- How to Choose Keto Shakes and Smoothies
- Top 5 Keto Meal Replacement Drinks
- Top 5 Keto Shakes
- Top 5 Keto Protein Shakes
- Keto Meal Shakes With Potentially Unhealthy Ingredients
- Benefits of Keto Shakes
- Drawbacks of Keto Shakes
- Keto Smoothie Recipes
- Download Comparison Table
- Where to Buy Keto Shakes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Summary: Keto Shakes and Keto Meal Replacement Drinks
This article is one of the most comprehensive guides on keto meal replacement drinks and keto protein shakes, focusing almost exclusively on “clean” products that I have tried and would recommend to friends and family.
The United States and other developed countries are currently facing a health epidemic, reflected by rising rates of metabolic and chronic diseases. That’s one of the reasons why more and more people are trying to turn their backs on the Western diet and are opting instead for a high-fat low-carb lifestyle such as the ketogenic diet.
The supplement industry has seized that opportunity by releasing a slew of ketogenic meal replacement drinks, shakes and exogenous ketone supplements.
If produced with high-quality ingredients and a focus on overall health, keto shakes and ketogenic meal replacement drinks can be an excellent way to stay satisfied and in ketosis when you don’t have the time to prepare a proper snack or meal.
I use meal replacement drinks a lot while traveling and when I don’t have access to healthy sources of food.
In this guide, I compare different types of low-carb high-fat shakes and other products that you can use based on your ketogenic lifestyle and caloric needs.
Three of the products I review here contain potentially unhealthy ingredients such as Sucralose or sugar alcohols, and thus I do not recommend them. However, I included them for reference because readers have asked me about them.
Many keto shakes contain unhealthy ingredients like Sucralose or sugar alcohol from GMO sources. Learn which ones are clean — and which ones to avoid — in this ultimate guide to keto meal replacement shakes.
Additionally, I also list my favorite low-calorie keto shakes that you can use as a snack or to make a smoothie. By itself, products in that category don’t have sufficient calories to replace a full meal.
I also share my favorite keto breakfast shake recipe that includes only coconut milk, a turmeric latte mix, and an optional splash of raw honey.
How to Choose Keto Shakes and Smoothies
Choosing a keto shake or a keto meal replacement shake depends largely on your goals and dietary lifestyle. I’m on a ketogenic paleo diet and pay close attention to ingredient quality. As a result, I avoid products with artificial or otherwise inflammatory ingredients that could negatively impact the benefits of a ketogenic diet and my health in the long run.
Additionally, I evaluate the following macronutrients and micronutrients before picking a product:
Total calories: If your goal is to replace a full meal, you need a keto shake that has enough calories. Depending on your daily calorie intake, you want to look for products that offer 400 to 600 calories per serving.
Grams of protein: A good keto shake should contain a moderate amount of protein. Protein helps you maintain lean muscle tissue, but if you consume too much of it your body can convert it to glucose, albeit slowly, and kick you out of ketosis.
Total and net carbs: The goal of the keto diet is to limit your carbohydrate intake. Some keto replacement shakes contain a lot of fiber, which also increases the total amount of carbohydrates. However, your body doesn’t use carbs from fiber as fuel, so don’t worry about them. Instead, focus on the net carbs, which you can calculate by subtracting the fiber from the total carbs. For example, Ample K has 19 grams of carbohydrates, but 14 grams are fiber, resulting in 5 grams of net carbs.
Fat content: A good keto meal replacement drink must contain high fat content. Why? Because fat is your primary source of energy while in ketosis. In fact, 75% of your calories during ketosis come from fat.
Other ingredients: Besides the factors mentioned previously, there are additional ingredients in some keto drink mixes, such as beta-hydroxybutyric acid (or BHB — a ketone body), carnitine (an amino acid), chromium, creatine, hydroxymethyl butyrate, ECA stack, fish oil, magnesium, potassium, sodium and vitamin D.
I prefer products that contain natural sources of these ingredients. For example, I prefer coconut oil as a natural source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) over MCT powder.
