Nutrition

Meal Replacement and Mass Gainer: No Blender Required

meal replacement mass gainer shake

Given my job, I don’t often find myself in a position where I have to rely on meal replacements or on-the-go lunches out of Tupperware.

But once upon a time, stuff like that was my main source of nutrition during my work and school day.

I do remember what a pain in the ass it was to always have to lug around giant containers of tilapia and rice though.

So meal replacement or mass gainer shakes were excellent substitutes when I was out and about.

You simply add water, shake, and chug your entire meal in seconds.

But they’re often expensive, full of ingredients you can’t pronounce, and come in “one size fits all” nutrition profiles.

To work around those issues, here’s what I did to support my bodybuilding goals while enrolled as a full-time college student, working two part-time jobs, and completing an internship simultaneously.

No blender required

With the aid of a blender, meal replacement possibilities are literally endless.

You can:

  • Use juice or milk as a base rather than water
  • Use fruit for your carb source
  • Blend cottage cheese or yogurt as your protein
  • Mix your favorite superfoods together to create a nutritional powerhouse

But no matter how hard you try, your shaker just isn’t going to be able to breakdown a banana.

So when you need a true blue, on-the-go meal in a shaker, it’s probably because you don’t have refrigeration or a blender at the ready.

In consideration of those occasions, the following recipes rely on dry ingredients for these shakes.

Meal Replacement Shake Requirements

Even without the convenience (or hassle) of using a blender, I can still show you how to make a kick ass shake that’ll be easy to make, store, mix, and drink.

Here’s a list of prerequisites for my meal replacement and mass gainer shake recipes:

  • Adjustable macros – You can vary each ingredient to make the shake low carb, low fat, or whatever else works for you.
  • No refrigeration – This meal should be something that could spend an entire day in your backpack with no ill effect.
  • Good taste – While I eat things that don’t exactly taste like birthday cake, I definitely don’t eat anything that tastes gross.
  • Easy to make – Prep time should be minimal with no cooking or special equipment required.
  • Affordable –  Pre-made shakes will run you about $3-4 a pop. My recommendations are much cheaper to make.

meal replacement mass gainer shake

My meal replacement shake fits in my laptop bag with all of my other work supplies.

Recipes

Here are two of my favorite, easy to make shake recipes.

The first is low fat, high protein, and moderate carb, which makes it perfect for maintaining or losing weight.

The second is high protein, high carb, and high fat, so it’s geared toward my readers who are in need of a significant weight gain.

Clean chocolate peanut butter

Macros

Calories411
Fat8g
Carbs36g
Protein54g

Oats, whey, and peanut butter are some of the longest standing bodybuilding staple foods.

They’re great for a hot breakfast as Oats and Whey, or just like this in a shake.

This is my go-to flavor combination as I always have chocolate protein powder on hand and I can’t imagine there was ever a better match than chocolate and peanut butter.

Delicious mass gainer

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 2 scoops Carbo Gain
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter

Macros

Calories906
Fat18g
Carbs138g
Protein51g

Carbo Gain is just a brand name for maltodextrin which is the primary ingredient in most commercial weight gainer powders.

It’s advertised as a “complex carb” but that’s misleading because, in reality, your body treats it like a simple carb.

Either way, if you’re having a hard time gaining weight, drinking some simple carbs is going to be the easiest way to get those calories in without making you feel disgusting.

NOTE: You’ll need a lot of water to dilute the high volume of powder, so you’ll probably want a larger than normal shaker bottle.

Instructions

You can prep this shake in advance at night or right before you head out the door in the morning.

  1. In your shaker bottle, add the carbs (oats or Carbo Gain), then the fat (peanut butter powder, nut butter, or other oil), and finally the protein powder.
  2. Next, cap the bottle and give it a gentle shake to coat the fat with powder so it doesn’t stick to the cup.
  3. When it’s time to eat, just add water and give it your best shake for 30 seconds or so. Letting it sit for a minute or two will allow the oats to soften a bit.

If you use old fashioned or quick cook oats, you may have to chew your way through the mix, but don’t worry.

While it may not be the most pleasant experience in the world, you get used to it quickly.

Variations

If you use a specialty flavor protein like cookies n’ cream, banana, or strawberry, try olive oil, MCT oil, or chia seeds in place of the nut butter.

Peanut butter pairs perfectly both with chocolate and vanilla protein powders.

For lower fat and easier mixing, stick to the peanut butter powder.

If you’re going low carb, you can skip the oats and Carbo Gain and just use more protein powder and peanut butter (or any nut butter – feel free to use your favorite).

You can pulse old-fashioned oats in a blender or coffee grinder to make your own oat flour (or buy it here) to create a smoother shake and allow them to blend easier.

Final Thoughts

I hope I’ve provided meal replacement and mass gainer recipes that are convenient, delicious, healthy, and very affordable.

Just to be clear, I don’t think meal replacement shakes or mass gainers should be viewed as substitutes for eating whole food.

But I’d much rather see you reach for one of the above recipes than heading to the fast food counter during your lunch break or while traveling.

All the best,

Nate

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Jonathan
    April 14, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Wow, I feel like I should have thought about adding peanut butter to vanilla powder. That by itself is a great tip to make the taste better. It’s so much easier not to cheat when you can enjoy the taste of your shake.

    Something I’ve done a lot recently is a trick that makes my strawberry powder taste like a milkshake. If you add just a very tiny amount of lemon juice and honey to the strawberry powder, it puts back enough acid and sugar to taste like actual strawberry instead of strawberry chalk. It works with what I use, so I assume that would work with any other brand of powder as well.

    Great article Nate!

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 14, 2016 at 9:33 am

      I’m with you on strawberry powder not tasting very good on its own, but I never would’ve thought to add lemon juice. I know you’re onto something because I add lemon zest when I simmer fresh berries in sugar free syrup and it takes it from just OK to outstanding.

  • Reply
    Shobhit Choudhary
    April 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Awesome Nate, gives me an idea to carry nuts(Almonds & Walnuts) in powdered form.

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Nice! If you try that out, let me know how it goes (taste-wise and blending-wise).

      • Reply
        Shobhit Choudhary
        April 20, 2016 at 3:37 am

        I have been on bed rest for about 10 days now, low calories(calcium was also missing) + ego lifting + bad form + deadlifts. Screwed! Another 10-15 more days before I’d be able to resume training.
        Anyway for blending soak a handful of nuts in water for about 8-10 hours(overnight). Next drain the water, peel the skin and you can store them for about 5-7 days. You can grind them as need be. Tastes great!

        • Reply
          Nate
          April 20, 2016 at 1:43 pm

          That sucks, Shobhit! I hope you’re able to get back to it soon. I’ve soaked my almonds overnight to make cold oatmeal but never for the purpose of grinding them. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Shobhit Choudhary
    April 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Definitely.I sent you a DM on Instagram, check it out it might be of some benefit to you.

  • Reply
    Rick Flagg
    April 17, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Your content is always on point!

  • Reply
    Justin
    April 19, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    The “Clean chocolate peanut butter” seems so simple. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Definitely give it a shot. I love using this one to buy myself an extra couple of hours between meals while writing at the coffee shop.

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