Ensure vs Fortisip: Which Nutritional Drink is Better for You?

ensure vs fortisip

Ensure and Fortisip are both popular nutritional drinks that promise to pack in the nutrients, vitamins, and calories you might need, especially if you’re having trouble getting enough from regular food. They look so similar that some people wonder if they are the same thing. But no, they are not the same. They have different nutritional values and not exactly the same ingredients.

In this post, we’re going to compare Ensure Original and Fortisip to see which one might be better for you. We’ll dive into the ingredients, nutritional values, and everything in between.

Plus, we’ll briefly look at other popular versions like Ensure Compact and Ensure Plus. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which drink comes out on top in the Ensure vs. Fortisip showdown. So, let’s get started!

Getting to Know Ensure and Fortisip

A Quick History of Ensure

Ensure has been around for quite a while. Developed by Abbott Laboratories, it was first introduced in the 1970s. The idea was simple: create a drink that could provide essential nutrients for people who might not be getting enough from their regular diet.

Over the years, Ensure has become a go-to option for many, especially older adults, people recovering from illness, and those with specific dietary needs.

A Quick History of Fortisip

Fortisip, on the other hand, is a product of Nutricia, a company with a long history in medical nutrition. Fortisip was created to offer a high-calorie, nutrient-dense option for those who need a little extra help in meeting their daily nutritional requirements.

Like Ensure, it’s often recommended for people who are ill, recovering from surgery, or have conditions that make eating regular food difficult. It’s often recommended more specifically in clinical settings and is great for people with conditions like malnutrition, cancer, or gastrointestinal issues that make it hard to consume enough nutrients through regular meals.

Detailed Ingredient Analysis

Ensure Original Milk Chocolate

Ensure Original Milk Chocolate has a pretty straightforward ingredient list. The main components are water, corn maltodextrin, sugar, milk protein concentrate, a blend of vegetable oils (canola and corn), soy protein isolate, and cocoa powder.

If you look closer, you’ll find a variety of vitamins and minerals, making up less than 0.5% of the product. These include essentials like potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins, among others. For a full list of ingredients, you can check here.

Analysis of Fortisip Neutral Flavor

Fortisip Neutral Flavour also has a well-rounded ingredient list. The primary ingredients are water, maltodextrin, milk protein, sucrose (white sugar), vegetable oils, and a blend of vitamins and minerals.

The emulsifier used is soy lecithin, and it contains carotenoids (antioxidants) like beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), lutein (important for eye health), and lycopene (found in tomatoes). Just like Ensure, Fortisip also includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins and vitamin D3, to name a few. For a detailed ingredient list, you can visit here.

Similarities in Ingredients

Both Ensure Original and Fortisip share a common goal: providing a nutritious drink packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They both contain:

  • Water as a base
  • Milk proteins for a source of protein
  • Maltodextrin as a carbohydrate source
  • A variety of vitamins and minerals (over 20 in each)
  • Vegetable oils for fat content
  • Soy lecithin as an emulsifier

Examples of shared vitamins and minerals include potassium, magnesium, calcium, and several B vitamins like niacinamide and folic acid.

Differences in Ingredients

Despite these similarities, there are some notable differences:

  • Protein Sources: Ensure uses milk protein concentrate and soy protein isolate, while Fortisip relies mainly on milk protein.
  • Sugars and Sweeteners: Ensure contains sugar and sucralose (artificial sweetener) as sweeteners, whereas Fortisip uses only plain white sugar.
  • Fats: Ensure uses a blend of canola and corn oils, while Fortisip doesn’t specify the types of vegetable oils used.
  • Flavorings: Ensure includes natural and artificial flavors wile Fortisip sticks with simpler flavoring, using a neutral vanilla flavor in their neutral flavour Fortisip. However, in other flavours, like Chocolate, they use cocoa and “flavouring” which contains milk and it’s unspecified origins.
  • Specific Additives: Ensure contains some thickening agents like carrageenan, cellulose gel and cellulose gum, whereas Fortisip includes acidity regulators like citric acid.

Forms of Vitamins and Minerals

Both drinks use different forms of vitamins and minerals, some of which might be more or better absorbable by the body. For example:

  • Calcium: Ensure contains Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Phosphate, while Fortisip adds Tri Calcium Phosphate and Calcium Hydroxide.
  • Magnesium: Ensure contains Magnesium Phosphate, whereas Fortisip contains Magnesium Chloride.

These differences in ingredient forms can impact how well your body absorbs and utilizes these nutrients, potentially making one drink more beneficial for specific needs than the other.

