Reviewed and fact-checked by certified nutritionists.

What areThe Best Weight Loss Shakes On The Market

Discover the top 5 weight loss shakes on the market today to help you lose weight safely and get a more defined body

In this guide:

Can weight loss shakes actually help you lose weight?

What are the main types of weight loss shakes, and which ones are the most effective to burn fat?

The top 5 best weight loss shakes on the market today, according to nutritionists

Could losing weight be as simple as simping a chocolate, protein-packed shake every morning? Not really. But recent studies do suggest that people who are drinking weight loss shakes can lose more weight and lose fat faster than those who don’t.
A key benefit of these drinks is that they’re very convenient: they can be taken on the go, they remove the need to prepare diet meals, and they make calorie tracking way easier.
That said, choosing the wrong formula can pose legitimate risks to your health and well-being. According to nutritionists, several popular weight loss shakes sold on the market today contain artificial additives that may be toxic for the body.
Some harmful substances contained in popular shakes have been found to cause gut inflammation, bloating, diarrhea, and other bad side effects that are commonly reported among weight loss drink consumers.
In this article, we will review with you what is safe to consume and what is not, so that you can find a weight loss shake that is both effective to lose weight and good for your health. We will also share a list of five high-quality weight loss shakes on the market today, according to dietitians.
Our guide has been carefully reviewed by professional nutritionists and dieticians, to ensure high-quality and accurate information.

"They have a fixed number of calories, usually 160 to 290 calories per shake, and contain key nutrients found in a healthy meal or snack,"

explains Linda Delahanty, M.S., R.D., chief dietitian and director of nutrition and behavioral research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center.

"People who use these portion-controlled foods to replace two meals per day can lose about 50 percent more weight than those who don't,"

Delahanty says.

Weight loss shakes: Do they actually make you lose weight?

Many people see weight loss shakes as an “easy option” to burn fat without having to think too much about what to eat.
The question is: are they even effective to help you lose weight? Can you really expect to lose the pounds just by drinking one of these shakes every day?
If you listen to weight loss brands, they all say the same thing: a big YES! But their goal is to sell products, not to tell you the objective truth…
That said, several recent clinical trials do indeed suggest that some weight loss shakes may be helpful in helping people losing weight.
A recent clinical study tracked two groups of people as they tried to lose weight over the course of 3 months. The first group used meal replacement shakes every day, the second group did not.
At the end of the study, the group that didn’t take meal replacement shakes lost only 1.5% of their initial body weight. In comparison, the group that used weight loss shakes lost 7.8%, or over 5 times as much body weight as the other group.
Another 2018 randomized clinical trial published in the prestigious journal Nutrients found that weight loss shakes may lead to more weight loss than a meal with the same number of calories
Another 2018 randomized clinical trial published in the prestigious journal Nutrients found that weight loss shakes may lead to more weight loss than a meal with the same number of calories

What are the main types of weight loss shakes and which one should you choose?

There are two main types of weight loss shakes:


Meal replacement shakes

As the name suggests, these shakes are designed to replace your meals. They give you a precise amount of calories and nutrients, making it easier to stick to a calorie-restricting diet. Over time, this can lead to weight loss.
There are two subtypes of meal replacement shakes: ready-to-drink shakes (which you can grab “on the go”) and meal replacement powders that you need to mix into water, milk, or other beverages.
While ready-to-drink shakes are easier to consume (no preparation required), meal replacement powders come with several advantages:
  • You can control the dosage and portion, which can be useful to reach specific weight loss goals
  • You can change the texture of the drink by mixing the powder into different “bases” (water, milk, tea, etc) 
  • Powders are generally cheaper and more cost-effective


Fat-burning drinks

These drinks are low-calorie beverages with “thermogenic” properties – they help boost your metabolism and accelerate fat burn.
Paired with a healthy diet, fat-burning drinks can lead to effective weight loss over time. Unlike meal replacement shakes, fat-burning formulas don’t require you to skip meals. You can eat normally while drinking these weight loss drinks.
These drinks come with numerous advantages and can serve as a great companion in your weight loss journey.
We’ll go into the pros and cons of each of these formulas below.

