Does boost have a sugar free version?

Boost is a popular nutritional drink marketed as an energy booster. Many flavors of Boost contain significant amounts of added sugar, which some consumers wish to avoid for health reasons. This article explores whether Boost offers any sugar-free or low-sugar versions.

What is Boost?

Boost is a nutritional drink made by Nestlé Health Science. It was originally created in the 1970s as a source of nutrition for hospital patients and the elderly. Today, it is marketed as an energy-boosting drink that can help with weight gain, nutrition, and muscle strength.

Some key facts about Boost:

  • Boost contains a mix of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The main protein source is milk protein concentrate.
  • Boost provides 240-360 calories per serving depending on flavor.
  • It is available in ready-to-drink bottles and powder cans.
  • Boost comes in over 20 different flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and coffee.

Boost is designed to provide balanced nutrition in a drinkable form. It can benefit people struggling with low energy, poor appetite, or difficulty gaining/maintaining weight due to health conditions or aging. Athletes also use Boost to support muscle growth and performance.

However, Boost products do contain significant amounts of added sugars like corn syrup solids and sucrose. This added sugar content is a downside for consumers who want to limit sugar for health reasons. Diabetics and those pursuing low-carb diets often want to avoid excess sugars found in standard Boost shakes and drinks.

Does Boost offer any sugar-free versions?

Currently, Boost does not offer any completely sugar-free versions of its ready-to-drink or powder products. All Boost pre-made shakes and drinks contain at least 18-25g of sugar per serving. The added sugars include sucrose, corn syrup solids, fructose, and/or maltodextrin.

However, Boost does offer several products that are either low-sugar or lower in sugar compared to original versions:

  • Boost Glucose Control: This ready-to-drink shake has a “clinically proven low glycemic response.” It contains 25g of carbs including 7g sugar and 18g corn maltodextrin per serving.
  • Boost High Protein: With 15g protein and 24 vitamins and minerals, the high protein shake only has 4g of sugar per serving.
  • Boost Nutritional Energy 10g Protein: This ready-to-drink option has just 5g of sugar per serving.
  • Boost Breeze: This powdered drink mix has 70 calories and just 1g of sugar per 8 fl oz serving when prepared with water instead of milk.

So in summary – no, Boost does not offer an entirely sugar-free product currently. But some Boost items like Glucose Control, High Protein, and Nutritional Energy do have significantly less added sugar than original Boost shakes and drinks. Choosing these lower-sugar options or the unsweetened powder mix can help limit sugar intake.

Why doesn’t Boost offer a sugar-free product?

There are a few likely reasons why Boost does not offer any completely sugar-free varieties at this time:

  • Added sugar helps improve the palatability and flavor of Boost products.
  • Sugar provides functional benefits during manufacturing like texture, bulk, and helped dissolve powders.
  • Eliminating all added sugars would dramatically change the nutritional profile of Boost.
  • Less sugary formulations may impact shelf life and food safety.
  • Creating new sugar-free products would require extensive R&D and new manufacturing processes.
  • There may not be enough market demand to justify developing a sugar-free Boost currently.

Boost is designed to provide balanced nutrition in a drinkable form, rather than serve as a diet or low-calorie product. As such, some added sugars are probably necessary from a manufacturing and nutritional standpoint.

Boost may consider developing a sugar-free offering in the future if customer demand increases significantly. For now, the lower sugar line extensions like Boost Glucose Control provide options for consumers looking to limit added sugar intake.

How does the sugar content in Boost compare to other nutritional drinks?

Here is how the sugar content in standard Boost products compares to some other leading nutritional drink brands (per 8 fl oz serving):

Drink Total Sugars
Boost Original Nutritional Drink 18g
Ensure Original Nutrition Shake 16g
Glucerna Original Shake 10g
Kate Farms Standard Nutritional Shake 7g
Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake 7g
Premier Protein Shake 5g

As you can see, the sugar content of Boost’s original shake is moderately high compared to other leading brands. Glucerna, Kate Farms, Orgain, and Premier Protein all offer shakes with around half the sugar content or less than standard Boost.

Boost Glucose Control and Boost High Protein have sugar contents more aligned with lower-sugar options from other brands. Overall, Boost products span quite a wide range for sugar content depending on the specific item. Consumers have options whether they want standard Boost with higher sugar or the lower-sugar line extensions.

What ingredients are used as sugar substitutes in Boost’s low-sugar drinks?

