1. TOP
  2. >
  3. Food and drinks
  4. >
  5. Tea leaves and instant drinks
  6. >
  7. 10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed)
  • 10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed)

Many of us lead busy lives and don’t have time to prepare breakfast in the morning. Enter instant breakfast. They come in either liquid or powdered forms, and in a range of dietary variations to suit your needs. Some drinks double as meal replacements, others as simply snacks to jumpstart your morning!


To save you even more of your valuable time, we've compiled a list of our 10 favorite instant breakfast drinks. For instance, Boost Optimum's Creamy Vanilla Drinks are practically bursting with protein, nutrition, and flavor. See what else made the list, and read our buying guide reviewed by a registered dietitian that outlines how you can find a great breakfast drink on your own!

Last updated 2023/01/16
Expert
Registered Dietitian (RD, LD)
Rachel Binkley

Rachel Binkley is a registered dietitian who helps individuals develop healthy habits that fit into their lifestyle. She recommends adequate intakes of all micronutrients to help prevent deficiency as well as chronic conditions that may arise. You can keep up with her recipes, lifestyle, and more on Instagram or her blog, S'more Satisfaction.

Rachel Binkley's Profile
Editor
Editing Dept.
mybest US Editors

mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.

mybest US Editors's Profile
  • This content is independently produced by the mybest team. We may receive free products and services from brands and manufacturers and/or place ads, but these do not influence our content and product rankings.
  • For more information, please see mybest content policy
The experts featured in these contents reviewed the contents of the buying guide.
Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on 10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks as of 11-04-2022. Experts featured in this article did not participate in the selection and ranking process.

How to Choose an Instant Breakfast Drink – Buying Guide

Here, we'll be introducing the following three important points to check when you choose an instant breakfast drink.

Points to Consider:

  1. Choose a Nutrient Profile That Matches Your Diet
  2. Decide Between Powdered and Liquid Drinks
  3. Consider Whether Taste or Nutrition Matters More

① Choose a Nutrient Profile That Matches Your Diet

We often consider breakfast drinks to be chocolatey, fatty beverages like Nesquik that fill your tummy up and only that. That’s simply not the case. There are high protein, nutrient-rich, and--yes--very sweet options to choose from. Let’s examine them.

High Protein for Fitness-Minded Individuals

High Protein for Fitness-Minded Individuals
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t get us wrong. If you have time in the morning to cook, bacon and eggs are usually a classic option. It’s partially classic because, well, it tastes good, but also because it has lots of protein.


You should space out your protein intake throughout the day. Taking some in early, as breakfast, is a good way to make sure you do that. Our bodies can’t metabolize large sums of protein at once, anyways. For individuals who exert lots of physical strength, you need to ingest between 25-35 grams of protein in a meal.


If you work out in the early morning before work, a protein-rich breakfast drink is a great way to make sure you maintain your muscle mass. When you work out, you’re essentially breaking muscle fibers apart. Protein is required to repair them. To maximize muscle protein synthesis, consume your breakfast drink within 30 minutes of working out.

Rachel Binkley
Registered Dietitian (RD, LD)
Rachel Binkley's Comment

Extra protein doesn't equal extra muscle mass. If you consume more than what your body needs at one time, the extra protein will either be excreted or moved to other areas in the body. 


Incorporating snacks and breakfast can help spread your protein intake throughout the day. Breakfast shakes can be great options for substantial snacks as well. The combination of carbohydrates and protein is perfect post-workout and to maintain energy throughout the day.

Full Vitamin and Mineral Profile if You Don’t Have Time to Eat Breakfast

Full Vitamin and Mineral Profile if You Don’t Have Time to Eat Breakfast
If you find yourself listless or snacking in the late morning hours before lunch, that’s because you’re not eating a healthy enough breakfast. It’s an important balance to strike. 

In order to be satisfactorily full for the next 5-6 hours, you’re going to need to choose a breakfast drink that has 600-800 calories. That sometimes might mean adding milk or drinking two at once.


