What are meal replacements? Is it the same as a protein powder? Well, not really, as they differ in nutritional composition, hence meal replacement shakes are dietary supplements, and they could be used to replace any meal at all – breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner. The good ones are augmented with essential nutrients and fiber but cleverly cut down on calories. Dieticians suggest that a meal should consist of vegetables, fruits, grains, and meat. This is so that your body gets all the nutrition it needs to function properly. Meal replacements don’t usually contain fruit, veg, or grain but are packed full of the nutrients that your body demands.
A meal replacement shake is commonly packed with protein to make you feel fuller without you packing in the extra calories. This means that you would be able to lose weight without losing lean muscle mass. Some replacements come in single-serve bottles, while others are packed in powder form so that they can be mixed with water or milk.
Meal replacement shakes are on the rise nowadays, and with good reason – especially if you are looking for a quick and healthy meal alternative that would help you keep the calories from piling on. Shakes are the easiest way to replace a meal as they can keep you from feeling hungry and can be carried about, unlike a meal. There are several advantages apart from that. They contribute to weight loss and are a time saver in terms of making elaborate meals. Plus, most nutrition shakes would give you nutrients that you may not get from regular meals, like Vitamin D. Meal replacements are also environmentally friendly – they produce lesser waste than regular meals.
Meal replacements are also sometimes called complete foods, and that is because they are nutritional products based on the current scientific understanding of human nutritional needs. The sole purpose of them is to provide complete and balanced nutrition that can satiate the body’s demands of the day. Ideally, a meal replacement should have macronutrients like fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber and micronutrients like minerals and vitamins. They come in several forms like powder, ready-to-drink, and powder in a bottle or bars.
These are the most common types of meal replacement, but to help you choose what is right for you, three rather popular brands have been compared so that you can check how they hold up against each other.
- Instant Knockout Complete,
- Shakeology, and
- Herbalife – are all respected brands.
We shall comb through the ingredients, the benefits, the cons (if any), and what results you can expect from them.
Instant Knockout vs. Shakeology vs. Herbalife – Top 3 Best Mouth-Watering Meal Replacement Drinks
No. #1: Instant Knockout Complete
A meal replacement shake. Instant Knockout Complete was created to work alongside Instant Knockout Cut (weight loss supplement) that lets you lose the fat without missing out on the nutrition. This is a serious drawback of going on a diet. The restrictive measures you follow when on a diet would compromise your daily nutritional intake. This leads to hunger pangs, a complaining body, and a horrid mood. Ensuring that the body has all the nutrition it requires is what Instant Knockout Complete does. The product claims to provide you with 26 essential minerals and vitamins, all while bolstering your weight loss. The unique property of this meal replacement is that it incorporates a slow-release system that keeps you going throughout the day. And this product can be used by men and women, alike.
No. #2: Shakeology
Shakeology was developed by wellness enthusiasts in 2009 and marketed as a nutrition shake aimed at weight loss. It is pushed by the company Beachbody – a fitness and wellness program. It is marketed as a superfood nutrition shake that has helped dieters with losing weight and reducing cravings, boosting energy levels, and supporting healthy digestion. Shakeology comes in several flavors for you to choose from, and the product is reputed to be enjoyable.
No. #3: Herbalife
Herbalife is an MLM – multi-level marketing, company, that sells nutritional and personal care products in more than 90 countries in the world. The Herbalife weight loss program (Herbalife Formula 1) uses meal replacement shakes and dietary supplements that fast-track the weight loss process. The program aims to promote wellness and fitness with science-backed nutrition products. Apart from meal replacements, they also provide multivitamin and antioxidant products, protein powders and bars, herbal weight loss teas, aloe products, and skin care. The meal replacement shakes also come in a variety of flavors.
Benefits: Instant Knockout Complete vs Shakeology vs Herbalife
As meal replacements, all three nutrition shakes have their common advantages. They are easy to prepare, they are easy to consume, and they save the planet as they generate lesser waste than a standard meal would. But some benefits are exclusive.
Benefits of Instant Knockout Complete:
- This shake adds only 400 calories per serving.
- When the instructions of use are followed, you can count the calories you are consuming, whether you be trying to lose weight or gain lean muscle mass. The calorie count is such that it is enough to sustain you while containing all the required nutrients. This shake will not leave you calorie deficient.
- Fiber is something that you get when you consume fruit and vegetables. A meal replacement shake may short-change you on that count. But Instant Knockout Complete doesn’t. It has added prebiotic fiber to the components to keep your gut happy and functioning.
- The shake is vegan-friendly. Many other products use dairy as a source of protein as it is easier and cheaper to do so.
