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6 Weight Gain Smoothies Without Protein Powder (Recipes)

Last updated on December 5, 2023


Although some consider protein powders a convenient source of muscle-building proteins and a staple ingredient in smoothies, others trying to gain weight may prefer to make their blends without these powders, which can be expensive and don't fit everybody's dietary preferences.

Yet, it's getting harder and harder to find smoothie recipes that aren't made with some type of protein powder.

As proof, our research on Smoothie King, one of the world's largest smoothie chains, shows that 76% of the smoothies on their menu contain protein powder.

Therefore, smoothies without protein powder have become a minority.

But don't worry.

After reviewing our list of high-calorie smoothies, we selected 6 smoothie recipes that include a variety of natural sources of protein instead of protein powders. And the best thing? Since they don't contain protein powder, which tends to add a nutty taste if unflavored, all of these recipes taste delicious.

Let's explore the recipes, ranging from 445 to over 1000 calories and reaching up to 42 g of proteins.

1. Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie

Novak Djokovic and his high-calorie banana chocolate kale smoothie.

This High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie, resulted after we modified the ingredient quantities in one of the recipes shared by tennis champion Novak Djokovic, can help you gain weight and build muscle because it has over 400 calories and proteins coming mainly from almond butter.

In terms of flavor, the smoothie has a bittersweet but refreshing taste thanks to the crispness of the kale, a superfood, the bittersweet aroma of the chocolate syrup, and the sweet savor of bananas.

Ingredients

  • 2 large (9.6 oz or 272 g) frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup (0.3 oz or 8 g) kale leaves without stems
  • 1 tbsp (0.7 oz or 20 g) organic chocolate syrup
  • 1 tbsp (0.6 oz or 16 g) almond butter
  • 1 1/3 cups (10.1 fl oz or 300 ml) almond milk

Nutrition facts

Volume20.8 fl oz (616 ml)
Calories445
Proteins9 g
Carbohydrates80 g
Fats14 g
Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie
This high-calorie recipe shows you how to make Novak Djokovic's Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie, whose ingredients he shared in his book "Serve to Win". The smoothie has a bittersweet but refreshing taste thanks to the crispness of the kale leaves, the bittersweet aroma of the chocolate syrup, and the sweet savor of bananas.
Check out this recipe
Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.

2. High-Calorie Mixed Berry Smoothie

High-protein

High-Calorie Mixed Berry Smoothie for weight gain.

Having a little bit more calories than the previous smoothie, the High-Calorie Mixed Berry Smoothie combines different types of berries with a lot of proteins coming from Greek yogurt, chia seeds, mixed seeds, and whole milk, to help you pack on muscle mass.

Regarding its taste, the smoothie has notes of raspberry complemented by a slight cinnamon flavor, a grainy texture, and a secondary earthy aroma released by the seeds in its composition.

Ingredients

  • 5.3 oz (150 g) frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp (0.25 oz or 7 g) goji berries
  • 1/4 cup (1.76 oz or 50 g) blueberries
  • 4 tsp (0.71 oz or 20 g) mixed seeds
  • 1 tbsp (0.42 oz or 12 g) chia seeds
  • 1 tsp (0.25 oz or 7 g) honey
  • 1/2 tsp (1-2 g) cinnamon
  • 2.65 oz (75 g) low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (4.06 fl oz or 120 ml) whole milk
  • 6.76 fl oz (200 ml) water

Nutrition facts

Volume21.74 fl oz (643 ml)
Calories453
Proteins21 g
Carbohydrates53 g
Fats20 g
High-Calorie Mixed Berry Smoothie Recipe for Weight Gain
The High-Calorie Mixed Berry Smoothie combines raspberries and blueberries with other nutritious ingredients to help you gain weight and enjoy multiple berry flavors at the same time.
Check out this recipe
High-Calorie Mixed Berry Smoothie for weight gain.

3. Djokovic's High-Calorie Mango Banana Smoothie

Novak Djokovic and his High-Calorie Mango Banana Smoothie.

Another blend designed for weight gain and inspired by Novak Djokovic's diet is this High-Calorie Mango Banana Smoothie, which is rich in antioxidants, has 651 calories, and contains proteins coming from almond butter.

