Here in Thewheyprotein.com we answer your questions every day.
That's why I have created this guide to mass gainers for you to help you choose the mass gainer best suite to your workout !
WHAT IS A MASS GAINER
When you begin bodybuilding , you do not always know very well what to eat, how much proteins and carbohydrates you should take, or in which foods to find the right ones. The mass gainer was developed just to meet this need. It is the simplest and safest way to bring to the body exactly all the anabolic elements that a muscle in growth phase requires, as well as the necessary energy for training.
A mass gainer is a nutritional supplement in the form of a perfectly balanced meal, composed of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, intended to make mass gain, as the name indicates. Composed of 30% protein (sometimes from different sources) and 70% dextrose (carbohydrates with a high glycemic index). It is usually low in fats but is not meant for dry muscle gain but weight gain. It supplements meals with all the calories needed for mass gain and is sometimes enriched with certain amino acids or vitamins and minerals.
Its practical and pre-digested shape, easy to prepare and carry anywhere, that is enough to mix with water or milk.
Then, the mass gainer is simply a mixture of nutrients, reduced to powder, that is consumed with water or milk. It is a supplement that makes it possible to ingest more calories for people who have difficulty eating enough to gain mass. It will not make you gain muscle as if by magic, it is the sufficient intake of nutrients .
USING MASS GAINERS IN WORKOUTS
A mass gainer will simply add calories to meals in a day. This is very useful for bodybuilders in the phase of mass gain , but also for athletes whose caloric intake is insufficient in relation to their caloric usage. It is an indispensable nutritional supplement for those who have a very dry physique, or who are called "ectomorph" and who have difficulties in growing muscles.
For those who do not know what to eat or when to eat, or those who sometimes lack appetite, the mass gainer also offers a ready-made alternative. Adding a mass Gainer to your meals helps increase caloric intake without the need to force yourself to eat more and therefore put the body in a position to gain weight through diet.
But be careful not to mix your objectives: gaining weight, it is not only to gain muscle, it is to increase the capacity of the body to grow by forcing it with a concentrated food. Gaining dry muscles is possible but balancing the right dose of calories and intense training . Moreover, it is almost impossible for the those who have a physical shape called "ectomorphs", to go through this phase of weight gain. For others, the storage of excess calories will be more important in the form of fat.
For this, one must eat much, and sometimes more than necessary, by bringing more calories to the body than it will be able to spend. This is an essential step, known as weight gain, during which less attention will be paid to lipids. This does not mean that you don't make muscles. To develop a dry physique at the base, it is necessary to go through the first stage, even on a short period, and then to refocus on the search for dry mass that will require another particular diet (protein-based without carbohydrates), in a second step.
The main purpose of a mass gainer is to help the bodybuilders to be heavier, that is mass gain .
Why should we eat more? both because intense muscle training will consume more energy and calories, and also because muscle growth and recovery will also require to tap into the energy reserves to be done at best. These calories needed for training can only be provided by an abundant diet.
Optimizing your weight gain with a mass gainer requires both eating properly, training enough and respecting rest times.
In general, professional bodybuilders take advantage of winter periods to grow muscle and go through the bulking phase , focusing on their massive physique . They then make every effort in the spring and just before the summer to become dry again and bring out their beautiful muscles before the competitions.
This weight gain has several advantages. The first is that it will make the muscles swell, thus increasing basic metabolism and energy requirements.
It will therefore be easier in the second phase to make sure to take only muscle, by distributing its caloric intake. The second advantage is that your gained weight will play on your physical strength. It is virtually impossible to gain strength without going through weight gain. In some sports requiring power, strength training is therefore a complementary to increase its physical strength and performance.
What is the type of your body ?
There are three types of morphotypes (body structure):
• Endomorph : It has a rather fine bone structure, broad hips, a round appearance, narrow shoulders and easy weight gain and fat.
• Mesomorph: This one has a broad bone structure, broad shoulders, a very marked face and a muscled body "naturally".
• The Ectomorph: It has a fine skeleton and very thin, little muscled and hardly gains weight. His shoulders and pelvis are narrow.
These morphotypes have often been controversial and their use becomes almost exclusive in the circle of bodybuilding and sport at the moment. They are the representation of a genetic heritage. The mass gainers are applicable easily according to these morphotypes:
• The endomorph , having the characteristic of fast and easy weight gain, if he wants to gain extra weight, he will have to focus on a low GI (Glycemic Index) gainer. A supplementation in whey protein, or even in whey isolate can nevertheless prove more useful.
• The mesomorph should ideally focus on a low GI gainer, slow assimilation, even complex (supplemented with creatine, vitamins ...)
• The ectomorph will have to focus on a gainer that have high GI, rapid assimilation, since his metabolism is very fast and easily burns calories and must carry more calories than it spends.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MASS GAINERS?
There are weight gainers that are high in calories and the low in calories . The former are intended for hard gainers, those whose metabolism is fast and which burn faster than they store.
The latter are intended for bodybuilders wishing to boost their energy and mass intake in a controlled manner aiming at obtaining dry muscle.
These are often experienced bodybuilders who aim to control their calorie intake or beginners who tend to make fat (endomorphic). A low calorie mass gainer will be richer in protein, better dosed in carbohydrates (50/50) and poorer in fats which will help in a better fat mass / lean mass distribution.
