Unfold Today logo.
Search icon.
Search icon.
Unfold Today menu icon.
Unfold Today logo.
Search icon.
Unfold Today logo.


This article is based on scientific evidence because it has been written, fact-checked, reviewed, and regularly updated by experts that follow our strict editorial process.

The sources used by our editorial team are trustworthy, experienced, and authoritative, such as peer-reviewed journals and governmental information.

All the pieces of evidence are clearly highlighted in the articles as sources in the form of clickable endnotes ([1],[2],[3]) or simple in-text links.

Learn more about our editorial process.


Medically Reviewed

Unfold Today articles that require additional medical expertise are reviewed by a qualified member of our Expert Review Network, a group inside Unfold Today's team that verifies content to guarantee that the information delivered to our readers is thorough, authoritative, accurate, and fact-based.

Learn more about our Expert Review Network.

How to Make High-Calorie Smoothies for Weight Gain

Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.

Medically Reviewed by 

Iulia Serban, RDN
Last updated on April 17, 2023
How to make high calorie smoothies for weight gain - featured illustration.

While people who try to gain weight may have heard that high-calorie smoothies can boost their efforts, not everyone knows how to prepare one as well. That’s too bad because if you can’t blend high-calorie smoothies correctly, you will say pass to one of the drinks with the most calories.

From author's experience

As a 1.96 m (6 ft. 43 in) tall man, I prepared and consumed hundreds of high-calorie smoothies, and I openly admit they have made my weight-gaining process easier and significantly more convenient.

Keen on simplifying weight gain with high-calorie smoothies as well?

In this article, as a result of combining the insights gained from years of blending weight gain smoothies with the expert knowledge of registered dietitian Iulia Serban, you'll find a simple but effective way of making high-calorie smoothies.

1. Decide how many calories you need from your high-calorie smoothie

First of all, before you start preparing a high-calorie smoothie, you need to know how many calories you need from it because this kind of smoothie can have between 400 and thousands of calories.

To explain the previous calorie range, according to the FDA's nutrition facts label guide on calories, a serving of packaged food that has 400 calories or more is generally considered high-calorie.[1]

Therefore, a serving of a high-calorie smoothie, whether it’s homemade or bought from the store, should have at least 400 calories.

Once you know how many calories you want your smoothie to have, you can start preparing it by following the next steps in this article.

How to make a high-calorie smoothie for weight gain - updated.

2. Prepare equipment

Equipment needed to make smoothies, respectively a blender and a knife.

Making a high-calorie smoothie is very simple. All you need is a knife, to cut the ingredients, and a blender to mix the ingredients.

To prevent your blender's blades from damage, put the liquid base (e.g. fruit juice) of your desired weight gain smoothie in the blender before mixing the solid ingredients.

3. Choose ingredients for your high-calorie smoothie

Ingredients to put in a smoothie for weight gain.

Although a high-calorie smoothie can help you gain weight by making it easier to get on a caloric surplus, the smoothie's ingredients are responsible for the drink's nutritional profile.

Below is a list of the types of ingredients you can add to high-calorie smoothies for weight gain:

  • Vegetables;
  • Fruits;
  • Dairy, like milk, ice cream, or yogurt;
  • Nuts and seeds;
  • Grains;
  • Add-ins, like protein powder.

As an important note, the main ingredients in smoothies are fruits and vegetables. If other ingredients are predominant, they will most likely result in a different drink.

For example, if you attempt to make a smoothie and use a dairy product as the main ingredient, you will, according to the smoothie vs shake comparison, get a shake and not a smoothie.

The key to making high-calorie smoothies is to pick ingredients that have a lot of calories. Therefore, pick high-calorie vegetables and fruits, whole dairy products, calorie-dense snacks, and increase the calories with nutritious add-ins.

To make a smoothie with as many calories as possible, choose ingredients that count among the low-volume high-calorie foods.


Be careful with sugary ingredients

With so many ingredients and calories in the game, it's easy to overload your smoothie with sugar. Therefore, you need to pay special attention to what you put in the blender.

"A smoothie with the right ingredients hasn't got too much sugar. You can make sure of that by replacing syrups, honey, and other sweeteners with a ripe banana, for example," says Iulia Serban, RDN.

Furthermore, you can decrease the sugar in your smoothie by increasing the proportion of high-calorie low-carb foods, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconuts.