Top 5 Keto Meal Replacement Drinks
Products in this category have sufficient calories to replace a full meal. These meal replacement products also provide enough fat and have a low amount of net carbs to keep you in ketosis.
|Meal Replacement Drinks||Rating||Shop|
|Ambronite – Keto Meal Shake||★★★★☆||Get 25% off*|
|Ample K – Keto Meal Replacement||★★★★★||Get 15% off*|
|HLTH Code – Complete Meal||★★★★★||Get 10% off*|
|Ketōnd – Ketogenic Meal Replacement||★★★★★||Get 15% off*|
|Super Body Fuel – Keto Fuel||★★★★☆||Buy|
Note that the products below are listed alphabetically and don’t necessarily reflect any ranking. I can recommend all of the products in this article, except otherwise indicated. Just pick the one that best fits your dietary requirements and preferences.
Ambronite Keto Meal Shake
- Suitable for people who follow a plant-based diet
- Packed with micronutrients from natural sources
- Includes live bacterial cultures
- Contains only plant-based protein
- Contains xylitol and maltodextrin
Ambronite is known for its high-quality, plant-based meal replacement shakes — some of which I’ve previously reviewed on this blog.
In the past, I’ve generally avoided Ambronite because all of their shakes were incredibly high in carbs. That clashed with the ketogenic lifestyle I follow.
A few weeks ago, I received a package from Ambronite (without prior notification), and to my pleasant surprise, it contained two bags of the company’s brand-new keto meal replacement powder.
I was thrilled and immediately made myself a shake to see how it tastes.
The chocolate-flavored shake was absolutely delicious and I’m psyched that Ambronite managed to make a clean, plant-based product that’s also keto-friendly. I know that’s not an easy task.
The only two ingredients that I’m not enthusiastic about are xylitol (a non-nutritive sweetener) and maltodextrin, a highly-processed carbohydrate that the body quickly converts into glucose.
Instead of xylitol, I would have preferred monk fruit extract or stevia. And instead of maltodextrin, I would have preferred a soluble fiber, such as pectin.
- 76% fat calories
- 600 total calories
- High-quality ingredients
- Excellent source of fiber and probiotics
- Easy to prepare and bring along
Ample K is my go-to keto meal replacement drink when I travel. The all-natural shake comes in BPA-free bottles and contains no soy or artificial flavors.
In a nutshell, Ample K is an excellent source of organic vegetable greens, fiber, protein and MCT-rich healthy fats, with only 5 grams of net carbs and no artificial ingredients.
Ample K is easy to prepare; you just have to add water or milk into the bottle and mix properly to get the smooth, creamy taste of macadamia nuts on your tongue.
Each bottle provides you with either a 400 or 600-calorie portion — just enough to replace a full meal and keep you going. Depending on the calorie volume you choose, this drinkable meal contains 33/51 grams of fat, 13/19 grams of protein, and 13/19 grams of carbs; it’s a balanced combination designed to meet your high fat, low carb needs, with just enough protein to help build your lean muscle tissues.
Note that one of the reasons why Ample K is a bit more expensive than other keto powders is because of the premium ingredients Ample uses for its products.
Ample K Bulk Pouch
In April 2019, Ample Foods announced a 6,000-calorie bulk pouch of Ample K. The bulk version is particularly useful if you want to enjoy Ample K at home or at the office, while dramatically reducing plastic waste from the bottles.
I use the Ample K bulk pouch to make smoothies and post-workout shakes, or when I have meetings in town. In such cases, I bring a shaker bottle pre-filled with Ample K and then just add water when I’m ready to drink it.
The back of each Ample K pouch also has numerous recipes to make flavored ketogenic meal shakes with coffee and fruits.
- No added sugars
- High in fiber
- Includes healthy gut enzymes and probiotics
- Balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids
- Some of the vitamins and minerals are from synthetic sources
- Contains whey protein concentrate instead of isolate
HLTH Code is a product that I stumbled across relatively recently. What I like about the company is that one of its co-founders is a metabolic scientist. That means the company has first-hand knowledge about how food influences the human metabolism.
What I really like about the product is the variety of protein and fat sources it contains. Specifically, this keto-friendly meal powder contains three different sources of protein (whey, egg white and collagen) and six different types of healthy fats, including coconut oil powder, olive oil powder, MCT oil powder, flaxseed powder (a good source of omega-3s), cocoa butter fat and grass-fed ghee.
I also appreciate that HLTH Code includes enzymes that can help aid digestion, as well as prebiotics and probiotics to support a healthy gut microbiome.
