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.
What is Ensure?
First off, Ensure is a prepackaged nutritional shake  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 contains 220 calories, nine grams of protein, 26 essential vitamins and minerals , as well as 25% of your daily B vitamins . As such, you may be able to lose weight if you use this as part of a low-calorie eating plan.
Neither Ensure or Ensure Plus will 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 traditional supermarkets and drugstores. This shake is easy to consume on-the-go, and it’s okay 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 of Ensure ingredients, “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 user of Ensure Plus.
Another claimed, “Ensure Plus tastes great and isn’t too thick.”
Low Protein Levels in Ensure – “Another Concern”
Each bottle/serving of Ensure only provides nine grams of protein, which is quite small  in comparison to most other bars and shakes in the same category. As 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 Ensure Plus 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 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 link this product to weight-loss. However, we have to note that meal replacements can work to reduce calorie intake  when used regularly. Partner that with a tested and strongly supported supplement and you’ve got the recipe for success.Also: read our Dietspotlight Burn Weight-Loss Kit review »
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 various 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 trim up may want to consider a weight-loss pill that is supported by substantial 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 Dietspotlight Burn. 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 see some fantastic results. These are the exact characteristics of a strong weight-loss supplement, and many dieters use it in conjunction with meal replacements like Ensure.
Also, the company that produces Dietspotlight Burn is so confident in the supplement they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, which is a huge positive. You have nothing to lose but those extra pounds that have been hanging around!
It's a good source of protein with 220 calories. Calories vary by flavor.
Ensure Ingredients and Supplement Facts
Serving Per Container: 8 fl oz
|Amount per Serving||% DV|
|Milk Protein Concentrate||*||*|
|Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn)||*||*|
|Soy Protein Isolate||*||*|
|, Potassium Citrate||*||*|
|Natural & Artificial Flavor||*||*|
|Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride||*||*|
|Vitamin A Palmitate||*||*|
Other Ingredients: None
There comes a time when we encounter a product needing a bit more attention, like Ensure, so we chose to concentrate on Ensure ingredients. Specifically focusing on side effects, research and benefits. We read through hundreds of customer comments and reviews giving you the big picture. We then condensed this info to give you the bottom line.
What You Need to Know
First off, Ensure is a meal-replacement shake, containing water, maltodextrin, sugar, milk and soy protein and B-vitamins. You consume a minimum of one drink per day, which supposedly promotes weight-loss. One of benefits is that you can use it on the go.
Ensure was introduced in the early 1990’s by Abbott Nutrition. The shakes appear to have no artificial ingredients, a positive. Consumers can purchase the products through online and offline retailers. We do like the amount of time the company has been in business and we found some positive customer comments, but read on…
Stomach Issues – “Ouch!”
The first negative with Ensure ingredients was stomach issues. “Meal-replacement products can effectively help dieters lose more weight,” said our Research Editor. “With so many options on the market, why would anyone choose one that causes pain?”
“I have the same problem with the vomiting and upset stomach and feeling weak after I drink it,” said a user.
“I get stomach pain when I drink Ensure Plus. I continued to drink Ensure for a while, as I thought that the stomach pain must have been a coincidence. After a while I realized that it happened too consistently to be a coincidence,” stated a consumer.
Taste – “Not Nice”
After reviewing many customer comments, the consensus was Ensure ingredients left them with a bad taste in their mouths. “I was unable to finish even one bottle. It tasted like the white liquid medicine my mom used to give us when we had ‘tummy trouble’,” reported a dieter.
“It is gloppy, clumpy, runny and gross,” commented a customer.
A dieter claims, “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”.
We’ve found in our research that any portion of a supplement deemed a concern, such as taste or stomach issues, could reduce the chances of long-term success. If Ensure ingredients cause discomfort and the formula isn’t flavorful, there’s a problem.
When we visited the official Ensure website, we noticed the product claims to be “doctor recommended,” yet the company doesn’t provide scientific research supporting the effectiveness of the ingredients. There’s no reason to believe this meal-replacement is better than the competition. At DietSpotlight, finding studies to back up statements is imperative. If there’s no science, we don’t take another look at it.
The Bottom Line
After our research into Ensure ingredients was concluded, we came to a verdict. We do like that the company has a strong foothold in the market and that we located a few positive customer comments, but we can’t recommend it because there’s no proof supporting the claims. We’re also concerned that Ensure ingredients taste bad and could lead to stomach issues.
If you want to lose weight, we suggest going with a supplement containing ingredients supported by published scientific research, with no side effects.
One of the best supplements we’ve come across this year is one called Dietspotlight Burn. The product includes a four-ingredient proprietary blend, which has been shown in published clinical studies to help boost metabolism and enhance fat loss. People are talking and there’s no mention of negative side effects and comments on the web show dieters are noticing excellent results.
Also, the company that makes Dietspotlight Burn is so confident in the supplement, they’re providing a Special Trial Offer, which is a good decision.
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.
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, but nothing that’s just about Ensure.
You may want to consider thinking about replacing Ensure with a supplement like Dietspotlight Burn, 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 Dietspotlight Burn’s Special Trial Offer, which is just the cost of shipping and handling. Click here to give it a try.
- 1. Soy Protein and Soy Isoflavones (2001). Pennsylvania State University. December 20, 2016.
- 2. Benefits of high-protein weight loss diets: enough evidence for practice? (2008). Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity. December 21, 2016.
Previous Ensure Review (Updated July 10, 2014):
What You Should Know about EnsureEnsure 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. Take a closer look at Right Size Smoothies if a protein-rich diet is what you need to replace your meals. 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. Additionally, there's a similar product that turns heads, Yacon Syrup is vegetable extract that can be taken before meals to lose weight. 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 IngredientsEnsure'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 FeaturesEnsure 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.