To get the most control in making smoothies, prepare them at home. The healthiest smoothies for weight gain are homemade.

Next, let's look closer at each of the ingredients you can add to high-calorie smoothies.

Vegetables for high-calorie smoothies

Some vegetables to add to high-calorie smoothies.

It’s already hard to find vegetables that are high in calories, more so when you are looking for the ones that can taste well in a smoothie.

Yet, after we studied hundreds of vegetables to find out the ones with the most calories, we discovered many that have hundreds of calories and can level up your smoothie game.

Here are 3 high-calorie vegetables that work well in smoothies:

  • Carrots (dried): 341 calories/100 g (3.5 oz)
  • Spirulina (dried): 290 calories/100 g (3.5 oz)
  • Boiled chickpeas: 164 calories/100 g (3.5 oz)

You can also use small quantities of low-calorie vegetables, like spinach, in your smoothies. But, if you use too many of these vegetables, you won't have enough place for the high-calorie ingredients.

Find more nutrient-dense veggies and the ones with the most calories in our list of high-calorie vegetables for weight gain.

Fruits for high-calorie smoothies

Some fruits to add to high-calorie smoothies.

Besides making your weight gain smoothies look colorful and taste delicious, fruits will add a ton of micronutrients to the mix.

Also, since they contain fruits, which are generally rich in carbs, fruity high-calorie smoothies have the added benefit of filling up your energy reservoirs.

Here are some fruits and juices that you can put into your smoothies:

  • Raisins – 301 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Medjool dates – 277 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Dried figs – 277 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Prunes – 240 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Avocado – 160 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Bananas – 105 calories/1 medium banana (118 g);
  • Apple juice – 46 calories/100 ml (3.5 fl oz).

Although the best kind of fruits you can add to your smoothies for a high-calorie intake are dried fruits, like raisins, dates, figs, and prunes, these don't have enough juice in them to be turned into an enjoyable smoothie.

Fortunately, there are many other fresh fruit alternatives with a smoother texture, such as avocados and bananas, that can still increase your smoothie’s calories, even though not as much.

Use our list of high-calorie fruits for weight gain to find the fruits with the most calories to add to your smoothies.

Bonus tip: You can use apple juice or other kinds of fruit juice as a liquid base for your smoothies, instead of adding water, which has no calories.

Dairy for high-calorie smoothies

Some dairy products to add to weight gain smoothies.

Dairy products can add plenty of calories and a thicker texture to your smoothies because they are generally rich in fats and also feature good quantities of protein.

Generally, to maximize the calories in your high-calorie smoothies, you should use full fat dairy products instead of their leaner variants.

Here are some dairy products that you can add to your smoothies:

  • Heavy cream – 340 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Ice cream – 207 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt – 97 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Whole milk – 61 calories/100 g (3.5 oz).

Sources for calorie facts

To detail a bit, heavy cream is the dairy with the highest number of calories that you can add to your smoothie. Besides, ice cream is a calorie-dense and delicious choice.

Yet, since both heavy cream and ice cream contain sugar, you should think twice before putting them in the blender.

Adding heavy cream or ice cream to your smoothies may rise the sugar level of your slurpable snack, especially if combined with fruits, honey, or syrups.

"For persons who consume it occasionally, a smoothie with heavy cream and ice cream is not harmful, but those who drink it daily need to limit the additional sugar in their diets," says Iulia Serban, RDN.

To expand on other dairy products, whole milk is great at offering a finer texture to smoothies. Alternatively, if you prefer a thicker smoothie, use full-fat Greek yogurt.

Nuts and seeds for high-calorie smoothies

Some nuts and seeds to put in high calorie smoothies.

If you want to prepare an energizing high-calorie smoothie, you should almost always consider adding some sort of nuts or seeds because they are rich in healthy fats, and this makes it easy to leverage the number of calories in your weight gain blend.

Adding too many nuts and seeds, however, can easily load your smoothie with too many fats, so you want to be mindful of this.

The world of nuts and seeds holds a large variety of high-calorie products that are a great fit for smoothies.

From raw nuts, like walnuts and almonds, and nut butters, like peanut or almond butter, to seeds, such as the pumpkin or chia ones, and nutty types of milk, like coconut milk, you have plenty of options to choose from.

Check out our list of high-calorie nuts and nut butters for more ideas.

In case of seeds, here are some you can add to your smoothies:

  • Sunflower seeds – 657 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Pumpkin seeds – 574 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Ground flax seeds – 531 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Chia seeds – 486 calories/100 g (3.5 oz).

