"Using Ensure in a way that was not intended"

Because the frail and elderly have different nutritional needs then the fit and active.

Maybe it tastes good if you freeze it and eat it off a stick. An Ensuresicle. *That’s *a way that was not intended.

There’s benefit to stocking up on foods that aren’t very tasty: you’ll only eat it when you have to, and only as much as you need to. For the same reason I keep low-sugar instant oatmeal in my office, for days when I’m too busy to go out to lunch. (I’ve tried granola bars and the like, but they disappear somewhat faster than oatmeal.) I hadn’t thought about Ensure but now I’m tempted to get some.

There really aren’t very many prepackaged foods that are inexpensive*, long-lasting, easy to store (compact, preferably no refrigeration or freezing needed), and don’t need plates/bowls to serve, and provides a decent amount of carbs and proteins to substitute for a meal once in a while.
*Actually, is Ensure inexpensive?

Perhaps a hangover cure? I know Pedialyte is used for that sometimes.

No, if you’re a college student. It’s ~12 for a six-pack, ~$9 for store brand.

In college I felt like I was chronically undernourished. It was not always from lack of time to prepare a meal but often from lack of funds to buy a square meal. I regularly used Met-Rx to supplement my meals instead of replace them. It was expensive but it was nasty so it lasted and tuna, rice and protein shake for dinner was about as square as it was going to get. I wouldn’t have this regularly but after weeks of eating poorly you would really start to feel bad and if that was the week you didn’t get paid, you would be desperate.

I suspect ensure is just what the kids are using now. Maybe it’s a little cheaper.

Yes they do, but the question was about why young people would pick up Ensure in the first place, not whether they should be drinking Ensure. It’s not like non-incontinent people wearing Depends so they don’t have to take bathroom breaks or something. Ensure is also being marketed toward healthy people “on the go” and the marketing has worked.

I agree, Ensure does not taste good. I keep Slimfast around either to manage my caloric intake or because it’s quick and nutritious. I think students must bet sucked into the marketing regarding it’s nutritional value. I don’t think there’s all that much difference between the two products, especially if you’re eating other things, too.

I used to feed Ensure to my grandmother via her feeding tube. She survived for months on nothing but.

I’m still curious what the woman from the OP meant by “in a way not intended”. Because college students drinking it for a quick lunch when they don’t have time to make something is definitely not an unintended use. Some marketing implies that’s a perfect use.

Maybe it’s been discovered to be an excellent bong water substitute?
Maybe drinking 12 bottles has a side effect of keeping you awake for 4 days?
Maybe the bottle is shaped perfectly for self stimulation?
Maybe the label is filled with useful information for college tests, like Maxwell’s equations, or Anatomy charts?

I am too. Are kids these days into colonics?:eek:

Soome ways Ensure was Not Intended to be Used:
**As a Floor Polish

To Lubricate Engines

“You’re Soaking in It”

As #4 in Paint-byNumber kits

To fill Water Balloons that are thrown at Politicians

As a dielectric in High Voltage Capacitors

As a Blood replacement

Copier Fluid

Salad Dressing


While Ensure may not appeal to some, to me it tastes OK enough to do the job. Why keep it around? Previous posters have mentioned some of these, but here are my reasons:

  1. It keeps for a long time. While best chilled, it keeps just fine at room temperature. Stash a few in a locker, closet, or book bag and they’re fine.
  2. It’s super convenient. Zero preparation time, beyond shaking.
  3. It offers a reasonable amount of calories, protein, and other supplements.
  4. It’s in a can. This means it can travel in my brief case/book bag and not get squished. A big advantage over bread, crackers, most fruit, etc.
  5. It’s more subtle to drink an Ensure while sitting in a class/meeting/rehearsal than munching on a sandwich or piece of fruit.
  6. It’s less messy to drink an Ensure while running from one class/meeting/rehearsal to another.
  7. Our library allows drinks in enclosed containers, but no food. Ensure gets a pass.

I used to keep a few around as a grad student, and on some days was very happy to have them when study sessions, meetings, or rehearsals ran late. I have a ridiculously fast metabolism, and the kind with extra protein would keep me from crashing when a meal got delayed for some reason.

Never knew that made me an Ensure abuser!

And some of the alleged food served by college dining halls.

For quite a while, I drank Ensure as my breakfast on my way to work.

Why Ensure? Well, I actually started with Carnation Instant Breakfast, but then the stores I shop at stopped selling it in liquid/bottle form, leaving only the power form that has to be mixed with milk. And I tend to run out of milk about halfway between grocery shopping trips, so that doesn’t work.

They did bring bottle form back later, but it ended up being much more expensive per bottle (as is SlimFast).

I never had any real problem with the taste (and couldn’t really tell much a difference between the Carnation Instant Breakfast and Ensure), though as I recall some of the earlier packages of Ensure I bought had “New Improved Taste” on the label, so perhaps its now better than some of you may remember.

For a while I switched out to granola bars, but the standard Nature Valley Oats and Honey bars ended up with a driver’s seat full of crumbs.

I eventually found a chewier type bar that leaves a cleaner car, less expensive per serving, and a slightly better nutritional fit for me, but quite frankly, while the taste is OK, I think the Ensure was still better tasting.

When I had a severe gastrointestinal illness in 2007 it was one of the few things to stay down and/or not give my projectile diarrhea. When it’s the only thing you *can *eat, the taste improves.

But - I agree, the colder the better.

Ensure has more calories per serving (and the Ensure Plus even more) because it is NOT intended as a weight-loss product (which might be the “unintended use”) but rather to supply food to people who otherwise have eating/nutritional problems.

After I got over the GI problems I started keeping a 6-pack in the fridge for those days where my schedule was totally crazy, or when I was sick and had no appetite or tummy upset. However, those sorts of occasions should be rare in life. If they aren’t you need to make some changes to things other than your diet.

Ensure is definitely meant as a meal replacement, but I wonder if the unintended usage is over-using it as a meal replacement, as a drastic attempt at weight loss? Replacing one meal a day with it is one thing, but consuming it as a replacement for all food probably isn’t a great idea.

Right, what she said.

It’s probably not intended to be drank as a complete dietary supplement for an entire day, or more than a day.

Yes, you can use it to satiate yourself in the middle of the day if you’re too busy to eat a meal or if you need it to replace nutrients that you’re not getting because of whatever. No you can’t use it to completely replace a well-rounded diet full of real foods not in a can.

I really thought this was going to be a 14-page grammar argument about “ensure” vs “insure”.

One wonders where they get the time to bathe and do laundry.

My college was a residential campus–there were no grocery stores within walking distance. Yes, one could buy food at the WAWA (gas station/convience store), but it was price-y and a poor selection.

Laundry facilities existed inside the dorm buildings, as did showers. No car needed. I did not (and would not) have used Ensure but shopping for groceries was an issue.

I guess I should have been more specific. My daughter is disabled and uses either a wheelchair or a scooter or forearm crutches to get around. So getting to the dining hall (although it is fairly close to her dorm room) is a bit more trouble for her than for an able-bodied person – especially in bad weather. And she doesn’t drive, so getting to the grocery store to stock up on ‘room food’ is also difficult for her. Plus she has the above referenced issues of sometimes having class conflicts with the dining hall hours.

And she actually prefers Ensure to other meal replacement drinks like Instant Breakfast or Slimfast. So she keeps it on hand and, when she’s eaten up all the better ‘room food’ she has and can’t get to the dining hall (or doesn’t want to make the trek to the dining hall), she pops an Ensure.

I’m still not convinced that this constitutes not using the product properly, though.