High-Calorie Drinks for Weight Gain at All Ages

By Claudiu Pop

It's common to struggle to meet your weight gain goals, whether you're a thin female, bodybuilder, or elderly adult because increasing body mass can be difficult when you omit high-calorie drinks and rely only on calorie-dense foods or solid high-calorie snacks, such as energy-rich bars.

Solid foods are essential for a healthy diet, but high-calorie drinks, from shakes and smoothies to hot chocolate and Pina Coladas, will help you take weight gain to the next level and reach your ideal body shape because of their convenience and nutrient-rich contents.

Before diving into the world of high-calorie drinks, it's a good idea to use our guide for setting smart fitness goals, so you will ensure you stick to your weight gain journey.

What drinks have the most calories

List of high-calorie drinks with most calories.

Although FDA considers any serving of packaged food of at least 400 calories as being high-calorie, we found many drinks that exceed this threshold.

Here are the high-calorie drinks with the most calories:

  • High-calorie shakes
  • High-calorie smoothies
  • Canned coconut milk
  • High-calorie drinks made with dry milk
  • High-calorie hot chocolate
  • Starbucks high-calorie drinks
  • Alcoholic high-calorie drinks

1. High-calorie shakes

High-calorie shakes are nutrition drinks for weight gain made of milk, ice cream, or other dairies as a liquid base that often contain fruits, chocolate, or other add-ins.

You should try high-calorie shakes if you are a very thin girl who wants to get thicker, an underweight female who hopes to gain weight, a skinny man who is struggling to pack on muscle, or a bodybuilder who needs to bulk up.

High-calorie shakes for weight gain can be made at home using a blender or bought as ready-to-drink beverages from a commercial store.

Homemade high-calorie shakes

High-calorie drinks - a homemade shake for weight gain prepared by a thin female.

The homemade high-calorie shakes are some of the most efficient nutrition drinks you can prepare if you want to gain weight with natural ingredients.

Types of homemade high-calorie shakes

  • Homemade high-calorie protein shakes
  • High-calorie milkshakes
  • Weight gainer shakes

High-calorie protein shakes are nutritional shakes that have over 400 calories and contain at least 20 grams of protein. A study showed that this amount of protein is enough to help muscle growth.

High-calorie milkshakes are cold drinks made mainly of dairy and whisked ice cream that have more than 400 calories per serving.

Weight gainer shakes are high-calorie shakes that contain mostly carbs and fat while featuring fewer amounts of protein.

How to make a high-calorie shake at home

  1. Choose what type of high-calorie shake you want to make
  2. Pick ingredients that sum up over 400 calories
  3. Chop ingredients that don’t fit easily in the blender
  4. Put ingredients into the blender
  5. Mix and serve the shake

One of the main advantages of preparing weight gain shakes at home is that you can choose the ingredients. This way, you can make sure you consume 100% natural high-calorie shakes and meet your dietary needs.

Assuming you want to gain weight, when preparing your shake you should use calorie-dense ingredients, such as:

  • Full fat dairy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • High-calorie fruits
  • Grains
  • Chocolate
  • Protein powder

But, don’t forget that a shake is based on dairy. Thus, focus on ingredients belonging to this food group when you prepare your next shake. Otherwise, you may get a different drink.

For example, if most of the ingredients you blend are fruits and vegetables, you'll get a smoothie, not a shake.

Yet, if you are lactose intolerant and looking for dairy-free high-calorie shakes to help you gain weight, you can substitute dairy with plant-based milk, such as almond milk.

Here are some popular high-calorie ingredients you can add to your shake:

High-Calorie Walnut Banana Shake Recipe

Visual recipe for making high-calorie Walnut Banana Shake for weight gain

Calories: 530

The Walnut Banana Shake is a tasty homemade high-calorie drink that can help you gain weight easier.

This 530-calorie shake is rich in fat and carbs while offering a good amount of protein as well. If you pair your diet with a training regimen, you'll see this nutritious drink will help you build muscle easier.

