What is Weight Gainers?
Most people like you and me have said the phrase I need to gain weight, but most hard gainers stop trying before they finally find what works for. The truth is, everybody is different, but there are simple, surefire ways for just about anybody to start gaining pounds.
When you are on a bodybuilding plan designed to help you gain weight, you might find yourself asking whether or not it would be a smart idea for you to invest in a weight gain shake.
Weight gain shakes are designed to do just that - help you GAIN WEIGHT. They are filled with calories - often nearing the 1000+ range, which will definitely put some sort of weight on in a hurry.
But, are they really your best option? Let's give this some thought.
What Weight Gainers Are Made Of:
If you look at the ingredient and nutritional information of most weight gainers, you'll come to find that they have a good amount of calories, a small amount of fat, a nice dose of protein, and then a large dose of carbohydrates.
This is in line with what you need for building muscle, so in that respect, these are 'right on the money'.
BUT, upon taking a closer look, you see the whole picture.
Consider the protein quality that is in the weight gainer. Some are going to be a much higher quality protein than others. Typically isolate whey powder will rank higher than plain whey powder, and soy will be even lower (in terms of protein quality). Casein is another variety of protein sometimes found, and it is a high quality protein, however is digested quite slowly so something again you definitely need to consider. If you're goal is rapid digestion, this isn't one you want to go with.
Next, and potentially the most crucial thing you want to look at, is how the carbohydrate break down looks.
You want the primary source of carbohydrates to be coming from maltodextrin, as this is what will refill muscle glycogen stores that fastest and most effectively, which is exactly what you are going for here.
If you find that the weight gainer in consideration contains a large volume of sugar or worse, fructose, you should put that weight gainer back on the shelf.
When there is a very large quantity of sugar present, you will experience a very high insulin spike, followed by a severe crash, which can then lead to headaches, fatigue, and jitteriness. Most people experience this even after a mild intake of sugar, but imagine 600-700 calories worth of sugar!
Keeping the sugar content to 30 grams or lower is going to be your smartest bet when it comes to this.
Consider Making Your Own:
Finally, and what I highly recommend, is just making your own weight gainer. This can easily be done by mixing a good quality protein with maltodextrin purchased at your local supplement or grocery stores (some grocery stores will have this). You could then even add some raw oats to the shake, to get some slow-burning carbs in there to help the shake last and add even more calories.
The one exception I would make to the home-made weight gainer to make it even better than the commercial varieties is adding some fat as well. This could be done with ground up flax seeds, ground up nuts, or simply adding in some peanut butter, coconut oil, or any other type of oil when you blend it.
If you are using the weight gainer pre or post workout, do not do this, but for any other time of the day, a slightly higher fat intake would be good to both slow the digestion so you get the nutrients to the muscles over a longer time span, and to help keep testosterone levels higher.
So, if you're struggling to gain weight and are considering a shake, either look very carefully at the ingredients or make your own. Your progress will be much better because of it.
Natura Health's Night Gain
MHP's Trac Extreme Punch