Mass gainers, also known as weight gainer shakes, are becoming increasingly popular with bodybuilders. Many trusted sports nutrition brands have mass gainer supplements under their banner these days. This leaves us with a few simple questions; what is mass gain powder? Do mass gainers work? What is the best mass gainer? Keep reading to learn more about how to pack on serious mass with these mass gainer supplements. If you’re looking for a breakdown of our favourites, you can find them here.

What is a Mass Gainer?

How Mass Gainers Work

To keep things simple, a mass gainer supplement is a supplement packed full of macronutrients. These supplements have carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The goal is to help you build muscle mass and gain weight. These high-calorie protein powders have plenty of calories per serving to suit the needs of intense exercisers to promote weight gain and prevent muscle loss.

Should I use a Weight Gainer Supplement?

Benefits of Mass Gainers

Anyone who is serious about reaching muscle-building goals should consider using a weight gainer if you haven’t already. There are some things to consider to ensure that you benefit from the extra mass. Like most supplements, these are only good if you work them off. Here are six reasons to use a weight gainer. Keep these in mind when deciding if you need a weight gainer or not;

  • To Meet Extreme Calorie Requirements

The best thing about mass gainers is that these supplements make it easy to reach even the loftiest calorie goals. If you consider yourself to be a “hard-gainer” – the kind of person who needs to eat a lot to gain muscle mass, you also consider yourself lucky to keep down that second plate of food. Your stomach can only hold so much.

Meeting intense calorie requirements is incredibly difficult. This is where weight gainers come in. These supplements have over 1,000 calories per serving. It’s easy to see how they could help you smash your target of over 4,000 calories per day.

  • Specially Formulated for Lean Muscle Mass

Another benefit to using a weight gainer is that most of them contain special dietary fats. These fats prevent you from gaining too much fat so you can focus on building muscles. Dietary fat is the most important macronutrient to consider when looking at what mass gainers may do to your body. The best mass gainer is one that won’t have you packing on useless weight. Make sure you get the right mix for you. We recommend looking for mass gainer supplements with medium-chain triglycerides and minimal levels of saturated fat.

  • Different Varieties Available

Not all mass gainers are created equal. Some of them are designed to be taken pre-or-post-workout and others make for effective meal replacements. If you want weight gainers before exercise, look for a formula with as little fat as possible and with more carbohydrates per serving. An effective pre-workout has fast-acting carbohydrates to boost the insulin cycle and get muscles the amino acids they need.

Don’t worry so much about how many calories per serving there are in these supplements. Your body is going to tear through those calories in your workout. This is the best time to take a high-calorie weight gainer, so long as you keep the fat content down.

  • Different Calorie Levels

Taking mass gainers isn’t about getting as many calories as possible. Your body doesn’t need that many. This is why different powders have different calorie levels, helping you choose the best mass gainer supplement for your needs. What works for one person may not work for you.

There is a major difference between a weight gainer with 400 calories per serving and one with 900 calories per serving. Both supplements will have a different effect on your weight and muscle mass. You want to avoid supplements that lead to fat mass and instead focus on gaining muscle mass.

Most bodybuilders look for between 400 and 600 calories with their mass gainer. Consider moving to an even higher calorie limit if you still have trouble gaining serious mass using the supplements. It’s best to err on the side of caution when starting with mass gainers to ensure that you get positive results. Start out small and build your way up, rather than working your way down.

One thing to keep in mind is that mass gainers contain ingredients that can cause indigestion. If you have problems with indigestion or naturally consume more calories, you may have trouble with high-calorie mass gainers.

  • Get More Creatine

Another reason to consider using mass gainers is that they serve more than just one purpose. These supplements are packed full of vitamins and minerals, whey protein, and other things you need to build muscle. Most mass gainers include creatine and other proteins, meaning you don’t have to buy separate supplements to get everything you need.