When it comes to its flavor, the smoothie has a balanced taste because the sweetness of the mango and the banana complements the tanginess of the kale.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (10.6 oz or 300 g) frozen mango
  • 1 large (4.8 oz or 136 g) frozen banana
  • 1 cup (0.5 oz or 15 g) kale leaves without stems
  • 1 tbsp (0.6 oz or 16 g) almond butter
  • 1 tbsp (0.16 oz or 4.5 g) shredded coconut
  • 2 cups (15.9 fl oz or 470 ml) rice milk

Nutrition facts

Volume31.8 fl oz (942 ml)
Calories651
Proteins9 g
Carbohydrates126 g
Fats17 g
Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Mango Banana Smoothie
This high-calorie recipe shows you how to make Novak Djokovic's Mango Banana Smoothie, whose ingredients he shared in his book "Serve to Win". The smoothie has a balanced flavor because the sweetness of the mango and the banana complements the tanginess of kale.
Check out this recipe
Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Mango Banana Smoothie.

4. High-Calorie Oat Smoothie

High-protein

High Calorie Oat Smoothie for weight gain.

The High-Calorie Oat Smoothie is a great blend for bulking up because it has over 700 calories and 24 g of proteins coming from oats, whole milk, and almonds.

In terms of taste, this smoothie has a milky but slightly crunchy texture and an oat flavor with a tint of sweetness, offered by the banana in the smoothie's composition.

Ingredients

  • 1 large (136 g) banana
  • 3.6 oz (100 g) oats
  • 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) whole milk
  • 23 whole kernels (1 oz or 28 g) almonds
  • 10.1 fl oz (300 ml) water

Nutrition facts

Volume15.7 fl oz (664 ml)
Calories728
Proteins24 g
Carbohydrates110 g
Fats24 g
High-Calorie Oat Smoothie for Weight Gain
Designed to help with weight gain, this high-calorie oat smoothie recipe has a milky but slightly crunchy texture and an oat flavor with a tint of sweetness, offered by the banana in the smoothie's composition.
Check out this recipe
High-calorie oat smoothie for weight gain.

5. High-Calorie Banana Smoothie

High-protein

High-calorie Banana Smoothie for weight gain on a table.

The High-Calorie Banana Smoothie is arguably the best blend from this list for building muscle since it has 989 calories and 42 g of proteins, coming from Greek yogurt, cashews, and oats.

In terms of taste, the smoothie has an interesting texture and a strong banana flavor that's calmed down by a slight note of cashews.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium (472 g) bananas
  • 6 oz (300 g) 2% fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 oz (28 g) cashews
  • 1.8 oz (50 g) oats
  • 10.2 fl oz (300 ml) water

Nutrition facts

Volume40.6 fl oz (1.15 l)
Calories989
Proteins42 g
Carbohydrates163 g
Fats25 g
High-Calorie Banana Smoothie for Weight Gain
This is a recipe for a high-calorie banana smoothie designed to help with weight gain. The smoothie has an interesting texture and a strong banana flavor, which is calmed down by a slight note of cashews.
Check out this recipe
High-calorie banana smoothie for weight gain - featured.

If you need more calories and macronutrients from the banana smoothie, try its 2000-calorie version.

6. 1000-Calorie Fruity Green Smoothie

High-protein

High-Calorie Fruity Green Smoothie for weight gain.

This rich-in-fiber High-Calorie Fruity Green Smoothie, which not only helps you gain weight but also supercharges you with vitamins and minerals, contains nearly 30 g of proteins coming from avocado, seeds, nuts, and nut butters.

When it comes to its taste, the smoothie has a crisp but slightly coconutty flavor accompanied by earthy notes coming from seeds and nuts.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium (8.3 oz or 236 g) bananas
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) spinach
  • 1/2 (5.93 oz or 168 g) mango
  • 1/2 (2.65 oz or 75 g) avocado
  • 1 tbsp (0.35 oz or 10 g) flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp (0.6 oz or 17 g) almonds
  • 1 tbsp (0.6 oz or 16 g) peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp (0.42 oz or 12 g) shredded coconut
  • 4 tbsp (0.6 oz or 16 g) pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp (0.4 oz or 12 g) chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp (0.7 oz or 21 g) honey
  • 1/2 tsp (0.05 oz or 2 g) cinnamon
  • 1 cup (8.5 fl oz or 250 ml) almond milk
  • 6.76 fl oz (200 ml) water

Nutrition facts

Volume38.4 fl oz (1.14 l)
Calories1032
Proteins29 g
Carbohydrates136 g
Fats52 g
High-Calorie Fruity Green Smoothie for Weight Gain
The High-Calorie Fruity Green Smoothie helps you gain weight while combining the health benefits of a green smoothie with the deliciousness of a fruity smoothie.
Check out this recipe
High-Calorie Fruity Green Smoothie for weight gain.

