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Nutritional Drinks


Malawry
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For various reasons, I'm considering trying out some nutritional drinks. Not the "energy drinks" like Red Bull, the things that supposedly can replace a meal like Boost or Ensure.

They're super-expensive, so I thought I'd ask which ones are least offensive before I make an investment. I don't think I'm any pickier than other food nerds out there, but I am allergic to strawberries and think a chocolate flavor sounds most appealing.

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My mom likes the Glucerna product - its targeted to diabetics. Might not be what you need.

Do you have the option of buying a variety of single cans at a drugstore, and trying a few to see what you like?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Kouign Aman, I don't think I've seen single cans for sale around here, so I'd like to narrow it down to just a couple of selections before going to buy.

In my case, getting calories into my system is the most important thing, and I am sensitive to artificial sweeteners anyway, so something for diabetics may not make the cut. I actually need the simple carbs of sugar right now.

ETA: I am open to trying a powder if it's good.

Edited by Malawry (log)
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Good luck. The only place I've seen single cans is at RiteAid or Longs drugstores. I'll check the ingredients list but the power may be your best route because you can overwhelm the flavor with a flavored syrup if need be.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I'm told that a product like Carnation Instant Breakfast, with added protein powder and ice cream, all shook up, is more palatable and higher calorie than the Ensures and Boosts.

Margaret McArthur

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Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but awhile back, I used to make protein shakes for breakfast. Best brand I could find was Spirutein. I seem to recall their chocolate peanut butter and cookies and cream being rather tasty. They come in a ton of flavors and you can usually get them at health food stores (definately GNC) - maybe even whole foods.

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FWIW, the only Carnation Instant Breakfast I ever tasted was good - like chocolate milk. Its readily available, and its not that expensive.

Ok, I'm really not trying to push this product (Glucerna). Its just that its the only one anyone I know uses, and I got curious as to its contents.

Here's a link to the Glucerna snackshake ingredients (far right on screen, click on little box that says "ingredients" above the nutritional info). The ingredient list is as long as my arm, and hidden in there may be things (such as specific sweetners) any given person doesnt tolerate well.

To summarize, in 140 calories (1 can) there are

45 cal from fat (~4 g),

7 g of protein (~30 cal) and

19 g assorted carbohydrates (the rest of the calories).

That is equivalent to a pretty balanced meal:

calories from fat / protein / carbs = 32% / 20% / 48%

If it does work for you, the advantage is that Costco sells it by the flat.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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140 calories is not a meal........

the most expensive component of that drink is the protein 7g.....

an egg has 7g of protein......

the cost of the can is higher than the cost of the ingredients........

no thanks,,,,,,,,

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I'm right there with ya, JEL, but then again, I dont pass out or suffer tissue damage if I miss a meal, nor am I often too nauseated to deal with food despite my body's need for calories.

I think the calories are right in line with the 'snack' designation.

How many calories, protein etc do you estimate are in the drinks you mix up from the powder you prefer?

Just for comparison, I checked out the Carnation Instant breakie, ready to drink Chocolate flavor. There are these cute little boxes, or it comes in bottles. This info is for the boxes (much easier to schlep around).

350 Cal per

of which

5 gm Fat (50 cals)

13 g protein (~50 cals)

40 g Carbs (the remaining cals).

Thats Fat / Protein / carbs = ~ 14% / 14 % / 72%. A bit low on fat percentage-wise, but if easy-to-digest calories are the goal, this does ok.

A general rule of thumb is 10% of dietary calories comes from protein. More wont hurt (helps if you are an athlete), so its ok there.

The ingredient list is slightly shorter than that for Glucerna. It can be accessed by clicking the orange bar near the middle of the screen (it says "nutrition facts and ingredients").

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I had Carnation Instant Breakfast as a child and liked it (my grandmother was trying to fatten me up), so I had mom find some for me at the store last night as a starting point. I am drinking a glass of it right now, chocolate flavor, mixed with whole milk, and it's staying down ok as long as I sip it rather than swallowing. So that's a good start.

Additional info as to why I am seeking this sort of thing: I have breast cancer, and the chemo drugs are making me super-nauseous--I'm yarking quite a lot too. I can get down liquids far more easily than solids. I am eating ice cream and milkshakes too, but I wanted something with more nutritional profile if possible. Protein is especially good. I was told not to take a pill-type multivitamin so something with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals is also good.

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I had Carnation Instant Breakfast as a child and liked it (my grandmother was trying to fatten me up), so I had mom find some for me at the store last night as a starting point. I am drinking a glass of it right now, chocolate flavor, mixed with whole milk, and it's staying down ok as long as I sip it rather than swallowing. So that's a good start.

Additional info as to why I am seeking this sort of thing: I have breast cancer, and the chemo drugs are making me super-nauseous--I'm yarking quite a lot too. I can get down liquids far more easily than solids. I am eating ice cream and milkshakes too, but I wanted something with more nutritional profile if possible. Protein is especially good. I was told not to take a pill-type multivitamin so something with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals is also good.

Jell-o may also work for you. You may be able to add protein powder to the Jell-o mix for added nutritional value. I've been on a clear liquid diet for the last few weeks myself and Jell-o is one of the few things that I've been able to keep down. I hope that you can find more things that work for you.

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2 pro complex shakes / day in whole milk. a bananna in the shakes, and a dab of Ca from somewhere else will get uou @ or above 100% of your daily requirements for about 4 bucks.........

my sister in law went through a cancer scare w/ lymphoma not long ago....

she found she felt much better if she pushed her body to get as much physical excersize as she could bear......walk, and walk some more if you can......

she's clean now, but that can always change......