Creatine is the ultimate addition for weight gainers because you need more quick-acting carbs to utilize creatine. Fast-acting carbs are the main ingredient for mass gainers.

Try not to worry too much if you notice water weight when taking weight gainers for the first time. The water weight is likely caused by all the carbohydrates and creatine in the supplement. The water retention passes quickly enough and you’ll be back to normal in a week or two.

  • Increased Recovery Times Thanks to L-Glutamine

Another important reason to consider using a mass gainer supplement is that they offer increased recovery times. You must recover as quickly as possible from your workout. The recovery period is more important than the actual exercises. If you don’t take in enough calories, your body takes longer to heal and recover.

Weight gainers often contain L-glutamine as well as creatine. This amino acid is particularly beneficial for recovering after a workout.

L-glutamine also helps to support a happy and healthy immune system. You’ll be less likely to miss out on a good workout because of illness.

When Should I Take a Mass Gainer?

Using Mass Gainers

Like most supplements, weight gainers are best when taken at an appropriate time. The goal of weight gainers is to increase calorie intake and promote growth and weight gain. As such, the early morning is a great time to take a mass gainer. Taking it early gives you an instant calorie boost, so you’ll never need to worry about getting optimum nutrition and more calories during the rest of the day.

Taking your mass gainer after your workout is another option and a great way to build serious mass. If your workout burns hundreds of calories, then you need the protein and calories from protein powder. It helps repair and grow muscles so you come out of a workout bigger and better. All those grams of carbs fuel the body, so you have the energy to go on with the rest of your day.

Potential Drawbacks

Drawbacks of Mass Gainer Supplements

As with most things, mass gainer supplements aren’t perfect. These supplements aren’t suited for everyone, which is understandable given the number of calories they contain. Here are the potential drawbacks and side effects of using mass gainers.

  • Caffeine and Creatine

Caffeine and creatine are two popular ingredients for these supplements. The two chemicals can definitely have positive benefits when taken separately. However, the combination increases the risk of dehydration. We recommend choosing a protein powder that favours one over the other.

  • Bad Taste

Anyone who has tried protein shakes in the past knows these supplements are hardly the height of taste. Apparently, optimum nutrition has nothing to do with flavour. Some people have trouble taking mass gainers because of their taste. Some take it even further by having a nasty aftertaste that sticks around for hours after consumption.

  • Insomnia

As mentioned before, mass gainers often have a lot of caffeine in them. This caffeine helps you work harder in the gym and gain muscle, but it can be bad to have too much caffeine before bed. Some people report suffering from insomnia after taking a mass gainer supplement. The earlier you drink these protein powders, the better.

Do Mass Gainers Work?

The question of whether or not mass gainers work is difficult to answer. These supplements deliver a high amount of calories, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. With that said, how long it takes for you to build muscle and reach your desired weight and mass can depend on your metabolism rate. Weight gain boils down to a simple equation; you lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume and gain weight when you consume more calories than you burn.

Please note that you should only ever take mass gainers if you are serious about exercise. You need to burn enough calories to avoid putting on fat instead of muscle.

Mass gainers contain everything your body needs to build muscle, including creatine monohydrate, amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These supplements help you meet your nutrition goals with over 50 grams of carbs per serving.


Mass Gainer FAQ

What is a Mass Gainer?

Mass gainers are powdered supplements. You can mix the supplement with water. These supplements primarily contain fast-acting carbohydrates and a protein mix, typically derived from whey, egg whites, or casein.

These supplements are effectively super-powered meal replacement shakes, except they are designed for people who want to gain weight rather than people who want to lose it. Mass gainers are more effective at promoting muscle growth than regular protein powders.

Is It Good to Take Mass Gainers?

How good or bad it is to take a whey protein mass gainer depends on the user and how you plan to use those extra calories. While protein powders are mostly universal, these bulk gainers are for specialized purposes.