Meal replacement shakes:

The pros

Effective to control “calories in”:Meal replacement shakes are made with specific calorie counts (typically between 160-290 calories per shake), which make it easier to track daily calorie consumption. This can help you create a calorie deficit – the most important factor to lose weight.
Packed with healthy nutrients: The best meal replacement shakes typically contain a balanced mix of essential nutrients, including proteins, carbs, fats, minerals, and vitamins. This enables you to reduce the number of calories you absorb while at the same time getting the valuable nutrients you need to function at your best.
Convenient: Meal replacement shakes are very easy and quick to prepare, making them a convenient option for busy people. Ready-to-drink shakes require no preparation at all (the fastest option), while meal replacement powders need to be mixed into water, milk, or other beverages. Both of these shakes options are convenient and easy to prepare, making it easier to stick to a weight loss routine over the long-term.

The cons

May cause digestive issues, including bloating, constipation, and stomach pain: many people experience side effects after drinking meal replacement shakes. Typical side effects include bloating, constipation, and stomach pain. This is due to the heavy presence of artificial additives present in many of these drinks, including stabilizers, thickeners, and sweeteners. These food additives sit longer in your stomach, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat and release gas, often causing bloating and stomach pain.
Can damage the health of your gut: a large number of meal replacement shakes contain soy lecithin and maltodextrin, used to make the beverage taste thicker. Both of these additives are inflammatory and have been found to cause intestinal damage. Many shakes are also using evaporated milk and sugar as the base. A large dose of these ingredients is toxic for the gut, and may cause long-term damage in your gut microbiome that may adversely affect your health.
Lack critical fibers: many meal replacement shakes lack proper amounts of fibers, which are critical for gut health, digestion, and even cardiovascular health. Drinks that don’t contain any fiber can cause health complications down the line.

"Many liquid protein and meal replacement shakes lack adequate amounts of fiber, which is important for gut health, digestion, and heart health,"

says Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, a nutritionist on staff for "Unless your shake has fiber added to it, it's probably lacking."

Fat-burning drinks:

The pros

Low in calories: fat-burning drinks are usually low in calories, they rarely contain more than 30 calories per can (compared to 200+ calories for meal replacement shakes). Due to their low calorie content, these drinks can help you lose weight by facilitating calorie deficit (on top of their thermogenic properties that help you burn fat).

The pros

Less artificial ingredients, minimal processing: another key benefit of fat-burning drinks is that they tend to involve minimal processing, meaning that they typically contain less harmful additives and preservatives compared to your average meal replacement shakes. This can be explained by the difference in texture: meal replacement shakes need to use artificial thickeners and stabilizers to create a thick, filling texture, while fat-burning drinks are mostly made of water – they don’t need any “tweak” to their texture. Since they generally contain less additives, fat-burning drinks can be considered healthier on average.

The pros

Since they don’t replace meals, you can continue to eat the food you like (in moderation): Unlike meal replacement shakes that are made to replace entire meals, fat-burning drinks are typically intended to be consumed alongside your regular meals. That means that if you want to continue to eat “real food” while at the same time losing weight, these thermogenic drinks may be a great option for you.

The pros

Contain “thermogenic” ingredients with a fat-burn effect: Certain fat-burning drinks contain so-called thermogenic ingredients, such as EGCG (contained in green tea extract), polyphenols, panax ginseng, or caffeine. Several studies have shown that these thermogenic ingredients can boost your metabolism and increase the rate at which your body burns fat – helping you lose weight. That said, for these ingredients to actually burn fat, they need to be present in high concentration in a beverage. As such, make sure to choose a fat-burning drink that has a strong enough dose of active thermogenic ingredients for the best weight loss results.

