Weight gainer shakes are becoming an increasingly popular supplement among bodybuilders and sports nutrition brands are responding with weight gain products. But what are they? And more importantly, should you be using a mass gainer?
What Is A Mass Gainer?
A mass gainer is a supplement that provides protein, carbohydrates and possibly fats with the intention of helping to add muscle mass. It is a high-calorie protein powder aimed at increasing your daily calorie intake to promote weight gain.
Should I Use A Gainer Supplement?
With so many other protein powders on the market, why should you make the decision to use a weight gain supplement? You should consider using a gaining supplement if you struggle to:
✓ Consume Enough Calories
To put on mass you need to be in a calorie surplus. This means you are consuming 300-500 calories more per day than you’re burning through exercise and just going through your daily routine. If you have been trying to add mass and you’ve seen no increase in weight then you’re not in a calorie surplus. Without being in a surplus you’re not going to gain mass. It really is that simple.
✓ Consume Quality Macronutrients
When trying to reach a calorie surplus it is important to consume the right quality of macronutrients. You may well have heard the phrase ‘dirty bulk’, which refers to eating whatever you want to achieve a calorie surplus. Consuming fried chicken may increase your calorie intake, but it also comes with increased fat.
✓ Consume A Large Macronutrient Rich Meal
Consuming a large meal can leave you feeling bloated, and if you’re having this meal pre-workout it can severely affect your ability to train. Alternatively, you may not feel hungry enough after the gym to eat a large macronutrient rich meal post workout. This is where consuming liquid nutrition in the form of a mass gainer protein powder can make things easier.
✓ Consume Enough Protein, Carbohydrates & Fats
It can be difficult to consume the macronutrients you need to put on mass, like protein and carbohydrates. This means that when in a bulking phase it can be easy to forget (or simply not have room for) sufficient fruits and vegetables to provide enough fiber, vitamins and minerals.
To gain muscle you training will put a strain on your immune system and produce significant inflammation.
✓ ‘Lean Bulk’
A ‘lean bulk’ refers to a slight calorie surplus rather than an excessive surplus. Both will lead to mass gain, but at different rates. Taking a gaining supplement can really help you keep track as serving sizes are easily measurable for protein, carbohydrates and fat. It is much easier to work this out as it is written on the back of the packet, whereas with meals you would have to weight out everything yourself to work out the exact macros.
When Should I Consume A Mass Gainer?
The main aim of a mass gainer is to increase calories and promote growth. This means it could be taken in the morning to fuel you for the day and instantly boost your calorie intake, so you don’t have to constantly worry throughout the day about getting enough calories.
It can also be taken post workout after you’ve expended a high number of calories working out. A mass gainer will deliver a high protein content, which will contribute to muscle repair and growth, along with carbohydrates which act as your body’s main energy source to help fuel recovery.
Take Home Message
Using a mass gainer can be a great way to help you increase mass and size by easily allowing you to increase your daily calorie intake. It is important to remember that to increase muscle growth when taking a hard gaining supplement you must be training hard and regularly, otherwise, you will be consuming a high number of calories which will lead to an increase in body fat.