I have been asked more than once whether it is wise to use Pediasure for adults. If you have a family, you may already know the product, possibly even given it to your children. If it’s good for kids is it also good for adults? Pediasure is a product created by the company Abbott, who also makes Ensure (there are Ensure alternatives as well), Pedialyte, Similac, etc.
Pediasure was designed for children between the ages of 2 to 13 years old. Adults can drink it but there are better alternatives.
Ages 2 to 13 are when children grow rapidly and have a high rate of brain development. Their vitamin and mineral needs are vastly different from what any human needs at any other time of life. Adults have different nutrition needs.
Pediasure fills a need in society for children who are picky eaters that will not ever get the basic nutritional needs they have to have for growth. Not having enough nutrients during this period of time results in children not growing to the genetically-programmed height. Weight may also be affected and the child could be underweight.
Pediasure provides about 240 calories, 7 grams protein, and 27 different vitamins and minerals per serving.
Children may not grow sufficiently enough for their reproductive organs to mature. This is common in countries where a vegetarian diet doesn’t provide enough zinc, a key component to male fertility.
Another result of malnutrition is impaired immunity. The child is susceptible to infections; ear infections, colds, flu, childhood diseases, and more. One additional effect is that malnutrition interferes with IQ and causes mental dullness.
Why Not for Adults?
Pediasure is high in sugar (12 grams) and this can affect adults negatively. The recommendations for sugar for adults is limited to 30 grams for women and 45 grams for men; many nutritionists will agree that cutting this down further offers better benefits for health.
Pediasure also contains milk. Thus, anyone that has issues digesting lactose, is allergic or sensitive to dairy products, or is vegan will not find the product suitable. It’s also expensive and could end up costing over $100 a month if two cartons are used daily.
Here’s a label of the product:
The most disturbing thing about this product is its primary ingredients – it’s made from corn, soy, safflower oil, sugar, artificial flavors, and tuna oil. Tuna is a known source of high levels of mercury, yet the product label doesn’t state that any tests were done to ensure that mercury is not in the product. Developing minds – as well as adults – do not need a source of mercury; it will interfere with brain function and kidney function.
Even though the label says the ingredients are non-GMO, its primary ingredients are still questionable. The vitamin sources are also questionable. For example, dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate is inactive in the body. It’s the d-alpha-form that is active.
The product is clearly missing zinc from the ingredient list, yet the label states that there is 15% of the daily value in the product. Many people know that zinc could help prevent COVID. Any product that purposefully leaves zinc out of a formulation is very questionable especially at this time in history!
There are 6 mcg vitamin D, equivalent to 240 IU. Many health practitioners believe that children need about 1000-2000IU daily just to maintain good levels, yet no one can be expected to have good levels starting out. There are other intricacies that may be mentioned in evaluating this poorly designed nutritional supplement.
The point here is that just because marketing statements say 27 vitamins and minerals doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily good. Nutrition is all about ratios, and if the ratios aren’t correct, then deficiencies will be induced.
Are There Any Advantage of Pediasure for Adults?
In a word – no. There are no advantages to using Pediasure for adults. When it comes to proper nutrition for adults, there truly is only one way to determine what someone needs: do tests for all the vitamins and minerals and then supplement exactly what is needed in the RIGHT AMOUNTS. Remember this – always.
Any formula that is created by a company is not one that is concerned about your individual needs. It’s concerned more about profits for the company and benefitting some of the people. It’s a hit or miss type of action.
Sure, you could feel better by adding an extra source of calories and some vitamins and minerals, but what is the long-term result?
You should know that there’s one foundational fact all nutritionists are taught – change the diet in any way and the person will feel different; usually better – for a short time. Change the diet from meat-eating to vegetarian and all the new foods that haven’t been eaten will be filling in metabolic gaps that were never filled before, thus making the person feel different. Change the diet from vegetarian to meat-eating and the same thing happens. And then the deficiencies occur over time.
4 Better Alternatives
You can always go for a canned or packaged nutritional supplement that is supposed to better your nutrition by providing 27 vitamins and minerals but it doesn’t change the flaws of what you are consuming. It’s still a highly processed product. It’s usually made from GMO ingredients. The product still contains artificial flavors that your body doesn’t want and has to detoxify out. It still contains sugar, which causes all types of health problems.
You must raise your standards of what you will and won’t put into your body. Stop settling for mass-produced products!
With this in mind, what will you do? What could you use for an alternative to Pediasure?
Here are some ideas…
1. Liver Pate
Ground liver is easy to eat. It’s full of B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, and phytonutrients. It should always be grass-fed animal liver and from animals never given antibiotics. Taken with healthy crackers, you have a great, energy-boosting snack.
2. Whole Milk
This is a good source of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It’s best if it’s an A2 milk, or real cows’ milk. It’s from cows that are grass-fed. t’s more wholesome and has less opportunity to contribute to degenerative diseases.
Adding dark chocolate and even a little of your favorite sweetener, you will always enjoy whole milk as a Pediasure alternative. Whole milk will always be better than any dairy protein derivative used in a processed nutritional supplement.
Smoothies made of whole milk, a few tablespoons of a nut butter, fruit, and green vegetable powder (could be non-GMO alfalfa powder), red fruit (berries) powder, and superfoods (Spirulina, medicinal mushrooms, blackstrap molasses, acacia fiber, acerola or acai berries, and others.
These will contain calories, fat, carbohydrates and proteins as well as phytonutrients that fill in metabolic gaps. Many of the ingredients are functional foods, which improve health of the body’s organs. For those that need it, these smoothies can also become weight gain shakes with the right ingredients.
4. Keto Desserts Made with Added Superfoods
Keto desserts are usually made with nut butters and coconut; fats that contain fat-soluble vitamins and calories.
Remember that if you use any of the above suggestions as a Pediasure alternative for adults, you will still need the nutrients themselves. These foods are very nutrient dense, which means they are rich in vitamins and minerals but you can eat foods and gain 20 pounds without eliminating nutrient deficiencies.
Often, the amount of vitamins or minerals needed is greater than 200% of the RDA for you to overcome a deficiency. You can take a general approach and triple your balanced multi-vitamin and mineral tablets but this is a matter for your clinical nutritionist to determine. Sometimes it’s easier just to triple the vitamin/mineral supplement and still eat the good, nutrient-dense foods. You’ll still want to test to see whether or not the approach worked a few months later.