Also, ensuring you get enough protein, fiber-rich carbohydrates, and fats will help keep you full until lunch. How much is enough? Well, if you’ve got no dietary restrictions, go for about 70 grams of carbs. About 20 grams of protein has been shown to fend off sudden cravings.


And, there’s no minimum amount of fat, per se–just get some in so both your mood and energy levels stay high. Instant breakfast drinks are designed to get you the necessary macro (carbs, proteins, fats) and micronutrients. Check the nutritional chart on the back to make sure you’re getting enough calcium, iron, Vitamins A, C, and B.

Rachel Binkley
Registered Dietitian (RD, LD)
Rachel Binkley's Comment

If you're not used to eating a big breakfast, it can be beneficial to add a snack before lunch. This prevents that starving feeling that often leads to overeating. If you're a new breakfast eater and don't have much of an appetite in the morning, getting your nutrients from a liquid can make that a little bit easier. 


Shakes tend to give more concentrated calories and protein. Fats are important for satiety and so your body can absorb appropriate amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are fat-soluble.

High Fiber for Diets

High Fiber for Diets
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that is found in most plant based foods. Since fiber can not be completely broken down by our bodies, it helps keep us full. As it passes through our bodies, it acts as somewhat of a scrub brush that cleans out your intestines. This promotes a healthy gut, along with a ton of other health benefits.


A diet high in fiber makes your food easier to digest. When you have a good amount of fiber in your breakfast drink, you’ll find it easier to focus for the rest of the day. According to the American Dietetic Association, it’s better to get your fiber from actual foods (including instant breakfast drinks) rather than pills or supplements.


The ADA recommends that males get at least 38 grams of fiber per day and females ingest 25 grams of fiber per day. A high fiber diet leads to “normal” and healthy bowel movements, too.

Rachel Binkley
Registered Dietitian (RD, LD)
Rachel Binkley's Comment

A food-first approach is helpful when trying to improve nutrition. You may have several micronutrients and a couple of macronutrients in the same food item. Complex carbohydrates tend to be from plant-based sources meaning they can be packaged with plenty of extra micronutrients. 


Carbohydrates get a bad rap, but they are absolutely necessary for your brain and the rest of your body to function properly. It's best to incorporate them at all meals, including breakfast.

② Decide Between Powdered and Liquid Drinks

So, you opted for a breakfast drink because you don’t have time to cook breakfast. We don’t blame you. It can be hard to factor in that extra 15-30 precious minutes in the morning to make breakfast. You’d rather be sleeping, and so would we.


Instant breakfast drinks come in powdered or liquid forms, and your decision will boil down to social factors and how much time you have.

Powdered Drinks are Easily Shared and Applied to Other Foods

Powdered Drinks are Easily Shared and Applied to Other Foods
A powdered breakfast drink is not as instant as a liquid one, although we admit the difference is slim. Oftentimes, powdered drinks require 1-2 minutes of mixing with water (or milk), which can seem like forever if you seriously overslept, we guess.


Additionally, powdered foods can be added into other foods like soup, pasta, and even stir fries if you’re feeling bold. But you probably aren’t going to want to add a chocolatey powdered drink into a tomato soup. The meal replacement powders (like Huel and Ambronite) or smarter for this choice because they taste more basic.


If you like to eat breakfast with your family, think about getting a powdered drink. It might take more prep time, but you also get the ability to mix it in with others’ foods.

Rachel Binkley
Registered Dietitian (RD, LD)
Rachel Binkley's Comment

Breakfast drinks can make a great base for a smoothie. You can be creative with the flavors and it doesn't take much more effort to include all the nutrients that will fuel your day. Some awesome add-ins are fruits, vegetables, and peanut butter. The best part is that you can still take this on the go if you'd like.

Liquid Drinks Save You the Most Time

Liquid Drinks Save You the Most Time
The idea behind “instant breakfast drinks” is that they’re instant. Well, this is as close to instant as you can get. If you’re trying to chug and go, then a liquid form is best. Literally just grab it out of your refrigerator and drink it while you walk or drive to work (but keep your eyes on the road!).