If you take a close look at the nutrition label you’ll realize that this complete meal powder has much more protein than most of the other products in this review. Don’t be concerned about that, even if you’ve heard that too much protein can kick you out of ketosis. The reality is that gluconeogenesis (the process of making glucose from non-carb sources) is demand-driven rather than supply-driven. In other words, eating (too much) protein won’t kick you out of ketosis!
Additionally, some studies suggest that you can enhance muscle protein synthesis by consuming fat and protein at a ratio of 1:1. That could be an important factor for athletes or anyone who is trying to build lean muscle tissue.
I had a chance to try both the chocolate and vanilla flavors, and even though I consider myself a “chocolate guy,” I couldn’t pick a favorite. Both taste absolutely delicious and have a creamy texture that makes you want more. I should also mention that I tried the powder with both plain water and camel milk, and both versions tasted great.
The only disadvantage (if you want to call it that) is that most of the vitamins and minerals in this product are from synthetic sources. And while some scientists suggest that synthetic micronutrients are absorbed just as well as their natural counterparts, others believe that natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones.
Since I don’t live off meal replacement drinks exclusively, I don’t really care about the absorbability of their micronutrients.
Make sure to use code MK10 to get 10% off your purchase.
Ketond Ketogenic Meal Replacement
- 71% fat calories
- No harmful ingredients
- Contains goBHB and goMCT
- 400 kcal per serving
- Contains 5 grams of sugar
This ketone supplement drink comes in three different flavors: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, French Vanilla Creme, and Strawberries & Creme.
The striking feature of this drink is that it contains 6 grams of the most potent ketone body, goBHB, which most keto meal replacement shakes lack.
goBHB are exogenous ketones, which some studies show can help your body to achieve ketosis. Based on my research, exogenous ketones are most beneficial if you cycle in and out of ketosis often — either intentionally or unintentionally. However, if you maintain a strict keto diet, you may not need exogenous ketones.
The all-natural Ketōnd is easy to blend and has a delicious taste. The only downside of this product is that you need an extra shaker to mix the powder, which is an inconvenience for some users.
I use Ketōnd at home for making shakes and smoothies, and I like the Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor best.
If you’d like to give Ketōnd a try, make sure to use discount code MK15 and get 15% off your order!
Super Body Fuel Keto Fuel
- Vegan-friendly (no dairy)
- 70% fat calories
- Excellent macronutrient blend
- Requires two tablespoons of oil
- Tastes best if left in the fridge for two hours before consumption
Keto Fuel is Super Body Fuel’s keto meal replacement shake, offering fewer carbs and slightly higher amounts of fat (medium-chain-triglycerides or MCTs) than their regular meal shakes. Similarly to its sister product Super Fuel, you have to mix Keto Fuel with two tablespoons of your favorite oil to bring the calorie count up to par with other meal replacement drinks.
I’ve tried mixing Keto Fuel with almond milk and loved it. The only downside of Keto Fuel is that you have to let it rest in the fridge for about two hours to get the optimal taste and texture. I usually prepare it in the evening and leave it in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying it for breakfast.
Top 5 Keto Shakes
Products in this category contain a lot of fat — usually medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs) — and low amounts of carbs and protein. These are the classic keto-friendly shakes that many people use to supplement their ketogenic lifestyle.
As delicious and healthy as these ketogenic shakes might be, keep in mind that consuming high amounts of MCTs can cause an upset stomach and lead to gas, bloating and diarrhea.
|Fat Fuel Company Fat Fuel||★★★★☆||Check Price*|
|KiiTO||★★★★★||Get $15-30 off*|
|Kiss My Keto – Keto Cocoa||★★★★★||Get 10% off*|
|Naked Nutrition – Naked Keto||★★★★★||Check Price*|
|Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder||★★★★★||Get 15% off*|
Fat Fuel Company Fat Fuel
- Available in single-serve pouches
- Clean ingredients
- Delicious taste
- Available in three flavors
- Cocoa flavor has small amounts of erythritol
- MCTs might cause an upset stomach
I learned about Fat Fuel Company’s keto shakes when I attended Paleo f(x)* in March of 2019. The company makes keto shakes in powder form that you can easily mix with water or your favorite nut milk. You could also mix it with cow’s milk, but I’d recommend against it because of the inflammatory potential of dairy.
Fat Fuel is available in three distinct flavors, including:
- Cocoa — a favorite among our kids
- Coffee — one of my favorites
- Matcha — if you’re a tea drinker, you’ll love it
All three flavors contain coconut oil powder, grass-fed butter powder, and MCT oil powder as healthy sources of fat. Additionally, all flavors also have Himalayan salt and organic stevia leaf.
