You can add vitamins, minerals, and other healthy substances to your body by drinking the best nutrition drinks.
Drinking one a day won’t necessarily supply your body with the nutrition it needs. If you’re going to use nutritious drinks, there are certain rules to follow.
The best nutrition drinks for seniors are also very healthy and nutritious for anyone looking to increase their nutrition, protein, minerals, and vitamins while lowering their calories and sugar intake.
Editor’s Recommendation: Best Nutritional Drinks For Elderly
8 Best Nutrition Drinks For Seniors
Here are eight of the best nutritional drinks and shakes available today. There are many flavors of these, but chocolate and vanilla are the most popular.
1. Boost Original Complete Nutritional Drink
- BOOST Original: This drink is designed to provide nutritional energy with 240 nutrient-rich calories and B-vitamins to help convert food to energy, plus 10g protein and 27 vitamins and minerals for balanced nutrition
- Key Nutrients: Featuring vitamins C and D, zinc, iron and selenium, key nutrients for immune support; Now with 25 percent less sugars than the previous formula with only 15g per serving
- Nutritional Support: BOOST Nutritional drinks give your body protein, vitamins, and calories to help support normal energy; Enhance your nutrition with protein shakes and drinks in chocolate, vanilla, and fruit flavors
- Great Taste, No Artificial Flavors: BOOST Drinks have the nutrition you need and the taste you love; BOOST Original is made with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners
- BOOST Family Of Nutritional Drinks: Whether you want extra protein, less sugars, more calories, fewer calories, or simply great nutrition for everyday living, we've got a nutritional shake that fits your needs
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. It comes in a variety of flavors including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
Vanilla custard, which is a favorite of mine, tasted just like the Very Vanilla flavor. Even though this beverage is not low-carb or low-sugar, the good news is that it’s very tasty thanks to the sugar and artificial flavor.
You may not enjoy Very Vanilla if you don’t like sweet and custardy flavors – after all, the taste is subjective.
NUTRITION FOR BOOST
- 26 vitamins and minerals
- 3 grams of fiber
- 10 grams of high-quality of protein
2. Ensure Original Nutrition Shake
- STRENGTH & ENERGY: Nutrition scientifically designed for Strength & Energy
- COMPLETE NUTRITION: Each Ensure Original Shake has 220 calories and 9 grams of protein, to provide you with complete nutrition at just over $1 per serving
- GREAT TASTE: A great tasting way to get protein and antioxidants (Vitamins C & E) every day
- Suitable for lactose intolerance and gluten-free (Not for people with galactosemia)
- Eligible to be purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
Ensure’s shakes are a gluten-free, lactose intolerance-friendly series of complete meal replacement shakes. You can take 1-2 shakes daily to improve your strength and energy, and each 8 oz bottle includes these nutrition features
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.
With 9g of high-quality protein, Ensure Original nutrition shakes provide a complete, balanced diet that is easy and delicious to consume. A protein shake with vitamins A and D, zinc, and antioxidants (vitamin C & E) supports the immune system.
Lactose intolerance* and gluten sensitivity do not affect this nutritional drink. If you are looking for a tasty snack or meal replacement, Ensure is sure to satisfy you.
NUTRITION FOR ENSURE
- 220 calories
- 9 grams of protein
- 26 vitamins and minerals
3. Glucerna Shake
- DELICIOUS TASTE TO HELP CURB CRAVINGS: Making a smart choice can still be delicious with Glucerna shakes
- LISTEN TO THE PROFESSIONALS: Glucerna is the #1 doctor-recommended brand for people with diabetes
- RICH, DELICIOUS FLAVORS: Glucerna shakes come in 5 amazing flavors you’ll love. Rich Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla, Creamy Strawberry, Classic Butter Pecan, and Chocolate Caramel
- NUTRIENTS YOU NEED: Each bottle contains 10 grams of protein, 180 calories, 1 carb choice, and 4 grams of fiber. Glucerna shakes are suitable for lactose intolerance and they are gluten-free. (Not for people with galactosemia.)
- Eligible to be purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
Glucerna is focused on 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:
Glucerna comes in vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, chocolate caramel, and rich chocolate. Glucerna is also available in bars.
For people managing their blood sugar, Glucerna shakes are delicious, on-the-go snacks or meals that replace meals or snacks. In addition to 12 grams of protein, 180 calories, and essential vitamins and minerals, Glucerna shakes contain a unique blend of slow-releasing carbohydrates to help manage blood sugar*.
The lactose-free and gluten-free products are ideal for people with lactose intolerance. Patients with diabetes are recommended to use Glucerna. In comparison to high-glycemic carbohydrates, this product has been designed to minimize blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes.
NUTRITION FOR GLUCERNA
- 180 calories
- 3 grams of fiber
- 10 grams of protein
4. Nutrisystem Shakes
- Nutrisystem Nutricrush Chocolate Shake Powder Mix, 20 Pack
Nutrisystem’s line of protein shakes is 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.
Nutrisystem shakes come in vanilla, chocolate, mocha caramel, along with on-the-go bars and ready-to-drink bottles.
It’s delicious to drink this chocolate-flavored beverage! Users have said the powder tastes so good that they add a little water to make it resemble fudge, then add fresh blueberries and refrigerate overnight.
Consider drinking just half of the drink at a time, or blending it with coffee if your taste is less sweet. Tasty!
