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Mass Gainers – Are They Right For You?

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(Ian Carroll / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Since the start of bodybuilding in the 19th century in England, a large number of prominent names such as Flex Wheeler, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chyna have helped re-shape the industry greatly. Hence, instilling confidence in more people to use their bodies as canvases to achieve unbelievable feats of muscular forms.

Nevertheless, if you’re here reading this, then you’ve been inspired too and we are here to help you take the most important step moving forward by choosing the right mass gainer and to explain the benefits and downside of taking them.

Understanding The Purpose Of Mass Gainers

Mass gainers assist with a quicker raise in your daily protein, carb, and calorie intake to help your body in bulking and weight gain. So, you may ask –

Who Should Take Them

It is most commonly used by bodybuilders in their bulking stage and by people who struggle to eat or attain the necessary amount of carbs through everyday meals. They contain a high amount of calories with added carbohydrates and fat. This is especially beneficial to people who mostly follow a plant-based diet.

Who Shouldn’t Consume Mass Gainers

If you happen to suffer from digestive issues or are allergic to certain dairy products, you may want to re-think your options as they are mostly made up of whey and/or casein. Besides that, if you tend to gain weight fast, it is also a reason for you to steer clear of this supplement.

What To Expect While Taking Mass Gainers

  • A quicker increase in weight
  • Signs of muscle buildup
  • Upset stomach

Things To Look Out For In Mass Gainers

Ideally, what you would want to do is consider the number of calories that are present in a full serving as well as the kind of breakdown of protein (whey or casein), carbohydrates, and fat content that make up those calories. The preferred amount of carbs consumed should be anywhere from 40g to 50g.

They must also contain ingredients such as monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids to help boost muscle buildup as well.

Most mass gainers even include minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, chloride, potassium, chromium, and sodium as well as amino acids, l-glutamine, and flaxseed oil, which are all beneficial for your achievements to come.

How Should You Consume Mass Gainers

They can be taken either with water or milk, 30 minutes pre/post-workout. It is important to note that when taken with milk the calories consumed would increase. Replacing the mass gainer with actual meals might slow down the results.

However, the recommended times you should consume a scoop of mass gainer per day actually depends on your dietary calories consumption, lifestyle, and workout routine and may vary from 1 to many scoops. For instance, MyProtein suggests consuming 3⅓ large scoops which are 100 grams in 500 to 1000 ml of water or milk.

Mass Gainer's - Are They Right For You Review

Should You Take Mass Gainers Without Working Out

It is not something that is recommended but if you do choose to do so, it is important to know that you would only build up an excessive amount of fat and flab rather than muscle.

Are You Meeting Your Calorie Surplus

Your calorie intake also depends on your height, weight, and gender. For instance, the recommended amount of calories for a female would be anywhere from 1500 (if she is losing weight) to 2000 (to maintain her weight). Though it also depends upon a lot of other factors such as BMR, RMR, active/inactive lifestyle, etc. Whereas, men are recommended to consume anywhere from 2000 to 2500 calories per day to achieve similar results.

Then, in the case of bodybuilders and powerlifters, females consume more than 3200 calories when bulking and whereas men consume an excess of 3800 calories per day.

Common Mistakes That People Make When Consuming Mass Gainers

  • Not consuming the protein on off days or taking half the serving to save it
  • Preferring to lift lighter weights over heavier ones in order to do more reps, hence leading to little or no results within the desired period of time.
  • Substituting meals with mass gainers
  • Picking cheaper priced products over quality brand products

What Are Some Of The Most Effective Mass Gainer Brands

Note – Several factors such as price, brand recognition, and results have been taken into consideration for the following list –

  • Optimum Nutrition (ON) Serious Mass Weight Gainer Powder
  • MuscleTech MassTech Extreme 2000
  • RSP Nutrition TrueGain Mass Gainer
  • BSN True-Mass Weight Gainer
  • GNC Amp Mass XXX Powder
  • Labrada Muscle Mass Gainer
  • Isopure Mass
  • Prorganiq Sports Nutrition Premium Mass Gainer
  • Big muscles Nutrition Xtreme Muscle Mass
  • Muscle Monk Intense Mass Gainer

Advice

It is important that you keep track of your progress while trying out supplements such as mass gainers for the first time in order to achieve the desired target and to check their effectiveness. Also, look out for harmful additives such as cheap filler ingredients like maltodextrin and anabolic steroids.

Patience and discipline are also key factors in assisting mass gainers or other protein powders in helping you achieve favorable results.

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