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19 High-Calorie Shakes for Weight Gain (Protein Recipes Too)

By Claudiu Pop

If you focus only on solid high-calorie foods and don't take advantage of nutritious drinks such as calorie-dense smoothies and especially weight gain shakes, you'll not only spend more time eating but also find it harder to consume enough calories to meet your daily protein, carb, and fat needs.

Therefore, including healthy high-calorie shakes in your diet will help you gain weight easier and in a more convenient way, whether you're an underweight female looking to get thicker, a skinny male trying to add muscle, or a normal person trying to add a few pounds.

What are you waiting for?

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to make high-calorie shakes;
  • 14 delicious shake recipes for weight gain;
  • What shakes have the most proteins;
  • The 5 best ready-to-drink shakes on the market;
  • The benefits of drinking weight gain shakes;
  • Many more tips for gaining weight effectively.

How to make a high-calorie shake for weight gain

How to make high-calorie shakes for weight gain..

To make high-calorie shakes that will help you gain weight, you need to follow a few simple steps, as described below.

1. How many calories do you want from your shake?

First, before you begin making a high-calorie shake, you need to determine how many calories your drink should have. This way, you will know how many ingredients and how much of each of them you should add to your shake.

To figure out how many calories should your weight gain shake have, think about how many calories you usually miss toward the end of the day. Chances are a nutritious shake can cover that gap.

But in case you don't count calories...

There's a minimum number of calories your weight gain shake should contain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers packaged food that has 400 calories or more per serving to be high-calorie food.[1]

So, what is a high-calorie shake?

A high-calorie shake is a shake that has a minimum of 400 calories.

Action step: decide how many calories you want from your shake.

2. What kind of shake do you need?

Types of weight gain shakes: protein, energy, and meal replacement.

Depending on their diet and needs, different people may need more or less protein from their high-calorie shakes. The same goes for the other macronutrients, namely carbs and fat.

Therefore, if you need more proteins on a certain day, prepare yourself a high-calorie protein shake. Otherwise, you may want to go for an energy shake or a meal replacement shake.

Here are the three main types of high-calorie shakes for weight gain:

  • Protein shakes
  • Energy shakes
  • Meal replacement shakes

High-calorie protein shakes are nutritional shakes that have over 400 calories and contain at least 20 grams of protein, much of it coming from protein powder. A study from the University of Birmingham showed that 20 g of protein is enough to help muscle growth.[2]

High-calorie energy shakes are nutritional shakes with at least 400 calories that contain mostly carbs and fat while featuring less than 20 g of protein.

Meal replacement shakes are weight gain shakes that have at least 400 calories and a minimum of 20 g of proteins while containing mostly carbs and fat.

3. Prepare needed equipment

One of the best things about adding high-calorie shakes to your diet is that they are very easy to prepare.

You just need a knife to cut some ingredients, a peeler to get rid of the skin of fruits and vegetables, and a blender to mix all the elements of your shake.

Pro tip: pour the liquid base of your chosen weight gain shake into the blender before mixing the solid ingredients to prevent the blender's blade from getting damaged.

4. What to put in a weight gain shake

What to put in a weight gain shake.

One of the main advantages of making weight gain shakes at home is that you can decide the ingredients. This way, you can ensure that you gain weight by consuming 100% natural high-calorie shakes while meeting your dietary needs.

The best ingredients to add to your high-calorie shake for weight gain are:

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.

Also, to make sure you get the highest possible number of calories from your shake, blend whole dairy products, calorie-dense nuts and seeds, high-calorie vegetables and fruits, nutritious grains, and healthy add-ins.

Dairy for weight gain shakes

Dairy for high-calorie shakes.

Dairy products, which are often high in fat and protein, add a significant number of calories to your weight gain shakes.

Yet, if you want to get a high-calorie shake, make sure to use full fat or whole dairy items rather than their leaner counterparts.

Here are some of the dairy products with the most calories that you can add to your shakes:

  • Heavy whipping cream – 340 calories per 100 g (7 tbsp)
    • Macronutrients: 3 g of proteins, 3 g of carbs, and 36 g of fat.[3]
  • Ice cream – 207 calories per 100 g (4/5 cup)
    • Macronutrients: 4 g of proteins, 24 g of carbs, and 11 g of fat.[4]
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt – 97 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 9 g of proteins, 4 g of carbs, and 5 g of fat.[5]
  • Whole milk – 61 calories per 100 ml (2/5 cup)
    • Macronutrients: 3 g of protein, 5 g of carbs, and 3 g of fats.[6]

Full-fat Greek yogurt is the dairy product that will add the most proteins to your shake. Yet, you will find that whole milk is the most useful shake base since it gives your shakes a thinner, more drinkable texture.

For a higher carb intake, ice cream is your go-to dairy.

