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How Ensure Shakes Can Be A Source Of Nutrients For Older Adults

Group of happy seniors enjoying Ensure shakes

Caring for our aging loved ones requires a deep understanding of their unique nutritional needs. As people age, their dietary requirements change, making it essential to find solutions that provide the right balance of nutrients to maintain health and wellness.

Ensure shakes have emerged as a popular nutritional supplement, particularly among the elderly. These shakes are designed to offer a convenient and balanced source of essential vitamins and minerals.

This article explores how they can support the nutritional needs of older adults, as well as tips and recipes to make Ensure shakes more enjoyable.

Let’s get started.

What are Ensure Shakes?

Ensure shakes are formulated to provide balanced nutrition. They are often used to supplement the diet of people who may not get enough nutrients from food alone or for those recovering from an illness or surgery.

Older adults can use them as a meal supplement, occasional meal replacement, or in-between meal snacks.

By incorporating Ensure Shake into their daily routine, many elderly can take a proactive step towards meeting their nutritional goals.

Key Ingredients in Ensure Shakes

Each ready-to-drink Ensure nutritional supplement shake contains a blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, making them a well-rounded nutritional option.

Typical nutrients include

  • 9 grams of high-quality protein
  • 6 grams of Total fat with 0 grams of trans fat
  • 27 essential vitamins and minerals including antioxidants.
  • Minerals include calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, manganese, chromium, and molybdenum.
  • Vitamins include A, B, C, D, E, K, and Vitamin B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, and choline.

Ensure shakes are gluten-free; suitable for lactose-intolerant people, and kosher and halal — supporting those with Jewish and Islamic beliefs.

Different Types of Ensure Shakes

Older adult women complementing their meals with Ensure meal replacement shakes

Ensure offers a range of flavors and formulations, catering to different tastes and dietary needs.

Different types of Ensure shakes include:

  • Ensure Original: This is the Original Ensure meal replacement shake that promises balanced nutrition with nutrients to support immune health. Older adults can add this to their daily diet to give their body the complete nutrients it needs. Available flavors are milk chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, dark chocolate, butter pecan, coffee latte, and banana nut.
  • Ensure Plus: This shake has more protein compared to Ensure Original. With 16 grams, it’s perfect for seniors who want to gain weight or maintain their weight. Available flavors are milk chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, dark chocolate, and butter pecan.
  • Ensure Complete: This contains 30g of protein including other nutrients to support bone, muscle, heart, digestive and immune health. Available flavors are milk chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
  • Ensure Max Protein: With 30 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, 1.5 grams of fat, and 150 calories, this shake can help build muscle, curb hunger, and may be suitable for seniors looking to lose some weight. Other variations are the Ensure High Protein and Ensure Plant-based Protein.

Other types of Ensure nutritional drink shakes include Ensure Surgery Immunonutrition Shake, Ensure Pre-surgery Clear Carbohydrate Shake, Ensure Enlive, Ensure Clear, Ensure Compact, and Ensure Original Nutrition Powder.

Benefits of Ensure Shakes

Seniors can derive the following benefits from consuming Ensure dietary supplements.

Meeting nutritional requirements

If your loved one is finding it challenging to meet their nutritional requirements maybe because of eating difficulties or other health challenges, Ensure shakes may provide the adequate nutrients for balanced nutrition.

Supporting weight management

Mobility issues and isolation can lead to weight gain. Whereas, eating and swallowing difficulties and loss of appetite can result in weight loss. Ensure shakes can be useful in supplying your loved one’s body with the right nutrients for a healthy weight.

Assisting muscle health

Active couple walking their dog - Ensure nutritional supplement

As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass — which gives us the energy and strength to perform daily tasks and aid overall immune health. Eating the right amount of protein helps your body build and repair muscles. Ensure shakes are good sources of protein to maintain your loved one’s muscle health.

Offers support before and after surgery

The Ensure Surgery Immunonutrition Shake and Ensure Pre-surgery Clear Carbohydrate Shake are designed to help individuals prepare for, and support immune health and recovery after surgery.

