Weight-Gain Powders (Weight Gainers)
Weight Gain Supplements
Weight-gain powders (mass-gain supplements) contain (provide) various combinations of carbohydrate, protein, fat, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients thought to enhance performance. The manufacturers of these products claim that their specific formulations will help you pack on muscle.
Each of these macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat) contains calories, which our bodies use for fuel and maintenance. Gaining weight requires a simple equation: eat more calories than you burn. However, eating large amounts of whole foods is time-consuming and can cause digestive discomfort. If you don’t have the time to eat six to seven square meals a day, you might want to try weight-gaining shakes. These shakes allow you to supplement your current caloric intake to meet your individual requirements.
The Best Time to Take Weight Gainer
Gainers are used by bodybuilding and strength athletes, both amateur and professional alike, as a weight gain supplement or recovery supplement. Gainers are designed (especially) for use after workout.
Weight Gainer Ingredients
Most gainers use protein powders (whey protein extracts) and carbohydrates (dextrose, maltodextrine). More advanced gainers add to their recipes ingredients like: creatine, l-arginine, long chain amino-acids, enzymes (for better digestion), vitamins, minerals and plant extracts for adaptogen effect.
Difference Between Weight Gainer and Protein (Weight Gainer Vs. Whey Protein)
These two products aren’t the same. One is simply a protein supplement while the other is more of a meal replacement used to greatly increase your calorie intake. Weight gainers and whey protein differ significantly in calorie content. As their name indicates, weight gainers are intended to aid in weight gain, so they are high in calories. Because whey protein is intended to be a source of protein and little else, such supplements contain very little carbohydrates, about 3 grams per serving. One serving of protein powder typically contains 20 grams of protein and around 100-120 calories. Weight gainers contain protein powder but are also mixed with a lot of other ingredients to bump up the calorie count per serving. They’re loaded with carbohydrate, sugar, fat and a lot more protein per serving than protein powder. A serving of weight gainer can have anywhere from 700-1000 (or even much more) calories per serving.
Are Weight Gainers Supplements Harmful?
The main issue with weight gainers is the high level of “empty calories” that some of these products contain. Empty calories basically means calories that come from solid fats and added sugars along with a bunch of fillers that do not provide your body with the quality nutrients it really needs. Most weight gainers have extremely high levels of refined sugars which cause massive spikes to your insulin levels and will make you gain unwanted body fat versus lean muscle tissue. Even though you might gain weight and bulk up while drinking these weight gainer shakes, the majority of that weight will be accumulated body fat versus lean muscle tissue.
Which is Better – Whey Protein or Mass Gainer?
Protein powders are a lot more versatile and cheaper than weight gainers. With a protein powder, you can make your own weight gaining shake using ingredients such as bananas, ice cream, frozen yogurt, honey, frozen & fresh fruit and milk.
While both protein powders and weight gainers can help you gain muscle mass, protein powder gives you more flexibility, cleaner & healthier gains while saving you money. Gaining muscle is about creating a calorie surplus with healthy foods rather than eating everything you see. Remember, there’s a difference between getting fat and muscular. The excessive calories that a weight gainer provides will make you fat.
Instead of resorting to buying weight gainer supplements which can be expensive, your best option is to focus on eating real food and take advantage of consuming quality nutrients that will help you build lean muscle mass. We highly recommend focusing on eating nutrient dense whole foods that include lean protein sources (chicken breast, egg whites, lean red meat), clean carbohydrates (oatmeal, brown rice, yams, veggies) and healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, peanut butter).