On the other hand, if you want to boost the fat levels in your shake, you can’t go wrong with some heavy whipping cream.

Nuts and seeds for weight gain shakes

Nuts and seeds for high-calorie shakes.

When you plan to make an energizing high-calorie shake, you should think about adding nuts or seeds because they are high in healthy fats and allow you to easily increase the number of calories in your weight gain mix.

However, adding too many nuts and seeds can quickly overload your shake with fat, so be measured when sprinkling them in the blender.

Here are the nuts and seeds with the most calories that you can add to your shakes:

  • Macadamia nuts – 716 calories per 100 g (3/4 cup)
    • Macronutrients: 8 g of protein, 13 g of carbs, and 76 g of fats.[7]
  • Pecans – 710 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 10 g of protein, 14 g of carbs, and 74 g of fats.[8]
  • Sunflower seeds – 657 calories per 100 g (4/5 cup)
    • Macronutrients: 21 g of protein, 17 g of carbs, and 56 g of fats.[9]
  • Peanut butter – 639 calories per 100 g (6 tbsp)
    • Macronutrients: 23 g of protein, 22 g of carbs, and 51 g of fats.[10]
  • Pumpkin seeds – 574 calories per 100 g (4/5 cup)
    • Macronutrients: 30 g of protein, 15 g of carbs, and 49 g of fats.[11]
  • Sesame seeds – 567 calories per 100 g (4/5 cup)
    • Macronutrients: 17 g of protein, 26 g of carbs, and 48 g of fats.[12]

The world of nuts and seeds contains a wide range of high-calorie ingredients that are ideal for shakes. Pumpkin seeds are one of the types of seeds with the most proteins while macadamia nuts are a treasure of fats.

Find more nuts and seeds to add to your weight gain shakes in our list of high-calorie snacks.

Fruits for weight gain shakes

Fruits for high-calorie shakes.

Although fruits are usually a smoothie ingredient, they can bring extra flavor and more calories to your weight gain shake, if you pick high-calorie ones.

Here are some of the fruits with the most calories that you can add to your shakes:

  • Coconut – 354 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 3 g of proteins, 15 g of carbs, and 34 g of fat.[13]
  • Dried goji berries – 349 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 14 g of proteins and 77 g of carbs.[14]
  • Dried blueberries – 317 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 3 g of proteins, 80 g of carbs, and 3 g of fat.[15]
  • Avocado – 160 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 2 g of proteins, 9 g of carbs, and 15 g of fat.[16]

High-calorie fruits are filled with carbs, which will help you fuel up your energy reservoirs. In addition, some fruits, like avocados and coconuts, are rich in healthy fats and can take your shake’s calories to the next level.

Head over to our comprehensive article about high-calorie fruits to find much more nutritious fruits that you can add to your shakes.

Vegetables for weight gain shakes

Vegetables for high-calorie shakes.

Although you may think the contrary, not all vegetables are low-calorie, and some of them make for excellent shake ingredients.

Here are some of the vegetables with the most calories that you can add to your shakes:

  • Spirulina (dried) – 290 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 58 g of proteins, 24 g of carbs, and 8 g of fats.[17]
  • Parsley (dried) – 271 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 31 g of proteins, 42 g of carbs, and 5 g of fats.[18]
  • Pinto beans (boiled) – 143 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 9 g of proteins, 26 g of carbs, and 1 g of fats.[19]

High-calorie vegetables are usually rich in carbs and some of them, like dried spirulina, are a treasure of proteins, which will help you build muscle.

Find out more vegetables for your high-calorie shakes in our list of vegetables for gaining weight.

Grains for weight gain shakes

Grains for high-calorie shakes.

Because whole grains are abundant in healthy nutrients like complex carbohydrates, they make for energizing high-calorie ingredients in shakes.

Furthermore, whole grains ensure that your shake will steadily release energy into your body, rather than causing energy bursts as simple carbohydrates do.

Here are some of the whole grains with the most calories that work well in shakes:

  • Muesli – 355 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 9 g of proteins, 75 g of carbs, and 5 g of fat.[20]
  • Buckwheat – 343 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 13 g of proteins, 72 g of carbs, and 3 g of fat.[21]
  • Oats – 246 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 17 g of proteins, 66 g of carbs, and 7 g of fat.[22]

Add-ins for weight gain shakes

Add-ins for high-calorie shakes.

Whether you need extra calories in your weight shake or want it to have a better taste, you can solve your problems by putting some add-ins in the blender.

