Mass gainers are expensive to start with and can be confusing – so are mass gainers worth it?
Or are they just hyped up with marketing?
Today we’re covering what mass gainers are for if they’re worth it for you, and what you can do to make the most of them in your diet. We’ll be helping skinny guys bulk up, so that’s our main question – are mass gainers worth it for gaining weight and building muscle?
Let’s get started.
What Do Mass Gainers Do?
Mass gainers give you an easy option to get more calories into your diet without eating a significant amount of extra food. This makes them perfect for hard gainers trying to eat fewer meals for more calories and better weight gain – in both quality and quantity.
This is perfect because they’re liquids, too, which makes them both easier to get into your diet and less likely to fill you up.
The result is those mass gainers are typically used as an alternative to a small meal, as a post-workout shake, or as an addition to a well-balanced diet to push it into a calorie surplus.
Mass gainers are popular because they make it easy.
This is particularly true among skinny guys who have a relatively weak idea of how nutrition works. Many of the biggest consumers of mass gainers are young skinny guys trying to bulk up who need more calories but don’t quite understand mass gainers.
That’s why we’re going to look at whether mass gainers are worth it – what they do, what they can’t do, and how you have to treat them to make sure you’re getting the best from them.
Are mass gainers worth it?
Yes – for most people, mass gainers are worth the price and the effort. They’re a super easy calorie source, and you can get serious benefits if your diet is set up properly and you use the right mass gainer product.
The products that are higher in protein and lower in calories are a perfect addition to a healthy maintenance diet, where they can easily replace a protein shake. If used this way, they will add the perfect amount of calories to gain weight and build muscle in a healthy way.
Mass gainers are worth it when they’re used properly!
You need to make sure that the rest of your diet is still full of protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. It needs to provide you with plenty of calories overall – and mass gainer alone won’t make you gain weight, never mind high-quality weight!
Make sure you don’t use mass gainers and reduce food intake, as this will usually produce a worse total diet and undermine your weight gain.
Mass Gainer Benefits: What do mass gainers do for you?
Mass gainer can provide you with a large quantity of protein and carbs when you need them, in a format that doesn’t require you to cook and eat a meal. This makes them an easy way to add calories to your diet, often 500-1000 per serving. This makes mass gainer an easy convenience for most people.
The convenience and effectiveness of mass gainers are what make them so popular.
They’re reliably effective at helping you gain weight but don’t require too much effort, money, or forward thinking. They don’t work by themselves but they’re very consistent and make weight gain much easier for basic diet plans.
Mass gainers have a handful of secondary benefits that you may want to consider when buying and using a weight gain shake:
- Mass gainers are foolproof if your diet stays the same – just easy calories
- They’re easy to transport – unlike prepared food
- They are liquid and thus easier to consume
- You can use mass gainers in any serving to customize calorie intake
- They’re fast-absorbing which makes them perfect after a workout
- You can blend them with ingredients to customize the taste and nutrients
- They’re a perfect replacement for protein shakes to gain weight
- You may end up getting better value (protein or calories per dollar) than real food
These are some of the most common benefits of mass gainers that have made them popular. They’re particularly useful as a food supplement if you don’t have control over your own diet – such as young kids trying to build muscle.
This does mean you need to consider your diet and mass gainer carefully, however.
Mass Gainer Drawbacks: What do mass gainers cost?
Mass gainer’s main drawback is that many products on the market are low quality and don’t provide the nutritional value of real food. This is especially true in super mass gainers which provide a huge quantity of calories from poor quality sources like sugar or dextrose (simple starch).
These types of mass gainers are too much even for hard gainers, while the sugars can cause metabolic damage due to the immense insulin burden.
This is why it’s best to look for a mass gainer with fewer calories (500-800 is ideal) and more protein.
The lower calories reduce the immediate burden on the metabolism, while the higher protein does two key things:
- It improves the digestive and metabolic effect to keep you healthy
- It boosts muscle growth and reduces fat mass for the same amount of calorie surplus
These make a high protein mass gainer super useful to get the best weight gain possible. It’s a way to improve the quality of weight gain while making sure that you still get the number of calories you need to break weight gain plateaus and stimulate growth.
Mass Gainer Use: How To Make Sure You’re Getting The Best
You need to make sure that mass gainer fits your total diet to make sure that you’re not damaging your metabolism or setting up poor habits. This is one of the big pitfalls that young, skinny guys make when using mass gainer – and it both limits growth and damages health.
You need to make sure that you’re still focusing on a diet that is calorie-dense but has plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
These are the background for your mass gainer and if you have a poor diet, you’ll be deficient in essential vitamins and minerals that are important for health and muscle growth.
This is why you need to limit the number of calories you take in from mass gainers.
They’re lower in vitamins and minerals than most foods and even 1 supersized shake or 2 normal mass gainer shakes can take up so much diet space that you end up missing out on crucial nutrients, which damages your gains.
Keep mass gainers to a single shake a day and ensure that they aren’t just a crutch for a bad diet!
You need to improve everything a little at a time, but mass gainers aren’t there to let you ignore the rest of your food intake, and it can easily be a way to put on unwanted mass and unhealthy weight.
Things to keep in mind: the short version!
So, what do you need to know about mass gainers, and what you can do to get the most from them?
