When to Take Mass Gainer for Best Results?


The best time to take your mass gainer is before a workout, after a workout, or immediately before a good night’s sleep.

It is indeed wise of you to avail the convenience of scooping out a mass gainer to meet your calorie surplus requirement of the day. But the question is, will mistime consumption of these carbs, fats, or protein really help you achieve optimum results?

At some specific times, your body better utilizes the macros you put in it for recovery, energy, muscle building, and repair.

For instance, tossing in some extra calories when your metabolic rate is high will speed up the rate of nutrient consumption in your body.

Similarly, supplementing your body when it is about to enter a catabolic state will prevent tissue breakdown.

So, let’s discuss it all in detail in the subsequent sections.

When is the best time to take mass gainer?

The best time to take a mass gainer is when your body has depleted its nutrients.

You may schedule the intake of your favorite mass gainer to supplement your workout before falling asleep or right after you are done with your gym session.

At these times, your metabolism will more efficiently utilize the nutrients in muscle formation instead of accumulating them as fat, and it will also help achieve greater muscle nourishment.

To explain it in a more elaborate manner, I looked into the key components of mass gainers – carbs and protein, with respect to their bioavailability and functionality in our bodies.

1. Before Workout

  • Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate intake maximizes your glycogen stores which not only increases muscle size but also enhances exercise performance.

Glycogen fuels muscle contractions during strenuous training, which prevents muscle fatigue, promote recovery, and is crucial for building lean muscles and gaining mass.

Taking carbohydrates closer to the time of your exercise bouts will deplete your glycogen stores, thus, increasing your exercise capacity.

Studies found that the best time for carbohydrate consumption is 15 minutes before exercise because participants who took them 60 to 75 minutes before training suffered from sugar crashes which decreased exercise performance.

So, before the workout, we don’t mean HOURS before; just a few minutes would be best!

  • Protein

Taking protein before workouts is beneficial since it is a rich source of amino acids that are required for muscle building.

However, the studies that evaluated pre and post-workout protein intake found that this macronutrient has a similar benefit on the strength, power, or body composition at both timings.

2. After Workout

  • Carbohydrate

Consuming carbohydrates alone after exercise exerts minimal influence on muscle development.

Thus, consuming a mass gainer that contains both carbohydrates and proteins will have a more significant outcome in stimulating muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

Nonetheless, an early study that evaluated the best nutrient timing has reported that consuming carbohydrates 30 minutes post-exercise leads to better glycogen restoration.

On the other hand, studies examining the effect of taking carbohydrates alone and in combination with protein after resistance exercise have shown that combining these two macronutrients is more effective in augmenting muscle development by increasing the insulin response.

And increasing the insulin response is beneficial for muscle gains because insulin is an anti-catabolic hormone. This implies that it will prevent muscle breakdown and enhance absorption of glucose, fats, and amino acids to favor anabolism (complex molecule synthesis).

  • Protein

Taking protein after workouts is important for minimizing muscle damage and enhancing muscle building.

But as I mentioned above, taking protein either before or after an exercise is equally beneficial; the timing does not induce any differential change.

A 12-week study performed on men doing resistance exercise reported that taking nutrients immediately (within 30 minutes) after training led to a greater improvement in muscle size and strength compared to when it was ingested 2 hours later.

3. Before Sleep

  • Carbohydrate

Studies have reported that taking nutrients, especially carbohydrates, along with proteins and fats 30 minutes before sleep elevates the metabolic rate and insulin concentrations the next morning.

This may be beneficial when you are trying to build lean muscle after bulking.

  • Protein

Consuming protein about 30 minutes before sleeping has multiple mass-gaining benefits.

It increases strength, muscle recovery, muscle mass, and muscle protein synthesis. Pre-sleep protein also provides a metabolic stimulus; for instance, it increases metabolic rate and maintains overnight lipolysis rate (fat breakdown), which helps in muscle adaptation in response to exercise.

A 12-week study compared two groups from a resistance exercise training program, and the one receiving protein before sleep showed a greater increase in muscle mass and strength compared to the one receiving a non-caloric placebo.

How to use mass gainer for the best results

Mass gainer might seem like a supplement powder that you just need to mix and gulp in. But then again, there is one best way of doing things.

So, here is how you can use mass gainer for the best results:

1. Split the scoops

When you first start taking mass gainers, instead of trying to gulp in one large shake in the first go, it is better to split the number of scoops you require to achieve your calorie surplus in multiple small shakes.

Mass gainers have a high number of concentrated macronutrients and fiber that are hard to digest, and smaller shakes will reduce the risk of indigestion until your gut adjusts to the high doses.

2. Take with water

Taking mass gainer with milk may increase its calorie count. It may also make your shake harder to digest and cause bloating.

Thus, start by mixing mass gainers in water and shift to milk when it seems to suit you, and your body starts to adjust to the calorie surplus.

3. Avoid overlapping ingredients

Most mass gainers will contain additional ingredients like creatine to promote greater muscle gains, so overdosing on such ingredients may cause undesirable effects.

Look out for overlapping ingredients, as anything in excess is harmful.

Our Recommendation for Best Mass Gainer

If you are looking for an effective mass gainer, the Crazy Nutrition mass gainer would be my recommendation for it.

Crazy Nutrition Mass gainer

CrazyNutrition Mass Gainer bottle

Crazy Nutrition mass gainer is owned by the company ‘Wolfson Brands limited,’ which has now become a household name because it has been around for more than a decade.

The ingredients in Crazy nutrition Mass gainer are carefully brought together to enhance your bulking and muscle-building progress.

