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If your skinny high school son is pestering you to buy a weight gain supplement because he’s sure it will create bulging muscles by breakfast, think twice and save your money!

As you can see from the chart below, all weight gain supplements are expensive and offer nothing you cannot get via food. A hefty peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a tall glass of milk aids weight gain at a far lower price tag than an equal amount of calories from Muscle Milk.


Food-home based             Calories         Price                   Cost/100 calories

Granola (1 cup) +              500               $1.00                       $0.20

8-oz 2% milk


Sandwich: PB & J             650               $0.95                       $0.15

(3 Tbsp PB, 2 Tbsp J)


Chocolate milk, 16-oz        300               $0.60*                      $0.20


Instant breakfast               250               $0.80                        $0.32


Grape Juice, 16-oz            280               $1.00                        $0.36


Muscle Milk, powder         310               $1.78                        $0.57


Drinks-on the run

Nesquick, 16-oz bottle       300               $1.79                        $0.60

Ensure, 8-oz bottle            250               $1.75                        $0.60

Muscle Milk, 14-oz bottle   230               $3.59                        $1.56


As you can see, buying bottles of read-to-drink meal replacements can quickly get expensive.


A money-saving alternative is to make your own weight gain drink:

In the morning, blend 1 quart of 2%-milk with 4 packets of Carnations Instant Breakfast and 1/2 cup powdered milk (1,000 calories total). Toss in a banana or other fruit for more calories. Drink half at breakfast and take the rest with you in a travel mug. Yummier than most commercial products—and no vitamin-fortified taste or smell.


Spend your food budget wisely!



For additional information, read the chapter on on to gain weight healthfully in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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