Are Boost Nutritional Drinks Good for You?

Boost drinks are a product produced by Nestle. Boost refers to its drinks as Nutritional Products, which range from Boost drinks to Boost shakes. Most Boost Nutritional Products contain about two dozen or more vitamins and minerals, protein and fiber. However, a few of these beverages are also rich in sugar.

Boost drinks are filled with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. (Image: Anaiz777/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

Boost products can be healthy. However, many are very high in sugar, so be careful in selecting your Boost Nutritional Product of choice.

Boost Nutrition Drinks and Shakes

There are a variety of Boost beverages produced by Nestle. All Boost nutrition drinks and shakes are milk-based products. These products were created to help you meet your general nutrition goals. The Harvard Medical School finds products like Boost well-suited to people who struggle to chew, have difficulty with their appetite, aren't able to consume balanced meals or are recovering from health issues.

While all Boost products are nutrient-rich, many of their ingredients differ. This results in different calories per serving, macronutrient contents and serving sizes. Regardless of these differences, Boost products aren't meant to be meal replacements; the company refers to them as snacks or "mini-meals." The Harvard Medical School considers healthy snacks to be products that are about 200 calories or less, while meal replacements are products that are about 400 calories. Boost Nutritional Products include:

  • Boost Original
  • Boost Plus
  • Boost Glucose Control
  • Boost Calorie Smart
  • Boost Optimum
  • Boost High Protein
  • Boost Glucose Control High Protein
  • Boost Max Nutritional Shake
  • Boost Simply Complete

All of these products come in a variety of flavors, like Rich Chocolate, Creamy Strawberry, Very Vanilla and Peaches and Crème. It's also possible to make your own Boost products at home using Boost High Protein Drink Mix.

Boost Nutrition Facts

One bottle of Boost Original is equivalent to one serving, which is the same size as 1 cup or 237 milliliters. Each serving of Boost Original has 240 calories, 4 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein. Out of this fat content, 1 gram comes from saturated fat. Among the carbohydrates, 3 grams come from fiber and 20 grams from sugar. In every serving of Boost Original, you can find a wide variety of vitamins:

  • 25 percent of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A
  • 25 percent of the DV for thiamin (vitamin B1)
  • 25 percent of the DV for riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • 20 percent of the DV for niacin (vitamin B3)
  • 25 percent of the DV for pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • 35 percent of the DV for vitamin B6
  • 25 percent of the DV for biotin (vitamin B7)
  • 25 percent of the DV for folic acid (vitamin B9)
  • 35 percent of the DV for vitamin B12
  • 100 percent of the DV for vitamin C
  • 60 percent of the DV for vitamin D
  • 100 percent of the DV for vitamin E
  • 40 percent of the DV for vitamin K

In every serving of Boost Original, you can find a dozen minerals, including:

  • 30 percent of the DV for calcium
  • 25 percent of the DV for iron
  • 30 percent of the DV for phosphorus
  • 25 percent of the DV for magnesium
  • 30 percent of the DV for zinc
  • 25 percent of the DV for selenium
  • 25 percent of the DV for copper
  • 35 percent of the DV for manganese
  • 25 percent of the DV for chromium
  • 25 percent of the DV for molybdenum
  • 8 percent of the DV for chloride
  • 25 percent of the DV for iodine

Each serving of Boost Original also contains 10 percent of the DV for choline. Given the nutritional content of Boost Original and its low saturated fat, this product can certainly be considered healthy. The main thing you have to look out for is Boost Original's sugar content. According to the Food and Drug Administration and a March 2015 press release from the World Health Organization, people should consume no more than 10 percent of their daily calories from free sugars. For most people consuming a 2,000 calorie diet, this about 50 grams of sugar. If Boost Original is your only source of sugar, this beverage can easily be part of a healthy diet; if not, or if you're consuming multiple Boost nutritional products each day, you may need to consider keeping tabs on your sugar intake.

Other Boost Beverages

Boost sells a variety of products other than its original nutritional beverage. These are marketed toward people who want more protein, less sugar and carbs, more calories or more natural ingredients. For products with less sugar, try Boost Calorie Smart, Boost Glucose Control or Boost Glucose Control High Protein. For products with more protein, you can drink Boost Glucose Control High Protein, Boost High Protein, Boost Optimum or Boost Max Nutritional Shake. This array of beverages means that, unless you're vegan, you'll probably be able to find a Boost product for your dietary needs:

  • Boost Calorie Smart has a similar nutritional profile to Boost Original. However, it has just 16 grams of carbohydrates (only 4 grams from sugar) in the same cup-sized serving (237 milliliters). This product also contains fewer calories (180 calories) and more protein (15 grams) and fat (7 grams, including 1 gram that is saturated) per serving.
  • Boost Glucose Control is similar to Boost Calorie Smart, but has 16 grams of protein and 190 calories per serving.
  • Boost Glucose Control High Protein has the least calories (120 calories), fat (2 grams, including 1 gram that is saturated) and carbohydrates (4 grams, including 1 gram of sugar) and the most protein (22 grams per serving). All of these products use sucralose as their sweeteners, though Boost Calorie Smart also uses fructose.
  • Boost High Protein has a similar nutritional profile and the same amount of calories as Boost Original but has very different macronutrient ratios per serving (237 milliliters). This product has 6 grams of fat (1 gram that is saturated), 28 grams of carbohydrates (15 grams of which are sugar) and 20 grams of protein.
  • Boost Optimum has the same amount of fat as Boost High Protein, but fewer calories (220 calories) and carbohydrates (19 grams, 12 which come from sugar) and more protein (22 grams) per serving.
  • Boost Max Nutritional Shake is the only product with a different serving size: 325 milliliters (11 ounces). Despite its larger size, this product has the least calories (160 calories), fat (2 grams, including 1 gram that is saturated) and carbohydrates (including just 1 gram of sugar) and the most protein (30 grams).
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