God bless................john

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Just for you I dug into the memories of my Ex who had a very physically demanding job...he used Nutrament between meals

ooooh comes in dulce de leche now

http://www.novartisnutrition.com/us/produc...&source=summary

get well soon

tracey

Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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I don't know if this link will work, but you can get free samples of Ensure from their website. It might take a few weeks for delivery, though, so I don't know how much that would help you.

If you do a search for "free sample" and "meal replacement" or "protein drink" or something like that, you could probably come up with more. That would help you taste them before you have to shell out any money.

I don't know if your mother will be helping you indefinitely, but if not, a ready-made beverage might be better for you than a powdered mix. When you're really not feeling well, if no one else is around, you might not have the energy to mix up a drink. Opening a can would be easier, so it might be good for you to have both kinds (mixes as well as canned).

ETA: Your doctor or nutritionist may also be able to get some free samples for you.

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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I used to take protein suplements when I was weight lifting. I find the flavour profile pretty similar, and my conclusion was that I got sick of them all after short while.

My strategy was to get chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla powder. Then I would have the three base flavours, plus chocolate-strawberry, strawberry-vanilla, and chocolate vanilla. I know you are allergic to strawberry, but maybe a similar strategy would help?

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Malawry....

I use Glucerna, because I have blood sugar issues, after clear liquids (I explain below.)

Since you don't have blood sugar issues, I offer the following personal experiences, knowing that YMMV.

I hated Ensure. Chalky, thick - even when well chilled. Wish I'd kept the remainder of the six-pack I bought, I would have sent you a can before you tried it for yourself. (You may love it!)

When I am in the worst days of post-chemo, milk products (including Ensure and Carnation Instant Breakfast) are a definite no-no for me. If you're not keeping things down, dairy is not the best choice IMO. :angry:

I go water (with a touch of lime) for a day or so ... then clear liquids - veg, chik, beef stock. Homemade, great; "out of the box" - OK. Poured into a coffee cup, heated in the microwave, sipped slowly.

That gets you something warm in the stomach, and some protein.

Next phase is adding orzo or achini de pepe (sp?)... Some carbs.

Next step may be graduating to real food or fortifying soup with bits of soft vegs, meat... etc.

If you're really looking for simple carbs... Seven Up/Sprite (non diet) gets you that. If you can (or someone else can) make your broth for you, add lots of veg when simmering and either strain out or thoroughly blend in - It's still gentle enough on your stomach if you don't over-do the fiber.

I know everyone's experience is different, this has just worked for me.

Good luck.

J.

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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I had Carnation Instant Breakfast as a child and liked it (my grandmother was trying to fatten me up), so I had mom find some for me at the store last night as a starting point. I am drinking a glass of it right now, chocolate flavor, mixed with whole milk, and it's staying down ok as long as I sip it rather than swallowing. So that's a good start.

Additional info as to why I am seeking this sort of thing: I have breast cancer, and the chemo drugs are making me super-nauseous--I'm yarking quite a lot too. I can get down liquids far more easily than solids. I am eating ice cream and milkshakes too, but I wanted something with more nutritional profile if possible. Protein is especially good. I was told not to take a pill-type multivitamin so something with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals is also good.

One of the benefits of ensure is that often you can get a prescription for it from your doctor which makes it insurable under benefits. Ok, that's in Canada, your mileage may vary in the States. My brother drank ensure all the way through his chemo treatments, and my mother drank it when she could not eat because of a huge hiatius hernia.

Having said that, I prefer Carnation Instant breakfast. You may want to add a little protein powder to it as well for additional protein. The kind you'd use when you go to work out at the gym. And I agree, chocolate is the best of the flavours.

Marlene

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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but awhile back, I used to make protein shakes for breakfast. Best brand I could find was Spirutein. I seem to recall their chocolate peanut butter and cookies and cream being rather tasty. They come in a ton of flavors and you can usually get them at health food stores (definately GNC) - maybe even whole foods.

Mal-a few years back I was having the same type of health problems (but not for the same reason :() I pretty much lived off of spirutein for a few months. I'd blend it up with some milk and a banana or jsut drink it straight. They have the powdered version-both in the big ole can but also in individual packets which made eating at work easier. There were also jusice box sized drinks that were already blended. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of using a powdered drink but in the end it tasted better-and I think had more nutritional value-than Ensure.

I hope that helps :wub:

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Hubby was put on Ensure and simply could not take it - he described it as trying to drink jello pudding! We were able to get some of it down him if it was diluted with whole milk but he tolerated smoothies fortified with Carnation Instant Breakfast a whole lot better. We also tried Boost but he didn't like that either. Given the expense of these drinks I suggest you try the Carnation Instant Breakfast added to smoothies or milkshakes first. Get well soon!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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  • 2 weeks later...

john has tried both ensure and boost and could tolerate the boost better than the ensure. now we also have switched to a protein powder that is blended either with a soy or rice ice cream or with the lactose free milk as a supplement to his meals - at least the ones he can eat.

if you find something that does work for you let me know and i'll keep an eye out for coupons....

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I've been doing a simple diet plan using Boost for six months and I think it tastes pretty good. The chocolate and the strawberery, anyway. I gag on Slim Fast in cans, I think the bottles make the Boost taste better and it's only like 40 calories more than Slim Fast. I've lost 30lbs doing this.

Boost was just bought by Nestles. I suppose Nestles Crunch and Butterfinger flavors are just around the corner.

I doubt any of these things taste as good as Instant Breakfast because they are trying to be fully nutritional etc.

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Thanks, everybody, for the tips.

Fortunately, I switched chemotherapy regimens, and the new medication "cocktail" does not cause nausea! Hooray! So I'm "over the hump" on things for now, and never really got around to exploring beyond Carnation Instant Breakfast in the meantime.

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