Nutrition Questions & Answers | Ensure® Nutrition Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions to see what other consumers just like you are asking about nutrition.

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What ingredients are in Ensure drinks?
A variety of ingredients are used in Ensure shakes to support one’s nutrition needs. These nutrients are all safe for humans and have been used in various other foods. For example, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and/or soy protein isolate are used to provide high quality protein; canola oil provides healthy fats; vitamins and minerals are included in Ensure drinks as well. Please check the Ingredients section on the label for the complete list.
Are Ensure products sugar free?
No, Ensure products are not sugar-free. Ensure Max Protein contains 1 gram of sugar per 11-oz serving. As a comparison, one cup (8oz) of 1% or fat-free milk contains about 12 grams of sugar and a cup of chocolate-flavored skim milk contains 23 grams of sugar.*

* Nutrition information sourced from USDA National Nutrient Database.
Are Ensure products for Diabetics?
Ensure products are designed for individuals without diabetes. Another Abbott Nutrition product line, Glucerna, is specifically designed for people with diabetes, which contains a blend of more slowly digested carbohydrates to help minimize blood sugar response.

Ensure products, on the other hand, can fit into the meal plan for a person with diabetes. It is important to account for the carbohydrates contributed by Ensure and measure blood sugar at least two hours after consuming to determine the effect on blood sugar levels so that necessary adjustments can be made. We recommend that an individual with diabetes consult with their healthcare provider regarding adult nutritional products or supplements.
Are Ensure products Lactose Free?
All Ensure products contain some lactose but do not represent a medical concern for individuals with lactose intolerance due to the small amount.

Ensure products should not be consumed by people with galactosemia.
Does Ensure help you gain weight?
Different Ensure products are designed to meet different nutrition needs. Some Ensure Products (Ensure Original, Ensure Plus, and Ensure Enlive) are designed to provide complete, balanced nutrition to help people maintain or gain a healthy weight, particularly for patients who are at risk of malnutrition or are experiencing involuntary weight loss. On the other hand, Ensure High Protein, Ensure Light and Ensure Clear are designed to provide supplemental protein and other nutrients in fewer calories. Click here to find the right Ensure for you.
Does Ensure help with weight loss?
Ensure can be used as a delicious meal supplement, occasional meal replacement, or convenient between-meal snack. Ensure can benefit people who are on modified diets, at nutritional risk, experiencing involuntary weight loss, recovering from illness or surgery, or on low-residue diets. Although Ensure was not designed specifically for weight loss, it can be used as part of a balanced, calorie-reduced diet for weight loss, as long as the total calories for the day stay within the weight-loss calorie level recommended for you. We would encourage you to speak with your healthcare professional about an appropriate weight-loss plan for you. Note: Ensure Max Protein is a food supplement and should not be used for weight reduction.
Are Ensure products Gluten-free?
Yes, Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks are gluten-free.
Are Ensure products to be used as a meal replacement or a snack?
Yes, Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks can be used as a snack and as an occasional meal replacement.
Can Ensure products be warmed or frozen?
Yes, Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks can be warmed before use and can be frozen if desired.
Once opened, how long can Ensure products be kept out at room temperature? In the refrigerator?
Once a bottle of Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks have been opened, it should be used or refrigerated within four hours. The remaining product should be used or discarded after 48 hours.
Can Ensure products be mixed with fruit? What impact does this have on the nutritional value?
Yes, different fruits can be added to Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks to make a smoothie or a shake. Fruits tend to be high in certain essential vitamins and can contain a moderate amount of calories depending on the amount used. Adding fruit can increase the vitamin and total calorie content of the finished product.
What should I do with Ensure packaging once I am done?
Ensure Hi-Cone carriers are made with Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), #4 plastic. Hi-Cone rings will degrade when exposed to direct sunlight within 36 hours. So, cutting the rings is not necessary. However, cutting Hi-Cone carriers is always a proactive measure that you can take. Also, there is a small tab located on the front of the package that allows you to open up the package one ring at a time. This makes storage and the removal of bottles easier, eliminating the need to cut the rings after use. Hi-cone carriers can be included in recycling bins wherever #4 LDPE or mixed plastics are accepted. Visit Earth911 ® to find a recycling center near you.

Hi-Cone carriers are not biodegradable. Biodegradation only occurs in composting facilities, which is not the most likely end-of-life scenario for Hi-Cone carriers. Biodegradation does not occur in landfills. Like any other material, very little happens to Hi-Cone carriers in a landfill. Landfills are constructed so materials do not degrade, contaminate groundwater, or produce harmful by-products.
How is Ensure Enlive different than other Ensure products?
Ensure Enlive is our most advanced oral nutritional supplement in regards to nutritional content and scientific evidence. Ensure Enlive has 7 more grams of high-quality protein compared to Plus, 1.5 grams of CaHMB, and 120% DV of vitamin D per serving. Ensure Enlive was examined by the NOURISH study which was clinically shown to improve nutritional status, body weight, and vitamin D levels.
How many Ensure Enlive shakes are recommended per day?
The recommended intake of Ensure Enlive is 2 servings per day to provide 3 grams of CaHMB.
What is HMB, a unique ingredient in Ensure Enlive?
HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate) comes from a building block of protein and is found in small amounts in some foods. It is difficult to get enough HMB from your diet. HMB supports muscle health.
How many bottles of Ensure High Protein are recommended per day?
Ensure High Protein is designed as an oral nutritional supplement to be used in addition to a healthy diet. The maximum amount of Ensure High Protein that someone can consume per day is 3 servings. This level will not exceed the Upper Tolerable Intake Levels (ULs) for any vitamins and minerals.
How much sugar is in Ensure Clear?
Ensure Clear has 18 grams of sugars per serving. The amount of sugars includes all inherent and added sugars in the product. As a comparison, a 10-fl-oz serving of orange juice contains a similar quantity of sugars (26 grams).
Is Ensure Clear complete, balanced nutrition like other Ensure products? If not, why not?
Ensure Clear is not a source of complete, balanced nutrition and it does not contain fat. It is designed for people who need to be on a clear liquid diet, or a fat restricted diet. It is ideal for people who prefer a fruit-flavored alternative to creamy shake-like supplements.
Would the dyes in Ensure Clear show up as blood in a colonoscopy?
If the patient has followed his/her healthcare professional’s instructions for preparation for the colonoscopy procedure, it is very unlikely that the dyes in Ensure Clear would be present in the GI tract.

