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As an experienced fitness adept, I know how unpleasant it can be to try to gain weight by focusing only on eating large meals while ignoring the power of high-calorie smoothies. You get filled up with all the solid food you need to consume, lose valuable time cooking and sitting down to eat the meals, and in the end, you barely achieve your daily calorie goals.
Fortunately, you can turn the act of bulking up into a piece of cake by adding weight gain snacks and most importantly high-calorie smoothies to your diet.
After all, weight gain smoothies, along with calorie-dense shakes, are some of the drinks with the most calories, fun to make, convenient, and have a delicious taste. All of these characteristics will help you gain weight far easier.
Before diving into the 15 high-calorie smoothie recipes for weight gain, let's take a look at the benefits of drinking smoothies, and then how to make one from scratch.
There is a large variety of people looking to gain weight who can benefit from drinking high-calorie smoothies, including:
Given that you know who should mostly take advantage of the nutritional qualities of smoothies, we can explore what are the benefits of consuming these drinks.
Here are the benefits of adding high-calorie smoothies to your diet:
Whether you are a bodybuilder going through a bulking phase, a skinny teen that would like to get thicker, or a parent worried about their underweight children, you will see that consuming high-calorie smoothies is going to make your weight gain efforts far easier.
However, only blending and drinking smoothies will not ensure you will gain healthy weight.
Here are the three main habits you need to adopt to gain healthy weight:
First of all, if you want to gain weight, you need to stay in a caloric surplus, meaning that you need to eat more calories than you consume every day.
Secondly, you need to avoid empty calories, meaning that you should restrict yourself from consuming food that's high in calories but has very few nutrients. A few examples of food with empty calories are fast food, sodas, and high-sugar sweets.
Then, you should add healthy high-calorie foods and drinks to your diet.
And if you don’t want to spend too much money on your daily weight gain meals, get some affordable ideas from our list of cheap high-calorie foods.
However, if you only consume calories and don’t exercise, you will only add fat, instead of sculpting a muscular attractive body. So, working out daily is essential if you are looking to gain healthy weight.
Bonus tip to meet your daily calorie goals: eat more frequently, so you will avoid getting full after consuming very large meals.
Alternatively, to quit feeling filled up, you can include more low-volume high-calorie foods in your diet.
High-calorie smoothies can not only help you gain weight easier but also maintain it, especially if you are prone to weight loss. People who generally tend to lose weight easily are either suffering from a medical condition, undergoing a nausea-inducing treatment, or having an intense metabolism.
To maintain your weight, you need to eat as many calories as you consume per day, and calorie-dense smoothies can help you meet this goal.
Another benefit of drinking high-calorie smoothies is the fact that they load up your energy reserves due to their nutritious content. This ability makes smoothies a great choice for athletes and an effective pre-workout alternative for fitness enthusiasts.
Yet, don't get energy from smoothies with high quantities of sugar because they are dangerous for your health, especially if you have diabetes.
According to CDC, only 1 in 10 adult Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables every day.
Thankfully, as they are made with fruits and vegetables, high-calorie smoothies are a great way to bring micronutrients, like vitamins and other minerals, into your body.
Moreover, smoothies will 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.
Besides the fruits and vegetables in your smoothies, make sure you also eat solid veggies and fruits.
"Keeping solid meals in your diet is important for satiety and dentition," says Iulia Serban, registered dietitian nutritionist.
The last but not least benefit of consuming high-calorie smoothies is their convenience. After all, blending a few ingredients to make a weight gain smoothie is handier than cooking a large meal and is oftentimes better for your digestion too.
Talking about convenience and digestion, if you have a sensitive gut, take a look at our list of easy-to-digest foods for an upset stomach.
First of all, before you start preparing a high-calorie smoothie, you need to know how many calories should such a drink have. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 400 calories or more per serving of packaged food is generally considered high. Therefore:
A serving of high-calorie smoothie should have at least 400 calories.
Preparing a high-calorie smoothie is very simple. All you need is a knife and a blender to cut and mix the ingredients.
An important tip is to put the liquid base of your desired weight gain smoothie in the blender before mixing the solid parts, as this will prevent the blender's blade from getting damaged.
It is essential to know the difference between a smoothie and a shake since many people think these two are the same type of drink. Therefore, let’s look at these drinks’ definitions in the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary.
A smoothie mainly differs from a shake because it has a smoother texture than the shake’s bubbly one, is based on fruits or vegetables, and is obtained by mixing ingredients, not shaking them.
With this comparison in mind, you will be able to distinguish a smoothie from a shake.
For high-calorie shake ideas, check the many recipes found in our comprehensive article about weight gain shakes.
