7 Delicious Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain

7 Delicious Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain

“7 Delicious Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain” was written by Kelsie Bryant & edited/reviewed by Aly Bouzek, MS, RDN. Kelsie is a dietetic intern at Oregon Health & Science University.

Protein, Protein, Protein!

We’ve all seen advertisements for protein supplements that promise huge muscles and improved endurance. These advertisements usually show a glistening bodybuilder lifting weights while drinking a giant protein shake. 

Protein is a very popular word these days, and rightfully so! Our bodies require protein to carry out just about every daily task – from blinking and smiling, to dancing and eating. 

Protein is even more important for older adults, and let’s get into why. 

Decreased Anabolic Response

As we age, our bodies become less efficient at repairing and building muscle. (1) Essentially, when older adults eat foods high in protein, their bodies can’t use the protein as well, simply due to their increased age. 

Because of this, older adults have a lower lean muscle mass compared to those who are younger. This puts the elderly population at a higher risk for falls, loss of independence, and lower quality of life. 

Age-Related Nutrition Changes 

Aging can also bring nutrition changes that can make meeting one’s nutritional needs a challenge. 

It’s common for older adults to experience changes in hunger and satiety (fullness) hormones, which can lead to reduced appetite and not eating as much food. This has been termed the “anorexia of aging.” 

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is also a common concern for older adults. It is difficult to meet your nutritional needs when you aren’t able to swallow your food. 

Older adults also experience changes in their sense of taste and smell, which can interfere with the enjoyment of eating. (2

Increased Risk for Malnutrition

Unfortunately, older adults are at an increased risk for malnutrition because of a variety of factors. 

Barriers, such as financial constraints, declining mobility, and poor appetite, can interfere with an older adult’s ability to consume enough calories and protein. 

As a result, these individuals will likely experience unintended weight loss. 

Preventing malnutrition is so important, especially for older adults, because malnutrition increases a person’s risk for morbidity and mortality, leads to loss of independence, and lowers quality of life. 

Malnutrition

To learn more about how to prevent and treat malnutrition in the older adult, click here. 

Because of the reasons listed above, older adults need to eat more protein every day compared to younger individuals.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein for adults over the age of 65 is 1.0-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. (3

Foods to Include in Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain

Homemade protein smoothies for weight gain are a delicious, quick, and convenient way to add more protein to your diet! Let’s dive into some protein-rich foods to add to your next smoothie to support weight gain. 

High Protein Foods for Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain

High-Protein Foods

There are several high-protein foods that make great additions to your smoothies because they’re easy to blend and add tons of flavor!

Dairy and Dairy Alternatives: 

  1. Whole Milk (8 grams per 1 cup)
  2. Greek Yogurt (20 grams per 7 ounces)
  3. Cottage Cheese (25 grams per 1 cup)
  4. Ricotta Cheese (24 grams per 1 cup)
  5. Soy Milk (6 grams per 1 cup)
  6. Silken Tofu (9 grams per ½ cup)

Nuts and Seeds:

  1. Peanut Butter (7 grams per 2 tablespoons)
  2. Almond Butter (7 grams per 2 tablespoons)
  3. Sunflower Butter (7 grams per 2 tablespoons)
  4. Chia Seeds (4 grams per 2 tablespoons)
  5. Hemp Seeds (6 grams per 2 tablespoons)

Fruits and Vegetables: 

  1. Guava (4 grams per 1 cup)
  2. Avocado (3 grams per 1 cup)

Protein Powders and Supplements

Protein powders and supplements are a great way to increase protein in your smoothies!

7 Delicious Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain

7 Recipes Homemade Smoothies for Weight Gain

#1 Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain: Chunky Monkey

A delectable chocolate, peanut butter, and banana smoothie! Contains 550 calories and 42 grams of protein. 

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice) 

1 medium frozen banana

1 cup whole milk (or plant-based alternative)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder of choice

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

#2 Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain: Triple Berry

A true classic that withstands the test of time. Contains 270 calories and 20 grams of protein. 

Ingredients:

¼ cup frozen strawberries

¼ cup frozen blueberries

¼ cup frozen raspberries

½ cup Greek yogurt (or plant-based alternative)

1 cup whole milk (or plant-based alternative)

Directions: 

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

#3 Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain: Tropical Sunrise

This refreshing drink will take you right to the beach. Contains 380 calories and 27 grams of protein. 

Ingredients:

½ cup frozen mango

½ cup frozen pineapple

2 tablespoons coconut cream

1 cup Greek yogurt (or plant-based alternative)

1 tablespoon lime juice (optional, but highly recommended)

Directions: 

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

#4 Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain: Strawberry Banana

This powerful duo gives peanut butter and jelly a run for its money. Contains 390 calories and 34 grams of protein. 

Ingredients:

1 medium frozen banana

½ cup frozen strawberries

1 cup whole milk (or plant-based alternative)

1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder of choice

Directions: 

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

#5 Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain: Orange Creamsicle

Your favorite orange dessert, in smoothie form. Contains 400 calories and 39 grams of protein. 

Ingredients:

½ cup orange sherbet (or plant-based alternative)

1 medium orange

½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but highly recommended)

½ medium frozen banana

½ cup Greek yogurt (or plant-based alternative)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice

Directions: 

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

#6 Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain: Green Machine

A delicious way to add some nutrient-rich greens to your smoothie. Contains 341 calories and 24 grams of protein.

Ingredients: 

½ cup frozen mango

1 medium frozen banana

1 cup spinach, packed

¾ cup Greek yogurt (or plant-based alternative)

½ cup whole milk (or plant-based alternative)

Directions: 

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

#7 Homemade Protein Smoothies for Weight Gain: Apple Pie 

This pie in a glass will take you right back to baking with your family during the holidays. Contains 440 calories and 23 grams of protein. 

Ingredients: 

½ cup old-fashioned oats

1 medium apple, cubed

½ cup Greek yogurt (or plant-based alternative)

½ cup whole milk (or plant-based alternative)

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg (optional, but highly recommended)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions: 

  1. Add oats to the blender and blend into a fine flour. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. 
Homemade Protein Smoothie Recipes for Weight Gain

Benefits of Homemade Smoothies

Save the Bank

Buying a smoothie from a smoothie shop or the grocery store can be anywhere from $5 to $12. These store-bought options likely don’t contain enough protein. 

The recipes listed above cost less than $5 to prepare and contain at least 20 grams of protein per serving! Check out these other recipes for homemade smoothies that support weight gain!

Piggy Bank

Designed for You 

The great thing about preparing food at home is that you can customize it to your liking. Do you prefer blackberries over blueberries? That’s wonderful, swap out those berries, and create a smoothie that you will enjoy! 

It’s Fun!

Invite your neighbors, children, and friends to share a taste of your flavorful, homemade protein smoothies for weight gain. Sharing food is a great way to strengthen relationships with your loved ones, and now you have seven new recipes to try! 

Conclusion

Homemade protein smoothies for weight gain are a great way to support the health of older adults. Give these recipes a try the next time you’re in the kitchen. Happy blending! 

Happy Blending

References:

  1. Breen L & Phillips S. Skeletal muscle protein metabolism in the elderly: Interventions to counteract the ‘anabolic resistance’ of ageing. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2011;8:68. 
  2. Pilgrim A, Robinson S, Sayer A, Roberts H. An overview of appetite decline in older people. Nursing Older People. 2015;27(5):29-35. 
  3. Bauer J, Biolo G, Cederholm T, et al. Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: A position paper from the PROT-AGE study group. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2013;14(8):542-59. 

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