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.