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 pack sizes will be available for Ensure COMPLETE?
Ensure Complete will be available in 4-count packages
How does Ensure COMPLETE support the following:
Complete nutrition with nutrients to support immune system, muscle, heart, digestion and bone health.
Immune health is supported by Zinc, Vitamin A, and antioxidants (Vitamins C and E and Selenium).
Muscle health is supported by 30g of high-quality protein.
Heart health is supported by Ensure Complete being an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid ALA.
Digestive health is supported by 4g of Comfort Fiber Blend with prebiotic fiber.
Bone health is supported by Vitamin D and Calcium.
What changes were made to the Ensure Original formulation?
Sugar has been reduced by 33% (from 15g to 10g total) and vitamins C and D increased by 50% versus the previous formulation.
Can you buy Ensure® with SNAP*/EBT (previously known as food stamps)?
Yes, Ensure nutrition shakes are SNAP*/EBT eligible.
*SNAP is a trademark of the US Department of Agriculture and an abbreviation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. No endorsement of any brand or product by the USDA is implied or intended.
Why did you decrease the sugar content in Ensure Original?
We reduced sugar to help consumers who are interested in lowering their total sugar intake.
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. We recommend using more gentle warming techniques that do not reach boiling, such as short duration, low-power microwaving in a microwave-safe container or placing an open container in a hot water bath. If intending to consume the product frozen, we recommend transferring into a freezer-save storage container with a lid that will accommodate a larger space for the product to expand during freezing.
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 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.
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.
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, 9 grams of protein, and 25 vitamins and minerals.
Does Ensure Original Powder have the same nutritional content as Ensure?
They are not identical. Both Ensure Original Powder and Ensure Original bottles provide complete, balanced nutrition, delivering protein and energy and helping fill potential nutrition gaps. The bottle (retail) provides 220 calories and 9 grams of high-quality protein. Ensure Original Powder provides 250 calories and 9 grams of high-quality protein. There are minor differences in levels of micronutrients.

Ensure Original Nutrition Powder                  

Ensure Original                   
Serving Size 8 fl oz 8 fl oz
Calories 250 220
Carbohydrates, g 34 32
Sugars 13 10
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, & Creamy Caramel Café Mocha, Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla, Mixed Berry, Creamy Strawberry, & Milk Chocolate with Caffeine
Vitamins & Minerals 27 25
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.
Why did Abbott decide to change the flavor of Ensure Pre-Surgery?
We wanted to optimize the patient experience by adding a pleasant fruity taste to our new formulation.
Why did Abbott choose strawberry for the new Ensure Pre-Surgery flavor?
We selected a strawberry flavoring system because it has large appeal to most patients and allowed the product to remain kosher, halal, and gluten-free, and it did not contain any of the 8 major food allergens required by the FDA to be listed on food labels.
Are there natural strawberry derivatives in the strawberry flavoring of Ensure Pre-Surgery?
Yes, there are natural strawberry derivatives and no artificial flavoring in this formulation.
Why was sucralose used versus stevia in Ensure Pre-Surgery?
Sucralose was used in order to be more appealing to the palate.
Will Arctic Chill Ensure Pre-Surgery continue to be sold?
No, Arctic Chill will be discontinued, and Strawberry will take its place.
How will the discontinuation of Arctic Chill Ensure Pre-Surgery affect my ordering process?
It won’t! We worked hard to retain the same SKUs, so you can order as usual, and orders will automatically transfer to Strawberry as of October 15, 2019.
Are acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) and sucralose used in Ensure Pre-Surgery safe?
All new food additives, including sweeteners, must be approved by the FDA as safe before they can be marketed in the United States. The FDA reviewed data from multiple studies in animals and humans before approving Ace-K and sucralose to be added to foods and beverages. Many of the studies were designed to identify possible toxic effects; no such effects were found. FDA approval of Ace-K and sucralose is based on its finding that these substances are safe for human consumption.
Is anything different about the new Ensure Pre-Surgery formulation?
There are 4 additional ingredients in our Strawberry formula: natural flavor, citric acid, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose.

The amounts of the below nutrients have not changed, but the percent daily values (DV) have been updated per new federal nutrition FACTS regulations:

- The zinc level is now 25% DV, whereas Arctic Chill was 20% DV.
- The selenium level is now 20% DV, whereas Arctic Chill was 15% DV.
- The carbohydrate level is now 18% DV, whereas Arctic Chill was 17% DV.
- Added sugars now listed on the label.