· Unlike other meal replacement shakes, Instant Knockout Complete gives you a complete protein dose for the meal. It can be compared to a protein shake with 35 grams of protein. A protein bar gives you only two-thirds of that.
How to Use Instant Knockout Complete?
One serving of Instant Knockout Complete is 100 grams of powder (250-gram scoops) added to milk, vegan milk alternatives, or water. The easiest way is to use a shaker. Give your arm a workout with some wild shaking, and that’s it. Your meal is served.
Benefits of Shakeology
Shakeology follows a similar approach.
- It is known for its weight loss effects. Shakeology does claim, though, that it is a nutrition supplement first and a weight loss too second. Its main role is to keep your body free from any deficiencies.
- Because of the fiber and probiotic content, Shakeology can also improve digestion and keep your body functioning optimally.
- Shakeology is the only meal replacement shake that boosts your immune system. Some of the ingredients are adaptogens that allow the body to better cope with the outside world.
- This shake also claims to improve your energy levels and improve your mood. Some of the components have nootropic benefits that work on your mood and motivation, especially if you are on a weight loss journey.
When mixed with water, Shakeology shakes give you close to 160 calories. This is a little short on the calorie count if you plan on using this shake as a meal replacement. The things you mix the shake with could affect the calories. You have the option of mixing with milk, vegan milk alternative, or juice.
The benefits of Herbalife differ from one product to the next. The nutrition values change as well. The benefits that are common across all products are the following:
- Herbalife shakes were made with the sole purpose of losing weight. It is fortified with many minerals and vitamins but contains very few calories, sugar, or carbs.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is also important, and the Herbalife formula can help you do that. Even if not trying to lose weight, this nutritional shake can help you get your BMI in order.
Benefits of Herbalife
- Another Herbalife benefit is that it has the capability of helping you gain and maintain muscle mass. For this, you need protein. This shake gives you up to 17 to 24 grams of protein which should help you when you hit the gym.
- Herbalife gives your body the fuel it needs to survive. When trying to lose weight by going on a diet, you may starve the body of essential vitamins and minerals. Herbalife shakes takes care of any deficit.
To make the supplement, you must mix two scoops of the powder and mix it with 8 ounces of nonfat milk. There is also the option of mixing the powder with fruit and ice to make a smoothie as well.
The Instant Knockout Complete, Shakeology, and Herbalife Formula
When it comes to what each brand puts into its product, there is consensus up to a point. All three agree that there must be protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and trace minerals. This is so that the body is not left wanting something more. So, let’s breakdown the components each meal replacement shakes uses:
Instant Knockout Complete
- For Protein:
This shake uses pea protein and soy protein isolate. Pea protein is made from yellow peas and is a highly potent protein and iron source. It helps build muscle mass, helps you feel full, and is good for heart health.
- Pea protein can also lower cholesterol levels.
- Soy proteins can help with cholesterol, boost muscle growth, control diabetes, and heart disease, improve energy levels, and can help with symptoms of menopause.
Instant Knockout Complete uses oat flour and pea starch for carbs.
- Pea starch is also used as a thickening agent and is can aid weight management and promote gut health.
- Oat flour is also high in fiber, antioxidants, and minerals that keep the digestive tract healthy, and can help you to feel full for longer. Oat flour is considered better than wheat flour for weight management.
Gaur gum and rice hull concentrate fulfill this requirement.
- Gaur gum is a dietary supplement to help with diarrhea and constipation. It can also help with sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- Rice hull concentrate is such a great source of fiber that it has a cereal box. It’s great for preventing colon and stomach cancer, and cardiovascular disease, and strengthening the immunity system.
This meal replacement includes:
- Vitamin A – good for the eyes, immunity system, reproduction and development,
- Vitamin B complex – good for cell health, RBC production, energy levels, brain function, digestion, and appetite control,
- Vitamin C – boosts immunity, helps with pressure control, lowers the risk of heart disease, prevents iron deficiency, and has nootropic benefits, too.
- Vitamin D – helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body critical for healthy teeth and bones,
- Vitamin E– helps maintain healthy eyes and reinforces the immune system,
- Vitamin H – pantothenic acid, is essential for aiding digestive enzymes to break food down, and
- Vitamin K – is essential for making proteins needed for blood clotting and bone building.
All minerals are required in varying quantities to ensure that the body functions properly. The Instant Knockout Complete shake includes calcium, iron, chromium, choline, iodine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium, and copper.
Bacillus coagulans and Lactobacillus Carsei make up the probiotic content in this nutrition shake.
- Bacillus coagulans help to prevent respiratory infection and to support immunity.
- L. Carsei helps to prevent diarrhea and other digestive issues.
These components make up Instant Knockout Complete. These food ingredients, in tandem with healthy meals, would provide a variety of health benefits.
