Supplemental nutrition drinks: What are they good for?

I love a good nutritional shake in the morning. I find that a shake and a coffee are the best breakfast combo. Being able to stumble into the kitchen and have breakfast ready in less than 3 minutes, with any number of taste and texture varieties I like, keeps me looking forward to breakfast every day of the week. 

For me, the foundation of breakfast is WHOLE, a low calorie vegan nutritional powder which can be made with water, a plant milk, added to a smoothie or, my personal favourite, porridge. WHOLE contains 22 essential vitamins and minerals and omega-3, which can be tricky to get in the right quantities on a plant-based diet. It’s more than simple convenience for me - I can frontload my daily nutrition and start on a healthy note. Plus, it tastes really good!

But convenience isn’t the only function of supplemental nutrition drinks. They are widely used by people of all ages for myriad purposes. They can be helpful for those who are struggling with appetite loss, people who are having difficulty with solid foods, people who want to lose weight, and those who might require a food supplement. In short, supplemental nutrition drinks are good for lots of things - let’s take a look at some of them.

Weight Management: 

Supplement nutrition drinks are typically lower in calories than a full meal, but contain good amounts of protein, keeping you fuller for longer whilst providing a slight calorie deficit. This makes them useful as a meal replacement for anyone trying to lose weight. Further, having a nutrient dense option ready made will often stop you reaching for highly processed snacks containing a whole load of artificial ingredients and empty calories. 

Elderly people, too, can benefit from food supplement drinks of this sort. As we age, our appetites decrease. We can develop dysphagia (a difficulty swallowing) and this can cause weight loss, which is particularly problematic in old age. Nutritional drinks can help to manage weight for someone who might not have much of an appetite, and can also help to ensure that they don’t become vitamin deficient by supplying a boost of nutrients. We have investigated this more fully in our guide to nutritional drinks for the elderly.

Nutritional Boost: 

We don’t always get the nutrients we need from our diet. Whilst you will never be able to substitute a healthy balanced diet in its entirety with meal replacement shakes, they can often help to provide nutrients that certain diets may lack. 

Someone following a vegan diet, for example, may find it harder to get enough Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, or Vitamin B12, which supports vital functions in the body including our immune system and metabolism. Ensuring that we get enough of these nutrients is key to improving our health, and works in tandem with our fitness goals to support a strong and healthy body. WHOLE supplies 22 essential vitamins and minerals per serving, as well as live cultures to aid digestion, and Ashwagandha to improve our stress responses. This nutritional bundle can help us to plug any gaps from our diets, and help to prevent deficiencies which can have a negative, long-lasting impact on our health if left. 

The nutrients in drinks such as this can also be useful for those who are breastfeeding. With breastfeeding mothers needing extra protein and calories to help themselves and their baby, meal replacement shakes can be an easy snack option to boost protein, as well as providing essential nutrients for you both. Check out our guide on nutritional drinks and breastfeeding here to help you choose the right drink for you.

Convenience: 

Imagine, if you will, this scenario. You’re due to the office for an important meeting, only for your alarm to fail you. You’ve overslept, and you don’t have time for your usual morning routine, including breakfast. You know that your focus and energy will be out of sync without some fuel, but there’s really very little time. 

Enter nutritional supplement drinks. Ready in less than a minute and easily transportable, they can provide all the energy you need for your morning in one fell swoop. Alternatively, you could keep some of your favourite flavour at work for that moment you realise that your lunch is still sitting on the kitchen counter, or at 4pm when everyone gets a little peckish and starts to reach for the biscuits. 

Flexibility:

One of the great things about products like WHOLE, is that they can be used in a variety of ways, giving you the flexibility to manage your nutrition in the way that is best for you. Whether that is just a quick shake with water, or adding a serving to overnight oats, porridge or even a bake, you can add anything in keeping with your goals. 

So there you have it, a number of uses for nutritional supplement drinks, from meal replacements to a saving grace when you’ve forgotten your lunch. In certain circumstances, nutritional supplement drinks are used for people with chronic conditions such as Crohn’s disease, or to help those recovering from eating disorders. In these instances, we would always recommend that your shake comes at the recommendation of your medical professional, and that you follow their guidance in what is right for your specific condition. 

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