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 that can supplement your health. These nutritional shakes include the following:
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. If you're seeking to keep a low-calorie diet, protein nurtitrion drinks are typically a good option.
There is a lot to learn when it comes to protein. So generally speaking, what is protein and what constitutes high-quality protein? Protein is made up of amino acid chains. Amino acids can be understood as the building blocks for protein.
There are two types of proteins found in milk: whey and casein. Today we're going to take a better look at whey protein. Whey is a by-product of the transformation process of cow's milk into cheese. It is known as the ultimate protein source because it has a strong source of branched chain amino acids. Amino acids are particularly helpful in repairing torn muscle tissue and building new muscle tissues.
You can find whey protein in protein powder. This does not mean you should only get your necessary protein from supplements and protein powders. Getting the majoirty of your daily protein from meats and fish is the most effective because you still consume essentail viatmins and nutrients.
When to Drink Protein Drinks
It is best to drink nutritional shakes or protein drinks after you exercise. This is because your body will naturally begin to heal muscle immediately following a workout or physical exercise.
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. Furthermore, energy drinks often contain a large amount of artificial sweetners. Artificial sweeteners in energy drinks include things like sucralose (splenda), stevia, saccharin, and aspartame.
Diabetic drinks focus on helping you regulate diabetes. They can't cure it, but they can lessen its effects.
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. If used incorrectly, it is possible that you might slow your metabolism which results in weight gain. With that said, make sure you follow the directions and use weight loss drinks in conjunction with exercise and proper dieting.
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.
Nutritional drinks can either be taken as a side with a meal or as a replacement for the meal itself. When they do replace meals, they can reduce the burden of needing to prepare food. With this in mind, it is not a good idea to use nutritional drinks to replace every meal.
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.
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.
NUTRITION FOR BOOST
It comes in a variety of flavors including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
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:
NUTRITION FOR ENSURE
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.
Glucerna is focused around helping people with Type-2 Diabetes, providing a low-sugar and high-protein option.
Glucerna is not for sole-source nutrition or tube feeding. It does provide the following nutritional values in every 8 oz bottle:
NUTRITION FOR GLUCERNA
Glucerna comes in vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, chocolate caramel, and rich chocolate.
Glucerna is also available in bars.
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.
NUTRITION FOR NUTRISYSTEM
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 6 different flavors that you can buy, and you can see the nutritional values of those flavors here:
NUTRITION FOR MEDIFAST
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:
NUTRITION FOR IDEALSHAKE
IdealShake protein shakes come in a variety of 17 flavors including: Chocolate, Chocolate Cream Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Super, Cinnamon Bun, Cookies 'N Cream, Key Lime, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mocha, Orange Cream, Salted Caramel, Strawberry, Vanilla, Vanilla Chai, Vanilla Super, Vanilly, and Variety.
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:
NUTRITION FROM HUEL
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 4 flavors available: Gluten Free - Unflavored Unsweetened, Gluten Free - Vanilla, Unflavored Unsweetened, and Vanilla.
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.
NUTRITION FROM MYOPLEX
Myoplex comes in 4 flavors: Berry Jacked, Chiseled Chocolate, Muscle Mocha, and Cinnamon Swole.
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.