Fat Fuel Cocoa has 0.1 grams of erythritol, a sugar alcohol that I usually try to stay away from. However, this keto shake has so little of it that I wouldn’t worry too much about it. This is nowhere near the amount of sweetener normally found in cocoa powder.
What’s convenient about Fat Fuel is that the powder comes in individual, single-serving pouches. That makes this product easy to bring along on trips. We always pack a few pouches when we travel with the kids. Considering that each shake has well over 200 calories, we can easily use it as a snack or to supplement a meal.
As mentioned before, be careful with MCTs and note that coconut oil is a natural source of MCTs. Fat Fuel contains both, and if you drink too much of it you might experience an upset stomach.
KiiTO – Plant-Based Keto Shake
- Keto AND vegan-friendly
- USDA organic
- Zero artificial or inflammatory ingredients
- Ready to drink
- Incredibly pleasant taste (the kids agree)
- Has to be refrigerated
KiiTO is a brand I just recently learned about. They make an interesting meal shake that is both ketogenic and vegan.
That’s not something you see a lot because most keto shakes contain dairy or other animal products, and most vegan meal shakes have more carbs than what is allowed on keto.
I’m very much a carnivore and don’t mind ingredients from pastured, grass-fed or wild-caught animals, but I don’t need to have dairy. KiiTO doesn’t contain any dairy (nor soy or gums) and that sparked my interest.
So I accepted the offer of their PR person to send me a sample pack to try. The shipment arrived in a well-insulated cardboard box because KiiTO comes ready to drink and contains perishable ingredients (and thus, it has to be refrigerated).
That limits its use cases because you can’t just throw a couple of bottles into your suitcase for travel. However, it also means that KiiTO doesn’t require any preservatives (natural or otherwise) or special processing methods to keep the product shelf-stable.
We’ve been using KiiTO at home as a snack replacement. One bottle has ~220 calories. That means it won’t replace a full meal and I can have one either in lieu of a snack or after a light lunch.
I let the kids try most of the products I receive for testing, and I’m happy to report that both of them like KiiTO. Speaking of taste, KiiTO is available in three flavors:
- Chocolate + Maca
- Vanilla + Ashwagandha
- Matcha + Moringa
Chocolate is my favorite but all three tasted delicious. If you’d like to try KiiTO you can use discount code MIKEK15 or MIKEK30 to get $15-30 off your 6 or 12 pack!
Kiss My Keto – Keto Cocoa
- Zero net carbs
- 3 grams of fiber
- Our kids love it
- Stomach-friendly (low amount of MCTs)
- Only 70 calories
- Contains milk
I love Keto Cocoa from Kiss My Keto because it doesn’t have as much MCT as other keto shakes. That means it’s less likely to cause an upset stomach, but it also means that it has fewer calories.
Both factors combined make it an excellent choice for kids, and our kids love it. If you’re a parent and struggling to get kids off sugar-laden chocolate milk, I recommend giving this keto chocolate shake a try.
What’s more, all of the carbohydrates in Keto Cocoa come from inulin, which is fiber that you can find naturally in artichokes and other veggies. As a result, this shake has zero net carbs and only 1 gram of protein from sodium caseinate (a milk derivative).
If you want to give Keto Cocoa a try, make sure to use code MICHAELKUMMER and get 10% off your order.
Naked Nutrition – Naked Keto
- Only two ingredients (MCT oil powder and high-oleic sunflower oil)
- Certified gluten-free
- Available unflavored or flavored
Naked Keto is a premium keto fat bomb supplement (fat powder) that we use almost every day at the Kummer house.
The unflavored version consists of only two simple and clean ingredients: MCT oil powder and high-oleic sunflower oil. You can use Naked Keto to increase the fat content of shakes, smoothies, puddings and baked goods.
We use the chocolate-flavored version that’s sweetened with stevia and monk fruit extract for making chia pudding (see my recipe here). That improves the taste of the pudding, but it also massively increases the fat content (leading to a true fat bomb).
It’s worth noting that I’m not a fan of vegetable or seed oils, such as sunflower oil, because they usually contain high ratios of unstable and inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). However, Naked Keto uses what’s called high-oleic sunflower oil, which has much lower concentrations of PUFAs in lieu of stable monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
We go through a tub of Naked Keto per month and often run out before the subscription renews. It’s literally the single most used supplement in our household.
Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder
- Stomach-friendly (low amount of MCTs)
- Zero net carbs
- Zero protein
- Available in various flavors (including plain)
- Only 70 calories
Perfect Keto’s MCT Oil Powder is another great keto shake that’s relatively stomach friendly due to its moderate amount of medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil.
What I like about this MCT Oil Powder is that it doesn’t have any protein and the only carbs it has are from acacia fiber. The unflavored formula of this keto shake is as plain as it gets, and contains only MCT oil powder and gum acacia (fiber).
Additionally, Perfect Keto offers the following flavors, which the company sweetens with stevia leaf powder:
- Salted Caramel
You can also buy a three-flavor or four-flavor combo box and save between 10-19% off the individual price. What’s more, if you use code MK15 you can knock an additional 15% off the price.
Top 5 Keto Protein Shakes
Products in this category contain protein powder — usually grass-fed whey protein or collagen peptides — and lower amounts of fat. As a result, they lack the calories to replace a full meal. However, you can use them to make your own shakes, smoothies, or post-workout meals by adding extra fat, nuts, seeds or other ingredients.
|Keto Protein Shake||Rating||Purchase|
|KiiTO – Vegan Keto Protein Shake||★★★★☆||Get $15-30 off*|
|Kiss My Keto – Keto Protein||★★★★☆||Get 10% off*|
|LevelUp Grass-fed Keto Protein||★★★★☆||Buy*|
|Naked Nutrition Naked Meal||★★★★☆||Buy*|
|Perfect Keto – Keto Collagen||★★★★★||Get 15% off*|
|Real Ketones Keto Meal||★★★★☆||Buy*|
KiiTO – Vegan Protein Shake
I’ve covered KiiTO in the previous (Keto Shakes) section already but figured it made sense to list the product here as well, considering the 20 grams of protein each bottle has. I gave it only four out of five stars because plant-based protein is less bioavailable than animal protein.
Kiss My Keto – Keto Protein
- Stomach-friendly (Only 4 grams of MCTs)
- Only 1 gram of net carbs
- 10 grams of protein
- Contains milk
- Only 80 calories
- Contains flow agents and other ingredients
Kiss My Keto’s Keto Protein is an excellent source of hydrolyzed grass-fed bovine collagen, combined with a moderate amount of MCTs.
Most of the MCTs in Keto Protein are caprylic acid — also known as C8 — which the body can use for energy much quicker than (for example) capric acid (C10). Kiss My Keto derives both MCTs from coconut oil, which is a rich and natural source of MCTs.
Kiss My Keto’s keto protein shake doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients, and it mixes easily with water or your favorite milk. What’s more, Keto Protein contains reasonable amounts of essential minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, chloride and potassium.
If you want to give Keto Protein a try, make sure to use code MICHAELKUMMER and get 10% off your order!
LevelUp Grass-Fed Keto Protein Powder
- No artificial ingredients
- Has only 95 calories
- Only 54% fat calories
LevelUp Grass-Fed Keto Protein Powder is neither a potent protein powder nor a keto meal replacement. However, considering its premium ingredients, it can still have a place in your keto diet as a supplement. It’s a tasty shake, it’s easy to prepare, and it contains no chemicals or fillers. LevelUp is also a good source of cholesterol, thanks to the grass-fed butter and C8 Caprylic MCT oil.
Instead of replacing a meal, I would recommend LevelUp Grass-Fed Keto Protein Powder (a non-GMO, 100% natural product) as a post-workout supplement to help you with muscle repair by leveraging the collagen it contains.
Naked Nutrition Naked Meal
- Premium ingredients
- No artificial flavors
- Does not contain sugar or sweeteners
- Excellent source of probiotics and micronutrients
- Has only 150 calories
- Low in fat and high protein content
Naked Nutrition is the brand behind some of my favorite protein powders that I use for CrossFit. Recently, the company launched a protein-based meal replacement powder that contains only 15 natural ingredients.
While Naked Meal is keto-friendly, it’s not a classic keto meal replacement drink because it’s relatively low in fat. As such, it doesn’t have many calories. I consider it a keto-friendly protein shake with added micronutrients. However, much like some of the other lower-calorie products in this review, you can always add two teaspoons of your favorite oil to increase the fat calories dramatically.
