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Meal supplements in your long term preps

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Jfduece, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Jfduece


    Sep 13, 2010

    I saw this post in the Gate forum and it got me thinking....

    Does anyone here use supplements in your long term preps? I am really thinking about those bariatric supplements mentioned. Would be a great meal replacement to balance things out once you start have to start living off canned foods and vacuum packed MH meals for a while. Maybe just a few "doses" a week to get more balanced nutrient intake. I really don't trust your average OTC vitamins(I don't think you absorb much of the content), but something like this might be worthwhile, however costly.

    It also made me think more about Ensure or similar products. Ensure might actually work good for us because my wife drinks it a lot. I cold stock up rotate through it.

    Thoughts? Anyone stocking high quality vitamins, supplements, or other meal replacements like Ensure? I'm too lazy to search this late at night so point me to a thread if its been discussed recently.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  2. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA
    Meal supplements are an excellent idea to add to preps. I keep whey protein powders, Ensure and other vitamins and nutrients on hand. During a major SHTF senario your mind and body are going to be running on overload they need all the extras they can get.

  3. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    Interesting concept with the bariatric diet.

    60g of protein a day, 64 oz of water and supplements.

    At least if you go the protein bar, stoveless route, in a BOB or Get home bag it makes sense. Its compact, and light, and give you the option to move quickly while keeping yourslef fed. I think most protein or meal replacement bars or drinks are supplemented with enough vitamins and minerals anyway, but it would hurt to pop a vitamin here and there.

    I still think though like the expert in the other thread, that long term it will not work. Walking for a few days is one thing, but walking for weeks or longer will catch up with you calorie wise, and you will need carbs, fat and calories or else your energy levels will crash. I know some of us tried the Atkins diet, and while its all well and good for the first week or so and then you need to cycle out of an all protein diet. Going too long is not healthy and you lose energy, especially if your burning +4000 calories a day by walking 10 hours with a pack, or bugging in and doing physical tasks like a 1800's homesteader. I think the good news is you will still have trace carbs in protein bars, but you may want to supplement carbs and add the fat and calorie.
  4. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Rebel South
    I carry no actual "meals" in my BOB, its all datrex food bars. I would consider it a meal supplement.
  5. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    When you finally google, you learn:

    1. ensure is expensive;
    2. healthy people tend to eat better than the average. although they may take vitamins, there is no causal relationship;
    3. if you are a woman, you may need a calcium supplement;
    4. if you decide to live on a boat when shtf, you may want to take some vitamin C to avoid scurvy;
    5. if you live in an area lacking iodine for the plants, you may want to store a few pounds of iodized salt to avoid goiter;
    6. if you intend to work at physical labor after shtf, you may want to keep some magnesium and potassium tablets as those minerals cannot be stored in the body.
    7. when you price a bottle of walmart 500 count multivitamins against the price of a couple of cases of ensure, there is no comparison. I can throw away the vitamins if they are never used. What is the life expectancy of ensure?

    There is no easy solution to having a healthy, nutritious diet after shtf. You can read as many threads as you want on dog food, mres, planting your own garden, owing a hideout, yatta yatta.

    Don't delude yourself. I go to a 24 hour fitness center and watch the people who buy muscle milk and similar high margin items. Healthy people don't need that stuff and simply drinking it doesn't make muscles and get off the flab.

    I watch the people go to the grocery store and buy water from the machines and pour it into their containers. It isn't any healthier than Los Angeles tap water. I know. I represented a bottled water company. I also watch people buy cases of water in plastic containers. The containers will not last over 1 year in storage. The water is no better than tap water. FYI, one of the two best selling bottled waters in Los Angeles use LA water in its 5 gallon containers. Sure, they do a little bit more. However, that company is one of the biggest polluters in the City of Los Angeles.

    Don't delude yourself.
  6. Jfduece


    Sep 13, 2010
    I agree with what you are saying overall: Healthy people are that way because they eat good and exercise, right? But that doesn't mean jack after the SHTF if food delivery breaks down and there is no fresh fuit/veggies/meat at the market. If you are eating most of your meals out of a can or freeze dried crap, I would think a little something extra would be worth while.

    Also, I am talking about high quality supplements. That 500 count value pack from Walmart is worthless even today. The human body has a hard type absorbing processed vitamins and minerals. I don't really care much for vitamins in my daily life now, but i can see a place for something high quality after SHTF. The GATE post I linked to notes that people live off supplements and water after bariatric surgery. So how can you say they are worthless? Now I am not talking about living off this crap, just something extra to help fill out the nutritional gaps.

    Note- I am not arguing for Ensure as being real high quality. I have not done a lot of research on it. Hoping for feedback on that actually. I am just thinking it will work well for us because my wife already drinks a lot of it and we can rotat through it. Its like her 5th or 6th meal of the day(including solid breakfest, lunch, and dinner).
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  7. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    The problem with ensure vs a protein/ meal replacement bar is shelf life, weight, nutritional value and taste.

    In regards to taste. Do you really want to drink a hot thick chocolate milkshake in 90 degree heat when you are on the move? What about when its below freezing?

