Baby formula is designed to provide the same nutrition as breastmilk for a growing baby. It is packed with nutrients to cater to the newborn’s development. For the first six months of the infant’s life, they live on nothing else but baby milk – breast or formula- and it helps them grow into the cute little chubbies we know and love.
This makes you wonder if the same can be said for adults? Can adults drink baby formula? Is it enough to sustain their nutritional needs? I’ll tell you in a bit, keep reading.
Can Adults Drink Baby Formula?
Adults can drink baby formula. After all, it’s just milk. Baby formula is formulated to mimic breast milk; therefore, it shouldn’t have adverse health effects on adults. However, the baby formula will not provide an adult with all the necessary nutrients for optimal health.
Why Do Adults Drink Baby Formula?
It’s becoming more common to find adults considering baby formula. Here are some of the reasons why adults would want to put infant formula on their diet.
For extra nutrition
Because baby milk is packed with the right nutrients, some adults may want to drink it to make up for nutritional deficiencies. Sort of like drinking supplements without having to take pills.
It tastes good
Infant formula, like all food, tastes differently. While some brands of formula are not as palatable, some will entice your taste buds. Because of the sweet taste of the milk, some people may be drawn to drinking the formula.
To build muscle
Some circles encourage grown men and women to drink baby formula to build muscles. Baby milk contains 5mg of protein per serving. For that reason, adults take the baby formula to develop their strength and look all buff.
The thing is, you will need to take lots of baby formula to reach the required daily servings for adults. When you compare baby formula vs. protein powder, the milk might not be the better option.
Formula lying around
If you have formula leftover and your kids aren’t going to drink it anymore, you might as well put the baby formula in coffee. Check out this post for more tips on how to use leftover baby formula.
Best For Baby, Best For You?
Aside from breast milk, formula is the best food for babies. This is because it’s made up of plenty of essential nutrients for a baby’s optimal growth.
- Lots of fats
- High protein
- Many vitamins
When it comes to adults drinking baby formula, there are pros and cons. What’s best for the baby might not be so good for you.
SEE ALSO: Can You Overfeed a Breastfed Baby?
What Do Adults Benefit From Drinking Baby Formula?
Human milk component
Some formulas are made with a substance called Human milk oligosaccharide (HMO). This ingredient mimics the HMOs found in breast milk, which positively affects the human body. Through studies, science has linked this HMO to the prevention and treatment of obesity, autism, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.
In light of this, it would make sense for adults to drink formula with HMO to help treat some of these conditions. One brand of formula with HMO is Similac.
Does this justify adults drinking formula meant for babies? Can adults drink Similac for the HMO? Yes, adults can drink Similac, but certainly not for the HMO. Scientists are still researching more on this, and it is yet to be approved by the FDA.
But again, since this HMO is very useful, is baby formula for seniors a good idea? No, it is not. Seniors need the added protection and nutrients, but there’s no reason why baby formula would be any better than adult nutritional powders like Ensure.
Additionally, there are adult formulas that can be used for the elderly who struggle to eat. This would be an excellent option for their survival.
Is Drinking Baby Formula A Good Idea?
Daily nutritional requirements
The required daily nutrition for adults is different from the requirements for babies. The nutrients in the formula are meant to feed babies and not adults. If you were to drink formula, you would need to drink lots of it to make up for adults’ nutrients.
Too much fat
Fats are a baby’s brain development superfood; that’s why baby formula is full of fat. The fats also make up for the extra energy that the newborns need to grow. For grown-ups, taking that much fat as part of your diet is not advisable. It may lead to high cholesterol levels in your body, which can cause heart disease.
If you are looking to gain weight, this might sound like an appealing side effect. But can adults drink formula to gain weight? Well, it may be possible if you are drinking the formula along with other high-fat foods.
However, if all you are consuming is the formula, there are minimal chances of gaining weight unless you drink it by the gallons. Can you even do that?
Most baby formulas are fortified with iron. Therefore, if you take too much, which you will need if you live off formula, you may end up with an iron overdose. While iron is a useful nutrient, too much of it may have the opposite effect.
Excess iron in your body puts you at risk of iron poisoning, causing stomach pains, vomiting, etc. Not only that, but excessive amounts of iron may have severe consequences such as brain damage.
Too high cost
Formula doesn’t come cheap, especially the good ones. For this reason, taking it may not be the best of ideas to pump up nutrients. If you are trying to save, the cost of taking baby milk may turn out to be higher than buying supplements.
Babies have no option but to drink formula or breastmilk because their digestive system has not developed enough to eat other foods. Milk gives them the nutrients they need without affecting their digestive system.
Unlike babies, you have a fully developed gut. Therefore, you can get your nutrition from a good diet with fruits, vegetables, and everything you need. Thus, if you stick to a good diet, there may be no reason to drink formula.
Some baby formulas contain lactose. Therefore, if you are lactose intolerant, it wouldn’t be a good idea to drink baby milk. If that’s the case, but you are still thinking, “I love formula,” then you can maybe try soy-based formulas.
Can Adults Survive On Baby Formula Alone?
No. Adults cannot entirely survive on baby formula. It is designed for little humans, not full-grown adults. The energy component alone would not be enough to keep you going. Drinking formula like Enfamil for adults would be very similar to going on a juice fast.
You can do it for a couple of days, but it’s not sustainable in the long term. If you did try to survive entirely on formula, you would probably feel weak and out of it after a few days or hours. Additionally, you’d have to drink lots of formula to keep up with your nutritional requirements.
Can adults drink baby formula? Sure, they can. But I don’t think it’s wise. Formula is quite expensive, and it would be a total waste of money to buy it for an adult’s consumption. However, it all boils down to an individual’s preferences. If you like the taste and can afford it, why not?