If your goal is to gain as much mass and bulk as possible as quickly as possible, then you need a mass gainer. The extra grams of protein is just what you need. On the other hand, if you want to build some muscle and maintain your physique, we’d have to recommend a standard protein powder.

What do Mass Gainers do to Your Body?

Mass gainers are just a way to pack as many calories into your diet as possible to build muscle mass. The nutritional distribution of a mass gainer is about ensuring your body gets enough carbs and protein. Protein is a major part of mass gainers, but most of the calories per serving come from the carb content.

While using a mass gainer is one of the most efficient ways to build mass and muscle, these products have faced some criticism because they aren’t suited for long-term health. With so many carbs per serving, it’s not surprising to learn that these powders can lead to insulin resistance and fat gain.

Is There a Difference Between Mass Gainers and Weight Gainers?

These two products are the same thing sold under different names. Any powdered supplement that contains over 50 grams of carbs per serving and plenty of protein is a mass gainer, no matter what name it’s being sold under.

When is the Right Time to Take Mass Gainers?

Given that the average mass gainer contains so many calories and carbs, you should space your doses out across the day. It’s worth taking a dose post-workout to speed up your recovery and results.

Using a mass gainer as a post-workout supplement is also good from a carbohydrate and calories perspective. This is when your muscles need glucose the most. Taking a protein powder gives your muscles the glycogen they need while preventing glucose from becoming fat.

What is in Weight Gainers?

The average weight gainer contains several ingredients, including carbs, creatine monohydrate, fat, and other macronutrients. Maltodextrin is the main carbohydrate featured in weight gainers. This is a rapidly-absorbed carb your body absorbs and uses quickly. Some gainers include some flavourings to counter the often bitter taste.

These extra carbs per serving are good for developing muscle without gaining fat. When there’s too much glucose in your system, the excess glucose is stored as fat. This is the reason that these supplements are a great choice for people who want to gain body mass, but not so much for people who focus entirely on building muscle.

How can I Avoid Getting Fat With Mass Gainers?

The main reason people put on fat when using gainers is that they consume too much powder and don’t do enough exercise. You must push yourself to your limits when consuming whey and extra calories. Remember, the recommended dose on your powder is based on serious athletes. The harder you hit the gym, the better.

It’s also possible that you may be unlucky. Not everyone has the metabolic rate necessary to quickly process the sheer number of grams of protein and carbs in bulk powders. If that happens to you, consider switching to a low-carb diet. A keto shake may also prove more beneficial for people with a naturally low metabolic rate. Don’t try to push your body too far, or your results will backfire on you.

How Much Mass Gain Powder Should I Use?

Scientific research shows that it takes a lot of calories to reach impressive bulking goals. You could need up to 2,000 extra calories, if not more, from your weight gainer.

The typical weight gainer contains between 500 and 600 calories per serving (scoop). This means you need four scoops to reach a 2,000 calorie goal. Of course, you should never take all that at once. It’s best to split it across three or four doses across the day for optimal nutrition.

Spreading out your dose like this also helps prevent side effects such as bloating, keep your glycemic load down to prevent insulin resistance, and ensure you get a steady amount of calories, carbs, and protein across the day. The more uniform your diet, the better.

Final Thoughts


If you want to gain as much mass as possible as quickly as possible, then you should consider using mass gainers and weight gainers. These products boost your caloric intake and ensure your body has the carbs and protein it needs to build muscle. Please keep in mind that you must always train as hard as possible when supplementing with protein and other powder products. These products can’t do all the work for you. If you aren’t serious about working out, you’ll just be eating an insane amount of calories, and you’ll gain fat rather than muscle, which is the one thing you don’t want to happen.

Mass gainers are a ready-made source of protein, carbs, fiber, and protein. These ingredients give your body everything it needs to build muscle and bulk. We hope that you’ve learned a thing or two about mass gainers and better understand how these supplements work. Good luck reaching your mass and bulk gains goals!

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