Nutritional beverages, or meal replacements as some call them, have been around for almost 50 years helping people looking to address weight loss due an eating disorder, chronic disease, illness, or simply old age. These types of drinks contain significantly more calories (and often more protein) per serving than regular foods and, if used regularly, can help one gain weight and put on muscle mass.
But what makes for an effective nutritional supplement? Our team at Reason Health recently sat down with Mona and Bill, two individuals who regularly use these products to support their weight gain efforts. We wanted to learn the key differences in beverages they enjoy consuming, and what features turn them off.
Thank you for taking time to speak with us today. So, I would like to start off with the million-dollar question. What do you look for in a nutritional beverage? What makes it an enjoyable experience?
Taste is of course a big factor, but I find mouthfeel is just as important. I have tried many protein drinks both vegan and whey-based over the years and the mouthfeel was unpleasant which made me dislike having it each day. These days, I look for a beverage with a light mouthfeel when I drink it. I find this makes for easy drinking and actually increases my appetite, which is great! Ingredients are another thing. I like to look at the package and see easily recognizable ingredients and no junk oils or fillers which so many of them have. This was actually the first thing I noticed about Reason’s Nutrition Beverage and was a main reason I was drawn to it.
Personally, taste is not a big factor for me as I prefer light flavoring and in fact, I like to add my own flavors! But aftertaste, or lack thereof, is a major thing I look for. I have found this to be an issue with the protein powders and other high-calorie beverages they gave me at the hospital. There is nothing worse than finishing your drink and grimacing for several minutes after!
We know digestion is sometimes a concern for people who consume nutritional beverages. What have been your experiences?
Nutritional drinks that help with weight gain don’t digest like regular food. Many can be a challenge in that regard. I have tried various high-calorie vegan and low lactose beverages none of which seemed to sit well or were hard to get down and stay down! Other products I’ve tried also caused gas which is unpleasant as you can imagine. With nutritional beverages, it’s no different than regular foods or drinks, you want something that doesn’t make your stomach noisy after you’re done.
I have found that drinking certain types of high-calorie beverages, on their own, can cause digestive issues. But I have found a good trick is to consume the drink with a meal. For me, I blend it with oatmeal, an egg, fruits and milk. It gets the job done, adds in more calories, and tastes great!
Okay, let’s talk about weight gain. How effective are nutritional supplements in helping you put on pounds?
It’s night and day. These beverages are essential for weight gain. I lost quite a bit of weight due to chronic health condition and two surgeries. Having these higher calorie drinks as my meals is helping me slowly work back to my normal weight. And Reason’s Nutritional Beverage, in particular, has been highly effective as I actually enjoy drinking it each day! I don’t think I’d be living the way I am right now with the aid of these types of products.
As I mentioned earlier, the powders and other drinks they were giving me at the hospital weren’t working. Plain and simple. I continued to lose weight. When I started using nutritional beverages, I stopped losing weight and have been making steady gains ever since. The high-calorie formula of these drinks work, but it really comes down to having a product you enjoy consuming. If you look forward to drinking it each day, you will see results as I have.
I know you recently tried Reason’s Nutritional Beverage, what have been your experiences?
Your Nutrition beverage is great. Similar to what I talked about earlier, it has a great taste, no aftertaste, not too thick and it’s easy with digestion. I enjoy having it every day. I also want to give a big shout out to your customer service team. They were very helpful in prepping me on using the product in the early days and explaining what I can expect. They also guided me in gradually increasing the quantity I have each day. My only concern is that you need more flavors! Have you considered Caramel or Raspberry? Those are my personal favorites!
I have found that your beverage to be among the better ones I’ve had. It has none of the questionable ingredients that many others do, and it has fit well into my daily eating routine. I also like that it is made in the USA and your customer service team has been helpful and generous with all my questions and request. You may want to consider having a version with little to no flavoring for guys like me but I figure most of your customers would prefer it to be tasty. All-in-all a solid product and it’s really helped me put on pounds.
These interviews with regular users of nutrition beverages provided the Reason Health team with useful insights as we continue to learn and improve our products to benefit our customers looking for help in gaining weight. If you have tried our products and are interested in sharing your experience with our team, we would welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org