What is a mass gainer?
A mass gainer is a sports supplement that is intended to contribute to weight gain. They are high in calories. They are mainly composed of two sources: carbohydrates and proteins. They may also contain a smaller proportion of fats. They include bcaa, glutamine and creatine.
A mass gainer, contrary to what many people think, is a natural supplement and not a doping supplement.
The caloric intake can range from 300 calories to 1200 calories per intake, depending on the brand and amount used. This type of supplement is not a meal replacement, the aim is to help achieve the calorie requirement.
Its main function: as the name suggests, the main objective is to increase body weight. Some people find it easier to maintain the surplus in this way rather than with food, or when a quick calorie intake is required. They can also be used as a recuperator, as they provide large amounts of protein that contribute to muscle mass gain, as well as carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores.
What are the benefits of a mass gainer?
- -Easy calorie intake: a large amount of calories can be introduced into the body in a single dose. Its quick and easy preparation, which only involves mixing it with water or milk, without the need for cooking, makes it ideal for people with little time, busy people who want to gain muscle mass. This supplement will ease their way.
- It helps to increase the daily protein intake: one intake of mass gainer can provide between 30 and 80 grams of protein. They are considered to be high-protein products for this reason: their composition contains between 15% and 40% of the total.
- Combination of more than one source of protein: whether of animal or vegetable origin, we ensure that the aminogram is complete. The combination is usually: whey, soya, egg and meat protein.
- In addition to providing all the amino acids necessary for muscle development, mass gainers are usually enriched with BCAAs and creatine monohydrate.
- The most complete post-workout: they allow you to fill up after emptying your glycogen stores and contribute to protein synthesis.
- They have a high glutamine content, a non-essential amino acid that mitigates muscle soreness and loss of strength after intense exercise.
- High in extra vitamins and minerals: Weight gainers also tend to be enriched with a wide range of vitamins and minerals necessary to carry out all physiological functions.
- Ease of consumption and preparation: they save cooking time, can be taken anywhere and only need water or milk for mixing.
- We can find simple and complex carbohydrates.
What nutrients does it provide?
The main ingredients are various types of protein: whey, casein, albumin and soya protein. As a source of carbohydrates, maltodextrin, which comes from starch, is usually the main source of carbohydrates.
Other compounds also present in mass gainers are:
- Pea, rice and wheat protein.
- Soy lecithin.
- Medium chain triglycerides
- Sunflower oil.
- Vitamin and mineral mix.
- Flaxseed powder.
- Non-nutritive sweeteners: sucralose, acesulfame K.
- Fructose, corn syrup and isomaltulose.
- Creatine monohydrate.
- Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Xanthan gum: a thickener.
- Cocoa and artificial flavourings.
- Colouring agents: carmine, E-133, E-150.
Who are mass gainers for?
- Mass gainers are recommended for people who want to gain weight, gain muscle mass and want to take an easier way because they can be taken without cooking.
- It contributes to being in a calorie surplus.
- Having this extra supply of calories allows us to carry out more intense workouts.
Which mass gainer to choose?
In order to choose one mass gainer or another, a number of factors must be taken into account:
That it contains all the necessary nutrients: complete aminogram We are looking for the protein sources, especially if they are of vegetable origin, to complement each other in order to obtain all the essential amino acids and that it is considered to be of high biological value. The source of carbohydrates depending on the objectives we have: see if they are complex or simple carbohydrates.
If we want to use the mass gainer as a post-workout. It is recommended to choose one that has a low percentage of fat to be digested quickly, as well as a source of simple carbohydrates to replenish glycogen deposits quickly.
All this, within the caloric framework corresponding to our needs and requirements. The amount of calories ingested per intake must be taken into account.
What types of mass gainers are available?
We can classify mass gainers into two categories depending on where they come from: animal or vegetable.
Mass gainers with ingredients of vegetable origin: these are those aimed at vegans, those allergic to milk protein or those who are lactose intolerant. The most commonly used protein sources are pea, soya and rice. Oats and maltodextrin are used as sources of carbohydrates.
Mass gainers with ingredients of animal origin: most mass gainers use whey protein as a source of protein, either isolated, concentrated or hydrolysed, casein and albumin. the carbohydrates come from maltodextrin.
How to take the mass gainer?
Mix the indicated amount of product or the amount that suits your needs with water or milk and mix.
When to take a mass gainer?
Before training: it is recommended to take it several hours before training to make sure you don't feel heavy in your stomach.
After training: as a post-workout. It provides the necessary nutrients: protein to repair and build muscle mass and carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores.
Between meals: as we do not want it to replace a meal, it is ideal to take it between meals to ensure a calorie surplus.