Globally, the demand for nutritional supplements are growing at an explosive pace. Lifestyle, and a clear lack of time for meal preparation have created the need for meal replacement products. Changed dietary preferences and improper nutrition have made it necessary for including supplements to make up for the lost nutrition from wholesome meals. Additionally, individuals with special needs for extra nutrition, either in sport, or for weight management take to supplements. Most products are relatively safe for consumption, but it is necessary to be fully aware of the ingredients and the possible adverse effects from inferior quality products. This compilation presents an overview, along with a list of possible ensure drink side effects to help create greater awareness of the product.

Why is it necessary to assess nutritional supplements closely?

Health care products that are under the purview of regulatory bodies including the FDA, are relatively safe, as the products go through rigorous testing and standardization before approval. Manufacturing facilities conform to certain standards, and processes are in place as per laid down protocols. However, nutritional supplements do not come under the same stringent regulatory overview. Consequently, there is a possibility of processes and ingredients getting compromised in the pursuit of profits. While nutritional products and supplements needs to conform to GMP, which is a standard by itself, it is also necessary to learn a little more about the ingredients


Why do patients and healthy individuals consume ensure drink?

Ensure enjoys a global reputation as a standard product, and is presently available in various formulations and presentations. Different variations in the product are designed to meet special needs of users. Patients are often required to consume diets that are rich in protein, while certain ailments may make tube feeding necessary. Ensure is also available in a form that makes it suitable for tube feeding. The purpose of tube feeding is to deliver nutrients to an individual who is unable to eat through the mouth for one of many reasons. Tube feeding is intended to meet energy requirements of patients, to deliver fiber, protein and also to help patients with lactose intolerance.

Nutritional profile of ensure food products 

Dietary preferences of individuals of particular faiths preclude the consumption of certain types of food. Jews require food that is considered as kosher, while Muslims do not consume food that is not considered as halal. One of the reasons for the popularity of Ensure is the ability to meet the requirements of users of all faiths. Additionally, a significant percentage of individuals in the US require food products that are free from gluten. Ensure, as a gluten free product, finds greater acceptance, especially considering the various categories available to meet requirements of different users.

What are the different categories of Ensure products?

Ensure products are available in categories so as to meet the nutritional requirements of most users. Targeted nutrition products are intended for individuals in sport who wish to develop or focus on ensuring enhanced intake of particular nutrients. Targeted nutrition is also recommended for patients who need additional sources of nutrition, through supplements to make up for imbalanced nutrition. Complete nutrition is more of a generic product for users desirous of a supplement for nutritional requirements. Advanced nutrition is another focused or specialized nutrition product that is intended to deliver desired outcomes through the right nutrient intake.

Therapeutic nutrition is more of a healthcare product, for patients either recuperating from an ailment, procedure, or suffering from an inability to consume food normally. This form of nutrition is also intended for patients who are scheduled to undergo procedures. Patients suffering from digestive problems or individuals with bone and muscle nutrition related problems are recommended advanced nutrition products, and not therapeutic nutrition products. This category of products may also be tube for patients, with Ensure RTH positioned as the ideal product for tube feeding.

How does ensure deliver results to users? What is the mechanism of action?

The outcomes of Ensure products are primarily attributed to the ingredients.  All Ensure food products are generally contain 24 minerals and vitamins. Depending on the actual Ensure product, it is also possible for an individual to use the product as alternative a regular meal. Ensure is also taken between meals to deliver additional nutrition, as required. The carbohydrates in Ensure help individuals with required energy levels. The presence of Canola and corn oil provide fatty acids and energy, giving the supplement a well-rounded nutrient profile. For instance, alpha-linoleic acid is good for heart health, apart from the anti-oxidant properties.

Ensure contains water that works as an ingredient necessary for binding different ingredients. The presence of water helps meet the hydration needs, and importantly, water helps individuals on weight management programs. Water has proven benefits in weight management programs, and is therefore vital in helping deliver desired outcomes.

Why does the product come with the possibility of side effects?