Sources for calorie facts

Grains for high-calorie smoothies

As whole grains are generally packed with healthy nutrients, such as complex carbs, they make for an energizing high-calorie addition to your smoothies. Besides, whole grains, as a complex carb source, will make your smoothie gradually release energy into your body, instead of provoking energy spikes as simple carbs do.

Here are some whole grains that you can add to your smoothies:

  • Muesli – 355 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Buckwheat – 343 calories /100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Whole oats – 246 calories/100 g (3.5 oz).

Sources for calorie facts

Add-ins for high-calorie smoothies

Some add-ins to put in weight gain smoothies.

If you need extra calories, you can put some add-ins into the blender and get an even more nutritious smoothie.

Here are some add-ins that you can add to your smoothies:

  • Dark chocolate – 598 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Weight gain syrups - 260-459/100 ml (3.5 fl oz);
  • Whey protein powder – 352 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Honey – 304 calories/100 g (3.5 oz);
  • Hard-boiled eggs – 78 calories/1 large egg.

Sources for calorie facts

Be careful to not make high-sugar add-ins like honey and maple syrup the main ingredients of your smoothie. Add just a small size of such products into your weight gain drink.

On the brighter side, protein-packed add-ins like eggs and protein powder will help you build muscle, and thus, gain healthier weight.

Talking about building muscle, did you know high-calorie smoothies can replace pre-workout meals that boost muscle gain?

And if you want to also help the neurons in your brain function better, add some dark chocolate to your smoothie. It has been proven that dark chocolate improves blood flow to the brain.[17]

What to avoid adding in high-calorie smoothies

Generally, you don’t want to put water or ice cubes in a high-calorie smoothie because water has zero calories, so it will not help you gain weight. Even worse, it will take up precious space in your smoothie.

Instead of water, you can add milk, yogurt, or juice to your smoothie because these liquids are higher in calories.

Nevertheless, in case you don't want to use milk or juice, you don't have many other thinning choices aside from water. A smoothie that is too thick is difficult to drink.

Regarding ice cubes, you can replace them in your smoothie by putting frozen juice in the ice-cube tray or by adding frozen fruits in the blender. Alternatively, you can use frozen milk or some half-and-half.

Additionally, in case you want to reduce your smoothie's fat content to a minimum, use low-fat high-calorie foods as ingredients.

Recipes for high-calorie smoothies

If you don't want to make a high-calorie smoothie from scratch, you can follow our recipes for weight gain smoothies.

When you get bored with smoothies, you can mix things up with some high-calorie shakes.

Frequently asked questions

Are high-calorie smoothies healthy?

If they don't have too many added sugars, like syrups, high-calorie smoothies can be a healthy source of nutrients, especially if you also exercise regularly. Yet, if you have any medical conditions requiring special diets, like diabetes, check with a doctor before consuming high-calorie smoothies.

It's generally not a good idea, however, to make smoothies the main focus of your diet. A healthy diet focuses mainly on solid foods. Find some ideas for high-calorie solid foods in our lists of high-calorie foods and weight gain bars.


To sum up, once you know how many calories you want your weight gain smoothie to have, you can either make one by choosing your favorite high-calorie ingredients, or by following a recipe. In the process, remember that the main ingredients of smoothies are always fruits or vegetables.

Once you know the ingredients, all you need to do is to bring them to the kitchen, chop them (if needed), and put them in the blender, where you mix everything.

Gaining weight can't get much more convenient than this. Happy blending!

External 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.

Written by
Claudiu Pop is a nutritionist, medical writer, journalist, and the founder of Unfold Today. He specialized in fitness and nutrition, especially in weight gain, by helping people increase their body mass since 2019 with over 20 articles published in the field.
Medically reviewed by
Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.
Iulia Serban, RDN
Iulia Serban, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Master's degree in Nutrition and Quality of Life. Both degrees were received from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Hatieganu.
Leave reply
Continue exploring high-calorie smoothies
White Unfold Today Logo for footer.
Our content is not meant to replace professional medical advice.

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.
Follow us
YouTube logo.Facebook icon styled for Unfold Today.Instagram logo.X logo.LinkedIn icon styled for Unfold Today.Pinterest logo.TikTok logo.
All rights reserved by Unfold Media SRL (LLC). Copyright © 2019-2024.