Do you already know what mass gainer supplements are? While most people look for products to lose weight, others eat and train to intend to gain weight at the expense of muscle mass. For this purpose, there is a class of supplements specifically designed to support muscle development and is called mass gainer.
These supplements are neither a magic solution nor a shortcut to gain muscle mass, but if combined with physical activity and balanced nutrition, they can improve the results obtained. What nutrients does a mass gainer provide?
Here we had listed out the best mass gainers that are present below.
How to Choose Mass Gainers?
A mass gainer is a product that must be used with care and responsibility. Excessive consumption or the absence of physical activity that accompanies it can cause the opposite effect to that desired: increase in body fat. Below you will learn about the composition, indications, benefits, and uses of these supplements for increasing muscle mass.
What Is a Mass Gainer Exactly?
A mass gainer is a product concentrated in calories and proteins, the purpose of which is to contribute to weight gain for the benefit of muscle mass. It provides total carbohydrates and proteins, which are the essential nutrients for muscle function and development. They are sold in powder form and must only be dissolved in water, milk, or vegetable drinks.
What Nutrients Does a Mass Gainer Provide?
As already mentioned, the primary nutrients in a mass gainer are proteins and carbohydrates, whose contribution per portion can be 53 and 250 grams, respectively.
It provides reduced amounts of fat, and some products are sources of fiber. Mass gainers are often enriched with creatine, taurine, L-glutamine, vitamins, and minerals.
What Ingredients Are Part of A Mass Gainer?
A mass gainer is a processed product that has several ingredients. Whey protein, casein, albumin, and soy protein are part of most mass gainers. Maltodextrin, derived from starch, is the primary source of carbohydrates. Other compounds present in these supplements are:
- Pea, rice, and wheat proteins.
- Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Sunflower oil.
- Flaxseed powder.
- Non-nutritious sweeteners: sucralose, acesulfame K.
- Fructose, corn syrup, and isomaltulose (sugars).
- Creatine monohydrate.
- Xanthan gum (used as a thickener).
- Cocoa and artificial flavors.
- Dyes: carmine, E-133, E-150.
- Soy lecithin.
What Are the Benefits of Taking a Mass Gainer?
The main advantages of taking a mass gainer are:
- Significant Increase in Calorie Intake: when a mass gainer dissolves in water, it has a calorie density of 1.7 to 1.8 calories per milliliter. This means that it is a high-calorie supplement, which provides a lot of energy in a little volume and promotes weight gain.
- Improvement of The Quantity and Quality of The Protein Intake: a portion of mass gainer can supply between 50 and 80 grams of high biological value proteins, that is, which contain all the essential amino acids. Mass gainers are high-protein products that can supply between 16% and 40% of protein.
- High Digestibility: whey proteins, casein, albumin, maltodextrin, and vegetable proteins (soy, rice, pea, wheat) used in the production of mass gainers are easily digestible and assimilated efficiently. This means that the human body can make the best use of these products.
- Stimulation of The Synthesis of Muscle Mass: in addition to providing all the amino acids necessary for muscle development, these supplements are usually enriched with BCAA (in particular leucine) and creatine monohydrate, which promote and accelerate the formation of new muscle fibers.
- Quick Recovery After Training: a mass gain allows you to restore glycogen stores and stop the breakdown of muscle proteins. Also, many of these supplements provide significant amounts of glutamine, a non-essential amino acid that mitigates muscle pain and loss of strength after strenuous exercise.
- Increased Intake of Vitamins and Minerals: one thing that all mass gainers have in common is that they are enriched with vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients are especially needed for high-performance athletes.
- Stable Administration of Carbohydrates: mass gainers provide more carbohydrates than proteins because the former is the preferred fuel of muscle cells and are used to maintain and restore glycogen reserves. If glycogen is depleted, muscle fatigue appears. Furthermore, without
- Carbohydrates, proteins do not perform their structural function.
- Ease of Intake: a mass gainer provides the extra calories, proteins, and carbohydrates an athlete needs in a 350-700 ml serving. If those who train want to get these nutrients from conventional foods, they will have to eat a large volume and carefully choose food sources so as not to resort to unhealthy options.
How Many Types of Mass Gainers Are There?
