How to use gainer for gaining muscle mass?

Thinking or actively looking to bulk up but your diet and exercise regime just don’t seem to be working? Or do you need some extra calories, but the thought of consuming another chicken breast and rice meal during the day bums you out? It may be time to consider a gainer shake. These great supplements combine all the benefits or carbs and the muscle-boosting functions of protein to make a supplement serving that can make a difference if you’re trying to put on muscle. 

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of what mass gainers actually do, and all the nitty-gritty about choosing one and using one to take your performance to the next level

What does a mass gainer do to your body? 

A mass gainer’s main job is to supply you with the all the things needed to grow more muscle. To do so, it requires three conditions: 

  1. That there’s a sufficient signal for the body to build muscle 
  2. There are sufficient building blocks to create the muscle 
  3. There’s sufficient energy for the process to occur 

In practice, these come from our training and our nutrition. Strength training serves to promote signals that tell muscles to grow. When a muscle is under sufficient tension, cellular signals activate the building process. That’s why when you’re training, you need to provide a true challenge for your muscles to create a sizeable signal for growing processes.  

Alongside training, nutrition assists muscle building to occur. There is a requirement for sufficient amino acids for the growth of the muscle, especially since our body is constantly breaking our muscle down. Having sufficient aminos helps push the balance towards making new muscle

The final piece of the puzzle is the availability of energy. Since making muscle requires quite a bit of energy, we need a small energy surplus to build the muscle

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our post on how muscle grows!

How to choose a gainer for best results

Ready to jump on the mass gainer train? It’s time to consider your options and truly understand what type of mass gainer will suit your requirements and your routine. Our top factors that you need to consider to find a best-fit gainer for you include: 

01  Consider your calorie needs – how much do you require? Mass gainers come with a variety of ingredient lists, and that plays a large role on how calorific your final shake will be. Choose a mass gainer that can support your goals and supply a reasonable amount of energy for your needs. If you’re in a cutting stage, you might not need a 1000 calorie option, just like a shake of 300 calories isn’t going to do much when you’re increasing your intake by 500. Choose mass gainers with varied carbohydrate sources, so you have rapid and slow-release energy for prolonged feeds.

02  Quantify your protein requirements – how much is enough? Protein amounts are super important for anyone on the path to muscle gain and growth. So, go for the mass gainers that will be able to provide you with sufficiently great quantities of protein. Make sure the formula contains multiple types of protein in its ingredients, including slow-release proteins. A great option for a protein that can supply aminos for a prolonged amount of time is casein. Maxler Special Mass supplies a whole 57g of protein per serving. The formula contains four types of protein, from those that are quickly absorbed to casein for lasting support and fuelling.

03  Don’t neglect the fats – does your gainer have them? Fats shouldn’t be ignored by anyone who is trying to build muscle. That’s because without fats, you won’t be able to make hormones like testosterone, which supports muscle growth. Therefore, it’s a good idea to look for a mass gainer containing healthy fats, like medium chain triglycerides.

04  Is your mass gainer easily absorbable by your stomach? Another factor that can play a role in your progress and your choice of gainer is bioavailability. Will you be able to digest and make us of most of the formula? To improve its absorption, it’s a good idea to look for a gainer that contains additional enzymes. These can support the digestive processes, allowing you to wholly make use of your gainers

05  Does the mass gainer have additional ingredients, and do you need them? Some gainers may have additional ingredients, which you might or might not need. Some ingredients, like vitamins, are a good idea, as you might need to replenish the vitamins you use or sweat out during a training session.

06  Do you trust the quality of the mass gainer? When choosing a supplement, take time to find our whether your brand is transparent about the quality and the standards that they use. That might be looking for supplements that are produced on GMP and ISF certified factories, for example.

07  Can you see it in your routine? The final thing to consider in a mass gainer is whether you’ll actually enjoy using it. For many people texture is important, alongside how well a product will dissolve. Plus, make sure you like the taste of your gainer if you’re planning on making it a frequent part of your day-to-day.

