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Top 6 Low Carb Meal Replacement Shakes (Upd. 2024)

6

Meal Shakes Reviewed

73

Hours of Research

57

Reviews Examined

3

Experts Interviewed

A Lean Life Editor David

Published by David Williams

As an engineer, David loves technical product comparison and analyzing the data to assess top products.

Looking for a low carb meal replacement shake? You’re not alone! Meal replacement shakes are becoming increasingly popular for their weight loss and weight control benefits. And low carb meal replacement shakes are certainly a big part of that picture! In fact, studies have shown that they are more effective in weight management than low-fat and low-carb meals in the long haul.

Additionally, following low carb recipes daily can be challenging, particularly for busy professionals who have to eat on the go. If you’ve lived through such struggles, you’ll understand the importance of having a ready-made, low carb meal shake that provides the necessary nutrition and helps you stay on track.

Low carb meal replacement shakes are a fast and ideal way to enjoy a healthy, low-carb snack or meal on the go. But with so many options and endless promises, how do you choose the right one? Worry not – we’ve got you covered.

Our analysis takes into account some of the upcoming changes in 2024 with the top brands in the market. Some are just changing packaging (which can be functionally important), others have more substantive changes on the agenda. We’ll assess again in a few months (2024 Q1) as changes roll out.

Table of Contents

What to Look For In Low Carb Meal Replacement Shakes

Total Calories

The ideal low carb meal shake should have enough calories to give you the energy boost you need throughout the day. Anything between 300 and 600 calories should be enough to keep you going without going over the top. And even though it’s low carb, it’s still a good idea to always keep your eye on calories when focusing on weight management!

Protein Content

A carb-friendly meal replacement shake should have a reasonable amount of protein. That’s because your muscles need it for strength and recovery. 

Look for a meal replacement shake with anywhere between 15 to 35 grams of quality protein per serving. And the key here is quality.

Net Carb Content

While your goal is to limit your carbohydrate intake, that doesn’t mean you should avoid it all together. You might see some low carb meal shakes with high amounts of carbs on the label, but sometimes most of it is just fiber.

For example, if a shake has 21 grams of carbs, but 19 are from dietary fibers, it’s still considered low-carb. Your body doesn’t use dietary fiber for energy, so it will not kick you out of ketosis. Just subtract the total fiber content from the total carb count to get the net carb content, which in this case is 2 grams.

Fat Content

With reduced carbs, your body’s primary source of energy is fat. Your ideal low carb meal replacement shake should have high-quality fats to help you stay in a ketosis state. But you don’t want too many fat calories, or that can defeat the goal of weight loss and weight management.

Other Nutrients

Your low carb meal replacement shake should also have other essential nutrients that support your fitness performance, health, and recovery. They may not have to be in large quantities, but every bit counts. Such nutrients include:

  • Ketone body beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB)
  • Hydroxymethyl butyrate
  • Chromium
  • Carnitine (an amino acid)
  • Creatine
  • ECA stack
  • Magnesium
  • Fish oil
  • Sodium and vitamin D
  • Potassium

Additionally, the ingredients in your preferred low carb meal replacement shake must be from natural sources. For instance, you can choose one with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil over MCT powder.

Taste

Of course, you don’t want a meal replacement shake that taste so awful you can’t even stomach it. If it tastes terrible, you’re just going to get fed up with it and look for something else.

While you can’t tell a great taste just by looking at a product, you can trust customer reviews. Other users who have tried the shake can provide valuable insight into the taste and texture of a low-carb meal replacement shake.

