Pediasure for adults may sound weird as the nutritional drink is originally designed to be taken by children and young teens for weight and height increase. However, there is nothing wrong if an adult decides to take this supplement. Pediasure is taken by those who have poor appetite or insufficient intake of food due to illness, injury or surgery.
If the body does not get good nutrition for a long period of time, the result will be loss of weight and malnutrition in severe cases. This supplement is also good for increasing the height of children especially those who are falling behind in growth. The question is if pediasure will be good for adults. We will answer this in this article.
WHAT IS PEDIASURE?
Pediasure is a nutritional supplement that is designed for children and young teens to help them meet their growth and nutritional growth. This drink comes in 4 delicious flavors that makes it easier for children and young teens to take. Pediasure is a product of Abbott, a multinational healthcare company and it has been available in the United States since 1988.
According to the claim by the company, families can expect weight gain in their children in 8 weeks if they drink 2 bottles of pediasure everyday. There are many varieties, flavors and forms of this supplement. There are about 240 calories and 7 grams of protein per serving of pediasure.
All the varieties, flavors and forms are certified to be gluten free, kosher, halal and suitable for children who are lactose intolerant but it is not recommended for children or young teens with galactosemia (a hereditary disorder that makes the body unable to convert galactose to glucose).
TYPES OF PEDIASURE
There are 5 main types of Pediasure supplement:
1. Pediasure Grow and Gain
This is the most common type of Pediasure as it helps with both weight and height gain. Grow and gain pediasure is made with Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and lutein to help prevent eye disease. This grow and Gain has a type made with extra fiber to help with healthy digestion. There are ready-to-drink and powdered forms depending on choice. There are two flavors of this type which are vanilla and strawberry.
2. Pediasure Sidekicks
Sidekicks are made not only to help with the growth of children but also to fill in the nutritional gaps caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This type of Pediasure has more protein (40%) and fewer calories (25%) than the Grow and Gain. Sidekicks Pediasure has three flavours- vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
3. Pediasure Pro
This is the newest product in the Pediasure family, it is made for preteen and teen years from ages 9–15. Pediasure Pro support nutrition by providing lots of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for bone growth, immune support and muscle buildup. This type has just one flavour which is chocolate.
4. Organic Pediasure
This is just like the other types but the difference is that Organic is made with only natural ingredients. There is no artificial flavour, growth hormones or colouring. It is available in milk chocolate and classic vanilla flavors.
5. Specialty Pediasure
Specialty product is made for those who cannot eat enough food through the mouth and need tube for feeding so as meet their nutritional needs. This type comes in different forms – Enteral (vanilla flavor), Enteral with Fiber (vanilla flavor), Peptide (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors), and PediaSure Harvest (unflavored).
PEDIASURE FOR ADULTS: BENEFITS
Are there benefits of Pediasure for adults? Well, there are advantages of this supplement for adults as well. Some of these benefits are:
Pediasure has sweet taste with different flavours like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana. According to a study published by the National Institute of Health in 2019 and another by the National Library of Medicine in 2009, adults find it hard to adhere to drinkable nutritional supplements because they have poor taste.
Pediasure is originally designed for children and young teens so it comes in different sweet taste. You can choose to drink vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or banana. The sweetness can be of benefits to old people and those undergoing procedures like chemotherapy.
2. Easy to Drink
Pediasure comes in liquid or shake mix, so it can provide nutritional benefits for adults that cannot swallow or chew foods easily. You can take it with other meals or as a snack between meals.
Height stops when an individual’s growth plate closes and this differs in men and women. Factors like nutrition and genetics have huge role to play. Pediasure does not cause adults to grow after their puberty stage. However, the product can prevent loss of height which is one feature of aging. Proper nutrition can prevent loss of height.
