The Basic Steps to Choosing a Meal Replacement Shake

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Sometimes it can feel like choosing the best meal replacement for you is like putting together a puzzle. Choosing a meal replacement is like identifying the gap in the puzzle that is your nutritional profile and filling it with a product that matches it.

Choosing a meal replacement shake can also depend on what you hope to get out of it. There are different shakes for different purposes; such as losing weight and building muscle. Match your product with your training programme.

Weigh the food you eat during a day for a few days; breaking it down into proteins, carbs, and fats.  Add together all the high protein foods – such as fish, check, eggs, and red meat – and divide their protein content in grams by 4. This is because such foods only contain around 25% actual protein. When you divide by 4, you have a much better estimation of your useable protein intake, which is the figure you really need.

Take this number and multiply it by the recommended protein intake for you; so a 60kg endurance athlete needs between 78g (60×1.3) and 108g (60×1.8) grams of protein a day.

Compare these two figures and find out if the actual amount of protein you take in is close to the recommended amount. If it isn’t, then is there anything you can do to get more protein?

After finding out for sure how much extra protein you need (most people don’t get enough protein for playing sports) you’re ready to address energy needs. Addressing your energy needs can be more complicated because it can be affected by your physiology, metabolism, and diet.

It’s important to practice common sense and take the time to listen to what your body tells you. An endurance athlete is typically a very active person who stays on their feet all day, using up more energy than sedentary people who sit behind their computers all day and bodybuilders. A good sign you aren’t taking in enough energy is feeling lethargic, struggling to exercise, and having difficulty gaining weight. If you start getting fat and feeling uncomfortable, it means you’re taking in too much energy. It’s imperative that you find that balance between taking in energy (eating and drinking) and expending energy (exercising and being active).

The best meal replacement for you is one that addresses your energy and protein needs at the same time. If you were missing out 40g of protein then you could use a meal replacement that has 20g of protein twice a day without containing a lot of energy/calories. As such it could be a bad choice if you need more energy. If that’s the case then you need a product with a lot of protein, but also some carbs for energy. The one that you go with ultimately depends on how much protein and energy you need.

Which one is right for you depends on the amount of energy you need. Don’t forget to consider the rest of your diet and your specific weight loss/gain goals when choosing your meal replacement.

Read more about diet shakes on site.

Article Submitted By Community Writer