Have you ever glanced at the baby formula aisle in your local supermarket and wondered if it could be useful as an adult drink mix? You're not alone! Despite its name, baby formula isn't just for babies. In fact, adults can drink it too!
Before you raise any eyebrows or jump to conclusions, let's dive deeper into what baby formula is made of and how adults may benefit from it.
What is Baby Formula?
Baby formula is a combination of nutrients that mimics breastmilk. Manufacturers create various types of formulas intended to nourish infants in place of human milk when necessary. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers exclusively nurse their newborns until six months old but acknowledges that some parents use commercial infant formulas instead.
The main components are protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals - with lactose being a significant carbohydrate source
A typical casein hydrolysate-enriched whey-based infant food would contain:
|Per 100 grams|
Although this macronutrient balance might seem complex if you don't have babies around (or haven't had them before), keep reading because we will explain how the ingredients present on these products can also provide tons of benefits even for non-infants like us!
Why Would Adults Want to Drink Baby Formula Anyway?
While conventional wisdom suggests that only infants need sustenance from sippy cups or bottles filled with nutrient-rich liquids like baby formula, many people mistakenly assume certain myths about drinking these beverages. Contrary to popular belief, however, there are plenty reasons why an adult might want to indulge in some tasty baby nectar!
One reason why baby formula appeals to adults is its ability to relax your body. Many people might be skeptical of claiming ‘relaxing properties’ in a bottle filled with protein and micronutrients, but there’s actual science behind it! A prominent active chemical found in milk (including formula) is tryptophan, which tends to facilitate the biosynthesis of serotonin - the feel-good hormone.
Another potential benefit for adult drinking that could come from ingesting an infant formula is related to what goes on inside our guts especially if we have imbalances or issues involving acid reflux since many formulas operate at neutral pH levels. In fact, some people opt for infant food instead of traditional medication for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It's important to note that before using baby foods as a substitute or alongside medical interventions, you must consult your doctor beforehand.
Baby formula may also help with exercise recovery. The high protein content in many formulas can promote muscle growth and repair after heavy physical activity such as weight lifting. Baby formulas containing casein hydrolysate are hypothesized towards improving blood glucose concentration when compared against other carbohydrate-based beverages used by athletes1.
If you're looking 'to bulk up', give baby formula shakes a chance!
How Should Adults Drink Baby Formula?
Now that we've established some reasons why adults might want to indulge in this juice box treat let's take a look at how best way it can be consumed.
As tempting as guzzling down bottles full of unwatered powder mixture straight outta toddlerhood-style gonzo journalism sounds, adults should not consume full-strength powdered forms directly without proper preparation (and mixing).
To properly mix infant nutrition:
- Wash Your Hands Thoroughly
- Boil fresh water
- Add recommended tsp scoop(s)
- Shake till completely mixed
Pair with your favorite dishes!
Getting creative by incorporating infant formulas into adult-oriented recipes can be a fun strategy for experimenting as well. Consider swapping out milk or water in custards, puddings, casseroles and smoothies.
Baby formula may seem like something that is exclusively reserved for babies but truthfully it could benefit adults too! Whether you're looking to relax after demanding workdays, soothe digestive issues, or assist with exercise recovery, baby formula goes beyond the boundaries imposed on its name.
As interesting as this sounds though,it's crucial to consult your doctor before starting to experiment consuming any baby product considering individual circumstances such as allergies among others might affect suitability.
Liu H-C., Yeh T-S., Wu S-H (2019). A combination of hydrolyzed casein and whey protein-based supplement improves glutathione metabolism under normal conditions in young male subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition & Metabolism;16(75) ↩