Here are some add-ins that you can put in your shakes:

  • Dark chocolate – 598 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 8 g of proteins, 46 g of carbs, and 43 g of fat.[23]
  • Chocolate chips – 497 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz)
    • Macronutrients: 5 g of proteins, 66 g of carbs, and 25 g of fat.[24]
  • Whey protein powder – 352 calories / 100 g (1 cup)
    • Macronutrients: 78 g of protein, 6 g of carbs, and 2 g of fat.[25]
  • Honey – 304 calories / 100 g (5 tbsp)
    • Macronutrients: 82 g of carbs.[26]
  • Maple syrup – 260 calories / 100 g (5 tbsp)
    • Macronutrients: 67 g of carbs.[27]
  • Raw cocoa – 228 calories per 100 g (19 tbsp)
    • Macronutrients: 20 g of proteins, 58 g of carbs, and 14 g of fat.[28]
  • Whole eggs – 143 calories per 100 g (2 eggs)
    • Macronutrients: 14 g of proteins, 1 g of carbs, and 10 g of fat.[29]

Make sure that high-sugar add-ins like honey and maple syrup aren't playing major roles in your shake. Therefore, add just a tiny amount of these types of sugary ingredients to your weight gain drink.

Protein-rich add-ins, such as eggs and protein powder, can help you build stronger muscles and, as a result, gain healthier weight.

Furthermore, if you want to help your brain's neurons operate better, add some dark chocolate to your shake. Dark chocolate has been shown to enhance blood flow to the brain, according to a study conducted at the University of Nottingham.[30]

What to avoid adding to your shake

In general, you don't want to include water or ice cubes in a high-calorie shake because water has no calories and will only take up space, which could have otherwise been filled with precious calories.

After all, a shake is made mainly of milk or yogurt, so you don’t need water.

When it comes to ice cubes, you may replace them in your shake by adding frozen fruits or filling your ice tray with milk or half-and-half.

5. Drinking and storing high-calorie shakes

Drinking and storing weight gain shakes - illustration.

After you have finished blending the ingredients of your high-calorie shake, you can either serve your weight gain drink right away or put it in the refrigerator for consumption in the next couple of days.

When to drink weight gain shakes

In between meals is the best time to drink high-calorie shakes. This timing strategy allows you to avoid calorie overload while maximizing your daily calorie consumption.

Alternatively, weight gain shakes make for great snack replacements before or after your workouts because liquid calories are absorbed faster by your body than solid calories. So, shakes will fuel you up pre-workout and replenish the lost energy post-workout.

How often should you drink weight gain shakes

When it comes to deciding how many shakes to consume a day, you should drink as many as you need to, depending on your protein, carb, fat, and calorie goals.

For example, if your goal is to eat 3500 calories per day, two 1000-calorie shakes are more than enough, since you will most likely get the rest of the calories from your main meals.

Yet, if those two shakes are high in carbs and you’re on a low-carb diet, you may want to consider drinking just one a day.

14 high-calorie shakes for weight gain (and recipes)

Given you learned how to make a high-calorie protein, energy, or meal replacement shake, you can go on and either blend your favorite ingredients or follow some healthy recipes designed for weight gain.

However, remember that homemade weight gain shakes are healthier than store-bought ones because they contain only natural ingredients and you get to choose them. This way, you can stay away from any potentially harmful additives.

Here are the 14 best homemade high-calorie shakes that will help you gain weight:

  1. Banana Peanut Butter Shake – 1830 calories;
  2. Almond Dark Chocolate Shake – 1542 calories;
  3. Oat Peanut Butter Shake – 1101 calories;
  4. Chocolate Walnut Shake – 1075 calories;
  5. Nutty Goji Shake – 979 calories;
  6. Blueberry Coconut Shake – 973 calories;
  7. Fruity Ice Cream Shake – 915 calories;
  8. Vegan Avocado Protein Shake – 910 calories;
  9. Fruity Coconut Shake – 909 calories;
  10. Strawberry Oat Shake – 842 calories;
  11. Chocolate Ice Cream Shake – 839 calories;
  12. Egg Oat Peanut Butter Shake – 734 calories;
  13. Coconut Energy Shake – 543 calories;
  14. Cashew Raspberry Shake – 476 calories.

Do you want to learn how to make each of the above shakes at home?

Here are the recipes for the 14 high-calorie shakes for weight gain:

1. Banana Peanut Butter Shake

Nickname: White Gorilla Shake

Calories: 1830

High-protein
High-carb
High-fat
Homemade Banana Peanut Butter Shake for weight gain.

The Banana Peanut Butter Shake is the high-calorie shake with the most calories, so it’s one of the best choices for people looking to gain weight.

However, while this shake is both energizing, due to its content full of carbs and fat, and good for building muscle, due to the over 100 g of proteins in its composition, it is best served in two equal portions.

This way, your body will make better use of the sheer number of macronutrients found in the Banana PB Shake.

Talking about the ingredients in this high-protein shake recipe, whole milk and Greek yogurt form the base of this homemade drink while being responsible for the largest part of proteins.