For more calories, add a scoop or two of ice cream and make a milkshake. Also, you can add some protein powder into the mix for a higher protein intake.

  • 1 ½ cup (375 ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) chopped walnuts
  • A medium (118 g) banana
  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender
  2. Mix the ingredients
  3. Pour the shake in a glass and serve
Nutrition facts
  • Calories: 530
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbs: 49 g
  • Fat: 31 g

Ready to drink high-calorie shakes

Ready-to-drink shakes on a store shelf.

The ready-to-drink high-calorie shakes are dairy-based nutrition drinks available in stores that can help you gain weight easier.

One of the main benefits of ready-to-drink high-calorie shakes is that they are very easy to get.

For example, whenever you need some extra calories, you can always stop by a convenience store and buy a high-calorie shake.

Or, you can just order a pack of such calorie-dense drinks online.

Most nutrition shakes on the shelf offer 150-250 calories per serving, many of these being marketed as protein shakes.

Protein shakes are generally targeting people who want to lose weight, so you will find that the vast majority of them are not high-calorie despite offering a lot of protein.

Yet, there are still a few ready-to-drink shakes that surpass 400 calories.

Here are some of the high-calorie shakes with the most calories on the market:

  1. Boost Very High-Calorie Nutritional Drink – 530 calories per serving (8 fl oz/237 ml)
  2. ENU Chocolate Weight Gain Shake – 400 calories per serving (8.5 fl oz/250 ml)
  3. Boost Plus Vanilla Shake – 360 calories per serving (8 fl oz/237 ml)
  4. Intrust Plus Nutrition Shake – 350 calories (8 fl oz/237 ml)
  5. Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake – 350 calories per serving (8 fl oz/237 ml)

Research methodology:

We studied the top shakes for weight gain according to the customers of Amazon, the largest online marketplace, and ranked the shakes by the number of calories offered per serving.

Note that not all the shakes above meet FDA’s high-calorie criteria. We chose to consider all the above as ready-made high-calorie shakes because of the lack of shakes with 400+ calories on the market.

Safety measures when shopping high-calorie shakes

Always check the nutrition label of every ready-made high-calorie shake you want to buy.

Firstly, do this because FDA does not approve dietary supplements, so you could find dangerous ingredients in these shakes.

Second, if you are lactose intolerant and looking for dairy-free shakes for weight gain, you must ensure that the ready-made shakes include no dairy.

In addition, look for high-calorie shakes made with natural ingredients and free of toxic artificial compounds.

According to a 2018 study, many pre-workout supplement brands use "proprietary blends" that do not "disclose specific amounts of ingredients."

One of the main takeaways is that homemade high-calorie drinks are generally safer than commercial weight gain supplements.

2. High-calorie smoothies

Woman making an avocado smoothie.

High-calorie smoothies are nutrition drinks obtained by mixing mainly fruits or vegetables with dairy, nuts, seeds, grains, or other ingredients, which increase the beverage’s total calories, thus helping you gain weight easier.

Make sure to use mostly calorie-dense ingredients in your weight gain smoothies, even when we're talking about fruits and vegetables. Otherwise, ingredients that are not high-calorie may take up too big of a share in your smoothie.

If you don't know which greens will help you put on weight, take a look at our list of high-calorie vegetables and discover the veggies with the most calories.

Smoothies are also high in vitamins and minerals due to their high content of fruits and vegetables.

Therefore, making a habit of drinking high-calorie smoothies can help you meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 4 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables per day for a healthy eating pattern.

High-calorie smoothie recipes

Check our detailed article on high-calorie smoothies for weight gain, where you can find 15 calorie-dense smoothie recipes.

These recipes are the blueprint for making smoothies ranging from 400 to over 1200 calories per serving.

If you don’t want to blend weight gain smoothies at home, you can find many high-calorie smoothies at Smoothie King. These can go up to 890 calories per serving.

However, make sure you check the ingredients in your chosen smoothie before ordering.