The liquid breakfast drinks are meant to give you the nutrients you need to start your day in as little time as possible. If you’ve got other things on your mind and don’t want to mess with the prep work involved in powdered drinks, go liquid.

③ Consider Whether Taste or Nutrition Matters More

Why is it that medicine is bitter and poison is so sweet? Unfortunately, even with breakfast drinks, you’ll have to choose between flavor and nutrition as well–one just can’t have it all.

Choose Classic Brands Like Carnation for Flavor

Choose Classic Brands Like Carnation for Flavor
Source:amazon.com


Carnation is probably the most well-known instant breakfast drink brand, and their liquid forms come in three flavors: rich chocolate, french vanilla, and strawberry. Their powdered forms add dark chocolate, chocolate malt, and café mocha to the menu. Ensure has even more variation: chocolates, vanilla, strawberry, butter pecan, and coffee latte.


If you want liquid deliciousness, then, by all means, go for these big brands. They’ve even got variety packs, if you’re looking to shake things up. But, they’re fairly high on sugar and use synthetic nutrients as opposed to natural ones.


When you look at the list of ingredients on a Carnation bottle, for example, corn syrup and sugar are listed second and third. Ingredients in food are listed in descending order of predominance, meaning the first listed ingredient is the most plentiful. That’s a lot of sugar.

Go With Modern Meal Replacement Brands for Nutrition

Go With Modern Meal Replacement Brands for Nutrition
Source:amazon.com


On the other hand, newer or lesser-known companies like Ambronite, Huel, and even Soylent focus more on the nutritional component rather than the flavor. Their brands are targeted more towards simply getting the nutrients you need rather than crafting a delicious drink.


Now, taste is all a matter of opinion, so you might enjoy the chalky, “oatmealey” taste of the aforementioned brands. Huel, for example, touts itself as having at least “100% of the FDA’s Daily Values of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.”


If you buy enough of it, each breakfast will set you back 2 bucks, and the powder is good for a year! Ambronite has a similar nutritional and mineral spectrum to Huel, but is also non-GMO and minimally processed. It’s more expensive, though.

10 Best Instant Breakfast Drinks

Instant breakfast drinks are great because they are a fast and nutritional way to get your most important meal of the day. The following are our recommendations of the best instant breakfast drinks to buy online. If you like them enough, don’t hesitate to eat them for lunch, too!
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Points
1

Boost

High Protein Balanced Nutritional Drink with Fiber

Boost High Protein Balanced Nutritional Drink with Fiber 1枚目

Our Best Pick! Advanced Nutrition Protein-Dense Drink

2

CLICK

Coffee and Protein Drink Mix

CLICK Coffee and Protein Drink Mix 1枚目

Caffeinated Protein Powder to Jolt You Awake

3

Soylent

Ready-to-drink Meal

Soylent  Ready-to-drink Meal 1枚目

Breakfast Replacement Drink for Sustained Energy

4

Huel

Nutritionally Completed Food

Huel Nutritionally Completed Food 1枚目

A Cheaper, Synthetic Superfood Option

5

Ambronite

Drinkable Supermeal Smoothie Mix

Ambronite Drinkable Supermeal Smoothie Mix 1枚目

An All-Natural Superfood Powder in Smoothie Form

6

Orgain

All-in-One Nutritional Shake

Orgain All-in-One Nutritional Shake 1枚目

Non-GMO, High-Protein, Ready-to-Drink Breakfast Carton

7

Iconic

Grass Fed Protein Drink

Iconic Grass Fed Protein Drink 1枚目

A Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Drink Without GMO Ingredients

8

Ensure Plus

Nutrition Shake

Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake 1枚目

A Protein-Rich Breakfast Drink for Weight Gain

9

Carnation

Breakfast Essentials Nutritional Drink

Carnation Breakfast Essentials Nutritional Drink 1枚目

A Highly-Processed but Ready-to-Drink Option

10

Nestle

Ovaltine

Nestle Ovaltine 1枚目

A Cheap, Sweet, Chocolatey Drink from Switzerland

Product details
Close
No.1

BoostHigh Protein Balanced Nutritional Drink with FiberVery Vanilla, 24 pack

$29.88

Our Best Pick! Advanced Nutrition Protein-Dense Drink

Features:
  • 27 vitamins and minerals, including 8 B vitamins, Zinc, and Riboflavin
  • supports muscle and bone health, vision, energy, and “normal immune function.”