However, peanut butter is the second most caloric ingredient in this shake, offering a solid number of proteins and plenty of fats along with its classic flavor.

Because they are rich in carbs, bananas, oats, and maple syrup are the ingredients that make the Banana Peanut Butter weight gain drink one of the most energizing high-calorie milkshakes.

Banana Peanut Butter Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (473 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (100 g) oats
  • 2 medium (236 g) bananas
  • 4 tbsp (64 g) peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp (60 g) maple syrup
  • 2 cups (570 g) full-fat Greek yogurt

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 1830
  • Protein: 101 g
  • Carbs: 217 g
  • Fat: 82 g

2. Almond Dark Chocolate Shake

Nickname: Dark Honeycomb Shake

Calories: 1542

High-carb
High-fat

Featuring many carbs, fats, and proteins, the Almond Dark Chocolate Shake is a tasty high-calorie shake designed for helping you gain weight.

While almond milk makes for the liquid base of this shake, coconut oil and dark chocolate are the most caloric ingredients in its composition. The latter two are also the fattiest elements.

On the other hand, whey protein powder provides almost all of the weight gain drink’s impressive protein content, which makes the shake great for building muscle.

Bananas and honey bring the lion’s share of carbs into the shake.

Yet, you should consider drinking this shake in two servings to let your body absorb its macronutrients more efficiently.

Almond Dark Chocolate Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (473 ml) almond milk
  • 2 medium (236 g) bananas
  • 4 tbsp (54 g) coconut oil
  • 2 scoops (60 g) whey protein powder
  • 4 tbsp (84 g) honey
  • 5 tbsp (55 g) dark chocolate

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 1542
  • Protein: 54 g
  • Carbs: 168 g
  • Fat: 79 g

3. Oat Peanut Butter Shake

Nickname: Classic Bulking Shake

Calories: 1101

High-protein
High-carb

The Oat Peanut Butter Shake completes the podium of high-calorie shakes for weight gain.

Having whole milk as its liquid base and many nutritious ingredients, this shake could easily replace a meal.

Most of the protein in this high-calorie Oat PB Shake comes from three ingredients found in the recipe: whole milk, oats, and protein powder.

Carb-wise, the most energizing ingredients in this shake’s composition are oats, bananas, and milk. Of course, the carb level is elevated by the presence of honey and chocolate chips.

Peanut butter and milk are the ingredients that provide most of the fat offered by this shake.

Oat Peanut Butter Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (50 g) oats
  • 2 tbsp (20 g) chocolate chips
  • 1 medium (118 g) banana
  • 2/3 cup (20 g) baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp (32 g) peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp (21 g) honey
  • 2 cups (473 ml) whole milk
  • 1 scoop (30 g) whey protein powder

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 1101
  • Protein: 65 g
  • Carbs: 153 g
  • Fat: 44 g

4. Chocolate Walnut Shake

Nickname: Sweet Nut Shake

Calories: 1075

High-protein
High-carb
High-fat

Containing a treasure of macronutrients, the Chocolate Walnut Shake is a calorie-dense shake with a pleasant, addicting aroma.

Full-fat Greek yogurt, the shake’s liquid base, is also the ingredient with the most proteins in the drink’s composition.

In terms of carbs, bananas and chocolate chips bring the majority of them.

Walnuts are the fattiest ingredient while flax seeds bring a little boost to the fat level in this Chocolate Walnut Shake.

Chocolate Walnut Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (58 g) chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (285 g) full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (40 g) chocolate chips
  • 1 large (136 g) banana
  • 2 tbsp (14 g) flax seeds

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 1075
  • Protein: 41 g
  • Carbs: 81 g
  • Fat: 70 g

5. Nutty Goji Shake

Calories: 979

High-protein
High-carb
High-fat

The Nutty Goji Shake is a high-calorie drink with a whole milk base that is rich in all three macronutrients.

While whole milk is the ingredient with the most proteins in the shake, spirulina provides a welcomed boost.

Carb-wise, dried goji berries bring the majority of the carbohydrates.

In terms of fat content, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are the fattiest ingredients in the Nutty Goji Shake, besides the whole milk.

Nutty Goji Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (473 ml) whole milk
  • 1/5 cup (25 g) pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup (58 g) chopped walnuts
  • 13 tbsp (75 g) dried goji berries
  • 5 tbsp (10 g) dried spirulina

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 979
  • Protein: 43 g
  • Carbs: 76 g
  • Fat: 61 g

6. Blueberry Protein Shake

Nickname: Blue Bulking Shake

Calories: 973

High-protein
High-carb

The Blueberry Coconut Shake is the shake with the second-greatest number of proteins among the high-calorie shakes on this list, thus being an excellent choice for people looking to gain muscle or bodybuilders in their bulking phase.

Among its ingredients, whey protein powder and egg whites provide most of the proteins.

