Did you know that you could use protein shakes for weight gain? Whey Protein is comparatively cheaper, more widely available, and easier to mix with your favorite beverage, helping you reach your caloric and protein requirements.
In this article, we share our top 5 homemade protein shakes for weight gain recipes so you know how to gain healthy weight!
What is Whey Protein
While processing cheese from milk products, the water that churns out in the final process is what Whey Protein actually is. In short, the mixture of proteins in the form of liquid that is separated while cheese production is called whey protein.
This liquid goes through numerous processing units and finally the powdered form of whey protein is derived, which is flavorless and can be directly consumed.
It is only then that the additional flavors are added to give is a taste.
Why Do We Need Whey Protein for Weight Gain
There are countless reasons for adopting weight gainer shakes, but we’ll only discuss about the benefits that are related to muscle building and fat loss and how we can use protein shakes to help gain weight.
Recommended: Here are the different types of whey proteins for your understanding.
Protein, which is said to be the building block of muscles, supplies essential amino-acids to the muscle tissues that are damaged while working out. Don’t freak out. Causing micro-tears in your muscle tissues is actually a good thing. Once you take the right nutrition, which includes protein rich foods, they’ll grow better and stronger.
This repeated cycle over a long period of time helps you grow bigger and stronger, which is exactly what we wish to achieve.
To list down some of the important benefits of Whey Protein in muscle are:
- Whey protein promotes muscle growth: As discussed above, whey protein helps repair the muscle tissue damage caused while working out. These tissues then grow stronger and better, helping in overall muscle growth.
- Whey protein helps reduce hunger: Whey protein has shown the highest reduction in hunger as compared to proteins like soy and casein. (Present in casein powder)
- Whey Protein helps lose weight: Since whey protein is found to reduce hunger, it’s an excellent macro-nutrient to help you lose weight.( Don’t worry, this won’t happen here)
- Helps improve body composition: Enough consumption of whey protein in a healthy weight gain diet consequently leads to better lean mass gain, which in turn improves body composition.
Recommended: Here’s a comparison between Casein Powder vs Whey Protein for weight gain.
Basic Principles For Gaining Weight
The only way your body puts on healthy weight is when it is in a Caloric Surplus.
What this is means is your body needs a specific amount of calories a day in order to function properly. When you supply your body with more than the required calories it needs to maintain your weight, you start gaining weight.
Once you get the optimum amount of calories needed by your body in a day, add 300-500 extra calories per day to gain healthy weight. These extra calories should come from high quality, whole foods that are nutrient dense. (NOTE: More calories does not mean you will gain better weight)
Why Focus Particularly on Protein?
While there are three macro-nutrients required by our body to function, protein is no doubt the most important, especially when it comes to building muscles. Some of the reasons have been mentioned above.
Since muscles are made up of protein, it is important that you consume enough protein to gain healthy weight, in form of quality muscles. If you focus more on carbohydrates and fats, you’re ultimately going to gain just unhealthy extra fat.
While trying to put on healthy weight, aim for 0.7-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or twice your body weight in kilograms.
There are multiple ways to include protein in your weight gain diet, out of which eating protein rich foods is the best thing you can do to gain weight safely. Some high quality protein rich foods include Chicken Breast, Whole Eggs, Salmon, Tuna, Dairy Products and Nuts.
Make sure you consume most of your diet in form of whole foods and only use supplements to fill in the gaps. If you’re someone with a good appetite and have access to quality meals throughout the day, it is best to take all most of your protein from whole foods.
The next step is to supplement your diet with a whey protein powder to gain weight.
What about Carbohydrates and Fats?
While gaining healthy weight, carbohydrates and fats are also important macro nutrients that you should keep in check.
Along with the right amount of protein, only focus on eating foods rich in complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Include foods like Whole Wheat Bread, Dried Fruits, Peanut Butter and Oats which are nutrient as well as high in calories.
TIP: Dried Fruits are a great way to add calories to your diet. Make sure to include them in your diet for extra quality calories.
Shortcut to Gaining Weight – Eat Calorie Dense Foods
Again, gaining healthy weight involves much more than going to the gym and gulping down protein shakes. While a protein rich diet is definitely needed, you also need to focus on the overall nutrition.
