 Meal Replacement Shake Review

310 Shake

People with diabetes tend to prefer shakes with plenty of protein and fiber and not much saturated fat or cholesterol, and 310 Shake fits that bill perfectly. With 15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, there are just 2 grams of net carbs per serving and no saturated fat or cholesterol at all.

The nutrition is also on point with about 30 percent of the RDI of some two dozen vitamins and minerals, and for the consumers concerned about the potential effects of sucralose on insulin sensitivity, they’ll be glad to learn there are no artificial sweeteners here either.

Learn more in my full 310 Shake review.

310 Meal Replacement Shake 310 Meal Replacement Shake

The 310 Meal Replacement Shakes offer a tri-plex blend of protein to control hunger and promote muscle growth.

Best Meal Replacement for Breakfast

When it comes to picking a breakfast meal replacement, we had to weigh the different qualities of convenience, satiety, and nutrition. This is why Ample came out on top: as mentioned above it’s an extraordinarily filling product that provides a sustained release of energy throughout the morning. (This is in stark contrast to the big insulin spike of your standard simple carbs and milk in a bowl.) Combine that with the ultra convenient packaging and Ample is a safe bet.

Save 15% Ample Ample

Ample has a solid amount of calories and macronutrients, won’t leave you hungry, tastes awesome, and succeeds on digestive. Use code BARBEND to save 15% on your order.

Best Meal Replacement for Men


Huel has pulled off the impressive feat of making a plant-based shake that delivers a great split of protein, carbs, and fat with plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients as well. It doesn’t have the overwhelming nutty taste that’s so common in vegan protein powder and it’s easy to make shakes that are high calorie or low calorie, based on your needs.

Huel Huel

A plant-based, soy-free meal replacement that contains plenty of calories and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Best Meal Replacement for Elderly

This shake is particularly high in a lot of vitamins and minerals that are important for older folks. This includes a good hit of protein, over 50 percent of the RDI of calcium and 20 percent of your Vitamin D, all of which are crucial for strong bones. Plus, there’s plenty of B12 for brain health and 20 percent of your daily fiber to help you stay regular. It’s quite sweet, but IdealShape also has a naturally sweetened version that may be an alternative for those without a sweet tooth. Use code BARBEND15 for 15% off your order.

IdealShape’s IdealShake IdealShape’s IdealShake

This nutritious meal replacement is both satiating and low in calories, plus it has digestive enzymes that might help with nutrient absorption.

Best Low Calorie Meal Replacement

There are only 100 calories in a scoop, but in that you’re getting 11 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and about 75 percent of your recommended daily intake of fifteen vitamins and minerals. There are also enzymes to aid digestion, but what makes it even more diet friendly is the addition of an extract made from potato protein, which may help to decrease hunger.

IdealShape’s IdealShake IdealShape’s IdealShake

This nutritious meal replacement is both satiating and low in calories, plus it has digestive enzymes that might help with nutrient absorption.

Wrapping Up

Meal replacements really aren’t just for the bedridden and the elderly. They can support a variety of lifestyles and needs, and let’s be honest: we could all stand to save a few minutes of meal prep.

Of all the products we’ve tried these were the most outstanding in their field, so no matter if you’re looking for nutrition, for weight gain, for weight loss, or another goal, we’re confident the best meal replacement shakes can be easily picked for you. Cheers!


Can I only drink meal replacement shakes?

Meal replacement shakes are designed to do what they say: Replace a meal, which can be a convenient way to get nutrition for your specific dietary needs. Some meal replacement shakes were originally designed to serve as a full and complete nutritional substitute for regular food. However, relatively few recommend drinking only their product to meet your full nutritional needs. Speak to your medical professional before you consider switching to a completely meal replacement-based diet.

Can I use meal replacement shakes to lose weight?

Meal replacement shakes can be a convenient and easily measurable way to track calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients. Many people use them to help meet weight loss goals by tracking calories and hitting a calorie deficit.

Other Great Meal Replacement Reviews

  • Ample Meal Replacement Review – Rating: 8/10
  • 310 Meal Replacement Shake Review – Rating: 8.1/10
  • Boost Original Complete Nutritional Drink Meal Replacement Review – Rating: 8.2/10
  • Medifast Meal Replacement Shake Review – Rating: 7.6/10
  • Soylent Powder —Ultimate Meal Replacement Review – Rating: 7.4/10

Related Meal Replacement Content

  • The Pros and Cons of Meal Replacement Shakes
  • Are Meal Replacements Actually Healthy?

1. Heymsfield SB, et al. Weight management using a meal replacement strategy: meta and pooling analysis from six studies. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 May;27(5):537-49.
2. Boonyavarakul A, et al. Effects of meal replacement therapy on metabolic outcomes in Thai patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial. Nutr Health. 2018 Oct 1:260106018800074.
3. Kempf K, et al. Individualized Meal Replacement Therapy Improves Clinically Relevant Long-Term Glycemic Control in Poorly Controlled Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 4;10(8).
4. Blasbalg TL, et al. Changes in consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the United States during the 20th century. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):950-62.

Weight loss protein bars

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