In terms of carbs, a banana, oats, and frozen blueberries contribute the most.

Fat-wise, coconut oil and peanut butter steal the show.

Moreover, the spinach in the shake contributes to leveraging your vitamin and mineral intake, while cinnamon and honey improve the taste.

The liquid base of this shake is almond milk.

Blueberry Protein-Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100 g) oats
  • 1 cup (150 g) unthawed frozen blueberries
  • ¾ cup (20 g) spinach
  • 1 medium (118 g) banana
  • 1 tbsp (7.8 g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp (10g) honey
  • 1 ¼ tbsp (20 g) peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) coconut oil
  • 6 (204 g) egg whites
  • 1 cup (236 ml) almond milk
  • 1 scoop (30 g) whey protein powder

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 973
  • Protein: 71 g
  • Carbs: 146 g
  • Fat: 34 g

7. Fruity Ice Cream Shake

Nickname: Berry Vanilla Shake

Calories: 915

High-protein
High-carb

The Fruity Ice Cream Shake is a delicious weight gain shake that is high in calories and filled with healthy macronutrients.

This shake’s liquid base is made of whole milk and vanilla ice cream, which are also the ingredients with the most fats and calories in the drink.

Ice cream, a large banana, and oats provide most of the shake’s carb content while whey protein powder makes for the majority of its protein content.

Fruity Ice Cream Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 5 scoops (165 g) vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tbsp (35 g) full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (30 g) raspberries
  • ¼ cup (30 g) blueberries
  • 5 scoops (45 g) whey protein powder
  • 1 large (136 g) banana
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) oats

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 915
  • Protein: 58 g
  • Carbs: 115 g
  • Fat: 31 g

8. Vegan Avocado Protein Shake

Nickname: Green Bulking Shake

Calories: 910

High-protein
High-carb
High-fat

If you’re on a plant-based diet and want to gain weight easier, give it a try to the Vegan Avocado Protein Shake.

As its name suggests, this shake has a lot of proteins. The most prominent protein source in this drink’s composition is soy protein powder but oats contribute a fair share as well along with the 10 grams of dried spirulina.

When it comes to its carbohydrate content, this shake gets most of this type of macronutrient from oats and almond milk, which is also its liquid base.

Switching over, peanut butter and avocado are the main fatty ingredients.

Vegan Avocado Protein Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (473 ml) almond milk
  • 2 tbsp (32 g) peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup (100 g) avocado
  • 5 tbsp (10 g) dried spirulina
  • 1 cup (100 g) oats
  • 5 scoops (45 g) soy protein powder

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 910
  • Protein: 60 g
  • Carbs: 113 g
  • Fat: 47 g

9. Fruity Coconut Shake

Nickname: Tropical Paradise Shake

Calories: 909

High-protein
High-carb

Another colorful high-calorie drink for those looking to gain weight is the Fruity Coconut Shake.

This shake is especially high in carbs, rich in proteins, and has plenty of fats as well.

With a flavor that will send you to vacation destinations, the Fruity Coconut Shake has a liquid base made of coconut milk, which is also the fattiest ingredient in the weight gain drink.

In terms of proteins and carbs, whey protein powder brings most of the proteins while oats provide the lion’s share of carbs.

The fruits, mangoes, strawberries, and a banana, boost the carb intake.

Fruity Coconut Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (150 g) frozen mangoes
  • 1 cup (149 g) frozen strawberries
  • 2 scoops (60 g) whey protein powder
  • 1 medium (118 g) banana
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) oats

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 909
  • Protein: 67 g
  • Carbs: 133 g
  • Fat: 34 g

10. Strawberry Oat Shake

Nickname: Strawberry Storm Shake

Calories: 842

High-carb

The Strawberry Oat Shake is a very energizing high-calorie shake that will fuel you up before workouts or recover afterward while helping you gain weight easier.

This shake also joined our list of high-calorie low-fat foods because less than 30% of its calories come from fatty acids.

Most of the carbs in this shake come from whole milk, a cup of oats, and fruits (bananas and strawberries). The two teaspoons of sugar contribute as well to the drink’s total carb intake.

The liquid base made of whole milk also leverages the number of fats in this weight gain drink.

The proteins in the Strawberry Oat Shake come mainly from whole milk and oats.

Vanilla extract’s role is to give a better taste and personality to the shake.

Strawberry Oat Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (473 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (150 g) strawberries
  • 1 cup (100 g) oats
  • 2 medium (236 g) bananas
  • 2 tsp (8 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp (9 g) vanilla extract

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 842
  • Protein: 34 g
  • Carbs: 162 g
  • Fat: 22 g

11. Chocolate Ice Cream Shake

Nickname: Iced Chocolate Shake

Calories: 839

High-protein
High-carb

In case you prefer chocolate over vanilla flavor, you are set for a weight-gaining treat with the Chocolate Ice Cream Shake.