Recommended for:

  • can be breakfast for fairly sedentary folks or can act as a great supplement to an active lifestyle.

Some reviewers didn't like the flavor formula change sometime in 2019, so be wary! If you have trouble getting protein and are okay having milk in your diet, this Boost is the way to go.

No.2

CLICKCoffee and Protein Drink MixMocha

$17.62

Caffeinated Protein Powder to Jolt You Awake

Features:
  • instant breakfast powder that has 23 essential vitamins
  • designed to “boost energy and curb appetite”
  • strength of a double shot espresso in just 120 calories
  • 16 grams of slow-releasing protein, to stay fuller for longer

Recommended for:

  • great option as a protein shake or a breakfast replacement if you’re in a rush

CLICK can be consumed hot, cold, or blended with milk or your preferred milk substitute. In every serving of CLICK, there’s a third of your daily nutrients, which is a fairly large amount. Reviews suggest that CLICK goes well in coffee or other breakfast options (like oatmeal) if you want a caloric and protein boost to your diet.
No.3

Soylent Ready-to-drink MealCafe Mocha, 12 pack

$39.00

Breakfast Replacement Drink for Sustained Energy

Features:
  • animal-, nut-, and lactose-free
  • 150 mg of caffeine, roughly the same amount as a strong cup of coffee
  • I-theanine reduces the jittery effects of consuming lots of caffeine

Recommended for:

  • saving money and time by combining breakfast and coffee, and with no mental fatigue commonly associated with caffeine comedowns

Reviewers say that the flavor of Soylent tastes artificial and that they seem to often change their formula. The current one has too much chocolate flavor and not enough coffee. However, many other reviewers love it as a meal replacement and for its cost-effectiveness.

No.4

HuelNutritionally Completed Food2 pack

$89.95

A Cheaper, Synthetic Superfood Option

Features:
  • 500 calories 
  • 9 grams of fiber per serving
  • packed with a whole range of essential vitamins and minerals
  • gluten-free and unflavored options

Recommended for:

  • offers more fiber and is less costly than its main competition, Ambronite, which means it fills you up for less

A little older than Ambronite (our next contender), Huel is a superfood powder company. Huel is not all-natural but has roughly the same nutritional profile as Ambronite. 


Reviewers had issues with the taste and texture of the powder. Huel would not mix thoroughly in shakes and felt gritty. However, most reviewers say that Huel does work at making you feel full and helps when you're in a rush.

No.5

AmbroniteDrinkable Supermeal Smoothie MixOriginal

$23.49

An All-Natural Superfood Powder in Smoothie Form

Features:
  • each scoop has 160 calories
  • contains 40 nutrients and minerals from 18 different superfoods
  • all-natural, vegan, and soy-free
  • ingredients include real fruits (cranberry, black currant) and real veggies (apple, spinach), as well as healthy fats

Recommended for:

  • the most healthy on this list; if you’re looking to lose weight, this product will do it for you

Though each scoop has 160 calories, it's not nearly enough for a full serving; Ambronite recommends 2.5 scoops of powder for a 400 calorie-plus meal. Just add water or whatever liquid you like to the powder and you’re good! 


The only downside is that it tastes fairly bland. A few reviewers also mention that their Ambronite came expired, though one says that since the brand isn't from the US, the date is written differently. Try mixing the powder with light food items to help make it palatable.

