Protein Shakes for Weight Gain

Protein Shakes for Weight Gain? Recipes & Recommendations

Recipes & Recommendations  How to Use Protein Shakes & Smoothies for Weight Gain?
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Protein shakes are effective at helping to support muscle building. But can protein shakes help you gain weight?

You may be looking to gain weight as a strategy to help you gain muscle and strength. Many factors can make it difficult to gain weight in a healthy way. Gaining weight can be difficult when you are born with a higher metabolism or burn a lot of calories through sport / exercise, or if you have underlying medical conditions that may cause weight fluctuation. These factors make it challenging to gain weight without turning to unhealthy processed foods for meeting your caloric and weight goals.

Protein shakes can help you lose weight, get lean and build strength and endurance. But can protein shakes help you gain weight too? Protein shakes are an effective way to gain weight if you’re unable to do so through your diet alone. As well as gaining weight, adding protein shakes to your daily diet can also increase muscle mass.

However, if you are getting sick of drinking protein powder mixed with water, the good news is that there are a ton of shake recipes out there that include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, all of which are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help you boost your overall health.

Here are some tips on how to use protein shakes to help you reach your goals in a way that’s convenient, and often delicious. 

How to Use the Protein Shake for Weight Gain to Bulk Up?

Bulking up in a healthy way involves eating many of the same foods you would if your goal were to lose weight, there can be some subtle swaps and additions, but the main difference will come from the amount you eat. If you are looking to use those protein shakes to gain weight, there are some helpful tips to aid you in bulking up. 

1. Boost Those Calories

Instead of cutting back like when you’re slimming down, we’re turning up a notch towards weight gain. Shakes are your secret weapon for easily adding more calories to your game, especially if you find it tough to chow down on big meals. 

2. Go for High Calorie Foods & Add-ins

Toss in ingredients that bring the caloric fireworks – think peanut butter, avocados, or a splash of whole milk. 

3. Protein for Power

You still need your protein fix, and when you are on the muscle gain train, a bit extra can fuel those biceps and triceps.

Also Read: 4 Best Tasting Protein Powders

4. Sipping Between Bites

Do not replace meals; think of shakes as your trusty sidekick. Sip on them between meals to keep that calorie count climbing. 

5. Regular Meals Stay on the Menu

Shakes are the boost, not the boss. Keep enjoying your regular meals – we are just amping things up a bit.

6. Lift to Level Up

We’re aiming for strong muscles, not just extra fluff. To get stronger, lift weights. You should find that you have more energy to burn at the gym as you start consuming more food so continue to push yourself and make sure your gym goals align with your new weight goals. 

7. Track Your Gains

Just as if you were looking to lose weight, you want to gain weight slowly and controlled, even a half a pound a week is substantial progress. Look to increase your daily calorie amount but just a few hundred calories at first then monitor and adjust. Stay on top of your progress. Check your weight, check those muscles. If the plan needs tweaking, adjust those shake ingredients.

Also Read: What Happens When You Take Protein Shakes Without Working Out

Smart Choices for the Win

Even in a bulking phase, be smart about your choices. Calories are great, but let’s make them count with nutrient-rich goodies. Here is a list of weight gain ingredients:

Here are the best weight gain shake ingredients:

Protein Sources

- Whey Protein

- Casein Protein

- Plant-Based Proteins (Pea, Hemp, Brown Rice)

- Greek Yogurt

Carbohydrate Boosters

- Rolled Oats

- Quinoa (cooked)

- Sweet Potatoes (cooked and mashed)

- Banana

- Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries)

Healthy Fats

- Peanut Butter

- Almond Butter

- Cashew Butter

- Chia Seeds

- Flaxseeds

- Avocado

Natural Sweeteners

- Maple Syrup

- Honey

- Medjool Dates (pitted)

- Agave Nectar

Dairy or Dairy Alternatives

- Milk (Cow’s Milk, Almond Milk, Soy Milk)

- Greek Yogurt

- Cottage Cheese

- Coconut Milk

Flavor Enhancers

- Vanilla Extract

- Almond Extract

- Cacao Powder

- Cocoa Nibs

- Cinnamon

Nutrient Boosters

- Spinach (fresh or frozen)

- Kale (fresh or frozen)

- Spirulina Powder

- Chlorella Powder

Extras

- Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans)

- Seeds (Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds)

- Shredded Coconut 

Now let us play with these ingredients to make good protein shakes that will help you achieve your goal of gaining weight. 

