Update 7/30/19. When I first heard about Ensure Clinical Strength, also called Ensure Revigor and Ensure Muscle Health, I was intrigued. I was intrigued because Ensure Muscle Health contains a very interesting ingredient called HMB, which several studies have shown can reduce muscle tissue breakdown. Because many people (but not all) drink Ensure because they are either older and have a poor appetite, or are sick and can't eat much, to me, the addition of HMB sounded like such a win-win combination. In this review, let's take a look at HMB and then Ensure Muscle Health with HMB so you can get a better idea of it's right for you.
What is HMB?
HMB stands for beta hydroxy betamethyl buterate.
Small amounts of HMB are naturally created when we breakdown the amino acid leucine. So, you are making HMB all the time, just not very much of it. Leucine is one of the branch chain amino acids and is found in any “any food that had a mother” such as chicken, fish, steak, etc.
Studies show that HMB may help reduce muscle protein breakdown. As such, HMB was at one time popular among bodybuilders. Athletes however quickly stopped using this supplement after research started to show HMB worked best in beginners – not experienced weight lifters.
This fact is what made adding HMB to Ensure such an interesting idea to me. Most older adults and sick folks don't exercise very much – if at all. In theory, they would be prime candidates to benefit from HMB supplements.
People who have cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses often experience a muscle-wasting disease called cachexia. Research has shown that HMB might help reverse cachexia in some people when used in conjunction with the amino acids, arginine, and glutamine.
HMB can also be found on Amazon as a stand-alone supplement, for those who want to just take it without Ensure.
What's in Ensure Clinical Strength?
The Nutrition Facts Label for Ensure Revigor tells us it contains the following ingredients:
|Serving size||1 bottle ( 8 oz)||Percent of daily value|
|Calories from fat||100|
|Total fat||11 grams||
|Saturated fat||1 gram||
|Polyunsaturated fat||4 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat||6 grams|
|Total carbs||51 grams||
|Dietary fiber||3 grams||
Notice Ensure has 250 calories. When I purchased Ensure for this review, my bottles said 350 calories. Thanks to one of the readers in the comments, I was alerted to the change to 250 calories.
While the label does not say how much HMB is in Ensure Muscle Health, I called Abbott Labs, the maker of Ensure and asked them. They told me that each bottle contains 1.5 grams of HMB. They recommend people use 2 bottles a day, which would give people a total of 3 grams of HMB. 3 grams of HMB is what has been used in many clinical studies to have positive effects.
The studies of HMB I mentioned above found that 3 grams of HMB worked best. This is why Abbott Labs recommends drinking 2 bottles of Ensure Revigor per day – to get the maximum effect of HMB.
Why Do They Call It Revigor?
To me, revigor sounds like the word reinvigorate. In other words, drinking Revigor will reinvigorate you. It's a catchy name.
Other Effects of HMB?
While most of the clinical research on HMB has been directed at testing how it might help decrease muscle breakdown, other studies have hinted that it may help lower cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. This is preliminary research only and will remain this way until other studies replicate these findings.
HMB Side Effects
HMB appears to be safe. No study to my knowledge has shown any negative side effects. That said, if you take any medicine (blood thinners etc), talk to your pharmacist and doctor.
What Does “Clinical Strength” Mean?
Since two bottles contain 3 grams of HMB – the amount used in clinical studies – I understand why they would call it clinical strength. And, its good marketing too.
Who Might Ensure Revigor Help?
I believe Ensure Revigor is probably best for people who:
1. Are older and do not exercise
2. Are older and just starting to exercise
3. Those who have cancer, HIV or other serious health issues
4. Anyone experiencing muscle-wasting conditions
Can You Take Ensure But Not Exercise?
Exercise has many benefits. Any physical activity you can do will help HMB work better.
Why Don't They Make Revigor Ensure Any More?
I have no idea. Ensure Revigor is no longer listed on the Abbott Labs website. When I called Abbott Labs, I was told it was a company decision to stop making Revigor. As an alternative they told me to look at Ensure High Protein. This version does not contain HMB.