Here’s our brief guide on what you can and should do to maximize results from mass gainers:
- Eat a better diet before you decide you want a mass gainer supplement!
- Prioritize protein in your mass gainer products – not just calories
- Aim to get around 25% of your total calories maximum from a gainer or supplement
- Use mass gainer post-workout to get the best results
- Consider blending with nutrient-dense foods to get better total nutrient content
These are just basic rules of thumb to get more from your mass gainer – and ensure your mass gainer is worth it. They’re a few key practices you can use to get more value without spending more money or eating more meals!
FAQ: Are Mass Gainers Worth it?
What’s the difference between a mass gainer and a weight gainer?
Mass gainer and weight gainer supplements are typically the same things, but some weight gain supplements are different. These include appetite stimulants, metabolism support, and other types of non-calorie ways to gain weight.
The short version is that mass gainers are a type of weight gainer supplement.
You will often see the two used in the same way in marketing – especially in the term ‘weight gainer shake’ which is used for mass gainers and some medical high-calorie drinks for post-operative or unwell people.
Usually, you can treat these two as being the same and just focus on the actual supplement – it will determine what you’re going to get.
Always read the labels, just to be certain, as that will usually tell you how a product actually works!
Is mass gainer a waste?
Mass gainers are not a waste for most people – they are effective at their main role and it’s important to make sure you’re using them properly. They are a fantastic choice to maintain your calorie intake during difficult times but also offer an alternative to protein shakes for a higher-calorie option.
Mass gainers are a waste if you don’t fit the rest of your diet around your goals as a weight gain process.
If you barely eat other than mass gainers, you will waste your money and time since there are no real benefits if you’re not putting into a calorie surplus overall.
Make sure your diet doesn’t waste your mass gainer, get a product that suits your needs, and remember it’s a supplement – not a crutch for bad dietary habits!
Are mass gainers necessary?
No – a mass gainer is not necessary to gain weight and you can gain just as much weight and at a higher quality without one. However, mass gainers are effective and very convenient, which has made them popular among skinny guys trying to build muscle and bulk up.
Mass gainers are just a food powder that combines carbohydrates and protein in a powder so you can make a very high-calorie shake.
This is a convenient choice for post-workout shakes and similar but is far from necessary.
You can gain weight with any kind of calorie surplus diet – and then the quality of what you’re going to gain is about the protein intake and vitamins/minerals (micronutrients).
You can do this with or without a mass gainer and with just about any combination of foods or eating schedules.
What are the disadvantages of mass gainers?
Mass gainer disadvantages are usually around the high-calorie content, and the high sugar of some types of mass gainers, which can be unhealthy. These problems are about the product you use and the servings you use/ how regularly they’re used.
Mass gainers don’t have any real disadvantages of their own – they just need to be used properly.
You need to make sure they’re not a crutch for a bad diet or used irresponsibly, where the real disadvantages and drawbacks happen.
Is mass gainer good for weight gain?
Yes – mass gainer is the perfect supplement for weight gain because it is rich in protein, carbs, and calories. These are the important things to track in order to gain weight consistently, and leaner products (more protein relative to calories) is perfect for high-quality weight gain.
A mass gainer is a calorie-dense option but isn’t very nutrient-dense, so you need to make sure it doesn’t take up too much of your diet.
You still need to make your total dietary intake more than your maintenance needs – so make sure you’re eating enough real food, too.
Do you put on weight with mass gainers?
Yes – most people put on weight with mass gainers since it’s one of the easiest and most consistent ways to get into a calorie surplus. This is essential for any form of weight gain and the mass gainers that are richer in protein are the best way to gain muscle mass, specifically.
This is important: your calorie intake determines weight gain, while the nutrient composition of your diet is the main factor in what you gain.
This is super powerful for weight gain, with lean mass gainers offering you the best results and being the most effective choice for adding high-quality weight gain stimulus to your diet.
Keep your eye on the balance of protein to carbs, and the protein-per-calorie. The higher these ratios are, the better. Also, any added vitamins and minerals on the nutrition label for your mass gainer are incredibly important.
Can you make homemade mass gainers?
Yes – you can make your own homemade mass gainers as an alternative to commercial mass gainers.
They’re a great option if you have a blender to get the best results, where you can control the carbs, protein, and nutrients in a homemade mass gainer. It is one of the best ways that you can improve the quality of your carb intake and reduce some of the disadvantages of mass gainers.
Use a high-quality complex carbohydrate source like steel-cut oats, oat flour, pea starch, or potato starch. Then you can add protein powder to your preference and nutritional needs.
From there, it gets exciting: you can add whatever you want to improve your total micronutrient intake with nutrient-rich fruits, nuts and seeds, and more.
Mass gainers are worth it most of the time for most people. They’re good supplements if you know what you need from them, you balance them up well with the rest of your diet, and you have a good product.
Always focus on the protein content and a middling calorie content, as the quality of weight gain is the most important factor. A higher ratio of protein to carbs or protein to calories is great, and more micronutrients ensure that the weight gain process is healthy and effective.
Mass gainers are as worthwhile as you make them with your habits around product choice, total intake, and the diet that you plug them into.
These are the most important factors and you’ll only really see disadvantages if you use them incorrectly!