Protein shakes to weight up

1. Chocolate peanut butter shake with Greek yogurt

This scrumptious shake uses Greek yogurt as the main protein source and includes high calorie ingredients like peanut butter and honey to promote weight gain.

Ingredients

- 1 large banana

- 3/4 cup (180 mL) whole milk

- 3 tbsp. (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

- 3/4 cup (170 grams) full fat plain Greek yogurt

- 1 tbsp. (21 grams) honey

- 1 tbsp. (16 grams) peanut butter

Instructions:

- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until thick and smooth.

- It’s recommended to add the cocoa powder gradually to prevent caking.

Also Read: Protein For Athletes - A Science-Backed Detailed Guide

2. Dark chocolate and peppermint shake

This is a tasty recipe that puts all the flavors of a marshmallow-topped peppermint hot cocoa into a protein-packed dessert shake. Nutrients include calcium, protein, and antioxidants. You can alter the quantities of different ingredients to suit your calorie requirements and taste preferences.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of whole milk (you can replace it with almond or soy milk if you are a vegan)

- ½ cup of grated dark chocolate

- ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract

- 1 tablespoon of unsweetened almond butter

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Garnish with some marshmallows and chocolate flakes. 

Also Read: Drinking Protein Shake Before Bed 

3. Triple berry smoothie with egg whites

Pasteurized egg whites are an excellent way to boost the protein content of smoothies without affecting the flavor. Pasteurization kills any harmful bacteria, making most packaged egg whites safe to consume raw.

This smoothie combines antioxidant-rich berries with orange juice and egg whites for an easy calorie boost.

Ingredients

- 3/4 cup (180 mL) pasteurized egg whites

- 1/2 cup (72 grams) fresh or frozen strawberries

- 1/4 cup (37 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries

- 1/4 cup (37 grams) fresh or frozen raspberries

- 1 small avocado (about 140 grams)

- 1/2 cup (120 mL) orange juice

Instructions

- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until smooth.

Also Read: When To Take Protein Powder?

4. Peanut butter and banana milkshake

Peanut butter is high in protein as well as healthy fats. With the addition of bananas, it can make a delicious shake that will help you bulk up.

Ingredients:

- 1 tablespoon of unsweetened peanut butter (you can use almond butter instead for an extra boost of minerals and antioxidants)

- 1 cup of whole milk (you can replace it with almond, coconut, or soy milk if you are a vegan)

- 1 sliced banana

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Sprinkle some granola on top. 

5. Green smoothie with Greek yogurt

Although weight gain smoothies focus on packing in calories, they can also include plenty of nutritious ingredients.

This protein smoothie features full fat Greek yogurt as the base and is chock-full of nutrient-dense fruits and veggies.

Ingredients

- 1 ripe medium banana

- 1 cup (165 grams) fresh, canned, or frozen pineapple

- 3 cups (30 grams) spinach

- 1 cup (245 grams) full fat plain Greek yogurt

- 6 ounces (180 mL) fruit juice of your choice

Instructions

- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

6. Birthday cake shake

Although there is no frosting, you may be surprised how much this vanilla protein shake recipe satisfies your cake cravings. Because it contains protein rather than simple carbohydrates, it will fill you up rather than weigh you down. Adding nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids provides added health benefits.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of cake batter of your choice

- 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream

- 1 scoop of unflavored whey protein or pea protein

- ¼ cup of mixed nuts

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Sprinkle some granola or grated nuts on top. 

7. Cinnamon banana shake

Since bananas are naturally sweet and filling, banana protein shake recipes are a great option for healthy weight gain. Bananas are a powerhouse of B vitamins and minerals, cinnamon and honey increase your antioxidant intake, and almond butter gives you an extra boost of protein and healthy fats.

Ingredients:

- 1 sliced banana

- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond butter

- 1 teaspoon of honey

- 1½ cup of milk or plant milk of your choice

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Garnish with some sliced bananas and pumpkin seeds. 

8. Chocolate, chia seed, and hazelnut milkshake

This combination not only tastes delicious but is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that are good for immunity and overall health. You can also add some unsweetened protein powder to increase its protein content.

Ingredients:

- 1½ cup of almond milk or any other milk of your choice

- ¼ cup of diced hazelnuts

- ¼ cup of grated unsweetened chocolate

- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds or mixed chia, hemp, and flaxseeds

- 1 tablespoon of hazelnut chocolate spread

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Garnish with some sliced hazelnuts or extra seeds of your choice. 

