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Weight Gain Drinks

Weight gain is essential for those that are losing weight or have lost weight, there are many causes of abnormal weight loss including: dysphagia, malabsorption, medication, malignancy, a systematic disease, chronic infections, malnutrition, or psychological reason. Weight gain can be achieved by increasing four things; calories; protein; carbohydrates; and/or fat. For weight gain it is essential to increase calories, this can be done through increasing food intake or by supplementing your diet with high calorie weight gain drinks. As many people that are suffering from weight loss find it difficult to increase calories through food, a Weight gain supplement (such as a weight gain drinks), like the Ensure Plus or Fortisip ranges would be ideal weight gain drinks, as they are high in calories and also have all of the essential nutrients needed for a healthy diet.

Weight Gain Drinks
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Calories

Calories are the measurement of both the energy needed in the body and the energy in food. Calories are needed for energy to fuel the metabolic process, growth, lactation and maintenance of body temperature. There are 4 primary sources in calories, 3 of which are essential for weight gain: protein, carbohydrates and fat, with alcohol being the 4th which can, and maybe should, be taken out of the diet. To calculate the calories for protein and carbohydrates you should multiply the grams by 4 (i.e. 1 gram of protein of carbs x 4 = 4kcal) and to calculate the calories for fat multiply the grams by 9 (i.e. 1 gram of fat x 9 = 9 kcal). Weight gain is only achievable by increasing your calorie intake and depending on the requirements of the patient the requirements for protein, carbohydrates and fat change too. Weight gain is important and to gain weight you would have to know how calories are needed to gain weight, 1 pound of body weight is approximately 3500kcal, so for a weight gain of 1lb in a week you would have to increase your calorie intake by 500kcal per day.

Protein

Protein is an essential part of weight gain as it is recommended that between 10-15% of your daily intake should be protein. Weight gain needs to correct the damage that has occurred due to weight loss, as protein is the building block for all life, as it is essential for the growth of cells and tissue repair. Depending upon the protein that is digested weight gain can happen in different ways from extra hormones, to weight gained in muscles organs and other tissue throughout the body. There are two types of amino acids, non-essential amino acids (can be made by the body) and essential amino acids (cannot be made from the body, but instead are gained from food), both are vital during weight gain as, depending on how they link together, can produce different types of protein.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates should make up the majority of the diet, between 55-65%, as they are the primary source of energy for the body, for thing like heartbeat, breathing, digestion and exercise, increasing carbohydrates is the easiest for weight gain, as we come across more carbohydrates in our diets than anything else. Carbohydrates are good for weight gain because any excess carbs ingested are turned into fat, carbohydrates come in two forms, simple and complex, and both forms contain 4kcal per gram. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and usually have fibre, vitamins and minerals, whereas simple carbohydrates usually have limited vitamins and minerals, the theory that complex carbohydrates are 'good' and simple carbohydrates are 'bad' has no really scientific value and simple carbohydrates can come from food sources, or supplements, that also contain fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Fat

Although fat is generally deemed 'bad' it is only 'bad' in excess quantities as is required for weight gain. Fat plays a vital role in the transportation of many vitamins throughout the body, meaning they can only be absorbed with the help of fats. Fats help to protect body organs (by acting as a buffer against shock and disease), are the major factor in cell function, and help keep a constant body temperature, so weight gain is essential for people who are underweight and lacking in protective fat. With fats having the highest amount of calories per gram (9kcal per gram) they are a very good source for weight gain, providing the correct type of fat is taken, as saturated fats are not good for you. The fat to consume, whilst trying to gain weight, should be unsaturated fat (either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat). It is not advised to consume saturated fats, as they cause high cholesterol and high blood pressure, amongst other things.

High Calorie, Weight Gain Drinks

There are a lot of high calorie weight gain drinks available to buy at the moment, the main brands being Ensure Plus and Fortisip. In order to gain weight you need to consume extra calories in your diet, with one pound of weight equating to 3,500 calories, you would have to consume an extra 3,500 calories over a week (or 500 calories extra per day).

Fortisip Compact and Ensure TwoCal have the highest calorie counts per 100ml out of the two ranges of weight gain drinks, Fortisip Compact has 240kcal/100ml (300kcal per 125ml bottle) and Ensure TwoCal has 200kcal/100ml (400kcal per 200ml bottle), weight gain drinks with such high amounts should make weight gain easier when added to a diet.

With the recommended daily calorie intake of 2000kcal you would need 5 bottles of the Ensure Plus weight gain drinks to reach this amount and then an extra 500kcal on top to gain weight, which would be 1 1/4 bottles (so you would need 6 1/4 bottles in total of Ensure Plus) or 6 2/3 bottles of Fortisip Compact weight gain drinks to reach 2000kcal and an extra 1 2/3 bottles to amount to the extra 500kcal needed per day (in total 8 1/3 bottles of Fortisip Compact) for weight gain. It is not recommended to take weight gain drinks as a sole source of nutrients for weight gain (but if no other choice is available then it is a viable option) adding weight gain drinks to a diet would mean fewer weight gain drinks are needed to achieve the required number of calories.

For those that do not need quite as many calories that are gained from Ensure TwoCal weight gain drinks and Fortisip Compact weight gain drinks both Ensure Plus and Fortisip ranges have weight gain drinks, and desserts, which would be ideal to take and still have the same nutritional value of vitamins and minerals.

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