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Side Effects of Boost High Protein Drinks

author image A.M. Tacon
A.M. Tacon is an associate professor of health at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include psychosocial factors in cancer, complementary therapies and stress reduction in individuals with cancer. Dr. Tacon runs mindfulness-based stress reduction programs for women with breast cancer, which is based on various forms of mindfulness meditation.
Side Effects of Boost High Protein Drinks
Close-up of protein powder scoop. Photo Credit: JANIFEST/iStock/Getty Images

Nestle Nutrition refers to its regular Boost energy drink as a “nutritional energy drink that helps provide energy and maintain health,” and is marketed as balanced nutrition that's ideal as a meal replacement or a nutritious snack. The regular Boost energy drink contains 10 g of protein while the Boost High Protein energy drink product contains 15 g of protein. Boost drinks usually are intended for conditions such as cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and status-post bariatric surgery. Some side effects are possible.

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Body Weight

Boost’s temporary energy increase comes from the sugar that it contains. Therefore, energy drinks like Boost have a high amount of calories, which if taken for an extended period of time could lead to weight problems, states Specifically, Boost High Protein Energy drink contains 240 calories in an 8 oz. serving, along with 50 calories from fat. Additionally, Boost High Protein drink has 10 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrates, and 18 g of sugars. The chocolate Boost high protein drink contains nearly 30 g sugar.

Diabetes Risk

If you ingest too many high-sugar drinks like Boost energy drinks on a daily basis, you are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, warns the American Diabetes Association. Sugar produces a sudden increase in blood sugar or glucose levels; however, the pancreas may not be able produce the amount of insulin needed if glucose levels climb too high. It is important that you first discuss taking this drink with your physician, especially if you are prone to having high glucose levels, are borderline diabetic, or have a family history of diabetes.

Heart Disease Risk

It is a well-known fact that obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and related conditions such as hypertension or high blood pressure; furthermore, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association recommends avoiding excessive foods and beverages that contain high amounts of sugar. Boost nutritional energy drinks range from 25 to 27 g sugar with each 8-oz. serving, according to Do not begin this nutritional drink until you first speak with your doctor, especially if you have a history of heart disease.

Final Precaution

The protein in Boost originates from milk protein. While typically not a problem for most people, it can produce uncomfortable side effects for those with lactose intolerance. Specifically, lactose intolerance means you aren't able to fully digest the milk sugar in dairy products, states Symptoms may include bloating, diarrhea, excess gas, nausea and stomach cramping. Therefore, use caution with any type of supplemental energy or nutritional beverage if you have this condition.

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