Building muscle is a very common goal, particularly among young men. You see the well-known and highly paid bodybuilders winning Mr Olympia and you want to emulate their success. Or maybe you want to build size for your sport; being boxing, wrestling, football etc … all require a large amount of muscle. There are many dietary ways to achieve this goal, but one of the easiest (and most effective ways) is to consume a weight gainer shake.
Weight gainer shakes provide many benefits. They’re an easy way to increase your calorie intake. They are high in protein, they are calorie dense (meaning that a small amount can contain a lot of calories), and they are often delicious.
You need a calorie surplus if you want to increase muscle size, and you definitely need a lot of protein. This is to stimulate protein synthesis, the process where muscle fibers are repaired and replaced after exercise.
One of the top weight gaining powders on the market, Monster Mass, currently costs about $2.50 per serving. For that price, you get 610 calories and a pretty decent tasting product.
DIY Weight Gainer
While these shakes are convenient, I want to give you a more cost effective option that features better overall nutrition.
The following 1,000 calorie shake recipe contains only whole foods. Each of the ingredients can be found at any local grocery store. You’ll need:
- Whole Milk
- Peanut Butter
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Bananas, Large
- Whey Protein Powder
Heavy Whipping Cream. This is not the whipped topping you put on top of pies. Heavy whipping cream can he found in the refrigeration section near milk in almost every grocery store. It is a calorie dense dairy product that is used to make butter, or real whipped topping. In this case, we will use it simply to add extra nutritional value, taste and calories to our homemade weight gainer shake.
1000 Calorie Weight Gainer Shake
To make this shake, simply add the following into a blender, and mix well:
- 2 cups of Whole Milk
- 2 tbsp of Peanut Butter
- 1 large Banana
- 2 ounces of Heavy Cream
- 2 scoops of chocolate Whey Protein Powder
This will yield about a 22-24 ounce shake that can be consumed either at one sitting, or split into 2 shakes. The calorie content of this weight gainer is slightly over 1,050, while also containing approximately 65 grams of protein.
In addition to providing quite a few more calories than a weight gain powder like Monster Mass, our homemade shake is also more cost-effective. It yields a greater amount of calories, on the average, per dollar spent.
Weight Gainer Shake Variations
If you are not a fan of peanut butter, chocolate or bananas, there are many other possible shake variations you can make. Here are a couple of possible ideas:
- Ice Cream and Berries – You could make a vanilla ice cream and berry shake, using fresh strawberries and blueberries.
- Cinnamon, Vanilla and Oatmeal – Combine vanilla whey protein powder, a dash of cinnamon, and a half cup of cooked instant oats.
So, there you have it; a cheap, delicious, and effective weight gainer shake that you can make with relative ease. This shake is perfect for any athlete trying to build muscle, as well as any bodybuilder going through a bulking period.
Note: Due to the ingredients present in this weight gainer shake, it makes for an excellent evening snack. The milk, cream, and whey protein powder all contain l-tryptophan. An amino acid that has been shown to improve sleep quality. Bananas also contain l-tryptophan as well as potassium and magnesium. All of these can help to improve sleep. It is during sleep that protein synthesis is at its peak. So this weight gainer shake could be a fantastic post-workout recovery tool.