Undoubtedly, people with IBS struggle through a challenging roller coaster life ride. And knowing the best meal replacement shakes for IBS sufferers might come in handy if you live a busy schedule.
The condition, also recognized as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), affects the gut leading to malabsorption, lactose intolerance, and food allergies. It’s never easy to stick with a healthy diet with these challenges!
Most frustrating, some solutions for irritable bowel syndrome take a long time to bear fruit. And if you’re on the go, are meal replacement shakes good for IBS? And if so, which are the best ones?
Meal replacement shakes save the day by soothing your gut and safely providing your body with much-needed nutrients. This post delves deeper into the importance of meal replacements and FODMAP foods for IBS symptoms.
What are Meal Replacement Shakes?
Often, IBS sufferers are bound to experience frequent loss of appetite due to recurrent stomach discomfort and pain. In addition, digesting sugar, proteins, or starch can be a nightmare, or at least quite challenging.
The most convenient way to keep your strength up and carry on your daily routine is an easy-to-digest, high-quality, and tested meal replacement referred to as a low FODMAP meal. FODMAP refers to fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
These short-chain sugars cause digestive distress like gut bloating, cramping, constipation and diarrhea. (1)
Meal replacements provide relief to IBS sufferers and act as an excellent weight reduction treatment alternative. Some of the most preferred meal replacements include protein powder and shakes, but which are ideal if you have these gut issues?
✦ Some links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you click one of these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
Can Protein Shakes Irritate IBS?
Even if protein shakes are helpful in many ways, some experts warn about their tendency to worsen IBS symptoms. For instance, keep off whey protein because it contains ingredients that likely trigger IBS. However, whey protein isolate has a minimal fat content and is not detrimental for people with IBS and lactose intolerance. (2)
On that account, what protein is best for IBS? Go for almond milk, quinoa, lentils, lactose-free milk, and white meat such as fish or chicken. Other low FODMAP diet meals include silky tofu, brown rice, chicken peas, and egg whites.
If you wish to buy a flavored protein shake like strawberry, pick FODMAP-friendly varieties that contain no artificial sweeteners. Take into account that high FODMAP food like ice cream, soy, dairy milk, cereal, yogurt, and bread may aggravate your gut health.
Still, it is surprising that pea protein falls under the safest protein meal for your gut. According to Monash University, a single serving of pea protein contains minimal ingredients unlikely to trigger IBS symptoms. Furthermore, they are readily available, taste good, and have a pleasant texture.
Benefits of Low FODMAP Meal Replacement and Protein Shakes
Gastrointestinal symptoms can interfere with your everyday life in significant ways. Nonetheless, FODMAP foods shake and powder help avoid flare-ups for most people with IBS, and many experience better digestive health within days. Such a high level of success happens because of the following factors. (3)
Extra Boost on Fiber, Vitamins, Antioxidants, and Minerals
IBS sufferers know how it feels to be constantly plagued by gut constipation. A meal replacement shake packed with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals can help you to minimize this discomfort.
Fiber helps keep you feeling full for longer and reduces the risks of digestive disorders. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are essential for disease protection and overall health.
Weight Loss Solution
A low FODMAP diet eliminates large amounts of fructose, fructans, and galactans from the diet. With 100% natural ingredients, these nutritional alternatives are a safe, effective weight-loss tool. (4)
Losing weight on a low FODMAP diet can yield long-term results because you can settle for foods that fit your eating preferences. The key is increasing physical activity levels, and keeping a healthy and balanced diet without worrying about restricting food groups.
Perfect Workouts Fuel
Aerobic activities tend to increase pressure in the abdomen, exacerbating irritable bowel syndrome. Get rid of the pain and frustration in your gut with meal replacements. The liquid from natural substitutes absorb faster into the body, and is unlikely to trigger gastric distress.
The best time to consume protein powder is right after vigorous body workouts. That way, you can gain muscle mass and glycogen much faster.
Portable and Easy to Prepare
It usually takes a good bit of time to prepare a healthy meal from scratch using fresh ingredients. However, meal replacement shakes are very quick, making them incredibly convenient. Therefore, they are a great idea if you have a busy life and need to prepare your food in advance. It’s a matter of pouring and mixing, and boom! You’re done!
Easy to Ingest
People with IBS can benefit from ready-to-drink, tested, and nutrition-added shakes. You also don’t have to blend the solution into a smoothie for easier swallowing. This is particularly helpful for lactose intolerant people, or those who suffer from excess gas.
Help in Weight Gain
Proper nutrition is essential for weight gain and maintaining muscle mass. Meal replacement shakes or bars allow you to get all the nutrients you need without spending too much time preparing food. This is why they have gained substantially in popularity over the past few years.
Suitable meal replacement shakes should contain healthy ingredients like fruit and nuts. What’s more, it should be gluten-free with no added sugar.
There are a whole host of meal replacement shakes out there. Yet, that doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor for value.
Luckily, the market offers plenty of options, whether you want a strawberry or vanilla flavor. More importantly, with no artificial sweetener ingredients, shakes help manage nausea and other unpleasant symptoms.
Grab your daily dose of meal replacement in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and reward your stomach. They not only taste great, but are ideal for IBS sufferers.
Protein and Healthy Fats Supplement
One of the best things about FODMAP-friendly meals is that they provide a good source of plant protein and healthy fats. If you eat these supplements regularly, they help build muscles and keep your body strong. As you age, this becomes increasingly important.
Healthy fats also keep us satisfied for more extended periods at a time. For people who need more protein in their daily diets but don’t have time to consume whole foods like eggs or fish, meal replacements offer a convenient substitute.
Tips When Buying Nutritional Fodmap Foods
With the right meal replacement shake, you can get all the nutrition you need for a sensitive stomach. This guide, therefore, explains what to look for when buying one.
Read Labels and Check for Ingredients
Choosing the right meal replacement shake in the flooded market can be frustrating. Some products contain unhealthy ingredients like high sodium levels, and excessive sugar or sweeteners.
Be sure to read labels carefully to get top value for your money. Ultimately, meal replacement drinks for people with IBS should be all-natural, and contain no synthetic chemicals or artificial ingredients.
Proper Serving and Portion Counts
Choose a product that contains the correct portion counts and nutrients. Based on Monash University analysis, the best serving in adults is approximately 100 grams in 250 ml of water. Blend and shake your solution to a smoothie for easier consumption.
If you rarely incorporate fruit into your diet, choose a brand with natural fruit ingredients to enhance your daily nutrient intake.
Only spend money on 100% lab-tested, gas-free, gluten-free, and low caloric content. The idea is to get gut-friendly products that prevent disease and promote healthy living based on set standards, while also sensitive to IBS issues.
Finding the right meal replacement shake for IBS sufferers can be overwhelming. This post shed light on low FODMAP benefits for IBS. The bottom line is that you need a product that works best for your unique needs without making the disease and worse. Keto and vegan shakes are also great options depending on your needs and preferences.
Therefore, talk with your doctor before starting any supplement or shake plan.
Click to return to diet and nutrition.
- Barrett, J. S., & Gibson, P. R. (2012, July). Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (fodmaps) and nonallergic food intolerance: Fodmaps or food chemicals? Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388522/
- NHS. (n.d.). NHS choices. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/#:~:text=Irritable%20bowel%20syndrome%20(IBS)%20is,It’s%20usually%20a%20lifelong%20problem.
- Gastrointestinal diseases: Symptoms, treatment & causes. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7040-gastrointestinal-diseases
Fedewa, A., & Rao, S. S. C. (2014, January). Dietary fructose intolerance, fructan intolerance and fodmaps. Current gastroenterology reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934501/