How Much Ensure Should I Drink to Gain Weight?

How Much Ensure Should I Drink to Gain Weight?

Ensure drinks are nutritional shakes packed with nutrients, calories, and protein. They come in a variety of flavors and nutritional densities and are a proven tool for making changes to your weight. Can they, however, make you gain weight?

You only need to drink 1-2 Ensure drinks per day to healthily gain weight. It is necessary to supplement your Ensure with solid meals because Ensure only contains 220-500 calories depending on which one you purchase. Ensure contains enough protein and minerals to help you gain weight when you consume more calories throughout the day.

In this article, we’ll discuss how many bottles of Ensure you should drink a day, and who exactly should be drinking Ensure. Let’s dig in!

Who Should Be Drinking Ensure?

Ensure is for those looking for a high calorie, protein rich, nutrient dense meal supplement or replacement. It is especially helpful to those looking for a supplement that is kosher, halal, gluten-free or lactose intolerant friendly.

Ensure should be used with caution in those with kidney disease as it is a concentrated source of nutrients and protein. Those with diabetes should also use caution due to its sugar content.

Always consult your doctor before using any supplement to meet your weight goals.

Is Ensure a Meal Replacement?

Ensure shakes provide complete nutrition and can be used as a meal replacement. When used as a meal replacement, Ensure is more effective as a weight loss agent.  It is a great agent to tightly control your calorie intake. If weight gain is your goal, read on.

When used in addition to regular meals and snacks, Ensure is a practical, nutritious tool for weight gain. Weight gain is dependent on excess calories, or calories that exceed your body’s daily need for living.

To promote weight gain, Ensure is most effective if it is used in addition to normal meals because it will provide the excess calories your body needs to gain weight.

Does Ensure Help Gain Weight Fast?

If gaining weight fast is your goal, Ensure drinks can help with that. They are a convenient way to add a boost of calories to your diet without needing to consume a whole lot. They come in a variety of calorie, protein and nutrient densities, allowing you to choose one that meets your needs. Choosing a higher calorie shake or drinking more than one a day will help you gain weight faster.

For weight gain, you need to consume more calories than your body needs. The more calories you consume above your daily need, the more weight you are going to gain. You do want to be careful though as gaining too much weight too fast can pose health risks. Always consult a doctor or registered dietitian to determine what rate of weight gain will be healthiest for you and the safest way to achieve your goal.

Read below to learn the calories and nutrition profiles of ensure drinks and the general recommended intake per day for weight gain.

How Many Bottles of Ensure Should I Drink a Day?

It is recommended to drink 1-2 bottles of Ensure per day with meals or snacks for weight gain. Ultimately, how many bottles of Ensure to drink per day is dependent on how much weight you want to gain and how quickly. One pound of weight is equal to 3500 additional calories so to gain 1lb per week you want to consume approximately 500 extra calories per day.  Check out the chart below to see how many bottles you should drink to reach your weight goal.

 Bottles per DayCalories
Ensure Original1 - 2220 - 440
Ensure Plus1 - 2350 - 700
Ensure Complete1 - 2350 - 700
Ensure Original Nutrition Powder1 - 2250 - 500

Ensure Original is a good choice if you’re looking for a slow and steady weight gain. This is also a good option if you are supplementing the shakes with additional calories from meals and snacks. 

For quick weight gain or those who may have a small appetite, Ensure Plus and Ensure Complete are your best bet because you get more calories in the same amount of drink.

Ensure Original Nutrition Powder is similar in nutrient content to Ensure Original, but you mix it with water yourself to make a beverage.

Which Ensure is Best for Weight Gain?

Ensure makes a variety of products based on the consumer’s needs. For weight gain, Ensure Original, Ensure Plus, or Ensure Complete provide are the best options.  The chart below highlights the complete nutrition that Ensure drinks offer and the flavors they come in.

All of the following Ensure products will help with weight gain.  Drinking 1-2 Ensure Plus or Ensure Complete will promote a quicker rate of weight gain than 1-2 Ensure originals because of their higher calorie content.

ProductNutrition FactsFlavors
Ensure Original220 calories

9g protein

27 vitamins and minerals
Milk chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, dark chocolate, butter pecan, coffee latte, banana nut
Ensure Plus

350 calories

16g protein

27 vitamins and minerals
Milk chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, dark chocolate, butter pecan
Ensure Complete350 calories

30g protein

25 vitamins and minerals
Milk chocolate, vanilla, strawberry
Ensure Original Nutrition Powder250 calories

9g protein

25 vitamins and minerals

For healthy weight gain, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends getting extra calories from nutrient-rich sources. All Ensure products pack in complete nutrition with essential vitamins and minerals, quality protein, and calories needed for energy.

The calories in Ensure Original come from a balance of the macronutrients our bodies need. The ingredients include a blend of vegetable oils (fats), milk protein concentrate (proteins), and sugar (carbohydrates).

Other Weight Gain Shakes for Underweight

In addition to Ensure products, there are other nutrition shakes on the market that can be used for weight gain. When choosing a weight gain shake, steer clear of gimmicky products that make promises that seem too good to be true. These may include “miraculous weight gain” products. They are often packed with sugar rather than a balance of the nutrients your body needs for healthy weight gain.

Stick to products that offer complete nutrition instead. This includes protein, vitamins and minerals! If you are unsure about a product consult your doctor or dietitian. Here are a few of my favorites that are worth checking out.

1. Boost Plus Nutritional Drink

Nutrition Facts: 360 calories, 14g protein, 26 vitamins and minerals 

Flavors: rich chocolate, very vanilla, creamy strawberry

2. Kate Farm Nutrition Shake

Nutrition Facts: 330 calories, 16g protein, 27 vitamins and minerals 

Flavors: chocolate, vanilla, coffee

3. Kirkland Complete Nutrition Shake

Nutrition Facts: 200 calories, 15g protein, 24 vitamins and minerals 

Flavors: chocolate and vanilla

Additional Tips for Weight Gain

Gaining weight, for someone who needs to, can lead to better overall health and quality of life when done in a healthy and sustainable way. The key to healthy weight gain is understanding your body and its needs and choosing the right foods and supplements to fuel your body.

Nutrient rich shakes are one tool but here are a few additional tips for quality and effective weight gain.

  • Choose nutrient dense foods as often as possible and avoid or limit “empty calories” such as sugary beverages, candy and chips.
  • If your appetite is small, consume nutrition shakes and fluids in between meals rather than with and opt for 5-6 small meals per day.
  • Get creative with adding calories to your meals! You can top salads with healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados, add cheese to chili or soups, or add 1-2 tablespoons of dry milk to home cooked meals.

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Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

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