Arguably one of the most important parts of a meal replacement shake is the appetite suppressant that they use. If you’re still hungry after drinking the shake, than you are more likely to snack and gain all those calories back. It also changes the value of the shake. If it doesn’t actually replace a meal, then you won’t save money by the reduced cost.
So today we’re going to talk about some of the appetite suppressants that we’ve seen shakes using.
Fiber is the big one. Most shakes contain at least some fiber along with whatever other hunger blocker they use in the shake. Fiber is always great, and Americans are struggling with their daily fiber intake, so this is always a thumbs up. Especially since it has been shown that one of the effects of fiber is to help with digestion. It has been shown that higher levels of daily fiber can make it so that around 20% of the calories you consume on a daily basis can be passed through your system without ever being absorbed. The reason for this is how dense it is. Your body takes much longer to process fiber so it moves through your intestinal tract without being fully absorbed. This density also provides the full feeling.
Chromium is another of the big ones used in a lot of shakes. However, this one we’ve looked at and haven’t seen much in the way of proven studies. In our tests, the shakes that use chromium haven’t been as effective as some of the others and the science really isn’t there. In fact, the scientific world isn’t actually too sure what chromium even does in your body. So much so that the FDA lowered the Recommended Daily Intake of Chromium from 50-200 µg to 25-35 µg.
Patented Appetite Suppressants:
These are the more unique stuff that you will see on the market. Most commonly you will find one of these as they are the big ones:
Slendesta: An all-natural potato protein extract. It’s dense; from the tests that we’ve had, and from studies we’ve read this is a pretty good one.
Hoodia: This is a cactus plant and it’s being touted in more pills than we can count. We’ve tried a few shakes with it as the hunger blocker with varying degrees of success.
African Mango: Another one that seems to be getting big in the pill market at the moment. Those of us that have used products containing it have been underwhelmed by its effects overall.
Green Tea Extract: Check out “caffeine” section on this page as it is the main reason Green Tea is considered an appetite suppressant.
Resveratrol: The studies on Resveratrols appetite control are pretty varied, though, all in all Resveratrol is an extract from the skin of grapes and seems pretty healthy for you as a general antioxidant.
Caffeine is definitely an appetite suppressant that many of us are using on a daily basis. That’s why a lot of people skip breakfast and just have a cup of coffee. However, studies show that caffeine is a short term solution and in the end, while you eat less for breakfast, you’ll end up eating more for lunch and make up the calories. Caffeine isn’t a great hunger blocker to be finding in your shakes.
We have begun seeing companies listing protein as an appetite suppressant recently and, while technically true, the observation doesn’t pass much increased scrutiny. Fiber, for example, actually slows the bodies absorption of nutrients so that some of the food you eat is passed without being processed or converted into fat. Protein, on the other hand is pretty much a 1:1 ratio. What you eat in calories is what your body is going to process. Protein is the food standard, it’s not an appetite suppressant any more than a tomato or a cookie is. It fills you up because you’re eating it, not because of any added effects that it provides.