Nutritional Drinks for Elderly


Senior citizens need a well-balanced diet that is full of protein, vitamins, and other nutrients. While senior’s dietary needs can be met through clean eating many senior citizens need a supplement to their diet. Nutritional drinks can help seniors get their daily nutritional needs. Many nutritional drinks are specifically formulated for senior citizens from pre-made, store-bought brands to recipes for a homemade drink.

Should Seniors Have Nutritional Drinks?

Nutritional drinks can help anyone gain weight, maintain their weight, or prevent weight loss. Many nutritional drinks have enough calories to replace a normal meal for someone who has difficulty preparing healthy meals, physical disabilities, loss of appetite, or difficulty chewing food. Seniors benefit from nutritional drinks due to their nutritional value and convenience.

Nutritional drinks can be a great support to senior’s diets, but it is not advised for multiple drinks being consumed a day because of the sugar content. Consuming multiple nutritional drinks a day can raise blood sugar levels, make seniors gain weight, and lead to digestive issues like diarrhea. Serving a single nutritional drink every day as a meal replacement or as a supplement with a snack is best recommended for helping seniors maintain a well-balanced diet.

What Ingredients Do Nutritional Drinks Normally Have?

There are many different types of nutritional drinks for seniors. Store-bought nutritional drinks are available in a variety of flavors and styles so the ingredients and calories tend to differ from brand to brand. The main ingredient is most pre-made store-bought nutritional drinks is sugar. Other ingredients that may be included are water, vegetable oil, added flavoring and added protein.

Another nutritional drink options can be made-at-home from store-bought ingredients. Many of these homemade drinks contain fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and protein powder. These nutritional drinks often have a calorie count on the recipe, but measuring the ingredients used will give you an accurate calorie count.

What Medications Are The Seniors Taking?

Medication may affect what nutritional drinks can be used by seniors. Those who suffer type two diabetes or use insulin need to speak to a medical professional before consuming these supplemental drinks regularly. Other ingredients in the nutritional drinks interact negatively with certain medicines like blood thinners and Vitamin E.

Best Nutritional Drinks For Seniors

1. Boost High Protein Drink

Boost High Protein Drink is a nutritional drink used as a supplement for those who are malnourished, need to maintain a healthy weight, or for those who struggle to gain weight. Each eight-ounce serving of Boost High Protein Drink contains 15 grams of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and 24 other vitamins and minerals. Boost High Protein drink also provides 30% of the daily protein needed in a single 240 calorie eight-ounce serving.

Pros: Drinking Boost High Protein Drink can help those who are malnourished maintain and gain weight. Each Boost High Protein drink has protein, vitamins, and minerals. The pre-made drinks are convenient for those who travel, are disabled, or simply cannot make a beverage from the powder formula. There are a variety of flavors that Boost High Protein Drink is available for consumers to choose from.

Cons: Boost High Protein Drink is full of added sugars and caffeine. This large sugar content can cause weight gain, increased risk of diabetes, and other dietary medical conditions. Consuming too much Boost High Protein Drink is known to cause slight to severe digestion problems like diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and black stools.

2. Ensure

Ensure is a supplemental nutrient drink that contains a variety of nutrient-packed ingredients. There are 27 vitamins and minerals, 9 grams of protein, and 220 calories in each 8 ounce serving of Ensure.

Pros: Ensure has calories that support weight gain and maintaining a healthy weight. There is a convenient pre-made bottle version of Ensure available in a variety of flavors as well as a powder version to make your drink at home. Each Ensure drink has added protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Cons: Ensure mostly made of sugar and other refined carbohydrates. The amount of sugar in a single serving can lead to weight gain and increased blood sugar levels if over consumed. Side effects like diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and dehydration have been recorded in people who over-consumed or did not follow medical advice when using Ensure.

3. Carnation Breakfast Essentials

Carnation Breakfast Essentials has a variety of drink options to choose from like pre-made liquid bottles, single-serve packets, and bulk powder. A single eight-ounce serving of Carnation Breakfast Essentials has 220 calories when combined with one cup of skim milk. There are also at least 10 grams of protein and 21 different types of vitamins and minerals in each variety of Carnation Breakfast Essentials.

