10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Gain (2022)

10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Gain (2022)

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Last Updated on May, 2022

A little Less Than Half (45% to be exact) of the people globally are trying to lose weight, But that’s not the case for skinny individuals like you! 

Unlike the majority, you might be on a journey to put on some pounds, and similar to healthy weight loss, healthy weight gain is not easy, plus it takes time. Also, being underweight can pose serious health issues if necessary action isn’t taken.

High-calorie meal replacement shakes can help with this, though. 

But, the thing is that most of these supplements are targeted at groups who’re looking to shed pounds. Because of this, finding weight gain shakes can be an uphill struggle, especially if you’re new to the meal replacement space.

Not to worry! We’ve done the research, and in fact, we’ve personally tried the shakes too, and for sure, it makes a difference. 

Also, worth noting, while picking these shakes, important things like Taste, Nutritional Value, and all the nitty-gritty were taken into account so that you don’t end up in, should I say, hospital? 

Best Overall
Ample O
Ample O
#2nd Best Choice
Garden of Life Raw
Garden of Life Raw
#3rd Best Choice
HLTH Code Complete Meal
HLTH Code Complete Meal

10 Of the Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Gain

Below are the 10 best meal replacement shakes for weight gain. Going with any of these shakes can help you to gain weight. 

Also, quite a few underweight people try to build lean muscle mass, and if you’re one of them, you’ll be pleased to hear that these meal replacement supplements help with that too. 

1. Ample O 

Ample is our pick, and there’s nothing like this shake to help you get started with your weight gain goals. 

This meal replacement has everything you would want in a shake of this type. 

We picked Ample as the number one in this list because of how good it tastes. This shake, in our opinion, is the best tasting in the market. You’ll pretty much fall in love with the texture and taste. 

However, the taste is not the only reason. During our testing, we found that Ample was the most filling out of all.

Ample original

This is probably due to the protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fats present in here. 

Ample consistently kept us full for a little more than 4 hrs which is great for a meal replacement.

Most importantly, Ample is completely natural, and the proteins present here are from grass-fed whey protein. 

Apart from that, probiotics and prebiotics, along with digestive enzymes, are all in this meal replacement drink. This means better digestion and no bloating or stomach ache issues.

Next up are the flavors; there are three flavors available for you when purchasing Ample. Those flavors are vanilla, chocolate, and berry.

Since these shakes contain whey, yes, you guessed it, they’re not for vegans. But no problem, because Ample has a vegan option too, which contains pea protein instead of whey protein.

Another important thing you need to know before buying Ample shakes is that both of these come in two calorie versions. One has 400 calories, and the other one has 600 calories. Since your goal is to gain weight, you should go with the 600 calorie version.

Anyways, the taste, convenience, and the ingredients present all make Ample our top choice if you’re looking to start your weight gain journey up and running. 

Nutritional Info for the 600 calorie bottle (Ample O): 35g of fat (15g saturated fat), 36g of protein, 35g of carbohydrates (14g of fiber, 6g of sugar).

Pros
  • Perfectly filling
  • Awesome taste
  • Free of gluten, soy GMO, and BPA. No artificial sweeteners either. It’s all-natural
  • Probiotics can help you gain muscle mass
  • Antioxidants are present to help boost your body’s immunity
Cons
  • Expensive 

2. Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal

This meal replacement from Garden Of Life is up next, the Raw Organic Meal. This, I would say, is almost the same as Ample. 

For starters, it has 44 superfoods, which’ll keep you full for longer. And similar to Ample, probiotics are present; as you may know, these help build muscle.

The ingredients are some from the highest caliber. This thing’s completely organic and is certified by the USDA. This shake does not miss out on digestive enzymes either; you might know its health benefits by now. 

Garden of Life Raw Organic

Also worth noting is that the Raw Organic Meal comes only as meal replacement powder. There is no ready-to-drink version. 

The thing that’s not similar to Ample here is the taste. Even though it was good, it’s not up to the levels of Ample at the moment.

