Madhurie Singh just wrote a brilliant blog post on the various kid’s health drinks like Bournvita, Boost,etc. available in India and how most of them are just crap. Read more:

Best Protein Health Drink for Our Kids will be a fight that not just the brands but the monther in us will have to go on with. Ever wondered, which is the best protein health drink (not protein powders)  to buy for your kids

Well, for a long time I trusted the most known brands and my favourite was Horlicks. I personally love it’s taste. Last dec 2008, I took a weight loss challenge organised in my gymnasium “Solaris”.

Of course I went for the whey protein powder, lost 8 kg in 3 months, was in top 10 amongst all the contestants in Pune. But the main challenge came when I had to maintain the protein intake. I did not want to take the expensive protein powders but wanted a lighter version of milk based health drink.

So I thought of checking out if I could drink the same thing that I was giving to my kids. That is “Horlicks”.

A good friend mentioned that the best brand was Bournvita based on the maximum protein content displayed on the pack, which he said was around 40% RDA (recommended daily allowance) .

I went and bought Bournvita, trusting my friend. But my ever so data and research hungry brain had to feed on the claims made by Bournvita. I have this strange eye for figures and facts, where I know that something is not right, even when I have no connection to the subject at all! Some how, the figures did not match the claims made by Bournvita about it’s recommended RDA.

I found it very strange that a company could sell milk protein so cheap when it was costing not less than Rs 3,000/- 1000gm of whey protein. I got suspicious and got all brands one by one. So we all had a feast on Horlicks, Bournvita, Boost, Complan for months together, where even my hubby and I got in the habit of eating (not drinking) these powders :D !!!!!

Taste wise I still love Horlicks. :) Malt is my Halt ! ( Malting always enhances the taste along with the nutrition of any cereal.)

But when I did a detailed comparative analysis of all the brands, I felt like knocking my head on the walls for having blindly drinking and making my babies drink what I assumed was one of the most trusted health drink. The worst brand which is cheating all of us is Bournvita. !!!

The Best and most trusted brand is COMPLAN. I thank my stars that I did this analysis to pick the gem out of the scum. Second Brand that I trust is Horlicks. Third Brand — no one.

Dabur is not compared here as the ingredients are natural and does not fall under same category as other drinks.

Yesterday, my hubby reminded me about posting my research on the health drinks after reading an article in Times Of India about Supreme Court ruling against companies that were advertising TALL claims which were meant to lure uninformed customers.

So here is my research and my honest review on health drinks for kids in India.

  • The worst brand in terms of extreme misleading claim award goes BOURNVITA. 
  • The best brand and most authentic brand with all true claims award goes to COMPLAN 


If you are still interested, here are the false claims and their post-mortem done by my logical and analytical research.

The ridiculous claims of Bournvita : They claim that their drink has 40% RDA (recommended diatery allowance) of Protein for kids.

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for protein, in grams, are:

  • Infants 0 to 6 months = 13gm;
  • Infants 6 to 12 months = 14gm;
  • Children 1 to 3 years = 16gm;
  • Children 4 to 6 years = 24gm;
  • Children 7 to 10 years = 28gm;

Source —
Check this for more —

Claim by Bournvita: Provides 40% RDA of Protein for children 4 to 6 years = 9.6gm So Ideally one drink of Bournvita of approx 10 gm powder should provide 9.6gm protein.


Post Mortem Report of Bournvita: What they are very cheekily mentioning under the garbs of tiny stars and other symbols are these startling facts:

The 40% RDA of protein is possible only when the Bournvita 10 gm powders is added into 240ml whole cow milk. As if they are providing the milk along with the powder! ( Or are they willing to gift a cow to each Bournvita customer!). SO in effect, the protein content of whole milk from cow is actually part of their claim! (By the way this misleading tactics is used by Kellogs cereals too).

Also Bournvita confuses the printed figures on the pack with the fact by providing a tiny reference star next to 40% RDA, that this 40% RDA of protein is possible only with two drinks in one day!

So what our kids get actually in one drink of Bournvita provided we use whole cow milk = 4.8gm protein. But wait. out of this 4.8gm the contribution of Horlicks is only 0.7gm protein !!! The rest 4.1 gm is from our darling cow’s milk :) .

So we are spending Rs 7.96/- to get 0.7gm protein from a powerful trusted brand called Bournvita ???????

I might as well just give plain milk which has minimum 6gm protein

Why they can not be sued? Because, they are not hiding these facts, but manipulating the visibility of these numbers on the pack.

What they should be doing? Simply mention how much is the protein content in 2 teaspoons of Bournvita, like Complan.


The Brand that I trust is COMPLAN.

Why? Cuz, they have not manipulated any fact and figure on the pack. They claim that their product when provides as much protein as one glass of skim milk does is absolutely true. A skim milk contains approx 5-6 gm protein.

The other brands that can be trusted are Horlicks and Junior Horlicks.

Boost is in the category of Bournvita :( . (And we have Sachin Tendulkar endorsing it !!!! I wish he reads this post for his reputation).

I am providing two tables below for any one interested in more numbers which I am sure will open your eyes if you don’t get bogged down by my colourful charts. :)

In This Chart I have standardised the quantity of powder to 33gm = 2 spoon heaps of drink powder. Check the protein and calcium content. Also compare the cost per drink. Check the protein and calcium content.

Bournvita is trying tricks in using the factor which customer might use to buy their product. How long a product will last is an important factor when we buy anything. Bournvita has reduced the per drink quantity to only 10gm. So obviously, at a glance it seems the best brand to provide 50 drinks as compared to other brands like Complan which suggest 33gm per drink, which lasts for 15 drinks only !!!!

Hats off to the Bournvita Product Marketing guys… you know how to strip our kids off their healthy nutrients :( !! Health drinks comparision

In this second chart here I have mentioned figures as stated and claimed on each pack. Each brand has a different quantity that they suggest to be mixed in milk. This is one very good way to confuse customers who cannot calculate instantly which brand has best protein or other nutrient while shopping.

Check the protein and calcium content. Also compare the cost per drink. Bournvita is trying tricks in using the factor which customer might use to buy their product. How long a product will last is an important factor when we buy anything. Bournvita has reduced the per drink quantity to only 10gm. So obviously, at a glance it seems the best brand to provide 50 drinks as compared to other brands like Complan which suggest 33gm per drink, which lasts for 15 drinks only !!!! claims healthdrinks

The next review I plan to write is on Pediasure and Complan Memory.


  1. Thank you sooo much. I got what i was looking for. Hats off to you for this research. It’s very helpful to all the parents and people who drink healthy drinks regularly.

  2. Hello,

    I love this comparison and this article is really helpful. Let me know where you have published the comparison for Pediasure and Memory Complain.

  3. Oh God! I have been drinking Bournvita for past fifteen years, twice a day, without fail! What a loss of nutrients and health, I feel robbed and cheated to the core!

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