A mass gainer has one strong purpose – to help you gain weight quickly. They aim to provide your body with a large amount of calories and nutrients, oftentimes packing in supplements and vitamins which aid your body in synthesizing muscle mass too.
What exactly differs between a mass gainer and protein powder though? They both fill the same purpose, albeit in different ways. While most high-quality protein powders are between 80-90% protein, mass gainers are often half that or even less. What many mass gainers aim to provide is a large source of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, amino acids and more.
What’s Really In Mass Gainers?
When we get into the extra supplements that many mass gainers are full of, we’ll find where a lot of the ‘magic’ happens. BCAAs being the first most important one, they’re essential in aiding muscular growth. About one third of your muscles protein is composed of BCAAs, and they’re not produced by your body on its own – you need to get it from foods and supplements.
BCAAs aide your muscles in preserving glycogen levels, which is what’s partly responsible for fuelling your muscles while minimizing protein breakdown during exercise. In short – you’ll be able to squeeze out a few more reps a little easier when your muscles have more energy to work off of!
Many mass gainers also have creatine, which is one of the world’s most popular muscular growth supplements. Creatine helps with regenerating a molecule that your body uses as a source of energy. That molecule is ATP, or Adenosine Triphosphate. Finding a high quality mass gainer with these bundled in supplements helps hugely towards growing stronger, quicker.
How Does It All Work?
While the extra supplements and proteins that mass gainers are laden with help drastically with muscle growth, the large amount of calories and carbohydrates aide particularly in getting your daily dose of energy in, while helping you reach your caloric goals. Most mass gainers cram upwards of 75-100 grams of carbohydrates in a single serving and around 40-60 grams of protein, with easily 750+ calories!
Each mass gainer will vary in ingredients, so it’s best to check the nutrition label on the particular one you’re looking for, and cross reference your dietary needs with it to see if it’s the best one for your particular body type and lifestyle. Certain mass gainers like the Animal M-Stak are completely void of calories and protein, and instead focus on packing your body with a large amount of beneficial supplements instead, helping your body synthesize a large amount of muscle mass while keeping fat production low.
Do keep in mind a mass gainer is not a meal replacement. While they do well in pinch to fill you up in case you couldn’t have a complete meal, there’s a huge amount of nutrition in traditional food that is even more beneficial than what mass gainers have in them. Mass gainers are another supplement in that regard, use it to supplement your existing diet, not replace any key aspects of it.