“What should I look for in a meal replacement shake?”
It’s a question I get asked a lot. Everyone from fitness competitors and athletes to Moms who are just too busy to get all their meals in but still trying to maintain a healthy diet. This is usually due to their lifestyle or work commitments – it’s a hectic world we live in and often our nutrition protocol just can’t keep up. Here are five things you need to be looking for when picking out your next meal replacement powder;
- Mixed Protein Sources
Protein is the driver behind solid nutrition, and is the most important macronutrient for building and, most importantly, retaining muscle. Without a proper dose of quality protein you will be left without a complete meal. I always recommend a sustained release blend to get a time released digestion of protein into the body. Look out for whey protein concentrate (medium digestion time), isolate (fast digestion time), and casein (slow digestion time) to sustain your body immediately as well as for hours after.
- Carbohydrates You Recognize
Don’t be afraid of carbs! Carbohydrates can be found in many different forms and they are generally categorized as either high glycemic or low glycemic. High glycemic carbs such as sugary carbs will give unwanted insulin spikes this gives you peaks and valleys of energy, ideally you want to ensure you’re getting good low glycemic carbs for a steady source of natural energy. I look for sweet potato, rolled oats and quinoa, or any solid whole food sources to ensure sustained energy release and stable insulin levels. If they’re all derived from organic sources, even better!
- Good Fats
Fat doesn’t make you fat, especially if you’re seeing them from whole food sources. Healthy fats come from a vast array of whole food sources as well as technologically advanced sources such as MCT’s (derived from coconut oil), whole coconuts, and avocado. These fats provide amazing cardiovascular health benefits and sustained energy levels throughout the day.
- Don’t Forget Your Fruits & Vege
Grandma always said so! To round out a proper meal you should never forget your greens! A greens and fruit complex is a must to ensure you are consuming all your micronutrients. Your protein, carbs and fats are your macronutrients, so don’t forget about your micros. These micronutrients will give you your vitamins, minerals and antioxidants too. The perfect way to round off a good meal.
- What About Digestion?
It’s all good to have all your macro and micro-nutrients covered, but you want to ensure these are all digested and utilized by the body properly. Look for digestive enzymes, or ingredients to help make this happen such as Greek Yogurt, Cinnamon or Ginger. For example the live microorganisms in Greek yogurt help to improve the absorption of nutrients as well as aid indigestion and boost your immune health too. Remember without proper digestion, macro and micronutrients will not be utilized to their fullest potential.
Next time you’re looking for a meal replacement keep these points in mind and you’ll end up with a high quality product that you can be sure will deliver everything you need to keep your nutrition on point!
By Mike Riley
Brand Manager & VP of Sales – Mammoth Supplements
Mike has been involved in the sports nutrition and supplement industry for over 5 years. He’s personally responsible for bringing a number of best selling products to both the Canadian and international markets through extensive research and brand development.
Mike’s latest project with Mammoth Supplements called Mammoth Meal is a complete Meal Replacement powder featuring all whole food sources with an easy dosing system that anyone can use and benefit from. As well as an industry leading macro and micro-nutrient breakdown it’s also peanut, soy and gluten free. It also boasts no fillers or fast digesting carbs such as maltodextrin and contains no artificial colours or dyes.Tags: Carbohydrates, Fats, Mammoth Meal, Mammoth Supplements, Meal Replacement Shake, Protein