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What is Sustagen®?

By Rhonda Rivera
Updated Feb 20, 2024
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Sustagen® is a brand of consumables manufactured by Mead Johnson & Company®. Six varieties of nutritional products fall under this brand, all in chocolate and vanilla flavors. The five drinks and one pudding are primarily marketed toward people in New Zealand and Australia, but they are well-known in Latin America and Brazil as well. In the United States and United Kingdom, the beverages are called Boost® Energy Drinks and are sold by Nestle®.

One variety of drink by Mead Johnson & Company®, Sustagen® Hospital Formula, is sold in plain chocolate and vanilla flavors. This powdered formula can be mixed with water or milk and can be served hot or cold. The beverage has 27 vitamins and minerals and is gluten- and mostly fat-free. It can be served as a meal replacement or supplement. A second variety, Sustagen® Hospital Formula Plus Fiber, is basically the same as the Hospital Formula, but with additional dietary fiber for digestive health.

Sustagen® Instant Pudding has 24 vitamins and minerals and is available in vanilla flavor. Mixed with water, milk, or juice, this pudding sets at room temperature within several minutes. The product can also be used as a dietary supplement, either eaten by itself or mixed with other foods. Ice-cream toppings, pureed fruit, or coffee powder can be used to flavor the pudding as well.

Available only in powdered form, Sustagen® Sport is offered in both chocolate and vanilla flavor. This product is milk-based and intended for use by athletes and bodybuilders. It’s primary purpose is to keep athletes hydrated and energized. This sports drink is not considered a protein shake, due to its relatively low amount of protein. Some athletes and bodybuilders, however, add this powder to their usual protein shake to improve the taste.

Sustagen® Ready to Mix and Sustagen® Ready to Drink are also available. Unlike other products by this company, these beverages are meant for casual consumption. The Ready to Drink is available in dutch chocolate, french vanilla, and mega choc. On the other hand, the Ready to Mix formula is only offered in dutch chocolate and vanilla.

In 2006, the Sustagen® brand gained some popularity when a nutritionist advised giving the products to three trapped miners. Hundreds of journalists were at the scene to document the rescue and witnessed the products being sent down to the miners. Less than a day after the successful rescue, however, one of the miners made a disparaging remark about the product’s taste.

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Discussion Comments
By MrsPramm — On Oct 01, 2012

@irontoenail - I had a cousin like that. He visited us from England as a child and was very picky about his food. He would only eat french fries and puddings, so his mother made him take a vitamin pill every day as well. If she could have given him a pudding with vitamins already in it, that might have worked better, although you'd have to check the packaging to make sure it's suitable for kids.

It's funny, I saw him recently and he's still pretty picky about his food. I wonder why some people are like that. His brother will eat anything you put in front of him.

By irontoenail — On Oct 01, 2012

@pleonasm - Well, according to the miners it doesn't taste that great, so I'm not sure anyone is going to be scoffing down three large shakes per day. I've never tried it myself, so I'm not sure, although I've found that most of those kinds of drinks do taste fairly bland.

I'd rather just have a balanced diet, myself, but I can definitely see how someone who is working out a lot might need a concentration of vitamins and minerals to make it easier to get them.

And, if you've got a kid who won't eat anything green, giving them a vitamin laced pudding might solve the problem.

By pleonasm — On Sep 30, 2012

I think you need to be careful about eating and drinking this kind of special sports drink too often without making sure you know what's in it. People take vitamin supplements too readily and might not realize that taking a multivitamin and one of these drinks and then maybe eating a few too many, say, carrots, could give you too much of a vitamin.

Too much can be worse than too little in some cases. Of course, that's probably not going to happen, but it's better to make sure you pay attention to how much is in each drink and moderate your intake.

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