As you get started with your muscle-building plan, you’re likely going to start considering the different supplement options that are available to help take your goals to the next level. It’s important when doing so that you don’t let yourself forget the importance of pure hard work. There are some weight gainsupplementsthat can, when coupled with hard work, take your progress to the next level.
One such supplement is the commercial weight gainer product. You must be careful when choosing a weight gainer however, as they are all not created equally. Understanding the type of weight gainer you need and how to use it correctly will be paramount to seeing good results from it.
Here’s what you should consider:
Total Calorie Content Of The Weight Gainer The very first thing to assess as you look at the different weight gainers is the total calorie composition. These products can range tremendously in terms of total calorie content, so taking a serious look at this aspect is critical to your goals. If you choose one of the extreme weight gainer products (1000+ calories), you might begin gaining excess body fat at a considerable rate. Always remember that the body can only handle so many calories at once, so when you overeat to the extreme, you’re going to pay the price – and liquid calories do count.
Usually the best option is to choose a moderate calorie level for your weight gainer; somewhere around the range of 300 to 600 calories per serving. This works great if you struggle to meet your total calorie needs on a daily basis. For many already muscular males, this does prove to be a problem. Few will need to take in thousands of extra calories though.
Macronutrient Composition Of The Weight Gainer Looking at the macronutrient content of the product is also important. Far too many weight gainers will have high amounts of sugar added to them, causing a sharp spike ininsulin followed by a crash. This spike ofinsulinmay be okay if you’ve just finished a workout and are looking to rapidly restore muscle glycogen levels (and are following the shake with a solid slower form of carbohydrates an hour later), but during other times of the day, you want to avoid this as it will wreak havoc to your energy levels and could promote greater fat storage.
Also watch the fat content of the weight gainer. Some will balance carbohydrates and fats so it’s more of a meal replacement type of powder. This can be okay, but you should watch the form of fat making sure it’s not saturated fat. Some weight gainers have medium chain triglycerides as a form of fat, which are great as the body treats them differently than other fats.
Timing Of The Weight Gainer Understanding the proper timing of your weight gainer is also vital. If you are going to select a shake that does have a higher level of fat (say over 5 grams), you should not be taking this in immediately after the workout as during that point fat is to be avoided so digestion isn’t slowed. Those shakes should be saved and taken in later during the day between your meals for extra calories.
Some people also fear having a big meal before bed, but if you’re struggling to build muscle due to a lack of calorie intake, a shake in the evening can be a good solution when you’re too full to eat. In this case, go with a weight gainer that does have a moderate carbohydrate level (higher in healthy fats) since this will prevent blood sugar levels from falling overnight causing you to wake up.
Considering Home Made Weight Gainers You may also want to give some consideration to making your own homemade weight gainer. This is a nice option as it will give you total control over the taste, total calorie content, and types of carbohydrates and fats that go into it. You can easily create a weight gainer shake by combining ingredients such as protein powder, dextrose or maltodextrin, raw oats, coconut oil, peanut butter, cottage cheese, frozen fruit, yogurt, etc. Think of it as a homemade shake with extra calories. If you’re looking for a pure dry weight gainer, mix together vanilla protein powder, some maltodextrin and some dried coconut for fat (you may wish to grind this up so it’s in a finer form). This can easily be combined with water or milk for a quick shake on the go when you don’t have a blender.
By making sure you choose your weight gainer wisely, you know it will be working optimally for your body. Don’t always just go by what you think is the best brand or what tastes best, but rather read over the nutritional profile to check exactly what you’re getting when you take a serving.