You’ll find Raw Organic Meal in three flavors: vanilla, vanilla chai, and chocolate; we tested vanilla, by the way. 

If you’re looking for a shake with maximum health benefits, the Raw Organic Meal can be a great buy. It’s been awarded second place for a reason.

Nutritional Info: 130 calories, less than 1g of sugar, 20g of protein, 2g of fat, 12g of carbohydrate (7g of fiber).

Pros
  • Free of soy, gluten, and dairy
  • Suitable for vegan
  • No artificial flavors
  • Low sugar
Cons
  • Needs more than one scoop to see results
  • Only comes as a powder

3. HLTH Code Complete Meal Replacement Shake

HLTH Code is up next, and it is another one of the shakes that are perfect for weight gain.

This shake is packed with highly nutritious ingredients, and if you want quality, you’ll be pleased to hear that this shake is made in a lab approved by the FDA. 

Almost all meal replacement shakes these days are very healthy, and this one is no exception. 

HLTH Code has all the essentials that the above two contain, such as digestive enzymes to aid digestion and a healthy amount of essential vitamins and minerals to boost your physical fitness. 

HLTH Code Complete Meal

Whey, collagen, and egg whites are also loaded in this shake, and you can expect nothing but some good health benefits from them. 

For example, the collagen adds muscle mass, while the egg white can boost muscle growth.

One of the notable downsides of this shake is there’s no variety. It only comes in two flavors, creamy vanilla and chocolate macadamia. 

We tested the chocolate macadamia, and since it contains collagen, which most people are not a fan of, I’m happy to say that it never tasted like it. Overall it tasted good.

Finally, a word on satiation, this meal replacement shake can keep you full for probably more than three hours, according to our testing. That’s probably because of the amount of dietary fiber present.

Nutritional Info: 400 calories, 27g of healthy fat (17g saturated fat), 27g protein, 13g carbohydrate (9g fiber, 2g sugar).

Pros
  • Made in an FDA-approved facility
  • Free of GMOs and artificial ingredients
  • We noticed that the shake had an impact on our energy levels, in a good way 
  • Good taste
Cons
  • Comes in just two flavors
  • Expensive

4. Labrada Nutrition Lean Body Hi-Protein Meal Replacement Shake

During our research, we came across this meal replacement shake, the Lean Body Hi-Protein. This was the very last shake to secure its place on this list. 

The reason we decided to give the Lean Body Hi-Protein a shot is because of the positive reviews it has got throughout the internet. And from our testing, we really believe it deserves all its praise. 

This shake, first and foremost, is a protein-rich formula that also contains healthy bits of other nutrients. 

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are among those, and these are impressive for muscle growth and support. 

Lean Body Hi-Protein also has something that most meal replacements don’t, and that is EFAs (essential fatty acids). These include MCTs, flaxseed oil, and borage oil. 

The only thing that’s a little concerning is the number of calories. It’s somewhat lower, but adding something like milk can help. Apart from that, there’s no real concern. 

As for flavors, this is one of the meal replacement shakes with the highest on the list. It has chocolate, cinnamon bun, power latte, salted caramel, strawberry, vanilla, along with another two. 

When it comes to taste, it’s right up there with the best, and to show for it, it has five gold medals awarded by the American Culinary Institute. We tested the cinnamon bun, but since there are eight flavors, you can get started with anything.

Lean Body Hi-Protein has a ready-to-drink version, which is a bit different from this; you can check out that too. And a side note, if you’re choosing the powered version, get ready with your blender. 

Nutritional Info: 290 calories, 7g of healthy fat (2g saturated fat), 35g protein, 21g carbohydrate (7g fiber, 6g sugar).

Pros
  • Maximum protein intake
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, and no artificial ingredients
  • Eight different flavors
  • Super tasty
Cons
  • Low calorie

5. Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake

Ensure nutritional supplement is all about providing nutrition and helping you stay strong, and what’s more, it’s a clinically proven meal replacement shake for weight gain. 

