Nutrition drinks are an excellent way of adding vitamins, minerals, and other healthy substances to your body.

However, just drinking one a day won't necessarily provide the nutrition your body needs. Believe it or not there are certain do's and don'ts when it comes to using nutrition drinks.

While these are the best nutrition drinks for aging adults, they are also very nutritious for anyone looking to get more nutrition, protein, minerals and vitamins while lowering their sugar and calorie intake.

How To Correctly Use Nutrition Drinks

Nutrition drinks can provide significant benefits, but only when you use them correctly. The first thing you should do is look at the label to determine the proper use of a given drink.

Some nutrition drinks are meal replacements and are meant to provide total nutrition for one meal. Other drinks are supplements and are intended to be taken alongside other foods.

You shouldn't consume more than one nutrition drink per-day unless directed to by a doctor or the label suggests taking multiple times a day. Or unless the drink is meant to be the only thing you consume each day as a meal replacement. But keep in mind not all nutrition drinks are meal replacements.

Kinds Of Nutrition Drinks

There are several common types of nutrition and meal replacement shakes, including:

Protein Nutrition Drinks 

Protein shakes are designed to provide nutrients and are especially helpful if you live an active lifestyle and want to build or maintain muscle

Energy Drinks 

Energy drinks are meant to help you feel awake and energetic throughout the day. Remember to pace yourself - even if you feel great, you shouldn't try to act beyond your abilities.

Diabetic Drinks

Diabetic drinks focus on helping you regulate diabetes. They can't cure it, but they can lessen its effects.

Weight Loss

As the name suggests, these drinks are focused around helping you lose weight. Few drinks can accomplish this all by themselves - instead, they're meant to be used as part of a balanced diet and exercise plan.

Elderly Nutrition Requirements

Seniors often have special nutrition requirements. Aside from needing fewer calories than younger people, you may have medical conditions that impact your diet and the overall functioning of your body.

Most nutrition drinks provide a dense source of multiple nutrients, making them an ideal way to get the nutrients your body needs in as few calories as possible.

How Nutrition Drinks Help

Nutrition drinks help by providing an easy way to get the nutrition that might otherwise be spread out in many different foods. Also, the liquid form of the drinks is often easier for seniors to consume than solid foods.

These drinks can either be taken as a side with a meal or as a replacement for the meal itself - and when they do replace meals, they can reduce the burden of needing to prepare food.

8 Nutrition Drinks And Shakes

The following are eight of the best drinks and shakes currently on the market. Most of these come in several flavors, with chocolate and vanilla being the most popular.

1. Boost Original Complete Nutritional Drink

boost nutritional drink 24 pack

Boost Drink is a series of nutrition drinks, with options covering protein, complete nutrition, and weight loss needs.

Most flavors of their 8 oz bottles come packed with the following nutritional values.


  • 26 vitamins and minerals
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 10 grams of high-quality of protein

It comes in a variety of flavors including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

2. Ensure Original Nutrition Shake

ensure original nutrition drink

Ensure's shakes are a gluten-free, lactose intolerance-friendly series of complete meal replacement shakes.

You can take 1-2 shake daily to improve your strength and energy, and each 8 oz bottle includes these nutrition features:


  • 220 calories 
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 26 vitamins and minerals

As complete nutrition drinks, Ensure is suitable for most seniors. It comes in 7 different flavors including: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, coffee latte, banana nut, and dark chocolate.

3. Glucerna Shake

Glucerna is focused around helping people with Type-2 Diabetes, providing a low-sugar and high-protein option.

glucerna shake

Glucerna is not for sole-source nutrition or tube feeding. It does provide the following nutritional values in every 8 oz bottle:


  • 180 calories
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 10 grams of protein

Glucerna comes in vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, chocolate caramel, and rich chocolate. 

Glucerna is also available in bars.

4. Nutrisystem Shakes

nutrisystem nutricrush

Nutrisystem's line of protein shakes are focused on helping with weight loss and feeling full for a more extended period.

It helps to cut down on hunger pangs and lets you focus on the rest of your life. They have ready to drink bottles or shake mixes that you can easily make.

Every packet serving provides the following nutritional values from their powdered shakes.


  • 150 calories
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 13 grams of protein

Nutrisystem shakes come in vanilla, chocolate, mocha caramel, along with on-the-go bars and ready to drink bottles.

