How We Rate Shakes
Overview of Our Rating Process
The Meal Replacement Shakes team rates all protein shakes on a sliding scale – across a variety of nutrition, taste, diet, and price factors. A score of 10/10 is considered a “perfect score”, relative to the other shakes in the category. The lowest score any shake can receive is a 4/10.
We take into consideration the general characteristics of each shake, such as quantity of protein, calories per serving, taste, and price value. We also take into account specific nutrition and ingredients information, such as carbohydrates, fiber, probiotics, sugar & artificial sweeteners.
Which Shake Brands are Included
We are constantly researching new and popular meal replacement shake brands to include in our ratings and review pages. If you would like your brand mentioned, please send us a link to your product page. Ensure this page is complete with a strong image, transparent pricing and nutritional information.
Details on Our Ranking Factors
Learn more about the qualities we rank shakes on below. Or, go directly to our lists of top rated shakes in each category:
- Best Overall Meal Replacement Shakes
- Best Plant-Based Meal Replacement Shakes
- Best Low-Calorie Meal Replacement Shakes
- Best Low-Carb (Keto-Friendly) Meal Replacement Shakes
- Best Low-Sugar Meal Replacement Shakes
- Best Dairy-Free Meal Replacement Shakes
All proteins are not created equal whether it’s protein shakes or protein powders. Some protein shakes are cheap and some protein powders are expensive. Some of them act fast; others act more slowly. Some protein shakes are mixed with fillers; others are pure.
When it comes to meal replacement shakes, the type of protein matters a great deal. There are many meal replacement shakes on the market using a wide variety of different protein types; from animals, from plants, and from soy. Depending on your dietary restrictions, we have subset categories to help you find your bet shake option.
The cost of a protein shake is often, although not always, an indicator of the quality of ingredients found inside the product. A common rule of thumb is to avoid low cost protein shakes and protein powders as they usually have soy fillers, artificial sweeteners, and other controversial additives. All these are very counter-productive to weight loss. Nonetheless, price is important to consider – and is highlighted in all shake reviews.
Some of these protein shakes actually “overdue” it, as they are loaded with more protein than the human body can absorb — around 10 to 15 grams at a time. (Excess protein gets eliminated from the body and can cause weight gain.) We look for the best types of single protein shakes or blends, and note their value with our color ratings on each review.
Appetite Suppressing, Natural Ingredients
Ongoing studies bolstered by everyday experience have proven that if you’re still hungry after drinking a shake, you are more likely to snack and lose any weight loss benefits the shake may have offered. The ability to effectively suppress appetite is worth its weight in gold.
We prefer natural ingredients that have been clinically studied and proven to be the most effective in staving off hunger. Our highest ratings go to those formulations with natural ingredients that perform best. We have found that a blend of ingredients works better than any single supplement.
Shake Taste, Sugar, and Sweeteners
It is well known that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Taste is very much the same. Not everyone prefers the same flavors, and not everyone has the same preferences for “sweetness” when it comes down to protein shakes. Research shows that if you don’t like the taste of a protein shake you will not continue to use it, thus rendering it worthless as a weight loss tool.
On the other hand, a shake that tastes great because of high amounts of sugar and other artificial sweeteners isn’t going to help with long term weight loss. Which is why, we must consider both taste and sweeteners as part of our review process.