There has been a tremendous amount of buzz about mass gainers in bodybuilding and personal fitness circles recently about mass gainer supplements.
Mass gainers are specially formulated protein, amino acid, and carbohydrate rich powder supplements that you consumer to up your calorie intake when trying to add new muscle mass with your weight training regimen.
Mass gainers fight the effects of catabolism (when you body burns muscle instead of fat) in those who have a higher metabolism and need additional calories in order to provide themselves with the necessary muscle-building raw materials and macronutrients.
What stumps many people though is whether or not they need to use a mass gainer or not to achieve their personal fitness and/or body building goals.
To help you answer that question, here are some ways to know if a mass gainer is right for you and your metabolism, and when to use a mass gainer for the best effect.
While they make a show of lots of sciencey facts on the side of the container and make a lot of promises about making you huge in no time, mass gainers are actually no different than any other supplement to help you up your calorie intake.
Before you decide on whether or not to use a mass gainer, you need some unflinching self honesty:
Are you absolutely certain that there are no gaps or spaces in your nutritional routine?
Is there no possibility of to prep and consume another main meal into your day, eat bigger portions, or replace larger portions with extra-calorie-dense snacks like whole milk, seeds, or nuts?
If your answer is yes to each question, then a mass gainer may be a great option for you.
If your answer is no, then you need to decide whether you want to take the extra in the shape of food (usually more expensive if you go for whole foods) or supplements.
Building muscle requires you to be in a state of caloric surplus, and that surplus should come first from food, and failing that, from mass gainer supplements.
If you are consuming as much as you can hold in a day and still not seeing results on the scale or in the mirror, then it may be time to start adding a few mass gainer shakes every day (say two to three altogether) in order to get the results you want.
No matter how attractive the packaging, no matter appears in large friendly letters, your first step after seeing a mass gainer for sale in a store is to look right at the nutritional information panel.
If you do a little research and check out the nutrient content of a supplement before trying it out, you are more likely to get the results you are looking for.
To spare you time and trouble, I’ve already reviewed the best mass gainer supplements to take.
After all, a mass gainer is only as effective as its nutrient content and how that fits into your nutrition plan and daily caloric intake needs.
The fancy looking mass gainer supplement may not have what you actually need to bulk up effectively, so checking the nutritional label is one of the most important steps when shopping for the mass gainer that is right for you.
Most people in need of a mass gainer will need about 40-50 grams of protein per scoop made up of whey protein concentrate, whey isolate, casein, or a combination of those three in order to give your muscles the right balance of building materials for new muscle tissue. In terms of fat content, choosing a mass gainer with medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), essential fatty acids (EFAs), and a small amount of saturated fat are all necessary for supporting increased testosterone production for greater gains and building lean muscle.
Additionally, most mass gainers are also loaded with carbohydrates to help you attain your daily caloric intake goals, as carbs are fuel for your body during workouts, training, and recovery time.
More conservative weight gainers typically contain a 1:1 ratio of protein to carbohydrates, while others may contain as much as a 1:5 carbohydrate ratio.
That means if your mass gainer supplement provides 50 grams of protein per scoop, it can contain as much as 250 grams of carbohydrates.
If you are diabetic or sensitive to sugars, you want to watch the carbohydrate content of your mass gainer very carefully, as too many carbs can cause wild peaks and valleys in your blood-glucose levels with very negative long term effects.
Make sure to choose a mass gainer with the right carbohydrate balance for you to make sure that the added calories are helping you make gains, not work against your in terms of gaining lean muscle.
While all mass gainers work to help you meet your daily calorie needs, certain products will always be superior to others based on your body type, daily dietary needs, and how much of your daily nutritional intake will be taken up by incorporating a mass gainer.
Make sure that if you are trying out a mass gainer for the first time that you observe your results carefully and remember that being conservative in the calorie content is usually the better option unless you fall into one of the following categories.
Those who have full schedules and busy personal lives without the time to prepare and eat the necessary six meals per day are your typical Forever-On-The-Go people.