Convenient snack

If your loved one is experiencing occasional appetite loss, or just needs a convenient snack between meals, Ensure shakes can be beneficial as they are ready to drink and have a long shelf-life.

Ensure Shakes as Meal Replacements

Can ensure shakes be used as meal replacements for older adults?

While it can be used on some occasions, it’s not advisable to replace all meals with shakes. It’s best to consider the dietary needs of your loved one and consult with a nutritionist, dietitian, or health care professional to determine the quantity of Ensure shakes that can be consumed in a day.

For example, Ensure can be used as a replacement for occasional skipped meals, and not regularly.

If your loved one has had dental surgery, and finds it difficult to chew or swallow, they can have Ensure shakes to provide the right nutrients until they recover enough to have solid foods.

Additionally, you can complement Ensure shakes with other meals, or add them to recipes, as part of a meal, and not as a replacement.

Incorporating Ensure Shakes into Daily Routines

Senior couple enjoying nutritious meal plus ensure dietary drinks at home

To incorporate Ensure shakes into your or your loved one’s daily routine, consider these tips:

  • Breakfast Substitute or Supplement: Replace your loved one’s usual breakfast with an Ensure shake or have it alongside their meal for additional nutrition.
  • Mid-Morning or Afternoon Snack: Your beloved senior can drink an Ensure shake between meals to keep energy levels up and avoid unhealthy snacking.
  • Pre or Post-Workout: Your senior can consume an Ensure shake before or after your exercise routine to help with muscle recovery and energy replenishment.
  • Meal Replacement for Weight Management: Use an Ensure shake to replace one meal per day if your loved one is aiming to manage their weight, ensuring they still get the necessary nutrients.
  • Evening Treat: Have an Ensure shake in the evening as a dessert alternative that provides both nutrition and satisfies your loved one’s sweet tooth.

Be sure to follow the recommended serving size and frequency and get advice from a professional as individual nutritional needs may vary.

Creative Recipes Using Ensure Shakes

Thinking of how you can make Ensure shakes more flavorful and enjoyable for your loved one? Consider using them as a base for many creative recipes. Here are a few you can get started with.

  1. Ensure Berry Smoothie: Blend an Ensure vanilla shake with a cup of mixed berries, a banana, and a handful of spinach for a nutritious smoothie.
  2. Ensure Pancakes: Use Ensure instead of milk in your pancake batter for an extra nutritious breakfast. Add in some banana slices or blueberries for added flavor.
  3. Ensure Chia Pudding: Mix an Ensure shake with chia seeds and let it sit overnight. Top with fresh fruit for a healthy and filling snack or breakfast.
  4. Ensure Oatmeal Boost: Prepare your loved one’s morning oatmeal with an Ensure shake instead of water or milk. Stir in some cinnamon, and nutmeg, and top with nuts for a tasty and nutritious start to your day.
  5. Ensure Muffins: Substitute Ensure for the liquid in your favorite muffin recipe. This works particularly well with bran or oatmeal muffins.
  6. Ensure Frozen Pops: Pour an Ensure shake into popsicle molds and freeze. You can add pieces of fruit before freezing for an added treat.
  7. Ensure Hot Cocoa: Heat a Chocolate Ensure shake for a warm, comforting beverage that’s more nutritious than traditional hot cocoa.
  8. Ensure Banana Bread: Use an Ensure shake in place of milk in your banana bread recipe for added nutrition and moisture.


Ensure shakes are beneficial to older adults as they are a good source of nutrients to help your loved one meet their nutritional requirements, manage weight, and aid muscle health. It could help with the health concerns of the elderly, particularly combating malnutrition and promoting oral well-being.

To make Ensure more enjoyable, you can get creative by using it as a base for a variety of recipes. However, be sure to consult with your loved one dietician or health care professional before adding Ensure shakes to your loved one’s diet.

If you have been asking “How much does ensure cost”, a case of 16 can range from $25 to $39 depending on where you’re purchasing from; It could also be cheaper. You can purchase from your local grocery marts like Target and Walmart, or online, from places like Amazon.

Need a dietician or nutritionist for the right recommendations on using Ensure shakes, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We also provide caregiving services if your loved one needs an extra pair of hands with personal care, housekeeping, or nursing care.


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