Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Boost Nutritional Drinks? Good or bad?


 
03-10-2014, 09:38 PM   #1
Zebrina
 
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Boost Nutritional Drinks? Good or bad?

I am underweight and looking for something to drink in between meals so I got some Boost drinks. How often can you drink them? Every day or every other day? Is Ensure better? Are they good for you? I've heard good and bad things about them. Anything would be helpful Xo
03-10-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
Tesscorm
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My son is 19 and drinks 1-2 Boost shakes per day. There are some studies that have shown supplemental enteral nutrition (EN), ie supplementing your diet with nutritional shakes, can help maintain remission. Another member posted a link to a report that's easy to read and gives lots of info re these shakes.

http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=59474

As far as which is better... elemental formulas are the most easily absorbed (helpful if you have active inflammation), next would be semi-elemental and then polymeric. Boost and Ensure are polymeric formulas - not saying they are not good, and many studies have found benefits when using either elemental or polymeric. FYI, the more 'elemental', the more unpalatable they are (which is why elemental formulas are usually ingested using an NG tube).

But, I think the report in the link above will give you lots of info.
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03-11-2014, 12:47 AM   #3
vonfunk
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Boost and Ensure are basically the same thing, here are some minor differences in the nutritional value but nothing wildly drastic between the two. It boils down to what ever you like better. Alternatively while it's the intended use, meal replacement shakes meant for weight loss (like slimfast) can be used in the same fashion to add additional calories

While I've never used them Ensure to gain weight, I have gone through periods when it was the only thing I consumed. They always sat well with me and at times kept me alive when I was flaring.
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03-11-2014, 07:18 AM   #4
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I agree with the above that generally there are not huge differences between brands of supplements. I haven't actually had Boost - I get all mine on prescription so it's whatever a particular hospital uses, though my GP gives me a choice when the prescriptions come from her; the availability of different brands also varies from one country to the next.

I've had Ensure and Fortisip, personally I think Ensure tastes best; Fortisips I usually dislike, and can't stand the taste of the Fortijuices (which is a fruit-juice style rather than milkshake style like most other supplements).

Both of these provide all the nutrients you need and are a good source of calories, and I believe Boost is too. There are variations within each brand too - e.g. I know you can get some Ensures that provide fibre while most don't, and of course there are different flavours.

They are good for you, at times I've had up to around 4 a day. I find the limit of how many I can have is determined by how many I can easily stomach. They're not magic - my mum seems to think that because they're liquid they won't fill me up, but I keep telling her this isn't the case! They are filling, so when I have them, I use them as a replacement for food rather than extras. Since they provide all the nutrients you need, they are useful if you have problems with fibre and can't eat much fruit and veg.

I've seen doctors who seem to over-complicate matters when it comes to selecting supplements. I had a doctor who wanted to make me see a dietician in order to work out which type is best for me and to calculate what nutrients I need, etc., etc., etc. But they're all much the same thing as far as I can see - they all provide calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals. I mainly choose based on whether or not I like the taste.

If you only want calories and your diet is providing everything else you need, I think drinking juice, milk or milkshakes, hot chocolate, energy drinks, etc. will work just as well (though there might be other factors related to healthiness, such as sugar content).
03-11-2014, 05:11 PM   #5
Zebrina
 
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Thank you all so much! You actually helped out a lot
03-11-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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I've realized that after I drink them I usually have to go to the bathroom and lie down because I feel nauseous. Is this normal? Is my body just not used to it?
03-11-2014, 08:25 PM   #7
vonfunk
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I can understand the nausea, not so much the washroom (could be coincidence?). I just spent 3 weeks on a prescribed shake, I found if I drank it quickly it would bother me. If I drank it slowly over the course of a few minutes it didn't bother me. They are very dense as far as liquids go, it's basically like drinking a cup of cream.
03-11-2014, 09:22 PM   #8
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These shakes may be too 'rich' for some people. My son drinks Boost and doesn't have any problems with them but I've heard of others who just can't tolerate them. Perhaps try a different brand or try some of the fruit flavoured drinks, my son also drinks Boost fruit drinks for variety.

Boost also sells nutritional puddings... but I've never bought them so have no idea how they taste.