The Six Best Low Carb Meal Replacement Shakes

  1. LYFE Fuel Essentials
  2. Instant Knockout Complete Meal Replacement
  3. PhenQ Complete Meal Shake
  4. Rootana Real Food Shake
  5. Ample Original: Low-carb Meal Shake
  6. HLTH Code Complete Meal
Daily Essentials Shake

LYFE Fuel Essentials

Ingredient Quality

Price

Taste

Carbs

5.0
5/5
4.9
4.9/5
5.0
5/5

18carbs/100g

Overall Score

4.95
4.95/5
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake - Instant Knockout Complete

Instant Knockout Complete

Ingredient Quality

Price

Taste

Carbs

5.0
5/5
4.8
4.8/5
4.9
4.9/5

35carbs/100g

Overall Score

4.9
4.9/5
PhenQ Complete Meal Shake

PhenQ Complete Meal Shake

Ingredient Quality

Price

Taste

Carbs

4.9
4.9/5
4.8
4.8/5
4.8
4.8/5

42carbs/100g

Overall Score

4.85
4.85/5

1. LYFE Fuel Essentials

Brand Overview

LYFE Fuel is a nutrition company based in Southern California that was founded in 2016. Their mission is to provide clean, plant-based nutrition products to support an active lifestyle. All of their products including the Essentials Shake are developed using extensive research and testing. They source only non-GMO, whole-food ingredients in their shakes and bars.

Highlighted Features

  • 55g of protein per 100 grams
  • Curbs hunger and controls cravings
  • Contains vitamins D3 and K2 for bone health
  • Made from whole food ingredients
  • Contains choline and B12 for brain health
  • Can replace meals
  • 6g of fat per 100 grams
  • Fills nutritional gaps in modern diets
  • 110 Calories per serving
  • Contains CoQ10 for metabolism support
  • 18g of carbs per 100 grams

Pros

Cons

Features

The Essentials Shake from LYFE Fuel was designed with a nutrition-first mindset. It uses a unique blend of whole food ingredients like pea, pumpkin seed, and rice proteins to deliver 20 grams of protein per serving with a complete amino acid profile. This high-quality plant-based protein provides the necessary macronutrients to support muscle mass.

It also includes a specialized fiber blend of acacia gum fiber, inulin, and chicory root fiber. This combination of soluble and insoluble fibers helps regulate digestion and provides an extended feeling of fullness. With only 4 grams of net carbs per scoop, it fits perfectly into a low-carb lifestyle.

Supporting gut health was another key goal in developing the Essentials Shake. It contains a 1-billion CFU probiotic blend of 7 different strains of beneficial bacteria along with prebiotic fiber to nourish the microbiome. Proper gut function is important for overall wellness and weight management.

LYFE Fuel uses clean, whole-food ingredients that are non-GMO and sourced sustainably. They avoid artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or fillers. Instead, the shakes have a natural taste from just plant-based nutrients. Customers report enjoying the smooth and creamy texture without any chalkiness or clumping.

Price

A 30-serving pouch of LYFE Fuel Essentials Shake retails for $70 on their website. For subscription purchases, you get a variety of discounts plus free shipping. Compared to some other low-carb meal replacement options, it is on the more expensive side. But it offers a nutrition-focused formula using mostly whole-food ingredients.

Customer Experience

Customer reviews on the LYFE Fuel website are very positive, with over 400 reviews averaging 4.7 out of 5 stars. Recurring themes in the feedback include enjoyment of the taste and texture, feeling satisfied until the next meal, and good results seen from consistent use. Many customers report improved digestion and a sense of fullness despite the low calories. Reviews on third-party sites like Amazon reflect similar high satisfaction in the key areas of taste, value, and achieving health/fitness goals using the Essentials Shake.

A happy customer had this to say about LYFE Fuel Essentials “This meal replacement shake gives me energy in the morning and I notice I have more focus. I add frozen fruit and frozen spinach to make it thick and smooth in my Ninja bullet. It stays well blended for hours since I take it to work to drink when I need a mid-morning snack. I also have less cravings and it’s easy to turn down free food at work. I recommend this over other protein powders.”

The probiotic and fiber content seem to be well-appreciated aspects. Complaints have been minimal regarding issues with order fulfillment or product quality. Overall, customers are impressed with the nutrition and clean ingredients used in LYFE Fuel Essentials for a low-carb meal replacement option.

2. Instant Knockout Complete Meal Replacement

Brand Overview

Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake - Instant Knockout CompleteInstant Knockout Complete has been making headlines in the meal replacement space. And it’s not just hype. It actually delivers on its claims. It’s a perfect low carb meal replacement shake when you’re on the go, but still want to manage your carbs and manage your weight.