A high-calorie smoothie for weight gain generally contains ingredients such as:
However, to ensure you will get the highest number of calories from your smoothie, blend high-calorie vegetables and fruits, whole dairy products, calorie-dense snacks, and quality protein powders.
Also, you want to make sure your smoothies have a low quantity of sugar.
"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.
It’s already hard to find vegetables that are high in calories, more so when you are looking for 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:
Find more nutrient-dense veggies and the ones with the most calories in our list of high-calorie vegetables for weight gain.
Fruits will make your weight gain smoothies taste delicious, look colorful, and also add a ton of micronutrients along with the calories in them.
Also, fruity high-calorie smoothies have the added benefit of filling up your energy reservoirs, since fruits are generally rich in carbs.
Here are some fruits that you can put into your smoothies:
Dried fruits, like raisins, dates, figs, and prunes, are the kind of fruits you want to put into your smoothie for a high-calorie intake. Yet, there are many other fresh fruit alternatives, such as avocados and bananas, that will still help you increase your smoothie’s calories.
Use our list of high-calorie fruits for weight gain to find the fruits with the most calories to add to your smoothies.
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 products can add plenty of calories to your smoothies because they are generally rich in fats and also feature good quantities of protein. However, to end up with a high-calorie smoothie, make sure to buy full fat or whole dairy products, and not their lean variants.
Here are some dairy products that you can add to your smoothies:
Heavy cream is the dairy with the highest number of calories that you can add to your smoothie. Besides, ice cream is still a calorie-dense and delicious choice.
However, 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.
Whole milk works great as a liquid base for your smoothie. Alternatively, if you prefer a thicker smoothie, use full-fat Greek yogurt.
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.
However, adding too many nuts and seeds 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 (197 calories/100 g), 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:
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 will ensure your smoothie will 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:
There are plenty of whole grains you can add to your smoothies. From muesli, which has over 350 calories per 100 g, to the classic oats.
If you need extra calories, you can put some add-ins into the blend and get an even more nutritious smoothie.
Here are some add-ins that you can put in your smoothies:
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.
Protein-packed add-ins like eggs and protein powder will help you build stronger muscles, and thus, gain healthier weight.
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.
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 and will only occupy volume.
Instead of water, you can add milk, yogurt, or juice to your smoothie because these liquids are higher in calories.
Regarding ice cubes, you can replace them in your smoothie by putting frozen juice in the ice-cube tray or by adding frozen fruits. Alternatively, you can use frozen milk or some half-and-half.
As a good example of how to make a high-calorie smoothie, here is 25-year-old Laura Leth blending her daily weight gain drink:
After you learned how to make a high-calorie smoothie, you can go on and either mix your preferred ingredients or follow some healthy recipes tailored for weight gain.
Here are 15 high-calorie smoothies that will help you gain weight:
Decided how many calories you want from your smoothie? Good, you can now go on and make it.
Here are the recipes for the 15 high-calorie smoothies for weight gain:
Since it has over 1000 calories and is the blend with the highest number of calories on this list of smoothie recipes for weight gain, the Green Seed Mix Smoothie is a game-changer if you are struggling to increase your size.
This dairy-free smoothie is rich in carbs and fats because it's made with:
Moreover, this green smoothie also offers a solid 35 g of proteins, even though it is made without protein powder.
The greenness of the drink is given by the combination of mangoes, avocados, and spinach. The taste is delicious, considering the tint of cinnamon and honey that the recipe asks for.
With its almost 1000 calories, the Walnut Banana Berry Smoothie is the drink with the second most calories in our list of weight gain smoothies.
Even though the Walnut Banana Berry Smoothie has just a few ingredients, it sports a very high level of carbs, a solid amount of fat, and a decent level of protein, which is great considering that this high-calorie smoothie is made without protein powder or any other high-protein ingredients.
Most of the carbs of the smoothie come from the fruits in its composition, specifically the 4 bananas and the mix of berries. The whole milk contributes the most to the smoothie’s protein levels while the fat comes mainly from the quarter cup of chopped walnuts.
If you are a bodybuilder in their bulking phase and not only, you will find this protein-filled high-calorie smoothie very effective in helping you meet your daily calorie goals.
This beverage recipe is ranked in third place on our list of weight gain smoothies, and no wonder, since it is rich in all three macronutrients.
Almond milk is the liquid base of this dairy-free smoothie. The banana and the oats contribute the most to the drink’s high carb content while the protein powder, the oats, and the peanut butter provide the lion's share of protein. The fat in this muscle-building vegan smoothie comes from PB, almond milk, and oats.
