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Drinking Ensure

HAWVET's picture
Posts: 318
Joined: Apr 2006

Without having the full taste and from the very start, I never did like the taste of Ensure. I could tolerate Boost a little better. I am drinking vanilla Ensure because the VA has them, but not Boost. For veterans who need Ensure and under VA care, check with them since it is a prescription item.

With advice from the food experts, I tried it with ice cream, coffee, coke, chocalate or strawberry syrup or other mixtures. There was only a slight improvement.

A week ago, I bought a can of unsweetened chocolate powder. I mixed just over a teaspoon into about a half inch of hot water in a coffee cup. Then, I added a can of Ensure, mixed it, then heated it in the microwave. Voila, that is the combination that works for me.

Hope this mixture or any one of those named above helps someone else and makes our soupy :) life more tolerable.

miccmill's picture
Posts: 248
Joined: May 2010

I will definately try this for Glenn. He's headed back toward drinking again and will have to go back thru Ensure, which he wasn't crazy about.

Thanks for the tips.

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: Dec 2005

I see you have tried the ensure with ice cream, but have you tried it with a banana in there as well as the ensure and ice cream ? For some reason, I could taste the banana over the other tastes. Just a suggestion to add to your receipe : )

My Best to You and Everyone Here

Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2010

You might want to try a product from Nestle Carnation. It is not sold over the counter. It's also not a prescription product.

I order it thru the Walgreens website. It's called Instant Breakfast VHC. It's like ensure or boost but with more calories. It has 560 calories per 8.45 fl oz. You can also ask Walgreens to order it for you.It comes in a 24 can case. They also have sales on it periodically.

My husband mixes it with a can of boost or ensure plus a glass of whole milk which gives him 1060 calories to start off the day.

I count calories every day to make sure he's consuming enought to maintain weight. To calculate the amount of calories needed to maintain weight take your weight and multiply by 12. Our goal is for him to put on weight.

He lost over 20 lbs before RX. Thru high caloric meals he put it back on before he started chemoradiation. Lost all of it during chemo. He refused to have a gastric tube inserted. His last RX was in Feb. He's put on 11 lbs . He's doing extremly well with his swollowing. Hasn't tried steak yet. I plan his daily caloric intake to be 1000 calories over the maintenance amount. I believe he's doing better with his swollowing because he did not have a feeding tube put.

Other than his liquid breakfast he's eating all solid foods. It does take him longer to eat but he does have his taste buds back. Dry mouth is the biggest cause of any swollowing difficulties.

He also had his esophagus dilated in May.

Hope this info is helpful


dennis318's picture
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

ensure worked great for a while, till my body said no more and i was losing because iwas in the bathroom more, tore me up...I stuck with the hershey chocloate, whole milk and a good brand of chocolate ice cream, P.S..Breyers is good ice cream,but does not make a smooth malt..drink 2 large malts aday, I've gained 15 lbs...Ensure was good, but got pricey, when i was drinking 4 bottles a day...Good Luck To All..Dennis

CLRRN's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Jun 2010


That's a great product too but we also found Benecalorie (also made by Nestle). You can get it on Walgreen's website-not sold in stores.

Benecalorie- 1.5 oz and yields 330cal. You can add it to anything (neutral taste) to get extra calories. It is a thicker consistency but easily mixes with liquids/other foods.

Mike (my partner) is 6 weeks post radiation-down 55# (started at 282 so he had some reserve). Ready to get off the PEG....benecalorie will be added to EVERYTHING.

He's read to eat.....

Posts: 132
Joined: Oct 2009

Thank you for posting I just got a case of the Carnation VHC for Bob..he has been struggling with his weight since they took his tube out in April:(( I am hoping this drink will help him put on MUCh needed weight...he is about 115lbs and 6 foot tall..at his highest weight he was 140..he looks like a skeletin...his skin is literally hanging off of him...he drank 4 cans today and says he feels FULL..I said No NO NO..mix it with Ice Cream and milk...do not drink 4 cans at one sitting!! I know he really wants to gain back weight, but he is going to end up plugged up again...and he needs to EAT food..he can basically only eat mashed potaoes and lot's of Gravey and not much meat at all...this has been such a struggle for him...and I don't know what to buy when I go shopping because he claims he can eat anything but really he can eat hardly anything...I am so thankful I saw this post about the Carnation Drink...more calories then Ensure and Boost...but I don't want him just drinking his calories..he has been scoped and they say everything looks good no blockages..he will NOT go back to the Swallow Dr...never used the Thick It they gave him.he is very stubborn. He still needs Oxycodone 10mg just to be able to swallow. Hoping he can get back on the Horse and start to get stronger and put on some weight so he can possibly go back to work as he seems depressed being at home all the time. Our Cobra payments are killing us. I am Disabled and only work 12 hours a week. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated if anyone knows of other things I can get him to try. He cancelled 2 Dr Appts and goes in the week of the 23rd. A whole month later than he was supposed to. He was so good about everything while he was going thru the Cancer, but now that he has been told he is Clear, it seems he does not want to cooperate anymore. I have told him he MUST keep all Apt's and keep trying different things and he feeds it to the dog's...our one dog has ballooned to 120 lbs..he is giving them his food to make me think he is eating..but I watch while he does not know. Sorry this is so long winded. I am grateful to everyone here and have gotten so may wonderful tips of what to expect and when..now this Carnation stuff hopefully will help as long as he does not over do it..how many cans should he really drink per day?? One at Breakfast one at Lunch and one a Dinner plus whatever he can get down?? I just do not want him over doing it..It arrived Monday and I ordered it Friday so it came quickly!
Thanks again

kimmygarland's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband went through treatment without the feeding tube (argh) and the Benecalorie was a god-send. Ordered it online from Walgreens like someone else sald. It can be mixed with Ensure or any liquid shake.

He is about to start treatment again for reoccurrence - and I will drag out the left over benecalorie for sure.

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