Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Let’s first clarify that meal replacement shakes are not to be confused with protein shakes, though the differences are nit-picky: a meal replacement shake typically has between 200-500 calories and tick off a bunch of nutritional checkmarks with added vitamins, minerals, fiber, and some protein.

Source: Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Please be careful with shakes, powders, and the like. The regulation on the supplement industry is pretty much nonexistent. The best case scenario is that the company does not include the ingredient listed in its advertising, but there are numerous instances of customers sending out their powders for testing and finding harmful ingredients.

Why Your Fitness App Can’t Tell If You Have a Vitamin Deficiency

Diet tracking tools often include data about the vitamins and minerals you are (or aren’t) getting. While it’s fine to use that as motivation to eat a few extra veggies, you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that you have a vitamin deficiency or need megadose supplements. Here’s why.

Source: Why Your Fitness App Can’t Tell If You Have a Vitamin Deficiency

Add to the fact that some food labels could be overestimating calorie counts…  And doctors might not be the best nutritional resource.  But blood tests are a good place to start.  Something else I learnt recently was that a nutritionist (like accountant) is generally not subject to professional regulation – a dietician is.  A dietician can be a nutritionist, but a nutritionist doesn’t mean they are a dietician.  The distinction can be regional – you’ll have to investigate for yourself to know what is what in your local area.

The part about the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) points out that though I mention the Daily Value (DV) when talking about how much vitamin K is in a given food, that value might be more (or less) than you need or want.

What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

Wandering into any conversation about vitamins and other health supplements is wandering into a thicket of hyperbole and half-truths. We’re here to cut through some of the bullshit in the $28 billion supplements industry.

The biggest fallacy we need to let go of is that all vitamins are good, and more vitamins is always better. Vitamins are potent chemicals packed in potent pills.

…It’s also worth noting, the quality of supplement products varies greatly from brand to brand. Not only can the amount of active ingredient differ from the label, but adulterants can also be sneaked in. If you’re wondering if your (expensive) brand is up to snuff, Consumer Labs regularly publishes tests comparing the quality of different brands. Pro tip: More expensive is not always better.

Source: What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

The article doesn’t mention potassium or magnesium.  I prefer to source such things from plants/etc, rather than pills personally.