Let’s facet-it’s the dream of every guy to gain muscles and weight and become a sort of beast. Being huge with extreme muscles and a built chest is a sign of masculinity and is usually perceived as an ability to provide protection, especially among ladies. Nonetheless, gaining muscles and weight comes at a cost. Just hitting the gym for some serious workout routine may not be sufficient to attain the muscular body one deserves. In fact, many gym-goers grumbles about not attaining the desired muscle size even after putting in work in the gym for hours each day.
For most bodybuilders and gym buffs, nutritious supplements such as mass gainers and protein supplements provide a viable solution to attain that desired body. This is the reason weight gainers and protein shakes are becoming increasingly popular bodybuilders and sports nutrition brands. For some, especially teenagers and guys with fast metabolic rates, gaining weight is a priority. These persons commonly referred to as ‘hard gainers consume mass gainers or weight gainers on a daily to add weight and maybe muscles. But, is it safe to take mass gainers without working out? Let’s find out.
What is Mass Gainer Supplement?
To gain weight, your body requires foods high in calories i.e. protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Calories per serving vary from 500 to 1,500 or more. Your regular daily diet may not be sufficient to meet this requirement, especially when you’re underweight. Mass gainers also commonly referred to as weight-gain shakes are specifically tailored to assist you to gain weight by offering you high amounts of calories as well as micronutrients in a way that your body will quickly take up. You, therefore, wouldn’t need to consume large quantities of whole foods to take up calories which may be insufficient.
Mass gainers are similar to protein shakes or powders, but instead of causing weight loss, they cause weight gain. Weight-gain shakes and supplements come in a pre-made ready-to-drink or powder form that you can incorporate into a smoothie or mix with water to drink. Similarly, you can make your own weight gainer using ingredients rich in calories and nutrients. For instance, you can make your own weight-gain shake at home by combining coconut milk or whole-fat dairy milk with nut butter, avocado, coconut, or consumable oil. Then add some fruits such as berries, some ounces of protein powder, and a handful of fresh farm vegetables such as spinach or kale.
The Science Behind Mass Gainers
Mass gainers macronutrient composition involve a moderate amount of protein (less than 100 grams of protein), minimal amounts of fats, and high amounts of carbohydrates up to 1000 calories per serving. For your body to gain weight, you need a higher carb intake and lower carb intake for weight loss. One reason our bodies gain weight when provided with high carbs is that carbs are our primary energy source. With increased carb intake, not all of them are broken down through digestion to provide energy; some are stored in our muscles as glycogen. Increased glycogen levels in the muscles stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin which is responsible for regulating the level of sugar in the body and burns fats. An increase in insulin level pushes the amino acids to the muscles, in turn, helping with muscle building and recovery. More glycogen stored in the muscles means higher energy levels to help you exercise better and maximize potential muscle gain. Mass gainers also contain some protein content which will contribute to muscle repair and growth.
When to Consume a Mass Gainer?
If you have been hitting the gym quite regularly with a mission to gain muscles, but you don’t notice any muscle growth, you may want to incorporate a mass gainer in your healthy eating routine. There are several reasons you could be undergoing intense workouts with no success in building muscles or gaining weight. The first possible reason could be that your diet is not sufficient for the required calorie intake by your body to gain weight. Another probable reason could be that your diet is short of carbs; hence your body will fail to get sufficient carbs or fats from your diet. In such circumstances, the body will start breaking down protein for energy leading to extreme loss of weight.
Mass gainers present an avenue to gain muscles by providing sufficient carbs. Weight gainers come in different macro-nutrients compositions as well as calorific levels. When to take such mass-shakes entirely depends on the type of supplements as well as you’re the number of calories needed by your body. Taking excessive amounts of mass shakes or the ones not tailored for your body may lead to the accumulation of unwanted fats in different regions of the body, and you may not be able to attain that desired body.
You should consume a mass gainer supplement if you find it hard to:
Consume Enough Calories
To gain sufficient mass, your body requires a calories surplus. Whole foods can only give you 300-500 calories a day which completely burnt during exercise. It will be like going through a normal daily routine. If you have been hitting the gym hard with no success in weight gain, then you need a calorie surplus.
