In this article, I will uncover the right age for taking mass gainers, along with its pros and cons.
You can take mass gainers when you are above 18 because using these growth-boosting supplements under this age may lead to some undesired effects.
In the following headings, I discuss why mass gainers are only suitable for adults and not most teenage athletes.
Keep reading to find out what side effects young people can face by consuming mass gainers and how they can bulk up naturally without using these fitness enhancers;
The right age to take mass gainer
Age 18 to 25 is the best time for getting into a bulkier figure using weight gainers. It is the ideal age for weight gain because the secretion of growth-inducing hormones like testosterone is at its peak.
Plus, your muscle tissues are more permeable and responsive to nutrients and growth promoters at this age than at any other time in your life.
Another thing that makes this time suitable for mass gainer use is that now your gender development is primarily completed, and the hormonal system has gained equilibrium. So, taking gainers won’t upset the hormonal balance.
Hence, using weight gainers at this age will significantly help you on your bodybuilding journey and get rid of your “skinny teen” look.
The question arises here is; teenage is the time when most of the growth happens, then why aren’t gainers suitable for teens then?
Is mass gainer good for those under 18?
In short, the answer is “no.” Both health and fitness experts and supplement companies recommend teenagers do NOT use the mass gainer.
Mass gainers are formulated for adult use and can be harmful to young people in the following ways;
Using gainers at an early age can disturb the natural hormonal balance.
At puberty, gonadal development occurs in young boys and girls, resulting in a shift in the body’s hormonal balance. Due to increased hormonal secretions, body mass, size, and sex organs develop, but it also makes teens moody and aggressive.
Mass gainers do not contain anabolic steroids, but they may enhance these effects by up-regulating testosterone production as they contain micronutrients like zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D.
Hence, if your age is 10 to 18, you may experience more mood swings, aggressive thoughts, or depression after taking a gainer shake.
We discussed above that the side effects of mass gainers could be more severe for young people, but one adversity is of special concern – ACNE!
Teens already face more skin breakouts because oil and sebum glands in the skin are often hyperactivated at puberty. Taking gainers can worsen the scenario as their whey components also cause acne.
The combined effect of hormonal fluctuations and weight gainers leads to pimple-covered skin that is no more than a misfortune for the youth.
Unpredictable side effects
These are the negative outcomes you may have if you opt for a cheap supplement.
Research has proven that many bodybuilders experience severe health issues due to mass gainer ingredients not listed on the nutritional labels.
And children would be prone to more health damage from unlisted ingredients like steroids.
Hence, even adults should carefully choose a supplement to ensure they are not consuming harmful impurities or anabolic steroids in their shakes.
And for young people, my advice is to avoid powdered supplements at all and rely on a high-calorie and natural diet plan (take help from the tips given below).
Does mass gainer stunt growth?
No, mass gainers do not stunt growth. It is just a false assumption that mass gainers can stop growth because healthcare experts advise adolescents to avoid such products.
These supplements just contain a bulk of carbs, fats, and protein with a sprinkle of micronutrients, and they are not recommended for kids due to their potential side effects like gut unrest, fat gain, and acne, but not stunted growth.
How to gain weight for a 16-year-old boy? (safe way)
Physical activity is the most important factor for growing muscles. The more you train muscles, the bulkier they get.
If a 16-year-old boy wants to gain lean mass, he should do more resistance exercises because strength training is more effective for bodybuilding than cardio workouts.
Try to engage as many muscle groups as possible to get the best results. Exercises that can help include squats, lunges, and push-ups.
Eat more often
Kids are often skinny because they eat fewer calories than their actively growing body needs.
One reason for that is the regular three meals are not enough to fulfill their increased energy needs.
However, three regular meals and two/three healthy snacks can solve this problem. Just ensure that you eat healthy food, not empty-calorie snacks like junk foods, bakeries, and soft drinks.
Consume high-protein meals
If you are into fitness, you’d have heard this a hundred times. Still, it’s worth re-mentioning “eat more protein if you want to build lean mass.”
Natural protein sources include eggs, chicken, fish, red meat, dairy, lentils, beans, and nuts. So, try recipes including these food items to supply a good amount of protein for muscle growth.
Add good fats
To gain weight, you need an energy surplus which is difficult if you are entirely dependent upon low-fat meals. Hence, you should add good fats like omega-3, omega-6, and healthy triglycerides to your meals so that your muscle can utilize high energy stored in these power-packed macronutrients.
Healthy sources of fats are dairy products, nuts, fruits, eggs, and fish.
Snack on fruits
Fruits are usually famous for being low-calorie foods, but this is not always true because fruits like Avocados, Mangoes, Figs, Dates, and Bananas are rich in calories and also provide the benefits of dietary fiber and multivitamins.
To sum it up, let me share a delicious, high-calorie alternative to mass gainer.
- Just blend two Bananas (or any other fruit), two tablespoons of peanut butter, and one tablespoon of honey with a glass of skimmed milk, and your homemade gainer is ready.
It will be as calorie-rich as a synthetic shake but a lot more tasty, safe and healthier.
Can I give my child a mass gainer?
No, you should not give mass gainer to your kid.
Instead, you can give them a natural, high-calorie diet including proteins (eggs, poultry, meat, beans, and lentils), healthy fats (avocado, cheese, nuts), and fiber-rich carbs (cereals, vegetables, fruits) to promote growth and weight gain.
Can a 14-year-old take a mass gainer?
No, a 14-year-old teenager should not take weight gain or other performance-boosting supplements.
Such supplements are unnecessary for kids and may also affect their health negatively.
Can a 16-year-old take a mass gainer?
A 16-year-old can take a mass gainer, but it is recommended not to do so.
Gainers are potentially safe for 16 years or above, but health experts convey suspicions about their interference with the hormonal system (that is already hyper-activated at this age).
Hence, avoiding supplements and relying on a natural diet to gain weight is better.
Can a 15-year-old take a mass gainer?
No, a 15-year-old should not take mass gainer because perceived side effects outweigh its benefits.
Mass gainers are a quick source to increase your calorie count and get all the macronutrients in your daily intake.
Young people aged 18 to 25 get the best results from these supplements because their body responds to the nutrients in the best way possible.
However, these drinks are recommended for adults only, and most health and fitness gurus do not consider them suitable for kids younger than 18. Fitness products may endanger adolescents’ health, making them more vulnerable to negative effects than adults.