Experienced lifters need to be in a caloric surplus to build muscle at an optimal rate, but that doesn't require thousands of extra calories over maintenance intake. It's body-building, not belly-building, remember? Roughly a few hundred calories over maintenance is all you really need to fuel muscle gains.
Seems easy enough, yet many people claim to have a hard time taking in adequate calories. They say they just can't eat enough "clean" calories so they have to resort to junk food. This of course sounds much better than "I'm lazy, not that smart, and just really like eating junk food." For those without black belts in rationalizing poor nutrition choices, it's not that tough to pack 300-500 quality cals on top of your regular diet. Here's one way to do it.
The Healthy "Weight" Gainer Shake
Most people don't simply want to gain "weight" – they want to gain muscle. The problem with most so-called gainer shakes on the market is that you end up gaining mostly fat. That's because they contain tons of sugar or other cheap filler ingredients. For this gainer shake, we're adding healthy calorie-dense foods. Blended with water, the shake provides about 500 functional calories.
- 2 Scoops Metabolic Drive® Chocolate or Vanilla
- 1 Banana, small
- 2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter (or nut butter of choice)
- 18 oz Cold Water or Almond Milk
- Handful of Ice
Blend all the ingredients together and fuel your gains. This shake is easy to adjust based on the number of extra calories you're looking to add to your nutrition plan. Simply add more or less banana, nut butter, or protein powder, adjusting the amount of liquid as necessary.