3. Canned coconut milk

If you don’t feel like preparing a multi-ingredient high-calorie smoothie or shake, you can just pour yourself a glass of coconut milk.

Coconut milk is one of the best types of milk when it comes to gaining weight due to its high-fat content.

However, make sure to pay close attention to your daily fat intake on the days you consume coconut milk since it contains so much fat.

Nutrition facts

4. High-calorie drinks made with dry milk

Powdered milk, or dry milk, is a nutritious ingredient to use when making high-calorie drinks. This is mainly because dry milk has 8 times more calories than normal milk.

The caloric difference between the two types of milk isn't surprising, since dry milk is practically normal milk without water. Thus, the powdered whole milk reaches 496 calories per 100 g.

In the end, adding powdered milk to drinks will help you easily increase their total calories and thus gain weight without too much effort.

Very thin female making a high-calorie drink by adding dry milk into a shaker.

And one of the best things is that you don’t need to add too many ingredients when you have dry milk at your disposal because the powder is highly caloric.

Actually, you can simply combine dry milk with milk and obtain a high-calorie drink.

However, don’t use too much dry milk in your drinks because it is high in sugar. 100 g of dry whole milk has 38 grams of sugar.

High-calorie dry milk drink recipe

Calories: 429

The high-calorie drink obtained by mixing whole dry milk and whole milk is rich in proteins, carbs, and fat. This nutritious combo makes it a great choice for anyone looking to gain weight or build muscle.


  • 1/5 cup (25 g) dry milk
  • 18 oz (500 ml) whole milk


  1. Add both of the ingredients to a blender or shaker
  2. Mix or shake the ingredients
  3. Pour the milky mix in a glass and serve

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 429
  • Proteins: 23 g
  • Carbs: 33 g
  • Fat: 23 g

5. High-calorie hot chocolate

Besides being delicious and a staple beverage around Christmas time, hot chocolate is a high-calorie drink that can help you gain healthy weight due to the many proteins, carbs, and fats in its composition.

However, to prepare hot chocolate you need to spend a few minutes near the stove.

High-calorie hot chocolate recipe

High-calorie drinks - hot chocolate for weight gain.

Calories: 563


  • 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
  • 3 tbsp (15 g) cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup (40 g) dark chocolate shavings
  • ¾ tbsp (10 g) granulated sugar


  1. Whisk whole milk, cocoa powder, and granulated sugar in a saucepan
  2. Heat the mix up to the boiling point and stop the heat
  3. Add the dark chocolate shavings and let them melt for 2-3 minutes
  4. Whisk the mixture
  5. Pour the hot chocolate in a cup and serve

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 563
  • Proteins: 21 g
  • Carbs: 32 g
  • Fat: 31 g

If you need a calorie boost, you can add some whipped cream to the top of your hot chocolate.

6. Starbucks high-calorie drinks

If you struggle to gain weight, you can replace your daily coffee with a high-calorie Starbucks drink. There are many drinks that contain over 400 calories on Starbucks’ menu, especially if you opt for the Grande size.

However, high-calorie Starbucks drinks are unhealthy. This is because they are high in sugar, some containing more than the AHA’s daily recommended sugar intake.

For example, a Grande-sized Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha has 430 calories and 53 grams of sugar. That is double the recommended amount of daily sugar intake for women and 1.5 times more than men’s.

Did you know that a White Chocolate Mocha has approximately 4 times more calories than the most caloric drink in our list of healthy Starbucks drinks?

7. Alcoholic high-calorie drinks

High-calorie alcoholic drinks for weight gain - Pina Colada.

The alcoholic drinks that offer the most calories are the high-calorie cocktails.

However, it is unhealthy to try to gain weight by drinking high-calorie cocktails because they:

  • Tend to have a lot of sugar;
  • The DGA doesn’t recommend alcohol consumption;
  • Alcohol reduces muscle growth since research shows it impairs protein synthesis.

Yet, some of us love to enjoy a drink every now and then with friends or family.

