There is often debate about whether it is harder to gain muscle or lose fat. This isn't due to the actual physiological needs, but due to other individual factors, such as consistency, mental commitment, etc. When building muscle, however, people need to add some extra calories to their daily intake, and mass gainers are an excellent tool for this.
When it comes to building muscle, one of these big difficulties is trying to consume enough calories. By providing your body with more calories than you burn every day, your body will use that excess energy to either build muscle, or gain fat. By consuming weight gainer shakes, you make this goal much more attainable.
What Are Weight Gainers?
Weight gainers are shakes that are loaded with calories and have been formulated for a nice balance in macronutrient ratios. Not every shake is the same, however, so it is important to understand that you need to choose one that fits your goals.
For example, some weight gainer shakes are designed specifically with the macro split that is best suited for post-workout. This is because the body is in more of an anabolic state during that time, and these mass gainer shakes are formulated in order to give your body the best nutrients after your workout.
Other varieties include mass gainer shakes that are more of a meal replacement, as well as others that just provide a solid, dense addition in calories to your daily nutrition plan you already have in place.
Post-Workout Weight Gainers
Post-workout weight gainer shakes will have little amounts of fats, and high amounts of carbohydrates. This is because your body needs to be fed fast acting carbohydrates post-workout, since your muscles are in need of fuel after being broken down during the course of your training session. These shakes often include creatine as well, which has been shown to have benefits in your fat free mass, and even 1-rep max1.
Since you can take in more calories post-workout, these shakes will contain higher amounts of calories than you would see in other shakes, such as protein powder supplements. If you are looking for a boost that will help you with both your overall calorie needs, and your post-workout nutrition, then look for weight gainer shakes that contain higher calories.
Meal Replacement Weight Gainers
These weight gainers will hold less calories, but a more balance macronutrient ratio. While post-workouts really put emphasis on high amounts of carbohydrates, you will find that these types of shakes contain around the same amount of protein, but will hold more of a balance between fat and carbohydrate content.
These shakes are beneficial if you feel that you just struggle to get your calories in from solid foods, but don't feel that you have a flaw in your post-workout nutrition. While these shakes will be lower in total calories, they will still provide a high volume of calories that can be downed much easier, allowing you a quick boost to your total calorie needs.
Weight gainers are an excellent addition to your arsenal if you really struggle with getting your calorie needs in. They provide a quick boost, and do have multiple macro ratio formulas to choose from, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your situation. Keep in mind, however, that these should only be added when your nutrition is already dialled in. If you are struggling on the basics, don't try to add in supplements.
- Antonio, J., & Ciccone, V. (2013). The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.