Pros: Carnation Breakfast Essentials can help malnourished people gain and maintain a healthy weight. There are a variety of flavors the drink is available in as well as pre-made liquid bottles and single-serving powder packets that you can mix with milk or water. Carnation Breakfast Essentials also contain added protein, sugar, and vitamins and minerals for dietary supplements.

Cons: Carnation Breakfast Essentials has a large quantity of sugar in each eight-ounce drink. This large quantity of sugar can lead to increased weight gain. Diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramping are reported negative side-effects when consuming Carnation Breakfast Essentials.

Homemade Nutritional Drinks for Seniors

1. Power Cold Coffee

Power Cold Coffee is a perfect shake for any senior looking for a delicious, energizing coffee drink. There are many different recipes for Power Cold Coffee Drinks but the common ingredients amongst most Power Cold Coffee Drinks are almond milk, coffee, ice, coconut cream, and a sweetener.

You can use any coffee: instant, a single cup Keurig machine, a drip machine, or any other brewing method.

Pros: Power Cold Coffee drinks are simple to make with ingredients available in bulk for future drinks. There are no artificial sweeteners or large amounts of sugar in most Power Cold Coffee recipes, and maple syrup is a great way to naturally sweeten a coffee. The consumer also can use any brand of ingredients they want when making a Power Cold Coffee drink.

Cons: There is a large amount of caffeine in a Power Cold Coffee drink. This large quantity of caffeine can be bothersome to anyone with high blood pressure or a heart condition. Many of the recipes for Power Cold Coffee involve the consumer measuring the ingredients, therefore, an accurate calorie count and nutrient information will only be achieved by accurate measurements. Making a Power Cold Coffee drink may also be challenging for anyone who struggles with making their own food as the liquid ingredients are not conveniently measurable.

2. Apricot Smoothie

A homemade apricot smoothie is very simple to make. The six ingredients needed to make an apricot smoothie are three medium-sized apricots, ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt, ¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, 1 tsp mild honey, ⅛ tsp almond extract, and a couple of ice cubes. Once these ingredients are blended the apricot smoothie is ready to be served.

Pros: An apricot smoothie is a very simple nutritional drink to make at home. You can choose whatever brand of products you prefer when purchasing the ingredients. The ingredients are very low-calorie, fresh, and the sugars, proteins, and vitamins and minerals in the drink are natural. Substituting any ingredients or adding any extra proteins or supplements can be done easily.

Cons: Preparing the ingredients for an apricot smoothie may be time consuming and inconvenient for those who cannot prepare food easily. To get an exact calorie count and nutrition information, you have to accurately measure the ingredients. There are also no added proteins or supplements in this drink for those who struggle to create a well-balanced diet.

3. Frosty Pine Orange Yogurt Smoothie

A Frosty Pine This Orange Yogurt Smoothie is a homemade nutritional drink that only has three ingredients. There are 12 ounces of orange juice, ½ cup of drained pineapple chunks, and 1 ¼ cups of low-fat vanilla yogurt in the Frosty Pine Orange Yogurt Smoothie nutritional drink. The three ingredients are simply blended together and than ready to drink when the mixture turns frothy.

Pros: The Frosty Pine Orange Yogurt Smoothie is simple to make. There are only three ingredients and very few kitchen items used to make this nutritional drink. The consumer has the freedom to choose whatever brand of orange juice, pineapple, and low-fat vanilla yogurt they want for their Frosty Pine Orange Yogurt Smoothie. There are also few added products to the ingredients because most of the sugars and proteins are naturally occurring.

Cons: The amount of protein and vitamins and minerals in the Frosty Pine Orange Yogurt Smoothie nutritional drink is not as high as a store-bought nutritional drink. There is still a large quantity of sugar in this Frosty Pine Orange Yogurt Smoothie because of the natural sugar found in fruits as well as any sugar from the yogurt. Having to make this Frosty Pine Orange Yogurt Smoothie by your own measurements mean calorie and nutrient content may be incorrect if something is not measured properly. This drink also can be inconvenient for someone to make if they have a disability or other issues with preparing their own food.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.