The 5 Best Healthy Weight Gain Protein Shakes and Smoothies

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From older adults experiencing unintended weight loss to athletes looking to perform better at their sport, there are various reasons why weight gain could be beneficial.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to gain weight, consistently eating more calories than you need can be a challenge due to factors like a poor appetite or busy schedules.

Fortunately, shakes and smoothies are great for gaining weight because can load them with protein and calories and they’re quick and easy to make.

Here are the 5 best weight gain protein shakes and smoothies that contain at least 20 grams of protein and 500 calories.

weight gain protein shakes

1. Blueberry avocado smoothie

The blueberry avocado smoothie has a dominant blueberry flavor and a smooth texture, thanks to the avocado and half and half.

The vanilla whey protein and whole milk provide quality protein and contribute to the smoothy’s sweetness.

Ingredients:

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This shake provides:

  • 641 calories
  • 40 grams of protein
  • 47 grams carbs
  • 35 grams of fat

2. Peanut butter chocolate banana shake

With more than 700 calories, the peanut butter chocolate banana shake packs a calorie punch.

The quick oats and banana add healthy carbohydrates, while the peanut butter provides healthy fats while also smoothing out the texture.

The whole milk and Carnation Breakfast Essentials provide protein along with calcium, vitamin D, iron, and various B vitamins.

Ingredients:

Directions: Blend the quick oats into a fine powder. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

This shake provides:

  • 725 calories
  • 26 grams of protein
  • 100 grams carbs
  • 28 grams of fat

3. Orange vanilla twist smoothie

The mango and orange juice contribute fast-digesting carbohydrates and add to the smoothy’s zest.

The vanilla Greek yogurt provides protein — and along with the half and half — brings the smoothie a desirable creamy texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) of frozen mango chunks
  • 2/3 cup (170 grams) of vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 package of vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) of half and half
  • 1 cup (240 mL) of orange juice

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This shake provides:

  • 533 calories
  • 27 grams of protein
  • 78 grams carbs
  • 15 grams of fat

4. Strawberry banana smoothie

With nearly 40 grams of high-quality protein, this isn’t your typical strawberry banana smoothie.

The smoothie has a dominant strawberry flavor and the perfect hint of banana.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (140 grams) of frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop (33 grams) of NutraBio strawberry whey protein
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) of half and half
  • 1 cup (240 mL) of whole milk

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This shake provides:

  • 592 calories
  • 38 grams of protein
  • 60 grams carbs
  • 24 grams of fat

5. Almond buttercream shake

If you are a vegetarian or follow a plant-based diet, this almond buttercream shake is the one for you.

This shake contains no animal products but provides plenty of healthy plant-based protein, including quick oats, peanut butter, and protein-fortified almond milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) of quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of chocolate Nesquick powder
  • 1 cup (240 mL) of protein-fortified almond milk

Directions: Blend the quick oats into a fine powder. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

This shake provides:

  • 695 calories
  • 26 grams of protein
  • 84 grams carbs
  • 34 grams of fat

Tips for gaining weight

In addition to including weight gain protein shakes and smoothies in your diet, here are some tips to help you gain weight quickly and healthfully:

Eat more healthy sources of fat

Fat contains nine calories per gram — more than double that of carbs or protein.

As such, including more fat in your diet is an efficient way to increase your calorie intake and gain weight.

Aim to include more healthy sources of fat in your diet such as:

  • whole milk
  • full-fat yogurt and cottage cheese
  • whole eggs
  • oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring
  • avocado
  • nuts and seeds
  • peanut butter or other nut butter
  • olive or canola oil

Limit your intake of highly processed foods rich in fat like cakes, pastries, fried foods, sausages, and bacon.

Eat more frequently

Aim to eat at least three regular meals separated by snacks.

There isn’t anything special about eating more often perse, but it makes it easier to eat enough calories throughout the day to gain weight.

For example, imagine trying to eat enough calories in just two or three meals to gain weight.

Not only would that be difficult but you probably wouldn’t feel the best either.

Now, imagine spreading those calories across 3 meals and 2–3 snacks — it becomes much easier — and less painful — to accomplish.

Lift weights

If you’re physically capable, lifting weights is vital when you want to gain weight healthfully.

Lifting weights helps reduce gains in fat mass and instead promotes gains in muscle mass.

Muscle mass is an important indicator of good health and becomes especially important with aging for reducing falls and fractures, the risk of chronic disease, and for overall longevity (1, 2, 3).

Current guidelines recommend doing muscle-strengthening exercises that involve all major muscle groups — the arms, chest, shoulders, back, and legs — at least twice per week (4).

The bottom line

These weight gain protein shakes and smoothies — each with at least 20 grams of protein and 500 calories — are designed to help you pack on the pounds.

Adding more healthy sources of fat to your diet, eating more frequently, and regularly lifting weights are other tips to help you gain weight fast and healthfully.