In this article, I’ll be discussing what a mass gainer does to your heart, whether it’s safe to use if you have underlying heart problems, and much more.
In an effort to make your body stronger, are you risking your heart health?
Let’s cut to the chase; the answer is “NO.”
If you are using a good-quality mass gainer the right way, then you are absolutely good to go. However, considering your heart health, you should know a few things before going forward with this plan, so keep reading.
How does mass gainer affect your heart?
When trying to put on muscle mass, you increase your daily caloric intake to provide energy for protein synthesis; these are the calories that mass gainers can provide you with.
But is it really the safe approach? What if it affects your heart health?
Mass gainers have higher carbohydrate and protein content than protein shakes or smoothies.
They also have more vitamins and minerals than these other products and generally fewer calories, making them a better choice for people trying to bulk up. Therefore, for people with healthy hearts, this is not an issue.
The only thing that matters here is the right selection of the mass gainer.
(We already have a list of the best mass gainers for beginners compiled. So, if you want to cut the hassle of looking for the right supplement on your own, feel free to check it out here.)
However, people with heart diseases or those at risk of developing some serious heart problems might face issues while consuming mass gainers.
With our science-backed and easy-to-understand research, let’s find out which ingredients of mass gainers are bad for your heart.
Sweeteners – Might lead to Hyperinsulinemia.
Many mass gainers in the market are packed with artificial sweeteners like sucralose and acesulfame potassium, which are potential pitfalls while using these mass gainers.
In addition to increasing the calorie count of powders, sugar also improves their taste. However, American Heart Association reports that refined sugars such as sucrose are the major contributor to coronary heart disease in consumers.
Another sugar, Maltodextrin’ is simply a polysaccharide with a glycemic index of 100 to 130, which is higher than that of table sugar. Because of the high GI, your blood glucose levels will rise, as will your insulin levels, which is bad for your health.
Not only that, but some mass gainers have added corn syrup, sugar, and numerous additional flavors to enhance the number of calories per serving. They are high-GI foods that trigger insulin spikes in the body.
And having too much insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinemia) might lead to heart failure by initiating a molecular chain reaction that affects heart muscle cells.
Some researchers suggest that insulin does not cause heart flutters; instead, too much insulin causes low blood sugar, which in turn might cause mild heart palpitations.
So, it is suggested that you always do your research while buying any mass gainer and always go for the one which does not have any artificial sweeteners in it.
Fats – lead to unwanted weight gain.
Mass gainers have fats in them but not in such dense quantities as proteins or carbohydrates.
If your mass gainer has the right amount of quality fats, then fret not.
The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for fat is anywhere between 20-35% of your total daily calories.
While this changes from person to person and goal to goal, including some amount of dietary fat within a moderate range is crucial for biological function.
Consuming too much will increase blood triglycerides and cause unwanted weight gain and cardiovascular issues.
So, choose mass gainers high in healthy fats and necessary fatty acids, such as coconut oil, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), and avocado.
High Protein Content – Increased risk of heart failure
Mass gainer protein is often comprised of a variety of protein blends, including egg whites, milk protein isolates, and casein.
These proteins do wonders if you take the right ones, and that too within the normal range.
Obviously, taking them in excess will not do any good to your body; rather will be detrimental to your health.
According to Harvard Medical School, for most people, 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day is an excellent daily target to achieve muscle-building results, and this translates to about 0.36 grams of protein per pound (lb) of body weight, or about 56 grams of protein per day for a person who weighs 160 pounds.
For example, a 160-pound person who wants to build muscle might consume 180 grams of protein per day. This amount is within the recommended range for health, but it may exceed if you overdose on your mass gainer.
This excessive amount of daily protein intake could increase your risk of kidney disease, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.
In addition, high amounts of protein could reduce levels of your feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps you relax and sleep.
Steroids – Associated with hypertension
If you are taking a muscle mass gainer, you should be aware of the risks of anabolic steroids, which are found in some substandard mass gainers.
Anabolic steroids have also been linked to potentially fatal side effects such as strokes and heart attacks.
According to research published in the National Library of Medicine, AS is associated with lipid metabolic abnormalities, hypertension, coagulation disorders, and cardiomyopathy.
The available data showed evidence of a link between AS and CVD, including myocardial infarction, fatal arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy.
Moreover, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital recently discovered that people who take steroids have much weaker hearts than people who don’t use them.
Men who were currently using anabolic steroids showed much lower cardiac function than past users.
The FDA warns that if you use a muscle mass gainer which has steroids or steroid-like drugs, you should stop immediately.
BCCA – Linked to increased susceptibility to heart disease
Micronutrients like BCAA are scientifically designed to support complete muscle recovery, development, and repair while reducing muscle breakdown.
Many mass gainers in the market have a healthy mix of micronutrients like BCCA, but the key is never exceeding the recommended dosage.
Excessive use of supplements having BCCA may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to research, their metabolism has been linked to the development of heart disease.
BCAA concentrations have been reported to be higher in people who have heart problems. Moreover, studies have shown that if these nutrients are taken in excess, they worsen heart disease progression.
Does mass gainer increase cholesterol?
Yes, Mass gainers are rich in protein and contain sugars, and these substituted sugar components might cause adverse effects such as blood pressure fluctuations and increased LDL cholesterol levels.
Therefore, I suggest you be highly cautious when making selecting mass gainers because they contain sugar and artificial ingredients whose adverse effects can outweigh positive ones.
Also, you might have heard that protein-rich foods are bad for your cholesterol levels, but this is not completely true.
As you know, many mass gainers have whey protein in them, and studies have shown that it has a cholesterol and blood pressure lowering effect.
So my verdict is if you are healthy and your cholesterol levels are within the normal range, a moderate protein intake will do you no harm; in fact, it is good for your heart health and will help you to pack some pounds.
But if mass gainers can increase cholesterol levels, do they impact BP too? Let’s find out.
Does Mass gainer increase BP?
Yes. Research conducted in recent years suggests that it can increase BP if you don’t pair its use with regular workouts.
It’s simple. If you are just gaining weight and not exercising, all those extra calories and heaps of protein will start turning into and getting stored in your body as fat. That fat is most likely to clog your arteries, which would make your heart pump harder to get blood passed through them, leading to elevated BP levels.
However, contrary to this, studies have also suggested that taking mass gainers with whey powder can significantly reduce elevated blood pressure.
So, I suggest you take mass gainers with whey protein and pair it with balanced physical exertion to avoid BP fluctuations.
Also read: Mass Gainer Side Effects That are Dangerous
Is mass gainer bad for your liver?
No, mass gainers aren’t bad for your liver until you are taking them in the normal range. However, the excessive intake of mass gainers can affect your liver because creatine in these mass gainer supplements can lead to side effects such as extreme dehydration.
The reduced amount of water in the body causes increased friction among internal organs, especially the liver.
Should I do cardio while taking mass gainer?
High-intensity cardio consumes far too many calories to incorporate into your bulk, and this implies you should focus on low-intensity exercise that enhances cardiovascular health without burning a lot of calories.
Does mass gainer put on fat?
If you consume mass gainers without consistently exercising, you are more likely to gain fat than muscle.
Mass gainers are not bad for your heart and are acceptable to incorporate into your diet to bulk up as long as it does not exceed a person’s daily allowance for carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and micronutrients.
Over and above that, if you have underlying heart problems, look for the ingredients and do your research before buying any mass gainers.
Avoid pitfalls by turning your back on those low-quality products with artificial sweeteners and other ingredients which do not go well with your medical condition.