How to Choose the Best Weight Gainer

How to Choose the Best Weight Gainer Supplement

How to Choose the Best Weight Gainer

Looking to build size and strength? Do you struggle to put on weight? Well then a weight gainer supplement might be the right choice for you. With a huge amount of calories per serve, most weight gainers make it almost impossible to not gain weight, and when combined with a proper training and diet routine, force your body to grow muscle. But not all weight gainers are created equal. In fact, there's a huge difference in the amount of calories, protein, carbs and servings per product, so you need to be careful and select the product that's going to be right for your needs.

Most weight gainers are either in a 50:50 ratio of protein to carbohydrates, or are more aggressive with carbs, sometimes as high as 20:80. With a serving size of 350g, some weight gainers are extremely high in calories, and are not only enough to replace an entire meal, but might keep you full for hours and ruin your next one! Most mass gainers nowadays contain a blend of proteins, as well as carbohydrates, a blend of fats, and added vitamins and minerals. Some are enhanced with extra ingredients such as creatine, glutamine, digestive enzymes and amino acids to improve the digestion and performance of the product.

Here's what you should look out for when choosing your weight gainer:

  • Protein: Carb Ratio - You need to take stock of your individual needs when selecting what ratio of protein to carbohydrates to go for with your weight gainer. For most people, a 50:50 product such as Redbak Mass XXXL is the way to go, at least at the start. You can assess your results and decide if you need to increase the amount of calories per serve after that. If you really struggle to gain weight, then a more aggressive approach is required. Go for a 30:70 ratio, or even more carbs if you wish. Something like Dymatize Super Mass Gainer is one of these. Just be careful with your overall intake - if you are so full from your protein shake that you can't eat your next meal, you'll probably be getting less calories overall and you're better off with a smaller shake.

  • Protein Sources - Most weight gainers are a blend of protein sources. By getting a blend, you are ensuring that the amino acids are steadily released into your bloodstream, rather than just digested quickly. You ideally want the first ingredient on the label to be some sort of whey protein - isolate or concentrate. These are the best sources of protein and have the most available amino acids to help you grow. If you get a blend of whey proteins, casein and egg albumen, you're getting the best possible ingredients to promote muscle growth.

  • Carbohydrates - This is where the major difference between weight gainers exists. Most weight gainers include a blend of fast absorbing carbohydrates, usually a combination of waxy maize, dextrose and maltodextrin. Though they are complex carbohydrates, and not technically sugars, they do absorb very quickly and spike insulin levels, promoting storage of nutrients (both in muscle and fat cells). This is a great choice pre or post workout as your body will use most of these calories for energy, and won't store them as body fat. At other times of the day, though, you are bound to be gaining body fat, as well as muscle. Though they're pretty rare, look for a weight gainer that uses some form of oats (usually oat powder). Oats are one of the slowest digesting carb sources and will keep your insulin levels steadier than other carb sources. Dymatize Elite Mass includes oat powder in its' carb blend.

  • Fats - Fats are extremely important to overall health, and a good fat blend is a sign of a quality weight gainer. Fats are extremely calorie-dense (more than twice as dense as protein and carbs) and so by consuming quality fats, you are boosting your calorie intake. All fats have different functions within the body, so make sure your weight gainer has a good blend of medium chain triglycerides (MCT's), omega-3's and CLA. Some of these healthy fats promote body fat loss, so by consuming them in your weight gainer, you're preventing excess body fat storage.

  • Bonus Ingredients - Aside from the standard ingredients we've already talked about, you'll find a host of other ingredients included in some weight gainers for added benefits. Look for creatine for enhanced muscle growth, workout performance and recovery, as well as extra glutamine to help you recover from your workouts. Digestive enzymes such as protease and lactase will help you digest the product better (extremely important if you are prone to stomach cramps or gas), and Cinnulin will help your body absorb the nutrients better also. While these extras aren't essential, they will help your weight gainer get digested and utilised by your body.

Finding the weight gainer to suit your needs doesn't need to be difficult. Just read the label carefully and make sure you're getting a good blend of proteins, carbs and fats, in a ratio that suits your needs. If your mass gainer includes some of the bonus ingredients we spoke about, all the better!

Stay tuned for more articles in this series, including how to choose the best protein powder, pre workout, post workout, fat burner, testosterone booster and amino acid supplement!

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