Boost also has a website with recipes using their shakes (although I'm sure you could use any other brand's shake as well). Some of their smoothies and other foods may make the shakes more tolerable for you??

http://www.boost.com/boost-in-your-life/boost-recipes
03-11-2014, 09:59 PM   #9
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I love strawberry flavored ensure! Yummy blended with a banana and some almond milk. I do find that if I drink ensure too fast, I get nausea. So I have to sip on it slowly- it helps me not get so bloated and avoid nausea. I have also drank Muscle Milk in the past; they are good and didn't give me bloating/nausea, however they are more expensive.
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03-11-2014, 10:42 PM   #10
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I've realized that after I drink them I usually have to go to the bathroom and lie down because I feel nauseous. Is this normal? Is my body just not used to it?
Boost, Ensure, all of those supplemental drinks (at least most of them) have a substance called carageenan in them. Although it is a natural preservative that is derived from seaweed, it is harmful to us. It aids in disease progression. You will actually find that it is in a lot of things we consume. I have found that if the supplemental drink starts off as a powder (you mix it yourself) then it doesn't have it in it and is safer to drink. Ensure Clear also doesn't have it, but I have never had it so I can not vouche for the taste. Below is a link to the forum wiki where a warning has been posted about carageenan
http://www.crohnsforum.com/wiki/Carrageenan
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03-12-2014, 05:24 AM   #11
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I've realized that after I drink them I usually have to go to the bathroom and lie down because I feel nauseous. Is this normal? Is my body just not used to it?
Do you only get this after drinking the supplements or after eating as well?

Eating and drinking can stimulate a bowel movement and can obviously also cause nausea, so this is a pretty common reaction when you have Crohn's, though I can't imagine why it would be triggered by supplements if you don't usually get it after eating. I know certain things are more likely to trigger a bowel movement - hot drinks, fizzy drinks and high-fat meals.

I don't think it's a matter of being used to it - they're designed for people with digestive problems so are generally considered unlikely to cause trouble.

You may need to do some experimenting to see if it is the supplements and if there's anything specific in them causing the reaction. How many times have you reacted this way? Has it happened every time you drank a supplement? How long after drinking it does the reaction occur?

(Sorry for all the questions! I'm really not sure about this!)
03-12-2014, 10:35 PM   #12
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Would it be better to eat something with them? I thought some people use it as a meal replacement so I didn't even think of that. I've had three of them.. So not enough to tell yet, I was just kind of concerned. Yes it has happened all three times about five mins after, I have to go lay on my stomach. It could be that I'm drinking them too fast. I will have to try the strawberry ensure. I'm just gonna have to look around and keep a close eye to see if it keeps happening. Thank you all for the info! Helps me out a lot.
03-13-2014, 02:52 AM   #13
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I drank a boost and I couldn't even get through it. Stomach pain, nausea, and almost threw up.


03-13-2014, 02:58 AM   #14
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Would it be better to eat something with them? I thought some people use it as a meal replacement so I didn't even think of that. I've had three of them.. So not enough to tell yet, I was just kind of concerned. Yes it has happened all three times about five mins after, I have to go lay on my stomach. It could be that I'm drinking them too fast. I will have to try the strawberry ensure. I'm just gonna have to look around and keep a close eye to see if it keeps happening. Thank you all for the info! Helps me out a lot.

If it's giving you problems don't drink it.


03-14-2014, 10:04 PM   #15
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I drink an ensure plus in the mornings for breakfast, its best if they are ice cold and you drink water with them as well, like a few sips of ensure then some water, and i usually take about 10 to 20 mins to drink them. it seems to keep my stomach settled, also if you drink or eat anything too fast it can make your bowels move quicker...it like...wakes them up lol. so take it slow and cold :P
03-15-2014, 12:02 PM   #16
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I drink an ensure plus in the mornings for breakfast, its best if they are ice cold and you drink water with them as well, like a few sips of ensure then some water, and i usually take about 10 to 20 mins to drink them. it seems to keep my stomach settled, also if you drink or eat anything too fast it can make your bowels move quicker...it like...wakes them up lol. so take it slow and cold :P
Thank you! Drinking it slow and with water actually helped!
03-15-2014, 12:18 PM   #17
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I've realized that after I drink them I usually have to go to the bathroom and lie down because I feel nauseous. Is this normal? Is my body just not used to it?
Saw a dietician for the better part of last year and she was completely against these drinks....after finding out my liquid diet consisted of it.

I had the same problem as you and she basically said between the milk products and the insanely high dose of unhealthy sugar you are just asking for trouble.

I am under the impression these drinks are for people without digestion issues.
03-15-2014, 01:28 PM   #18
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Saw a dietician for the better part of last year and she was completely against these drinks....after finding out my liquid diet consisted of it.

I had the same problem as you and she basically said between the milk products and the insanely high dose of unhealthy sugar you are just asking for trouble.

