Pregnancy is an exciting yet challenging process in a woman’s life. Pregnant women have higher nutritional needs than anyone else.
During this period, many moms need to nourish their bodies to create the best conditions for their child’s development. They decide to use supplements and apply a complete diet. One of the most popular supplements is Ensure.
So, can you drink Ensure while pregnant? We will help you answer this question and provide valuable information via this article. So let’s get into the details!
Is It Safe to Drink Ensure While Pregnant?
The short answer is yes. According to the FDA, all ingredients in this supplement are approved as food safe for pregnant women.
Ensure has been on the market since 1973 and has long been the No. 1 recommended nutrition shakes brand by doctors for pregnant women.
It is one of the well-known nutritional supplements and meal replacements brands that originate in the United States. Abbott Laboratories manufactures these drinks.
What Is It?
It comes in two forms, including powder and ready-to-drink. Its purpose is to help make up for a person’s diet that is not allowing them to get the adequate protein, vitamins, calories, and minerals they need.
There is no denying that Ensure is a healthy drink that offers many benefits for any gender and physical condition.
Each serving of it can bring beneficial nutrients to your body. For example, it has soy milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and protein isolate.
So, it is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and calcium. In addition, included canola oil provides healthy fats for our body.
According to the official information on this brand’s website, the Ensure shake gives users about 350 calories with 13 grams of protein per 8-ounce bottle. Meanwhile, an 8oz serving contains 24 essential vitamins and minerals.
They contain the number of minerals and vitamins that pregnant women’s bodies need in their 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.
It also provides minerals to help build strong bones and support organ, tissue, muscle, nerve, and immune system health.
This supplement contains 650 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid, also known as omega-3 fatty acids. It is an acid that improves heart health.
One Ensure drink can also provide about 25% of the iron we could need daily.
So it is clear that it allows you to absorb the vitamins, minerals, protein, and iron that your body needs daily, especially during pregnancy.
The fact that these nutrition shakes can be food for babies. You can boost and improve your baby’s growth by simply adding these nutrition shakes to formula and feeding it to your baby.
Ensure and Pregnancy
Ensure drinks are especially suitable for pregnant women who are facing the following conditions:
- Being sick interferes with your ability to eat healthily.
- Underweight while pregnant
- Meals cannot meet the nutritional needs of pregnancy
However, it is essential to pay attention to the kind of nutrition shakes you consume, as some contain caffeine. We all know that the overuse of caffeinated beverages can harm unborn babies.
Ensure Max Protein is available in Cafe Mocha flavor, containing caffeine. It is alright to use a little caffeine every day during pregnancy. But, ideally, do not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine daily while pregnant.
So, if you’re a big fan of caffeine, you have to read the label carefully when you’re choosing a coffee-flavored Ensure.
Popular Ensure Products and Their Main Uses
There is no denying that it is the perfect nutrition shakes to take in-between meals. If you are always on the go and you want something quick to chug, it is an excellent pick for you. It is available in many styles of nutrition products.
These products come in many different variations. Here we will cover some of the most popular ones.
Ensure Max Protein
In turn, it contains less energy, making it the perfect choice for you when you've eaten enough food but are still lacking the protein required for the day.
Remember that it is available in mocha flavor, containing 100 mg of caffeine. So if you decide to drink this supplement, never go for more than 200 mg.
Benefits of Ensure Drinks for Pregnancy
Using a nutrition shake is the equivalent of a meal. It comes in handy for both men and women that are not pregnant and pregnant women.
1. Meet Nutritional Requirements for Pregnant
A healthy diet can meet a pregnant woman's daily nutritional needs. However, some people cannot do it because they have difficulty eating. That's when supplements come into play. It also helps deal with morning sickness.
2. Meet Daily Calorie Intake
Non-pregnant women need about 2000 calories per day. If you are pregnant, you will need to consume about 2300 calories per day, while 2300 calories are needed for those pregnant with twins.
Eating more is required to increase calorie intake. But most women have a hard time doing it. It is where supplements come in handy. A standard Ensure contains 350 calories, which can help you fulfill that daily need.
3. Help Gain Weight
Some women find it difficult to gain weight during pregnancy. So instead, they lose weight. This condition is nothing to worry about. Yet, losing too much weight can be bad for you and your baby's health.
