Nutrition shakes are a great option for anyone who wants to lose weight and/or build muscle. They’re also ideal if you need a nutritional boost. Thankfully, there are so many brand names and flavors to pick from that you shouldn’t have any problem finding the drink that best suits your needs and budget.
Let’s take a look at two of the leading brand names on the market: Fortisip vs Ensure. It’s hard to say at first glance which is best so we’ll analyze their ingredients as well as ease of use and flavor so you can make well-informed shopping decisions.
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Fortisip is manufactured by Nutricia, which has been owned and operated by Danone since 2007. Nutricia specializes in clinical nutrition and Fortisip was specifically created to prevent malnutrition in vulnerable individuals who are unable to maintain a healthy diet.
Fortisip shakes contain 12 ounces of protein per serving. That doesn’t sound like much; however, when you consider the fact that each bottle is only 200 ml, it’s clear that the shakes are quite protein-rich.
Fortisip’s protein is derived solely from milk protein concentrate. It’s made from skim milk so it doesn’t have a lot of calories but it does have the micellar casein, whey proteins, and bioactive proteins found in regular milk. It’s lactose-free, making it a suitable option for anyone who is lactose intolerant.
Micellar Casein protein has some amazing properties. It breaks down into high-quality branched-chain amino acids in the body, helping your muscles recover from an exacting workout or heal after an injury. What’s more, it’s slow-acting, thus providing your body with a continuous source of protein for up to eight hours. Fortisip gets high marks for not only providing a protein-packed shake but selecting a top-tier protein as well.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Fortisip has thirteen different vitamins. It’s particularly rich in Vitamin A but also includes B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. It also has a healthy dose of important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Trace elements include iron, zinc, manganese, and selenium.
The benefits of a diet rich in vitamins and minerals are well-known. The B vitamins boost your metabolism. Vitamins A, C, and E are heart-healthy. They reduce inflammation in the body and are thought to prevent heart disease. Calcium, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D maintain bone health. Vitamin C helps your body combat sickness. Fortisip’s nutritional drinks pack a nutritional punch and provide ample nutrients to keep you strong and healthy.
Fortisip also includes fluoride. This ingredient is somewhat controversial but it’s known to prevent cavities and limit the growth of harmful bacteria.
Is it Cost-Effective?
Because Fortisip bottles are smaller than most protein drinks, they are often sold in boxes with 24 bottles per box. However, they can also be purchased individually.
Unfortunately, Fortisip doesn’t come cheap. While the cost varies depending on where you buy the drink, you can expect to pay more than you would for an average protein drink. What’s more, it’s not easy to buy it online. It can’t be found on Amazon (in the United States) or on online grocery or pharmaceutical sites.
Fortisip drinks have a long list of ingredients and not all of them are healthy. The 13.4 grams of sugar per serving may give the drinks a great flavor but it certainly isn’t good for your health. In fact, the drinks are known to cause tooth decay in those who struggle with health problems and/or are getting on in years.
Fortisip uses sucrose as its primary sweetener. It’s a natural plant sugar that has been linked with weight gain as digests quickly and triggers sweet cravings for unhealthy foods. What’s more, sucrose causes blood sugar spikes, giving you a burst of energy that leads to an eventual crash which typically results in irritability and moodiness.
Maltodextrin is yet another unhealthy ingredient on the list, and the fact that it’s one of the top three ingredients is troubling. Maltodextrin is a highly processed starch made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. Genetically-modified corn is often used in the manufacturing process.
Maltodextrin has no nutritional value. It helps make the beverage thick and filling but it won’t satiate your appetite long-term. Like sucrose, maltodextrin leads to blood sugar spikes and inhibits weight loss. It also destroys the good bacteria your gut needs to process nutrients effectively.
Ease of use
Fortisip is made for those who battle with malnutrition. As such, the bottles are designed to be extremely easy to use. The bottle is easy to hold and comes with an attached straw and a reusable cap. Simply give the bottle a good shake, open it up, and enjoy. Opened Fortisip bottles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Fortisip is available in nearly one dozen flavors. These are:
- Tropical Fruits
What the Customers Say
Positive reviews say that the drink was used as a meal supplement for those who can’t eat regular food and as such, it did the trick. It provided the needed vitamins and nutrients that elderly or injured individuals were unable to obtain from a regular diet. What’s more, Fortisip also gets high marks for its great taste, with vanilla being a favorite flavor.
At the same time, those writing negative reviews also brought up a few valid points. One individual noted that Fortisip has a thick, creamy consistency that can be hard to swallow if you have problems swallowing. Others were disappointed to discover that a box of Fortisip bottles came in mixed flavors instead of the single flavor requested.
My Take on Fortisip
Fortisip is designed for the sick, injured, and elderly but anyone can use it. The bottle is easy to handle and the straw is sure to come in handy for anyone who is frail, elderly, or recovering from injury.
At the same time, be aware that Fortisip has a high sugar content. Consume it in moderation to avoid excess sugar in your diet and all the health problems that come with it.