As outlined earlier, the product is relatively safe, and its use as therapeutic nutrition is itself a testimony of its efficacy and safety. However, ensure drink side effects are a possibility, due to one of various reasons. Carbohydrates in the supplement deliver energy, but can also result in possible weight gain. Corn maltodextrin, is a sugar and can have the effect of contributing to weight gain, especially if other contributing factors combine with the frequent intake of higher levels of sugar.

The most common, possible unwanted outcome is weight gain, mainly due to the sugar content in specific flavors. Eight ounces of certain categories or flavors of Ensure may contain as much as 5 teaspoons of sugar.  Unwanted effects include the possibility of increased sodium intake, especially if Ensure is combined with other supplements. Athletes or sportspersons are known to combine, multiple supplements in an effort to achieve better results and this may end up in higher sodium intake. It is necessary to monitor intake so as to restrict sodium levels to the desired or safe levels.

What is the average number of calories in Ensure products?

It is essential to be aware of the number of calories in nutritional supplements. This will help in monitoring calorie intake and help in weight management. The actual number of calories in Ensure products differ, and are determined by the flavoring. The range could be anywhere between 150 calories to 350 calories, and the average bottle of Ensure also contains up to 19 grams of carbohydrates per serving. While this may not appear to be on the higher side, other dietary substances also contribute to carbohydrates intake. Consequently, there is the possibility of the total intake exceeding the recommended daily average intake of 300 grams of carbohydrates.

This is especially true in the case of individuals who may consume other nutritional supplements in addition to Ensure. In every serving size of 8 ounces, an average of 16 grams of protein are delivered. This is effectively almost close to one third the of the daily requirement of proteins of an average weight individual. For every kilogram of body weight, the ideal intake of protein is 1 gram, with the requirement slightly increasing for sportspersons indulging in heavy or intense training.

In addition to the above, the presence of omega 3 fatty acids in ensure products make it well rounded in terms of nutrient value. However, it is important to monitor the daily intake so as to prevent any possible adverse effect arising from excessive intake. Users are advised to work out the combined total intake of calories, proteins, carbs from Ensure, other products and dietary sources, so as to keep consumption within the desired levels.

What are the possible undesirable effects?

Ensure products like most products come with the possibility of undesirable effects. This little compilation of ensure drink side effects is not exhaustive in nature, but highlight commonly reported effects. It is also important to add that the effects may not necessarily affect all users. Among users who experience unwanted effects, there is the possibility of some experience mild or moderate effects that resolve quickly while some may experience stronger or adverse effects that may be persistent in nature. This depends on the individual’s health condition, and may also be the result of medications or interactions with other supplements.

The most commonly reported effects include flatulence. This is primarily as a result of the sudden surge in calories, which may cause flatulence. Tis may impact individuals with digestive health issues more than individuals with good digestive health. Similarly, users may experience constipation, which is also attributed to the sudden increase in nutrients and lesser motility.  Nausea is another feeling that is frequently reported during the initial stages of intake of Ensure. As the body adjusts to increased nutrient intake, these effects resolve naturally.  Vomiting is another possible outcome during the initial stages of taking ensure supplements.

Stronger effects include a possible change in heart beat rate. Tis may also resolve naturally, but will require some medical intervention if the condition persists. Patients with existing cardiovascular conditions are to seek intervention at the earliest to prevent aggravation. Shortness of breath is another possible unwanted effect linked to Ensure products. Cramps in the muscles is another indication of an unwanted effect of the supplement. This is not a frequent or common occurrence, but is limited to a small section of users. In sharp contrast to the possibility of constipation, users may also end up with bouts of diarrhea due to indigestion of the supplements.

Users who experience stronger effects such as shortness of breath, and any change in pulse are expected to seek medical evaluation and assistance. A note of caution to individuals on medications to control blood sugar levels – there is a possibility of a spike in blood sugar levels depending on the flavor, and this may in turn make medications less effective. Therefore, it is necessary to seek medical advice and follow a slightly altered intake program.

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