On this page

Protein shakes for weight gain

Man drinking protein shake
On this page

If your aim is weight gain or increased muscle mass, adding protein shakes to your daily diet can help you to reach your goals. The added calories, nutrients and muscle-building proteins will help your body to renew and grow muscle and tissue. You can find out more about how to healthily gain weight here and read on to find out how protein shakes can help you on your weight gain journey.

Do protein shakes make you gain weight?

Consuming any form of energy surplus without accompanying it with a change in exercise may result in weight gain. There are many different types of protein shakes on the market, some which are healthier than others, so it’s always best to keep mindful of the fat and sugar content of your shake. Unnecessary fat and sugar intake can result in weight gain, even when consumed alongside exercise.

How often should you drink protein shakes to gain weight?

If you’re looking to bulk up, it’s important to use your protein shake as an accompaniment to your meals and snacks as opposed to a replacement. This can mean consuming a shake multiple times a day, although the Department of Health advises against consuming more than twice the recommended daily amount of protein. Always read the packaging of your protein shake for advice on how to consume. Alternatively, discuss your plan with you GP to ensure you’re going about it safely.

How many grams of protein do I need?

The recommended daily intake of protein for adults is 50g. Eating anything in excess of this amount could cause you to put on weight, as excess protein is stored in the body as fat. If, however you are also exercising alongside your high protein diet your muscles will use the extra protein to grow and repair themselves.

How many grams of protein per day to build muscle?

The recommended amount of protein is 50g per day for adults, however this can differ if you’re looking to build muscle. There are multiple ways to calculate how much protein you need to eat for example you could eat 2g of protein per each kg that you weigh. However, the Department of Health advises that you shouldn’t consume more than twice the amount of protein recommended for men or women.

Can you have too much protein?

Protein is the building block of every living cell in your body and directly impacts muscle mass, energy expenditure and feelings of fullness. However, the NHS advise that there is some evidence in the long term that consuming too much protein (more than double the recommended daily intake) can lead to worsened kidney problems in those with a pre-existing condition, as well as osteoporosis (weakened bones).

What are the best protein shakes for weight gain?

Paired with a healthy diet and exercise regime protein shakes can help with your weight gain goals. Enriched with vitamins, nutrients and added calories, protein powders are designed to support muscle growth and repair. Brands such as Protein World and PhD Nutrition offer a variety of protein powders and bars to help support your weight gain, whether you’re creating protein shakes or grabbing a snack on the go.

If you’re hoping to bulk up or tone up you can drink a protein shake before or after a workout, however if you are underweight and hoping to gain weight you can drink a protein shake for breakfast or as a snack to increase your calorie intake. Calculating your BMI will help to determine whether you are a healthy weight for your height, before trying to gain or lose weight you should check your score.

The main types of weight gainer supplements

When taken with a healthy diet and exercise routine, supplements for weight gain can help you bulk up. We’ll take you through the main two types of weight gain supplements you might have heard of or even tried below.


This supplement supports high intensity performance and workouts by supplying energy to your muscles. This supplement comes in tablets and powders that can be mixed in protein shakes. It can help to increase your muscle mass over time by allowing you to train for longer and harder. 

Mass gainers

Mass gain supplements and powders are packed with carbohydrates and calories to support your muscle growth and recovery. They’re ideal if you’re looking to gain muscle mass as you can take on more calories in a quick and easy shake.

Are there any weight gain shakes for females?

If you are a woman hoping to increase your protein intake, gain weight and build muscle, there are many shake options out there for you. In general, most protein sources and supplements are none gender specific and it is more important to focus on your size and weight to find what’s right for your body.

Most women do have a smaller body mass than men and so may need less protein, for example, the recommended intake of protein is 0.75g per kilogram of body weight.There are protein shake brands available such as Slender Blend which are suited to both females and males, as well as being gluten free, soy free and vegetarian.

What can I put in homemade weight gain shakes?

If you’re looking to gain weight, drinking drinks that have extra calories can really help, however these drinks still need to be healthy and full of nutrients. Aside from protein shakes, smoothies, meal replacement shakes, milkshakes and fruit juice are all good options, just watch out for added sugar or ingredients such as ice cream.

If you’re making smoothies and shakes from scratch you can add high calorie foods into your drinks to up your daily calorie intake. These will also add texture and flavour to your shakes, drinking these with your meals will help to further boost your calorie intake.

Ingredients could include:

  • Whole milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Yoghurt
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Honey
  • Dried fruits
  • Oats
  • Coconut oil

Make sure to also add lots of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables to your smoothies so you get all the vitamins and minerals you need. 

You can also drink meal replacements, traditionally these are used in place of a balanced meal, however if you’re trying to gain weight they are a good option to drink alongside your meals. Brands such as SlimFast have a variety of meal replacement shakes, in different flavours that are enriched with essential vitamins.

What types of protein are used in protein shakes?

Typically protein shakes are made from whey, casein and egg proteins. If you’re vegan there are protein shakes made from pea and soy proteins. Find out more about vegan protein here.

What foods are high in protein?

Lean meat, tofu, eggs and dairy products are high in protein, to find out more about other foods high in protein click here.

What is BMI?

BMI stands for Body Mass Index is a way for you and your GP to check that you’re a healthy weight for your height and gender. You can work out your BMI by following these steps or visit our BMI page. 

  1. Multiply your height in metres by itself, e.g. 1.5x1.5= 3
  2. Divide your weight in Kilos by this figure, e.g. 90 ÷ 3 = 30
  3. For this example 30 is your BMI