Updated: 01/10/2017 - Site operated by Leptigen

Ensure Review - Does This Diet Shake Work? Are bad taste and low protein deal breakers?

  • 211 User Comments
  • Rating: 3.3. From 344 votes.
By Summer Banks Dec 23, 2016

Why is it that so few diet products are backed by science? Let’s find out once and for all if Ensure is one of the good ones. We created a comprehensive review, examining the side effects, ingredients, clinical studies and level of customer service. Then, we spent some time reading through user experiences we found online. Finally, we summed up and condensed to give you the bottom line.

Ensure Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Leptigen.

What is Ensure?

First off, Ensure is a prepackaged nutritional shake [1] that is ready-to-drink. It is made by Abbott Laboratories and comes in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, butter pecan and coffee latte. It is intended to provide daily nutrition, boost energy levels and function as an alternative to meals. Each serving provides 220 calories, nine grams of protein, 26 essential vitamins and minerals [2], as well as 25% of your daily B vitamins [3]. As such, you may be able to lose weight if you use this as part of a low-calorie eating plan.

The meal replacement shake will not increase metabolism or boost fat loss directly, but there are clinically tested supplements that can help with that if you’re trying to lose weight.

Ensure has been available since 1973 and can be purchased in common supermarkets and drugstores. This shake is easy to consume on-the-go and it’s fine for people of all ages, but read on…

Ensure Has A Bad Taste – “Yucky?”

The first thing you must consider with Ensure ingredients is the taste. “If dieters cannot drink a product that is supposed to provide nutrition, that can be a huge problem,” says our Research Editor. “There are far too many complaints about this to ignore.”

One customer commented, “This flavor was gross though. It tastes absolutely nothing like coffee or any other known flavor for that matter. The person who said sidewalk chalk – not a bad comparison.”

“I don’t really like the taste. I ended up holding my breath while drinking it to avoid tasting it. It tastes artificial,” said another user.

According to a few users, the taste was good.

” It packs a huge amount of calories and actually tastes pretty good,” said one.

Another claimed, “Ensure Plus tastes great and isn’t too thick.”

Low Protein Levels in Ensure – “Another Concern”

Each bottle/serving of Ensure only proves nine grams of protein, which is quite small [4] in comparison to most other bars and shakes in the same category. In fact, one customer stated, “Only 9 grams of protein? Really? No thanks!”

Another said, “I’ll stick with my protein powder. It tastes better too.”

Not everyone felt the protein levels were too low.

“The jugs are very small and yet pack 350 calories in each one. Lots of protein too,” one customer shared.

Another said, “Each bottle contains 350 calories and 13 grams of protein, and 24 vitamins and minerals. It’s about the healthiest drink on the market.”

The research we’ve conducted has shown if there is one specific aspect of a diet shake that is off (bad taste, low protein levels) the likelihood of prolonged success is slim. So, if the dieter can’t keep Ensure down and it doesn’t provide sufficient nutrition, that is certainly an issue, especially if weight-loss is the goal.

The Science – “Valid?”

At DietSpotlight, we really prefer to see documented clinical research that supports the diet product or pill and how it helps the dieter lose. As for Ensure nutritional shakes, we could not locate any published studies that links this product to weight-loss. However, we have to note that meal replacements can work to reduce calorie intake [5] when used regularly. Partner that with a tested and strongly supported supplement and you’ve got the recipe for success.

The Bottom Line – Does Ensure Work?

So, have we decided this is the best replacement out there? We are excited to see that there are numerous Ensure flavors to choose from. You should note that this shake contains 15 grams of sugar per serving, which is not the best option when you are trying to lose weight. Combine that with the fact that clinical research does not support this formula over other nutritional drinks and we’re left skeptical about recommending it. Furthermore, there are plenty of customer complaints about the taste.

Dieters that wish to shed more pounds and really trim up, may want to consider a weight-loss pill that is supported by solid clinical testing, does not taste unpleasant and is backed by all sorts of positive user reviews. It’s even better if you can combine a meal replacement with such a product.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Leptigen. Its formula is a special blend of four ingredients, which have been shown with clinical testing to help ignite metabolism and encourage more fat loss. We have not seen many complaints of adverse effects and dieter feedback around the web indicates people are seeing some fantastic results. These are the exact characteristics of a strong weight-loss supplement.

