Boost compared to Ensure Life vs Fresubin Vanilla Powder- Reviews of Boost Optimum and Boost Isocal Liquid

Many people are comparing Boost to Ensure. We have done a comparison table of Boost vs Ensure Life, vs Ensure Gold, vs Ensure Regular powder.

You can read more on the nutrition content comparison of these two supplementary milk drink.

Boost by Nestle was previously known as Isocal before 2019. In Sept 2019, Isocal has been rebranded as Boost Optimum or Boost Isocal by Nestle. All old packaging has been discarded and Nestle is rolling out all the new packaging in TV advertisements and marketing.

  • Boost Optimum (power to mix as drink) 800g
  • Boost Isocal Liquid (ready to drink 200ml, each carton has 24 bottles)

By 2023, Optimum is widely known and known as a great daily drink supplement.

Boost Optimum – substitute for Ensure Life / Ensure Original

Ensure Life is reputable as a milk powder supplement for adults or the elderly, to improve their daily nutrition. Boost Optimum and Fresubin Vanilla powder are also great substitutes to Ensure Life powder. Scroll to the end for a comparison chart of these milk powders.

You can mix different amounts of drinks daily (1.0 to 1.5 kcal/ml) for the dietary management of patients with or at risk of malnutrition

Boost Optimum (fka Isocal) Reviews of Nutrient Information

Boost Optimum Isocal Liquid can be consumed by mouth or tube.

Do note that Boost Optimum liquid or the isocal powder (mixed with water) can be taken as an oral supplementation. Nutritionists may though suggest Ensure Life, Ensure Plus, etc as a more common milk feed.

Boost Optimum Isocal Liquid is recommended for those with lactose intolerance or to avoid diarrhoea problems associated with lactose. It is also recommended as an isotonic feeding to avoid problems associated with diets of high osmolar concentrations.  

Hence many caretakers tend to have Isocal products for tube feeding purposes. It also contains MCT oil which facilitates the digestion and absorption of fats. 100% of the United States’ RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) are fulfilled in 2000 kcals of Boost Optimum Isocal.

Nutrient Information

Boost Optimum liquid or Boost Optimum powder is a lactose-free, isotonic formula. There are 1,060 calories in a single serving size of 1,000 ml. It is designed as overall, complete tube-feeding formula that is high in carbohydrates, protein, fats, and vital nutrients and minerals for a person’s daily nutritional requirements.

A single serving of 1,000 ml contains 45 % daily value of carbohydrates and 68 % daily value of protein and fat.

It contains more than the recommended daily value of vitamin C,  B-12, B-6, E, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid and is adequate in a variety of other nutrients and minerals.

Scroll to the bottom to see the nutrient information of Boost as compared to Ensure Life, Ensure Liquid, Enercal Plus etc.

Preparation and Administration of Boost Isocal Liquid by Nestle

Boost Optimum Isocal liquid comes as a Ready-To-Drink or ready-to-use formula that requires no mixing or preparation before feeding. Boost Optimum powder would require mixing with water prior to use. For oral consumption, just drink like any milk drink.

For tube feeding, caretakers should check that the tube is clean. It should be administered at room temperature as a slow, continuous drip according to the rate per hour prescribed by a physician. Caretakers must note to adjust the rate to ease unwanted side effects or according to the comfort level of the patients.

Caretakers can either use a bag filled with the formula and hanging above the patient, to allow the formulation to drip slowly through the feeding tube via “gravity feeding”, or he/she can use a pump that controls the rate of delivery. Once feeding is complete, regular flushing of the tube is recommended to prevent clogging and to keep the tube clean.

Side Effects and How to Adjust

Tube feeding may have unpleasant side effects of diarrhea, constipation or nausea and vomiting. This is especially so when a patient first start tube feeding as his/her body adjusts to the formula.

Boost (Isocal) is designed without milk (lactose) to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea or side effects for those who are lactose intolerant. It is isotonic to avoid problems associated with diets of high osmolar concentrations.


If not opened, Boost Optimum liquid need not be refrigerated. Boost Liquid and Boost Optimum Powder should be kept in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight. Once opened or mixed, Boost solutions should be kept refrigerated.

At room temperature, it should be used within 6 or 8 hours. Do provide ample water to prevent dehydration, side effects, and other complications. To prevent aspiration, conduct the feeding with an individual sitting up at an angle of at least 30 degrees and this should continue 30 to 60 minutes after feedings.

Isocal Liquid Old Packaging

Comparison- Boost Optimum vs Ensure Life vs Enercal

All these four powder are milk supplement powder for adults to mix into a supplementary drink for their daily nutrition needs.

