Ample is one of the newer kids on the block in meal replacements, but the product has a hook: it’s all made from whole foods.
Actually, that’s just one of the hooks. According to their website, there are three main goals with this product: to reduce inflammation, to improve gut health, and to minimize insulin spikes. The company was founded in 2015 by Connor Young, a gentlemen who once ran his own CrossFit gym, who found that most snack bars and meal replacements left his friends feeling drained and with poor digestion.
He decided that instead of condemning packaged foods, he’d change packaged foods, and after a successful crowdfunding campaign he launched Ample. There’s also a Ketogenic version and a vegan version, but we went with the original. We’d heard about this product before, since it’s become relatively commonplace in discussions on meal replacements, but when we received our shipment we were pretty surprised by the nutrition label.
Ample Nutrition Info
Ample comes in two sizes, 400 calories and 600 calories, and we picked up a 600-calorie bottle. It contains 38 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrates (14 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar), and 33 grams of fat (16 grams saturated fat). There’s no cholesterol at all.
The vitamins and minerals are surprisingly scant. There’s 2 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamins A and C, 4 percent of your calcium, and 15 percent of your iron. That’s it. That’s not a bad hit of iron but that undeniably low in micronutrients.
There are quite a few ingredients that I’ll try to separate by category. Note that this is Version 3.1.
Protein: grass-fed whey concentrate, pea protein, grass-fed hydrolyzed collagen protein.
Fats: Coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, omega-3 chia extract
Carbohydrates: Sweet potato powder, tapioca dextrin, organic psyllium husk, chicory root fiber, acacia fiber
Probiotics: 40 billion CFUs from six strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bacillus coagulans.
Fruits and Veggies: green banana powder, organic wheatgrass, organic barley grass, organic chlorella
Flavorings: dried honey, cocoa powder, lemon juice powder, cinnamon, sea salt, natural flavor, monk fruit extract, stevia extract
Besides some sunflower lecithin that’s pretty much it.
Ample Benefits & Effectiveness
So these ingredients are all natural, but what does it offer?
There are a few striking aspects. First, I like that it has a good amount of protein, fat, and fiber, making for a meal replacement that won’t leave you feeling hungry and shouldn’t result in a big insulin spike, so Ample succeeded on that front. Many competitors are particularly low in fat, so that aspect was especially refreshing. Note that with all the fiber, the net carbs are relatively low as well at 24 grams.
Then there’s the digestive front. Ample has put a ton of probiotic bacteria in each serving, which could have a lot of health benefits. Those are left out of a lot of meal replacements and coupled with the fiber, Ample has a strong focus on digestive health.
After insulin management and digestive health, Ample says it wants to reduce inflammation with an injection of antioxidants. Now, it does contain a lot of greens that are known to have a lot of antioxidants, which is a plus. That said, we don’t really know how many — they’re not measured. There are ways to measure antioxidants, like the the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale. A cup of blueberries has about 12,000 total ORAC per serving, for instance. It would have been nice to know the ORAC value of Ample.
I wouldn’t normally be bothered by that, except that Ample does have a big flaw: practically no vitamins or minerals. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, as are many other vitamins, so I would have felt pretty comfortable on the inflammation front if there were at least a good hit of those micronutrients. But there aren’t any. So Ample certainly has a lot of health benefits and plenty of macronutrients, but you will need to make sure you still eat your fruits and veggies throughout the day to meet your micronutrient requirements.
After the micronutrients, the price is probably the other big downside. If you buy just one bottle of the 600-calorie shake, it’s $8. If you get a 12-pack it’s $7.60 per bottle, a 60-pack is $6.80.
Subscribing to regular shipments results in a 10 percent discount and you can also always get the 400-calorie version, which is $6.50 before discounts. That’s cheaper, but since the average meal replacement is about $2 or $3 per serving, the price is worth emphasizing.
I loved, loved the flavor. That 33 grams of fat really made for a delicious, creamy shake and combined with all the cinnamon and honey made for something that tasted pretty akin to liquid shortbread or Graham crackers. I can drink this all day.
Most people want a meal replacement for micronutrients first, macronutrients second. If if you keep an eye on your fruit and vegetable intake and just want something healthy to tide you over between meals, Ample has a solid amount of calories and macronutrients, won’t leave you hungry, tastes awesome, and it definitely succeeds on the digestive health front.