Mass gainers are a good option for hitting those 4,000 calorie per day goals when you only have enough time to get your cardio and weight training in every day, but not for extended meal times with mega portions.
Some of us have weak appetites and do not feel hungry as often as others
These people benefit the most from mass gainers because they are typically drinkable calories that help them hit daily calorie goals without making them feel overstuffed or like if they look at another salad bowl full of grilled chicken and greens they are going to lose their minds and take a long walk off a short pier.
This last group is the most in need of mass gainers
Typically, hard gainers are those who not only have trouble adding muscle, but also have trouble putting on weight in general.
They are those friends you love and hate for their ability to eat an entire pizza by themselves in a single sitting and never put on any obvious weight.
Hardgainers have sports-car fast metabolisms and relatively low body fat content, so their body needs even more calories than most in order to put on muscle and not cut into their existing muscle mass due to the effects of catabolism (the process initiated by their body that starts to extract amino acids and energy from their existing muscle mass to keep their body running during workouts).
Regardless of which of these categories you fall into, a high quality mass gainer that meets your caloric and macronutrient needs is going to help you get where you want to go in terms of meeting your daily needs.
The other consideration you need to factor in is when during the day you will take your mass gainer for the greatest effectiveness.
Here are some tips:
Taking a high-calorie mass gainer post- workout in the shake form is the best place to start for best results, as those extra
calories, amino acids, proteins, and fats all help speed recovery and feed your muscles every thing they need to get bigger and stronger.
Make sure you choose a mass gainer with a quickly digestible protein like whey isolate or concentrate combined with a good fast-burning carbohydrate source, and just a little bit of fat in the form of ESAs and MCTs to balance out your body’s natural testosterone production.
Also, mass gainers with dextrose and maltodextrin are both easily absorbed directly into the gut to increase blood sugar levels, increasing your body’s insulin production.
Insulin is one of the most anabolic hormones necessary to building new lean muscle, so rapid insulin release post workout is key.
By the same token, loading up your body with simple sugars and spiking your insulin levels while at work or loafing around at home is not a good idea in terms of achieving your body composition goals.
If you plan to use mass gainers in addition to your daily meals to hit your target intake, there are some helpful rules to follow that will let you gain size without going overboard on calories and adding too much undesired body fat. For supplementing meals, you want mass gainer supplements that are closer to a 1:1 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio, preferably with complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice or oat flour that have a lower glycemic index and won’t cause a spike in blood sugar as you go through your day.
It’s also wise to make sure their total EFA and MCT content is higher as it will help slow your digestion like a regular meal and still provide the materials necessary for testosterone production.
All in all, timing your mass gainer supplement for when you start implementing one in your diet and when you take it during the day is going to be determined by your lifestyle, workout regimen, and general metabolism.
If you want to see the best results, make sure you are using nutrient and metabolic needs to choose the right mass gainer, and not just what the fancy packaging says outside the nutritional panel.
Check my research on mass gainers that work for your needs, and start building the body and muscle mass you want the smart way.
Smart bodybuilders know that the key to achieving their goals is to make sure they are feeding their bodies the right kind of fuel to build muscle.
Contrary to what you might think, building muscle mass isn’t exclusively about guzzling protein and adding a few plates for your daily lifting routine.
To build mass safely and effectively, a properly consumed mass gainer supplement will prove far more effective in bulking up than other traditional muscle building techniques.
The reason mass gainers work so well is due to their loading all of the right fuels to the right systems of your body to help it retain existing muscle and build new muscle mass.
Let’s take a look at the science behind mass gainers to understand a little bit better why they are so effective.
Mass gainer supplements are all about upping your calorie intake so that your body has enough raw material to build new muscle after each workout.
The key is countering a process called catabolism, where your body attempts to consume lean muscle mass to re-up its supply of amino acids that your body needs to generate energy.