Ensure Revigor: Closing Thoughts
I was saddened Abbott Labs no longer makes Ensure Revigor. It sounded like a good addition to the Ensure line up. I wish it was around when my 104-year-old grandmother was still alive. That said, Ensure is still a fine product and for those who want to add HMB to their shakes, this is possible. HMB comes in both powder and capsules. For those who don't like swallowing capsules, you can open them up and add them to food or any shake you like to drink.
Joe, this guide have been really helpful to us, my grandfather is using this product right now and i think this is what keeps him lively, i want to ask that whether using the same product as a supplement is healthy or not for me? (i am 20 years old male, working out for some time like 3 years)
Hi Onur, you can certainly use Ensure. it wont hurt you. I would point out though the HMB appears to work best for older adults in people just starting an exercise program. I’m really glad to hear it is helping your grandfather!!
Hey Joe, I’m so grateful to have come upon your site. I’ve used Ensure regularly for several years combining it into a shake with whey protein, kale, fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples and bananas, pineapple and yogurt. I haven’t looked at your shake recipe yet but intend to do so. I’ve been fighting muscle wasting from HIV disease for over 20 years. I’m now 58 years old.
I’ve become concerned about the sugar content of Ensure although I don’t have diabetes but rather a high risk factor for it.
I do eat well (consciously) but just have no appetite to really stuff myself. I’m 6’1 and weigh 155 consistently. I do some strength training but have had cervical neck surgery twice, the latest being a 7 level fusion that I’ve recently recovered from.
Do you think I should be rightly concerned about the sugar in Ensure? Do you recommend any replacement for it? I need the calories. Seems everything food-wise is geared to losing fat and I could use some
lildoggy4u, it sounds like what you have been doing overall is very good. Id keep the emphasis on fruits and vegetables for their phytonutrient content as Im sure you are. I would not be worried about the sugar in Ensure. One product you may want to speak to your pharmacist/doctor about is the amino acid leucine, which is where HMB comes from. Since I wrote this review, Ive come across research that leucine-itself – might have an effect on muscle protein synthesis. To be most effective, we have to reach the “leucine threshold” which is often said to be between 1-3 grams per day. I’m sure you are likely getting 1 gram already. Im not up to speed on leucine/HIV research but here are a few sources you might find useful:
I hope this helps.
Gosh Joe, I really appreciate your timely response. I’m looking into the amino acid you noted. Research on muscle wasting in HIV has basically come to a halt as we’re now experiencing fat re-distribution including fatty tissue deep in our adipose tissue around out internal organs and no fat in our extremities.
The only answer so far has been the expensive and not very effective Egrifta that was formed from a version of Serostim without the benefit of the growth hormone. I tried it but it was prohibitively expensive and not effective.
When I looked at leucine and its use with 2 other other amino acids that was said should be taken together it was mentioned that it was effective in studies at reducing that fat around the internal organs. You may be on to something. I’ll surely mention this to my doc and begin my own research.
I really appreciate your vital information. BTW, i came across BOOST® VHC VERY HIGH CALORIE which amazingly contains 530 calories in one carton with only 14g of sugar. The regular Boost and Ensure have 22g. so I’ll be checking into that as well but studying the nutritional facts a little closer.
Thanks so much. I am a follower and big fan.
lildoggy4u, you are very welcome. My guess is that the other 2 amino acids they recommended taking leucine with were isoleucine and valine. Together, these 3 amino acids make up the Branch Chain Amino (BCAAs). They are both good too, just make sure you get more of the leucine as I understand it. Have a great holiday weekend!
Hi, I’m a 28 years old male who is 182cm tall and weigh 70kg. I consider myself on the thin side. The problem is even though I look thin, my tummy is starting to bulge. I want to gain more weight (bulk up) but at the same time lose my tummy. I have been doing light workout 3 times a week for around 20 to 30mins each session. However the progress has been slow and I it feels like I’m losing my muscle instead of bulking up. Will Ensure Revigor help?
Kenneth, I don’t think you need it. when you say you are working out, what kind of a work out are you doing? are you lifting weights or doing any resistance type exercise like push ups?