The cons

Inadequate dosage of active weight-loss ingredients: Many brands of fat-burning drinks are not using adequate doses of thermogenic ingredients to promote an effective weight loss effect. While certain active ingredients have been indeed clinically proven to accelerate fat burn, they’re only effective at a high enough dose. There are a few brands that use the scientifically recommended dose of each fat-burning ingredient. But there are also a lot of new brands that don’t, in order to save costs and improve their profit margins. That’s why it’s important to be very mindful when choosing a fat-burning drink, to make sure it actually works.

The cons

They don’t replace a healthy lifestyle: while some of these drinks can help you burn fat faster due to their thermogenic ingredients, they are not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. In other words, drinking these weight loss drinks is not an excuse to eat more junk food and unhealthy snacks. In order to be effective in helping lose weight, they need to be paired with a healthy lifestyle (the same can be said for meal replacement shakes)

The cons

Costly: fat-burning drinks are typically expensive due to the unique thermogenic ingredients they contain, their high convenience, and growing popularity among people who want to lose weight without having to replace their meals with shakes. If you’re on a budget, you may find these drinks expensive (although ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are not cheap either)

The nutritionist opinion:

Why fat burning drinks may be a healthier option longer-term

“Many people don’t know if they should choose meal replacement shakes or so-called fat-burning beverages to facilitate their weight loss efforts. Both come with their pros and cons. What I did notice however is that meal replacement shakes are rarely a good option in the long-run, as people almost always revert back to their old eating habits once they get tired of drinking calorie-dense chocolate shakes,”

explains Dr. Andrew Shulman, a certified nutritionist based in New York.

“Studies indicate that meal replacement shakes are an effective temporary solution to lose weight, but in most cases, people gain back the weight they lost the moment they rediscover the joy of whole food.”
“Fat-burning drinks are not a miracle solution either. They need to be paired with healthy eating to produce visible and sustainable weight loss results. But since they don’t require you to stop eating ‘real food’, they tend to produce less cravings, and make it easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Further, fat-burning drinks that are rich in active thermogenic ingredients have been clinically found to cause impressive weight loss outcomes, comparable to that of very strict diets,” he says.
“Overall, I think fat-burning drinks are a better option for people who want to lose weight in a natural and sustainable way. Their strong thermogenic properties can help burn fat quicker, and they don’t require you to stop eating the food you enjoy.”

Things to avoid in weight loss shakes and fat-burning drinks

Contain unhealthy additives and preservatives such as maltodextrin, xanthan gum, and aspartame.

These artificial additives, often found in meal replacement shakes can cause bloating, constipation, and gut inflammation.

The brand makes unrealistic weight loss claims.

Stay away from brands who are telling you that you can lose an unreasonable amount of weight with no effort while eating all the food you want. These drinks are probably not grounded in science and are exaggerating the benefits of their drinks for commercial purposes.

Meal replacement shakes that are low in fiber.

Low fiber can cause constipation and a vast range of gut health issues, as healthy gut bacteria need fiber to flourish.

Drinks that are high in sugar and evaporated milk.

Fat-burning drinks that contain low doses of active thermogenic ingredients

What are the key things to look for in a weight loss drink for visible results

With dozens of weight loss shakes that claim to be “the best”, it can be difficult to know what is factually true from what isn’t. Especially since these products tend to be heavily marketed.
To help you choose weight loss shakes that are genuinely good for you (both effective and healthy), we prepared a list of key “green flags” – following the latest recommendations from top nutritionists.
  • Doesn’t make unrealistic weight loss claims. It’s important to look for drinks that are grounded in science, and which don’t make exaggerated claims about the benefits of their weight loss products
  • Contain a balanced dose of proteins, fat, and carbs (for meal replacement shakes)
  • Rich in fibers to promote a healthy gut (for meal replacement shakes)
  • Contain ingredients with strong thermogenic properties (for fat burning drinks). Up to this point, polyphenols are one of the most clinically studied natural molecules to aid weight loss. Drinks with high concentrations of fat-burning polyphenols are more likely to be effective. A healthy dose of caffeine can further improve the fat burning effect of the drink.
  • Contain several fat-burning ingredients that have been clinically proven. Two proven fat burning ingredients are better than one. Beverages containing several active ingredients are more likely to cause weight loss than single-ingredient drinks. For example, tea extract + caffeine + ginger is better than just tea extract
  • Must be sugar-free or low on sugar. Natural sugar from real fruits is healthier than added sugar. Note that a drink with 5 grams of natural sugar is better than a sugar-free drink full of artificial sweeteners.
  • No artificial sweeteners or additives

