Mass Gainer supplements are useful – but do you need a mass gainer? What are their benefits for your body and time?
Today we’re going to look at mass gainer supplements – a combination of carbs and protein with very high calorie content – and how important they are.
We’ll also take a quick look at some of the benefits and put these popular bulking supplements into some perspective.
Let’s start with the most important question…
Do I Need a Mass gainer?
No – you probably don’t need a mass gainer. People use mass gainers because they’re easy and convenient, or they take up the slack of eating lots of extra food. They’re not necessary, but they can be very helpful when you’re trying to gain high-quality weight.
Mass gainer is just a liquid form of food and this makes it a simple and replaceable option. The only real necessity is if you’re not able to eat enough throughout the day to gain muscle mass and weight like you’d want to.
This is more of a practical necessity – there’s nothing in mass gainer you can’t get elsewhere.
You may need a mass gainer if you’re finding it too difficult to fit multiple meals into your day, if you’re not able to maintain your appetite for a muscle-building diet, or if you’re training very intensely and need regular boosts.
Otherwise, mass gainers are just there to make muscle-gaining easier, faster, and less of a chore.
Benefits Of Taking Mass Gainer
There are two types of benefits to mass gainer supplements: physical ones in the way they affect your body, and practical ones in how they affect your time and resources.
We’re going to take a look at both, as they’re both important considerations when you consider buying a mass gainer for muscle growth, weight gain, and recovery benefits.
Physical Benefits Of Mass Gainer:
The first group of benefits are the physical benefits of taking mass gainer: improved calorie intake, protein intake, and carb fuels. These are important for athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts alike.
1. High Calorie Support For Building Mass
The calorie content of mass gainer is the main benefit – anywhere from 500 to 1300 calories. This makes weight gain easier and can drive up muscle gain quantity, helping you reach a calorie surplus very easily.
This is a simple but effective way to increase your energy availability. If you’re struggling to get enough calories to get over your calorie maintenance needs, mass gainer is great here.
It’s especially useful if you’re struggling to get enough because of either low appetite (as a liquid calorie source) or a very high volume of training.
2. Protein: The Driver Of Muscle Growth
The protein from a mass gainer is also an important benefit, repairing your tissues and signaling for more growth (1). This is the same benefit as a whey protein or other protein powder, built into the design of a mass gainer.
Some products are better than others for protein content – both by total grams of protein and proportion of protein per calorie.
Lower-calorie mass gainers (500-750 calories) are typically quite high in protein per calories, such as Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer and Universal Real Gains (both around 50-60g).
The protein helps improve muscle gain, specifically, and ensures your weight gain isn’t just fat.
This is also one more reason why it’s a great post-workout supplement – getting more benefit from the combined effects of protein and carbs together.
Protein is an essential nutrient and mass gainers can be a great combined source for recovery and growth.
3. Carbohydrates for Energy and Muscle Growth
The carb content of mass gainers are both the source of most of the calories and a supplementary ingredient to the protein.
They increase total energy intake quickly and signal to your body that you have the energy and resources you need to grow more muscle mass.
Carb intake is even more effective around workouts, making mass gainer a great all-in-one post-workout supplement.
The ratio of carbs to protein dictates more calories vs more muscle-focus, and you can use different products to get the most from this. Super mass gainers are very high calorie with lots of carbs, but less relative protein. Leaner mass gainers are the opposite.
Carbs provide the energy you need and can be perfect for replenishing carb stores and keeping energy levels up (2). Just like protein, this is even more important post-workout, when your muscles are tired and need more carb-energy to support repair and growth.
The combination with protein only helps this, by reducing muscle damage and its effects on your carb levels.
Practical Benefits of a Mass Gainer:
For most people, the practical benefits of mass gainers are time-saving, economy, and sheer convenience.
It’s going to depend on your personal lifestyle and priorities, but having a boost to calories, carbs, and protein all in a simple liquid format can be a key tool for nutrition while busy.
1. Time-Saving With Mass Gainer Shakes
Mass gainer saves you time when you’re running short and need to hit your macros. It’s a liquid source that you mix in a shaker – so you can transport it as a powder. This makes it a fantastic choice for working, studying, or any other time when you need your calories on the go.
This also makes it perfect after a workout (a recurring theme) since you can take it to the gym with you, unlike most conventional meals.
You’ll save time buying ingredients, prepping and cooking, and even eating. Mass gainer doesn’t require any of these and is versatile enough to be measured and portioned based on your needs and timeline.
This makes it a huge benefit to anyone busy with work, studies, family commitments, or just running errands around their workouts.
2. Economy: Are Mass Gainers Cheaper Than Real Food?
Mass gainer can be cheaper per-calorie and per-protein than many other options. If you’re buying the right products, you can balance economy and quality very well.
You’ll be able to get more calories at a lower price than many other alternatives – especially when comparing with fresh meats and carbs in a mixed meal.
That’s not to say you should only focus on cost. Whole foods are crucially important to diet and you should only use mass gainer as a supplement to a well-rounded diet.
However, you can get a good mass gainer at around $2 per serving (or half-serving, for super mass gainers).
This works out to around 300-700 calories per dollar, and around 25-30g of protein. This is a lot for the value and you’re going to be well-positioned to use this kind of product in a cost-friendly way.
It obviously depends on your rate of consumption and the mass gainer you choose, but it’s a pretty economical alternative to buying a meal after every workout.
3. Convenience: Mass Gainer On The Go
The simple convenience of having your mass gainer with you on the go is probably our favorite practical benefit.
It is more versatile than most people think and can be split into sub-servings, mixed with other ingredients, or just provides a much-needed back-up option when your diet is challenged.
Mass gainers take out a lot of the confusion and effort for skinny guys. They’re a lifeline for younger skinny guys who have no control over their parents’ weekly grocery shop. They offer athletes a fast turnaround between training and recovery.
Mass gainers are convenient in a lot of ways people overlook – but they’re a good all-round supplement for bulking up and building muscle.
If you are still wondering “do I need a mass gainer”, you should know that mass gainers aren’t necessary but they do offer a wealth of nutrition and dieting options that make them useful.
They have a place on the market because they fit people’s needs regularly and they offer a convenient alternative to cooking and eating another meal.
If the benefits above match up with your goals and lifestyle, then mass gainers might be right for you.
If you’re still not sure, then it might be time to start looking at specific products – and we’ve provided a complete round-up review of mass gainers that might work for you.
Take mass gainers as a supplement and just remember that they should be paired with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise!
You Might Like:
- Is Mass Gainer Good For Bulking?
- Is Mass Gainer Good for Skinny Guys?
- Will Mass Gainer Make You Fat?
- Should You Drink Mass Gainer On Rest Days?
- Mass Gainer Vs Casein for Weight Gain
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.