What Should Older Adults Consider When Selecting a Nutrition Drink?
A 72-year-old grandfather is playing with his grandchildren.
Thirty minutes into the fun, the grandfather realizes he is feeling hungry and
a little low on energy. The grandfather wants a healthy and nutritious snack; however,
he does not want to interrupt his grandchildren and all the fun they are all
having. The grandfather considers his options for a quick, healthy, and
nutritious snack, and wonders what he should choose.
What options should older adults consider when in need of a healthy and nutritious snack?
There are a variety of different options available for older
adults when it comes to healthy and nutritious snacks such as: fruit,
vegetables, nuts, and meal replacement shakes.
Why should older adults select meal replacement shakes such as Ensure and Boost?
Older adults should select nutritional drinks, otherwise
referred to as nutritional shakes, meal replacement drinks, or meal replacement
shakes, when in need of a healthy and nutritious snack because these drinks are
often packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and protein. These drinks also provide
a snack option that is easy to consume and digest, when compared to other
options such as nuts and uncooked vegetables, which can be both hard to chew
In addition to snacks, can older adults use nutrition drinks to supplement meals?
What should older adults consider when selecting a nutrition drink?
First and foremost, older adults should consider the nutritional content. Older adults should select drinks that offer essential vitamins and minerals. For example, older adults should consider nutrition drinks that include vitamin B 12, such as Boost Original , which is an important vitamin for older adults' health.
Secondly, older adults should consider the amount of protein in a nutrition drink. Typically, individuals can find the amount of protein in each nutrition drink on the drink's label. When considering the amount of protein in each nutrition drink, older adults should note the following dietary recommendations: male individuals over the age of 51 should take in approximately 56 grams of protein per day; female individuals over the age of 51 should take in approximately 46 grams of protein per day. 1 Older adults should also note that consuming enough protein is important to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass that occurs naturally with age. 1 Boost Very High Protein drink is a great option for a high protein drink.
Third, older adults should consider the number of calories in each nutritional drink. Much like with protein, individuals can find the number of calories in each serving on the drink's label. When considering calories, older adults should select nutrition drinks that will enable them to meet the following calorie recommendations: male individuals ages 60 and older should take in about 2,000 to 2,600 calories per day; female individuals ages 60 and older should take in about 1,600 to 2,200 calories per day. 1 Older adults should note that there are high calorie drink options available for those individuals having trouble maintaining a healthy weight (e.g., Boost Very High Calorie ).
Next, older adults should consider the number of sugars, saturated fat, and sodium in each nutritional drink. Older adults should select nutritional shakes that will allow them to meet the following dietary recommendations: individuals should take in less than 10 percent of their daily calories from sugars; individuals should take in less than 10 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat; individuals should take in less than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium. 1 Also, when considering sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, older adults should select shakes that meet any dietary restrictions they may have related to conditions such as diabetes.
Lastly, older adults should consider the taste and cost of nutrition
drinks. Older adults should be sure to select nutrition drinks that they enjoy
and that are priced to fit into their specific budgets. Fortunately, nutrition
drinks come in a variety of different flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and
strawberry, as well as different price points. Older adults should try a variety
of different flavors and brands of nutrition drinks until they find one that they
enjoy and one that fits into their budget.
What are the best nutritional shakes available for older adults?
Some of the best nutritional shakes available for older adults include those produced by: Boost, Ensure, Carnation, and Med Pass . Older adults should try a variety of different options until they find a type that meets all their needs.
After some consideration, the 72-year-old grandfather
selects a drink. He picks up the drink, opens the top, and enjoys it.
Afterwards he feels rejuvenated and energized to continue to play with his
grandchildren. Much like with the aforementioned grandfather, nutrition drinks
can provide older adults with a healthy and nutritious snack or meal supplement
that can leave them feeling rejuvenated, energized, and ready to enjoy their
life. With that in mind, there are a variety of nutritional drinks available - try
some of the many options and find the one that works best for you.
1. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.