I am under the impression these drinks are for people without digestion issues.
The ones I've had - Ensure, Fortisip/Fortijuice, Scandishake - are for people with digestive issues (though also for some without digestive problems, e.g. to help people with eating disorders gain weight). Sugar and milk aren't bad.
03-15-2014, 03:34 PM   #19
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Two Ensure a day with some food.
They def have caused some weight gain.
Yeah, sure they may have x y z that is bad for you, but so does the air we breath, the clothes we wear, the meds we take for treatment - it is what it is
good luck, but they will gain weight quickly if you drink the one with 300 + calories, Ensure cost more - they are slightly different

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/7708/2

http://www.nestlehealthscience.us/products/boost-plusŪ
03-15-2014, 04:47 PM   #20
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Saw a dietician for the better part of last year and she was completely against these drinks....after finding out my liquid diet consisted of it.
I have had a hard time with dieticians, while they are all very well equipped to deal with regular people there are very few who properly understand the issues and intricacies when dealing with IBD. I've been to dieticians a few times and they've always tried to work within the parameters assigned to what is conventionally seen as a required diet for healthy people. Many are just stumped by what some people can eat that won't cause pain.
03-17-2014, 01:13 AM   #21
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I have had a hard time with dieticians, while they are all very well equipped to deal with regular people there are very few who properly understand the issues and intricacies when dealing with IBD. I've been to dieticians a few times and they've always tried to work within the parameters assigned to what is conventionally seen as a required diet for healthy people. Many are just stumped by what some people can eat that won't cause pain.

I just play Russian roulette with food. With this being such an individualistic disease I just treat it as I have to just go through the pain of figuring it out.


03-17-2014, 07:56 AM   #22
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The ones I've had - Ensure, Fortisip/Fortijuice, Scandishake - are for people with digestive issues (though also for some without digestive problems, e.g. to help people with eating disorders gain weight). Sugar and milk aren't bad.
Good for gaining weight if you are desperate. Not good for controlling diarrhea or binding stool...which in some cases leads to weight loss. Ironic, no?

I have had a hard time with dieticians, while they are all very well equipped to deal with regular people there are very few who properly understand the issues and intricacies when dealing with IBD. I've been to dieticians a few times and they've always tried to work within the parameters assigned to what is conventionally seen as a required diet for healthy people. Many are just stumped by what some people can eat that won't cause pain.
The dietitian I saw specializes in IBD. Having said that, her attempts to help my chronic diarrhea resulted in failure.

I have yet to find an answer which is why I joined this forum!
03-17-2014, 08:16 AM   #23
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Good for gaining weight if you are desperate. Not good for controlling diarrhea or binding stool...which in some cases leads to weight loss. Ironic, no?


Ensure has certainly never made diarrhoea worse for me - fibre causes me the most problems, so Ensure and similar supplements are good, safe foods for me, and I expect for some others as well - I would have thought they're prescribed to many with digestive issues because they often are well-tolerated. Sugar and dairy in general are foods I do well with - it's just different for some.

Last edited by UnXmas; 03-17-2014 at 02:56 PM.
03-17-2014, 08:49 AM   #24
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Ensure has certainly never made diarrhoea worse for me - fibre causes me the most problems, so Ensure and similar supplements are ood, safe foods for me, and I expect for some others as well - I would have thought they're prescribed to many with digestive issues because they often are well-tolerated. Sugar and dairy in general are foods I do well with - it's just different for some.
My GI asked me to drink them, like so many before him. Same result. I know many others with the same issue.

I know you won't go for it.........but wanna trade??!! LoL I wish I was in your shoes.
03-23-2014, 09:14 PM   #25
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Ensure and Boost made my crohn's worse. Cramps and diarrhea increased.
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03-24-2014, 09:36 PM   #26
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I drink an Ensure every day. Ensure Plus Vanilla. But would prefer a better option if I could find one that is healthier.
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03-27-2014, 09:21 PM   #27
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I spoke to a dietitian over the phone today, and she told me that Boost and Ensure are really bad for those with Crohn's. She recommended Absorb Plus. I'm going to try it out.

http://www.absorbplus.com/index.php
04-03-2014, 11:18 AM   #28
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If you have enough energy to make your own drink, I would highly suggest it. I now make drinks with mostly fruits and veggies, but I started out with this when I had really low energy - http://www.angerburger.com/2010/05/a...st-and-ensure/
It's tastes fine, I just added something like another spice or peanut butter to it, but it's super easy to make, and lasts for a few days. If you are unable to make your own drink right now, just go with what the others say, and drink the bottle slowly and add water or ice to it so that it will be thinned out.
04-09-2014, 01:41 PM   #29
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I spoke to a dietitian over the phone today, and she told me that Boost and Ensure are really bad for those with Crohn's. She recommended Absorb Plus. I'm going to try it out.

http://www.absorbplus.com/index.php
yeah, my stomach doesn't do well with ensure. Might try absorbplus.
04-09-2014, 06:20 PM   #30
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I'm honestly done trying any protein shakes. I've tried a lot of them with the same result. And the nutritionist at the hospital chose to fight me and treat me like an idiot and kept tell me that I should start drinking them and I kept telling her that she wasn't listening to me when I said that they made me worse.


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