Ensure products can help you gain or maintain weight by stimulating your appetite. It is beneficial for patients with poor diets.
1. How many Ensures can pregnant women drink a day?
According to the official website of this brand, healthy adults should consume between 48 and 64 fluid ounces (or 6 to 8 bottles) of the Original or Plus.
Yet, too much vitamin A can lead to congenital disabilities during pregnancy.
Specifically, each 8-ounce serving of Original has about 1,250 international units (IU) of vitamin A. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 10,000 IU of vitamin A.
You will need to consume eight bottles of Ensure Original per day to reach the recommended vitamin A intake.
You'll also get vitamin A from other sources, such as prenatal vitamins and foods. Always remember that taking in more vitamin A than necessary can be horrible for both you and your baby.
2. What happens when you drink too much Ensure?
Nothing can completely replace solid foods during pregnancy. Therefore, both supplements and protein shakes should not be something you rely on purely to meet all of your daily nutritional needs.
Just because Ensure products are safe does not mean you should take them as much as you want. Ideally, limit yourself to five to six bottles or less per day.
Pregnant women will need to be extra cautious when using these products. It is wise to consume up to 2 bottles per day.
Consuming too much vitamin A while pregnant can lead to congenital disabilities, while too much iron can increase the odds of gestational diabetes.
So, we recommend getting advice from your doctor or nutritionist before consuming these nutrition shakes. They are good drinks to consume during pregnancy, but you should use them in a way that works for you and your unborn baby.
3. Is it good to drink Ensure at night?
Protein has many advantages and having a certain amount of it before sleep optimizes its gifts.
Slow-digesting protein in a bedtime shake will prolong the duration of muscle protein synthesis, muscle strengthening when you sleep.
Finally, drinking protein before bed will improve the quality of your rest and give you energy for the new day.
That means it is good to drink nutrition shakes at night!
4. Can you drink Ensure on an empty stomach?
Physicians recommend this product to patients with nutritional deficiencies or other conditions limiting their nutritional intake.
The fact is that it is considered a meal replacement, and you can consume this beverage on an empty stomach or with meals.
5. How much Ensure replaces a meal?
It is essential to define your nutritional goals. These products come in different formulations, and some products are ideally than others.
For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, you'll need a product that's high in nutrients but low in calories. On the other hand, if you're looking for a product to boost your workouts, you'll need something with more protein.
6. Will Ensure make you gain weight?
If you want to regain weight after an illness or want to gain weight, you can use the products of this brand as a convenient drink to provide the calories.
Like losing weight, gaining weight requires you to change your calorie intake. Specifically, you need to increase your calorie intake more than your body needs.
As suggested by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you should get your extra calories from nutrient-rich sources, including food, protein shakes, and Ensure.
According to clinical studies of nutritional intervention with oral nutritional supplements, Ensure products can help you gain or maintain weight by stimulating your appetite. It is beneficial for patients with poor diets.
These nutrition shakes can provide calories, protein, and vitamins that many of you lack in your diet.
7. Who should not take Ensure?
Drinking these Ensure products can cause dysglycemia and blood sugar imbalances, causing depression, anxiety, fatigue, food cravings, brain fog.
In addition, high blood sugar affects your insulin levels, leading to insulin resistance and type II diabetes.
On the other hand, while Ensure drinks contain 24 vitamins and minerals, they should not be drunk instead of meals among the elderly. The reason is that using these drinks to replace meals does not meet the nutritional needs of the elderly.
8. Do doctors recommend Ensure?
Yes. It is helpful to people with specific health needs.
Although it provides a good nutrient profile, its artificial sweetener content is not great for the body. So, it is a good pick for patients who have a hard time getting all the nutrients they need through their diet.
Of course, you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements, as it can have a few benefits.
The Bottom Line
Can pregnant women drink Ensure? Yes, you can! It's a convenient drink, but you need to ensure it's right for you. So we recommend consulting your doctor or dietitian before consuming this or any other nutritional drink.
You should also see your dietitian if you do not see any results from this drink. In this case, your doctor or dietitian may be able to offer you another option.
If Ensure doesn't make a difference, you may need to follow a different diet or nutrition plan that is more effective. No matter what supplement you take, getting proper medical advice before taking this supplement is essential.
Thank you for reading!