Naked Meal comes in a two-pound container, and I use it at home to make shakes and smoothies. What’s excellent about Naked Meal is that, unlike pure protein powders, it tastes reasonably good — even when mixed with water, and despite the lack of any sweeteners.
Perfect Keto – Keto Collagen
- Stomach-friendly (only 4 grams of MCTs)
- Zero net carbs
- 10 grams of protein
- Available in different flavors
- Only 80 calories
- Incomplete amino acid profile
What I like about Perfect Keto’s collagen is that it doesn’t contain anything except for hydrolyzed collagen powder and MCTs in moderate amount. As a result, Keto Collagen shouldn’t upset your stomach, even if you consume a few shakes throughout the day.
What’s more, Keto Collagen is available in three flavors (Chocolate, Vanilla and Salted Caramel), plus an unflavored version that you can mix into your coffee or smoothies.
If you want to give Keto Collagen a try, make sure to use code MK15 and get 15% off your order.
Real Ketones (Kegenix) Keto Meal
- Contains BHB (ketone bodies)
- Good vitamin density
- Has only 160 calories
Keto Meal is a ketogenic super meal which combines the strength and energy of proteins and ketones in one tasty, easy-to-mix powder.
The primary disadvantage of the Kegenix Keto Meal is that it delivers only 160 calories of energy per serving. Plus, the percentage of fat calories (56%) is lower than in other products.
Note: Kegenix recently rebranded itself and is now called Real Ketones.
If you want to try Kegenix, I’d recommend doubling the serving size so that you get at least 320 calories. However, doing so will also add 16 grams of carbs, which is a lot considering the 50-carb calorie limit of some keto dieters.
It comes in two flavors (Vanilla and Chocolate), and contains the necessary electrolytes, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and macronutrients that every good keto meal replacement drink should have.
Except for guar gum, Kegenix doesn’t have any potentially gut-irritating ingredients and contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Keto Meal Shakes With Potentially Unhealthy Ingredients
The three products below contain potentially unhealthy or irritating ingredients that I would rather stay away from. The worst shake, from a health perspective, is definitely Atkins. I would never recommend that anyone consume that product.
Bear Power Foods and Ketologie are reasonable products, particularly if you’re not on a strict paleo diet or if sugar alcohols don’t upset your stomach.
Atkins Mocha Latte
- Low in carbs and sugar
- Insufficient calories
- Not a true meal replacement
- Contains soy and other unhealthy ingredients
Atkins is a popular high-fat and low-carb diet that’s similar to the keto diet. While I appreciate the benefits of the Atkins diet (as I appreciate the general benefits of almost any low-carb diet), I do not recommend the Atkins protein-rich shakes as meal replacements because they lack the necessary calories and also contain unhealthy ingredients that you should stay away from.
Bear Power Foods
- Balanced macronutrients
- Low in sodium and high in potassium
- Available in two different flavours
- 400 kcal per serving
- Contains 7 grams of erythritol (sugar alcohols)
- MCTs are the only source of fat
- All vitamins and minerals are from synthetic sources
Bear Power Foods (formally known as Bear Squeeze) was started as a campaign on Indiegogo with the goal of making a meal replacement product that was both keto-friendly and paleo-friendly .
When Bear finally launched in November of 2018, it wasn’t paleo-friendly anymore. Instead, the company behind the product decided to turn it into a keto meal replacement powder.
Bear has a balanced macronutrient blend, but it’s relatively high in protein compared to other products. Your body can convert excess protein into glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis. However, if you exercise, your body likely uses the extra protein to build and maintain muscle mass. So I don’t see that as necessarily a negative factor — it depends on your activity and dietary goals.
What is problematic with Bear is that all of its fat comes from medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Those are great for the keto diet, but they can cause digestive issues if consumed in high amounts.
Since I adopted a ketogenic diet, I have drastically reduced the amount of MCTs I consume for exactly that reason. If you choose to consume MCTs or products containing them, I recommend starting with small serving sizes until your body gets used to them.
The primary reason why I don’t like Bear at all is that the product contains an insane amount of erythritol. That’s a sugar alcohol and sweetener that gives me stomach cramps. To learn more about how Bear compares to Ample K, check out this article.