Also, the company that produces Leptigen is so confident in the supplement they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, which is a huge positive. You really have nothing to lose but those extra pounds that have been hanging around!

Previous Ensure Review (Updated July 10, 2014):

What You Should Know about Ensure

Ensure is a meal replacement drink designed to provide nutrition and prevent hunger by offering a nutrient-fortified shake, now available in various flavors and five different shakes for a dieter's individual needs. Each type of drink claims to contain enough nutrients equal to one missed meal, and will also fight off hunger pangs while providing nutritional support, ranging from fiber to protein. Flavors range from strawberry to creamy milk chocolate, and can be purchased online or through major retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target. Ensure tends to be a bit expensive, but claims to be a worthy choice for consumers seeking a nutritional supplement. It does not claim to be a weight loss supplement, however, but it is sometimes used for that purpose. Supplementing a diet with meal replacement shakes is often debated for its safety, and some say that replacing a nutritious meal with a replacement shake is not always the safest route. Additionally, meal replacement shakes often contain chemicals and too little nutritional and naturally-derived ingredients. Let's evaluate how nutritious Ensure is, and if it will provide any dietary benefits.

Ensure Ingredients

Ensure's original drink contains U-D Water, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Corn Maltodextrin, Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Oil, Cocoa Powder, Soy Protein Concentrate, Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Phosphate, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Chloride, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Ferric Phosphate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Magenesium Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Molbdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Cyanocobalamin, Phylloquinone, and Vitamin D3. We did do a bit more research on Ensure Ingredients.

Ensure Product Features

Ensure claims to contain nutritional ingredients which aid a person's normal diet, but the ingredients contained are mostly synthetic or chemical substances with little proven benefits for dieters. The actual nutrients -- namely, Vitamin A and Vitamin D3 -- are also listed in the lower half on the ingredient list, indicating it is used in smaller doses in comparison to the rest of the ingredients. These ingredients, if used in larger doses, may have provided nutritional benefits to dieters who are not able to eat a sensible plan, but the lower dosage may lessen these benefits. Furthermore, any diet-related benefits could not be located. It appears Ensure may match the caloric content of an average meal (say, 300 calories or so) but as a nutritional supplement, may not contain the amount dieters may desire for optimum nutrition.

Advantages of Ensure

  • Is widely available in retail stores and on the internet.
  • Comes in a variety of flavors and fortified types for individual needs.

Disadvantages of Ensure

  • Contains a lot of chemically-derived and synthetic ingredients.
  • Does not appear to contain a sufficient amount of nutritional ingredients.
  • Can be expensive if used daily.


Ensure is a popular nutritional supplement that is used to replace a normal meal, but as a dietary supplement may not provide enough benefits for dieters. Still, it does come in a variety of palatable flavors that may help dieters for short term support.

Ensure Questions & Answers:

We summarized hundreds of user comments about Ensure into this helpful FAQ.

What are the side effects of Ensure?

Some potential Ensure side effects could include constipation, diarrhea and upset stomach.

What is in Ensure?

The Ensure ingredients are water, corn maltodextrin, sugar, milk protein concentrate, soy oil, soy protein isolate, sucromalt, cocoa powder, canola oil, corn oil, magnesium phosphate, potassium citrate, cellulose gel, natural & artificial flavor, potassium chloride, sodium citrate, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, choline chloride, ascorbic acid, cellulose gum, monoglycerides, soy lecithin, carrageenan, potassium hydroxide, liquid sucralose, ferric orthophosphate, dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, acesulfame potassium, zinc sulfate, niacinamide, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, cupric sulfate, vitamin a palmitate, thiamine chloride hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, chromium chloride, biotin, sodium molybdate, sodium selenate, potassium iodide, cyanocobalamin, phylloquinone and vitamin d3.

What is the active ingredient in Ensure?

The active ingredient in Ensure is soy protein isolate[1].

Does Ensure work?

There’s no scientific research proving Ensure will help dieters lose weight. We did find science to back adding protein to a diet[2], but nothing that’s just about Ensure.

You may want to consider thinking about replacing Ensure with a supplement like Leptigen, which consists of ingredients that have been clinically tested.