With a combination of the highest quality protein and antioxidants, this meal replacement can help you recover and maintain muscle mass while also supporting the immune system.

Prebiotics are in this shake, too. This will support your digestive tract health, and with all the other nutrients considered, this shake provides complete balanced nutrition.

The protein source is whey, which means you can build lean muscle mass using this shake. But the catch is that the amount of protein is slightly lower.

Taking a look at the flavors, the Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake has five of them. 

Dark chocolate and strawberry are our favorites, and they taste excellent, but you can choose yours from the available butter pecan, chocolate fiber, and vanilla fiber.

Nutritional Info: 350 calories, 11g of healthy fat (1g saturated fat), 16g protein, 48g carbohydrate (3g fiber, 20g sugar).

Pros
  • Extra calories for you to gain weight
  • 27 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Clinically proven for gaining weight 
  • Good taste
Cons
  • Contains soy, which may not be for everyone
  • Does not offer high protein

6. Real Gains Weight Gainer

The name itself shows off clearly that it’s a shake for weight gain. 

Real Gains Weight Gainer is another one of the best meal replacement shake for gaining weight. It’s a complete package, to be precise.

Specifically targeted at athletes, this shake has a huge chunk of everything. We’re talking about 50 grams of protein from whey and casein and 84 grams of carb, which is just mental. On top of that, it is stacked with amino acids too. 

Either way, Real Gains Weight Gainer does its job like no other. And the results speak for themselves; in fact, one of our editors gained 2lbs after drinking this shake for two weeks. 

If you regularly workout, this shake can be very helpful because the included vitamins and minerals help reduce the inflammation that occurs after exercises and workouts. 

The Real Gains Weight Gainer comes in four different flavors: banana ice cream, chocolate ice cream, cookies & cream, and vanilla ice cream are all of them. Tastewise, it’s a 7 out 10.

Nutritional Info: 602 calories, 6g of fat (4g saturated fat), 53g protein, 84g carbohydrate (5g fiber, 7g sugar).

Pros
  • Complex carbs and quality protein
  • So much more calories to gain weight healthily
  • BCCAs are present
Cons
  • Contain soy and sucralose (artificial sweetener)
  • Takes time to prepare

7. Huel

Huel meal replacement shakes are another great set of shakes. You might already know about this company if you’re not new to meal replacements. These guys have been in the industry since 2015. 

And as for the effectiveness, their experience speaks for itself. Huel will do everything in its power to help you gain weight. 

There is pea protein along with some other plant-based proteins.Phytonutrients that act as antioxidants for the body and amino acids are present here. 

Huel

Huel has a staggering amount of protein too, and that’ll help you stay boosted and help build muscle if that’s your thing. 

All in all, huel can be a great buy if you know what you’re getting. 

However, there’s one thing that’s not great in this meal replacement shake, and that is its taste. 

First, vanilla, chocolate, banana, berry, cafè latte, and salted caramel are all of the six flavors available. Additionally, there’s an unflavoured & unsweetened version too.

We went with the vanilla, and for a little bit of fun, we chose unflavoured & unsweetened flavors. 

Even though we expected the unflavoured & unsweetened flavor to taste bad, we didn’t expect the vanilla to taste this bland. 

However, I’ve heard that banana and berry flavors do taste good, but I’m not sure!

Nutritional Info: 400 calories, 13g of fat (2.5g saturated fat), 30g protein, 45g carbohydrate (7g fiber, 1g sugar).

Pros
  • A plant-based protein shake that has pea
  • Free of soy, lactose, and GMO 
  • Contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals
  • Affordable 
Cons
  • Taste could’ve better

8. Boost Nutritional Drink

This one is from Nestle, a company that almost everyone might know. 

Boost Nutritional Drink, also known as Boost VHC (very high calorie), is an excellent meal replacement shake to bulk up.

This very high-calorie meal replacement gets all the essential boxes checked effortlessly. It has BCCAs to help you gain muscles and soy protein to keep you boosted throughout the day.

Even more so, Boost VHC has helped many people who were struggling to gain weight. 