Here are a few alcoholic high-calorie drinks:

DGA’s alcohol consumption limits:

  • Women: 1 alcoholic drink or less per day
  • Men: 2 alcoholic drinks or less per day
  • People younger than 21, pregnant women, those recovering from alcohol use disorders, and those unable to control how much they drink: no alcohol drinks allowed

Other ingredients for preparing weight gain drinks

When preparing high-calorie drinks, use nutritious ingredients that significantly contribute to the total calories of the beverage you're making.

However, some of these ingredients may be tricky because they can be found in different shapes and forms.


Milk can provide different amounts of calories, depending on the amount of fat in it.

Plant-based milk

People wishing to drink dairy-free high-calorie drinks usually replace animal milk with several plant-based types of milk.

Here are a few examples of plant-based milk varieties and their calories:


Fruit and vegetables juices are calorie-dense alternatives to water, especially when preparing high-calorie drinks such as smoothies.

However, the calories you get from natural juices depend on the fruits or vegetables used to make them.

Here are a few natural juices you can use in preparing high-calorie drinks:

When to drink high-calorie beverages to gain weight (best times)

Combining large meals with high-calorie drinks can oftentimes make you feel drowsy afterward. This usually happens if you have a low appetite or you generally can’t eat a lot at a time.

The best time to consume high-calorie drinks is in between meals. This timing strategy lets you avoid overloading your body with calories while helping you maximize your daily calorie intake.

Another great time to drink weight gain beverages is before or after a workout. This is because liquid calories are absorbed faster into your body than solid ones.

As a result, you will get the energy needed to get through the training session or recover after it quicker.

For example, I oftentimes have a high-calorie protein milkshake after my workouts, and I always feel re-energized after consuming it.

High-calorie vs low-calorie drinks

While high-calorie drinks are helpful when it comes to weight gain, they can’t replace all low-calorie drinks in our diets.

First of all, even though it has zero calories, water should be your main drink of choice throughout the day. Water is easily absorbed and essential to the good functioning of your body.

After all, up to 60% of the human adult’s body is water.

Secondly, low-calorie drinks such as coffee or tea have specific benefits that many high-calorie drinks can’t provide. Some of these benefits are a better functioning brain and improved mood.

However, don’t forget that you can boost the calories in your morning coffee or tea by adding extra sugar, honey, or milk.

Did you know that drinking coffee or caffeinated tea is one of the 13 ways to quickly improve your mood?

Frequently asked questions about low-calorie drinks and gaining weight

Can you gain weight drinking water?

No, drinking water does not help you gain weight because it has zero calories.

Can you gain weight by drinking diet soda?

You can't gain weight by drinking diet soda because it has zero calories. Thus, it can't help you be on a daily caloric surplus, a necessary condition for gaining weight.

However, a scientific study on artificial sweeteners got to the conclusion that people who drank diet sodas regularly had increased body fat.

More specifically, the study shows that nonnutritive sweeteners are “associated with modest long-term increases” in body weight.

Therefore, diet sodas may indirectly help you gain weight in the long term, although the exact reason is unknown.

High-calorie drinks for different ages and needs

People at different ages and stages of their lives have different caloric needs. So, everyone should be aware of these and plan their daily meals and drinks accordingly.

Regarding high-calorie drinks, they can be useful at any stage of our lives, given we consume the right quantities.

Infants (0-12 months)

Mothers need to increase daily calorie intake in the first 12 months after pregnancy to provide lactation to their infants. In their case, high-calorie drinks can be a convenient addition to their diet.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, mothers should increase their daily calorie intake with 330 calories in the first 6 months of lactation, respectively with 400 calories in the next 6, compared with their pre-pregnancy caloric needs.

Toddlers (1-3 years)

Toddlers can meet their goals easier if their parents include small servings of high-calorie nutritional drinks in their diet. Note that toddlers have about half the calorie needs of an adult (800-1400 calories per day).

However, you should stay away from sweetened high-calorie drinks such as hot chocolate or ready-to-drink shakes.

