Protein Shakes For Weight Gain: How They Help And Recipes

Written by Aparna Mallampalli

Protein shakes are widely used as dietary supplements for muscle building and weight loss. They can also help you gain weight, especially if you have a high metabolism or lost weight due to an underlying condition. Homemade protein shakes are nutritious and packed with calories to help you gain weight. However, you have to ensure they contain all the necessary macronutrients. Keep reading this article to learn how protein shakes aid weight gain, daily protein requirement, and easy DIY protein shake recipes you can try.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (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. Protein shakes may accelerate weight gain. However, you should not solely rely on protein shakes. It should be balanced 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. It 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 to prevent major side effects. You can talk to the doctor and consume different types of protein supplements or shakes.

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 and processed is dried to get a powder. Whey protein tastes bitter and is, hence, mostly available in flavored forms.
  2. Casein Protein: Casein is extracted from milk and is highly 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. 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.

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

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

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.

3. Turmeric Mango Shake

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.

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?

If you exercise regularly, take protein shakes once daily with two scoops of protein powder. If you have a moderately active lifestyle, consume protein shakes twice a week with 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 Workout?

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.”

To Sum Up

Protein shakes are a healthy way to meet the regular dietary protein requirement. They can promote healthy weight gain when taken properly and as a part of your daily diet plan. However, it is crucial to consult a doctor and nutritionist to determine your body’s protein requirement before consuming the shakes. Unregulated consumption of protein shakes can cause adverse effects.

Sources

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

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Aparna is a professor-turned-content writer with over 5 years of experience in life sciences. Her passion for writing and interest in the healthcare and wellness industry pushed her toward a career in content writing. She has a master’s in Microbiology and aims to use her knowledge of life sciences to break down complex information into easily understandable content for the readers. When she’s not working, Aparna loves cooking and collecting keychains.