Depending on the time of the taking the mass gainer, one can also choose to privilege one or the other. For example after training, one can rely on a caloric gainer, whereas before going to bed, it is better to favor the poorest in calories.
A gainer for mass gain should ideally contain between 25% and 30% protein, the rest being provided by carbohydrates.
For dry weight gain, a gainer should be more in the proportion, 50% protein 50% carbohydrate.
Secondly, you should know about the types of protein used, the absorption of which will be more or less rapid (whey isolate, casein, or a mixture of both, or sometimes enriched with egg protein), as well as carbohydrates) dextrose, fructose, maltodextrin.
Some are supplemented with vitamins and minerals that facilitate their absorption or with amino acids specific to the recovery or strength that will increase the results obtained as part of the mass gain.
HOW MASS GAINERS CAN AFFECT OUR MUSCLES ?
Our muscles need two essential factors to grow. The first is training and the second is nutrition. They won't strengthen and grow in training if they don't have enough protein, carbohydrates (energy), vitamins and minerals.
And a mass gainer will stimulate both the mechanisms of insulin release and GH release (growth hormone). These are two anabolic hormones that will boost muscle and mass growth.
If you aim to gain 8 kg of pure muscles in one year, you will have to stay there and put all the chances on your side by focusing on any parameter like: nutrition, training, recovery. Knowing that these 8 kg will be muscles that are actually gained in the end and not just fat, you will need to be hard-working in terms of high calorie diet and intense workout with heavy loads.
The types of mass gainers vary from the more complex carbohydrates for a total and rapid weight gain to the most protein-based for a more gradual and controlled mass. You should consider this both if your metabolism is high or slow and depending on your level in bodybuilding.
- If you're just starting out, choose a basic gainer, you'll have plenty of time to change once you figure out how your body reacts to weight gain and how you progress.
- If you have an intermediate level of bodybuilding, you will probably need gainers from a triple source of protein, enriched in specific amino acids or fatty acids whose role will be to increase the energy intake, but also to participate in the manufacture of steroid hormones.
- If you are a pro bodybuilder and are looking to make only lean mass, it is the protein content of your mass gainer that you should look first, as well as the type of protein (with more Whey).
It is also recommended to alternate the different types of gainers through the time of day
WHEN AND HOW TO TAKE YOUR BEST MASS GAINER?
There are two essential moments during the day for the anabolism not to be missed: the morning after waking and the hour following the training. At these two key moments, the meal you are going to eat should be for muscle growth. If you miss these anabolic moments, your muscles will not grow properly .
Similarly, the night is an intense recovery time for the body. To recover, muscles must feed on amino acids. If you do not have it at this time, your muscles will not recover enough and the catabolism process will begin again.
The ideal thing would be to get up in the middle of the night to take a dose of your mass gainer. If you can not get it, taking a casein-based protein (slow-assimilating protein) before going to bed, will boost the metabolism at the right time. In the morning when waking up, it's the whey that will help you stay on top for muscle growth.
Between two workouts, your body will start to recover slowly. If you feel that one session after another you no longer progress or lose strength, you will need to think again about the frequency of your workout, as well as your caloric intake or distribution, in order to allow your muscles to recover fully. If you progress well in strength and without fatigue, it is because you have found the right timing and the right dosage of nutrients!
Calculating daily caloric intake allows for both your current and target weight, your basic metabolism (calories expended to maintain your current weight) and the energy needed for your weight gain workout (heavy loads).
HOW TO COMBINE YOUR MASS GAINER?
Add a dose of Whey to your morning snack on waking, and you will be in a maximum anabolism.
It is usually already contained in the most calorific gainers (maltodextrins, dextrose, fructose ...) but the intake can also be made in the form of ribose to provide extra energy to the muscle cells.
With amino acids like BCAAs
you will need it to optimize the growth hormone release and facilitate the synthesis of proteins. The BCAA and arginine are included. Some gainers are already enriched with amino acids specific to recovery such as glutamine.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE ?
That is the heart of the matter. However, it is a thorny issue because it depends mainly on parameters that are only known by YOU.
First, you need to know how many calories you consume each day and also know how many calories your body burns. For this last question, calculators are available online, this will give you an idea about that matter. To know how much calories you are consuming through your diet, you will need to weigh your foods and check the labels to calculate your intake.
Once done, you should get two digits. For example, you may burn 2500 kcal per day and consume only 2400, which is insufficient and could even make you lose weight. In this case, you should actually eat more or, if you can not, use your mass gainer to fill your diet.
The goal is to eat 300 to 400 kcal more than what you burn in the day. Following the previous example, this would bring your food intake to around 2800-2900 kcal per day. If these additional calories come from your gainer, then you will have to calculate, using the label, the amount of powder that this represents.
Then simply split this amount of gainer on one or more snacks of your day, or swallow it before and after your workout, depending on the type of mass gainer you purchased, as seen above.
The gainer should not replace your solid power supply, just supplement it. You should also avoid taking too much, because it is expensive and is not as well used, by the body, as solid food. So strive to eat the greatest amount of calories you need through real food. The gainer will then bring in the few calories you lack to gain mass.