It was initially developed for professional fighters looking to cut weight without losing nutritional value. This can be challenging, and Instant Knockout Complete was on the cutting edge of this endeavor. And when cutting weight, carb control is generally very advantageous, so this meal shake is tailor made with that objective in mind.

This low-carb meal replacement shake is a product of Roar Ambition, a UK-based supplement company. Founded in 2014, the brand has risen to prominence in the fitness industry thanks to its high-quality and well-researched product line. The Instant Knockout Complete Meal Replacement is one such product.

Highlighted Features

  • 14 servings per container
  • 400 calories
  • 13 g total fat
  • 35 g plant-based protein
  • 35 g total carbohydrates
  • 13 g dietary fiber
  • 3 g total sugar
  • 26 essential vitamins and minerals
  • 12mcg chromium
  • Keto-friendly
  • Vegan-friendly

Pros

Cons

Features

Roar Ambition understands the three basics of a healthy body: strength, muscle mass, and weight loss. But it’s not all about low carbs. The brand also takes into account the importance of other nutrients.

They have designed Instant Knockout Complete Meal Replacement as a complete meal to fill those nutritional gaps and provide the body with adequate energy and protein. For example, the protein from pea and soy comes with a balanced amino acid profile that improves muscle synthesis, reduces body fat, and enhances recovery. Plus, the 26 essential vitamins and minerals offer hormonal balance and boost your immune system.

The meal replacement shake provides micronutrients extracted from chia seeds, golden flaxseeds, and other natural sources. They are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Unlike PhenQ Meal Shake, this one comes with only one flavor: Vanilla. However, it’s delicious enough without any chalky aftertaste.

Weight Control and Weight Loss

A hallmark of this low carb meal replacement shake is that it’s tailored for people looking to cut pounds. It was originally created to help fighters cut weight in preparation for fights, without losing muscle mass or strength.

The original formula was modified for wider use, but keeps that as the foundation of its nutritional profile. So if weight loss, weight control, or carb control is one of your primary considerations in choosing a meal shake, then Instant Knockout Complete will likely be near top of your list.

Price

Instant Knockout Complete Meal Replacement’s 14-serving pouch retails for $59.00 for a two-week supply. The one-month package with 28 meals goes for $118.00, with free shipping in the US and the UK. The brand doesn’t offer a subscription-buying model at this point.

Customer Experience

Most of the reviews that we found were very positive, with praise words like “amazing,” “works great,” and “energy boost.” Here are some comments from Reddit, Facebook, and Trustpilot. 

One user on Reddit said, “I’ve been using this product for the past three weeks, and I have to say that it has helped me a lot. I see results already and feel more energetic throughout the day.”

Another one said, “Marketing BS aside, it looks interesting. Nothing groundbreaking but a solid recipe, as far as I can tell. Relatively low fat.”

And the positive feedback did not stop there. There are tons of publications from independent sites that reviewed the product, and they gave it a thumbs up. The only concern we saw was the price. Some people found it too expensive even though it works great. 

And if you’re primary goal is weight loss or weight control, this is a very solid low-carb meal replacement powder.

3. PhenQ Complete Meal Shake

PhenQ Complete Meal Replacement ShakeBrand Overview

PhenQ Complete Meal Shake is arguably the best carb-friendly shake on the market. It’s a product of WOLFSON BRANDS (UK) LIMITED, a health and fitness company that has built a reputation for extensive scientific research and development. 

The UK-based brand has been in the supplements industry for about 15 years now, providing superior-quality products that are both convenient and healthy.

Its latest PhenQ Complete Meal Shake has lived up to the company’s reputation, as it’s made with superior-quality ingredients. So what exactly has been the drive behind this low carb meal shake?

Highlighted Features:

  • 7 servings per bag
  • Only trace amounts of carbs
  • 269 total calories
  • 13 grams of healthy fat
  • 16 grams of whey protein concentrate
  • 13 essential vitamins and minerals
  • 38 mg of DigeZyme Enzyme complex
  • Sugar-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Keto-friendly

Pros

Cons

Features

PhenQ meal shake is not your average run-of-the-mill meal protein shake. It’s a complete shake containing the best of everything. The best part is that it is all-natural, without fillers or artificial fillers and ingredients.