Some of my favorite go-to food items to gain weight are:
- Whole Wheat or Multi-Grain Bread
- Whole Eggs
- Peanut Butter
- Dried Fruits and Nuts
- Chicken, Meat and Fish
- Sweet Potatoes
- Dark Chocolate
Once you’ve consumed most of your diet using the right quality whole foods, the next step is to focus on weight gain protein shakes for underweight. Let’s be real, no one wants to keep eating right for the rest of their lives.
Having cheat meals actually does good to your body, helping you achieve your fitness goals faster. Hence always remember to give your body little breaks in between, but only once you have strictly followed a routine for quite a time.
Does Whey Protein Alone Make You Gain Weight?
I’ve constantly talked about this topic before, and I’ll always talk about this in the future.
There is NO single food or supplement that can be credited for overall weight gain/weight loss. If you’re approached by a salesman claiming to have a product that does, you’re probably in the wrong place.
How much weight you gain/lose depends on your overall calorie intake and expenditure over a specific period of time.
If you’re constantly losing weight, considering you do not have a medical condition, chances are you’re eating lesser calories than what your body requires in a specific period of time.
Using the above statement, you can conclude a very basic result which can have a huge impact on your fitness journey. If you’re eating more calories than what your body burns in a day, you’d be gaining weight.
When is the Best Time to Take Protein Powder for Weight Gain?
There is no best time to consume a specific food item or supplement. Your overall body composition depends on how much calories you consume over a period of time.
While you may consume whey protein powder anytime throughout the day, post-workout is a great time to replenish and repair muscles after an intense workout.
Try to consume a serving within 30-45 minutes post workout to boost and speed up muscle recovery and gain muscle faster.
How to Use Whey Protein for Weight Gain
In order to use whey protein for weight gain, simply mix a whey protein isolate or concentrate powder with milk or water and add extra ingredients such as peanut butter, oats, vanilla ice-cream and cinnamon. Drink this weight gain protein shake twice a day to get extra 1,500 calories apart from your normal diet.
High calorie protein shakes are great if you’re looking for additional protein in your diet.
A whey protein supplement can be mixed with water or whole milk, but can be mixed with various other items for a thick, delicious and nutrient rich shake.
These protein shakes can contain from anywhere between 600-1000 calories each, and consuming just two of these protein powder shakes will add over 1000-2000 calories apart from your usual calories, helping you gain healthy weight easily in no time.
Best Homemade Protein Shakes for Weight Gain
There are a number of ways to make your delicious, homemade protein shakes for weight gain. All of these shakes are not only high in protein, but also give you the necessary amount of carbohydrates, healthy fats and overall calories, to help you bulk up and gain healthy weight.
All of these weight gainer shakes only require a simple blender, and a minute of mixing them all together. Make sure you add some ice for that refreshing coolness. Here is the list of shakes:
1. Simple Strawberry Weight Gain Shake
The simple frozen strawberry weight gainer shake is not just high in calories, but also gives you benefits of strawberries such as better heart health, regulated blood sugar, and cancer prevention. (1)
Here’s what you need for this shake (Ingredients):
- 12-16 ounces of whole milk
- ¼ cup of frozen strawberries
- 2 teaspoons of peanut butter
- 1 serving whey protein powder
- 1 cup raw oats
Blend all these ingredients in a mixer and add ice to make a refreshing, cool frozen strawberry shake. You can also make 2 servings at a time and drink one in the morning, another in the evening to maintain a calorie surplus and gain weight quickly. Also, all of these protein shakes can be taken by both women and men.
2. Thick Dark Chocolate Protein Powder Shake
Who doesn’t love dark chocolates? Even better, what if you could gain weight by simply mixing dark chocolate into your favorite milk to make it a thick, creamy weight gainer protein shake.
- 12-16 ounces of whole milk
- 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 1 scoop peanut butter
If you are someone like me, you are going to enjoy every sip of this weight gainer shake, and probably drink a dozen of these throughout the day. The good news is, apart from helping you get the calories needed to bulk up, you also get the benefits of dark chocolate such as boosting the mood, improving blood sugar levels, and helping your gut. (2)
3. Mixed Fruit Weight Gainer Shake
Another amazingly delicious weight gain smoothie, the mixed gainer shake is going to make you full right after you drink it, since it is loaded with protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Instead of sticking to the same fruits, you can try experimenting with different fruits every time to ensure you do not get bored of it.