If you have a lot of lean muscle and very little fat for your body to hold onto or use for energy reserves, it will start to burn up the proteins in your muscles in order to free the trapped amino acids within to keep you powered up.
To prevent this catabolic process, mass gainers supplement your diet with massive amounts of:
Which help you metabolize that fuel more effectively and prevent your body from catabolizing your existing muscle and build new muscle by providing it with extra calories and BCAAS.
By stalling or slowing the catabolic process, mass gainers help you pack on muscle more rapidly provided that you are putting in the hours in the weight room at the gym that would necessitate that massive calorie intake.
If you are struggling to meet your bodybuilding goals and bulk up the way you want to with lean hard muscle, you probably are experiencing catabolism and need to start adding calories and carbohydrates to your workout so you can make gains instead of stalling growth.
Here are some reasons to use mass gainers to achieve your ideal body.
Some aspiring bodybuilders are what trainers term “hard gainers”.
No matter how much protein you put away or food you eat, you just can’t seem to put on any muscle mass.
Is this you?
This often leads to many bodybuilding hopefuls feeling like if they ever look at a plat of food again, it just might be the end of them.
Mass gainers can allow you to pack on an additional 1,000 or more calories per shake, making your 4,000 calorie per day diet much more attainable without feeling like an overstuffed Thanksgiving turkey.
In addition to upping your calorie intake to prevent catabolism, mass gainers also help keep you lean by providing special dietary fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that help keep you body from storing excess calorie energy in fat deposits on your body.
Make sure that if you do choose to start using a mass gainer that it contains low saturated fats and higher MCTs.
One of the advantages of mass gainers is they are formulated in many different varieties, including pre, post, and meal replacement or post-meal mixes that help you make the most use of your additional calorie intake.
For pre and post workout mass gainers, try to choose options that have less fat and more fast acting carbohydrates that stimulate an insulin response and get those amino acids into your muscle tissues faster and speed up recovery.
For post meal supplements, higher dietary fat content and lower carbohydrate intake is desirable to gain the most benefit from the additional protein and BCAAs.
If you are not a hard gainer but you are still looking to bulk up you muscle mass, you probably aren’t going to need as many calories per workout or per day to hit those bodybuilding goals.
Fortunately for you, most mass gainers range in calorie count from 400 to as high as 600 per serving, allowing you to find a good balance of calories to slow catabolism in your system and keep making gains week by week.
A word to the wise though: massive increases in your calorie intake can result in your suffering a bit of indigestion, so be prepared to handle those issues should the need arise.
Another excellent reason to start using a mass gainer is that it allows you to integrate creatine into your preworkout routine.
Creatine is a substance that helps your body process carbs as energy more quickly, so consuming creatine before a workout helps you get your motor running and keep it in overdrive for your whole workout.
One caveat for you regarding creatine though: occasionally, some weight gain without muscle mass is normal when you up your carbohydrate intake to maximize your creatine’s effectiveness due to water retention, but you should see that weight drop off in a few days once your system evens out again.
Using a mass gainer with l-glutamine content significantly reduces the amount of time your muscles spend recovering from intense workouts.
L-glutamine is a particular amino acid that your aching body craves after an hour or two of throwing weight around, and as an added bonus it is als an immune system booster to keep you healthy and ready to train every day instead of laid up sick in bed.
Now that we have some solid reasons to start using mass gainer to put on some muscle, let’s go over some helpful tips for using mass gainer.
Regardless of what supplement you choose, you are going to need to follow some simple rules and instructions to get the most benefit from the mass gainer you take.
Making shakes could not be easier: just add the mass gainer powder to the liquid of your choosing, though most people tend to choose either water or milk.
Adding milk is mostly to boost calorie intake, but others prefer it just for the flavor, so the choice is up to you and your mass building goals.
Typically, powdered supplements like mass gainers don’t exactly dissolve effortlessly in any liquid though, so a shaker cup or blender are usually required to mix your mass gainer shake up for consumption.
A smooth mix is essential to making these shakes more palatable and easy to down, so make sure that you shake or blend well.