The Top 5 Weight Loss Shakes On The Market Today, According To Nutritionists

To help you choose a weight loss shake that will help you lose weight faster, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best weight loss shakes on the market. This list was carefully curated in partnership with certified nutritionists, and takes several factors into consideration, including: ingredients quality, health impact, taste, value for money, and verified customer reviews.

01 Alpine Bliss Purple Tea Slimming Formula


  • Contains a special “purple tea” extract with extremely high polyphenol concentration
  • Weight loss benefits are backed by clinical studies
  • Fat-burning effect is amplified by green coffee beans. Optimal amount of natural caffeine for weight loss
  • Low on calories and sugar
  • Contains a strong dose of vitamins and antioxidants
  • No aspartame or ace-K
  • Great taste, according to users


  • Expensive
  • Frequently out of stock due to limited production


The first drink on our list is a fat-burning drink called Alpine Bliss Purple Tea Slimming Formula. This drink is a fruity sparkling water that combines pure alpine water sourced from the European Alps with a highly concentrated blend of active natural thermogenic ingredients. The key ingredients contained in this formula have all been proven for their ability to burn fat and reduce weight.
The particularity of this drink is to contain Alluvia® purple tea – a special variety of tea that naturally has higher levels of polyphenols than any other teas (16.5% compared to 9.1% for green tea). The purple tea leaves are cultivated between 4,500 and 7,500 feet, where intense ultraviolet light forces the tea plant to produce extremely high levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are known for being very potent thermogenic molecules (they help burn fat).
Thanks to its very high polyphenol concentration, Alluvia® purple tea has been clinically proven to reduce dietary fat absorption and increase fat burning over 4 weeks. A study found that consumption of this purple tea caused a “significant reduction” in subcutaneous-fat thickness in the abdomen in male subjects. In female subjects, body fat mass and hip size significantly decreased.
The drink contains a total of 104 mg of natural caffeine, giving an additional fat-burning effect as caffeine is also a thermogenic ingredient.
Aside from promoting healthy, sustained weight loss, this formula is also known for creating a distinct feeling of well-being thanks to a proprietary blend of plant-based ingredients called DopaBliss. This natural blend is specifically designed to boost dopamine levels – the “happy hormone” responsible for making us feel good and happy.
From a nutrition standpoint, the drink is also scoring pretty well. The formula contains zero added sugar, just 10 calories per can, and only 4 grams of natural sugar from wild berries. It doesn’t contain any harmful artificial sweeteners or additives like maltodextrin, xanthan gum, and aspartame. The drink is also a rich source of vitamin B6 and B12 – two vitamins that promote a healthy metabolism.
Beyond its functional health benefits, the Alpine Bliss formula also performs well on taste, according to consumers. Users praise its fruity raspberries flavor and refreshing fine bubbles. It strikes a delicate balance of sweetness and freshness, and delivers an enjoyable drinking experience.
On the minus side, we note that the drink is quite expensive ($3.95 per can) – which can be explained by the “fancy” ingredients that it contains, including extracts of saffron and ginger roots (some of the most expensive spices in the world). We also note that the drink is frequently out of stock, because it’s produced in limited batches as of now.
Taking all of this into consideration puts Alpine Bliss Purple Tea Slimming in our #1 spot.