- 12-16 ounces of whole milk
- 2 medium size bananas
- 1 small/medium mango
- 2 scoop peanut butter
- 1 scoop whey protein powder – vanilla flavored
This mouthwatering weight gain smoothie is perfect for hot weathers, and is going to give you benefits for your skin and hair as well. (3)
4. Banana and Nuts High Calorie Shake
One of my favorite bulking protein shakes, this shake has the highest amount of calories compared to any other weight gainer shake, and is a perfect go to shake if you need to carry a calories loaded snack with you anywhere outside.
- 12-16 ounces of whole milk
- 1 medium size bananas
- Handful of almonds (or almond butter), cashews and pistachios (You will have to soak them in water overnight)
- 1 scoop whey protein powder
Apart from helping you put on weight and get big, this mass gainer shake will provide other health benefits such as beating insomnia, preventing constipation and overcome nutritional deficiencies. (4)
5. Oats Weight Gainer Shake
A carbohydrates rich protein shake, drinking just 2 glasses of this a day will give you a good amount of carbs for your daily intake. If you are looking to bulk up and get big fast, look no further than this high-calorie oat smoothie!
- 12-16 ounces of whole milk
- ½ cup uncooked rolled oats
- 2 scoops peanut butter
- 1 scoop whey protein powder
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
Since this high calorie shake is rich in fiber, expect health benefits in terms of digestive health, heart health, and diabetes.
Side Effects of Excessive Whey Protein
There are no side effects of whey protein if used properly and within the given servings. The optimal amount of protein which you need to build muscle is 1g per pound of body weight.
There is no need to take excess protein as it automatically gets flushed out of the body but can cause some side effects like nausea, cramping, bloating or diarrhea.
Always consult a qualified doctor before starting with any supplement including whey protein. It is not advised to take whey protein if you suffer from kidney or liver disease, lactose intolerant or have any other disease. The benefits of whey protein powder for weight gain will only be seen if it is taken in the right quantity.
Checkout: Dangers of excessive whey protein.
How to Use Protein Powder for Weight Gain
Use supplements only if you do not have access to quality foods all the time, or need some more calories in a day. Use whey protein to promote weight gain only when you’re done filling most of your caloric needs through whole foods.
Whey protein can be easily taken by mixing it with water or whole milk, but it can also be added to various food items. How to gain weight using whey protein? I suggest using homemade protein shake for weight gain.
Recommended: Click here to checkout the best meal replacement shakes for weight gain.
Best Protein Powder for Weight Gain
There are many proteins supplements available in the market. Depending on your budget, availability and the quality of ingredients offered, the best protein powder for weight gain are:
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
- BSN Syntha 6
- Cellucor Whey
Frequently Asked Questions
Protein is merely a macronutrient that is required by the body and helps build muscle mass. It is found in the muscle, bone, hair and almost every other body part and tissue. Protein does not make you gain weight or lose weight. Gaining or losing weight depends on your caloric consumption, daily activity, metabolism and several other factors.
Yes, whey protein is essential for building muscle mass and recovery and helps you gain weight safely. In order to gain healthy weight, you need to eat a caloric surplus diet and ensure that a good amount of that comes from whey protein; either by protein powders or protein rich foods.
Instead of considering whey protein supplement as the main source of protein, use them as addons with a high calorie, macronutrients rich diet to ensure you gain healthy weight. While Gold Standard whey protein is a high quality supplement, you would see results with any protein supplement, as long as you are in a calorie surplus.
The highlighted protein shakes for weight gain will only work when consumed with a healthy, overall caloric surplus diet, and a good training routine.
When trying to bulk up, your main priority should always be to consume high calorie, nutrition dense food and take the right weight gain supplements. In the end, make sure you follow these simple weight gain tips as well (apart from the weight gain smoothies mentioned above):
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get adequate sleep. It is very important for your body to repair and recover in order to grow.
- Eat often, and eat more. Increase the portion or size of your meals, and then increase the frequency of your
- Consider taking a Creatine supplement.
- Workout with heavy compound movements, and focus on intensity.
- Don’t forget the above mentioned weight gain smoothies!
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- Can I Take Whey Protein and Weight Gainer Together?
- What Type Of Whey Protein is Best For Weight Gain?
- Does Mass Gainer Make You Sleepy?
Rohan Arora is a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist and has been actively involved in sports and fitness for over 8 years. He now leads the team of fitness specialists and personal trainers who help people around the world with personalized workout and nutrition plans, along with providing the right information on sports supplements.