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 list, and read our buying guide that outlines how you can find a great breakfast drink on your own!
High Protein Balanced Nutritional Drink with Fiber
Coffee and Protein Drink Mix
Nutritionally Completed Food
Drinkable Supermeal Smoothie Mix
All-in-One Nutritional Shake
Grass Fed Protein Drink
Breakfast Essentials Nutritional Drink
Our Best Pick! Advanced Nutrition Protein-Dense Drink
Caffeinated Protein Powder to Jolt You Awake
Breakfast Replacement Drink for Sustained Energy
A Cheaper, Synthetic Superfood Option
An All-Natural Superfood Powder in Smoothie Form
Non-GMO, High-Protein, Ready-to-Drink Breakfast Carton
A Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Drink Without GMO Ingredients
A Protein-Rich Breakfast Drink for Weight Gain
A Highly-Processed but Ready-to-Drink Option
A Cheap, Sweet, Chocolatey Drink from Switzerland
|Amount||8 fl. oz. per bottle||15.8 oz.||14 fl. oz. per bottle||3.85 lbs. per bag||13.3 oz. per bag||11 fl. oz. per carton||11.5 fl. oz. per bottle||8 fl. oz. per bottle||8 fl. oz. per bottle||12 oz. per tub|
|Formulated with||Milk protein concentrate, sugar, vegetable oil, soy protein isolate||Calcium caseinate, spray-dried coffee, cocoa, nonfat milk||Soy protein isolate, maltodextrin, natural coffee flavor, high oleic sunflower oil||Pea and rice protein, oats, flaxseed, brown rice protein||Oat protein, almonds, apples||Grass fed organic milk protein concentrate, organic whey protein concentrate, organic brown rice syrup||Grass fed milk protein isolate, organic blue agave, chicory root inulin, cocoa powder||Milk protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, sugar, corn maltodextrin||Glucose syrup, sugar, milk protein concentrate||Sugar, malt extract, whey|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 230mg; Carbs: 29g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 20g||Sodium: 120mg; Carbs: 11g; Fiber: less than 1g; Protein: 16g||Sodium 300mg; Carbs: 37g; Fiber: 3g; Protein 20g||Sodium: 410mg; Carbs: 47g; Fiber: 9g; Protein: 37g||Fiber: 3g; Protein: 10g||Sodium: 260mg; Carbs: 32g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 16g||Sodium: 220mg; Carbs: 8g; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 20g||Sodium: 210mg; Carbs: 50g; Fiber: less than 1g; Protein: 13g||Sodium: 160mg; Carbs: 41g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 10g||Sodium: 70mg; Carbs: 9g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 0g|
|Calories per serving||240||120||400||500||160||250||130||350||240||40|
※These rankings were decided based on user reviews and popular rank lists from Amazon gathered on July 16th.
Very Vanilla, 24 pack
|Amount||8 fl. oz. per bottle|
|Formulated with||Milk protein concentrate, sugar, vegetable oil, soy protein isolate|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 230mg; Carbs: 29g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 20g|
|Calories per serving||240|
|Formulated with||Calcium caseinate, spray-dried coffee, cocoa, nonfat milk|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 120mg; Carbs: 11g; Fiber: less than 1g; Protein: 16g|
|Calories per serving||120|
Cafe Mocha, 12 pack
|Amount||14 fl. oz. per bottle|
|Formulated with||Soy protein isolate, maltodextrin, natural coffee flavor, high oleic sunflower oil|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium 300mg; Carbs: 37g; Fiber: 3g; Protein 20g|
|Calories per serving||400|
|Amount||3.85 lbs. per bag|
|Formulated with||Pea and rice protein, oats, flaxseed, brown rice protein|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 410mg; Carbs: 47g; Fiber: 9g; Protein: 37g|
|Calories per serving||500|
|Amount||13.3 oz. per bag|
|Formulated with||Oat protein, almonds, apples|
|Nutrition facts||Fiber: 3g; Protein: 10g|
|Calories per serving||160|
Creamy Chocolate Fudge, 12 pack
|Amount||11 fl. oz. per carton|
|Formulated with||Grass fed organic milk protein concentrate, organic whey protein concentrate, organic brown rice syrup|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 260mg; Carbs: 32g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 16g|
|Calories per serving||250|
Chocolate Truffle, 12 pack
|Amount||11.5 fl. oz. per bottle|
|Formulated with||Grass fed milk protein isolate, organic blue agave, chicory root inulin, cocoa powder|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 220mg; Carbs: 8g; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 20g|
|Calories per serving||130|
Vanilla, 16 pack
|Amount||8 fl. oz. per bottle|
|Formulated with||Milk protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, sugar, corn maltodextrin|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 210mg; Carbs: 50g; Fiber: less than 1g; Protein: 13g|
|Calories per serving||350|
|Amount||8 fl. oz. per bottle|
|Formulated with||Glucose syrup, sugar, milk protein concentrate|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 160mg; Carbs: 41g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 10g|
|Calories per serving||240|
Chocolate Malt, 6 pack
|Amount||12 oz. per tub|
|Formulated with||Sugar, malt extract, whey|
|Nutrition facts||Sodium: 70mg; Carbs: 9g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 0g|
|Calories per serving||40|
Points to Consider:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some delicious options to consume when you do have the time to enjoy a full meal.
No matter how busy you are, you don’t have any excuse to skip breakfast. We’ve given you a bevy of powdered and liquid forms that can be added into your diet or replace your breakfast entirely.
If you're looking for even more options for instant breakfast drinks, then check out this recommendation from certified nutritionist and Life Well Lived founder, Kara Swanson. It's filling, healthy, and tastes great!
12 pack, Sea Salt Chocolate
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