Achieving your ideal body is about more than just hitting the gym regularly, there’s an entire biological science that goes into meeting your body’s energy needs in order to get the outcome you want. If you’re not seeing the muscle gain results you expected, there is a simple way to kick your body into high gear and get the most out of your workout. Make sure you are getting enough calories to support the activity. If you aren’t feeding your body what it needs it will be using the foods you do eat for energy, not building muscles. And if you are on a calorie restrictive diet, it may even be using muscle tissue.
Benefits of Using a Mass Gainer
If you haven’t seen the results you’ve been waiting for or you are having difficulty meeting your daily calorie needs, you might want to consider using a reliable mass gainer. This will help you get all the nutrition you need to start gaining weight and packing on muscle without having to shovel food in your face and feeling bloated all day.
Perhaps the best thing about using a mass gainer is that you can get everything you need in one simple shake. This makes for the perfect post workout meal, because after a workout your body is depleted of glycogen and glucose and will use the carbs in your shake to replenish them while using the protein to build muscle. Without carbs and other nutrients, your body will end up using protein for fuel, rather than repairing muscle tissue.
Don’t feel like reading the whole article? Here are our top 5 recommendations:
- Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Gainer Protein Powder
- BSN TRUE-MASS Weight Gainer
- Dymatize Super Mass Gainer
- NAKED MASS All Natural Weight Gainer
- GNC Pro Performance AMP Amplified Mass Weight Gainer
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Mass Gainer
There are a lot of things you need to consider before you find the right weight gainer that will work for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are looking for the right one for your needs.
- Your Calorie Requirements
If you are bodybuilding already. you know how hard it can be to meet your daily calorie requirements simply by eating. Weight gainers are an excellent alternative to eating day and night in order to reach your goals.
Weight gainers often come in different varieties for different calorie needs. If you only need a little help to substitute a fatty protein, or if you need a lot of help to put on lean weight you can choose the weight level gainer that is right for your needs.
- Creatine Needs
In a regular diet, creatine requires carbohydrates in order to transform into creatine phosphate in your body. This is important to generating enough energy to push your body to its absolute limits. Mass gainers allow you to kill two birds with one stone by adding the creatine and the carbohydrates necessary to break it down in one simple solution.
- The Right Fats to Stay Lean
You may be noticing a theme here so far. Mass gainers are and easy way to get everything you need without having to stock up at the grocery store. And lean fats are no exceptions. You need fat in your diet to break down nutrients and proteins, but problems often arise when you eat the wrong fats. Mass gainers make getting the right ones easy, so you can put on weight without increasing your BMI.
The Best Mass Gainer
My team are big fans of utilizing mass gainers during bulking phases and have tried all the top brands in the market. Below you will find our top 5 favorites:
The Advantages of the ProductThe major benefit this particular gainer has to offer is the variation in protein sources. Not everyone’s body breaks down protein (or any other food for that matter) at the same rate, and some people have more difficulty breaking down proteins from particular sources more than others. So, having a gainer with three different type of protein will help ensure you are getting the type that is ideal for your particular body type. This is a major benefit for those who might have had trouble putting on the weight of gaining muscles before. It might be something as simple as taking something with the wrong type of protein for your body to easily digest.
Optimum Nutrition also offers a variety of flavors for you to choose from, so you don’t need to worry about having to flavor it yourself with fruits and a blender. Or try to force yourself to drink some flavorless powder. The added flavor will make it easier for you to simply shake this up in your bottle on the go for fast and easy in between meal snacks.
The Disadvantages of the ProductIf you have an egg sensitivity you may want to look elsewhere. Though it is a great benefit to have several protein sources in your gainer it can definitely be a drawback for anyone who has a food sensitivity. And it doesn’t stop at the egg either, as this gainer contains artificial flavors and sweeteners as well. Again, having a flavored gainer can certainly make it much less of a pill to swallow, so to speak, but may be a deal breaker for people with sensitivities. I’m also uncertain of the source used to add maltodextrin and am inclined to believe it is likely from a wheat source as that is the most common to be found in gainers. This means it would contain gluten and not be suitable for people with celiac disease. However, if you don’t have any of these issues then the flavor could definitely be an incentive rather than a drawback.