PEDIASURE FOR ADULTS TO GAIN WEIGHT
Studies by the National Library of Medicine in 2009 and 2015 have shown that adults that take nutritional supplements reported having increase in body weight. Another study also by the same institute in 2020 tested oral supplements that are similar to pediasure containing 300 calories and 8 grams of protein per serving reported increase in weight for adults. A review of 62 studies involving 10,187 adults found that there is a small percent increase in weight for those who took oral supplements.
The review included oral nutritional supplements containing 175–500 calories and 4–15 grams of protein per serving. Pediasure can increase the calorie intake and cause weight gain in adults. It can also stimulate appetite and intake of micronutrients. Research by the National Library of Medicine in 2008 proposes that liquid meal replacements do not fill the stomach like solid foods. Although pediasure is not meal replacement, it can have likely effects.
Consuming 3 bottles of pediasure grow and gain during breakfast, lunch and dinner can add about 720 calories and 21 grams of protein to your daily intake. Also, this type has similar ingredients and content like adult’s supplements like Ensure.
DOWNSIDES OF PEDIASURE FOR ADULTS
In spite of the benefits this supplement has, there are some drawbacks for adults.
These drawbacks are:
1. It is High in Sugar
Pediasure has added sugar and in high amounts. An 8-ounce serving of pediasure grow and gain has 12 grams of sugar. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the recommended limit for taking added sugars daily is 6 teaspoons (30 grams) daily for women and 9 teaspoons (45 grams) for men. If you take multiple servings of pediasure daily, you will easily exceed this limit not including other sources of added in your diet.
2. It is not Suitable for People on Dairy-Free Diets
You should know that all Pediasure products contain milk, so if you avoid diary products or follows a vegan diet,then Pediasure supplements are not for you. However, some Pediasure products like PediaSure Grow & Gain Shake Mix is made with little lactose and can be taken by people with lactose intolerance.
3. It is Very Expensive
Pediasure supplement is very expensive when compared to adults supplements. A pack containing 24 bottles of Pediasure is $45.99 which is about $1.92 per bottle. This is higher than so many other adult nutritional supplements. Taking 2 bottles every day means you will be spending around $115 each month on supplements alone.
PEDIALYTE VS PEDIASURE FOR ADULTS
Pedialyte is different from Pediasure. Pedialyte is a rehydration drink that can be taken by both babies and adults. It is an over-the-counter drink that is very safe and effective to restore fluids to the body after diarrhea or vomiting. There are lots of electrolytes which makes it better than taking just water. Pediasure on the other hand, is a nutritional drink that provides nutrients and help children to gain weight and height. It can also be used by adults to gain weight.
While Pedialyte is similar to medicine that is used when sick, Pediasure is a daily supplement that can be part of a diet. Pedialyte can be used from babies as old as 6 weeks to adults while Pediasure is originally meant for children from 2 years till young teens of 13 years. One similarity between these products is that they come in different flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and an assortment of fruit flavors like strawberry and banana.
ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF GAINING WEIGHT FOR ADULTS
If you are using Pediasure for its weight gain purposes, you can consider other alternatives like:
1. Eating Often
You should eat three times a day with snacks in-between to maximize your intake of calories and nutrients. Try to eat every three hours if possible, eat three times a day, and three snacks.
2. Choose Foods that are Nutrient-Dense
Eating foods with too many empty calories, low in fiber and other nutrients can lead to poor health. Your foods should have enough protein, diary, fruits, vegetables, grains and fats. Foods that have high calories, fats and protein are good for weight gain.
3. Take Homemade Shakes
You can make your own shakes at home to save money. You only need liquids that are high in calories like orange juice or whole milk, fruits like avocado or banana with full fats yogurt or oats.
Pediasure is meant for children and young teens but adults can take this drink as well. The supplement can fill the gaps caused by vitamins and minerals deficiencies. Apart form helping in weight gain, Pediasure can help the immune system, bone, brain and eye health as it contains nutrients like lutein and DHA. However, Pediasure can be expensive and there is high amounts of added sugars. You can look for other alternatives to get the same benefits Pediasure gives to adults.