The shake contains the right balance of protein, low carbs, and fats to help you stay in a ketosis state while fueling your body with essential micronutrients. For instance, 13g of high-quality, healthy fats provide energy while helping you burn fat.

Another wonder ingredient in this PhenQ complete meal shake is the CARB10, a patented healthy, low-glycemic carbohydrate blend. It’s derived from premium pea starch and improves digestion and absorption of complex carbs without spiking your blood sugar levels.

The whey protein concentrate helps provide the body with quality protein that’s easy to digest. It also contains a rich complete amino acid profile that helps improve satiety, builds lean muscles, and supports weight loss & muscle recovery.

PhenQ complete meal shake comes in three delicious flavors to keep you motivated. You can choose from Vanilla, Chocolate, or Strawberries & cream and enjoy a tasty shake.

Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Taste

Price

PhenQ complete meal shake is available on the brand’s website for $20.95 per bag for a one-time purchase. If you choose the subscription model, you can save 10% on the price.

Customer Experience

Before buying any new product, it’s always advisable to go through customer reviews. That’s the only way to know what other users feel about it before you commit your money.

We did the same for PhenQ complete meal shake and found that most users are pleased with it. Unfortunately, the brand website offers very few customer reviews, so we went through third-party sources.

As far as customer experience is concerned, it’s clear that PhenQ’s complete meal shake passes the test with flying colors. Most users we found on Reddit have expressed their satisfaction with this product.

In fact, one reviewer wrote, “This shake is great. The taste and texture are perfect. I feel full after drinking it, and I can see a difference in my energy levels.” 

Another one on Trustpilot said, “I have lost about 30 lbs in 3 months. I started at 285, and now I’m 253, which is awesome. I have to say that I combined it with a carb diet. It helped.”

We also saw a few negative reviews, with most complaining about the lack of timely response. However, the company reached out to them and resolved their issues. 

Overall, the customer experience has been quite positive with this product.

4. Rootana

Meal Replacement Powder Vegetarian - Rootana

Brand Overview

Joining us relatively recently in 2022, Rootana has made a great name for itself thanks to its amazing meal replacement shake, which may well be the best tasting meal replacement shake we’ve tried.

Rootana has built their brand by following a simple doctrine: nothing artificial. Adhering strictly to this guiding principle, they spent two years researching and developing the Rootana formula using only real food ingredients, leading to the authentic, natural flavor we get to enjoy today.

Highlighted Features

  • 400 Calories
  • 14g Fat, 2g being saturated fat
  • 44g carbohydrates
  • 12g Sugars
  • 8g Fiber
  • 20g Protein
  • 440mg Sodium
  • 27 Vitamins and Minerals
  • Vegan Friendly

Pros

Cons

Features

One of the worst parts about trying to lose weight is missing out on your favorite great tasting food, and this is why Rootana knew that they had to make the best tasting shake available.

One thing you’ll notice right away when tasting Rootana for the first time is it doesn’t taste like some other meal replacement shakes that often have a chalky-mouth feel. Instead, Rootana has a beautifully thick and enjoyable texture akin to a genuine milkshake, and has a subtle but sweet flavor. That is something you’ll find yourself looking forward to in your daily diet.

Of course it’s not all about flavor, as Rootana has somehow managed this great taste while providing you with everything you need. And they’ve achieved this with some smart decisions. 

For example, the inclusion of Oat Powder may be slightly more carbs than our other offerings, but this pairs well with a low carb diet. That’s because these are complex carbs that provide your body with a sustained energy release, keeping you energetic and powered up all day long.

The protein here is effective as well, being a blend mostly of yellow pea protein isolate. But when paired with the protein provided by the oat power and golden flaxseed, this provides a complete amino acid profile. This means Rootana is a unique example of a high-quality, vegan-friendly source of protein that will help you build muscle effectively.