This type of mass gainer is ideal for those looking to gain the leanest mass possible. It is packed with all the nutrients you need in order to build mass, just is somewhat smaller quantities. This is good for putting on weight, but not so much weight that you might end up with fat or have your muscles get too bulky. If you are an all-around athlete and not just a bodybuilder this gainer will help you put on the lean muscle definition that would be otherwise harder to achieve. Personally, I think this gainer is best for beginners who are uncertain what their calorie needs will be or those who don’t yet know which protein works best for them.
The Advantages of the ProductThe number one benefit this gainer has to offer is that its low-calorie count will make it easy for your body to get the energy it needs and the nutrients to build muscle without overshooting your goals. Though it may seem a little on the low side the ninety grams of carbs and forty-five grams of protein in each serving is just enough to give you a two-to-one ratio of protein to fuel for energy.
Additionally, it has the highest number of protein sources on this list, so would most benefit those who need a wide variety of protein sources or those who are unsure as to which ones will work best for them.
The Disadvantages of the ProductWhen it comes to the downsides of this gainer there are a few. For one there are a lot of allergens in this gainer, including whey (which is in nearly all of them, so I can’t really judge that too harshly), egg, wheat (for maltodextrin), and soy. Since it contains wheat it also contains gluten, which won’t work for anyone with a sensitivity. Though, of course this won’t be an issue for most people, but it is something you should keep in mind.
Additionally, if you are looking to put on a lot of weight in a short period of time, or have a particularly strenuous workout, this gainer is unlikely to have enough calories for you to reach your goals. Personally, I would say that this gainer is better used by beginners who might not have a set regimen yet or those who are unfamiliar with how many calories they will need every day to reach to body goals they have set for themselves.
The Advantages of the ProductThe Dymatize Super Gainer includes an impressive selection of flavors. This is a major benefit for those wanting to keep a little variety in their lives. Drinking or eating the same things for months on end can get pretty old, but with these flavors you can change things up quite a bit and avoid getting overly bored in your diet. Simply order more than one flavor at a time and mix things up (figuratively or literally), or you can simply alternate between the flavors you order and try something new every time. Really, it’s just nice to have a few options.
The aforementioned is also a great choice for anyone who is having any particular difficulty meeting their calorie needs, as it comes with a huge calorie count in every serving. This will help you put on the pounds faster without having to add any extra whole food meals to your diet.
Another major advantage of this gainer is that it is gluten free, which is idea for anyone suffering from celiac disease. This particular sensitivity can make it extremely difficult to find a gainer, as your body needs carbs to breakdown proteins. This gainer is carb free, so you can rest assured that you won’t have any negative reactions to this product.
The Disadvantages of the ProductNot a great fit for anyone with lactose intolerance or a dairy sensitivity. Since this gainer used both egg proteins and milk proteins it could be a bad combination for anyone sensitive to these ingredients. It’s a great benefit to have the variety of protein sources this gainer is bringing to the table. Unfortunately, it just might not be for everybody, especially those with special dietary needs.
Additionally, I don’t see anything here about a source of carbohydrates either. It’s great that it is a gluten-free option, but without a source of carbs your body is going to have some difficulties breaking down the four different types of protein. You can, of course, always add a safe carb into your diet if you have a sensitivity to them in order to help pick up the pace yourself, though personally I think the gainers should have them.
The Advantages of the ProductSome of the unique things this gainer has to offer is the lack of artificial additives that you often see in other gainers, and let’s be honest, the supplement world as a whole. Now, not everyone is into the all-natural thing but you don’t really have to be in order to appreciate the lack of fake flavoring or the potential health risks of certain sweeteners. Granted, if you wanted the “all natural” approach you could try just eating whole foods, but if you are health conscious of have sensitivity to artificial sweeteners this is a good supplement.
Another thing I want to add about this gainer that makes it a little special is that the maltodextrin it contains comes from tapioca and not wheat (as is common), meaning it is actually gluten-free as well. This is hands down one of the best option I have seen for people with special dietary restrictions like celiac disease, hypoglycemia, or even diabetes (type one, though I would say for you to talk about this with your doctor first). Or, if you simply have a sensitivity to artificial sweeteners, as many people do, you won’t have to worry about any discomfort after taking this.
The Disadvantages of the ProductThe only downside to this gainer is pretty closely tied to what makes it one of the best (or so I think anyway). It doesn’t have any flavor. Or sweetener, for that matter. And even though this may not be much of an issue for some people it could certainly be a real deal breaker for others. You can still add fruits to the mixture when blending and maybe even a little yogurt for a flavor and a slight calorie boost. Unfortunately, that might mean having to prepare it beforehand or have access to a blender in order to make it after a workout or in between meals. You wouldn’t be able to just use your mixing bottle and have flavor. This may not even be an issue for some, as I know some of you will drink them so fast it doesn’t matter what it tastes like.
The Advantages of the ProductThis is a great gainer for weight lifters that are just beginning a regular body building routine. If you are not so sure about whether or not you will need an addition two-thousand calories every day alongside your healthy diet then this gainer might be a good place to start. The combination of protein and carbs will give your body what you need in order to gain weight and turn it into lean muscle. The two types of proteins selected for this gainer work very well together, as one can break down in the body very quickly while the other take more time. Basically, this means that if you take this right after your workout your body will be fueled on high proteins for several hours, which is ideal for fast recovery of your muscles.
The Disadvantages of the ProductThere are only a few, non-deal breaking drawbacks to choosing this weight gainer, as opposed to others on the list. Chiefly, the first disadvantage is the limited ingredients. Though the two proteins chosen for this formula work well together in keeping protein in your body for long periods of time, you are missing out on what other proteins may have to offer, and there are less fatty proteins than soy that could be used for leaner muscle growth. There are also many allergies and sensitivities that go with using soy, and since there are less fatty proteins with a lower allergy propensity this seems like and oversight. Though I would reiterate the intended purpose of using these specific proteins together is to prolong the amount of protein in your system, not to be hypoallergenic.
And lastly, as we have seen before with a few gainers, this one is a little low on calories, which is good for a beginner who might not have a high-calorie need as a professional bodybuilder might, it will be less effective on those with an aggressive workout regimen or a high metabolism.
Mass Gainer vs. Protein Powder
Let’s be clear; we aren’t saying you have to choose one over the other. Many bodybuilders use both simultaneously. However, it is important that you know what each one brings to the table before you start your regiment. Both of them work together with a healthy diet to improve recovery time, while building muscle and lowering your body fat percentage.
- Protein Powder: Protein powder should be your first weapon in your arsenal for fighting for healthy muscle growth. Protein powders typically use whey proteins for its low-fat content and easy digestion. Using a protein powder is not only a fast and easy way to make sure you are meeting your protein needs, but it also usually cheaper and has less fat than eating whole foods to meet the same needs.
- Mass Gainer: Weight gainers pack the caloric punch you need to feed your body what it requires to build muscle. They usually contain low fat calories and supporting nutrients needed to put on the weight so your body can transform it into muscle. It is much easier than finding high-calorie low-fat foods with the right nutrients in your regular diet. There are some weight gainers that are two in one, with your calorie needs as well as the amount of protein you need to gain the weight and build your muscles.
Quick Tips Before Purchasing a Mass Gainer
Here are some tips to help you use mass gainers to the fullest and ensure you have the best one for your needs.
Use fruit to make a smoothie: Some mass gainers some flavored, but those that don’t can be flavored naturally by blending them with fruit. Just throw some strawberries or bananas in with your gainer and you have a great post workout meal. You can do this even if your gainer comes flavored.
Don’t forget your off days: Though you may not be hitting the gym today, your body is still working hard behind the scene and building muscles. It still needs energy and the extra calories and protein to build the lean muscles you want, so don’t forget to take your gainer on your off days.
Which protein works best for you?: This one may take some time to figure out, but it is important to find out which protein source works best for your body to break down quickly. Make sure to keep an eye out for the sources on your gainers and even ask your doctor which one might be best for your metabolism.
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, I would have to say the best mass gainer is the NAKED MASS All Natural Gainer, as it has the calorie count necessary for gaining mass as well as a gluten-free carbohydrate source, low risk of sensitivity to the protein used, and no artificial sweeteners or flavors. Though it may lack a bit in the taste department, I believe the NAKED MASS natural gainer to be the healthiest choice on this list. The aforementioned is also available at a great price!