    One bottle of Ensure shake pretty much has the same calories and nutritional value as a Cliff Bar. A cliff bar is smaller in size, will not leak or spill, is lighter, taste good to decent, and has a 1 year shelf life.
  8. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    Like everything else in life, there is no single easy answer. If there was, everyone would be doing it.

    I do think there is merit to meal replacements and supplements. I keep a couple Costco bottles of multi-vitamins on hand, along with a bunch of fish oil, vitamin c, and calcium for me and my wife. I also have a couple big containers of powdered shake mix. I would want more carbs and fat than they contain in a survival situation. However, it is a good supplement to the carbs (beans, rice, pasta, etc.) that most people store in bulk.
  9. Donn57

    Donn57 Just me

    Aug 11, 2006
    Sunny Florida
    A few years ago, we had to move to another town to assist my father who was ill. We thought we were going to be gone for six months. It turned out to be four years. On our back porch when we left was a case of bottled water. When we got back after four years, that case of bottled water was still there and looked just fine other than being dirty. I currently have bottled water that is well over a year old and its looks exactly the same as when I bought it.

    You're right that the water is no better than the tap water in most areas, but not everyone has access to tap water. Well water can be pretty unpleasant to drink. Stored drinking water is an important prep. Bottled water is a good solution for short term prepping. Prepping for long term SHTF situations does require a different approach.
  10. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    Feb 22, 2005
    Republic of Texas
    I think at some point, vitamins would be a smart move, but eventually, you have to start looking for access to nutrients from the land. Might want to plan to be in a place with fruit trees, nut trees, wild game, plowed fields and water are a good place to be. Even better if you have a bunch of seeds there.
  11. pugman


    May 16, 2003
    I look at meal supplements (vitamins, powders, whatever) the way I do at extra ammo.

    It can't hurt.

    As for meal replacement - during a SHTF event there is no such thing.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  12. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    First off I am not planning for the EOTWAWKI. I am prepping for SHTF.

    I highly recomend gummy vitamins. I take them almost every day. I have been doing this since I got on a health kick. They will sit well on an empty stomach. I feel better now than before I started taking them. Kids will take them. They are low calorie. I think they obsorb better into my system based on color of my pee.

    I would suggest everyone sign up for "myfitnesspal". Track what you eat for a while. You may be surprized. You may be lacking something in your diet. Then you could run a SHTF diet through the system and see what it is lacking.

    bdcochran, I agree with most of what you posted, but....
    4. It is not living aboat a boat that does it to them, it is the diet. I would suggest storing some Tang.
    5. What plants have iodine in them? I believe I am getting mine from sea salt right now?
    6. I think Magnesium and Potasium will be hitting most of us hard. I need to find some gummys for those items. I will not be getting my bannanas.
  13. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Imo, some supplements are a good idea even now, much less in a long-term bad situation. Can't prove it, but I'm firmly convinced that most americans don't get enough minerals in our groceries. Some vitamins to some extent, but imo minerals & trace minerals are even more important to supplement, and would be beneficial to most foks in modern america.
  14. FH Alum

    FH Alum

    Jan 14, 2005
    Beaver State
    I was the one that put in the .02 about the vitamins on the GATE post referenced.

    1. Yes, the only thing you need to survive is protein, vitamins and water. I lived for over 1.5 years and dropped 175 pounds on 60g of protein a day, 64+ ounces of water and 6 vitamins.

    It is an extreme situation and not suggested for normal folks. However, this is all you need to survive.

    FYI: Normal meals now 2.5 years post op are 1/2 cup (by volume) of meat (4-5 oz by weight) and 1/2 cup by volume of "carb" ( 1/4 cup veggies/fruit, 1/4 bad stuff like a spoonful of rice etc.)

    I run 5 miles every day and weight train. ---No energy drain. The amount of food needed to keep you going is really small compared to the platters we are used to eating. The menu is better now but still I will live the rest of my life on vitamins, protein and water.

    2. I used to eat thousands of calories a day but was malnourished. Vitamins have allowed me to have proper nutrition and I can't describe how great it feels. Full does not equal fed. (rabbit starvation)

    3. In a true long term situation it would be almost impossible to hunt and gather enough to maintain true nutrition if you had to start from scratch. You may be full and you may be able to get by but true balanced nutrition will be VERY difficult.

    200 years ago folks lived off the land but there were only a fraction of the populace vs. the 300 million of us now. If the grid goes down and you don't have a bunker filled with 20 years of food you will need supplements to go long term. Deer, raccoon, rat, cat, and your hippie neighbors heirloom seed tomatoes will only go so far and in time the lack of vitamins will take a toll.

    Do you need a supplement for weeks/months? No, not likely. However over time there are very nasty things that can happen if you neglect certain vitamins.

    4. Another post asked about stimulants for a "boost" short term. Having a bottle of good vitamins (not Flintstones chews) can do close to the same thing. For example mine have a massive amount of B-12 (1500x daily allowance) due to lack of ability to absorb B-12 post surgery. For a normal person take 2 of these and you will not only feel fantastic, cheerful and happy but your wife may face the end of the world with a smile worthy of the Ensite supplement dude if you get my drift. :cool: