What is a mass gainer?
If an athlete needs to increase their weight and muscle mass quickly, gainers are one of the options — although not risk-free — to achieve it. Learn how to take such supplements and avoid problems.
[showhide type=”post” more_text=”Show more text” less_text=”Hide text”]
The use of gainers is increasingly widespread among athletes, who consider them a good option to increase muscles and, therefore, body weight. What exactly are so-called weight gainers? They are defined as dietary supplements with a nutritional composition helping to gain weight, and specifically, to increase muscle mass.
There are many types of gainers, which differ not only by brand but also by their composition and the frequency and the way they should be consumed. The most common are shakes ingested once a day, although there are also pills — with less energy value — and certain shakes designed to be taken several times a day. Regarding their composition, they usually include carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, trace elements, creatine, etc.
What mass gainer do?
Weight Gainer is a name that can be easily misunderstood. People who usually want to buy them are looking to increase lean bone mass and muscle mass. Hardly anyone seeks to gain fat. Bodyweight is divided into several components such as muscle, fat, bones, organs, skin, water, etc. For such purposes, we will need a product that contains quality macronutrients in adequate quantities. It would be misleading to claim that such products
can help us automatically gain muscles: they may help us to achieve our fitness goals, but never produce them by themselves.
Body transformation does not happen overnight. To grow and increase body weight, we must stimulate the muscle to generate an adaptation and increase in size. Such an effect is achieved by creating physical stress to the body through physical exercise. With a proper diet, we can provide the necessary fuel to achieve it. We should continue our efforts until our
desired results are achieved. It takes time and dedication but can be definitely done.
When to take a mass gainer?
These dietary supplements are not meant for everyone, but they are aimed at people who find it difficult to gain weight due to the high caloric expenditure they have. Alternatively, they can be used by people who are already overweight and need to consume calories in the form of shakes, since they may not be able to obtain such large amounts of calories with normal food.
To illustrate different cases, let us imagine a rugby player who weighs 110 kilos and wants to gain more weight. It is probably easier for him to hit his daily calorie goals with smoothies than by eating large amounts of potatoes and rice. Another similar case is the case of individuals competing in contact sports, who need to gain weight to be able to fight in a higher category. Since their caloric expenditure is already very high due to constant training, and they are unable to consume extra food that would allow them to gain enough weight when they have little time to meet their goal.
How to use a mass gainer?
We can use a mass gainer first thing in the morning, as part of our breakfast. It is the alternative that many athletes consider the best since they provide extra energy throughout the day. We can also use the gainers during or just after each workout — for different reasons. The most obvious reason is to supply energy during a training session so that caloric expenditure does not affect the weight gain process.
It also must be taken into account that such shakes usually contain a high number of proteins helping muscle hypertrophy, which makes them suitable for strength training, and facilitation of the recovery process.
The third option is to take two or more shots of gainers a day, dividing the daily dose into small caloric doses throughout the day. The most problematic thing about this form of consumption is that it usually recommended not to eat other food between 40 and 60 minutes after taking the supplement, which limits the number of times we can actually take them.