Plus, it’s one of the go-to for people going through cancer treatment and needing to keep weight on.

And when it comes to the deliciousness department, this shake also gets a pass. However, the variety is what’s concerning. There are just two flavors, very vanilla and creamy strawberry.

Boost VHC could’ve been higher up the list if it wasn’t for the amount of sugar added.

Nutritional Info: 530 calories, 26g of fat (2g saturated fat), 22g protein, 52g carbohydrate (0g fiber, 13g sugar).

Pros
  • Very high calorie for easy weight gain
  • Has BCCAs for muscle growth
  • 26 vitamins and minerals
Cons
  • The amount of sugar is high

9. Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Shake

Optimum Nutrition’s Serious Mass has some serious amounts of nutrients in it. This meal replacement shake is something that my team and I have never seen before.

I’ve never seen a scoop this big for a supplement. 

Serious Mass provides you with everything you need for weight gain and gets the physique you’ve always wanted. There’s nothing to lose, but lots to gain with this shake.

Looking at the protein mix, it has whey protein concentrate, egg, and casein

Aside from that, it is stacked with vitamins and minerals along with creatine, glutamine, and glutamic acid. All of these will help continue your workout for longer and muscle recovery.

The star of the show, though, is the number of calories. The Serious Mass has the highest number than any other weight gainer on the market. 

If you’re looking to add some serious meat to the bone, then this is the way to go. 

The shake is available in three different flavors: chocolate, banana, and peanut butter. This is where the Serious Mass starts to rear its ugly head, we tried all three flavors, and none of them were appealing.

And the frustrating thing out of all was that it needs a blender to be mixed well. 

Nutritional Info: 1250 calories, 4.5g of fat (2.5g saturated fat), 50g protein, 252g carbohydrate (4g fiber, 20g sugar).

Pros
  • A staggering amount of calories 
  • High protein
  • A good amount of vitamins and minerals
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Average taste
  • Inconvenient
  • High sugar

10. Muscle Milk Gainer

Lastly, on this list of the best meal replacement shakes for weight gain is the Muscle Mass Gainer, and it is one of the more affordable options on the list. 

This shake, similar to most others in this list, is equally good. It is high in protein, has many calories, and is overall a perfect shake to incorporate into your healthy diet.

All of the protein present in Muscle Milk Gainer is from milk. Since milk is a complete source of protein, you can expect it to help with muscle growth too.

If you work out regularly, this shake can also keep exhaustion and fatigue to a minimum. This is because of the carbs present. 

Muscle Milk Gainer is available in three flavors vanilla, chocolate, and cookies’n creme. We opted for the chocolate, and the taste was serviceable, not too good or not too bad. 

Nutritional Info: 650 calories, 9g of fat (3.5g saturated fat), 32g protein, 109g carbohydrate (5g fiber, 6g sugar).

Pros
  • Gluten-free
  • Affordable 
  • A good amount of calories
Cons
  • Artificial flavor

What to Look Out For When Buying a Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Gain

Meal Replacement Shake Powder

If you’re looking for a meal replacement to add some bulk, you need to know that not every one of them is capable of doing that. 

Meal replacement shakes were initially made for weight loss. Just recently, weight gain shakes were introduced.

So, there are certain things you need to keep an eye on while going for a meal replacement shake for weight gain. The meal replacement you pick should contain these if you’re to see the results you crave.

The Amount Of Calories

If you ask me the most important nutrient that should be present in weight gain meal replacement shakes, I would say calories. 

Calories play a role when you’re trying to lose weight or gain it. And for this case, you’ll need a shake that’s high in protein. 

This is vital; only a high caloric meal replacement shake can help you bulk up, so look for a shake with at least 300 calories. Anything more than that is more than appreciated.

Sugar

Most meal replacement shakes contain higher calories mainly because they have high sugar content. Don’t be fooled; sugar usually has empty calories, and even though they taste sweet, they provide no benefits. 

Look for a shake that keeps sugar to a minimum and gets all of its calories from other healthy sources.

