Mass/Weight Gainer Supplements

Let’s get this right; no one needs weight gainer supplements. In it’s simplest form, gaining (or losing) weight boils down to a very simple mathematical concept. If calories consumed exceed calories burned, you’ll gain weight. If calories consumed is less than the calories burned, you’ll lose weight. To gain weight while in the right way (ie not getting fat) a 10% calorie surplus is what is recommended.

However, the simple concept requires a slightly more complex solution. When eating the right foods, it can be difficult to consume enough calories for someone exercising intensely everyday. To give an extreme example, Michael Phelps the legendary swimmer famously consumed 8000 to 10000 calories a day when training (4 times the amount required by an average male and twice as much as your hardcore gym goer squatting 250kg). Given a healthy meal of chicken breast, brown rice and vegetables can rack up just 300 calories, it is easy to understand why some people choose to supplement calories.

Our body needs protein to repair and build muscle, carbohydrates to burn for energy and (healthy) fat is needed for our general health.

To gain weight, it is recommended that 40%-60% of calories should come from carbohydrates, 20%-30% protein and the remainder healthy fats. Mass/weight gainers are built to conveniently add high quality calories to your diet and focus on a carbohydrate and protein boosts given our bodies need the two to exercise and recover. The vast majority of weight gainers contain a fast release and slow release protein blend to ensure supplementing as a calorie boost is fully beneficial.

Some weight gainers will have serving recommendations that supply over 1200 calories but will need over 300g of a 5000g tub to fulfil this, not to mention the fact our bodies will struggle to use all the nutrients before turning the remainder to fat. Others will recommend a serving of 50g to supply 200 calories. In order to choose the correct supplement, you need to analyse your diet and decide on the calorie boost you require. To add more complexity, the weight gain supplements on the market will have different ratios of protein, carbohydrates and fat so again, knowledge of your calorie target, macronutrient requirement and diet are key. And further than this, some supplements will add in other ingredients such as creatine to create an “all-in-one” gainer with the idea being you don’t need to buy any other supplement. Be careful here! If you aren’t consuming a shake daily, the creatine is pointless for example. Also, some added extras may be low in quantity and added to look good on the label.

The easy option is to not worry about the aforementioned and just ensure you consume a lot of calories, but then you’ll also likely add unwanted weight as any nutrients not used by the body will be turned to fat. If you’d like to work out your desired macronutrients, take a look at our Complete Guide To Nutrition and download our free macro calculator and food planner!

Use our database to identify the right supplement for you by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you struggle to gain weight? (Need to consume more calories)
  • How many calories do you need to supplement each day? (Use the calculator)
  • Do you need more protein or more carbs from a weight gainer? (Analyse your diet)
  • Will you be supplementing every day? (An ingredient like creatine is pointless otherwise)
  • Will you be supplementing more then once daily? (Cost per serving is a factor)
  • Do you want to use as a calorie booster or as a post workout recovery supplement?