02 Iconic Grass-Fed Protein Drink


  • Keto-friendly, ready-to-drink meal replacement shake
  • Good dose of proteins and carbs
  • High in fibers
  • Low sugar content
  • Relatively low in calories for a meal replacement shake (140 calories)
  • No unhealthy sweeteners or additives


  • Expensive
  • Some users report a strong aftertaste
  • Contains the thickener Gellan Gum, which may cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea in some cases


The Iconic Grass-Fed Protein Drink is a high-protein, low-carb meal replacement shake that can help you lose weight by replacing some of your meals. Each serving of this drink provides 20 grams of complete protein from grass-fed cow’s milk. This high protein content can help to increase satiety, reduce hunger, and preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss.
The drink is also keto-friendly, with 0g sugar, 4g fiber, 4g net carbs, and 140 calories. This makes it a good option for those on low-carb, low-sugar or weight loss diets (like the keto diet). The low sugar content can help to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to increased hunger and overeating.
The main ingredient in Iconic Protein Drink is grass-fed milk protein isolate – a combination of whey and casein protein. This blend of proteins provides a complete amino acid profile, including essential amino acids like methionine, valine, leucine, and isoleucine.
That said, there are a few things to keep in mind about this shake. The main ingredient is grass-fed milk protein isolate, which may not be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. Some users have also reported a strong aftertaste, although perception varies among users.
The drink doesn’t contain unhealthy thickener, but it does contain a thickener called Gellan Gum, which may cause abdominal bloating, excessive gas, and diarrhea in some cases.
From a nutrition standpoint, the drink is also scoring pretty well. The formula contains zero added sugar, just 10 calories per can, and only 4 grams of natural sugar from wild berries. It doesn’t contain any harmful artificial sweeteners or additives like maltodextrin, xanthan gum, and aspartame. The drink is also a rich source of vitamin B6 and B12 – two vitamins that promote a healthy metabolism.
We note that the drink is not cheap (~$40 per pack of 12 bottles), but this level of pricing is quite common for ready-to-drink replacement shakes of this quality.
Overall, the Iconic Grass-Fed Protein Drink may be a good option for those seeking a convenient source of protein as part of a weight loss diet.

03 Celsius Energy Drink


  • Established beverage brand
  • Low calorie, low sugar fat-burning drink
  • Contains quality ingredients that are rich in fat-burning polyphenols
  • Gives energy boost on top of promoting weight loss
  • Wide range of tastes and flavors
  • Rich in vitamins and antioxidants


  • Caffeine dose may be too high (200 mg)
  • Contains erythritol – an artificial sweeteners which may have negative effects on cardiovascular health, but more research is needed
  • Not specifically designed for weight loss. Results are likely to be minimal


The Celsius Energy Drink is a widely recognized option for individuals looking to combine their need for an energy boost with the potential benefits of weight loss support. This fat-burning drink contains a powerful blend of high-concentration green tea extract, ginger root, and guarana, all of which are known to promote an enhanced metabolism and aid in fat burn. Additionally, the inclusion of 200 mg of caffeine gives an added kick to keep you energized throughout the day.
This beverage also boasts a rich content of essential vitamins and antioxidants, which sets it apart from many other energy drinks on the market. By offering these additional nutrients, Celsius presents a potentially healthier alternative for consumers who prioritize overall well-being.
We note that the drink is also free of aspartame and artificial flavors. This choice further aligns with the health-conscious crowd, as it reduces the consumption of potentially harmful additives. By focusing on natural ingredients and flavors, Celsius demonstrates its commitment to providing a more wholesome and satisfying beverage option.
It is however essential to exercise caution when consuming the Celsius Energy Drink due to its high caffeine content. With 200 mg per serving, some individuals may find this amount excessive. Excessive caffeine intake can lead to jitters and energy crashes, which may not align with everyone’s preferences or tolerance levels.
While the Celsius Energy Drink does contain ingredients that are known to support weight loss efforts, it is important to note that the formula itself is not specifically designed solely for that purpose. As a result, the weight loss results obtained from consuming this drink are likely to be moderate rather than dramatic. It is essential to manage expectations and understand that dedicated weight loss products may offer more pronounced effects.

