The Ensure nutritional drinks contain a host of chemical and synthetic ingredients, as well as processed sugar and sodium. The main ingredients in Ensure are water, corn maltodextrin, sugar and whey protein isolate. An additional list of 35 ingredients, such as potassium citrate, magnesium sulfate, thiamine chloride hydrochloride and biotin, make up less than 5 percent of the drink.
According to the manufacturer's website, Ensure nutritional drinks provide "complete, balanced nutrition" in liquid form and are the most recommended nutritional drink by doctors. Each beverage contains nine grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals, and they equal just over 200 calories per serving.
Livestrong states some concerns about how truly healthy Ensure drinks actually are, citing some adverse side effects to the beverage, including constipating, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Prolonged use of Ensure drinks can lead to more serious medical problems, such as irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, shortness of breath and mood swings. The website advises against using Ensure as a meal replacement, since it does not contain adequate nutrition to substitute. Instead, the drinks are suitable for use as a dietary or nutritional aid in addition to regular meals.
According to the Diet Spotlight website, Ensure drinks are high in sugar and lack sufficient nutritional ingredients.