Ample Meal Replacement Review — Big On Gut Health, But What About Vitamins?

Ample emphasizes three angles to improving health: reducing inflammation, minimizing insulin spikes, and improving gut health.

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Ample Meal Replacement is made entirely from whole foods. According to their website, this product has three goals: 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 digested poorly and left his friends feeling drained.

He decided that instead of condemning packaged foods, he’d change packaged foods, and after a successful crowdfunding campaign, he launched Ample. While there are keto and vegan versions of this blend, we wanted to review the original blend specifically. We found it to be one of the cleaner options on the market, but also one of the more expensive options. Since Ample takes an innovative approach to nutrition that emphasizes reducing inflammation, increasing antioxidants, and improving gut health, we think the price tag may be worth it. 

Main Takeaways

  • Ample comes in a variety of buying options: 400-calorie bottles, 600-calorie bottles, and a 15-serving canister, as well as two different flavors — Vanilla and Chocolate.
  • This meal replacement packs high protein and fat content, and lower carb content. Many meal replacements can overdo the carbs and skimp on the fat, and this blend offers a refreshing change.
  • You’ll find six strains of probiotics here, which can be helpful in keeping your gut healthy and able to digest meal replacements of this caliber.
Ample
Ample
Ample

Ample's formula comes in 400 or 600 calorie vanilla or chocolate flavors that contain premium fats, proteins, fibers, antioxidants, and electrolytes in addition to the pre- and probiotics.

Ample Meal Replacement Highlights

Ample offers a variety of buying options — from 12-packs of 400- and 600-calorie bottles to a full 15-serving canister. You’ll find solid macros, as well. For the 600-calorie option (which we focus on in our review), there are 34g of protein, 15g of carbs, and 45g of fat, which allows this product to stand apart from many meal replacements that skimp on fat and overload on carbs. However, you will find 17 percent of your daily cholesterol intake in this formula, so for those who are conscious of their cholesterol levels, this is something to note.

You’ll also find probiotics, antioxidants, and a small variety of micronutrients many people have trouble sneaking into their diet. However, you won’t find a ton of micronutrients like some meal replacements offer, so if that’s something you’re looking for, this product may not be for you. 

Who Should Buy Ample Meal Replacement

  • If you’re looking for a variety of product sizes to choose from, Ample offers 12-packs of 400-calorie bottles, 12-packs of 600-calorie bottles, and a 15-serving canister. 
  • Anyone who wants a meal replacement that’s higher in fat than carbs will like the macros here. 
  • Those focused on gut health and digestion will appreciate the six strains of probiotics in this blend. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Ample Meal Replacement

  • Anyone with high cholesterol will want to steer clear as this meal replacement is high in saturated fat and dishes 17 percent of your daily cholesterol. 
  • If you want more than two flavors to choose from, you’ll want to look elsewhere. 
  • Folks searching for a product with a ton of micronutrients can find other options that offer this perk. 

Price

If you buy one 12-pack of the 600 calorie shake, the price is around $9.00 per serving, and $7.65 if you subscribe. The 400-calorie bottles are indeed cheaper, costing about $1.00 to $1.50 less per serving, depending on whether or not you decide to subscribe. And for the 15-serving canister, you’ll pay about $5.27 per meal, or $4.48 if you subscribe. But it is worth emphasizing that with the average meal replacement costing about $2 or $3 per serving, any of these options are considered expensive when compared to the rest of the market. 

Formulation

Ample comes in two serving sizes, 400 calories and 600 calories, and we picked up the 600-calorie bottle for ourselves. There are quite a few ingredients, and since there are so many versions of this product you can buy, we’re going to stick to the formulation for the 600 calorie bottle when talking about the specifics. 

Macros

Ample’s 60-calorie bottle contains solid macros, with 34 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 45 grams of fat (21 grams saturated fat). There’s also 17 percent of the recommended daily intake of cholesterol. While the fat content is high, the carb content is fairly low for meal replacements, which makes this an ideal product for anyone who is trying to bulk, doesn’t want to deal with an insulin spike, or want to remain full for an extended period of time.

The protein comes from grass-fed whey concentrate. Whey concentrate is typically higher in fat and carbs than whey isolate, which makes it a better choice for meal replacements that you may be taking to try to get in all of your macros rather than just a kick of protein. 

ample nutrition 2018

The fat content comes from coconut oil, high oleic sunflower oil, and macadamia nut oil, while the carb content comes from sweet potato powder, whole grain oat powder, tapioca dextrin, organic psyllium husk, chicory root fiber, and acacia fiber.

Probiotics

You’ll find 4 billion CFUs from six strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bacillus coagulans. This addition can help immensely with digestion, which is key when you are consuming a hefty meal replacement. 

Fruits and Veggies

Ample also contains an array of fruits and veggies, including Zuvii™ green banana powder, organic wheatgrass, organic barley grass, and organic chlorella. These provide a solid dose of antioxidants. 

Micronutrients

One bottle of Ample has 15 percent of your potassium, six percent of your iron, and 25 percent of your Vitamin DmagnesiumVitamin A, and calcium. While this isn’t a ton of micronutrients, these are higher numbers of a few of the micronutrients that are hard to get in your daily diet. 

Flavor

We loved the vanilla flavor we tried. For something that’s proudly “all natural” with no artificial flavors or sweeteners, we confess that we went into the taste test with some trepidation, but Ample has a secret weapon: the fat.