This largely depends on your calorie intake goal and what calorie count per scoop the mass gainer offers.
Read over the macronutrient values and calorie count per serving for different supplements to make sure you are getting the desired calories-per-shake.
The general rule is two scoops per shake, as adding too much tends to cause lumps to form.
If you’ve never tried to drink a lumpy mass gainer shake, pray you never do. It is a very unpleasant experience.
Like with the amount of mass gainer to use, it all depends on the nutritional values of the mass gainer you are taking.
Track your calories for your everyday meals, and then if you are coming up short on calorie count, add the right number of shakes for each day.
As previously stated, the formulation of the mass gainer will determine if it is intended for pre-workout, post-workout, or meal replacement/supplement purposes.
High carb low fat formulas make ideal pre-workout and post-workout shakes, and higher fat, lower carb options are better for supplementing.
Overall though, hitting those weekly and daily calorie counts are what matters when it comes to adding muscle mass, so focus more on those than on the specific times of day.
Ultimately, mass gainers are intended to make bulking up easier and safer for bodybuilders and those who want to gain muscle weight to improve their overall fitness and physique.
Without the right fuel and calorie intake, you aren’t going to see the gains and growth you are looking for.
Mass gainers are an excellent and healthy way to give your body what it needs to build muscle and keep you healthy while you work out.
Whether you are a classic hardgainer or you are already achieving your muscle growth goals and are looking to push the envelope a little, look into using mass gainers to give you that extra boost you need to get there.
Nothing feels as good as smashing goals at the gym, and the view from the top is always worth the journey.
Supplements are offered in a variety of different combinations and ingredients that many first-timers may find difficult to sift through especially if they are the type of people who cannot easily gain weight or build muscle.
Here is a short list of weight gainer supplements for beginners that must be included in your list:
In any diet, protein is a must have as it enables change in muscle size and strength once it is combined with regular exercise. Additional protein also triggers active protein synthesis in the body which helps in muscle recovery.
Having protein in the body would also help you shed fat, especially if your liver and kidney are healthy and well-maintained. Research has also added that protein helps the body recover easily, especially if you regularly train hard.
Some notable sources of protein supplements are whey, soy, plant, egg and casein.
Fish oil has long been noted by studies to have many benefits for health as it has high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. Taking in fish oil supplements is recommended for those who are trying to burn fat, build muscle or just improve one’s health.
If one regularly takes in fish oil supplements, they would also notice other benefits like better cognitive function, stronger immune system, healthy skin and heart, and other great health benefits.
The BCAA are comprised of leucine, valine and isoleucine and studies have shown that these three can assist in improving the body’s performance and recovery. It is also noted that BCAAs help reduce catabolism or muscle breakdown, which would then cater to total muscle growth.
This is also a type of amino acid that can be found in protein and found in one’s skeletal muscles. Glutamine helps the body’s immune system to remain strong and healthy and according to studies, it can also be a good supplement for those who are hoping to gain muscle mass.
Glutamine has the capacity to improve muscle growth, prevent the onset of muscle catabolism and support the digestive system.
It is ideal that one takes in glutamine supplements after workouts because this amino acid has the capacity to re-vitalize the body’s glutamine and glycogen levels which are often lost during one’s exercise.
Many experts have cited that creatine is one of the best supplements people can take if they wish to improve their performance and boost muscle growth.
Studies have showcased how creatine has managed to help people reach better sprint times, improve performance in high-intensity workouts and increase their strength and energy output. Creatine also helps the muscles become fuller and leaner if they are taken as a supplement.
It is recommended by experts to seek professional assistance before you take any creatine supplement as today, it is uncertain how much creatine should be taken regularly to induce its benefits.
High quality green supplements are often cited by experts and athletes alike as a great way to reduce the impacts of diets with not enough fruits and vegetables in them. Although food can be a great source of vitamins and minerals, some people do not easily get these vitamins and minerals through eating.