The Shakeology formula varies slightly. This meal replacement shake focuses more on keeping the body healthy by introducing adaptogens and antioxidants.
Adaptogens are plants or mushrooms that help the body respond to anxiety, stress, fatigue, and well-being. They can either be ingested as a part of a meal, as tea, or as a supplement. Shakeology adds them to a meal replacement drink.
- The formula includes ashwagandha– a medicinal herb that can help blood sugar, inflammation, and blood pressure, boost the immune system, and influence mood and memory,
- Astragalus– used to protect the liver, and respiratory system, curb blood pressure and sugar, and support the immune system,
- Chlorella– boosts the antibody count in the blood and helps with weight loss while reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and cognitive degradation,
- Cordyceps– an anti-aging element, this can improve heart health, and immunity, fight inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer,
- Luo Han Guo– high source of vitamin C and has 18 essential amino acids, it can help with coughs, colds, gastrointestinal issues, and bowel problems.
- Maca– supports muscle strength, healthy cells, digestion and boosts metabolism
- Reishi mushrooms– help improve sleep, remove fatigue, reduce stress, and enhance immunity
- Lastly, Schisandra– improves liver function, increases energy, and influences coordination.
Any agent that reduces the damage caused by oxidation in the body is called an antioxidant. Shakeology adds bilberry, Chaga, Matcha green tea, and pomegranate. All these components are antioxidants that effectively reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk for inflammatory diseases. They are also rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Enzymes are protein catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions. In the body, they help speed the rate of metabolism or other chemical reactions. They can either build or break down substances depending on what they are and where they are located. Shakeology adds Alpha-Galactosidase, amylase, cellulase, glucoamylase, invertase, and lactase to its composition. These enzymes ensure that food that is consumed is broken down quickly and efficiently, which reduces the chances of storing fats. They also can help with problems like flatulence, bloating, or digestive issues.
Pea protein and whey protein are included in Shakeology to give you a protein boost for muscle mass. Whey is an excellent source of quality protein and contains all the essential amino acids. It is also easily digestible and rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Plant-based Additions:
Unlike Instant Knockout Complete, Shakeology includes fruits and vegetables to fortify the formula.
- Acerola cherry – helps prevent colds and flu and is an excellent antioxidant,
- Camu Camu – rich in vitamins and flavonoids, this fruit can fight inflammation and reduces blood sugar and pressure,
- Goji berries – can fortify immunity and improve immune response function and are rich in vitamins,
- Rose hips – can aid weight loss, reduces inflammation, helps skin health, and heart health and rich in antioxidants,
- Yacon root – a natural sweetener that boosts immunity, improves digestion, and regulates blood sugar,
- Maitake – the beta-glucan in maitake can reduce cholesterol, improve artery function and improve overall cardiovascular health,
- Blueberry– rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, blueberries can help with cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension,
- Kale, and spinach – a great source of fiber and vitamins, these greens can help with a variety of bodily functions and are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Shakeology uses flax seed – which improves digestive health and gut flora,
- Quinoa – fiber helps with cholesterol and sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart trouble, and
- Chicory root – it has been used as a natural remedy for appetite loss, stomach upsets, liver and gallbladder distress, and rapid heartbeat.
These fibers also take some time to leave the body, so can curb the cravings for other foods.
The vitamins in Shakeology shake include vitamin A, B complex, C, D, E, and K.
Shakeology includes calcium, chromium, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Instant Knockout Complete does have a higher mineral density, but this list is not too shoddy either.
Bacillus coagulans are included in the formula.
These ingredients make help the body better cope with the world and all the evils.
This nutrition takes on yet another path to meal replacement. Herbalife uses emulsifiers that act as fiber and fruit powders that can reinforce the gut flora and the digestion process.
- Fruit and Herb Powders:
The Herbalife shake uses powders from fruit papaya, pomegranate, blueberry, and herb parsley to add extra nutrition to the nutrition shake. The fruits act as antioxidants and are rich sources of vitamins and minerals.
- The herb parsley can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.
- Cocoa powder adds taste and contains polyphenols. It can reduce inflammation.
- Protein & Fiber:
Herbalife uses soy protein isolate. For fiber, it uses gluten-free oat fiber, xanthan gum, guar gum, and organic flax seed powder.
Herbalife adds to your daily mineral nutrition by proving you with calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, chromium, and choline.
Herbalife gives you vitamins A, C, B complex, D, and H.
Herbalife is the only one of the three shakes that provide prebiotics to keep your gut bacteria happy. It uses inulin – a plant polysaccharide that nourishes the gut microbiota and eases constipation, and helps the body absorb magnesium and calcium.