Need Quality Micronutrients
To gain weight, your body requires the right quality of micronutrients. Most individuals could go overboard and eat whatever comes their way to supplement their calorie needs. This is usually referred to as ‘dirty bulk’. For instant, eating fried chicken increases your calorie intake but also comes with increased fat that may put your body out of shape.
Difficult to Consume Enough Amounts of Protein, Carbohydrates & Fats
Eating a balanced diet involving the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats may be challenging especially if you have a busy lifestyle. But to gain weight, you’ll need the right amounts of macronutrients in addition to sufficient fruits and vegetables to provide enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Weight gainer supplements ensure you have the right macronutrients necessary for weight gain.
OverEating Macronutrient Rich Meal
Overeating micro-nutrient-rich food per workout will leave you feeling not only bloated but also severely affect your ability to train and gain muscle mass. You may also fail to eat after a gym session as you may not feel hungry. If you always find yourself overeating pre-workout, a mass gainer may come in handy.
Lean bulk refers to a slight calorie surplus rather than an excessive surplus. It acts like a lite version of mass gainer supplements and comes in handy in assisting you to keep track of your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake.
What’s the Best Time to Take Mass Gainer Supplement?
You can consume a mass gainer at any time, both pre and post-workout sessions. If consumed in the morning, mass gainers will fuel you throughout the day and ensure you have sufficient calories to even workout in the course of the day. Taking mass gainers, post-workout will replenish the dwindling carbs level and help you to recover. It’s also safe to take mass gainers on days you not hitting the gym. In such cases, these supplements enable you to meet your day’s nutritional goals.
How Many Times Can I Take Mass Gainer in a Day?
The number of times to consume mass gainer in a day highly depends on the nutritional composition of the mass gainer you’re using as well as your dietary requirements. Before you put yourself on a specific mass gainer, you would want to check up on its calorie and macronutrient values then factor in your daily required nutrient intake accordingly.
Most weight gainer brands, especially in powdered forms, recommend 1-2 scoops a day. Others recommend up to 3 shakes a day. Find out the number of calories you need in a day by tracking everything you eat and drink in a day and use a nutrition/ food calculator (mostly found online) to find the number of calories contained in the foods/drinks. After finding your daily calorie intake, calculate the number of shakes, you need to attain your calorie needs. Alternatively, you can consult a nutritional expert just to be sure.
Benefits of Mass Gainers
Mass gainers come with a whole load of benefits ranging from assisting you to gain muscle and weight to supplementing to dietary needs. Below are some of the benefits of mass gainers.
· Provides Extra Calories
Some of us won’t gain muscles no matter how hard we hit the gym. Gaining muscles as a hard gainer may be a nightmare. Thanks to mass gainers, hard-gainers could quickly build muscles by consuming mass gainers to supplement their calorie intake and gain weight in no time. An efficient mass gainer can provide up to 1000 extra calories in just a single shake.
· Rich in carbohydrates
As mentioned earlier; carbohydrates are energy-giving foods required by the body to undertake various activities such as working out. Weight gainer supplements have high levels of carbs which come in handy during intense workouts to build muscles. High levels of carbs are also crucial in refilling the human body’s glycogen intensity.
· Contain High Fiber Content
In addition to carbs, fibers are also crucial in building the body. This is because it functions to remove toxic wastes from the body and allow proper digestion of food for better absorption of vital nutrients.
· Enables you to stay lean
Muscle gainers are usually rich in good fat which helps you stay lean while you’re in the process of gaining mass. When trying to gain mass, dietary fat could be the difference between gaining weight and staying lean or gaining weight and being out of shape. When choosing an ideal mass gainer, you would want to go for one that contains as little saturated fat as possible or retains medium-chain triglycerides.
· Enhances Protein Balance
Protein playing a crucial role in muscle development, you need the right balance of protein if you’re to build muscles and gain weight. Mass gainers contain little levels of proteins which refills the used protein, in turn, preventing a negative protein balance. A positive protein balance is required for continuous muscle growth.
· Builds Muscle at a Faster Rate
In addition to containing carbs, proteins, and fats for muscle development, mass gainers also contain other chemicals such as creatine which speeds up the rate of gaining muscle. However, not all mass gainers have creatine, and you can choose one that has if you’re seeking to gain muscle rapidly.