No.6

OrgainAll-in-One Nutritional ShakeCreamy Chocolate Fudge, 12 pack

$23.00

Non-GMO, High-Protein, Ready-to-Drink Breakfast Carton

Features:
  • 250-calorie carton
  • 16 grams of organic protein
  • gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, no artificial flavors or preservatives
  • 21 vitamins and minerals and 10 fruits and vegetables

Recommended for:

  • individuals who like to work out early in the morning and need to eat something before

It’s slightly less sweet (12g of sugar) than Carnation’s instant breakfast drink introduced later yet only has 2 grams of fiber. Some recent reviews complain of spoiled batches, so hopefully, Orgain has cleaned up their act! This is a cheap, high-quality option for anyone looking to get their nutritional needs on-the-go.

No.7

IconicGrass Fed Protein DrinkChocolate Truffle, 12 pack

$35.99

A Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Drink Without GMO Ingredients

Features:

  • intended for pre- and post-workout pick-me-ups
  • 380 grams of potassium and a full amino acid profile
  • keto-friendly, with only 3 grams of sugar
  • lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free

Recommended for:

  • offers many benefits as a great nutritional side to add to your breakfast

While we'll admit it doesn't quite have enough calories to count as a full meal, this protein shake does boast a lot of health benefits. Critical reviewers say this drink was too watery or tasted like plastic, while others like the healthy profile and low sugar.

No.8

Ensure PlusNutrition ShakeVanilla, 16 pack

$24.97

A Protein-Rich Breakfast Drink for Weight Gain

Features:
  • 350 calories
  • marketed as a weight-gainer shake
  • this product packs a whole meal into one bottle
  • 13 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals.

Recommended for:

  • If you have a problem putting on weight, drink this—it’s delicious and filling

Be advised: it has somewhat of a synthetic waft when you crack the seal. It’s lactose-free and is packed with antioxidants to keep your immune system cranking. Some reviewers say it has too much sugar or that the delivery was unreliable. However, people love the taste.

No.9

CarnationBreakfast Essentials Nutritional Drink24 pack

$19.98

A Highly-Processed but Ready-to-Drink Option

Features:
  • 240 calories
  • 4 flavors: chocolate, vanilla, mixed berry, and strawberry
  • 10 grams of protein and 21 vitamins and minerals
  • twice the vitamin D of a cup of milk
  • no refrigeration is necessary

Recommended for:

  • budget-minded families in a rush to get out the door for school or work

Carnation’s breakfast drink is maybe the most popular on the market today. While it adds a lot of essential components to your diet, reviews suggest it’s fairly sweet (15 grams of sugar). Since it comes in a 24 pack, so you and your family members can each have one (or two) as you’re running out of the door. 

No.10

A Cheap, Sweet, Chocolatey Drink from Switzerland

Features:
  • 40 calories per serving
  • chocolate malt breakfast beverage
  • a heaping serving of 15 essential vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, vitamin A, and more
Recommended for:
  • chocolate-loving folks who want a quick, somewhat nutritional powder to pair with their milk

Ovaltine was created in Switzerland in 1909 and is an old-timey chocolate malt breakfast beverage. Online, it exists mainly in powdered form. This is the Nestle formula, which is definitely on the sweeter side, but there are other formulas that offer less sugar.


Reviewers mention that the formula has changed to be sweeter than usual, with fewer nutrients. However, others say that Ovaltine is great for when you want a treat that is more healthy than regular chocolate drinks and reminds them of their childhoods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even though you may have decided on an instant breakfast drink, you may be wondering if it's worth it in the first place. Rachel is here to answer the question that will hopefully help you make your decision!

Are instant breakfast drinks even good for you?

Are instant breakfast drinks even good for you?

Rachel says, "It depends on the drink! If you aren't used to eating breakfast, a breakfast drink is a whole lot better than nothing. If you make a perfectly balanced breakfast every morning, it probably isn't necessary for you. 


Breakfast drinks are a great way to get nutrients fast. Eating in the morning will give you the energy to start your day and likely prevent you from overeating at lunch."

Other Great Options to Start Your Day With

When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.

Related Articles

Popular articles

Popular favlists

Search by category