Nestlé reformulates Boost adult nutrition drink with 33% more protein


Nestlé says it reformulated the drink, which especially targets adults 50 years and older, with more protein to meet the latest expert recommendations for supporting healthy aging.

A higher-protein version of Nestlé’s longstanding Boost drink is now on store shelves. Nestlé says it reformulated the drink, which especially targets adults 50 years and older, with more protein to meet the latest expert recommendations for supporting healthy aging.

The new Boost High-Protein Complete Nutritional Drink features 33% more protein: 20 g of protein per 8-oz serving versus the former version’s 15 g per 8-oz serving. The reformulation also lowered carbohydrates from 33 g per serving to 28 g per serving. The drink contains 240 calories per serving and also includes 26 vitamins and minerals.

It’s a notable reformulation for one of the leading high-protein drinks in the adult nutrition market. After all, the former Boost drink was already considered a high-protein product with 15 g of protein per serving (30% of the Daily Value), says Nestlé Health Science. “In fact, products that contain 20% or more of the Daily Value (10 g of protein or more) are by FDA regulations considered to provide an excellent source of protein,” company representatives told Nutritional Outlook.

The decision to reformulate for an even higher protein content stems from growing evidence supporting the health benefits of higher protein intake in seniors, including higher bone mass density, slower rates of bone loss, and preservation of muscle mass, company representatives told Nutritional Outlook.

They said: “Recommendations from international expert groups1-2 have called for higher protein intakes, specifically 1.0-1.2 g of protein per kg of body weight, to support optimal muscle and bone health for older adults. This translates to about 0.5 g of protein per pound of body weight. Thus, the protein needs of a healthy 65-year-old, 150-lb person would be about 75 g protein per day. Getting optimal amounts of protein with each meal (20-35 g) and snacks can help maximize protein synthesis and preserve muscle.3-4 Boost High Protein Drink with 20 g protein per serving can help consumers achieve optimal protein intake levels to support long-term health and achieve dietary goals.”

Nestlé Health Science also points out that Boost drinks are still considered conventional foods, not medical foods. The company noted, however, that “the benefits of higher protein intake for older adults are well documented in scientific literature.1,2,5,6,7,8 Consuming optimal amounts of protein has been shown to help preserve lean body mass, stimulate muscle protein synthesis, support bone health, and provide nutritional support for the body during recovery from wounds, falls, and fractures, as well as illness or surgery after hospitalization.”

Nestlé Health Science says it continues to raise awareness of the importance of ideal protein intake, including through its Boost website, “New research shows that more than 1 in 3 adults ages 51 years and older are not meeting minimum daily protein requirements,” the company added. On its website, Boost offers a Protein Calculator Tool to help consumers determine their estimated daily protein requirement based on their age, weight, and activity level.

Nestlé says consumers are “eager” for protein education and learning more about protein sources. “As protein becomes increasingly relevant, the ‘high protein’ expectation is shifting from 10-15 g per serving to 20-30 g per serving,” the company added. In addition to the reformulated Boost High-Protein drink, Nestlé offers its Boost Optimum drink (with 22 g of protein per serving plus a range of additional nutrients) and Boost Max shake (with 30 g of protein per serving, geared to active older adults).


  1. Bauer J et al. “Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group.” Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, vol. 14, no. 8 (August 2013): 542-559
  2. Deutz NE et al. “Protein intake and exercise for optimal muscle function with aging: recommendations from the ESPEN Expert Group.” Clinical Nutrition, vol. 33, no. 6 (December 2014): 929-936
  3. Paddon-Jones D et al. “Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, vol. 12, no. 1 (January 2009): 86-90
  4. Farsijani S et al. “Relation between mealtime distribution of protein intake and lean mass loss in free-living older adults of the NuAge study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 104, no. 3 (September 2016): 694-703
  5. Hannan MT et al. “Effect of dietary protein on bone loss in elderly men and women: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, vol. 15, no. 12 (December 2000): 2504-2512
  6. Bonjour JP. “The dietary protein, IGF-I, skeletal health axis.” Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation, vol. 28, no. 1 (October 2016): 39-53
  7. Phillips SM. “Current concepts and unresolved questions in dietary protein requirements and supplements in adults.” Frontiers in Nutrition. Published online May 8, 2017.
  8. Symons TB et al. “A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 109, no. 9 (September 2009): 1582-1586
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