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Ensure vs. Premier Protein: Which Protein Shake is Best?

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Protein shakes are a great way to increase your daily protein intake. Our Ensure vs Premier Protein review will reveal which of the two protein shakes would be best and the one that will provide you with the nutrients needed to build muscle.

Our Ensure vs Premier Protein review shows that both protein shakes will help with your muscle-building goals. However, when comparing them both, Premier Protein is a much better option. Each bottle contains almost double the protein content, with much less fat and carbohydrates, and no added sugar at all.

athletes drinking protein shake in package

What is Ensure?

Ensure is a protein shake sold and manufactured by Abbott Nutrition which launched its first ready-to-drink shake in 1973.

Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake

Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake

The product range has grown to over ten different protein-based shakes. Rather than looking at all the various shakes sold by Abbott Nutrition, we will focus solely on the Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake.

Pros/Cons of Ensure

Positives:

  • 16 grams of protein per bottle
  • 27 vitamins and minerals
  • Affordable price (≈$1.7 per bottle for strawberry flavor)

Could be better:

  • Only 5 flavors to choose from
  • 350 calories per bottle
  • 11 grams of fat per bottle
  • 47-49 grams of carbohydrates per bottle
  • 19-21 grams of added sugar per bottle

What is Premier Protein?

Premier Protein

Premier Protein

Premier Protein is a shake manufactured by Premier Nutrition Company, LLC, which distributes high protein shakes and powders to satisfy our cravings for both nutrition and amazing taste.

Pros/Cons of Premier Protein

Positives:

  • 30 grams of protein per bottle
  • Only 160 calories per bottle
  • Only 3 grams of fat per bottle
  • Only 3-6 grams of carbs per bottle
  • Zero added sugar
  • 24 vitamins and minerals
  • 14 flavors to choose from
  • Recyclable packaging

Could be better:

  • More expensive per bottle than Ensure Plus ( ≈$2.5 per bottle for specific flavors, up to $4)

Ensure vs. Premier Protein

To figure out whether Ensure or Premier Protein is best, we will have to look at both protein shakes in closer detail. 

1. Processing

Both Ensure Plus and Premier Protein are made using milk protein concentrate, which contains micellar casein, whey proteins, and bioactive proteins in the same ratio found in milk.

Therefore, we can say that these cocktails are a perfect combination of two types of proteins: fast-digesting whey and slow-digesting casein. It is a versatile source of high-quality protein.

Unlike the more popular whey protein, milk protein is slowly digested, because milk protein contains more casein than whey protein. So there is a more prolonged delivery of protein to your muscles.

Another benefit of this slow release is that the protein is slower to digest, making it an ideal snack choice between meals or before bed.

Ensure Plus also contains soy protein isolate, which also has high biological value. If you don’t have a soy allergy, you can drink this shake. And you don’t have to worry about soy having a negative effect on your hormonal health. One serving of soy protein won’t hurt.

athlete drinking protein shake

2. Protein/Carbs/Fat Content

Looking at the nutritional content in our Premier Protein vs Ensure Plus review shows us that Premier Protein will provide you with more of the nutrients needed to build muscle and increase athletic performance.

Each 11.5 fl oz bottle contains 30 grams of protein, with just 3 to 6 grams of carbohydrates (depending on flavor) and 3 grams of fat. Also, this product contains zero added sugar, which is great!

On the other hand, an 8 fl oz bottle of Ensure Plus contains 16 grams of protein, 47-49 grams of carbohydrates (depending on flavor), and 11 grams of fat. This shake also has 19-21 grams of added sugar per bottle.

What is telling is the calories present in each shake, with a bottle of Ensure Plus containing 350 calories, with Premier Protein having just 160 calories.

Taking into account macronutrient breakdown and the calorie content, it is obvious that the Premier Protein is the great choice for any goal, including weight loss.

Unfortunately, this cannot be said about Ensure. A very big drawback of this shake is the presence of a large amount of added sugar in one bottle. Even if you want to increase the quantity of carbohydrates in your diet in order to gain muscle mass, this does not mean that these carbohydrates have to come from added sugar.

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3. Price Range

Regarding price, personally for me there is a clear winner in our Premier Protein shake vs Ensure Plus review. Let’s consider the cost of one bottle, if you buy it in packages of 12 or 24 pieces.

One bottle of Ensure Plus costs about $1.70 for the strawberry flavor. The price of other flavors can be up to $2.8 per bottle. Considering the breakdown of protein, as well as fat, carbohydrates and added sugar, this is not a cheap treat.

One bottle of Premier Protein costs about $2.5 for specific flavors. Some flavors are more expensive, the price per bottle can even reach $4. However, if you choose flavors that cost $2.50 per bottle and consider the distribution of macronutrients, especially the amount of protein per bottle and the lack of added sugar, it’s a very good choice.

Personally, I would definitely choose Premier Protein! It is a very versatile product that is suitable for any goal: increasing the amount of protein in the diet, losing weight or restoring muscles after a hard workout.

4. Choice of Flavors

Both protein shakes come in various flavors, with chocolate and strawberry obvious choices.

Premier Protein has the greater number of flavors to choose from of the two protein shakes, with fourteen flavor options, compared to just five options for Ensure Plus.

Both are great options that have seen rave customer reviews when it comes to taste.

FAQ

Is Ensure Better Than Premier Protein?

Premier Protein is the better option of the two protein shakes. Each bottle of Premier Protein contains almost double the protein content of Ensure, with much less fat, much less carbohydrates, zero added sugar and only 160 calories per 11.5 oz bottle.

Is Premier Protein Good for Muscle Gain?

Premier Protein is great for muscle gain. Thirty grams of protein in each shake is an incredible amount and should go a long way helping to achieve your protein goals. Remember that your overall diet, regular strength training and good rest are the best tools for building muscle mass, increasing strength and overall athletic performance.

Conclusion

Our Ensure vs Premier Protein review reveals that while both protein shakes will help you reach your protein targets, there is one clear winner.

Premier Protein contains almost double the amount of protein per bottle, with fewer carbohydrates, fat, and calories. It also contains zero added sugars, while one bottle of Ensure contains 19-21 grams of added sugar.

If you had to choose one, Premier Protein is the better option. This is a great alternative to a protein shake based on whey protein or casein powder.

Please comment below if you have any questions about either protein shake.

Also Read:

References:

  1. 3 Soy Myths Debunked// NutritionArizona: https://nutrition.arizona.edu/news/2018/08/3-soy-myths-debunked
  2. Muscle Milk vs Premier Protein // Nutritionlunatic:
    https://www.nutritionlunatic.com/muscle-milk-vs-premier-protein/
  3. Are Premier Protein Shakes Good For You? // Foodfornet:
    https://foodfornet.com/premier-protein-shakes-good-you/

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Oleksandr Maksymenko

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko
Certified Sports Nutritionist,
MSc Sports Dietetics

Experience: 7 years
Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist certified by the Fitness Professional Association (FPA). He follows the principles of evidence-based dietetics and fosters a healthy relationship with food in his clients, ensuring there are no strict prohibitions on their favorite foods or frequent lapses. His primary goal is not only to achieve results for you but also to sustain them over the long term, all while enjoying tasty and delicious food.

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