Protein Shakes For Weight Gain: Recipes, Dosage, & Precautions

Beef up your arms and bulk up your legs with the best healthy, nutritional formulae.

Medically reviewed by Dr Archana Batra, CDE
Written by Aparna Mallampalli, BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition
Edited by Ravi Teja Tadimalla, BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health
Fact-checked by Sindhu Koganti, BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

Many fitness enthusiasts rely on protein shakes for weight gain. The reason is that they boost muscle mass. People with high metabolisms or individuals who have lost weight due to an underlying condition benefit immensely from them. A protein shake is a healthy, calorie-dense meal that is easy to make at home. However, it needs to be supplemented with all necessary macronutrients. Read on to learn how protein shakes aid weight gain, how much protein you need daily, and how to make simple protein shakes at home.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Irvin P. Johnson, also known as Rheo Blair, popularized an egg-based protein powder called ‘Johnson’s Hi Protein Food’ for bodybuilders and athletes in the 1950s.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 to 1 g per kg of body weight (1). However, the quantity of protein intake may vary depending on age, sex, and lifestyle.

For instance, a person with a sedentary lifestyle may need less protein than someone with an active lifestyle. So, it is always best to consult a doctor to determine the ideal protein requirement of your body and then modify your diet.

While you can consume protein-rich foods like yogurt, milk, kefir, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter, tofu, and soy milk to meet your daily protein requirements, you can also drink protein shakes.

People with a high body metabolism often find it tough to build muscle mass and gain weight. Various underlying conditions may also cause extreme weight loss. In such cases, a balanced diet coupled with protein shakes can yield visible results and help you gain weight. Let’s find out how.

Can Protein Shakes Help You Gain Weight?

Yes, many people consume different variations of protein shake for weight gain. However, you should not solely rely on protein shakes. It should be balanced/coupled with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. Consuming protein shakes after a workout helps build muscle mass and boosts exercise performance in individuals who train regularly (2).

Some studies demonstrated that consuming protein supplements, especially whey protein, can maximize lean muscle mass in people who do resistance training. This bodybuilding supplement also improves upper and lower body strength and promotes steady weight gain (3).

Excess and unregulated consumption of protein shakes may affect your health. Let’s find out how.

Things To Know Before Consuming Protein Shakes

Moderate consumption of protein shakes is likely to be safe. However, excessive and unregulated consumption of protein supplements and shakes may trigger food allergies (4).

Excess protein may also cause side effects like bone disorders, kidney malfunction, bloating, vomiting, and coronary or artery-related problems (5).

Hence, consume protein shakes in moderation and always consult a doctor before incorporating it in your diet to prevent major side effects. Different types of protein supplements are available and can be taken as per the need and requirements of an individual.

Types Of Protein Powders

  1. Whey Protein: It is a by-product of the cheese-making process. The liquid (whey) that remains after cheese is collected, processed, and dried to get a powder that helps in muscle building. Whey protein tastes bitter and is, hence, mostly available in flavored forms.
  2. Casein Protein: Casein is extracted from milk and is used to supplement body mass development and boost muscle growth.
  3. Hemp Protein: It is derived from hemp seeds and is suitable for those who do not prefer animal-derived protein (vegans). Hemp seed protein contains various minerals and vitamins to promote proper body and muscle growth.
  4. Egg Protein: Egg protein powder is made from egg whites. Although it is an excellent source of protein, the absence of high-fat yolks may not give a sense of fullness.
  5. Pea Protein: People with allergies to dairy or eggs mostly choose pea protein powder. It is derived from yellow split peas, a highly nutritious legume. Pea protein powder gives a sense of fullness and increases muscle growth and strength.
  6. Brown Rice Protein: Brown rice protein powder has been around for a while, but it is considered inferior to whey protein in building muscle. Rice protein contains all of the essential amino acids. However, it contains trace amounts of lysine and does not qualify as a complete protein supplement. You may consume brown rice protein powder for its essential nutrient value.
  7. Soy Protein Powder: Soy protein powder is prepared by processing defatted soybean flakes, washed in either water or alcohol to remove sugars and fiber. The dehydrated flakes are made into powder. People prefer it for its low-fat content.
protip_icon Trivia
In his diary entries, Samuel Peppys, British Naval Administrator, mentioned visiting a whey house and drinking a whey drink in 1663.

These high-calorie shakes, often made with mass gainers or weight gain supplements, are packed with essential proteins and nutrients to support muscle growth and aid in muscle recovery. Protein powders contain certain amounts of calories, and the quantity should match your recommended daily calorie intake. Scroll further to learn how many calories you will get from different protein powders.

How Many Calories Will You Get From Protein Powders?

The calories in different protein powders vary depending on the ingredient. Here is the calorific value of various protein powders per 100 grams (6), (7), (8), (9), (10):

Type Of Protein PowderCalories
Whey protein powder356 kcal
Brown rice protein powder353 kcal
Soy protein powder357 kcal
Pea protein powder400 kcal
Hemp protein powder387 kcal

You can prepare homemade protein shakes once you pick your protein powder according to your daily calorie needs. They are a healthy addition to your diet and help you recover from post-workout lethargy. Here are a few tasty and healthy recipes to try.

Homemade Protein Shake Recipes

1. Chocolate Almond Butter Weight Gainer

Chocolate almond butter protein shake
Image: Shutterstock

What You Need

  • 500 mL milk
  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons of whey powder

How To Prepare

  1. Boil milk and let it cool down completely.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the milk and mix well.
  3. You can also blend them in a blender.
  4. Serve it at room temperature or chilled.