· Quick Recovery Post-Workouts
Consuming mass gainers may enable you to recover much faster. This is because many mass gainers contain L-glut amine-an an amino acid, which functions to speed up the body’s recovery after an intense workout.
What are Some of the Downsides of Mass Gainers?
· Easily Misused
Lots of people misuse mass gainers either knowingly or unknowingly. Most people overestimate the level of calories they require in a single day; therefore end up overusing these supplements. Similarly, those who would want to gain muscles at a quicker rate usually consume enormous amounts of mass gainers.
· Possibility of fat gain rather than muscle gain
Sometimes, mass gainers don’t usually lead to muscle gain depending on an individual’s metabolic rates. When consuming mass gainers, gaining muscle without gaining too much fat isn’t always assured.
· Intense side-effects
Mass gainers have several side effects, some of which can be fatal. They have been found to cause kidney damage, gastric issues, insomnia, and cramping, among other side effects. Careful usage is therefore recommended. Also, consulting a doctor before embarking on using a mass gainer is essential.
Choosing the Best Mass Gainer
Weight-gains supplements come in a variety of flavors, colors, and nutritional compositions. When choosing the best mass gainer, you would want to consider the carbs to protein ratio (should be 3:1) as well as the presence of digestive enzymes, which are vital to prevent bloating. Additionally, you should look up added chemical components, including creatine and Amalgamate. Check out also for added vitamins for the overall development of the body.
Here are some of the best mass gainers available in the market today.
Mass JYM Protein Powder
- ISOLATE BLEND - Scientific studies have shown that a blend is considerably better for maximizing muscle-build than standard whey protein alone, this blend contains whey protein isolate, micellar...
- 1:1 RATIO - This super mass gainer has a patent pending fat blend that delivers 30 grams of carbs and 30 grams protein blend for lean steady gains. It's the worlds first true "lean mass" gainer...
The Mass JYM Protein Powder is an ideal mass gainer with real macros for lean muscle growth. This mass gainer employs an isolate blend containing whey protein isolate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate, and egg white protein to maximize muscle build without getting fat. Mass JYM includes 30 grams of carbs for every 30 grams of protein, i.e. 1:1 carb/protein ratio/ thus it’s perfectly engineered for muscle gains and not fat gains.
· Each scoop has 280 calories with just 10 grams of sugars to keep your blood sugar levels low.
· Has a balanced carb to protein ratio
· The isolate blend contains high-quality protein sources such as Whey isolate, egg whites, and Micellar casein.
· Reduces sugar level by using artificial sweeteners.
MuscleTech Mass Gainer
- MASS GAINER PROTEIN POWDER – MuscleTech Mass-Tech Elite is an advanced muscle mass gainer for those who have struggled with adding size, are in their bulking phase or want to break through their...
- MUSCLE BUILDER – Mass-Tech Elite delivers 20% better amino acid absorption. ProHydrolase is designed to maximize the performance benefits of protein assisting the body in absorbing EAAs for building...
MuscleTech Mass Gainer features a nutritious formula free of maltodextrin which induces Crash. The mass gainer provides vital amino acids that play a role in muscle growth and also assists in muscle recovery from hardcore training. The formula delivers 80-gram protein, 156-gram carbs, and 10-gram creatine for faster muscle growth. MuscleTech Mass gainer has been scientifically tested to add mass rapidly and to increase chest & arm size.
· Provides 820 calories with just 9 grams of sugar
· Builds 60 grams of muscles per serving
· Formula contains 97% whey protein isolate as the primary protein source.
· Contains artificial sweeteners and gums
· Creatine may not be ideal for people with kidney conditions.
Ultimate Nutrition Muscle Juice
- MUSCLE JUICE 2544 – Ultimate Nutrition Muscle Juice 2544 is the bodybuilders trusted weight gainer since 2001 and contains the nutrients your body needs to grow lean muscle mass
- 4 PROTEIN SOURCES – Muscle Juice 2544 features four sources of quality protein: Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Casein and Egg Whites
If you’re looking for a mass gainer providing over 1, 000 calories, this is your choice. Ultimate Nutrition Muscle Juice contains a blend of fast and slow-digesting proteins for maximum muscle growth. Additionally, it comes with other constituents such as MCT oil, digestive enzymes, and Omega 3s for a whole round nutrition supplement. It also tastes great and super easy to mix with either whole milk or water.
