About Liquid Nutritional Supplements

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Liquid nutritional supplements are nutrients that can be taken in liquid form. They are usually given to children, the elderly and medical patients who need a liquid diet. The advantage of liquid nutritional supplements is that they are absorbed by the body more quickly than solid forms because there is no need to dissolve them.

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About Liquid Nutritional Supplements
Some liquid nutirional supplements are provided in gel caps. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D'Arcy Norman)

Facts

Liquid nutritional supplements are usually composed of water, milk and soy proteins, sugar and several kinds of vitamins and minerals. There are variations of these supplements available to accommodate different needs. For example, some liquid nutritional supplements are lactose free and some have additional fiber. Other common considerations of liquid nutritional supplements include diabetes and kidney disease.

Need

Liquid nutritional supplements are needed for various reasons. One of the most common is that they are meant to supply the body with nutrients that it does not get from regular meals. For example, people who do not have time to prepare healthy meals or simply do not have the appetite can take liquid supplements in addition to their regular food. Liquid nutritional supplements are also used by people who experience difficulty in eating. Those who are undergoing chemotherapy or are recovering from surgery may need to take liquid alternatives to solid food in order to get the nutrients they need.

Dosage

Liquid supplements are prescribed in specific amounts. The recommended dosage for a child is different from that of an adult. Weight is another factor. It is important to observe proper amounts when taking liquid nutritional supplements because they are easier to consume than solids. Thus, it is easier to consume more than what is necessary. Although overdosing on liquid nutritional supplements is highly unlikely, there is a risk of weight gain if the recommended amounts are not observed.

Nutrients

The nutrients contained in the formula of a liquid nutritional supplement vary from brand to brand. However, some of the important substances that should be included are folic acid, calcium, iron and other vitamins and minerals. In addition, the supplement should not contain additives such as sugar, starch or gluten, which can lead to weight gain. Before taking any kind of liquid nutritional supplement, consult a doctor for best results.

Risks

The main risk in taking liquid nutritional supplements is obesity. Because these products are convenient to consume and are often formulated to taste good, there is a greater chance that the liquid nutritional supplements will be taken in amounts larger than what is necessary. Another risk in taking liquid nutritional supplements is that the person may miss out on other nutrients they need. For instance, not all supplements carry fiber. To minimize this risk, the use of these supplements should be done only on the advice of a doctor.

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