“Subjects found that they gained double the mass in an 8 week study”
“7 lbs of lean muscle mass added in just 7 days”
These are just a few of the common claims made by many mass gainers in the supplement industry. Mass gainers are typically products that have a good serving size of protein (typically around 40-80 grams per serving) and will have a significantly higher amount of carbohydrates and fats in varying ratios which will help many individuals get the required calories needed in order to put on weight and essentially muscle mass. There are many complex processes that undergo in our body in order to put on a lot of muscle mass. Let’s just look at 2 of the basic criteria needed:
Now that we know how important it is to have a balance of calories and protein, we can see how mass gainers can fit in. Oftentimes, individuals who have trouble with their appetite or who struggle devoting time to meal prepping will go for mass gainers as an easy way to get calories inside their body in order to grow. They prioritize getting empty calories with very little nutrition because it is easy over spending a small amount of time preparing and devoting time to having nutritious meals. Mass gainers oftentimes have a high amount of sugar and ingredients lacking vitamins and minerals which also makes this giant influx of calories tough on your system to digest. It is commonly known now that we are not what we eat, but instead, we are what we absorb.
Many times I have found clients and others who take mass gainers are the type of individuals who want the easy way out, and these individuals often lack the time to even plan out their meal schedule. These are the same type of people who overlook nutrient timing and just get those high amounts of carbs and fats in no matter what time it is. If your goal is to just gain scale weight, then nutrient timing is not very important, but if your goal is to gain lean quality muscle mass and stay as lean as possible, nutrient timing is CRUCIAL.
So after all of this information, do you need to take a store-bought mass gainer to put on a large amount of muscle mass? Absolutely not. Prioritizing getting quality foods in throughout your day and planning out your meals in advance will be crucial to your success. Even if you are the type of individual who does not have much of an appetite there are ways to increase your appetite naturally. You also sometimes have to evaluate how important your goal is and chow down some food even if you are a little bit uncomfortable. Now, I understand that there are individuals who have very busy lives or many who can plan their mass gainer at around a time where getting those nutrients in can be beneficial. For the people who have very busy schedules or who truly suffer eating so much, they can find smart ways to use it when needed. But even when I deal with clients like this, I try and get them to create their own homemade mass gainers which will have much better ingredients in them and will be almost just as good as having a whole food meal.
These gainers can be made with foods such as ground oats, waxy maize, all natural nut butters, coconut oil, avocadoes, egg whites, protein powder, fruits and many more. This way you can also adjust the macronutrients depending on your specific goals.
Although mass gainers can be beneficial for a few individuals, for most who have the time and have no problem planning for success, in my opinion it can be much better to create your own gainer at home. This will ensure that you are getting much higher quality ingredients, can adjust your macronutrient ratios and you will be getting more of a bang for your buck. The more planning and effort you put into your nutrition and training, the more rewards you will reap from it!
With the pursuit of achieving the best possible physique and helping hundreds of clients do the same, Juan Rojas has dedicated his life to finding the best strategies for transforming human bodies. Constant research, trial and error and continous education in the exercise physiology and nutrition field, Juan Rojas thrives off finding the most efficient ways to transform your body and live a happier and healthier lifestyle.