5. Medifast

medifast shakes variety pack

Medifast is part of a medically-supervised weight loss program. Most people who use these shakes are morbidly obese and need to lose a significant amount of weight. So you may find the other options to be a better choice if you don't fall into that category.

There are 5 different flavors that you can buy a in a variety pack, and you can see the nutritional values of those flavors here:


  • 25 vitamins and minerals
  • 100-110 calories
  • 14 grams of protein

Medifast shakes come in strawberry, mocha, french vanilla, orange cream and dutch chocolate.

6. IdealShape IdealShake

idealshake vanilla nutrition drink

IdealShake is another set of weight loss shakes from IdealShape.

While it's more affordable than Medifast, it's also meant for people who are closer to a healthy weight to begin with that want to control their hunger.

It comes in a powder mix with 30 servings, and each serving is packed with this nutrition:


  • 100-110 calories
  • 2g or less of sugar
  • 20-21 vitamins and minerals

IdealShake protein shakes come in a variety of 17 flavors including: key lime, vanilla, cookies and cream, and many more! 

7. Huel Starter Kit

huel starter kit nutrition

Unlike the other options on this list, Huel is a nutritionally complete shake.

Note that this does not mean it's nutritionally complete for seniors with special dietary needs - but most will find it more than suitable.

They have a macro split of 37% of energy from carbohydrates, 30% from fats, 30% from proteins, and 3% of fiber. In a 100 gram serving of vanilla you can get these nutritional values:


  • 29.6 grams of protein
  • 13.2 grams of fat
  • 7.9 grams of fiber

This means that a day's supply has all of the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats you need, as well as at least 100% of all essential vitamins and minerals.

Huel has 3 flavors available: vanilla, unflavored/unsweetened, and gluten free vanilla.

8. EAS Myoplex Shred Protein Shake

myoplex protein drink

Shred caffeinated protein drinks are especially high in protein, offering 42 grams of it in each 16 ounce shake.

Aside from helping with muscle mass, that's more than enough protein to ensure you'll feel full for quite some time.


  • 1 gram of sugar
  • 210 calories
  • 42 grams of protein

Myoplex comes in 4 flavors: berry, chocolate, cinnamon, and mocha.

Other Meal Replacement Alternatives

Nutrition drinks are one of the easiest ways to get the nutrients you need, but they're certainly not the only way.

Other options include meal replacement powder (which is usually mixed with a liquid like water or milk) and meal replacement bars (a solid variant, and somewhat dense to fit in everything you need).

As always, it's best to follow your doctor's recommendations if you have any medical condition that impacts your dietary needs.


  1. My daughter told me to try the Ensure nutrition drinks because my medication was causing me to lose a lot of weight. I really like the strawberry and chocolate ones the best. They don’t have that chalky taste like some other shakes do.

    • Thanks for sharing your feedback, Dianne! I’m really happy to hear you chose to use Ensure to help with the weight loss from your medication. The strawberry is delicious too.

  2. I’ve been using NutriSystem Shakes for about three months now and I just love how they taste. I’m starting to lose some weight and I don’t have all my cravings for sweets like I used to. Chocolate is my favorite flavor.

    • I’m really glad you’re enjoying the NutriSystem shakes and it’s also helping with your cravings for sweets. We really appreciate your feedback, Susan!

  3. I’ve tried a lot of nutrition shakes and Ensure to me is the best. I like that I have more energy now and the price is pretty reasonable when I compared them to other nutrition drinks.

    • That’s awesome you are enjoying your Ensure shakes and you have more energy too. Thanks so much for your great feedback, Brenda!

  4. My wife decided to start using Medifast to lose about 50 pounds and I tried it along with her. So far she’s doing pretty good and I’ve lost almost 20 pounds myself. We really like all the different flavors they offer. I would definitely recommend Medifast to anyone looking to lose that extra weight.

    • It’s awesome to hear that you’re both losing some weight and enjoy the Medifast shakes. Thanks for sharing your feedback with us, Brandon!

  5. After my dad’s surgery Boost Nutritional Drinks really helped him. He wasn’t able to keep much food down so he started drinking Boost and he did really well with them. We just keep them cold and he loves them that way.

    • Hi Rena, I’m really glad your dad liked the Boost drinks after his surgery. They are a lot better when they’re cold. Thanks for the great feedback, Rena!


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