It contains all three macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and abundant calories that are required for muscle gains. Moreover, the high quality and low glycemic carbohydrates prevent sugar crashes.

Carbohydrates are sourced from oat flour, sweet potato flour, and Carb10.

Oat flour is a natural source of dietary fiber. Carb10, on the other hand, is a natural prebiotic that nourishes the probiotics in your gut and promotes gut health. Sweet potato flour is a rich source of micronutrients such as mineral potassium and antioxidants and is good for bulking.

In addition to this, these sources are also low glycemic and gluten-free, adding to their lists of benefits.

The creatine monohydrate in this product is present in a scientifically proven concentration of 3 grams. Creatine speeds muscle growth and increases exercise performance by delaying muscle fatigue, allowing you to train your muscles for longer.

The AstraGin added to the Crazy Nutrition mass gainer is one of the preferred ingredients in sports supplements. It is a patented combination of Panax ginseng and Astragalus membranaceous extracts. The reason behind its demand is that it enhances nutrient absorption of fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, phytonutrients, etc. It also promotes protein synthesis, increases testosterone production, and improves gut health.

Senactiv is another ingredient in this mass gainer that is added with the thought of improving your exercise performance because Crazy nutrition knows that rigorous training sessions at the gym are as important for muscle gains as appropriate nutrition. It is a plant-based ingredient that pairs Panax notoginseng and Rosa roxburghii to clear senescent cells.

This will help boost post-workout recovery and increase your energy and stamina during the workout.

Mass gainer bottle

DigeZyme is a blend of five different enzymes that help in digestion. These enzymes, namely protease, amylase, lactase, lipase, and cellulase, break down protein, starch, lactose, fats, and cellulose, respectively.

Flax seed powder in this mass gainer is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber that maintain energy levels and promote gut health.

Cost

  • It costs $44.99 per 5 servings.

Pros

  • It comes in chocolate and vanilla flavor.
  • It boosts energy and increases muscle size, strength, and recovery.
  • It Carb10 to prevent sugar spikes.
  • It has DigeZyme to prevent bloating.
  • It does not have filler ingredients.
  • It has all three macronutrients.
  • It has a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.
  • It has 100 grams of low glycemic carbohydrates.
  • It has 50 grams of whey protein.
  • It offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • It has creatine monohydrate to aid muscle mass building.
  • It is manufactured in FDA-approved facilities.
  • It is free from maltodextrin.
  • It is gluten-free.
  • It provides 695 calories per 200 grams.
  • It can be used as a meal replacement.
  • Its ingredients are derived from whole food sources such as flax seeds, oats, and sweet potatoes.
  • It is free of stimulants.

Cons

  • It has dairy allergen.
  • It has artificial sweetener sucralose.
  • It is available only through the website.

FAQs

How to use mass gainer for skinny guys

You first have to calculate your required calorie surplus. After that, you may take your mass gainer at any of the times I recommended in this read (before workout and sleep, and after the workout).

If you want to speed up the progress, you may also try taking them on rest days.

How to use mass gainer without getting fat

It is ideal for gaining about 0.5 to 1 pound per week, but if you are gaining more than that, it may accumulate as fat rather than lean muscle mass. So, you will have to adjust the calorie surplus that you achieve with your mass gainers accordingly.

How to take mass gainer with water or milk

Add a scoop of mass gainer in milk or water and shake until dissolved. Gulp in the mixture, and ta-da, you are done!

For added flavor and taste, you can also mix fruits in it.

How much mass gainer should I take to gain 10 kg?

You require an average of 2 to 3 months to gain lean muscle mass with a mass gainer; if you try to speed up the process by taking more mass gainer than what’s recommended, the calorie surplus will most probably accumulate as fat.

So, calculate your calorie surplus; for example, if you burn 1000 or 1500 calories daily, you need to consume an additional 1000 calories every day in the form of your mass gainer shake.

This means that to gain 1 kg every week, you need to take a total of 2000 to 2500 calories every day, and this may help you to gain 10 kg in about 2.5 months.

Should I take mass gainer every day?

Yes, you can take mass gainers daily, even on your rest days, to meet your daily nutritional and calorie requirements.

When to take mass gainer before or after the workout

You can take mass gainers either before or after a workout because it will have the same benefits.

What to eat when taking mass gainer

With mass gainers, you may eat any healthy meal that will help you achieve your daily calorie requirement. Your meal should be rich in micronutrients and macronutrients, and its ingredients shouldn’t overlap with the ingredients of your mass gainers.

Bottom Line

To conclude, mass gainers might be a convenient way to put on some muscle. But the timing of nutrient delivery is as important to induce optimal progress with these supplements.

You may avail the best muscle-building benefit by consuming mass gainers that have a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. And these should be consumed before the workout, immediately (within 30 min) after the workout, or 30 minutes before sleep.

Consuming protein before or after the exercise bouts improves muscle cross-section and strength. It also stimulates protein synthesis. However, these benefits remain the same in either duration.

The best mass-gaining results with carbohydrates are achieved when they are consumed in combination with protein at either of the recommended times.

The best timing for fats is yet to be investigated. But since its intake should be paired with carbohydrates or other nutrients, so take it at the recommended times for carbs and proteins until further studies suggest otherwise.

Baiza Batool

Baiza Batool is a fitness enthusiast and clinical psychologist who believes that mental wellness is essential for attaining physical well-being. She has knowledge of human physiology, psyche, and how they interact with one another to hinder or help the process of achieving your fitness goals. Baiza wants to use her research and writing skills to sum up all the information she shares on her blog in order to make it easier for others who are looking for help.

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