When you're pressed for time and still trying to stick your diet and training regimen, it can be tough to find something to satisfy your hunger needs, yet still provide every thing you need to meet your nutritional needs...
When you're pressed for time and still trying to stick your diet and training regimen, it can be tough to find something to satisfy your hunger needs, yet still provide every thing you need to meet your nutritional needs. To make matter worse, the vast majority of fast food and convenience store snacks tend to be unhealthy, unappetizing, and wreak havoc on the physique you’re trying to build. Here’s where a quality meal replacement protein can save the day!
What is it?
Meal Replacement Proteins, or MRPs, contain a blend of calories, carbohydrate, protein, fats, and many other nutrients all packaged in one healthy, convenient option on the go fitness enthusiast who doesn’t have time to sit down and eat, but still wants a filling, nutritious option.
They are ready to drink immediately after mixing and are an ideal option for individuals engaged in sports, weight lifting or constantly on the go. There are meal replacement shakes aimed at those trying to gain mass while others are aimed at those trying to lose fat. When deciding on a meal replacement product, pay close attention to not only its calorie content and ingredient panel, but also what its purpose is.
Benefits of MRPs
Much like the other protein powders and RTDs you’ll come across, MRPs provide a wide range of benefits to those in the market for one:
High quality source of carbohydrates, protein and fats
Convenient, healthy, and flavorful alternative to fast food
Wide variety of flavors to suit your particular tastes
Provides energy to get you through the day
Includes amino acids and additional ingredients for muscle repair and immune support
Calorie counting has already been done
MRPs vs Protein Shakes
Most people may be under the misunderstanding that an MRP is just another protein powder, but there are a number of differences between the two that you should be aware of when looking to purchase an MRP.
Meal replacement shakes are designed to REPLACE one of your daily meals. Meal replacement shakes are specially tailored weight loss or weight gain. These shakes are created to provide your body with wide array of essential nutrients. A good MRP contains both carbohydrates and protein and between 250 and 500 calories.
A protein shake,on the other hand, is just that – PROTEIN. They typically contain very few carbohydrates, fats, or other essential nutrients. Protein shakes are lower calorie and are not intended to replace a meal.
What to Look For
Regardless of which brand you select, here are some factors to consider when purchasing a meal replacement product:
Calories MRPs are made for both low-calorie diets and high-calorie diets. Choose one that fits your specific nutritional goals.
Protein Protein is not only necessary for building and maintaining muscle, but also helps with satiety. Look for a product that contains at least 25-30g of protein per serving. If you are lactose intolerant, look for a product with rice, pea, soy, or hemp protein.
Vitamins and Minerals The entire point of an MRP is to replace a meal, so you want it to contain the essential vitamins and minerals just like you would get from a normal meal. Compare the nutrient content of various MRPs before selecting a certain product.
Value In addition to the overall cost, also consider the cost per serving to see what kind of “bang” you are getting for your buck.
Taste If this is to replace a meal and hold you over a few hours, you want this to taste good. Otherwise, you’ll be hitting up the vending machine the second you finish drinking the MRP.
Additional Ingredients Some meal replacement products contain extra supplements (like creatine or glutamine). These added ingredients can save you money from not having to buy additional supplements.
When to Take
Drink your MRP when you can't find time to cook and eat a healthy meal or immediately after a workout as a post-workout supplement. If you’re bulking, consider taking a meal replacement shake every couple of hours to help get in those crucial extra calories to fuel your muscle-building efforts.
Don’t think that MRPs are only for the meatheads and fitness freaks, anyone who has a busy lifestyle or has trouble find healthy dining options can benefit from having a MRP on hand on for those hectic days.