How much does a bottle of Ensure cost?

One bottle of Ensure costs $1.58 or $37.99 for a case of 24.

How do you take Ensure?

You should drink one Ensure shake per day. If you are wanting to lose weight, the company recommends replacing a meal with an Ensure shake.

Can I take Ensure if I have a health condition?

Women who are pregnant or nursing, those with health conditions, people taking prescription medications of any kind or under 18 years of age should consult with a healthcare professional prior to using any dietary supplement, including Ensure.

What do users like about Ensure?

Some users liked that Ensure was affordable and that the product was available on the official website.

What do users NOT like about Ensure?

We found that some users didn’t like the taste of Ensure and that the supplement wasn’t an effective weight-loss product.

Who makes Ensure?

The makers of Ensure is Abbott Laboratories.

How do I contact the Ensure customer service department?

You can contact the customer service department by mailing the corporate headquarters at Abbott Laboratories 100 Abbott Park Rd. Abbott Park, IL 60064-3500, using the customer feedback form or by calling a representative at 1-224-667-6100.

How much protein is in Ensure?

Each serving of Ensure contains 9g of protein.

How much sugar is in a serving of Ensure?

Each serving of Ensure contains 15g of sugar.

Does Ensure come with a guarantee?

Ensure comes with a guarantee. You have 30 days to return the product to receive a full refund.

Do you know of any special deals or discounts on Ensure?

There are special deals and discounts on Ensure when you purchase the product from the official website. You will receive a 10% discount and free shipping on purchases. However, the last several months have been a whirlwind with our readers taking advantage of Leptigen’s Special Trial Offer, which is just the cost of shipping and handling. Click here to give it a try.

It's a good source of protein with 220 calories. Calories vary by flavor.

Ensure Ingredients and Supplement Facts

Serving Size: 1 bottle
Serving Per Container: 8 fl oz
Amount per Serving % DV
Water * *
Corn Maltodextrin * *
Sugar * *
Milk Protein Concentrate * *
Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn) * *
Soy Protein Isolate * *
Nonfat Milk * *
Magnesium Phosphate * *
, Potassium Citrate * *
Natural & Artificial Flavor * *
Cellulose Gel * *
Salt * *
Calcium Carbonate * *
Calcium Phosphate * *
Choline Chloride * *
Ascorbic Acid * *
Sodium Citrate * *
Cellulose Gum * *
Potassium Chloride * *
Monoglycerides * *
Soy Lecithin * *
Carrageenan * *
Potassium Hydroxide * *
Liquid Sucralose * *
Ferrous Sulfate * *
Zinc Sulfate * *
Acesulfame Potassium * *
dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate * *
Niacinamide * *
Manganese Sulfate * *
Calcium Pantothenate * *
Copper Sulfate * *
Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride * *
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride * *
Vitamin A Palmitate * *
Riboflavin * *
Chromium Chloride * *
Folic Acid * *
Biotin * *
Sodium Molybdate * *
Potassium Iodide * *
Sodium Selenate * *
Phylloquinone * *
Vitamin D3 * *
Vitamin B12 * *

Other Ingredients: None

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About the Author:

Summer Banks, a content strategist at Leptigen, has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

Rating: 3.3. From 344 votes.
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User Comments

211 Comments on "Ensure Review"


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Is this good for body building? Currently im taking whey powder. Now since last week I’m started using ensure too. The thing i noticed is when i used to take whey and go for workout, there was nothing to feel about. So i started to take ensure, now i feel like I’ve got some energy, since then I’m able to go for heavy wights. So would you recommend me completely ensure rather than whey, or shall i stick to whey itself. And i dont think i need whey because I’ve fat in my body, so ensure would be enough for me. What’s your advice?

Hello. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results, but exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet and supplements have shown to help with results.

Hi Adrian. Musarrat’s question was, what will be the side effect if the product is used after 3 weeks once opened.
I’m interested in his query as my dad is taking Ensure Gold powder. But since he has improved on his meal intake, i plan to drink of what is left of his Ensure Gold. However, it’s been more than a month since the tin was opened. Is it still safe to drink the product?

Hi! Please make sure to consult with your physician before taking Ensure after it has been opened.