When to drink the smoothies

The next step after picking your favorite powderless protein smoothie designed for weight gain is to schedule its consumption.

The best time for drinking this type of smoothie is anytime but not too close to your bedtime, workouts, or other high-protein meals.

Consume smoothies before your workouts (but not too close to them) to fuel your body or after your workouts to replenish lost energy and help your muscles recover and grow. Also, because they won't satisfy your appetite for too long, you can serve smoothies between meals to boost your caloric and protein intake.

Yet, since not all smoothies are created equal, you should schedule them according to their calories and macronutrients, as explained below.

Split extremely high-protein smoothies in multiple servings

First of all, you should split any smoothie that has too many proteins for your body weight into multiple servings.

According to a scientific review on daily protein distribution, the maximum number of proteins you can eat and process effectively in one sitting is 0.55 g per kg of body weight.[1]

Source info

Name: How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution

Type: journal article

Published in: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

For example, if you have 80 kg (176 lbs), you shouldn't eat more than 44 g of proteins in one sitting.

Therefore, before scheduling your next weight gain smoothie, look at its nutrition facts and see how many proteins it has. If it's bigger than the maximum number of proteins you can process effectively in one sitting (0.55 g * your body weight in kg), then split the smoothie into multiple servings scheduled across your day.

Don't drink smoothies too close to your workouts

If you want to use smoothies as pre-workout fuel, you should follow some guidelines to not feel bloated during training.

According to evidence related to the best timing of pre-workout meals, you should drink your smoothie between 30 minutes and 2 hours before your workout to optimize your body's protein levels for building muscle.

But you should also pay attention to the number of carbs in your chosen smoothie. Although they're energizing, too many carbs are going to slow you down.

To calculate how many hours before your workouts you should drink your smoothie, whether it's a 1000-calorie smoothie or a smaller one, one idea is to follow the model recommended by Marie Dunford, PhD, RD, and J. Andrew Doyle in their book Nutrition for Sport and Exercise.

  • If you eat 1 hour before working out, eat 1 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight;
  • 2 hours before working out: eat 2 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight;
  • 3 hours before working out: eat 3 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight;
  • 4 hours before working out: eat 4 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight.[2]
Source info

Title: Nutrition for Sport and Exercise

Type: book

Book authors: Marie Dunford, PhD, RD, and J. Andrew Doyle

Here is the simplified formula:

Smoothie's total carbs ÷ Your body weight in kg

Just divide your smoothie's total carbohydrates by your body weight (in kilograms). If the result is closer to one, drink your smoothie 1 hour before your workout. If it's closer to two, drink it 2 hours before your workout. And so on.

Not before bedtime

Also, you shouldn't plan your high-calorie smoothies before bedtime. This is because it will have negative effects on your sleep quality.

A Brazilian study exploring the food-sleep relationship suggests that "intake of high fat and carbohydrate foods" in the 3 hours preceding your bedtime makes it harder for you to fall asleep.[3]

Source info

Title: Relationship between food intake and sleep pattern in healthy individuals

Type: journal article

Published in: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Made at: Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo

Since smoothies are generally based on fruits and/or vegetables, they are usually rich in carbohydrates, just as the recipes on our list. Therefore, you should avoid scheduling them in the 3 hours before it's time to hit the sack.

Another reason why you should avoid weight gain smoothies before going to bed is a better overall sleep.

American researchers studied the connection between bedtime eating or drinking and waking up at night. Their results show that eating or drinking further away from bedtime will make you wake up less often.[4]

Source info

Title: Associations between bedtime eating or drinking, sleep duration and wake after sleep onset: findings from the American time use survey

Type: journal article

Published in: The British Journal of Nutrition

Made at: University of Michigan and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

How to store

We recommend drinking your smoothies right after blending them to enjoy their finest taste. However, in case you'd rather postpone them, you can safely store the smoothie in the fridge for about 24 hours in something like a shaker bottle or a jar.

Protein powder replacements in smoothies

When preparing homemade protein smoothies, you can replace protein powder with proteins coming from whole food ingredients, like these:

Other high-calorie drinks without protein powder

If you're looking to increase your body mass with other high-calorie liquids made without protein powder besides smoothies, you can find some tasty alternatives on our lists of calorie-dense shakes and weight-gain drinks.

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 from Unfold Today, face portrait.
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.
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