Taking in this supplement would help you get these vitamins and minerals and help your body grow. This supplement also has the capacity to regulate the blood’s pH levels which may tend to spike and become acidic if one takes in high amounts of protein.
If one takes in any carbohydrate source before, during and after workouts, carbohydrates would help your body trigger protein synthesis and glycogen recovery. Once these two are activated, your body would be able to feel your muscles growing and your energy levels recovering faster.
Normally, carbohydrate supplements are recommended for those who train heavily and those who wish to increase their muscle mass.
Regardless of which supplement in this list you will take, it is important that you also engage in regular exercise and diet to maximize the results. Of course, it is important to remember that before you take any of these supplements, consult your doctor or trainer and see which supplement would be suited for your body’s needs.
For those who want to gain weight and build muscles, there are several offers in the market that promises to help users to achieve their target goals. One of these offers is the use of nutritional supplements known as weight gainer supplements, which promise to help you build your muscles. But what are weight gainer supplements?
Weight gainers are actually high-calorie supplements that help you build muscles and pack them with the essential nutrients necessary to help gain weight. The amount of nutrients and other essentials like protein, fat, amino acids and other important supplements varies per weight gainer supplement.
However, the typical serving of a weight gainer supplement often has 320 to 1,000 calories and 16 to 60 grams of protein. It is also in powder form, allowing users to mix it with water or milk and can be taken before or after each workout.
Weight gainer supplements have many benefits, especially if it is added to one’s daily regimen. The first major advantage weight gainers have is the fact it allows the body to reach its calorie requirements. Many people often believe that one must eat quite a lot of food to get the body mass they need to build up.
However, taking in a lot of food does not guarantee getting everything the body needs to build muscles and one may end up breaking their diet. With the help of weight gainers, it allows the body to get their calorie requirement without having to eat a lot of food.
One only needs to take in one glass of their favorite drink mixed with the weight gainer supplement and they are able to take in thousands of calories in their bodies without eating too much.
Weight gainers also help you take in a special type of dietary fat that is important in helping the body stay lean as your muscle builds up slowly. Some experts say it is the best macronutrient the body should have and some weight gainers have medium chain triglycerides and little saturated fat which enables dietary fats to enter the body.
Aside from dietary fat, some weight gainers today also have creatine, allowing the user to take in protein with the weight gainer without having to purchase a separate protein shake. Creatine works alongside the body to reduce the onset of water retention in the body.
Weight gainers tend to trigger water weight gain in the first few weeks of use, but with creatine enabling the body to take in higher amounts of quick acting carbohydrates, that feeling will disappear.
For users who have customized workouts or those who want a possible meal replacement, weight gainers are available in several varieties and are blended to suit the user’s need. Some weight gainers can be used after workouts while others can be taken as a meal replacement or an additional part of one’s meals.
Finally, weight gainers also have L-Glutamine, which helps the body recover after an intense workout. L-Glutamine supports one’s immune system and helps the body become stronger against illness and other complications.
Of course, weight gainer supplements also have side-effects which can occur if you do not take them properly or if you do not study their impacts with your doctor. One of the most notable side effects is the unhealthy weight gain that may be induced when taking weight gainers.
Since muscle gain would require high amounts of calories in one’s diet, a weight gainer supplement would help you reach your maximum calorie requirement. However, if you take in more calories even if your body does not require it, you may end up gaining more fat and not muscle.
Some people may also develop allergic reactions when it comes to taking in weight gainers. Some weight gainers may have soy or milk in them, which are two of the most common food allergens in the world. Some supplements may also use herbs as a main ingredient and it may present allergic reactions such as hives, itchiness and stomach complications.
Finally, those who take in weight gainer supplements with creatine may also develop several problems if they are taken in heavy dosage.
According to the analysis of Medline Plus, high amounts of creatine in the body may trigger kidney damage and it may also develop other complications if the user is taking special medications. Dehydration is also a likely side-effect of creatine, especially if one does not drink water regularly in hotter climates.