I have been thinking wether my comments would make a difference to someone I survived cancer twice and I believe it was due to the diet my doctor insisted on which was ensure drink it gave me my life back any good health due to ensure as a cancer survivor I recommend ensure 3 to 4 drinks a day and it could be mix with many types of fruts since 1990 I have lived a good life due to ensure it is now Dic 17,2016 and looking forward to a whole 2017.. thank you Ensure for a happy life you probases me. Sincerely yours
George A. Medrano

Magnificent site. Lots of helpful information here. I am sending it to some friends. And obviously, thank you for your sweat!

What is the downside to drinking Ensure Compact after 24 hours, if left in the refrigerator? Will it make me sick or will the nutritional value be decreased?

Hi! For detailed product and usage instructions, please refer to the Ensure official website for more information on expiration dates and refrigeration instructions.

Can I use milk instead of water to mAke ensure shake

Hi! For detailed product and usage instructions, please refer to the Ensure official website for more information.

Ensure Enlive makes my heart beat faster.

Instead of mixing Ensure or NutriVigor with cold water, is it possible to mix it into morning cereal (cold milk) or porridge (warm milk).

Yes you can use ensure on your cereal 5 ensure 2cal bottles .amounts to your recommended daily allowence

Will ensure help me gain weight, I drink twice a day and I do not see any results yet!!!!!

Yes ensure can help you gain weight ensure 2cal is the best 5 a day equals your 2500 daily allowence for a man so if you space them out and have snacks or meals in between to make it over 2500 calories then you will gain weight

Hello Sara. All users are different and can experience different weight-gain results.

Does Ensure helps to balance the body harmones?

Hi Gurpreet! For detailed product and usage information, please refer to the Ensure official website to learn more about the benefits.

i drink the ensure powder 2 times a day, is it good ?

Hi Calvin! For detailed product and usage instructions, please refer to the Ensure official website for more information.

My mother(70 years of age), and she is living in VIetnam and I can’t find out her health records since the last time she visited Dr. Office. Can I just give her Ensure and What types? Please advise.

Hi HaoDoan! Please make sure to consult with your physician before starting a new product.

I m 23 year old..and i am very week..can I drink ensure for became good health

Hello Sara. All users are different and can experience different weight-gain results, but exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet and supplements have shown to help. Please make sure to consult with your physician before starting on a new product.

My Father have high blood pressure and haemorrhage and high colesteol can he consume Ensure Plus

Hello. Since all users are different and can experience different side effects, please make sure to consult with your physician before taking this product.

I am 25 year old.My weight is 44 and my height is 5’7.is this health drink help me to improve my health or not

Hello. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results, but exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet and supplements have shown to help with weight-loss.

my hgt is 5.9 and wght is 50 while iam using ensure can i gain weight.

Hello. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results, but exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet and supplements have shown to help with weight-loss.

Can my mother take ensure protein as she is above 50 .

Hi! Please make sure she consults with her physician before starting a new weight-loss program or product.

I am 21 yeras old boy. My height 5 feet 7 inch and my weight is only 44kg. Will Drinking Ensure Help me i try many supplements but all Fail. And i am leaving in warm weather area where temperature is 38-40+ so drinking of ensure is safe for me and its increased my weight or not?

Hello Shah. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results, but please make sure to consult with your physician before starting a new weight-loss program or product.

you should go for amway weight gain protein powder. i hv been using dat for 4 months n my weight gradually increased from 43 to 52.

I m so weak and want to like a healthy boy m 18 years old does it work for me…suggest me any other product please

Hi! Please make sure to consult with your physician before starting a new weight-loss program or product.

Hi, I bought Ensure milkshake original for my daughter to maintain healthy weight as well as to get all the nutritional values she may not be getting from her daily food intake. She’s in college. Is the milkshake original is the correct one for maintenance of weight? She just take them once a day for breakfast. There’s another version called Ensure Plus milkshake. I heard this has more calories. Tq.

Hello, Ms Barb Ensure Plus is perfect for your daughter a lot of hospitals used it for very sick people that having trouble gaing weight

Hello,Ms Barb Ensure Plus has more Calories and more Vitamins and Mineral’s that your daughter needs

Hi! For detailed product and usage instructions, please refer to the Ensure official website for more information.