Baby formula, known simply as formula, is a food powder primarily designed for infants below 12 months. It is mixed with water or other liquid, and a baby is bottle or cup-fed. Its nutrients mimic breast milk and are safe to be used as a substitute when a mother is not in a position to breastfeed the baby.
The most common formulas contain cow or soy milk as the main ingredient. Vegetable oils, lactose, and vitamins are also added to the formula. Its use is more prevalent in developed countries than in third world countries.
Can Adults Drink Baby Formula?
Baby formula mimics breast milk which is beneficial to a baby’s health. An adult can drink this formula as a way of avoiding wastage when there are leftovers or use it as a dietary supplement.
Though beneficial to a young one, the baby formula does not contain sufficient essential nutrients to meet an adult’s requirements. Taking formula as a daily requirement may not be a wise decision for any adult. In this article, we look at the components of baby formula and its benefits to an adult, if any.
The primary focus of formula is to provide sufficient nutrients for a young infant. The ingredients aim at building muscles, developing a strong immune system, and general cell growth. One fluid OZ of formula contains; 20 calories, 1.09gm of fat, 6mg of sodium, 2gm of sodium, 0.44gm of protein, 17mg of calcium, 0.36mg of iron, 22mg of potassium, 18mcgm of Vitamin A, and 2.26mg of Vitamin C.
How Can Formula Benefit An Adult
When you prepare formula for your baby, there are chances of him not finishing it up. In such an event, you do not have to waste the leftover formula, add it to your cup of coffee or drink it that way.
Convenient And Easy To Use
When you need a quick fix to your hunger pangs or thirst, you could get a cup of formula milk. It is easy and convenient to prepare. All you need is a cup and water, or any other liquid of your choice.
Helps Build Muscles
The formula contains a high amount of protein that helps in building muscles. The disadvantage is that you will need quite a lot of formulas to achieve this goal.
Contains Human Milk Component(HMO)
The formula contains human milk oligosaccharides(HMO), which have several benefits including ;
- It has antimicrobial and antiviral properties helpful in fighting diseases and infections.
- It might help in boosting the immune system.
- It might aid in gut health.
- It is well tolerated and easy to digest.
- It might help prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, autism, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.
Cons Of Formula Milk To Adults
Formula milk is primarily designed and marketed for use for children below twelve months. It is not suitable for an adult due to several factors that include;
The nutrients in a formula are meant for infants and are not sufficient for an adult. To get enough for your daily requirements, you will need to take a lot of formulas.
Could Lead To Weight Gain
Nutrients in the formula are meant to stimulate rapid growth in a baby and contain high amounts of proteins, lipids, and HMO. For you to get reasonable benefits from baby formula, you will need to take lots of it, and the excess amounts are stored as fat reserves in the body, leading to weight gain and eventually obesity.
Formulas contain high amounts of iron. This is suitable for babies as they don’t have another source of nutrients. However, for an adult, this could lead to an iron overdose if you consume other foods containing iron.
Such an overdose could lead to iron poisoning characterized by diarrhea, severe vomiting, abdominal pains, dehydration, and lethargy. Excess levels of iron could also lead to iron toxicity and overload that can cause long-term effects and, in rare cases, death.
Baby formula is an expensive alternative to adult supplements because you will require high amounts of formula to meet your nutritional needs. An adult can not survive for long on formula alone. It is, therefore, not economically viable.
Baby formula is not suitable for an adult who is intolerant to lactose.
Not A Long Term Solution
Taking baby formula is not a lasting solution to whichever need you want to accomplish. It is advisable to seek advice from a nutritionist on bridging a nutritional need in your diet other than taking a shortcut such as baby formula.
Taking formulas can be embarrassing for some people, especially in public spaces.
Alternatives To Formula Milk For Adults
An adult has a mature digestive and immune system that can handle a variety of foods and supplements. Rather than use baby formula, you could try the tips below;
- Focus on a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
- Keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids such as water, broths, fresh juice, and herbal teas.
- Eat small but regular healthy meals that consist of fiber.
- Cut down on junk, fried foods, and unhealthy bites.
- Minimize processed food and sugar intake. Where possible, opt for whole grains.
- Reduce carbonated drinks and alcohol from your diet.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle. You could engage in your favorite physical activities such as jogging, running, weightlifting, and swimming. Exercising could help you build muscles and reduce the urge for baby formula.
- Consult a nutritionist to help you through your diet requirements.
In conclusion, an adult can drink baby formula but will not reap the maximum benefits. The ingredients are specially formulated for infants and are suitable for rapidly growing children. Baby formula is, therefore, not advisable for adults.