The debate on meal replacements and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has taken a boost recently, as the meal replacement drink Soylent will be available in the UK from Thursday 4th October; sparking big debate in the sports nutrition and health industries as a whole.
Soylent is a drink that has an aim to take away the need for solid foods by providing people with enough nutrients and minerals to replace the ones provided by food. The company hasn’t had an easy ride, however, as they had to make various changes to meet the tough UK food regulations and have also come under fire for the lack of clarity around the impact it actually has on our health.
Since being bombarded with criticisms, the company has re-branded the drink from an everyday meal replacement to completely take away the need for food, to an ‘occasional meal’ that is aimed to bridge the “food voids” we face in our daily lives (the times when we can’t get a meal, so need something on the go).
This comes after nutritionists and health experts are sceptical about the long-term effect of eating no solid food or using the replacement. Kris Ringer replaces two of his daily meals with another meal replacement names Huel.
Although Kris said it is great for a productive lifestyle, he went on to say; “I don’t think I could go to a full replacement though. By the end of the day, I’m longing for real food that I can actually chew..” which is fair enough, considering the replacement is for function over form, so the flavour isn’t something that they really focus on.
We spoke to two of our experts to get their opinions on meal replacements. See what they had to say below:
Lee Hinegan – Personal Trainer & Course Tutor
Louis Homer – Personal Trainer & Course Tutor
Lindsey O’Toole – Personal Trainer & Course Tutor
There can be benefits to supplements if taken properly and with the right training. In general, I would rather advise to get what you need from your diet and make adjustments where needed and not rely on supplements.
I don’t agree with meal replacements as they are only a short-term fix and rarely have the desired effect. A balanced diet should be enough to give you everything you would need.
Overall, the debate around Soylent and meal replacements as a whole is one that is not going to end any time soon, as a lack of in-depth meta-analysis means we can neither deem it good or bad, but as studies show, if you use it as it is meant to be (as a supplement rather than a replacement) then the benefits could be huge.