According to DGA, at least until they are 2, toddlers should be given unsweetened drinks while avoiding the following:

  • Sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soda, juices (with added sugars), sports drinks, and sugary flavored water;
  • Infant formulas;
  • Caffeinated drinks;

One of the reasons why toddlers should avoid sugary drinks is that early food preferences influence later food choices.

Secondly, if toddlers drink high-sugar beverages, they won't have much room for other nutrient-dense foods and drinks.

Children (3-12 years)

According to the DGA, children’s diets should consist mainly of nutrient-dense foods and beverages. These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other healthy micronutrients while having little added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.

Therefore, parents should be careful what they put in their children's homemade high-calorie drinks.

Also, parents should look for the levels of sugar, saturated fat, and sodium on the nutrition facts of store-bought drinks.

Preschool (3-5 years)

During preschool years, children’s physical growth slows down, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

However, kids have an increased need for calories because of the significant intellectual, social, and emotional changes.

Preschool children require about 1000-1600 calories/day to meet their energy needs, so high-calorie drinks can be handy.

Grade-schoolers (5-12 years)

Consuming high-calorie drinks can be an easy way for grade-schoolers to meet their daily calorie goals and stay energized.

After all, grade-schoolers are generally very active. They face the intellectual demands of school, play with other kids, and participate in many other energy-consuming activities.

The DGA says that male grade-schoolers require about 1200-2400 calories per day. On the other side, female grade-schoolers need about 1200-2200 calories per day, depending on age and activity level.

Teens (12-18 years)

Teens need about the same number of calories as an adult since they consume a lot of energy. Therefore, drinking high-calorie drinks is a very efficient way for them to keep up with everything.

However, sugar-sweetened beverages have been found to be a top contributor among adolescents’ increasing sugar intake. As a result, DGA recommends teens stay away from such drinks, even if they may be high in calories.

Some examples of high-sugar drinks often consumed by teens are:

  • Coffee and tea with added sugar;
  • Soda;
  • Juice (that is not 100% juice);
  • Sports drinks.

Did you know: adolescents are more vulnerable to dietary deficiency than other age groups.

Teen boys

Especially if they are involved in sports or work out in one of the gyms that allow teens, teen boys tend to consume a lot of energy. They can oftentimes burn even 1000 calories more than girls of the same age.

Boys aged 12-18 years require about 1800-3200 calories/day, depending on age and daily physical activity.

Teen girls

The teenage years are the time when many girls start to care about their weight and physical appearance. They do it for different reasons, whether to get better at their sport of choice or to impress someone.

Therefore, healthy high-calorie drinks can be tremendous for very thin girls who have a hard time gaining weight.

The DGA says that teen girls need about 1600-2400 calories per day, depending on age and activity level.

Young adults (18-21 years)

Young adults tend to be very concerned about their weight, maybe even more than teens.

Therefore, adding healthy high-calorie drinks can be of utmost importance, whether we are talking about a young man looking to bulk up and add muscle, or a thin girl who would like to have better curves.

While male young adults need about 2400-3000 calories/day, young females require around 1800-2400 calories/day.

Budget dieting advice: if you are a young adult with a lower income looking for affordable weight gain foods, check out our list of cheap high-calorie foods and save some money in your weight gain journey.

Adults (21-39 years)

High-calorie drinks can work wonders for adults trying to gain weight because they're more convenient compared to other foods. And convenience is essential in adults' busy worlds.

The latest DGA report shows that adults generally lack dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D.

Therefore, it makes sense to consume high-calorie drinks, such as certain smoothies or shakes. These usually contain calcium-rich dairy products, like milk or yogurt, fruits, and fiber-filled vegetables.

Fact: over 90% of women and 97% of men do not consume the recommended amount of dietary fiber, according to the DGA.

This is primarily because more than 85% of adult Americans eat insufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Another stat shows that adults drink more coffee and tea with additions, like sugar or syrup, than in earlier life stages. Therefore, they should avoid adding these kinds of ingredients to their high-calorie drinks.