This shake is full of carbs and proteins while providing solid amounts of fat as well.

At its base, the Chocolate Ice Cream Shake has whole milk and chocolate ice cream, ingredients that significantly increase the shake’s fat content.

The carb content is ensured by the mix of oats, ice cream, and a large banana.

In terms of proteins, the majority of them are provided by the one and a half scoops of whey protein powder.

Chocolate Ice Cream Shake for weight gain.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) whole milk
  • 5 scoops (165 g) chocolate ice cream
  • 5 scoops (45 g) whey protein powder
  • 1 large (136 g) banana
  • 2 tbsp (35 g) full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) oats

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 839
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 110 g
  • Fat: 28 g

12. Egg Oat Peanut Butter Shake

Nickname: Rocky Soy Shake

Calories: 734

High-protein
High-carb
High-fat

The Egg Oat Peanut Butter Shake is a vegan high-calorie shake based on soy milk that has plenty of macronutrients, which will help sky-rocket your weight gain efforts.

Most of the proteins in this shake come from 3 whole eggs, oats, and soy milk. The oats also bring the majority of carbs found in the Egg Oat PB Shake.

In terms of fat, eggs, soy milk, and peanut butter are the fattiest ingredients, with oats coming in close.

Spinach boosts the vitamins and minerals in this weight gain shake.

Egg Oat Peanut Butter Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100 g) oats
  • 1 cup (30 g) spinach
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) peanut butter
  • 2 cups (473 ml) soy milk

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 734
  • Protein: 56 g
  • Carbs: 73 g
  • Fat: 40 g

13. Coconut Energy Shake

Nickname: Coconut Joy Shake

Calories: 543

High-fat

The Coconut Energy Shake is a high-calorie drink that is low in carbs and proteins but high in fat.

The increased amount of fat in this shake is owed to coconut milk and coconut oil, which also make for the liquid base of the drink.

Most of the protein in the Coconut Energy Shake comes from the whole egg found in its content.

Raw cocoa, stevia, and vanilla extract give a better taste to this milkshake while the teaspoon of chia seeds leverages the vitamin and minerals a bit.

Coconut Energy Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbsp (14 g) coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 tsp (3 g) chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp (5 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 tbsp (5 g) raw cocoa

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 543
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Carbs: 10 g
  • Fat: 54 g

14. Cashew Raspberry Shake

Calories: 476

High-carb
High-fat

If you’re looking to surprise your taste buds, you should give a go to the high-calorie Cashew Raspberry Shake.

This energizing shake has mainly fats and carbs along with a fair share of proteins, the latter coming mainly from the whole egg on the ingredients list.

Avocado and cashew milk drive most of the fat content while the taste is improved by the mix of raw cocoa, sugar, and raspberry extract.

Cashew Raspberry Shake for weight gain - recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) cashew milk
  • A whole egg
  • 1 tbsp (5 g) raw cocoa
  • 2/3 cup (100 g) avocado
  • 1 tsp (4 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) raspberry extract

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 476
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Carbs: 34 g
  • Fat: 32 g

Note: we attributed labels like high-protein, high-carb, and high-fat to weight gain shakes that have at least 20% of a certain macronutrient.

We’ve chosen this threshold after adapting a paragraph from the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations that says that terms like “high” can be labeled on products that contain 20% or more of the RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake) or the DRV (Daily Reference Value) per reference amount customarily consumed.[31]

Weight gain shakes with most proteins

Shakes that are high in proteins and calories are the best drinks for people who are looking both to gain weight and add muscle.

Here are the high-calorie shakes for weight gain with the most proteins:

  • Banana Peanut Butter Shake – 101 g of proteins;
  • Blueberry Protein Shake – 71 g of proteins;
  • Vegan Avocado Protein Shake – 70 g of proteins;
  • Fruity Coconut Shake – 67 g of proteins;
  • Oat Peanut Butter Shake – 65 g of proteins.

Weight gain shakes with most carbs

Shakes that are high in carbohydrates and calories will not only fill up your energy reservoirs but also help you gain weight easier.

Here are the high-calorie shakes for weight gain with the most carbs:

  • Banana Peanut Butter Shake – 217 g of carbs;
  • Almond Dark Chocolate Shake – 168 g of carbs;
  • Strawberry Oat Shake – 162 g of carbs;
  • Oat Peanut Butter Shake – 153 g of carbs;
  • Blueberry Coconut Shake – 146 g of carbs.

Weight gain shakes with most fat

Fat is the most caloric macronutrient in shakes and it’s also energizing, so drinking high-fat weight gain shakes is one of the smartest ways to increase your daily calorie intake.

