How Mass Gainer Supplements Help You Bulk Up
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.
How do Mass Gainers Work Anyway?
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:
- Branch Chain Amino Acid-rich protein
- Dietary fats
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.
Why Should You Use Mass Gainer Supplements?
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.
Meet Your Calorie Requirements Without Stuffing Yourself
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.
Dietary Fats in Mass Gainers Help You Stay Lean
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.
Mass Gainers Come in Post Workout and Daily Intake Formulas
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.
Multiple Calorie Levels Allow You to Match Your Intake To Your Metabolism
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.
Get Your Protein, Creatine, and Essential Nutrients in One Shake
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.
Speed Up Your Recovery Thanks to L-Glutamine
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.
Mixing Up Your Mass Gainer
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.
Amount of Gainer To Use
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.
Shakes Per Day
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.
Best Times To Use Mass Gainer
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.