Price

Every pouch of Rootana provides 14 meals charged at $44.99, which works out to just $3.57 per meal. There’s no bundle / bulk offers at the moment, but there is a subscription model. If you subscribe you get 10% off, which works out at approximately $2.80 per meal.

Customer Experience

With Rootana being a relatively new name in meal replacement shakes, there’s not a ton of data to go off quite yet. The testimonials that we have found however are glowing, with everyone raving about how truly amazing Rootana tastes.

For example, on Trustpilot they so far have a perfect score, with Sean Barnard from the US saying: 

“This is the best meal replacement. I love the chocolate. It isn’t cloying sweet and is very satisfying. Customer service is top notch as well. I sent them a picture of a bag that arrived damaged and they sent another no charge with super fast shipping.”

And Cheryl Hutchinson from the UK states the following: 

“Best meal replacement i’ve tried.Purchased Cocoa flavour and it tastes so good.From ordering to delivery outstanding. Highly recommended.”

Beyond that, the online media response has been extremely favorable, with many independent sites reviewing Rootana and finding its real food taste alongside the clever formula is outstanding.

In summary, it’s a very strong rising star in the low carb meal replacement shake market.

5. Ample Original: Low-carb Meal Shake

Ample Meal Shake: High-Protein, Low-CarbBrand Overview

Ample Original is another low-carb meal replacement shake that offers a complete nutrition profile. It’s a product of the Ample Meal brand founded by former CrossFit® box owner Connor Young. Since its inception in 2015, the company has strived to provide all-natural whole foods to busy professionals.

While the brand is still relatively new in the market, it has proven to be a powerhouse in the meal replacement shake segment. Ample Original is an excellent choice for those who want to control their calorie intake, shed some fat, and stay energized throughout the day.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes in different packaging sizes (30 and 15 servings canister)
  • 400 or 600 calories per dose, depending on the meal size
  • 28 to 45 grams of total fat
  • 25g grass-fed whey protein
  • 35 mg cholesterol
  • 440 mg sodium
  • 11 to 15 grams of total carbohydrates
  • 7 or 8g dietary fiber
  • 1g added sugars
  • 4mcg vitamin D
  • 290 mg calcium
  • 0.8 mg Iron
  • 480 mg potassium
  • Non-GMO

Pros

Cons

Features

What makes Ample Original unique is its natural ingredients. For example, grass-fed whey protein has no antibiotics, hormones, or chemicals. That way, you get to benefit from it without any harsh additives. It’s also a great source of electrolytes, vitamins & minerals, and peptides.

This meal replacement shake plays host to a whole lot of fiber. Organic psyllium husk, soluble tapioca fiber, and organic guar gum will keep you satisfied for extended periods. You also won’t have any stomach issues like bloating and cramps. (1)

The two available flavors: Vanilla and chocolate, are both delicious. The taste isn’t too sweet, and it’s easy to mix with water or milk.

Price

Ample Original Low-carb Meal Shake comes in three different packaging that you can purchase on the main website. The 400 calories bottle goes for $90.00 for a one-time purchase, and $76.50 when you opt for a monthly subscription.

The 600-calorie bottles go for $108.00 for a one-time purchase, and $91.80 when you opt for a monthly subscription. The last option is a canister that will cost you $79.00 for a single purchase and $67.15 when you subscribe.

Customer Experience

Ample Original Low-carb Meal Shake has an impressive 4.6/5 star rating on the brand’s website. While the verified reviews are only 537, most speak positively about the product.

Someone by the name of Tammy P said, “Delicious keto! The chocolate is delicious, and it makes me feel perfect. Mixes in the water much better than any other keto mix I have tried, and it has enough fat to be keto. Often I find so-called keto products have a lot of sugar. This one is true for keto. Highly recommend it. I have it delivered monthly in large sizes to save on the environmental impact of several smaller containers.”

User reviews are equally positive on Amazon, with customers raving about its “amazing,” “works great,” and “energy boost.” The product has a 3.9/5 star rating with over 120 reviewers. 81% of them were three stars and above.

The primary concern was about the price. While most people loved the six-pack concept and the quality of the product, some felt it was too steep.

