Meal Replacement Drinks That Don’t Contain Folic Acid or Cyanide

Recently, I saw an ad on Instagram for a really delicious-looking meal replacement drink. I’m always looking for excellent options in this area, and so are many of my clients, so I clicked real quick! Let’s be honest: real, unprocessed foods are always preferred but when time or digestive function are lacking, you still gotta eat.

I burrowed into the ingredient list and frowned to see this product contains “folic acid” and “cyanocobalamin”. These are the cheap, synthetic forms of the B vitamins, folate & B12, respectively.

“Cheap” sounds okay until you realize that, on a molecular level, synthetic vitamins are slightly different from the natural vitamins found in food. “Slightly” sounds acceptable until you realize our bodies have grown used to recognizing and using specific molecules for millions of years!

Imagine that the building blocks of food and the micro mechanical parts of our bodies are made out of Legos. When you eat an apple dunked in almond butter, your teeth, stomach acid and digestive enzymes break that food into tiny pieces of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. When those tiny pieces are escorted from your Food Tube into your body, they click into cell receptors and become part of you.

Now, imagine you eat food that’s made of an off-market brand of building blocks, called Schmegos. You can force a Schmego to fit into a Lego, but it’s either gonna be a bit wobbly or a bit too tight. Schmegos cost less than Legos, but when you’re talking about your inner bits, the extra money is well worth it.

Sometimes a Schmego (synthetic vitamin) can be swapped for a Lego (natural vitamin) as-is. But most of the time small changes must be made to the Schmego to turn it into a Lego. This requires the body to do extra work and use up some of its raw materials.

The small differences between Schmegos and Legos can be tolerated by most people, but for others, such as those with MTHFR flaws, these synthetic B vitamins can create long-term havoc.

More on Folic Acid:

More on Cyanocobalamin:

  • The ideal forms of B12 are: methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin and hydroxycobalamin must be converted into these ideal forms. For each molecule of cyanocobalamin that’s converted, a smidge of cyanide (yes, cyanide, the poison) is released into the body. Obviously, since cyanocobalamin is still being used, it’s not responsible for any widespread injury or death, but.. I mean… how many steps below ideal is it to purposely consume cyanide at any level when there are other options?

Meal Replacement Drinks That Don’t Contain Folic Acid or Cyanide

The following meal replacement drinks contain natural ingredients and no folic acid or cyanocobalamin! No Schmegos! (I’ll add more discussion about each product… didn’t want to delay providing this list.)

You could drink these plain, after adding water or diary/nut milk, or you could add them as a boost to any smoothies you already make and love!

I’ll update this as I find new products. Do you have a favorite that I missed? Do you use and like any of the ones I’ve listed? Please leave a comment to let me know!

  1. Elemental Heal by Dr. Michael Ruscio.
    • This is a semi-elemental formula which means there’s no food, just vitamins, minerals & broken-down carbs & proteins. I add fat to mine, in the form of Bulletproof Brain Octane.
    • This is often used by people with digestive issues to give their Food Tube a rest for a couple days. It can also be used by those with a chronic condition aggravated by multiple food sensitivities.
    • Personal recommendation: I give the chocolate two thumbs up (I’ve never tried the vanilla)! The taste might not be a crowd-pleaser because it’s not very sweet. But that’s just fine for me because sugar is not something I want my body to crave!
    • $6.50 per serving (not including shipping cost)
  2. Raw Organic Meal from Garden of Life
  3. Ambronite Supermeal
    • **Contains some grains & nuts
    • I’ve never tried this one, but I’d like to!
    • Plant-based with a limited ingredient list: Oat protein, almond, oats, apple, coconut sugar, oat fiber, nettle leaf, spinach, flaxseed, chlorella, spirulina, cranberry, bilberry, black currant, sea buckthorn, nutritional yeast, mineral salt, guar gum, natural flavors.
    • $6.58 per meal with big bag, $6.80 for ten 400 kcal bags
  4. *Protein only* Designs for Health PurePaleo
  5. *Protein only* Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein
  6.  RSP TrueFit

Honorable Mentions:

A) Ample Meal

  • & Overall detail on the ingredients.
  • Made with whole foods = no synthetic vitamins.
  • CONS: contains sunflower oil, stored in plastic bottles & pretty prices…
  • Three different formulas: Keto, Vegan and Regular.
  • No gluten anywhere, Keto contains whey & egg protein, Regular contains whey protein.
  • I have not tried this one…
  • $5.65 per serving with monthly plan for regular (400 kcals), $6.84 for large (600 kcals) (other pricing structures available)

B) Huel


*I do not get any benefit from these recommendations unless you shop via my online dispensaries, but in that case we both win because you get a 15% discount!

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