Maltodextrins are the primary sources of carbohydrates and are part of almost all mass gainers thanks to their easy digestion and assimilation. However, protein sources change a lot if the product is suitable for vegans. According to the origin of their ingredients, mass gainers can be classified into:
Mass gainers that contain elements of animal origin: most gainers of this type are composed of whey protein (isolated, concentrated or hydrolyzed), casein, and albumin. Carbohydrates usually come from maltodextrin (hydrolyzed starch).
Mass gainers made exclusively with vegetable ingredients: these products are designed primarily for vegans, but those who are lactose intolerant and allergic to cow’s milk proteins also consume them. The most used vegetable proteins are soy, peas, and rice. Maltodextrin and oatmeal supply carbohydrates.
Who Are the Main Recipients of The Mass Gainers?
Mass gainers are formulated to help meet the energy and nutritional requirements of high-performance athletes. Bodybuilders, long-distance runners, and other athletes who train intensely over long periods and want to increase their muscle mass are the ideal candidates for these products.
A person who goes to the gym 1 hour a day to recreate and maintain a healthy weight should not resort to these supplements. It happens that, in these cases, the individual increase his body weight, but increasing the fat mass. As a result, both health and body image would undergo a negative change.
What Results Can You Expect from Consuming Mass Gainers?
A mass gainer provides everything you need to gain weight and build muscle mass: calories, carbohydrates, and proteins. Weight gain is pure, but to improve body composition, reduce fat and increase muscle, it is necessary to take care of the quality of the food sources and carry out the adequate physical activity for this purpose.
To gain 1 kilogram per week, you need to consume another 7000 calories distributed in those seven days. This can be achieved by taking one serving of mass gainer per day. Now, how can we have muscle development and not fat storage? Through intense training, which includes strength exercises.
The mass gainer provides the necessary proteins, but physical activity is the key to building muscle. If muscle fibers are not subjected to physical exertion, muscle hypertrophy (enlargement) does not occur. Also, you shouldn’t skip any of the main meals of the day, and you shouldn’t neglect the nutritional quality of food.
What Is the Best Way to Hire a Mass Gainer?
To get the most out of a mass gainer, it is essential to consider some recommendations related to its consumption. Although each individual is different and the ideal would be to have a nutrition specialist determine the ration and when it should be taken.
Here are some essential tips for responsible consumption:
- Do Not Overdo the Portion: the diet must provide enough calories to maintain weight, while the mass gainer contains the additional energy and proteins necessary to increase muscles. A 300 gram serving of powder is generally sufficient to support the change in weight and body composition.
- Care for Conventional Food Quality: no supplement can replace a balanced diet. For a mass gainer to do its job, the diet must be rich in functional quality proteins and carbohydrates, moderate in fat (with a predominance of unsaturated fatty acids), and reduced in simple sugars (reserved for training times).
- Do Not Replace Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner with A Portion of Mass Gainer: this supplement must be taken between meals or as a pre and post-workout snack.
- Divide the Intake of The Mass Gainer: once dissolved in water, the mass gainer reaches a volume of 500 to 750 ml. It is not necessary to drink the whole ration at once, but the idea is to divide it into 2 or 3 doses per day. It is thus possible to improve digestive tolerance and ensure a stable supply of carbohydrates and proteins to the muscle.
Is a Mass Gainer Like an Anabolic Steroid?
No, a mass gainer is a supplement that provides pure nutrients and has no hormones in its composition. It is a safe health product which, in the worst-case scenario, can lead to weight and fat gain. Anabolic steroids are hazardous and can cause serious heart, liver, kidney, and sexual problems.
What Side Effects Can a Mass Gainer Have?
An excess of mass gainer or a lack of an adequate physical activity program can lead to weight gain based on fat mass, which will accumulate as adipose tissue.
Stomach pain, nausea, flatulence or diarrhea can be felt when starting to take such a supplement, although this can be prevented by starting with 1/3 of a serving instead of a full one.
What Contraindications Does a Mass Gainer Have?
Most mass gainers have whey and casein proteins, which come from milk, which is why lactose intolerants and those allergic to cow’s milk proteins should look for supplements that we have other protein sources.
In the case of kidney, liver, and cardiovascular diseases, the family doctor should consider whether the consumption of such a supplement is appropriate.
Also, anyone taking chronic disease medications should consult their doctor to rule out any interactions between the supplement and the drug itself.