Nutritional Comparison: Ensure Original vs Fortisip

Now that we’ve looked at the ingredients, let’s dive into the nutritional values of Ensure Original and Fortisip. We’ll compare these drinks side by side, considering calories, sugar content, fiber content, and the vitamins and minerals they offer. Since the serving sizes are a bit different, we’ll also look at the values per 100ml to keep things fair.


  • Ensure Original: One 8 oz (237ml) serving has 220 calories. Per 100ml, that’s about 93 calories.
  • Fortisip: One 200ml bottle has 300 calories. Per 100ml, that’s 150 calories.

Fortisip has significantly more calories per 100ml compared to Ensure Original. This might be beneficial for individuals needing higher calorie intake, like those recovering from illness or surgery.

Protein Content

  • Ensure Original: One 8 oz (237ml) serving contains 9 grams of protein. Per 100ml, that’s approximately 3.8 grams.
  • Fortisip: One 200ml bottle contains 11.8 grams of protein. Per 100ml, that’s almost 6 grams.

Discussion: Fortisip has more protein per 100ml compared to Ensure Original, which might be beneficial for those needing extra protein for muscle maintenance or recovery.

Sugar Content

  • Ensure Original: Each 8 oz serving contains 10 grams of sugar. That’s roughly 4.2 grams per 100ml.
  • Fortisip: Each 200ml bottle contains 13.4 grams of sugar. Per 100ml, that’s 6.7 grams.

Fortisip has more sugar per 100ml than Ensure Original. This is something to consider if you’re watching your sugar intake.

Fiber Content

  • Ensure Original: Contains 1 gram of fiber per serving, which is about 0.4 grams per 100ml.
  • Fortisip: Contains no fiber.

Ensure Original provides some dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive health, while Fortisip does not contain any fiber.

Health Implications

Choosing between Ensure and Fortisip can depend on your specific health needs:

  • Calories and Weight Management: If you need a higher calorie intake, Fortisip might be the better choice. It’s especially useful for individuals who are underweight or recovering from significant medical conditions.
  • Sugar Intake: If you are managing your sugar intake, Ensure Original might be slightly better due to its lower sugar content per 100ml.
  • Digestive Health: Ensure Original includes some fiber, which can aid in digestion, while Fortisip does not.

Which One is Better?

Both Ensure Original and Fortisip have their strengths. Ensure is slightly better for those watching their sugar intake and needing some fiber, while Fortisip is more calorie-dense, making it ideal for individuals needing to increase their energy intake.

The best choice will depend on your individual nutritional needs and health goals. Always consult with a healthcare provider to determine which option is best for you.

What About Other Variations of Ensure vs Fortisip?

So far, we’ve been comparing Ensure Original vs Fortisip, but what’s the difference between Ensure Plus, Ensure Compact, and Fortisip?

Ensure Plus vs Fortisip

Ensure Plus is higher in calories per serving compared to Fortisip, with 350 calories per 8 oz (237ml) serving, which breaks down to about 147.7 calories per 100ml. Fortisip, on the other hand, provides 300 calories per 200ml bottle, which is 150 calories per 100ml.

When it comes to protein, Ensure Plus also offers more, with 16 grams per serving (approximately 6.8 grams per 100ml) versus Fortisip’s 12 grams per serving (6 grams per 100ml).

Both drinks contain a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, but Ensure Plus packs in more protein and slightly fewer calories per 100ml than Fortisip. This makes Ensure Plus a better option for those needing more protein and calories for recovery or weight gain.

Ensure Compact vs Fortisip

Ensure Compact delivers a concentrated form of nutrition with 220 calories per 4 oz (118ml) serving, translating to about 186.4 calories per 100ml. This is higher compared to Fortisip’s 150 calories per 100ml.

In terms of protein, Ensure Compact contains 9 grams per serving, which is approximately 7.6 grams per 100ml, compared to Fortisip’s 6 grams per 100ml. Additionally, Ensure Compact includes 25 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense option in a smaller, more manageable serving size. This concentrated nutrition can be particularly useful for individuals who need efficient calorie and protein intake without consuming large volumes.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to choosing between Ensure and Fortisip, it really depends on what you need.

Fortisip is great if you need more calories and protein, especially if you’re recovering from illness or need to gain weight. It packs a punch with higher calories and protein per serving.

Ensure Original is a solid choice if you’re watching your sugar intake and need some fiber. It offers a good balance of nutrients and is easier on the sugar front.

If you need even more protein and calories, Ensure Plus is your go-to. For those who prefer a smaller, more concentrated option, Ensure Compact fits the bill perfectly.

In the end, the best choice depends on your specific health needs. Always chat with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re picking the right one for you. Whether it’s Ensure or Fortisip, both can help you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy.