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Weight gain shakes and supplements for men

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If you’re a man looking to gain weight and get more active, there are some simple changes you can make. One is to introduce weight gain shakes and supplements into your daily routine. As part of a healthy and nutritious diet, these can be a great way to gain weight in a sustainable way.

Before you make any big changes to your diet and lifestyle, it’s a good idea to speak to your GP or to a registered dietician. This is especially important for men who are classed as underweight i.e. with a BMI less than 18.5 – to find out your BMI, use our BMI chart.

What men should eat to gain weight

Healthy weight gain is about carefully increasing the amount that you eat, and – wherever possible – opting for higher-calorie foods that are still healthy and nutritious.

In other words, it’s not about overloading on junk food. Even if your body could benefit from the calories, these food tends to come packed with salt, sugar, and saturated fats which are unhealthy in large amounts.

The NHS has lots of recommendations about what a healthy diet looks like, but the basic rules to remember are the following:

  • Eat at least five varied portions of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Base your meals around starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes – where possible opt for high-fibre and wholegrain varieties
  • Get your protein from healthy sources such as pulses, eggs, fish, and lean meat
  • Try to eat some dairy each day
  • Try to eat one portion of oily fish each week
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water and low-sugar drinks

If you’re trying to actively gain weight, you can supplement your diet with healthy foods that are higher in calories. Some tips for this include:

  • Opting for full-fat dairy e.g. switching to full-fat milk from semi-skimmed milk
  • Snacking on unsalted nuts and nut butters
  • Eating plenty of starchy and high-fibre carbohydrates

Read our guide to find out more about gaining weight healthily.

What are the best weight-gain shakes for men?

Once you’ve figured out what your weekly diet looks like, you can start looking for ways to introduce weight-gain shakes and powders.

These are products designed to be drunk as a smoothie, or added into foods and drinks to “bulk out” the protein and calorie content. Remember, you should use these to supplement a healthy diet, not as a substitute for proper food.

There are lots of weight-gain shakes on the market, and which one you choose will be a case of personal preference. Some factors to consider include the following:

  • Dairy content – many shakes contain milk protein, while others will contain plant-based proteins derived from soya or peas
  • Powder vs premade – most shakes come as a powder you blend yourself, while others come premade and ready to drink
  • Vitamin content – some shakes will be supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Sugar content – some shakes will be very high in sugar, so it’s best to go for products with a lower sugar content

If you’re interested in finding the perfect weight-gain shake for your needs, check out our range. Some of our favourite shakes include:

What are the best weight-gain supplements for men?

We stock a range of workout supplements that you might find helpful on your weight-gain journey. These include:

  • Pre-workout – a product that can help get you energised and focused before you exercise
  • Creatine – a product that may help to enhance your performance during a workout

Otherwise, you may find it helpful to take vitamin supplements alongside your healthy and balanced diet. This can be particularly useful for men who are vegan, as this diet is less likely to be rich in iron, vitamin B12, and calcium.


How much protein, fat, and carbs should men eat to gain weight?

If you’re underweight and need help gaining weight you should visit your GP. They may want to refer you to a specialist who will be able to help design your diet. Generally, however, it’s a good idea to aim for the following.

Protein

Protein is what our bodies need to build, grow, and repair. The British Heart Foundation recommends that most adults need about 0.75g of protein per kilo of their body weight each day. On average, this amounts to 55g for a man. A rough guide is that a portion of protein fits into the palm of your hand.

You might need more than this if you’re trying to build weight and muscle mass – athletes who train more than once a day will usually need double the amount of protein. In general, however, it’s best to avoid eating a lot more protein than the recommended amount.

Healthy protein sources include pulses (e.g. beans, peas, lentils), eggs, fish, and lean meat. A bit of red or processed meat is fine, but eating too much can increase your risk of serious health conditions like heart disease and cancer.

If you’re vegan read our protein sources for vegan guide for foods that are high in protein but not derived from animals. 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. They’re broken down into glucose which helps to “fuel” your body over the course of the day. Starchy carbohydrates also contain fibre, which is important for maintaining good bowel health and reducing your risk of high cholesterol.

The NHS recommends that carbohydrates should make up a third of your diet, and advises having about 260g each day. Healthy carbohydrates include wholemeal bread, brown pasta and rice, and potatoes with the skins on.

Fat

Fat is an essential part of our diet in small amounts, in part because it helps us absorb essential vitamins. Overall, your fat intake should equate to about 70g each day. Fat is very high in calories, so this equates to quite a small amount of food.

Try to eat healthy fat sources like oily fish, avocadoes, nuts, and olive oil. You’ll need to make sure that you’re not having too much saturated fat or trans fat – the NHS recommends that men should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat each day.

How many calories do men need to gain weight?

If you’re medically classed as underweight – i.e. you have a BMI of less than 18.5 – you’ll need to gain weight by eating more calories than you’re expending during the day. To get guidance about this you should visit your GP.

Generally, men are advised to have around 2,500 calories each day if they want to maintain their weight. You may need more or less than this depending on factors like how much activity you do, and how much you currently weigh.

How men should train for weight gain

Strength-training is a great way for men to put on weight in a healthy way. This is because it focuses on building muscle strength. Muscle is much denser than fat which means it’s possible to put on weight while your body visibly changes and becomes more toned and defined.

Strength exercises include lifting weights, exercising with resistance bands, and hill walking. If you’re going to be lifting weights at home, make sure you’re doing it safely with the correct form – getting guidance from a personal trainer can be helpful if you’re trying for the first time.

References

www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/advice-for-underweight-adults
www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/cut-down-on-your-calories
www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/protein
www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/why-we-need-to-eat-carbs
www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/what-are-reference-intakes-on-food-labels
www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/different-fats-nutrition
www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-improve-strength-flexibility