Is the new Strawberry flavor of Ensure Pre-Surgery red in color?
No, this formulation is colorless and contains no added dyes, similar in appearance to water.
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein Non-GMO?
Yes, all ingredients in Ensure Plant-Based Protein are non-GMO.
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein organic?
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein gluten-free?
Is the protein in Ensure Plant-Based Protein a complete protein?
Is the protein in Ensure Plant-Based Protein high-quality with all essential amino acids?
Ensure Plant-Based Protein uses fava bean and pea-based protein sources. With the exception of soy, legume-based proteins are not complete proteins because they contain low levels of some of the nine essential amino acids found in complete protein. However, when these proteins are consumed with other plant-based proteins, such as grains, the diet should supply an adequate amount of all essential amino acids.
What are the protein sources of Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
A blend of 70% fava bean and 30% pea proteins.
What are fava beans?
Fava beans are legumes that are a popular source of protein in Middle-Eastern diets.
Why were fava beans chosen for Ensure Plant-Based Protein instead of other plant-based protein sources?
Fava beans provide a source of protein that has a favorable taste profile relative to other plant-based proteins.
What sweeteners are in Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
Organic cane sugar, stevia, and monk fruit are sweeteners used in Ensure Plant-Based Protein.
Does Ensure Plant-Based Protein contain corn?
No corn ingredients are added to Ensure Plant-Based Protein. However, because small amounts of cornstarch-based carriers are used for vitamins/minerals, corn may be present in trace amounts.
What are carriers?
Carriers are used in manufacturing to ensure that ingredients used in small quantities are properly incorporated during mixing.
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein milk-free?
Per the FDA definition of milk, Ensure Plant-Based Protein does not contain milk. It is dairy-free and lactose-free.
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein suitable for people with lactose intolerance?
Yes, this product is lactose-free.
Are any ingredients in Ensure Plant-Based Protein derived from animals?
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein suitable for a vegan and/or vegetarian diet/lifestyle?
Is there any caffeine in Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
No caffeine is added. Although there may be inherent caffeine from the cocoa in the Chocolate flavor, it is likely less than 10 mg.
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein halal?
Vanilla is halal, Chocolate is not.
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein kosher?
Is Ensure Plant-Based Protein manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts or tree nuts?
Can Ensure Plant-Based Protein be used as sole-source nutrition?
No, this product is not intended or recommended to be used as sole-source nutrition.
Is there a limit on how many Ensure Plant-Based Protein I can drink per day?
No. However, Ensure Plant-Based Protein is not intended or recommended to be used as sole-source nutrition.
Can pregnant or lactating women drink Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
Are the storage guidelines for Ensure Plant-Based Protein the same as for other Ensure shakes?
Can Ensure Plant-Based Protein be tube-fed?
No, the product has not been assessed for tube feeding.
Where is Ensure Plant-Based Protein available?
Retailers are still deciding whether they will carry Ensure Plant-Based Protein. As of August 2019, confirmed retailers that will stock Ensure Plant-Based Protein include Amazon, RiteAid, ShopRite, Kroger, CVS, and Publix. For additional details on where Ensure Plant-Based Protein is available, visit
What flavors will be available for Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
Ensure Plant-Based Protein is available in Chocolate and Vanilla flavors.
When will Ensure Plant-Based Protein be available?
It will start shipping to retailers on August 19, 2019 and should be available on shelves several weeks after this date. However, retailers control when new products appear on their shelves.
Will there be an institutional version of Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
Ensure Plant-Based Protein will be available to institutional customers. The formulation and size are the same as the version available to consumers through retailers.
What is the suggested retail price (SRP) of Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
$10.99 for a 4 count of 11-fl-oz tetras.
How does the Ensure Plant-Based Protein Great Taste Guarantee work?
  1. Should you not agree that Ensure Plant-Based Protein has a great taste, you can take advantage of its money-back Great Taste Guarantee via the following steps:
  2. Visit
  3. Click the “download form” button
  4. On the original register receipt, circle the purchase price and, if applicable, the discount price. Cut the UPC from your Ensure Plant-Based Protein package.
  5. Within 30 days of product purchase, send your completed form, original register receipt, and UPC to the address listed on the web page.
What is the viscosity of Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
What is its osmolality of Ensure Plant-Based Protein?
225-275 mOsm/Kg water.
How does Ensure Plant-Based Protein compare to Ensure Original?

Ensure Original Shakes Vanilla                  

Ensure Plant-Based Protein Vanilla                   
Serving size 8 fl oz 11 fl oz
Calories 220 180
Protein 9 g 20 g
Fiber <1 g 5 g
Sugars 10 g 7 g
Vitamins & Minerals 27 25
Qualifications Suitable for lactose intolerance, gluten-free Non-GMO, no dairy, no soy, no artificial flavors, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial colors, gluten-free, lactose-free

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