Adult females (21-39 years)

Since calorie needs are generally lower for females compared to males, women should be more careful when consuming high-calorie drinks.

The latter can very easily boost calorie intake and lead women to gain weight too fast.

Adult women aged 21 to 39 years require about 1800-2400 calories per day, depending on age and activity level, according to the DGA.

Adult males (21-39 years)

Adult men aged 21 to 39 years need about 2400-3000 calories per day, depending on age and activity level, according to the DGA.

Middle-aged adults (40-59 years)

When they go through their middle-age years, both male and female adults generally experience a decrease in their calorie needs because of the metabolism-related changes.

Therefore, adults aged 40 to 59 years should pay attention to their weight and adjust the portions of high-calorie drinks on the menu if they see unwanted gains.

While middle-aged women need around 1600-2200 calories per day, middle-aged men require about 2200-2800 calories per day to meet their energy needs.

Elderly adults (60+ years)

Elderly adults have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases than younger adults.

Therefore, senior adults should definitely consider adding nutritional high-calorie drinks to their diets, especially if they are cancer patients or have other diseases that cause a need for increased calories.

High-calorie drinks combat bone disease and muscle loss

Seniors can develop health conditions like weakened bones (osteoporosis) and muscle loss (sarcopenia).

This is another reason for elderly adults to add high-calorie drinks to their daily menus, since these beverages are filled with nutrients, like proteins, which for example help the fight against sarcopenia (aging-related muscle loss).

Per DGA, about 50% of women and 30% of men aged 71+ don't eat the recommended amount of protein.

USDA and HHS experts recommend elderly adults eat around 5-6.5 ounces (140-180 g) of protein foods per day. The required amount depends on the specific age and activity level.

Examples of protein foods you can use to make high-calorie drinks:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Peas
  • Dairy

Hydration benefits of high-calorie drinks among elderly adults

Another advantage of adding high-calorie drinks for weight gain into the diets of seniors is hydration. Many elderly adults do not drink enough fluids to stay hydrated because of their:

  • Reduced sensation of thirst;
  • Bladder control worries;
  • Mobility problems.

Elderly adults aged 60 and older consume significantly fewer beverages than adults aged 59 and under —about 2 fewer cups (500 ml) per day.

Some liquids, besides water, that you can add to your homemade high-calorie drinks to prevent dehydration:

  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice;
  • Different types of milk.

Moreover, liquid foods, including high-calorie drinks, are good for old-age adults that have difficulties swallowing or chewing.

Should overweight elderly adults consume high-calorie drinks?

However, even though high-calorie drinks bring many benefits to seniors, there is a downside. A growing number of elderly adults get to 60 years with excess body weight.

And so, if overweight elderly adults start consuming high-calorie drinks, their condition may get worse. After all, high-calorie beverages are called weight gain drinks for a reason.

Senior females over 60 years require approximately 1,600-2,200 calories/day, whereas males over 60 years need 2,000-2,600 calories/day.

Cancer patients

When undergoing cancer treatment, patients need extra calories to maintain weight and heal faster, says the American Cancer Society.

Therefore, high-calorie drinks tailored for weight gain can be very useful for cancer patients.


Anorexics can escape their unhealthy state and gain healthy weight faster by consuming high-calorie drinks.

Weight gain drinks can be especially useful in cases when anorexia nervosa (anorexic) patients have reduced appetites and don’t feel like filling up their stomachs with solid calorie-dense food.

Guidelines for safe consumption of high-calorie drinks

Guidelines for safe consumption of high-calorie drinks.

Although high-calorie drinks can be healthy for people struggling to gain weight, they can trigger health issues if consumed wrong.

Follow the next guidelines to ensure you consume weight gain drinks the healthy way.

1. Consult with a doctor

If you want to gain significant weight, then make sure to consult a doctor or dietitian before consuming high-calorie drinks. They know best what are your existing conditions.

Also, doctors can give you advice that may help you increase your size even faster without harming your health.