Here are the high-calorie shakes for weight gain with the most fat:

  • Banana Peanut Butter Shake – 82 g of fat;
  • Almond Dark Chocolate Shake – 79 g of fat;
  • Chocolate Walnut Shake – 70 g of fat;
  • Nutty Goji Shake – 61 g of fat;
  • Coconut Energy Shake – 54 g of fat.

Ready-to-drink shakes for weight gain

Ready-to-drink high-calorie shakes on a store shelf.

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

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

Protein shakes generally target 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.

Top 5 ready-to-drink high-calorie shakes with most 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-to-drink high-calorie shakes because of the lack of shakes with 400+ calories on the market.

Where can you buy weight gain shakes

One of the main benefits of ready-to-drink high-calorie shakes is that you don’t have to prepare them.

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

You can usually find ready-to-drink shakes for weight gain at Walmart, Tesco, and ASDA stores. Or, you can just order a pack of calorie-dense shakes online on sites like Amazon or the official websites of the shake manufacturers, like Ensure’s one.

High-calorie shakes: shopping tips

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

Why?

Firstly, do check the nutrition label because FDA does not approve dietary supplements, so you could find dangerous ingredients in ready-to-drink weight gain shakes, protein-based or not.[32]

Many pre-workout supplement brands use "proprietary blends" that do not "disclose specific amounts of ingredients," according to a 2018 study.[33]

Secondly, 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.

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

High-calorie shakes for different diets

You’re on a particular diet that excludes certain foods, so you don’t know which high-calorie shakes you can drink without a worry?

No problem.

With the following rearranged list of the 14 high-calorie shake recipes previously described in this article, it is very easy to pick the right shakes for your diet, whether you’re looking for vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free weight gain blends, or you just want to choose a shake with or without certain ingredients, like protein powder and peanut butter.

Dairy-free (no lactose) weight gain shakes

  • Chocolate Coconut Shake
  • Cashew Raspberry Shake
  • Egg Oat Peanut Butter Shake

If you want to convert other high-calorie shakes for weight gain into dairy-free ones, replace animal milk and whey protein powder with other types of milk, like almond milk and rice milk, and plant-based protein powders, like the spirulina one.

Weight gain shakes without protein powder

  • Nutty Goji Shake
  • Chocolate Coconut Shake
  • Chocolate Walnut Shake
  • Cashew Raspberry Shake
  • Banana Peanut Butter Shake
  • Strawberry Oat Shake
  • Egg Oat Peanut Butter Shake

Peanut butter shakes for weight gain

  • Vegan Avocado Protein Shake
  • Oat Peanut Butter Shake
  • Blueberry Coconut Shake
  • Banana Peanut Butter Shake
  • Egg Oat Peanut Butter Shake

Gluten-free weight gain shakes

Not all high-calorie shakes are gluten-free because whole cereals, like oats, are a popular ingredient for this type of weight gain drink.

Yet, you can replace whole cereals with their gluten-free version but don’t forget to check their calories since they will most probably have less.

However, here are the weight gain shakes that do not have gluten:

  • Nutty Goji Shake
  • Chocolate Coconut Shake
  • Chocolate Walnut Shake
  • Cashew Raspberry Shake
  • Almond Dark Chocolate Shake

Benefits of weight gain shakes

High-calorie shakes can help a wide range of people who are trying to gain weight see progress, including:

  • Underweight kids, adult men, or females
  • Skinny persons
  • Females trying to get thicker
  • Bodybuilders bulking up
  • People trying to maintain their weight easier
  • Teenagers
  • Diabetics
  • People with Crohn’s disease
  • Cancer patients
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Elderly persons with dentition problems

If you have a disease, like diabetes or cancer, we recommend you talk to your doctor before adding high-calorie shakes for weight gain to your diet. This is because some weight gain shakes may actually prove harmful to you.

For example, if you drink a high-carb weight gain shake and you have diabetes, your blood sugar will spike and potentially reach unwanted levels.

Now that you know who should profit the most from the nutritional properties of high-calorie shakes, let's look at the advantages of consuming these weight gain drinks.

Benefits of drinking weight gain shakes.

1. Gain weight easier

No matter if you’re a bodybuilder bulking up, a skinny female that wants to get thicker, or an underweight adult, you will discover that drinking high-calorie shakes is going to make your weight gain journey way easier.

Yet, only mixing and drinking shakes will not ensure you will gain healthy weight. You also need to be on a caloric surplus (eat more calories than you consume every day), eat healthy high-calorie foods, and exercise.

If you’re on a tighter budget and can’t afford to spend too much on your weight gain meals, get ideas from our list of cheap high-calorie foods.

To stay on a caloric surplus with even less effort, complement your shakes by adding high-calorie snacks and weight gain bars to your diet.

How to gain weight as a skinny guy?

