You can’t bulk up if you’re not giving your body the right nutrition. Add these shakes to your diet and you’ll see results

Putting on muscle is simple in theory: lift weights and take in more calories than you burn.

But in reality, it’s an arduous process. You have to diligently follow a well-designed training routine, and also eat a significant amount of healthy food.

The latter is where most guys mess up, says Brian St. Pierre, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., sports dietitian and nutrition coach at Precision Nutrition. “A lot of guys just don’t realize just how much they have to eat if they’re trying to add lean mass,” he says.

Your move: Drink a daily super shake—a healthy, muscle-building meal that’s easy to make and quick to put down.

“Adding a super shake to your diet is one of the habits we drill into people trying to gain muscle,” St. Pierre says. The shakes blend milk, protein powder, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and ice, creating a delicious, nutritionally balanced, 400 to 700 calorie meal in a glass.

“They’re packed with tons of the stuff you need to build muscle: protein, carbs and fats, and vitamins and minerals,” he says.

Perhaps most important, super shakes are incredibly convenient, requiring little prep, no cooking, and zero culinary skills. “All you have to do is throw stuff in a blender and hit blend,” says St. Pierre.

And that fact that you control exactly what goes into the blender is another benefit. “Most store-bought shakes are full of sugar and have less than ideal protein,” says St. Pierre. “You control the nutritional numbers of your shake.”

In short: they deliver nutrition similar to a classic muscle meal like meat, rice, and vegetables in a fraction of the time it takes to cook and eat a meal like that.

If you’re trying to bulk up, add a super shake to what you already eat daily. Here’s the magic formula to make your own.


Step 1: Pour in 12 ounces of water or milk (cow, almond, hemp)
If you have an especially hard time gaining mass, use whole milk—it packs in more calories and protein.

Step 2: Add 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder
Animal-based protein powders contain more of the muscle-building amino acid leucine compared to plant-based powders like soy, hemp and rice proteins. So try to use whey, casein, or a blend of the two. Go for two scoops if your goal is to add muscle.

Step 3: Toss in 1 or 2 handfuls of vegetables
There’s no better way to sneak in your much-needed vegetables. Spinach and kale add hardly any flavor to your shake, but packs in crucial vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and build muscle. And don’t hesitate to experiment with pumpkin (goes great with vanilla) and beet (excellent with chocolate).

Step 4: Include 1 or 2 fistfuls of fruit
Bananas and berries are popular, but branch out and try fruits like apples, cherries, dates, pineapple, and mango.

Step 5: .5 to 1 serving of a healthy fat
Walnuts, cashews, almonds, and nut butters not only make your shake delicious and bump up its calories, but they also deliver healthy fats. Use the fat’s nutrition label to figure out how much you should use.


Very Berry Super Shake
Blend This
12 oz. water
1 fistful of spinach
2 cups frozen mixed berries
½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Stats: 500 Calories, 57 g protein, 54 carbs, 14 g fiber, 11 g fat

Chocolate Cherry Awesomeness Super Shake
Blend This
12 oz. water
2 scoops chocolate whey protein
2 cups of sweet dark cherries, pits removed
1 fistful spinach
1 tbsp walnuts
1tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

Stats: 530 calories, 56 g protein, 13 g fat, 47 carbs, 9 g fiber

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Shake
Blend This
12 oz water
2 scoops chocolate whey protein
1 banana
1 fistful spinach
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Stats: 585 calories, 59 g protein, 22 g fat, 38 carbs, 8 g fiber