  • Ensure Life
  • Ensure (Original)
  • Enercal Plus
  • Boost Optimum

These are popular in Singapore among adults and elderly. Let us compare Boost Optimum to Ensure in their nutrient content.

Boost OptimumEnercal PlusEnsureEnsure Life
Serving size (per serving)55g + 210ml52.6g + 200ml55.8g + 210ml60.6g + 185ml
(16.7% kcal)
(14.5% kcal)
(14.1% kcal)
(16% kcal)
Source of Protein50% Whey, 50% Casein50% whey; 50% soy50% Casein, 35% Soy, 15% Whey,
(48% kcal)
(54.8% kcal)
(53.9% kcal)
(52% kcal)
Sugarg6 (9.8% kcal)
(sucrose 4.67)
6.8 (11.5% kcal)
(sucrose 4.7)
(35.3% kcal)
(29.3% kcal)
(31.8% kcal)
(29% kcal)
Dietary Fibreg2.751.6NANA
Source of FibreFOS, InulinFOSNANA
Featured ingredientsContains probiotics lactobacillus Paracasei cfu (550 million), unique fibre blend (prebiotics) and good fat blend (omega 3 & 6)Contains omega 3 & 6 and prebiotic (FOS)Contains HMB (0.59g)Contains HMB (0.59g), good fat blend (omega 3 & 6) and prebiotic (FOS)
Comparison Table- Boost Optimum vs Ensure Life vs Enercal powder

Some key features of these milks:-

  • Boost Optimum has a unique prebiotics blend that promotes the growth of good bacteria and probiotics in the digestive system.
  • Boost has the highest in MUFA, Omega 3, and dietary fiber.
  • Boost is lowest in sugar, carbohydrates
  • Boost has higher-quality protein (50% whey)
  • Boost is isotonic, reducing the risk of osmotic diarrhea
  • Ensure Life has HMB, Omega 3 and 6, and prebiotics (FOS)
  • Enercal Plus has Omega 3 and 6, prebiotics (FOS), and high-quality protein (50% whey)

Fresubin Vanilla (can referring to Fresubin compared with other nutritious milk) has:-

  • High energy (1.5 kcal)
  • High-quality protein 
  • High in Vitamin D
  • Low in cholesterol, saturated fat 
  • Trans-fat free
  • Contains omega 3 & 6

Comparison- Boost Isocal Liquid vs Ensure Liquid vs Ensure Gold Liquid

All these 3 liquid drinks are Ready-To-Drink (RTD) beverages for adults for their daily supplementary nutrition needs

  • Ensure Liquid (tin can)
  • Ensure Gold Liquid
  • Boost Isocal Liquid

These are popular in Singapore among adults and the elderly. Let us compare Boost to Ensure Liquid and Ensure Gold Liquid in their nutrition contents.

Boost Isocal liquidEnsure LiquidEnsure Gold Liquid with HMB
Serving size (per serving)200ml250ml220ml
FlavourVanillaVanilla, strawberryVanilla, coffee
Energy densitykcal/ml111.2
(18% kcal)
(13.9% kcal)
(16.3% kcal)
(50% kcal)
(64.7% kcal)
(51.1% kcal)
(10.8% kcal)
(13% kcal)
Fatg7.2 (32.4% kcal)6.5 (21.9 kcal)9 (30% kcal)
Dietary Fibreg002.51
Featured ingredientsContains MCT for easy absorptionHMB (0.59g), omega-3 (2g), omega-6 (253mg)
Comparison table- Boost Isocal Liquid vs Ensure Liquid vs Ensure Gold Liquid

Some key features of these milks:-

  • Boost Liquid has the lowest sugar and carbohydrates
  • Boost Liquid has low residue fiber for easy digestion and decreases the amount of stool in the intestines
  • Boost is isotonic, reduces the risk of osmotic diarrhea
  • Boost contains MCT for easy absorption
  • Ensure Gold Liquid (and Ensure Life) has HMB.
  • Ensure Gold Liquid has Omega 3 and 6.

Where to buy Boost Optimum, Boost Isocal Liquid, Fresubin powder, or Ensure Life in Singapore?

For convenience, Boost Isocal Liquid comes in Ready-To-Drink or Ready-To-Use. Each bottle is 200ml, and each carton has 24 bottles. Boost Optimism powder comes in 800g tin can.

Alternatively, there is Fresubin powder in a 500g tin can, and Ensure Life in 850g,

For affordable, value for money, you can buy the powder version to custom mix your formula requirement.

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