Ensure has been around since the 1970s. It was originally created by Abbott Nutrition Laboratories to provide an easy to consume beverage for those in danger of malnutrition. Abbott Nutrition Laboratories even conducts scientific studies on its products to ensure they provide the top-tier nutritional content customers need and deserve.
Ensure Plus has 16 grams of protein in an 8 oz. bottle. Two primary sources of protein are used: milk protein concentrate and soy protein isolate. I covered the benefits of milk protein concentrate above so I won’t rehash it but I would like to touch on soy protein isolate and what it does for your body.
Soy protein isolate is not just rich in protein but also copper, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. It doesn’t contain as many isoflavones as other soy products and so won’t affect your hormone levels. However, bear in mind that consuming too much soy protein isolate isn’t good for you as this form of protein contains lectins that make it hard for your body to absorb the nutrients you need to stay fit and healthy.
Another problem with soy protein isolate is that it’s usually made from genetically modified soybeans. GMO foods have been linked to both allergies and cancer although the FDA says that genetically modified food is safe and there is no conclusive evidence that GMO foods cause long-term health problems in humans. However, because Ensure Plus also uses another ingredient that is most likely derived from genetically modified corn (more on this below) this drink isn’t suitable for anyone who want to stick to an organic diet.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Ensure Plus has a whopping 27 vitamins and minerals. What’s more, none of these are “trace elements” simply added to pad the list of nutrients on the bottle. Each time you drink a single 8 oz. bottle of Ensure Plus, you’re getting between 10% and 50% of the Recommended Daily Intake for a number of important vitamins and minerals. These include Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, several B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, calcium, copper, manganese, phosphorous, and selenium.
Is it Cost-Effective?
Like Fortisip, Ensure Plus is sold in boxes with 24 bottles each. Cost varies depending on which flavor you pick and where you buy the product but expect to pay anywhere from $34 to $55 per box. It’s not cheap but it’s not overly expensive either, especially when you consider the fact that Ensure has a very high protein content.
Sadly, Ensure Plus for some reason felt the need to add a whopping amount of sugar to its drinks. Each bottle contains 20 grams of sugar and nearly all this sugar is added to the ingredients rather than derived from the ingredients used in the nutritional drink. However, one of the sweeteners used does have its good points. Short-chain fructooligosaccharides is a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut, keeping your digestive system in good working order.
Another questionable ingredient in Ensure Plus is corn maltodextrin. This product is typically used as a filler but it doesn’t leave you feeling satiated after a meal. Rather, it spikes your blood sugar, leading to a blood sugar crash that leaves you craving sugary snacks and drinks to lift your blood sugar levels again. Furthermore, as I pointed out above, most of the maltodextrin made from corn is made using GMO corn.
Ease of Use
Ensure Plus is very easy to use. Simply open the bottle and enjoy.
Ensure Plus is available in the following flavors:
- Dark Chocolate
- Butter Pecan
What the Customers Say
Ensure Plus has literally thousands of positive reviews online. Most people who have tried it say it provides great nutritional value for those who have dietary problems. It also gets high marks for taste and consistency.
On the other hand, many negative reviews come from those who have purchased Ensure shakes for years and don’t like the company’s new formula. Some say it’s too thick while others complain it’s too sweet and artificial. Individuals who have bought Ensure Plus from Amazon point out problems such as torn packaging and missing bottles but these problems aren’t noted on other sites selling Ensure Plus so it appears to be a problem with the shipping company rather than Ensure itself.
My Take on Ensure Plus
Ensure Plus has done a great job of packaging a host of essential vitamins and minerals in a tasty shake that is sure to appeal to people of all ages and walks of life. These power-packed shakes deliver a lot of protein, calories, and nutrients; sadly, they have way too much sugar and the inclusion of GMO ingredients is questionable.
Let’s have a look at the points listed above to help you consider the main pros and cons of each product.
Fortisip Pros And Cons
- Easy to use bottle
- High in protein and important nutrients
- A wide range of flavors and great taste
- High sugar content
Ensure Plus Pros and Cons
- Huge quantities of protein and important nutrients
- Great taste
- Reasonable cost compared to other products on the market
- Way too much sugar
- Unhealthy ingredients are added for additional flavor
The Final Verdict – Fortisip Vs Ensure Plus
If I had to recommend one product over the other, I would likely pick Fortisip as long as I could afford it. While Ensure Plus does have more nutrients than Fortisip, its high sugar content and the inclusion of two genetically modified ingredients simply can’t be overlooked.
However, I’d like to point out that both drinks can be a good option if you want to maintain a healthy diet but have problems eating regular food. Fortisip and Ensure Plus are reliable products designed to make it easy for you to ingest and absorb the nutrients you need on a regular basis.
The high sugar content is certainly not a positive point in its favor but it can help those who have a hard time eating and drinking to improve nutritional intake.
Those who are using the drinks as a supplement to a healthy diet shouldn’t have serious health problems as long as they maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and consume either of these beverages in moderation.
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