logo white
Phone: (833) 933-2323

6am to 5pm Monday to Friday PT

High Calorie Drinks – Nutritional Benefits and What they are Used for

Share This:

December 28, 2022
A high calorie drink served in two cups with straws.

In this fast-paced world full of convenience foods and empty calories, it is more important than ever to obtain quality nutrients in your diet. You might be surprised to learn that there are specially formulated drinks, bars, puddings, and other delightful options to fulfill a variety of health needs. This article will focus on the uses of a high calorie drink and why it might be right for you.

What is a High Calorie Drink?

There are multiple types of nutritional beverages . On one end of the spectrum, you will find hydrating electrolyte replacement options like Pedialyte. These are ideal for use after sweating and exerting oneself. For example, picture the exhausted athlete, drenched in sweat, chugging down a refreshing Gatorade.

At the other end of the spectrum lies the meal replacement blends which incorporate adequate proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Some examples include Ensure, Boost, and Glucerna products.

Nutritional drinks are available in a range of calories, with the highest being known as “very high calorie” formulations. There are times when a calorically dense option is just what the doctor ordered. It is well established that undernutrition and malnutrition lead to worsening outcomes in hospitalized patients especially in the geriatric community. In one study out of Germany, it was determined that approximately 25% of hospital admissions qualify as under- or malnourished (Löser).

What is a High Calorie Drink used for?

In order to address the need for convenient and effective nutrient repletion with weight gain, food manufacturers have developed very high calorie nutritional beverages. A robust meal replacement drink efficiently refuels the mind and body in a couple of sips with adequate macronutrients like protein. Furthermore, very high calorie nutritional drinks also prevent loss of lean muscle mass, aid in weight gain or maintenance, and provide vitamin and mineral repletion.

What symptoms may benefit from consuming High Calorie Drinks?

The primary indication for high calorie drinks is malnutrition and weight loss. High calorie drinks can also address symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Poor Sleep

The progression into malnutrition can be challenging to discern. Often it creeps up on individuals and their caregivers, who expect changes in appetite to be temporary or believe lower intake is normal. Alternatively, if there is weight loss without a change to appetite or consumption, one might be experiencing intestinal malabsorption with decreased nutrient uptake. Difficulty chewing food due to ill-fitting dentures or reduced saliva, infections, depression, or medications may all affect nutrient status as well (Mathewson).

Many seemingly healthy adults may suffer from undernutrition as well. Those with limited eating windows like healthcare workers, caregivers, or schoolteachers all know the consequence of missing meals. Work performance suffers, moods are unpredictable, hormone function and metabolism change, and there is an impact on the overall well-being. Long term implications include weakened immune systems, osteoporosis, worsening disease outcomes, and general diminished quality of life. This is where high calorie drinks may be a good option to deliver the necessary nutrients in an effective and tasteful way.

What is a good drink to gain weight?

Among the various products available, one of the most nutrient and calorie dense options is Boost Very High Calorie Nutritional Drink. This gluten free, kosher beverage boasts zero artificial sweeteners or colors, meaning each sip packs rich nutrients. In fact, each bottle contains over half the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for most of its vitamins.

In just 8 ounces, this mighty beverage packs 530 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 26 vitamins including electrolytes, trace minerals, and B vitamins. While the protein will help to build and maintain muscle mass, the nutrients support the immune system and overall health. Every milliliter contains 2.25 calories, which means every small sip counts. High calorie drinks may also be homemade by mixing common ingredients found in the kitchen.

Boost Very High Calorie Nutritional Drink contains soy and milk products. However, it is a safe option for those with lactose intolerance. It must be avoided in those with galactosemia.

Benefits of a High Calorie Drink

Perhaps you are a caregiver, and your loved one struggles to keep on weight or stay hydrated. Maybe you are a busy hospital employee running across the halls between patients, knowing that your next break is too far away, and you need a boost right away. No matter the situation, you can count on a high calorie drink to provide the following benefits.

  • Helps to gain or maintain weight
  • Helps to meet daily nutritional needs
  • Delivers key nutrients to support the immune system
  • Increases energy levels

Nutritional foods and drinks serve a large population by providing convenient, densely packed nutrients in each serving. Whether you are looking for a meal replacement or simply supplementing your diet, a high calorie drink is a great option for you.

Visit our Nutritional Foods and Beverages collection to view all the delicious options of nutritional drinks and tube feeding formulas. We also have food thickeners and thickened beverages that help patients with swallowing difficulties such as dysphagia.


Löser C. Malnutrition in hospital: the clinical and economic implications. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010;107(51-52):911-917. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2010.0911

Sophie L. Mathewson, et al. Overcoming protein-energy malnutrition in older adults in the residential care setting: A narrative review of causes and interventions, Aging Research Reviews, Volume 70, 2021, 101401, ISSN 1568-1637, doi:10.1016/j.arr.2021.101401

Share This:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Need Help?

Speak to one of our Honest Care Specialists

Phone: (833) 933-2323

9am-5pm Monday-Friday PT

Contact Us