How much mass gainer should you take in a day?

How much gainer you should be consuming will depend on your goals. A good idea is to start off with one shake a day and see if in a month you can see progress and results. Your needs and goals will impact your portions and frequency of use. The gainer shakes are best paired with a healthy diet that is also balanced, as they’re not quite a full replacement of your every meal. They’re a useful tool, but they’re not a magic solution that will blow your concerns away.

How to use mass gainer properly 

Mass gainers don’t have to be complicated – they’re designed to be used as a conventional protein shake. Simply add your mass gainers to the amount of liquid specified on the packaging, shake and enjoy whenever and wherever. Don’t be afraid to play around with the serving sizes – you can choose to do half a scoop on days when your sessions is lighter or add an extra one on days that you’re blowing it out of the water or on days with super-high intensity. 

For best results, you have to develop an understanding of your mass gainer’s exact fit into your program and your nutritional plan. Since mass gainers are high in calories, you need to account for that in your daily nutritional requirements. Keeping track of your maintenance or bulk calorie intakes is required so you don’t go over by using a gainer shake. For those requiring assistance in figuring out what these requirements may be, read on.

Calculating your maintenance calories 

If you’re trying to determine the required mass gainer quantities you should be consuming, you need to understand your maintenance calories. There are two main ways to do so. You can use multiple different apps, online calculators or even a machine in your gym that may be able to do a body scan for you to get your maintenance calories. Or simply track using a food diary. 

In order to find your maintenance through a calculator, find a calculator online. A really good one is from the National Institute of Health, which you can find through this link. You’ll need to enter the details of your body, including basic things like, weight, and height. You then will need to enter your activity level, which you can estimate with the help of the calculator. 

Your outcomes will give a ballpark number of the calories you require to maintain your current weight. These are the maintenance calories, although keep in mind, that this is just an approximation, and may change slightly according to what your physique and muscle mass is. 

The other way to find your maintenance is to track your calories on a day-to-day for a week or two. Keep a food diary and write down how much and what you’re eating. With the help of websites or applications like MyFitnessPal, you can then obtain the number of how many calories you’ve eaten over the week. Divide your resultant number by seven to get your daily maintenance. 

Once you have your daily maintenance, add in a few hundred calories to be in a surplus. These calculations will make it simpler to figure out how a mass gainer can be used for your goals and incorporated into your routine.

When should you take a mass gainer? 

A gainer is a super versatile solution. As they supply a large amount of calories and protein, they can be considered a meal on their own. Therefore, mass gainers can make a great early-morning option, or a first meal of the day. However, they can also constitute a pick-me-up, as mass gainers are a simple on-the-go option. 

They truly shine during the post-workout period. The carbs in the gainers help you recover and replenish your glycogen stores. This is especially important for those that have another training session coming up very soon.  The protein in the gainers assist in providing the necessary blocks to rebuild muscle, and this can support recovery. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water alongside your gainer, as you’ll be needing it after your hard training sessions! 

Avoiding side effects

A common question is one that concerns the side effects of mass gainers. Mass gainers are essentially carbohydrate and protein, so the main thing to worry about is unwanted fat gain. If you use mass gainers without sufficient exercise, or if you use them too much, you might start piling on kilos. But they might contain more fat than muscle. So, to avoid it, make sure you’re checking your calorie intake and you’re training as hard as ever. 

The other thing you might experience with a mass gainer is stomach discomfort. Check that you’re okay with lactose if you’re using a whey-based gainer, or try smaller portions to get used to the gainer. 

It’s also a good idea to get a second opinion from your health practitioner before starting any supplement, including a mass gainer. 

Mass gainers are a fantastic way to support those on a quest to improve their physique, or those who have persisted in their journey of muscle growth with no success. The carbohydrate and protein formula supports muscle growth when paired with exercise. Use mass gainers in moderation and you’ll see your results. Stay motivated!

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