Let's look at an example of how professional medical advice can come in handy when it comes to high-calorie drinks.

First, think about the many vitamins that a calorie-dense smoothie usually has. If you are already taking vitamin supplements, you may risk harming your body by overdosing on a certain vitamin.

Your doctor or dietitian can warn you of potential dangers like these.

Similarly, if you are under medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can start to consume high-calorie drinks.

This is because the large number of calories found in weight gain drinks may alter the effect of your medicine.

2. Read the nutrition facts label

When shopping for high-calorie drinks, such as ready-to-drink shakes, you should always read the nutrition facts label on them.

Look how many proteins, carbs, and fat does each drink has per serving. Also, check the ingredients used to prepare the high-calorie drinks you intend to buy.

In addition, read the nutrition facts not only when shopping for high-calorie beverages but for every drink or food you buy.

Don’t forget that distinct brands can offer the same product and contain a different number of calories.

3. Work out to avoid fat gain

If you to gain healthy weight and avoid putting on fat, you have to also work out regularly. Also, don't forget to stay on a daily caloric surplus.

Without working out, any weight gain supplements can make you gain unhealthy weight.

Shortly, if you don’t train, those extra calories from the high-calorie drinks you consume won't help you build muscle. Instead, the surplus of calories will most probably be stored as body fat.


There are different ways to make high-calorie drinks, from preparing a shake or blending a smoothie to buying nutritious ready-to-drink beverages. Therefore, you are likely to find a calorie-dense drink that suits both your taste and your dietary needs, so you can gain healthy weight easily.

However, before you add high-calorie drinks to your diet, make sure they won’t damage your health by following the guidelines for safe consumption in this article.

Now, you can confidently advance in your weight gain journey, one high-calorie sip at a time!

16 sources

Unfold Today has rigorous sourcing principles adhering to the top journalistic standards, so our writers always look for official, experienced, and first-hand sources. Read more about how we keep our content trustworthy and updated by reading our editorial process.
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Interactive Nutrition Facts Label.
  2. Tipton, Kevin D et al. “Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise.” American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism vol. 292,1 (2007): E71-6. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00166.2006
  3. FDA. Food Data Central (for nutrition facts).
  4. Nutritionix. Nutritionix Database (for additional nutrition facts).
  5. FDA. Is It Really 'FDA Approved?'.
  6. Harty, Patrick S et al. “Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements, safety implications, and performance outcomes: a brief review.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 15,1 41. 8 Aug. 2018, doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0247-6
  7. American Heart Association. Fruits and Vegetables Serving Sizes Infographic.
  8. AHA. How much sugar is too much.
  9. Parr EB, Camera DM, Areta JL, Burke LM, Phillips SM, et al. (2014) Alcohol Ingestion Impairs Maximal Post-Exercise Rates of Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following a Single Bout of Concurrent Training. PLOS ONE 9(2): e88384.
  10. U.S. Geological Survey. The Water in You: Water and the Human Body.
  11. Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. CMAJ 2017 July 17;189:E929-39. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.161390
  12. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020.
  13. American Academy of Pediatrics. Ages & Stages.
  14. Ganapathy A, Nieves JW. Nutrition and Sarcopenia-What Do We Know?. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1755. Published 2020 Jun 11. doi:10.3390/nu12061755
  15. American Cancer Society. Nutrition for the Person with Cancer During Treatment.
  16. ScienceDirect. Anorexia Nervosa.
Written by Claudiu Pop
Claudiu Pop is the founder of Unfold Today and an awarded journalist with expertise in numerous fields such as health, nutrition, fitness, mental health, productivity, healthy habits, and other domains related to personal growth. He has a BA in Journalism from Babeș-Bolyai University and was trained by professionals coming from the most authoritative news organizations, like CNN, The New York Times, and Reuters. Claudiu's work, published in various national and international outlets has been read by over 1 million people before he was even 21 years old.
Unfold Media. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of the owners of Unfold Today.

All rights reserved © 2020-2022
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram