What are the Best Weight Gainers in 2017?
Everyone talks about weight loss. The resources for people trying to lose weight are endless. However, there are times when you want to gain weight instead. The most common motivation is to bulk up and build muscle.
Another reason people struggle to gain weight is when your genetics work against you. Some people naturally have trouble putting on any weight, no matter how much they eat.
Luckily, you don't have to force yourself to keep eating. You can try weight gainer supplements. In this article, I'll cover some of the situations where weight gainers can be helpful, how these supplements work, and review the best weight gainers on the market.
Why Use a Weight Gainer?
The two main reasons to use a weight gainer are to build muscle and counteract your body's genetics.
People who are serious about working out and weight training often find that after a point, they're barely managing to maintain their current weight. Or worse - they're losing weight instead of bulking up.
If you're looking to add muscle mass, weight gainers are a great option. They're an easy way to add calories to your diet.
High calorie intake is vital for building muscle. You need to consume more calories than you burn in a day or you won't gain weight. If you're really serious about building muscles, you should shoot for "extreme calorie goals."
Extreme calorie goals are the maximum (or if you were trying to lose weight, the minimum) number of calories you should consume in a day. Use a calorie calculator to determine the recommended range for someone of your age, gender, and height.
Most body weight and calorie calculators focus on weight loss. However, the National Institute of Health has a Body Weight Planner that allows you enter custom weight goals. They also account for your level of activity during work and leisure. For the most accurate information, consult with a doctor about your weight gain plans.
After you know how many calories you should consume each day, you can look for the best weight gainer that matches your goals.
To Put on Weight
Hardgainers might struggle to put on weight because of their body type, genetics, or a fast metabolism. It can be hard or even useless to "just eat more." Weight gainers are an easy way to consume more calories without having to eat your weight in food.
How Do Weight Gainers work?
Weight gainers are simply a quick source of nutrition in liquid form. That's why they can feel so filling.
Weight gainers contain a combination of proteins and carbohydrates, usually with a few dietary fats too. Nowadays, most have additional nutrients, minerals, and amino acids so that you can get multiple benefits at once.
Most weight gainers follow a 2 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins. For example, one serving of a moderate weight gainer would contain 60 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of protein, and maybe around 2 grams of fat.
Weight gainers can seem similar to meal replacement powders. The difference is that meal replacement supplements have more protein. The usual ratio is 2 to 1 protein to carbohydrates. Of course, protein powders leave out the carbs entirely.
Proteins are essential to muscle growth, but they may not be enough if you have difficulty putting on weight. Weight gainers not only have carbohydrates, but dietary fats and other nutrients to help add bulk to your body.
Dietary fats help you gain weight, but the nutritional value of fats varies widely. Instead of figuring out how to get the right fats from foods, which are usually over-processed, a weight gainer can help you focus on lean fats.
The carbohydrates present in weight gainers spike your insulin levels and promote fat storage. If you're not burning enough calories, your weight gain might come from increased fat. Be careful not to take too much, or you might end up putting on the wrong kind of pounds.
However, an insulin spike is good for your body after a hard workout, making weight gainers a good post-workout drink. Many supplements contain nutrients like L-glutamine amino acids. L-glutamine is the amino acid most present in your muscles. It helps your muscles recover more quickly and may help prevent or reduce soreness.
If you're looking for a workout supplement, you could use protein powders, but weight gainers are specifically designed to make sure you take in more calories than you burn. Not getting enough calories will cause you to lose weight, no matter how much protein you consume.
What to Look for In a Weight Gainer
Daily vs Post-Workout Gainers
There are daily and post-workout varieties of weight gainer available. Most weight gainers are meant to supplement a workout, so if you're not getting regular exercise, you might see unwanted fat gain, even with a daily variety.
These products also have a wide range of calories. Some start at as a little as 400 calories per serving while brands go up to 1300 calories. Consider which calorie level is right for you.
Protein and Carbohydrate Content
I review two varieties of weight gainers in this article. One is protein-focused, while the other uses more carbohydrates to boost the overall calorie count.
Protein-based weight gainers are similar to protein powders, but they include additional nutrients and carbohydrates to help with weight gain. Typically, these supplements range from 400 to 700 calories per serving. The benefit of a protein-focused weight gainer is that the emphasis is on lean muscle.
Protein-heavy weight gainers aim to increase lean muscle mass steadily rather than piling the calories. Look for a weight gainer with high-quality proteins from multiple sources. Be aware that protein-based weight gainers are usually more expensive. Quality proteins like whey cost a lot more than ingredients that usually make up carbohydrate blends.
Carbohydrate or calorie-focused weight gainers are all about the pounds. They maximize your calorie intake, getting as high as 1,300 calories per serving. These supplements are great if you want to gain weight fast, and you're not too concerned about some of that weight coming from fat.
Many users who just want to gain weight use weight gainers first, and then workout to increase their lean muscle mass and cut out any unwanted fat. Believe it or not, it's easier to lose weight than it is to gain weight when you're a "hardgainer."
How to Take a Weight Gainer
In general, it’s best to start small. Take only one serving a day at first, and feel free to start with less than the recommended serving size at first. Let your body adjust to the supplement and be on the lookout for any adverse effects. If your body adjusts well, increase your serving size accordingly.
A Word of Caution
The human body is resilient and can adapt to a high quantity of nutrients. One study examined athletes who took double the recommended protein dose after workouts. They did not see any improvements in performance but showed beneficial effects on recovery.
However, excessive protein can damage your body. Protein increases the levels of amino acid and ammonia, as explained in a report from Connected Health Care Systems. The standard American diet doesn't usually contain enough alkaline, which is found mostly in fruits and vegetables. Alkaline helps us process protein, but if there is not enough alkaline, the body produces more ammonia.
Protein should not take up more than 35 percent of your total daily calories. Too much protein can lead to headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, nausea, diarrhea, and intolerance to foods high in protein.
You can avoid these symptoms by keeping a close watch on protein count. Track the amount of protein you take in from supplements and don't forget to count protein from foods too.
Best Weight Gainer Reviews
My top choice for a weight gainer would have to be BSN's True Mass. It boasts high-quality ingredients without a heavy price tag. True Mass has high-calorie content composed of a variety of protein and carbohydrate sources.
There are no significant drawbacks to using this product. Like many weight gain or protein supplements, it can be difficult to blend smoothly, but this doesn't have any significant impact on taste. BSN True Mass is ranked one of the best in taste.
This multipurpose weight gainer has a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins, allowing for fast weight gain. It includes nutrients not present in all the other supplements, like BCAAs, fatty amino acids, and good selection of essential vitamins and minerals.
The weight gainer you choose should match your personal goals. However, BSN True Mass works for people just looking to put on weight and those trying to bulk up.