Gainers are part of the world of dietary supplements and have a dual function: they help to gain weight and to gain muscle mass at the same time.
But in addition to helping athletes gain muscle mass and weight, they can also be a good option for other people.
There are many people who have an accelerated metabolism or are used to eat little and it costs them a lot to consume the amount of calories that’s necessary to gain weight, because we already know that to gain muscle mass or weight, the body needs to have a caloric surplus.
There is a wide variety of gainers available in the market of dietary supplements, but you can also prepare your own gainer at home.
In this post we will help you to find out how to choose the best option!
Weight gainers, better known as gainers, contain large amounts of carbohydrates and proteins, and many varieties of vitamins and minerals.
They are mainly composed of large amounts of carbohydrates, being a burst of energy, and calories, since many gainers contain about 1,000 calories per portion, a huge amount.
They also contain fats and other important ingredients to gain weight and muscle, such as creatine, glutamine or amino acids.
Who should take them?
Mainly indicated for: people who want to gain weight or achieve a daily required/recommended calorie intake:
- Athletes who want to gain weight and muscle at the same time
- People with an ectomorphic/skinny body composition who have difficulties to gain weight
- People who spend a lot of energy during the day, such as aerobic exercise athletes
- People who don’t have time to prepare full meals
- People who find it hard to finish meals or have an accelerated metabolism
A gainer would be a very good option for these people. Why?
Because the logic of nutrition tells us that we need more calories than we burn per day to be able to increase our body weight.
“Weight gainers” contain many calories to be able to exceed your daily caloric expenditure. A gainer gives you the amount of calories needed to gain weight without leaving you feel completely full.
To get the number of calories you need, you would have to eat large amounts of food, which can be difficult for people who are not used to this or who are not able to eat much.
For example: If you want to gain weight, you should consume 500 calories more than you usually eat. If you usually consume 1,800 calories, you would have to consume about 2,300 calories to gain weight and muscle mass, it’s that simple.
Gainer options: Home-made or ready-made?
A home-made gainer?
It’s possible to make a gainer at home. Perhaps the economic subject is the greatest advantage. It also allows you to be creative and to control the ingredients it contains.
We are all curious to know how to prepare our own home-made gainer, for example this one that we’re going to present to you:
- 200g of oats
- 4 egg whites
- One tablespoon of honey
With this shake you could get about 900 calories.
Carbohydrates from oats (complex carbohydrates) and honey (which is mostly sugar), are responsible for providing you with energy, as well as bananas, which also provide vitamins and minerals. The proteins from the egg will help you to build muscle.
But to make sure that our body absorbs all the nutrients necessary to gain weight and muscle mass, we would have to obtain a quality gainer with all the macronutrients and micronutrients scientifically studied.
Why buy a ready-made gainer?
While making a home-made gainer may be a more economical option, the scientifically studied ready-made mixes offer you a better balance of what you need to get better results.
And although a home-made gainer can be more economical, ready-made gainers have increasingly competitive prices.
It’s possible to find gainers for all types of budget. For example, the Mass Gainer by Zumub of 1.5kg costs 13.05€ and the one of 3kg costs 26.10€.
These are also good to help you save time and work.
With a shake containing a gainer, you will be able to satisfy your caloric needs in an easy and practical way, without wasting time. With this, you can guarantee not to miss a meal on busy days.
Another advantage is that they taste delicious, which facilitates their intake.
Example of a gainer
Serious Mass by Optimum Nutrition is a good example of a gainer with a good quality-price ratio.
In each serving (334g), Serious Mass by Optimum Nutrition provides you:
- 1252 calories, a number that can be increased by mixing it with milk or by adding extra ingredients.
- 50 grams of fast and slow absorbable proteins, such as whey, egg or casein, important for muscle building and post-workout recovery.
- 250 grams of carbohydrates (without added sugars, which is very important in weight gainers), which will help you to have energy and endurance for your workouts.
The topic of sugar is very important: Some gainers contain less than half of their carbohydrates in the form of sugars and others are full of sugars. For this reason, they won’t be as beneficial, because sugars give you energy and calories but are also harmful and promote the accumulation of fats.
- 24 essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B, and antioxidants, that will help you to maintain your well-being.
- Creatine and L-Glutamine, essential ingredients to gain muscle mass.
When to take them
As they are mainly composed of carbohydrates, they will give you energy to train. Therefore, an ideal time to take them would be pre-workout, at least 50 minutes before training, so you have time for digestion.
In between meals may also be an option, to help you to maintain a high caloric diet.
Another ideal moment would be after training, to help you to recover effectively.
Note: When a gainer has large servings, which is the case of Serious Mass, it’s recommended that those who are not used to take them begin with barely half a serving, so the body gets used to it and it won’t cause intestinal discomforts.
Ready-made gainer formulas will help you to get the amount of calories needed to gain weight more quickly and practically, with quality and saving you time and work.
When you combine your gainer with a complete regime of physical exercise and a balanced diet, you will see that the results will appear more quickly, and you ensure a defined and muscular body at the same time.
We all know that doing it at home is cheap, but are you going to choose to do it at home or are you going to buy a gainer that contains the calories and nutrients you need?