Pro tip: as scientific evidence shows that to maximize muscle-building you should not eat too much protein per meal (no more than 0.55 g/kg of body weight/meal), it’s a good idea to consume the Muscle-Building Smoothie in two servings.
The Apple Banana Smoothie is one of the smoothies with the highest calories due to its rich-in-carbs content. This drink also has a whopping amount of protein and a solid amount of fat.
Most of the protein in the Apple Banana Smoothie comes from oats, protein powder, and whole milk, which also brings a large portion of the drink's fat together with the oats. Apples, bananas, and oats are the responsible ingredients for the treasure of carbs found in this smoothie recipe created to ease weight gain.
However, you should consider drinking this smoothie in two equal servings, due to the almost 200 g of carbs found in it.
Scientific fact: if you drink apple smoothies you could be more protected against chronic colon diseases than if you were to consume apple juice or apple cider.
The Tropical Mango Carrot Smoothie is the high-calorie smoothie with the second most proteins on this list of weight gain smoothie recipes. Besides, this drink is rich in carbs and fat.
The almond milk, thickened by the coconut oil and the full-fat Greek yogurt, is the liquid base of the smoothie and provides most of the drink’s fat content. The carbs are provided mainly by the tropical mix of mangoes and bananas, but also by carrots. The protein powder and the Greek yogurt leverage the protein content of the smoothie.
The Coconut Banana Smoothie is a plant-based high-calorie drink that is full of healthy nutrients. This vegan smoothie is packed with proteins, carbs, and fats, offering you no less than 644 calories.
Coconut milk, which is also the liquid base of the smoothie, provides most of the drink's fat together with the flax and chia seeds that need to be added into the mix as well, according to the list of ingredients in this weight gain smoothie recipe. The protein in this dairy-free blend is assured by the protein powder while the carbs are coming mainly from the large banana in its composition.
For extra flavor, add raw cocoa powder and a little cinnamon.
Expert-approved smoothie. Novak Djokovic, a professional tennis player and multiple Grand Slam winner, who managed to significantly improve his on-court performance after changing to a plant-based diet, recommends the mix of ingredients in this high-calorie smoothie recipe.
The Mango Coconut Smoothie is a high-calorie smoothie featuring a treasure of carbs, provided by the many exotic fruits in its composition.
The rice milk and the almond butter, which together form the thick texture of the vegan smoothie, also represent the largest part of the total fat offered by the drink. The kale leaves complete this vitamin-filled weight gain smoothie's recipe.
Expert-approved smoothie. Novak Djokovic, a professional tennis player and multiple Grand Slam winner, recommends the mix of ingredients in this high-calorie smoothie recipe for weight gain.
Even though it is one of the simplest high-calorie smoothie recipes, the Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie will make your weight gain efforts way easier.
This calorie-dense drink can replace a meal since it is packed with carbs, proteins, and fat, loading your body with half a thousand calories.
The Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie’s liquid base, made of whole milk, is completed by high-calorie snacks, specifically one banana and the peanut butter, to boost the drink’s caloric profile. However, you will need to add protein powder to ensure you will get a solid number of proteins from consuming the smoothie, which will also help you build muscle easier.
For flavor and a slightly increased carb intake, you can add maple syrup into the mix.
If you were looking for a fruit-based high-calorie smoothie, you just found yourself a tasty drink that will also make your bulking phase easier.
Rich in protein and fats, but especially in carbs, this smoothie is an outstanding energy source. This blend contains an almond milk liquid base, almond butter for thickness and leveraged healthy fat levels, and vitamin-filled solid ingredients, like bananas, strawberries, and fresh spinach.
The protein content of the smoothie is provided mainly by the protein powder.
Expert-approved smoothie. Novak Djokovic, a professional tennis player and multiple Grand Slam winner, recommends the mix of ingredients in this high-calorie smoothie recipe for weight gain.
The Mint Chocolate Banana Smoothie is a high-calorie drink that has plenty of carbs and a solid amount of protein and fat as well.
The liquid base of this smoothie is made of whole milk. Along with the milk you need to add three types of powder (protein, spirulina, and cocoa, which gives the drink the chocolate flavor) and solid ingredients.
Most of this smoothie’s proteins come from the protein powder, most of the carbs from the banana and the cucumber, while the majority of fats are due to the addition of hemp seeds.
Expert-approved smoothie. Simon Hill, physiotherapist and nutritionist with a Master of Science degree, recommends the mix of ingredients in this high-calorie smoothie recipe tailored for easier weight gain.
Since it’s full of carbs, this high-calorie smoothie is very efficient at loading your body with energy as well as helping you gain weight.
The Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie has an almond milk liquid base and contains two frozen bananas, which make for the main source of carbs of the drink, almond butter, which boosts the smoothie’s fat levels, and kale leaves, whose superfood-worthy contents fill the dairy-free drink with vitamins and minerals.
Add organic chocolate syrup over the vegan smoothie mix for taste and a boost of carbs.
Expert-approved smoothie. Novak Djokovic, a professional tennis player and multiple Grand Slam winner, recommends the mix of ingredients in this high-calorie smoothie recipe created to ease weight gain.
If you love berries, you will enjoy this high-calorie smoothie. The Super Berry Smoothie will help you gain weight with its nutritious profile, which is composed mainly of carbs but also features decent amounts of protein and fat.
The liquid base of the smoothie is made of whole milk but adding full-fat Greek yogurt helps you get a thicker texture.
The raspberries, blueberries, and goji berries contribute to the leveraged amount of carbs found in the drink while the mix of seeds increases the fat intake. The seeds also contribute to the protein levels of the smoothie along with the dairies.
Add cinnamon and honey for taste and a slight boost of carbs.
The Almond Banana Berry Smoothie is a high-calorie drink that is especially great for athletes doing clean bulking because it has a lower amount of fat than most of the other weight gain smoothies on our list.
This vegan smoothie is instead rich in proteins and carbs that will help you build muscle and load your energy reserves.
In preparing the Almond Banana Berry Smoothie, you will use almond milk as a liquid base and then add the berries, the chia seeds, and the banana into the mix, before topping everything with protein powder.
The main source of protein in this dairy-free smoothie is the protein powder, the carbs are provided by the fruits, and the 8 g of fat come from the chia seeds and the almond milk.
As its name suggests, the Green Protein Smoothie is a high-calorie vegan drink that has plenty of proteins. Also, since it offers mainly proteins and carbs, this smoothie is especially useful if you are on a low-fat diet.
The Green Protein Smoothie has a coconut water base, which is completed both with fruits, like bananas, avocados, and apples, and vegetables, like spinach leaves and celery, that provide the blend's green color.
Add some protein powder for a protein boost and a little lime juice for taste.
Expert-approved smoothie. Celebrity chef and nutrition consultant Sergio Perera recommends the mix of ingredients in this high-calorie smoothie recipe for weight gain.
If you are looking for a smoothie made with ice cream that will help you gain weight, look no further. The high-calorie Vanilla Banana Ice Cream Smoothie will energize your body and please your taste buds.
The downside is that this drink has lower amounts of protein than the other weight gain smoothies on our list.
The ice cream and the orange juice make the liquid base of this carb-filled smoothie. It’s also worth knowing that ice cream is the main source of fat in the mix of ingredients.
If you are following a special diet that restricts certain foods from your diet, you will find useful this rearranged list of the 15 high-calorie smoothie recipes for weight gain already described above.
Whether you are allergic to nuts or you are looking for a high-calorie smoothie made without the classic peanut butter among its ingredients, here are some nut-free smoothies for weight gain:
Among the 15 smoothies for weight gain on the list, only the Super Berry Smoothie does not contain bananas.
If you're on a low-fat diet, you don't want to drink smoothies that are rich in fats. So, here are smoothies that are low in fat:
Head over to our article about high-calorie low-fat foods to find many more nutritious culinary ideas that will help you gain weight without increasing your fat intake too much.
Smoothies can only help you gain weight, especially if you consume high-calorie ones. To ensure you gain weight you need to be on a daily caloric surplus, which means you need to eat and drink more calories than you consume every day.
Adding protein powder to your smoothie is an easy way to boost its protein levels and total calories, which will help you both to build muscle and gain weight.
As proof, 9 out of the 15 high-calorie smoothie recipes tailored for weight gain in this article feature protein powder among their ingredients.
However, you should be careful about what kind of protein powder you add to your smoothie. Go for the protein powders made with natural ingredients.
The best smoothies for gaining weight are the high-calorie ones, which have over 400 calories.
As long as they are high in calories, both smoothies and shakes will help you gain weight. It comes down to your own taste and texture preferences when deciding between smoothies and shakes.
To boost the calories in your smoothies, you can add vegetables, fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, grains, and other add-ins, like protein powder, honey, or chocolate syrup.
Given the many health benefits that high-calorie smoothies bring to your body, they are one of the best dietary choices when you are looking to gain weight or build muscle.
And, as you now learned how to make a high-calorie smoothie, you will finally be able to easily meet your daily calorie goals while getting closer to your ideal body shape.
If you don't want to blend a weight gain smoothie from scratch, you can always come back to this article and follow one of the 15 high-calorie smoothie recipes.
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