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Gaining weight and putting on serious mass isn’t as easy as it seems. While there are different approaches to bulking, some more successful than others, consuming more energy than you expend is almost guaranteed as a sure fire way to help you pack on the kilos. These extra calories can come from foods or from supplements such as Mass Gainers. This week’s Q & A takes a look at mass gainers, whether they’re worth it and if there is a best time to take mass gainers.

1. Are Mass Gainers worth it? And when is the best time to take them?

Mass Gainers or Weight Gainers are simply bulked up protein powders. Besides containing high quality protein, mass gainers also contain a substantial amount of carbs as well as fat and other ingredients aimed at supporting weight gain. They are a quick and easy way to add calories into your daily routine and help you not only recover from exercise, but also grow. There are a variety of mass gainers around, but they are usually divided into three main categories:

  • Lean Mass Gainers – These leaner style mass gainers tend to have an even protein to carbohydrate ratio and will provide anywhere between 300-400 extra calories per serve. They’re good for those who want to put on only a few extra kilos or who don’t find it hard to gain weight. They’re also ideal as a post workout shake.
  • Moderate Mass Gainers – The ratio of carbohydrates to protein in these moderate mass gainers is generally between 2:1 or 3:1 and their recommend serving sizes will generally provide around 600-700 extra calories. They’re ideal for trainers wanting to gain more than a couple of extra kilos and is a great all round mass gainer.
  • Hard Gainer Formulas – Hard gainers is the common term for individuals who find it extremely hard to gain weight. They eat whatever they want and still can’t seem to put on weight. Hard gainer formulas provide a massive amount of calories at over 1000 calories per serve and plenty of carbs, often at a ratio of 5:1 or 6:1

They often also contain a variety of other ingredients such as creatine, BCAAs, glutamine, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals just to name a few. Many of these aim to provide extra nutrients that can help support recovery and growth. For most people, religious consumption of extra calories will lead to weight gain. Whether that is in the form of muscle or fat will be down to your training as well as your dietary composition. Mass gainers are a great way to provide you with those extra calories in a quick and easy to consume form. Not only is each shake often more nutrient dense than food, it often isn’t as filling, allowing you the opportunity to consume more food and calories throughout the day.

Unlike pre workouts, intra workouts and many hormone support supplements, there isn’t really an ideal time to take mass gainers. As many trainers use it as their source of protein, it’s ideal to have a serve or half a serve before and after training. Other than that, having another 1-2 serves throughout the day in between meals is your best option.

Take Away Point – Want to Gain Weight? Take a few serves of a Mass Gainer

If you want to bulk up and put on some size, mass gainers are one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to do so. Depending on your goals and your body type, there’s a mass gainer designed to help offer you’re the extra calories you need to gain weight. Whether that weight gain is from fat or from muscle will depend on your training as well as your general diet. There’s no perfect time to take a mass gainer, but to take advantage of the protein and carbs, it’s a good idea to take it around training times and in between meals. If you’re unsure which one to take though, ask your supplement specialist who should be able to guide you through the process of picking the perfect mass gainer for you.

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