Our review of this meal replacement in a bottle

That 35 grams of fat really made for a delicious, creamy shake, and when combined with all the cinnamon, honey, and coconut oil, it made for a beverage that tasted pretty akin to liquid shortbread or Graham crackers. We genuinely look forward to drinking this, though we probably wouldn’t be quite so glad to drink this thick, buttery shake on a hot day.

Ample also comes in a chocolate flavor that we did not get to try, but with the same fat count, we expect the taste to be equally creamy and delicious. 

What to Consider Before Buying

With all natural ingredients from whole foods, you may be sold at face value. However, here are a few things to take into account before making your final decision. 

Macros

We personally like that this 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. Many competitors are particularly low in fat, so that aspect was especially refreshing for us. However, if you’d prefer the higher carb/lower fat content, some of Ample’s competitors may actually offer a better option for you — whether or not this macro count works for you is going to come down to personal preference and goals. 

Digestion

Ample has put a ton of probiotic bacteria in each serving, which could have a lot of health benefits. They may be extra important for athletes: a 2017 meta analysis that was published in The Journal of Sport and Health Science found that probiotic bacteria could even help to manage exercise-induced stress. (1) It concluded that a healthy and diverse gut could help to improve recovery from workouts by reducing inflammation and improving energy storage. Indeed, inflammation is a huge component of how probiotics may improve health. Chronic inflammation has been linked to obesity, heart disease, and depression, and probiotics were found in some studies to not only reduce inflammation in the gut but also — possibly — to lower the likelihood of depression.(2)(3)(4)(5)

The label of Ample Meal

A lot of this research is in its early stages but it’s promising nonetheless. Probiotics are often left out of a lot of meal replacements and coupled with the fiber, Ample has a really impressive commitment to this new frontier of health. 

However, a blend that contains this digestive booster is going to cost you more, which plays into Ample’s higher price tag. If probiotics are not a priority for you or you are getting your probiotics in elsewhere, you can find a less expensive meal replacement to suit your needs. 

Antioxidants

After insulin management and digestive health, Ample aims 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 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 for these specifics. 

If it’s antioxidants you’re looking for, you’ve found them. However, if it’s a specific number of antioxidants you’re looking for, you may want to opt for a product with those exact counts listed on their label. 

Micronutrients

You may be disappointed in the number of micronutrients in this blend. To be frank, most meal replacements have about 26 vitamins and minerals. But what Ample is doing here is giving a solid amount of calories, a good macro split, a ton of stuff for gut health, and a small number of very important vitamins and minerals. Most people are deficient in Vitamin D and magnesium and most women over 50 and men over 70 are low in calcium. However, if you’re looking for a wider variety of micronutrients — not just the ones that are tough to get in your diet — you’ll want to look elsewhere. 

Price

Ample is an expensive meal replacement. You’re paying for the high-quality, whole food ingredients, solid macro counts, probiotics, antioxidants, and strategic inclusion of micronutrients. If any of these don’t stand out as a factor you’re willing to pay extra for, there are plenty of less expensive meal replacements that can still offer great benefits. You’ll want to be sure that this specific blend can help you meet your personal goals before investing. 

Final Word

Most people want a meal replacement for micronutrients first, macronutrients second. If that’s you, Ample might not be your favorite meal replacement given it’s not crazy high in vitamins.

What we think it is good for is a well-rounded diet that needs some extra calories between meals, or for people looking to improve their gut health. This is a very satiating drink, and it’s easy to consume on the go, as well.

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, a decent amount of key nutrients in which most people are low, tastes awesome, and definitely succeeds on the digestive health front. Plus, it won’t leave you hungry like many less-satiating meal replacements can. 

FAQs

Is there too much fat in Ample?

It depends. If you’re looking to bulk or use this as a true meal replacement, the 45g of fat here can help and keep you satiated for a while. However, if you have high cholesterol or are trying to lose weight, the fat content (specifically saturated fat content) here may be a bit high for you.

Is Ample expensive?

Yes. It costs almost $3 to $5 more per serving than many meal replacements due to its thoughtful formulation, robust ingredients list, and solid macro count. However, if these are factors you’re chasing after, the price may be worth your while.

Does Ample taste good?

We found the vanilla flavor to be really delicious. The fat content lends to a creamy texture, which really helped the flavor — it was especially good for an all-natural blend, which can sometimes lack in flavor.

References

  1. Mach, N. et al. Endurance exercise and gut microbiota: A review. Journal of Sport and Health Science, Vol 6. No. 2 pp.179-197
  2. Le Chatelier, E. et al. Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers. Nature. 2013 Aug 29;500(7464):541-6.
  3. Carvalho, B.M. et al. Influence of gut microbiota on subclinical inflammation and insulin resistance. Mediators Inflamm. 2013;2013:986734.
  4. Plaza-Diaz, J. et al. Evidence of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics in Intestinal Chronic Diseases. Nutrients. 2017 Jun; 9(6): 555.
  5. Messaoudi, M. et al. Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(5):755-64.

Ample

Per Serving:~$8
8

Ingredients

10.0/10

Effectiveness

7.0/10

Price

5.0/10

Taste

10.0/10

Pros

  • Big emphasis on digestive health
  • All whole food ingredients
  • May provide antioxidants

Cons

  • Pricy
  • Not a great source of vitamins
  • Omega-3 content unclear