Note: Ensure Clear or other Ensure products should not be consumed once the colonoscopy preparation has started.
How does Ensure Light compare with Ensure Original?
Ensure Light is lower in calories, fat, carbohydrate, and sugars and higher in protein than Ensure Original (retail). See the chart below for the details.

Ensure Light Vanilla                  

Ensure Original (Retail Vanilla)                   
Serving Size 8 fl oz 8 fl oz
Calories 70 220
Carbohydrates, g 2 32
Sugars 0 15
Protein, g 12 9
Fat, g 2 6
Does one 4oz Ensure Compact bottle have the same nutrition as one 8oz bottle of Original?
Yes. One bottle of Ensure Compact provides the same amount of calorie and protein, and complete, balanced nutrition as one bottle of Ensure Original.
How is Compact different than other Ensure products?
Ensure Compact is an easy to drink 4 fl oz product that provides complete, balanced nutrition to supplement an individual’s diet when they are unable to consume an 8 fl oz product. It provides 220 calories, 9g protein and 26 vitamins and minerals -- the same as Ensure Original.
Does Ensure Original Powder have the same nutritional content as Ensure?

Ensure Original Nutrition Powder                  

Ensure Original                   
Serving Size 8 fl oz 8 fl oz
Calories 250 220
Carbohydrates, g 34 32
Sugars 0 15
Protein, g 9 9
Fat, g 9 6
Can milk be used instead of water in Ensure Original Powder?
We recommend you follow the instructions on the label for the correct preparation of Ensure powder. If milk is added to Ensure Powder instead of water for oral consumption, it is important to note that the product will no longer be suitable for lactose intolerance and the nutritional profile will be different than the product label.
What is Ensure Surgery and what does it do?
Ensure Surgery is a nutrition shake containing protein, arginine, and fish oil to help your body recover after surgery.
Why is Ensure Surgery important?
Surgery creates unique nutrition needs that may not be met through a normal, balanced diet alone. Doctors recommend this specialized Ensure Surgery immunonutrition shake to help your body prepare for, and recover from, surgery.
How should I drink Ensure Surgery shakes?
It’s important that you follow your doctor’s nutrition recommendations. Drinking the recommended number of shakes before and/or after surgery will help you meet your nutrition needs for recovery. Unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare team, you should also continue to eat meals as you normally would. You should not consume more than 3 servings per day.

Patients with diabetes should consult their healthcare provider about changes to their meal plans when drinking Ensure Surgery shake.
Why does Ensure Surgery have so many calories and carbohydrates?
Surgical patients are at high risk of malnutrition and need the nutritional support of calories and carbohydrates. Ensure Surgery is calorically dense (1.39 kcal/mL), with high protein to support wound healing and improve outcomes. The caloric density of Ensure Surgery is consistent with most immunonutrition formulas studied to date.
What is Ensure Pre-Surgery and what does it do?
Surgery creates unique nutrition needs for your body. Ensure Pre-Surgery is formulated for those needs, with carbohydrates and antioxidants to help your body recover after surgery.
Why is Ensure Pre-Surgery important?
This specialized Ensure nutrition drink is designed to help your body prepare for, and recover from, surgery. It’s important that you follow your doctor’s nutrition recommendations to help with recovery.
Why can’t I use Ensure® Clear for preoperative carbohydrate loading?
Ensure Clear is an alternative to a milk-based product that can be used 5-7 days prior to surgery and after surgery to improve nutritional status. It is not intended to be used for carbohydrate-loading immediately prior to surgery. The enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocol recommends a clear beverage containing carbohydrate (maltodextrin) that is low in osmolality, without protein and fat.
How does Ensure Max Protein compare to Ensure High Protein?
Ensure Max Protein offers the same convenience of a ready-to-drink shake and contains 30 grams of protein with 1 gram of sugar per serving.

Ensure High Protein                  

Ensure Max Protein                   
Serving Size 8oz 11oz
High‑Quality Protein 16g 30g
Calories 160 150
Sugar(s) 4g 1g
Net Carbs 19g (Vanilla) 4g
Flavors Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, & Strawberry Milk Chocolate & Café Mocha
Vitamins & Minerals 23 22
How many servings of Ensure Max Protein are recommended per day?
1-2 per day. Ensure Max Protein shakes can be used as a convenient on-the-go snack or to increase protein intake with meals. Drinking more than 2 servings per day may provide too much protein and too few carbohydrates and calories to meet nutritional needs.
Can pregnant or lactating women use Ensure Max Protein?
Yes, but no more than 1 serving per day of Ensure Max Protein Café Mocha is recommended, due to the caffeine content (100mg/serving). Note: 1 cup (8oz) of coffee contains about 100mg caffeine.
Can a person with renal failure or chronic kidney disease use Ensure Max Protein?
Consult with a healthcare professional to determine which nutrition shakes are right for you.

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