When Can Runners Benefit from Meal Replacement Shakes?

Runners may choose to use meal replacement shakes to supplement their nutrition plan. Many runners lead busy lives and with a lot going on in life, could use some help in the nutrition department.

When Can Runners Benefit from Meal Replacement Shakes

Some Runners Might NOT Need to Use Meal Replacement Shakes

Here’s the thing: some runners can do completely fine with their nutrition plan without a single meal replacement shake. If you have the time and ability to cook or prepare all of your meals, carry coolers around with you wherever you go, bring snacks and veggies portioned out and ready to eat, get enough protein in through grocery store food, plus have the time to sit down and eat them for each meal, then you can probably skip the rest of this article.

However, if you feel like you just don’t have enough time to think through and plan out your nutritional needs every single day, are busy and don’t have the luxury of carrying real, perishable food with you everywhere, then keep reading.

When Should Runners Use Meal Replacement Shakes?

Balanced nutrition is important for runners, and while your body may be able to function without the proper balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, balanced and quality nutrition will help your body function optimally. Runners can use meal replacement shakes to make balanced nutrition more convenient and less of a hassle.

Here are 5 instances where runners can benefit from meal replacement shakes.

1. If You Don’t Have Time to Prepare and Pack Every Single Meal

Whether you are working professional, athlete, busy mom (or all three!), you probably don’t have time to plan, prepare, and pack every single meal for optimal nutrition every single day. The time constraints of a busy working life are real, and the convenience of a meal replacement shake for breakfast or lunch can simplify your day while giving you peace of mind that you’re still giving your body the nutrition it needs.

2. Runners Can Use Meal Replacement Shakes for Something On-The-Go and Convenient

Salads or meals that need to be warmed up are anything BUT convenient. They’re messy and they often require a refrigerator or microwave. When you are on-the-go and need something more convenient, grab a shake. You can store the dry powder in a shaker cup until you’re ready to use it, add water, shake, and you have a healthy meal.

As a runner, I love use meal replacement shakes at work because I don’t always have time to sit down and eat lunch. I’m often running from meeting to meeting or trying to check tasks off my list. Plus, when I run in the afternoon, a meal replacement shake is the perfect light lunch that won’t upset my stomach during my run later.  

3. If You Want to Cut Down on Your Food Costs

If you don’t have time to prepare, pack, and eat a meal during lunch, you might grab something at a restaurant for lunch. Lunch meals typically cost anywhere from $10-20 at a restaurant.

At just $3.50 per serving for a Herbalife Formula 1 Healthy Meal + Protein Drink Mix shake, the comparison and money savings is ridiculous!

This is one major way I cut down on my grocery and restaurant bill for the month. Runners can substitute a meal replacement shake for their lunch just during workdays and save $130 to $330 per MONTH! Replace your morning Starbucks and a bagel with a meal replacement shake, and you could add another $100 per month to your savings.

4. Meal Replacement Shakes are Perfect if you Run Before Breakfast

If you work out in the morning and before breakfast, then this is the perfect opportunity to combine your healthy meal with a post-workout recovery shake for maximum results. You need to get an effective post-workout meal in anyway, so why not make it a shake right before you jump in your morning shower?

When I run in the mornings, I use Herbalife24 Formula 1 Healthy Meal Sport + Herbalife24 Rebuild Strength. It gives a blend of carbohydrates, whey and casein protein to support the delivery of amino acids for muscle synthesis to help rebuild muscle and speed recovery, along with the vitamins and minerals to establish a strong foundation for performance.

5. Runners Can Use Meal Replacement Shakes to Help Lose Weight

Many people start running as an activity to help lose weight, myself included. Runners can use meal replacement shakes to help cut down on calories while still getting enough protein and good quality nutrition. Just because you cut down on calories doesn’t mean you can skimp on the quality of your nutrition. Actually, high quality nutrition is even MORE important when you are eating less food, because your body still has the same nutrient requirements to help support life functions, running performance, and recovery.

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When I’m in a weight loss phase, I replace 2 meals per day with shakes to help clean up my extra calorie intake while still ensuring that I’m getting enough protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to support my running habit. Herbalife Formula 1 Healthy Meal + Protein Drink Mix is what I use for meal replacements, and I use Herbalife24 Formula 1 Healthy Meal Sport + Herbalife24 Rebuild Strength for a post-workout meal replacement.

5 Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes for Runners

Why Quality Nutrition is Important

Running is a sport that places high physical demands on your body, and healthy nutrition habits are key to getting the most out of your training for performance and recovery. Runners can maximize their progress by paying attention to their specific nutritional needs and fueling with quality ingredients.

Sports nutritionist and author Matt Fitzgerald talks about 5 key nutritional habits for runners in The Endurance Diet:

The Endurance Diet
  1. Eat Everything: A large variety of food and nutrients is ideal for runners.
  2. Eat Quality: High quality, natural and whole foods rank far above processed food.
  3. Eat Carb-Centered: Endurance athletes have a higher demand for carbohydrates than non-athletes.
  4. Eat Enough: Fueling is important for performance and recovery. Failing to fuel with enough food can be detrimental to an endurance athlete’s performance and body composition.
  5. Eat Individually: A one-size-fits-all diet is not appropriate. Tailor your nutritional habits to fit your schedule, lifestyle, tastes, and desires.

Related: Nutrition for Runners: 5 Core Eating Habits that Will Make You Faster

Cellular Nutrition Philosophy

Herbalife’s global nutrition philosophy is centered on cellular nutrition. The focus here is to nourish your body at the cellular level to support overall health and athletic performance. They accomplish this through their core products: Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3.

Formula 1 Healthy Meal is the foundation for building healthier eating habits. It is a key part of Herbalife’s meal replacement shakes with healthy protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and the essential vitamins and minerals. It helps support your weight management goals without sacrificing flavor. You can mix it with milk, but I’ve found much better results by mixing it with Herbalife Protein Drink Mix for higher protein content.

Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex is scientifically formulated to nourish your body and support metabolic function at the cellular level. It comes in a daily tablet with 21 essential micronutrients the body needs to support wellness, including antioxidant Vitamins A, C, and E for immune support plus folic acid, calcium, and iron.

Formula 3 Cell Activator is formulated with alpha-lipoic acid, which helps regenerate antioxidant activity within the cells, supports normal mitochondrial energy production, and protects cells against oxidative damage. These processes are all extremely important for runners, because our mitochondria are the “powerhouse” of the cell and produce energy for numerous biological processes—including the muscular contraction that enables running! It also contains aloe vera to help support the body’s absorption of micronutrients.

Adding these three products to your nutritional regimen can help support your body’s cellular processes and nutrition utilization.

Click Here for the Quickstart package with everything a runner needs for healthy meal replacement and cellular nutrition. You will also get an email from me to help you personalize your meal plan.

Runners Best Meal Replacement Shakes

Do you use meal replacement shakes in your nutrition routine? Why or why not?


Run Happy,


About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>