Ketologie Keto Shake
- 67% fat calories
- Only 300 calories
- Only 56% fat calories
- 7 grams of net carbs
- Contains sugar alcohol (erythritol) and corn fiber
The Ketologie Keto Shake provides sufficient calories (300) to replace at least a small meal. But it also contains numerous potentially harmful ingredients that disqualify it from being part of a healthy diet.
The main offenders in Ketologie are sugar alcohols (erythritol), xantham gum and corn fiber.
The other disadvantage of the Ketologie Keto Shake is its high amount of carbs per serving. As a result, I would not recommend Ketologie, considering the availability of better and healthier alternatives.
Benefits of Keto Shakes
Staying in ketosis by forcing your body to use fat as its source of energy is incredibly tricky. If you have a meal that contains too many carbs, it’ll knock you right out of ketosis and you’ll have to start over.
If you’re traveling a lot and don’t have access to the right food sources, maintaining a ketogenic diet can be tough. Fortunately, there are keto shakes and meal replacement products that can make your life easier. Some of the products in this review come as pre-bottled powders or in single-serve pouches, which makes it easy to get through airport security. Others come in liquid form, which may be more convenient for some users (especially for those who don’t travel by plane).
Drawbacks of Keto Shakes
Despite the fantastic benefits they provide, some keto meal replacement drinks also have disadvantages.
- They can be expensive, especially compared to protein shakes. However, the price per serving is usually reasonable compared to a regular meal.
- Some keto meal replacement shakes leave an aftertaste.
- The transition period is usually marked with ketone breath.
- Some lower-calorie replacement meal drinks are not as satisfying as actual food.
- Many products contain potentially harmful ingredients like preservatives, sugars and artificial sweeteners.
- Some keto shakes get their fat from dairy and thus are often not vegan-friendly.
Potentially Irritating Ingredients
Some of the ingredients manufacturers use in their products have the potential to irritate your gut. In other cases, there’s scientific evidence that they could be detrimental to your health.
The goal of the keto diet is to live a healthier life by making smarter food choices and by helping your body’s metabolism. As a result, I try to avoid artificial ingredients; by definition, they fail to support my “clean eating” philosophy.
Guar Gum/Xantham Gum
Many gums are in natural products that are derived from plants, but some have the potential to cause stomach problems in people who are sensitive. Ample decided to include organic guar gum in its latest formula update, but fortunately I don’t seem to be sensitive to it.
Corn has little nutritional value compared to other vegetables and fruits, and it contains certain types of proteins that your body can’t properly break down. These prolamins can lead to or exacerbate leaky gut syndrome and the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut. In simple terms, corn is not worth it.
Keto Smoothie Recipes
Download Comparison Table
If you’d like to receive a PDF copy of a table comparing all the keto shakes I mentioned in this review, you can download it here.
Where to Buy Keto Shakes
The most convenient way to buy keto shakes and meal replacement drinks is online. If you want to leverage any of my discount codes, you usually have to purchase the products directly from the manufacturer’s online store. However, some of the brands I mentioned above also sell their shakes on Amazon. Others sell exclusively on Amazon*.
Brick and mortar options include Walmart, Whole Foods, Costco, Target and Publix, to name a few.
Keto Shakes at Walmart
Walmart sells numerous keto shakes online and in its stores. However, I haven’t tried any of them and can only judge by the label of these products.
- Keto Science – Ketogenic Meal Shake: Low-calorie shake but clean ingredients.
- SlimFast – Keto Meal Shake: Highly-processed junk food.
- ZonePerfect – Keto Shake: Low-quality protein and canola oil.
- BPI Health – Keto Bomb: Has sugar and artificial ingredients.
- Garden of Life – Keto Meal: Moderate calories and clean ingredients.
Keto Shakes at Whole Foods
Whole Foods also offers numerous keto products and supplements, including a limited selection of keto meal shakes:
- Koia – Chocolate Brownie Keto Beverage: Moderate amount of calories, contains plant-based protein and otherwise clean ingredients.
Keto Shakes at Target
Target offers a ton of keto shakes. Unfortunately, most of them are from brands that make unhealthy products that I recommend you stay away from:
- ZonePerfect – Keto Shake: Low-quality protein and canola oil.
- Atkins – Nutritional Shake: Highly-processed junk food.
- SlimFast – Meal Replacement Shakes: Highly-processed junk food.
Frequently Asked Questions
You probably don’t. I would focus all my energy on remaining in nutritional ketosis to allow your body to burn its own fat. If you’re new to keto and how to apply it in the context of weight loss, check out my ultimate keto guide.