2. Beet Protein shake

Beetroot protein shake
Image: Shutterstock

What You Need

  • ½ cup of yogurt
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 scoop of soy protein powder
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 beetroot (chopped)
  • 1 small banana

How To Prepare

  1. Boil the milk and let it cool down completely.
  2. Pour all ingredients into a blender and make a smooth paste.
  3. Serve immediately.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also add peanut or cashew butter, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and flax or chia seeds to enhance the flavor of your beetroot protein shake.

3. Turmeric Mango Shake

Turmeric mango shake
Image: Shutterstock

What You Need

  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut protein powder
  • 2 big slices of mango
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric

How To Prepare

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blitz for a few minutes.
  2. Pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy.

Carol Taylor, a blogger, shared why she decided to make her own homemade protein concoction on her blog: “I know many people who exercise take these so I thought I would do a little research and make my own. Cost-wise, it is a no-brainer against the cost of most protein powders (i).”

You can buy protein powders from the market or prepare them at home. Homemade protein powders are easy to prepare with simple ingredients. Keep scrolling to check out the recipes.

Homemade Protein Powder Recipes

1. Roasted Seeds Protein Powder

What You Need

  • 4 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 5 ½ tablespoons of flaxseeds
  • 8 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
  • 5 ½ tablespoons of sunflower seeds
  • 4 tablespoons of almonds
  • ½ cup of oats
  • 4 tablespoons of chickpeas

Method

  1. Dry roast almonds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and oats for 4-5 minutes on low flame.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a blender and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Store the powder in an airtight container and use it as needed.

2. Dry Fruits And Soy Protein Powder

What You Need

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 cup of pistachios
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 cup of soya bean chunks
  • 5 tablespoons of turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons of nutmeg powder
  • 3 tablespoons of saffron

What You Need

  1. Roast almonds, soya bean chunks, cashews, and pistachios in a pan and let them cool down.
  2. Roast the saffron strands separately on low heat.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a blender and powder them.
  4. Store this in an airtight container and use it as needed.

Protein shakes may be a healthy addition to your diet. However, you should be careful about the frequency of consumption. It is always advisable to have protein shakes according to the need and weight goals.

When And How Often Should You Take Protein Shakes?

Woman thinking how often to take protein shake
Image: Shutterstock

If you exercise regularly, especially strength training, take protein shakes once daily, preferably post workout with one to two scoops of protein powder. In the following sections, we have answered a few questions that you may have.

Can Too Much Protein Shake Make You Fat?

Yes. According to anecdotal evidence, consuming too much protein may make you fat. It is because the body converts it to sugars, which may be stored as fat.

Can You Drink Protein Shakes If You Do Not Work Out?

Woman drinking protein shake at home
Image: Shutterstock

Yes. Proteins are essential for a healthy body and mind, and protein shakes may help in meeting daily protein requirements. You can take protein shakes based on your lifestyle habits. Brenda Peralta, RD says, “If you work out, you must consume 1.5 g of protein per kg of your body weight. This can go up to 2.2 g/kg of body weight, depending on your fitness goals.” She further adds, “An inactive person needs 0.8 g of protein per kg of the body weight. However, if you are trying to lose weight but don’t exercise, consume 1.5 g of protein per kg of the body weight.”

If you have any underlying health or medical condition, it is better to consult the doctor before including protein shakes in your diet.

It is effective to consume protein shakes for weight gain. Protein shakes, with their quick-to-prepare nature, have become a staple in weightlifting nutrition and post-workout nutrition. They are great energizers and improve exercise performance. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the ubiquitous whey protein powder, hemp protein powder, or soy protein powder, because they are all good natural protein sources. You must consume protein shakes if you follow a good workout routine and have a balanced diet for maximum benefits. Consult your nutritionist or fitness expert to determine your body’s protein requirements, and then choose a suitable protein shake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you gain weight fast with protein shakes?

Yes, you can gain weight with protein shakes quickly.

Can I drink 3 protein shakes a day to gain weight?

For most people, drinking anywhere from 1 to 3 protein shakes per day is enough to meet their nutritional requirements.

How long does it take to gain weight with protein shakes?

It may take up to 6 weeks for you to gain weight with protein shakes.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake Sustainable Dietary Sources and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5872778/
  2. The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass strength and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25169440/
  3. Effects of Whey Protein Alone or as Part of a Multi-ingredient Formulation on Strength “Fat-Free Mass” or Lean Body Mass in Resistance-Trained Individuals: A Meta-analysis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26403469/
  4. Allergic Reactions Associated with Ingestion of Protein Supplements
    https://irispublishers.com/accs/pdf/ACCS.MS.ID.000547.pdf
  5. Adverse Effects Associated with Protein Intake above the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Adults
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/126929/
  6. 100% Whey Protein Powder
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/584345/nutrients
  7. Brown Rice Protein Powder
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/553777/nutrients
  8. Soy Vegan Protein Powder
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/553795/nutrients
  9. Organic Pea Protein Powder
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1744066/nutrients
  10. Hemp Protein Powder
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/669938/nutrients

i. Papaya and Custard Apple Protein Shake
https://carolcooks2.com/2018/07/24/papaya-and-custard-apple-protein-shake/

Sources

Key Takeaways

  • Protein shakes can help fulfill the regular dietary protein requirements.
  • You can choose from various protein sources, such as hemp, egg, or whey, to make your shake.
  • Even when combined with a balanced diet, they can promote weight gain.


Do you want to reach your weight-gain goals with natural ingredients? Take a look at the video below for a delicious homemade protein shake recipe that can help you bulk up.
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