· 1020 calories per serving when mixed with water.
· Great taste and mixes well and easy
· Contains eight sources of protein giving 56 grams when used once in a day.
· Time-release protein for continuous release of protein throughout the day.
· Quite sugary
· Contains Maltodextrin.
Drinking Mass Gainers Without Working Out
Consuming mass gainers without hitting the gym is a subject of intense debate. Whether it’s safe or not or can lead to weight gain is dependent on a number of factors. The question of whether you can gain weight when drinking mass gainers and not working out is dependent on the type of mass gainer as well as your body’s metabolic rate. There are different mass gainers in the market, each with a different ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Mass gainers are specifically designed to assist hard gainers to gain muscles or increase their body weight by providing additional calories to supplement their needs. Gaining weight is usually dependent on the overall calorie intake as well as the rate of metabolism. Weight gain and weight loss usually occur as below:
Weight gain= Total calories consumed/day > total calories burned/day
Weight loss= Total calories consumed/day < total calories burned/day
From the weight gain formula above, consume a mass gainer to obtain additional calories above your daily calorie requirement without working out to burn the extra calories, you’ll gain weight. This is because the extra calories will be stored as fats, causing an increase in weight.
However, if you are not getting your required calorie from whole foods and take mass gainers to suffice your daily calorie needs, you will most likely not gain weight or gain weight at a prolonged rate.
However, it’s advisable not to consume mass gainers if you have no intention of working out. This is because mass gainers are designed for weight management issues, specifically involving muscle building but not to accumulate weight. If you must take mass gainers without working out, it should be prescribed by a qualified doctor.
Importance of Working Out When on Mass Gainers
While it’s safe and possible to gain weight by consuming mass gainers without working out,it’s probably not the best idea. If you want to get the right calories or any other nutritional requirement without having to workout, unprocessed foods offer just the right levels of required calories plus different dietary needs. When on mass gainers, it’s vital to exercise as it helps you build lean muscle rather than packing fats in the muscle. Working out also has plenty of benefits and can alleviate you from the side effects of mass gainers. Below are some benefits of exercising when consuming mass gainers.
· Burns excessive calorie intake
· Protects against heart disease
· Reduces the risk of kidney conditions by burning creatine
· Boosts your mood
· Enhances digestion
· Improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of blood pressure
· Reduces risks of certain types of cancer
When you’re trying to add weight by using mass gainers, you would want to avoid workouts that burn a lot of calories such as cardio or high-intensity exercises. Instead, go for resistance training exercises such as lifting weights, body-weight exercises (push-ups, squats, planks, etc.), or using resistance bands to build muscles without actually struggling.
Mass Gainers Vs. Protein Shakes
While both mass gainers and protein shakes have considerably high amounts of calories, they have several differences. Some significant differences between the two supplements are:
· Mass gainers have lower protein content compared to protein shakes which have a high level of protein.
· Protein supplements have lower amounts of fats and carbs compared to mass gainers.
· When it comes to functionality, mass gainers are perfect for hard gainers who gain weight and build a substantial amount of muscle mass at the same time. Protein shakes are for individuals who to either build average muscle mass or lose weight.
Unlike mass gainers, you can drink protein shakes without really working out. Gym goers require protein for muscle repair and recovery rather than muscle development. Protein shakes can be given to the elderly or infirm with high protein requirements but with decreased appetites for organic or processed foods rich in protein. In such situations, no exercise is required. In essence, protein supplements can be safely consumed without the need of working out. But if you’re consuming protein supplements to lose weight, working out on a regular basis may be necessary.
Mass gainers provide an efficient way in which hardgainers can increase their body weight and muscle size by supplementing their daily calorie intake. When taking mass gainers, it’s imperative to train hard and regularly for best results. Consuming mass gainers without exercising would lead to an increase in body fat, causing excess weight gain and keeping you out of shape. Also, it’s crucial to note that mass gainers shouldn’t be consumed alone rather, should be used as a supplement to an already existent healthy and nutritious diet.