9. Strawberry mango protein shake

This strawberry and mango smoothie is a must-have if you are looking for a protein shake recipe that is fresh, delicious, and healthy. Strawberries and mangoes are rich in phytonutrients, and Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics. You can add a scoop of protein powder to bump up the protein content.

Ingredients:

- ½ cup of chopped strawberries

- ¾ cup of chopped mangoes

- 1½ cup of yogurt

- 1 scoop of unflavored whey or plant protein

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Garnish with some sliced mangoes and strawberries. 

10. Coffee, granola, and honey milkshake

With this protein smoothie recipe, you can turn your morning coffee into breakfast. It's a great way to obtain a serving of protein while enjoying the benefits of coffee, such as enhanced metabolic rate and improved physical performance. Pumpkin seeds and granola offer healthy fats and protein that are excellent for healthy weight gain.

Ingredients:

- 1½ teaspoon of instant coffee

- 1 tablespoon of granola

- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds

- 1 teaspoon of honey

- 1 scoop of unflavored whey

- 1½ cup of milk

Instructions:

-Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold. 

11. Strawberry banana smoothie with kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that tastes a bit like yogurt. This drink is loaded with beneficial bacteria that are created during fermentation.

Plus, kefir packs about 12 grams of protein per 1 cup (240 mL), so it’s an excellent ingredient for a weight gain smoothie.

This simple recipe uses full fat kefir to boost the calorie content slightly.

Ingredients

- 1 cup (144 grams) fresh or frozen strawberries

- 1 ripe medium banana

- 1 cup (240 mL) whole milk kefir

- 1/4 cup (20 grams) oats

- Handful of ice cubes (optional)

Instructions

- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until mixture reaches a puree consistency. 

12. Pineapple protein shake

This fruity protein smoothie will satisfy your craving for a pina colada. Pineapple is loaded with phytonutrients that help lower inflammation in your body and boosts metabolism. This simple and protein-rich recipe is great for helping you build lean mass.

Ingredients:

- ½ cup of diced pineapples

- 1½ scoop of whey or unflavored plant protein powder

- 1½ cup of Greek yogurt

- Sweetener or sugar to taste.

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Garnish with sliced cashews. 

13. Strawberry and cream cheese shake

This rich drink tastes like strawberry cheesecake but with plenty of protein and healthy fats. It is a great option for muscle gain when you run out of protein powder or prefer to stick to natural foods.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of chopped strawberries

- 1 cup of Greek yogurt

- 2 tablespoons of cream cheese

- 2 tablespoons of mixed nuts

- Sweetener or sugar to taste.

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold. 

14. Cinnamon protein shake

If you like cinnamon rolls, look no further than this cinnamon protein shake. Despite being delicious and decadent-tasting, it is both low in calories and high in protein. It also contains plenty of essential minerals and antioxidants.

Ingredients:

- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

- 3 egg whites

- 1 cup of almond milk or regular milk

- 2 teaspoons of maple syrup

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold. 

15. Avocado and mint shake

This unique blend of creaminess and freshness will liven up your protein shake routine. Avocado is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in addition to being high in protein. Mint is also a great source of vitamins A, B, and C.

Ingredients:

- ½ avocado

- ¼ cup of chopped mint

- 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream

- 1 cup of milk

- 1 scoop of protein powder

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold. 

16. Mixed seeds and dates shake

Simple to make and quite filling, this protein shake is made up of two superfoods that are sure to give you a health boost beyond just muscle gain. Seeds and dates are loaded with good fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like iron.

Ingredients:

- 1½ teaspoon of chia, pumpkin, and flaxseeds

- 6-7 de-seeded dates

- 2 teaspoons of unsweetened almond butter

- 1½ cup of milk or non-dairy alternative

Instructions:

- Blend ingredients in a blender and add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

- Sprinkle with some roasted seeds. 

The bottom line

When setting out to gain weight, you’ll have to eat more calories than you burn on a regular basis. 

One simple way to boost your calorie intake is to incorporate liquid calories from protein shakes and smoothies. 

I know there will be days when making a recipe for weight gain feels like a workout in itself. However, it is the small, consistent efforts that lead to the most significant gains. 

Celebrate every smoothie, every meal and every bit of progress you make and do not be afraid to experiment with some of your favorite ingredients to produce combinations that you like best. 

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