04 Soylent Meal Replacement Drinks


  • Contains a healthy blend of proteins, carbs, fat and fibers
  • Convenient ready-to-drink meal replacement option for busy people
  • High-quality ingredients with minimal processing
  • Positive brand reputation


  • Not tested as a long-term food replacement option. Cannot rely on these shakes alone
  • Protein isolate may cause allergies
  • Excessive consumption of soy may cause negative health effects, according to some studies
  • Contain traces of maltodextrin – an inflammatory thickener (albeit in very small doses)


Soylent Meal Replacement Drinks are another choice for those seeking a meal replacement shake to aid their weight loss efforts. They were created by a group of engineers who were frustrated by the amount of time they had to spend away from their work to cook and often found themselves reaching for cheap junk food to save time.
The drinks are formulated to provide all the essential nutrients you need in a single serving. Each drink contains a source of fat, carbs, protein, and fiber, in addition to a range of micronutrients.
That said, while Soylent drinks are generally safe and contain no ingredients that are harmful per se, they haven’t been tested as a long-term replacement for all food. This means that while they can be incorporated into your diet as meal replacements, they shouldn’t be used as your only source of nutrition.
Another potential downside is that Soylent drinks contain soy protein isolate as the main ingredient. While soy is a good source of protein, some people may have allergies or sensitivities to it. Additionally, some research suggests that excessive consumption of soy could have negative health effects, although more studies are needed to confirm this.
Further, we note that these shakes contain maltodextrin (albeit in small quantities) – a well-known thickener which may cause gut inflammation. They also contain the sweetener sucralose, a sweetener that is not recommended by dietitians.
Overall, while Soylent Meal Replacement Drinks can be a convenient option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet on-the-go, they may not be the best choice for everyone.

05 Evolve Plant Based Protein Shake


  • Good quality meal replacement shake
  • Rich in plant-based proteins (20 g)
  • Free from artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors
  • Rich in fibers


  • Some users report a “chalky” texture and an unappealing aftertaste
  • May not provide enough nutrients to fully replace a meal, which may lead to nutrient deficiencies 
  • Not suitable for people with pea allergies


The Evolve Plant Based Protein Shake is another good quality meal replacement shake rich in plant-based proteins. It contains 20g of protein per serving, derived primarily from peas, and is free from artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors.
The shake also contains 10g of fiber per drink, which can facilitate digestion and promote a feeling of fullness, potentially aiding in weight loss efforts.
That said, it’s important to note that taste and texture are subjective, and some users have reported finding the shake’s flavor unappealing or its texture chalky. While these aspects might not be a deal-breaker for everyone, they could affect the overall enjoyment of the shake.
Another potential downside is that Soylent drinks contain soy protein isolate as the main ingredient. While soy is a good source of protein, some people may have allergies or sensitivities to it. Additionally, some research suggests that excessive consumption of soy could have negative health effects, although more studies are needed to confirm this.

In terms of nutrition, while the shake is marketed as a meal replacement, it may not provide enough calories or nutrients to fully replace a meal. This could lead to nutrient deficiencies if the shake is relied upon too heavily as a primary food source. 

Finally, although the product is plant-based and free from artificial additives, it may not be suitable for everyone. Specifically, those with allergies to peas or other ingredients in the shake should avoid this product.

To summarize, the Evolve Plant Based Protein Shake has both its strengths and weaknesses. It offers a convenient source of plant-based protein and fiber but falls short in terms of taste and nutritional completeness for some users. It remains superior to many other meal replacement shakes on the market, which is why we decided to include it in our top 5.

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