The main sugar substitutes and reduced-sugar ingredients used in Boost’s low-sugar product line include:

  • Corn maltodextrin: Used as a glucose source. Provides carbohydrates and energy with less impact on blood sugar than sucrose or corn syrup solids.
  • Stevia leaf extract: Zero-calorie natural sweetener extracted from the stevia plant.
  • Sucralose: Non-nutritive (zero calorie) artificial sweetener.
  • Acesulfame potassium: Also called Ace-K, another no-calorie artificial sweetener.
  • Fructose: Natural sugar from fruits and vegetables that is somewhat sweeter than sucrose or glucose.

Boost relies on a blend of corn maltodextrin, natural and artificial sweeteners, and small amounts of fructose to provide sweetness and flavor in their low-sugar drinks.

Compared to their standard products, Boost’s reduced sugar items limit high glycemic sugars like sucrose and corn syrup solids. They use sugar substitutes and alternative carbohydrate sources to minimize blood sugar impact while still providing a sweet, palatable drink.

Does Boost offer any flavors that are naturally lower in sugar?

Most of Boost’s flavored shakes and drinks have very similar amounts of added sugars, in the range of 18-25 grams per serving. So there are no naturally lower-sugar flavor options.

However, Boost’s unflavored and unsweetened Breeze powder drink mix only contains 1g of sugar per serving when prepared with water.

The Boost Breeze powder can be used to make a drink with a more neutral taste and very minimal sugar content. Consumers have commented that it has a very dull flavor on its own. But Boost Breeze can be mixed with lower-sugar flavorings or sweeteners to create a customized sugar-free drink.

So in summary:

  • There are no naturally lower-sugar flavored Boost options.
  • But the unsweetened Boost Breeze powder contains only 1g sugar per serving.
  • Breeze allows consumers to create their own sugar-free flavored drink.

This unsweetened powder format provides the most flexibility for a no-sugar Boost drink.

What are some tips for reducing the sugar content of regular Boost products?

Although Boost does not currently offer completely sugar-free options, there are some helpful tips for people to reduce sugar intake from regular Boost:

  • Dilute pre-made Boost shakes with water, milk alternatives like almond milk, or ice to reduce sweetness.
  • Blend Boost powder shakes with extra ice, full-fat yogurt, nut butters, or avocado to increase volume.
  • Replace up to half the powder with unsweetened protein powder or collagen peptides.
  • Use stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, or other keto-friendly sweeteners to boost sweetness without sugar.
  • For flavored options, start with unsweetened Boost then add extracts, spices, cocoa powder, etc.
  • Reduce portion size of Boost shakes and supplement with fresh fruit/veggies.

While not perfect solutions, these tips can help limit added sugar for people who still wish to use Boost products. Combining Boost with non-sugary ingredients allows you to maintain the nutritional benefits while cutting unwanted sugars.

Are there any concerns when removing sugar from Boost drinks?

There are a couple potential downsides or risks to keep in mind when reducing or removing added sugars from Boost:

  • May impact taste, texture, and enjoyment of drinking Boost.
  • Could reduce calorie content and affect ability to gain or maintain weight.
  • May alter the nutrient balance depending on what ingredients are substituted.
  • Increases risk of contamination or improper mixing when adding ingredients.
  • Some sugar substitute sweeteners are highly refined or artificial.

To mitigate these risks, work with a doctor or registered dietitian when making significant changes to Boost’s sugar content. Monitor for unintended weight changes, nutritional imbalances, or loss of efficacy if sugar content is reduced substantially. Test any recipe tweaks thoroughly and maintain meticulous hygiene.

Is there demand for a sugar-free Boost option?

Based on consumer comments online, there does appear to be some demand for a sugar-free Boost product:

  • Some diabetics and prediabetics wish Boost had a low-glycemic option.
  • People on ketogenic, paleo and low-carb diets want very low sugar meal replacements.
  • Consumers trying to cut back on junk food and soda see Boost as a healthy switch but want less sugar.
  • Dentists recommend less sugary nutritional drinks to patients prone to cavities.
  • Cancer patients and others with health conditions need nutrition with less sugar.

However, other Boost users don’t mind the sugar content and seem satisfied with the current product lineup.

Developing a new product formula takes considerable investment, so Nestle likely wants strong evidence of demand. If more consumers directly request sugar-free varieties from Boost, that could help drive product development.


In summary, Boost currently does not offer any completely sugar-free shakes or drink options. However, some Boost products like Glucose Control and High Protein contain significantly less added sugar than the original formulas. Choosing these lower-sugar varieties or spiking an unsweetened powder with your own flavors allows reducing sugar intake from Boost nutritional beverages.

Boost may consider releasing a sugar-free product in the future if customer demand is strong enough. But for now, the brand seems focused on offering a range of products to give consumers options, rather than eliminating sugar completely. With careful selection and recipe adjustments, it is possible to limit added sugars and still benefit from the nutrition Boost can provide.

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