Mass gainers provide a wide range of performance benefits, but what about your health?
Are mass gainers healthy? Let’s discuss a few of the most important ways that mass gainers affect health, and we’ll figure out how it works along each major factor.
Metabolic damage is the most common problem with mass gainers because people over-use them, use the wrong ones, or pair them with poor quality health and wellbeing.
The main risk to metabolic health is dumping a huge amount of carbs and calories into the bloodstream. This is a bad idea, obviously, and is related to diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but also plain old obesity.
Metabolic concerns depend on balancing your mass gainer intake, calorie content, carb intake (and type), and more. You still need to live healthily to be healthy – be careful and think ahead.
Mass gainers are fine for cardiovascular health – they don’t significantly affect heart health. You need to ensure that you’re getting a good product, and controlling your intake.
The only problems of mass gainer for cardiovascular health are through the metabolic risks – like diabetes or obesity – and those are bad for heart health.
Otherwise, you’re in the clear for heart health as long as you’re reasonable with your total intake and balance mass gainer with other aspects of life.
3. Hepatological / Renal
Many people worry about the effects of mass gainers on the liver or kidneys, as many people experiencing problems in these organs are advised to avoid them.
Fortunately, most mass gainers are completely safe for the liver and kidneys. The major fear around these concerns come from 2 source:
- Existing medical conditions: people with kidney failure shouldn’t eat high protein diets, but that doesn’t mean high protein diets cause kidney problems (1).
- Contaminated mass gainers: mass gainers with heavy metals have caused liver problems before, but these should be avoided (2). Most good mass gainers are clear of harmful heavy metals – and some even use 3rd party testing to prove it.
If you’re using a mass gainer that is well-made, and you don’t have any medical conditions, you should be off to a good start.
As always, make sure the rest of your diet is good, and maintain plenty of hydration and fiber intake while using mass gainers – just in case.
Mass gainers can be a problem in the digestive system – especially single-source gainers with high calorie content. Maltodextrin-rich gainers are a major problem if you’re taking in 1000+ calories at a time.
These large, thick shakes are heavy in the gut and can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Prevent these problems by getting protein and carb blends, added digestive enzymes, or simply using smaller doses.
Lean mass gainers are a great choice, as they build in lower carb contents, sustained digestion, and smaller total calorie counts. These all contribute to a safer and more digestible product.
Our Verdict: Are Mass Gainers Healthy?
So, are mass gainers healthy?
Mass gainers are healthy and not dangerous, and shouldn’t be treated as if they’re going to cause problems. They can certainly contribute, but it’s also just one factor among many: mass gainers are only unhealthy when they’re used improperly.
You need to think about the rest of your diet and lifestyle as the foundation for major problems.
Across all he most important health factors, mass gainers are fine when they’re:
- Used responsibly and in the right quantities
- High quality products with good manufacturing and testing practices
- Used by healthy people without underlying health conditions
You should be as quick to worry about each of these as the health concerns mentioned above. Insist on quality, certainty, and getting the best product for your needs – when the products are safest and the results are best!
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Rohan Arora is a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist and has been actively involved in sports and fitness for over 8 years. He now leads the team of fitness specialists and personal trainers who help people around the world with personalized workout and nutrition plans, along with providing the right information on sports supplements.