Balanced Macros

One of the most important nutrients for gaining a healthy weight is protein. Go for a shake that has at least 10 grams of it. 

One other reason why protein is important is that they contain BCAAs, which are helpful for muscle development. (1)

And when it comes to carbs and fats, most of the meal replacement shakes for weight gain contain medium to high carbohydrate and low-fat content. And fats that are present in the shakes should be either healthy or unsaturated fats. As for the carbs, they should be complex with a high glycemic index. (2)

Also, the carbohydrate concentration is usually higher than protein content when it comes to meal replacement shakes for weight gain. 

Micronutrient 

This is another important factor that should be taken into consideration. Vitamins and minerals can be highly beneficial for health, and if the shake you’re going for contains it, it’s basically complete.

How Can Meal Replacement Shakes Promote Healthy Weight Gain?

Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Gain

Meal replacement shakes are a convenient way to put on some pounds. They help you healthily gain weight, unlike junk foods which lead to fast and unhealthy weight gain.

Speaking of healthy weight gain, it’s enough to get around 2 or 3 pounds per week, and along with it, you should not forget to exercise, which is also important. Even though not all meal replacements are healthy, most of them are more than capable of helping you with weight gain.

These shakes are great, no matter your health goals. Boosting your diet with extra macronutrients and calories can lead to healthful weight gain, and meal shakes do exactly that. 

If you incorporate them into your diet properly, you can for sure see the results you came craving for.

However, make sure to consult your doctor before using them in your diet.

Benefits Of Meal Replacement For Weight Gain

Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Gain

There’s a good amount of benefits that you can expect from the best meal replacements for weight gain if you’re thinking of incorporating them into your diet.

Convenient

This is the biggest benefit of moving to meal replacements; these are just unmatched when it comes to this department. As I said before, gaining weight healthily is not easy, and these shakes make the process that little bit easier.

Gone are the days of counting calories and macronutrients for pretty much all the food you eat because everything is mentioned right on the packaging. 

Next is you don’t have to prepare any high caloric meals, especially to help you in the journey, everythings prepared and it’s just a matter of drinking them on time.

They Help You Gain Weight Healthy And Promote Healthy Eating

When someone thinks of weight gain, they think of junk food. Yes, they help to stack some pounds, but that’s unhealthy. These foods are brimmed with fats and carbs that are nowhere near as healthy as on a meal replacement shake.

Also, eating them for weight gain can only make matters worse; while they can provide enough calories, the other stuff in them leads to gaining excess fat mass instead of muscle mass.

It is vital to have foods that are stacked with macronutrients and other nutrients if you’re to see healthy weight gain with little to no fat mass accumulation. And meal replacements can help you with this.

Success Rate Is High

Adding meal shakes to your diet can certainly lead to valuable outcomes, and its chances are very high.

Final Thoughts

Weight loss or gain, meal replacements are perfect for helping individuals with whatever their goal is. It’s excellent for weight management too. 

If you’ve been thinking of adding these shakes into your diet, you can do so now. These can serve great if integrated with a healthy diet and some exercise. 

And if I had to pick out of the bunch, I’d go with Ample. It has all the essentials required for a weight gain shake, and on top of that, the convenience and the all-natural ingredients raise the bar even higher. 

Also, not to mention how beneficial it is in the digestive department, you have to try it to experience it. 

However, the ball is on your court. Any of the shakes I’ve mentioned above will help you see the desired goal. It’s just a matter of you picking one.

FAQs

Best Overall
Ample O
  • 3 distinct formulas mean that anyone can find something that suits them best
  • Loaded with probiotics and prebiotics
  • No GMO ingredients or artificial additives
  • All three flavors taste delicious and unique
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-bcaa
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/a-good-guide-to-good-carbs-the-glycemic-index
About the author
Photo of author
Jennifer Pantall
Jennifer Pantall is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She loves tennis and has one daughter with a lovely husband that she adores. Jennifer also loves to spend time outdoors playing with her dog or walking in nature. You can find more about me here.
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