To remain in nutritional ketosis, you can have any drink that doesn’t contain high amounts of sugar or carbs. For a detailed list of drinks you can and can’t have on a ketogenic diet — you guessed it! —read my ultimate ketogenic diet guide.
That depends on what your goals are and how you define “work.” Keto shakes certainly work as an easy keto snack, and replacement shakes can stand in for a full meal if you don’t have access to high-quality food. In the case of exogenous ketones, they can temporarily boost your energy levels and even lessen the symptoms of the keto flu.
However, keto shakes are no miracle solution for losing weight and no shortcut for maintaining a proper ketogenic lifestyle that keeps you in nutritional ketosis.
Keeping your body in ketosis is challenging. It goes beyond just writing down your daily carb intake. For your ketogenic diet to work, you have to meet specific requirements. For instance, consuming too many carbs can knock you out of ketosis and thus ruin your weight loss efforts or keto lifestyle.
Some people who follow the keto diet use meal shakes to supplement their regular meal plan. I also fall into that category because my wife takes care of preparing most of our meals.
If you don’t have time to make a meal plan and cook for yourself, I can also recommend looking into meal delivery services. Many of the ones I reviewed in the past offer Keto options at a reasonable price. That way, you don’t have to worry about finding keto recipes, grocery shopping and preparing a delicious meal.
That depends on a number of factors, including your dietary lifestyle and goals. Based on the research I have done, I’d argue that it’s one of the shakes mentioned in this review.
Ample K, Ketōnd and Super Body Fuel are, in my opinion, the best and healthiest options you have.
Yes, you can certainly have protein shakes on a ketogenic diet — particularly if you exercise. However, keep in mind that your body can convert excess protein content into glucose, and that might kick you out of ketosis if you overdo it.
Please see my list of potentially irritating ingredients above.
No. Similarly to Atkins, SlimFast makes highly-processed junk food that is neither healthy nor beneficial in the long run.
Technically, SlimFast Fat Bombs are keto. However, they’re highly-processed junk food containing soy, peanuts and erythritol (sugar alcohol). So I’d stay away from them.
You can have almost anything on keto as long as you stay below your individual carb limit. Almond milk has carbs that your body can convert quickly into glucose. So if you drink almond milk, do so in moderation.
You can certainly use cream, but I’d argue that coconut milk is the healthier choice because it’s from a non-dairy source. To find out more about why cream (and all dairy) is problematic, check out this article.
Hydrolyzed collagen contains collagen peptides, which are the building blocks of protein. The advantage of collagen is that your body can absorb it incredibly quickly and efficiently and it helps to support hair, nail, skin, joint and digestive health.
However, it’s important to understand that collagen has an incomplete amino acid profile. That means it’s missing certain essential amino acids — the building blocks of peptides — that milk (casein) or animal protein have.
Practically that means that collagen is an excellent supplement but no replacement for other sources of protein, such as beef, poultry or seafood. To learn more about the various types of protein (from meat, to grass-fed whey, to plant-based protein that come from things like peas), check out this article.
Summary: Keto Shakes and Keto Meal Replacement Drinks
While there are plenty of shakes and supplements available that can assist you in maintaining a keto diet, there aren’t many keto meal replacement shakes that provide enough calories from healthy ingredients to replace regular food. I hope this review can help you to better understand the different types of keto shakes and their pros and cons.
My two favorite keto meal replacement drinks remain Ample K and Ketōnd. I love Ample because it offers the most calories, is made from premium ingredients, and comes as a pre-bottled powder that I can conveniently take through airport security when I’m traveling. The bulk pouch is great for when I’m at home and to reduce plastic waste.
I like to use Ketōnd at home because it also offers clean ingredients and it’s available in a chocolate flavor. If you don’t mind a little extra preparation, you can’t go wrong with Super Body Fuel either.
When it comes to lower-calorie products, you have plenty of options to choose from. Whatever brand and product you choose, pay attention to your MCT intake to avoid getting an upset stomach — particularly if you’re new to those types of fatty acids.
What’s your experience with keto shakes and meal replacement drinks, and what’s your goal? Are you trying to lose weight, burn fat, improve your energy levels, or just try something new? Let me know by leaving a comment below, and please share any keto recipes for healthy, great-tasting shakes and smoothies!