A replacement meal shake is one of the most commonly used weight loss tools in today’s society. It is an easy on-the-go drink that contains a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins that generally resembles a low-calorie meal. In addition, weight loss is further supported through replacement meal shakes due to their sensory-specific satiety effect. Sensory-specific satiety is when your appetite decreases when you continuously eat food or drink beverages with a similar taste or smell. With this in mind, a replacement meal shake is not only for weight loss but also for maintaining a healthy lifestyle when your day-to-day activities get too busy to prepare a healthy meal. In addition, it is convenient because it is a premeasured amount of food with a known calorie level, it is easy to transport, it takes the thinking out of meal prepping, and there is no afterwards clean up necessary. (1) Protein shakes and even replacement meal shakes usually have a high protein content, which allows for an added benefit of where the consumer can lose weight and maintain muscle mass.Replacement meal shakes have many benefits, but they can also have a few cons. It can consist of artificial ingredients to help preserve the product, and some replacement meal shakes may contain artificial sugars to make it taste better. Amino acid spiking, also known as nitrogen spiking, has become quite popular among replacement meal shakes and protein shakes. This particular method increases the dietary protein content of the protein powder making the total protein count higher than it truly is. This can create a false perception of the amount of whey protein within the replacement meal shake or protein shake to the customer because it is not always disclosed on the container’s labels. Thus, when choosing a replacement meal shake or protein shake, always look at the container’s labels to see whether the actual protein content is depicted. (2)Other necessary ingredients to look at on a replacement meal shake or protein shake label include the number of sugars, dietary fibre, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and other vitamins and minerals inside the shake. Healthy sugar content should be less than 4g per serving. Unsaturated fats are considered more beneficial than saturated and trans-fat. Saturated and trans-fat can both cause an increase in low-density lipoprotein, your bad cholesterol, in your body. (3) Too much sodium can result in a dysregulation of the body’s osmotic levels, leading to water retention. (4)The nutrients you provide your body with are crucial for optimal health. Thus, doing more research and checking the nutritional content of replacement meal shakes and protein shakes before buying them will only benefit you and your health.
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