Herbalife uses the least number of ingredients, as compared to the other two meal replacement shakes, but it seems to affect weight loss and nutrition. For the above ingredients, the Herbalife Formula 1, chocolate flavor was used.
The components used for each of these shakes are long, but one feature stands out. There are no artificial ingredients. The use of fruit powders means that there are no artificial flavors, and the use of fructose or other natural herbs translates to no artificial sweeteners. Instant Knockout Complete, Shakeology, and Herbalife are all-natural, and when taken with a healthy diet, they should help you.
Because there is no use of any artificial additives or components, all three meal replacement shakes have no reported side effects. Because you would be introducing a new item into your system, there may be some starting trouble like gas, bloating, or stomach upsets, but these symptoms clear up in a few days’ time.
Instant Knockout Complete is 100% vegan friendly. You do not have to dig for a separate item to put into your cart. The formula is such that it suits your dietary needs and food preferences all at once.
The same cannot be said for Shakeology. The main protein component is dairy-based whey protein. There are vegan options available too. The same is true for Herbalife’s shakes. There are many options flavor-wise, but the vegan options are rather restricted.
Since these are supplements that must be ingested, do speak to your professional physician before you begin the use of any of the three products. You may be allergic to an ingredient, and this may cause an unwanted reaction.
How Do These Nutritious Meal Replacement Supplement Shakes Differ?
From the get-go, you must understand that the purpose of these shakes is to replace a meal. This means that you feel satiated, don’t have any cravings, and your body’s nutritional needs are met. This includes calories. When trying to lose weight, the attempt is to cut down on extra calories, but the body still needs them to function. This is where the shakes differ.
- Instant Knockout Complete gives you 400 calories with each serving. It isn’t much but enough to keep the body running till your next meal.
- Shakeology gives you 160 calories per serving – that is lesser than the minimum 300.
- Herbalife gives you an even lesser quota of just 90.
Shakeology and Herbalife would need to be boosted with a healthy snack or a regular healthy diet to keep you running. This may be why they are often referred to as protein shakes rather than meal replacements. Therefore, Instant Knockout Complete seems to win this round.
Cost & Logistics
Instant Knockout Complete is the easiest to get your hands on. All you have to do is log onto the Official Instant Knockout Website, click here, choose your product, and pay for it.
- You can either choose the 2-week pouch for $59.00
- The monthly pouch for $118.00. If you don’t like the product, you could return it within 30 days of arrival, and you will be refunded for any unopened items.
Shakeology and Herbalife are a part of an MLM brand. This means that you would have to get in touch with any of their representatives online or in person to get a hold of their products. This makes it a tad tiresome.
For Shakeology, you may be assigned a Shakeology coach who would recommend a product and plan for you – at a cost.
- There are either 30 serving bags or 24 serving bags, and they cost $129.95.
- Some limited editions are available in 14 servings packets that cost $74.95.
Shakeology has a “bottom of the bag” guarantee – you can claim a refund even if the products are used.
Herbalife containers hold 30 servings and cost $50.00 approximately, depending on the product.
- Herbalife recommends 2 shakes a day, so the cost goes to $100 or more for the shakes alone. This does not include any supplements or additional products that may be recommended to you.
For a refund, you must fill out a refund form after contacting the agents, and this must be done within 30 days from arrival.
Q1. How soon would weight loss results show?
Ans.: A clear answer does not exist. These are nutrition shakes that must be taken in place of a meal. The weight you lose would depend on the amount of exercise and the healthy diet you follow. The more rigorous your regime, the quicker you drop the pounds.
Q2. Does the product contain caffeine?
Ans.: Instant Knockout Complete and Herbalife does not contain any amount of caffeine. Shakeology includes matcha green tea, which would contribute to some caffeine content. However, the caffeine content is not specified on the product.
Q3. Will this product affect hormones?
Ans.: No, there are no components in any of the products that would affect hormones.
Q4. Is this product habit-forming?
Ans.: No, there are no ingredients that make you dependent. You can stop the use of the product whenever you feel like doing so.
Comparing the Meal Replacement Shakes
|Instant Knockout Complete
|$118.00 for 1 Month’s Supply
|$50 and up
|Where to Buy?
|Click Here to visit the Instant Knockout Complete Official Website.
Summary & Verdict
The use of whole food ingredients, more protein, the ability to curb hunger, and ideal nutritional value makes Instant Knockout Complete a winner. It also has a slow-release system that keeps you energetic and keeps giving you nutritional benefits throughout the day. Unlike the other shakes, Instant Knockout Complete gives you the complete protein content for an entire meal. Neither Shakeology nor Herbalife shakes do that. These two have flavors and options but they fail when it comes to the core responsibility of replacing a meal. When taken with a strict diet regimen, Instant Knockout Complete could help you lose weight and reach your ideal body goals.