NUTRITION FOR NUTRISYSTEM
- 150 calories
- 5 grams of fiber
- 13 grams of protein
5. IdealShape IdealShake
- LOW FAT + LOW SUGAR: If you are craving a smooth and creamy meal replacement with only 110-120 calories and 2g of sugar, our mouth-watering protein powder is exactly what you need!
- PROMOTES LEAN MUSCLE MASS: 11g of whey protein in every tasty serving combined with daily exercise will help increase fat burn and post workout muscle recovery.
- VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Our meal replacement powder is packed with 22 vitamins, minerals and 5g of dietary fiber.
- FEEL MORE ENERGIZED, STRONGER & HEALTHIER – With the right balance of protein, carbs, and fat, just pick a delicious flavor of our meal replacement shake and mix in your favorite ingredients to keep you satisfied!
- QUICK AND EASY - IdealShake is easy to use and easy to make. Replace one or two meals a day for safe and effective weight loss. Whip up a meal replacement shake in seconds! It's the perfect grab-and-go diet shake.
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.
Those nutrients have a lot to recommend them. A popular study published in Nutrition, for example, suggests zinc might support testosterone levels, while clinical studies published in Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and Issues in Mental Health Nursing suggest Vitamin D might help with bone health and mental health.
It’s good that protein and carbs are about the same, but it’s still relatively low in net carbs (half the carbs are fiber) and pretty low in fat. In other words, you should make sure to consume carbs and fat in your other meals if you plan on using this as your meal replacement. In IdealShake, there are only 2.5 grams of fat, which is less than the RDI of 45 to 80 grams.
This product contains artificial sweetener sucralose, milk, soy, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts, as well as being processed on equipment that processes those ingredients.
NUTRITION FOR IDEAL SHAKE
- 100-110 calories
- 2g or less of sugar
- 20-21 vitamins and minerals
6. Huel Starter Kit
- Complete nutrition - Carbs, fats, protein, fiber, 27 essential vitamins & minerals.
- Plant-based Sustainable - vegan ingredients. Zero animal products.
- Convenient - A complete meal delivered straight to your door.
- Ideal amounts of all the 27 essential vitamins and minerals.
- Probiotics added to the natural prebiotics from fiber.
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:
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.
To rely solely on the product’s nutrition, Huel recommends eating 4-5 meals a day. Each meal contains 500 calories. Helen would not necessarily recommend this, citing an article that suggests that consumption of Huel for a prolonged period of time may contribute to existing health problems, since it contains significant amounts of omega 3.
Huel has 4 flavors available: Gluten-Free – Unflavored Unsweetened, Gluten-Free – Vanilla, Unflavored Unsweetened, and Vanilla.
NUTRITION FROM HUEL
- 29.6 grams of protein
- 13.2 grams of fat
- 7.9 grams of fiber
7. EAS Myoplex Shred Protein Shake
Shred caffeinated is the best protein drink for seniors 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.
Myoplex comes in 4 flavors: Berry Jacked, Chiseled Chocolate, Muscle Mocha, and Cinnamon Swole.
The Myoplex Shred Ready-to-Drink Shakes from EAS contains 42 grams of premium protein and 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Intended for post-workout recovery or for in-between-meal consumption, Myoplex Shred contains at least 80% protein and 1 gram of sugar. In addition to 8.
5g of BCAAs to help you recover and reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness, the EAS Myoplex Shred protein shakes are rich in fast and slow-digesting proteins to nourish your muscles all day.
NUTRITION FROM MYOPLEX
- 1 gram of sugar
- 210 calories
- 42 grams of protein
- UNBEATABLE TASTE - Our unmatched creamy mocha meal replacement shakes were curated to have an incredible taste. As soon as our decadent mocha-chocolate flavors reach the taste buds, everyone will be smiling from ear to ear. It is like a smooth chocolate bar melting in the mouth. The perfectly balanced sweetness will keep everyone coming back for more!
- FEEL FULL LONGER: The most important feature of our shakes is the calcium caseinate protein which was made to increase fullness for longer. Casein, is a slow-digesting dairy protein. It releases amino acids slowly to help with recovery and reduce muscle breakdown. Several studies have shown it helps boost muscle growth, along with many other benefits.
- MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE: Packed with 15g of calcium caseinate protein and 24 essential vitamins and minerals, our delicious mocha cream shake is a complete meal replacement. With ONLY 100 calories per shake, our meal replacement powder is sure to fill the nutrient gap to complete nutrition in every sip.
- DESIGNED FOR A BUSY LIFE: Each single serving meal replacement packet is perfect for moms on-the-go, busy professionals, and athletes. No need to worry about packing those pesky protein powder containers. We deliver our meal replacement shakes in individual packets for grab and go ease. Delivering on the go nutrition with 8 delicious flavors. Curb the sweet cravings for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in between with our creamy mocha meal replacement.
- TRUSTED BRAND: WonderSlim is proud our meal replacement shakes are made in USA, Kosher, Vegetarian.
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:
Medifast shakes come in Dutch Chocolate, French Vanilla, Mocha, Orange Cream, Strawberry, and Dark Chocolate.
NUTRITION FOR MEDIFAST
- 25 vitamins and minerals
- 100-110 calories
- 14 grams of protein
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 nutrition 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 majority of your daily protein from meats and fish is the most effective because you still consume essential vitamins 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 number of artificial sweeteners. 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 on 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.
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.