If you’re a skinny guy, you have to respect the same rules of weight gain as most people: be on a caloric surplus, avoid consuming empty calories, like the ones you get from junk food, and exercise to gain muscle instead of fat.

Of course, high-calorie foods and drinks, like weight gain shakes, will help you stay in a caloric surplus.

Weight gain tip: eat more regularly to avoid feeling full after digesting heavy calorie-dense meals.

2. Helps with maintaining weight

Besides helping you gain weight easier, high-calorie shakes are useful when you want to maintain your weight, whether you tend to lose weight quickly or you have increased caloric needs.

People who lose weight fast usually have medical problems, are receiving nausea-inducing medication, or have a high metabolic rate.

To maintain your weight, you must consume the same number of calories as you consume each day, and weight gain shakes can help you achieve this objective.

3. Save time

Mixing a few ingredients to make a weight gain shake is more convenient than cooking a bulky meal and is oftentimes better for your digestion too. Therefore, weight gain shakes also help you save valuable time.

For many more stomach-friendly ideas besides shakes, check our list of easy-to-digest foods.

4. Get energized

Another advantage of consuming high-calorie shakes is that they replenish your energy. As a consequence, weight gain shakes are a brilliant option for athletes and an excellent pre-workout alternative for fitness enthusiasts.

5. Good for meal replacement

Last but not the least, high-calorie shakes come in handy when you happen to miss meals because of your daily errands or work tasks. Since they are filled with healthy nutrients, weight gain shakes make for satisfying meal replacements.

Do weight gain shakes work?

Yes, weight gain shakes will help you increase your body mass more conveniently because they are high in calories and very easy to prepare while being great meal replacements.

Tips for gaining weight

In order to achieve results with high-calorie shakes and successfully include them in your diet, you have to be strategic. Otherwise, you may end up far from your daily calorie goal or feeling tired and bloated by all the food you have to eat.

But don’t worry. If you follow at least a few of the next simple weight-gaining tips, you will be on your way to achieving your ideal body mass.

  • Schedule 2 to 4 high-calorie snacks or high-calorie drinks to consume every day;
  • Avoid drinking liquids 30 minutes before your meals and during them because it reduces your appetite;
  • Sprinkle nuts, dried fruits, oils, or cheese over foods to increase calories;
  • Hydrate with high-calorie drinks, like calorie-dense smoothies (weight gain smoothie recipes) and shakes, instead of low-calorie ones, like coffee or tea;
  • Buy the whole versions of dairy products instead of their lean versions;
  • When you lack calories, eating fatty products is the easiest way to meet your calorie goals because 1 g of fat has 9 calories while 1 g of carbs or protein has 4 calories;
  • Eat high-protein foods to stimulate muscle growth;
  • To gain healthy weight fast, be on a caloric surplus every day and eat healthy high-calorie foods;
  • Exercise at least 3 days per week, preferably by lifting weights, to effectively gain muscle and avoid getting fat;
  • Take a walk or train before meals to increase appetite;
  • Don’t neglect sleep.

Frequently asked questions about weight gain shakes

How can you gain weight in 7 days?

You can gain weight even in one week by making sure you eat more calories than you burn every day. However, don’t expect to gain too much weight in 7 days.

Do weight gain shakes make you fat?

Weight gain shakes do not make you fat. Instead, if you eat more calories than you burn daily and don’t have a proper training routine, then you will gain fat.

Are weight gain shakes healthy?

Since each high-calorie shake has different ingredients, nobody can say that all weight gain shakes are healthy.

However, homemade shakes are generally healthier than the ones you buy from the store because you know exactly what ingredients you put in them. Know that shakes can be exceptionally nutritious and can help you take in lots of vitamins and minerals.

How effective are weight gain shakes?

Weight gain shakes are the most effective beverage you can drink when you are trying to increase your body mass.

Explore other beverages tailored for weight gain in our list of high-calorie drinks.

Are protein shakes a good way to gain weight?

Since proteins help you build muscle faster, adding protein shakes to your diet is one of the best ways to gain weight.

Can you drink weight gain shakes without working out?

Yes, you can drink weight gain shakes even if you don’t work out. However, keep in mind these shakes are going to boost your daily calorie intake by a lot, and so you may get on a caloric surplus.

Consequently, if you don’t train your body, you will get fat.

Weight gain shakes: conclusion

Due to the numerous health benefits that high-calorie shakes provide to your body, these drinks are one of the greatest nutritional options for when you’re trying to gain weight and build muscle.

And, now that you know how to prepare both energizing and protein shakes, you'll be able to reach your daily calorie goals while getting closer to your desired body shape easier than ever.

If you don't want to make a weight gain shake from scratch, return to this article and try one of the 14 high-calorie shake recipes or buy a ready-to-drink one, picking from the best shakes on the market.

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
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.
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