Nutrition drinks are certainly an easy way to encourage weight loss. However, you may be wondering, “Are nutrition drinks good for you?” Weight loss drinks can be part of a healthy weight loss diet if you know what to look for!
Ahead, find out top drinks selected by nutrition experts—plus tips for knowing which drinks to choose when you have weight loss in mind!
Are Nutrition Drinks Good for You?
Not all nutrition drinks are created equal, but some nutrition drinks are considered healthy. The aim of most nutrition drinks is to provide a balanced level protein, healthy fats, and carbs.
Nutrition shakes are generally the most popular type of nutrition drink available at the store. The goal of a nutrition drink is to help you meet your general nutrition goals (i.e. increasing protein). Some drinks are designed for specific diets or conditions, such as diabetes to manage blood sugars.
It’s worth noting that you should discuss drinking nutritious drinks regularly with your doctor, dietitian, or healthcare team. Nutrition drinks aren’t considered low-calorie (in most cases) and can cause weight gain if consumed incorrectly.
A dietitian can help you incorporate nutritious drinks into your diet in a healthy way. They can also warn you if increased levels of certain nutrients may interfere with medications.
Are Weight Loss Drinks Effective?
While not all weight loss drinks are created equal, there are clear health benefits to nutritional supplement shakes. They can be helpful in the case of those who are:
• Having difficulty chewing
• Recovering from illness, injury, or infection (i.e. surgery)
• Struggling with appetite loss
• Wondering how to make a meal more balanced
It’s important to understand how nutrition drinks are designed to be consumed. Understanding this will help you to use them more effectively. For example, some drinks are meant to be used as meal replacements while others can be consumed in addition to meals or as a stand-alone snack.
Nutrition Drink Ingredients
The most effective drinks minimize added sugars. That way, you can be sure the nutrients are the star of the show. Nutrition drinks should help you supplement your normal diet instead of regularly replacing a well-balanced meal.
Ingredients are listed by weight on the label, so proteins (i.e. milk) should generally be listed first. Sugar should either be listed towards the end (certainly not second), or better yet, not listed at all on the ingredients list! Some drinks will have sugars listed on the nutrition label since fruits and vegetables can add natural sugars.
You can also take a look at calories to decide if a certain nutrition drink is right for you. For snacks or as a supplement, 200 calories is appropriate. If you’re using shakes or smoothies as a meal replacement, 400 calories per serving should do just the trick.
When looking at nutrient levels, try to find drinks that fit within the following ranges per 8-ounce serving:
• Carbohydrate: ≤ 40 grams
• Healthy fats: ≤ 6 grams
• Protein: 10-20 grams
7 Best Weight Loss Drinks
The old adage “don’t drink your calories” may dissuade you from enjoying your drinks. However, there are plenty of drinks that can assist you in your weight loss journey.
Here are seven drinks to include in your diet when you’re trying to lose weight.
It is no secret that the best weight loss drink is water. It’s completely calorie-free, has no added sugar or flavors, and will quench your thirst.
Do be wary of sparkling waters, which are gaining popularity. Not all drinking waters are sugar-free and can add unwanted calories to your diet.
2. Whole Foods & Protein-Rich Smoothies or Shakes
Often found next to the fruit on refrigerated grocery store shelves, smoothies and shakes made from whole fruit may be a more nutritious option. This especially serves true when protein is added to the mix.
Finding it in the refrigerated section is a good sign that it is fresher than the alternatives. These options are likely lower in sugar and minimally processed while being higher in levels of vitamins and minerals from whole food.
3. 100% Juice
Actual whole foods are preferred, but 100% juice can be the second best option. If you are on the go a lot or just need something easy to digest, 100% fruit juice can be the way to go.
Be sure to check the label to ensure the drink really is 100% fruit juice and doesn’t contain added sugars.
4. Nutrient-Fortified Beverages
Dairy often gets a bad wrap but can actually be part of a weight loss-focused, healthy diet. Low-fat dairy can be an option that provides calcium and is fortified with vitamin D.
Plant-based beverages or shakes can also be fortified with nutrients, but be sure to check the labels and avoid added sugars.
Coffee offers fat-burning properties, particularly when it’s enjoyed in its most natural form. In fact, an 8-ounce cup of black coffee supplies less than 5 calories!
To fully reap the health benefits of coffee, try to minimize/avoid the sugary and fat-laden cups of joe. Also be wary of the negative effects of caffeine, as too much can cause anxiousness, high blood pressure, and more.
6. BistroMD’s Protein Punch Drinks
Did you know that bistroMD has a special line of Protein Punch drinks? Integrate these in your meal plan to ensure high levels of protein. You can also use them to satisfy your hydration requirements.
7. Whey Protein Shake
When choosing any sort of protein supplement, select a brand with little to no added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Like the BistroMD's Protein Punch drinks, whey protein shakes are a healthy, satisfying option without all the unwanted ingredients - but with all the flavor!
Recapping the Best Drinks to Lose Weight
There are many ways to enjoy drinks as part of your weight loss diet. In fact, nutrition drinks can be a crucial part of helping you make your diet nutritionally complete. Whether used as a snack or supplement, nutrition drinks (and other healthy choices) can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Ellis E. Nutrition Info about Beverages. Eat Right. Published April 2021. https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/your-overall-health/nutrition-info-about-beverages.
Supplemental nutrition drinks: help or hype? Harvard Health Publishing. Published August 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/supplemental-nutrition-drinks-help-or-hype.