A few sets of push ups, squats with dumbbell and dumbbell bicep workout. Do I need any supplement?
Kenneth, How long have you been doing these exercises? how many reps are you doing? I don’t think you need any supplements.
About 3 months. Around 2-3 reps.
Kenneth, I think you mean 2-3 sets. How many reps are you doing (how many times are you lifting the weight)?
yes 2-3 set about 20 reps.
Kenneth, since you started doing this about 2-3 months ago, remember that in beginners (which I assume you are), it takes the nervous system sometime to learn how to do the exercises efficiently. this actually accounts for a good amount of the increases in strength that you have noticed over the last few months. After the nervous system gets used to the exercises, then, the muscles start to get stronger themselves. By the way how old are you? If you are a teenager then this might be different for you.
That said, since you are doing 20 repetitions of pushups, I know you are pretty strong. Id say try doing the repetitions slower as this will put more tension on your muscles. this can help them grow. Also try eating some protein and carbs after exercise. it cant hurt and it might help some.
Hi, I’m a 26 yr old female, mother of 3 kids. I’ve lost weight in the last year and am trying to gain more. I’m pretty healthy too. I didn’t lose weight on purpose either… I’m very active as I have three small children that keep me very busy.
My doctor has just recommended I try Ensure Active Muscle Health. Do you think this will help me gain weight. And if so how much do you think I should be drinking a day? I’m normally 130 and I’m down to 100 lbs :/
Hi Desire’e, I looked up Ensure Active Muscle Health. To gain weight we need to take in more calories than we expend per day. One 8 oz bottle of Ensure has 250 calories. That is a lot of calories for so little volume, so it makes sense your doctor would recommend it. It’s easy to drink 8 oz while running after kids.
If you drink 2 Ensures per day, that’s an extra 500 calories per day which is a lot. The shake is somewhat high in fat (28% fat). That, along with the 22 grams of sugars per bottle adds to its calories. It only has 15 grams of protein. That is a lot for 8 oz but I usually like to see a “meal” have between 20-25 grams if you are exercising. I’m sure you get a lot of exercise running after 3 kids.
Because it only has 8 oz I wonder if this is enough to fill you up between meals? One shake I do like is the Met Rx RTD 51 shake. It also has about 250 calories – but it has 15 ounces. That might fill you up more than Ensure. You can get these both online and at local vitamin stores. I’d say compare prices buy one of each and compare taste.
All that said, I would only drink 1 Ensure per day for the first month and see how your weight changes. While you want to gain weight, I’m sure you don’t want to gain fat. In theory, drinking several Ensures per day could put on some unwanted-kind of weight. Try it for a month and do let me know what happens and how you like Ensure.
Any other questions, just ask 🙂
As has been said…
There is no need to spend a lot of money on HMB combined with other ingredients, as it can be purchased -for a lot less money – as the pure powder.
But it does taste absolutely horrible. It tastes burned, and like something you don’t want to put inside a human body, so if you do buy the – much cheaper – pure powder, you might care to mix it in a shake. I mix it with the very cheapest flavoured whey protein, diluted with skim milk.
Hi, I just wanted to let you know, i hope the Revigor Muscle Health works. I’ve just been advised by a Dr. to start drinking it along with yogurt smoothies if possible daily. I’ve had an unexplained weight loss of 35 pounds in a year, I’m 47 and I eat a lot. For some strange reason, after multiple tests, my food doesn’t seem to be sticking with me. I’m malnourished, vitamin d is severely deficient. Wish me luck!
Jeannie much success! i do hope it helps. Please keep me posted on how you are doing.
Terreah Dietel says
How can I forward this article onto others. Looks like twitter or FB only??
Terreah, Here is the link to the article
Just copy that where you want (paste in an email post in a website etc) and the article will be forwarded. Was there a social service you wanted to forward it to? I can look into putting more buttons up to help people if you get me some feedback.
Thanks so much for your feedback and encouragement. I might go check out the supplements, but you’ve made me feel better about using Ensure for added nutrition during this time. It’s certainly convenient. I appreciate your help.
Christine, Thanks, I am happy to help 🙂