Some people struggle with putting on weight. While that may seem ideal to others, it is actually a massive wrench in the scheme of things when it comes to bulking or gaining muscle. Thankfully, mass gainers exist. They give a leg up to anyone looking to gain mass through a substantial dose of calories and protein. Because bulking is dependent on having a caloric surplus, mass gainers are exactly the way to go.
To answer the questions you may have about bulking and gaining muscle with a mass gainer, here's our definitive guide.
WHAT IS A MASS GAINER?
Mass gainers are supplements in powder form. Similar to protein, you make them into a shake. They usually have a higher concentration of carbohydrates, protein and fat, totalling anywhere between 1000g of calories per serving and upwards. The usual ingredients include sweet potato powder, whey protein, maltodextrin, or oat bran.
WILL THEY MAKE ME GAIN FAT?
Mass gainers are specially formulated to help you gain mass through lean muscle because of its nutritional composition. Unlike dirty bulking, using mass gainers in your diet will deliver the right amount of amino acids your body needs to gain muscle. If you are worried about fat gain, one way to help is be sure to choose options that are low in saturated fat.
WHY SHOULD I TAKE IT?
Aside from the most obvious reason of mass gainers being able to help you put on weight more effectively, it is also a highly convenient supplement to take. Many brands include a number of other fundamental sports nutrition ingredients into their post-workout formulas, like the muscle-building creatine, performance enhancing BCAAs, or the recovery boosting glutamine. This means you get to kill a number of birds with one stone through drinking a single supplement, instead of having to keep up with a whole repertoire of shakes and capsules to meet your daily needs. This allows you to save time as well as money.
Mass gainers are also a great meal supplement, as they give you the calories you need in an easy-to-drink form. Without mass gainers, the high caloric requirements you'd have to meet in order to bulk cleanly will be rather challenging, especially if you've got a full-time job that doesn't allow you to be in the kitchen all day prepping meal after meal.
WHEN DO I TAKE IT?
Mass gainers can be consumed any time of the day, but are best drank upon waking up, or right after your workout. These are the timings when your body's insulin sensitivity is at its highest, meaning you're primed to receive nutrition, and your body is ready to make full use of it. Ensure that you have a mass gainer handy after hitting the gym if you really want to maximise each serving. Just be sure to keep track of how much you're drinking, and to keep within the daily servings allowance on the label.
WHICH SHOULD I TAKE?
It all boils down to a matter of personal preference and your goals. All mass gainers on the market will help you gain weight, but there's also more to it. Are you looking for a mass gainer that will also help you improve your performance? Are you looking for a straightforward mass gainer that's just calories with no frills? Are you looking for a mass gainer that will help you improve recovery? Consider questions like these and make a mental list of what you need a mass gainer to do for you before you shop. This will make the choice a lot easier.
ANYTHING ELSE TO NOTE?
Mass gainers are great, but they don't function in isolation. You need to be eating a healthy diet, and be frequently visiting the gym to ensure your body stays in check. Bulking is not about letting your body go, but making it better, and improvement requires you to maintain, or even put in more effort into your gym routine to ensure optimal results.
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