6. HLTH Code Complete Meal

HLTH Code

Brand Overview:

HLTH Code Complete Meal is a low-carb meal replacement shake that has been on the market since 2020. In less than three years, the brand has made waves in the world of health and nutrition with its keto-friendly shakes.

The Texas-based company with headquarters in Woodlands, is a creation of two brothers, Joel Bikman and Ben Bikman. Motivated by health issues among family members, the two decided to apply their nutrition knowledge and develop a shake that makes it easier to stay fit and healthy.

Highlighted Features:

  • 15 servings per container
  • 400 calories per serving
  • 27g protein
  • 27g total fat with
  • 17g being saturated
  • 43mg cholesterol
  • 203mg sodium
  • 13g total carbohydrates with
  • 9g being dietary fiber
  • 2g total sugars
  • 10mcg Vitamin D
  • 400mg calcium
  • 9mg iron
  • 400 mg potassium
  • 17-5 mcg chromium

Pros

Cons

Features

The quality ingredients make HLTH Code Complete Meal an excellent option for health-conscious users. Each serving contains whey protein, apple cider vinegar powder, olive oil, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), coconut oil, inulin, sunflower lecithin, and many more. (2)

It literally has a piece of everything your body needs to say full and burn that extra fat. And you won’t experience stomach issues like bloating or gas because it’s easy to digest.

The shake also contains balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to your health because they help reduce inflammation and improve cognitive skills. The omega-6s can boost the metabolism and burn fat faster.

The two chocolate macadamia and the creamy vanilla flavors are delicious enough to add sparkle to your daily routine.

Price

15 meals bag of HLTH Code Complete Meal is $59.95 for a one-time purchase, and $49.95 when you subscribe. They also offer free shipping to customers within the US for orders over two bags.

Customer Experience

HLTH Code Complete Meal is the most reviewed low-carb meal replacement shake on the list, with over 2,289 reviews on their website. Most are overwhelmingly positive, with 90% being four stars and above.

The customers love how easy it is to mix the shake and that it doesn’t leave any lumps or chunks. They also reported feeling energized, which is a great benefit considering that most meal replacement shakes make you feel sluggish.

One reviewer wrote: “They are filling. For someone with type 2 diabetes, they are great.” Another one named Jenese M “This is truly a winning meal on all fronts. As a newly diagnosed diabetic determined to beat this disease without medication, I have carefully monitored every meal for its impact on my glucose levels. HLTH code is delicious and satisfying while keeping its negligible impact on my glucose levels. I have energy and clarity, but I don’t crave sugar which I have eradicated from my way of eating. I’m so glad I found this product.”

There were very few negative reviews. The ones we saw revolved around damaged packages, a minor issue that the customer service team fixed.

Summing Up Low Carb Meal Shakes

Meal replacement shakes can be great for anyone looking for a healthy and convenient way to lose weight. People fighting hard to maintain their low carb diet will love these shakes that are perfect for a ketogenic diet. (3)

Click to learn editor’s choice for vegan meal replacement shakes, keto shakes, and our pick for meal replacement variety pack.

While they can replace actual meals, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to consume whole foods as part of a healthy, overall diet. Also, ensure you talk with your doctor before starting any new diet, and that includes low carb meal replacement shakes.

LYFE Fuel Honest Review

LYFE Fuel Daily Essentials & Performance Shakes

  • Loaded With 27 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
  • 1.5X More Protein than Ka’Chava & Huel
  • 2X Less Carbs than Ka’Chava & Huel
  • 17% Less Calories than Ka’Chava & Huel
  • Plant-based Meal Replacement Shakes
  • Real Whole Foods
  • Third-Party Tested for Purity & Safety
  • Environmental Impact is a Top Priority
Picture of David Williams

David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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References

  1. Psyllium. Mount Sinai Health System. (n.d.).
    https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/psyllium
  2. WebMD. (n.d.). Medium chain triglycerides (mcts): Overview, uses, side effects, precautions, interactions, dosing and reviews. WebMD. 
    https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-915/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts
  3. Ketogenic diet – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. (n.d.).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/