There is so much focus on weight loss and cutting in the fitness industry, it can be tough to find information on weight gainers. In most cases, it’s men looking toward increased body weight and muscle growth through weight gainer supplements and doing so by building lean mass. Most of the time, weight gainer supplements for men are also used in combination with a resistance-training program that helps men increase strength and muscle size.
Aside from traditional muscle building ingredients like milk, peanut butter, and tuna, there are several general types of weight gain supplements available. First, we’ll look at what you can choose from when it comes to supplementing to gain muscle and then we’ll look at a few of our favorite specific brands for muscle growth.
Keep in mind weight gain and muscle mass supplements—or any type of protein powder supplement—can trigger side effects. It’s important to speak to your doctor before adding supplements or making any drastic changes in your diet and to stop using a supplement if you notice it’s causing you problems. Most side effects from protein powder supplements are not serious, but everyone’s body is different and you can’t predict how you’ll react until you’re taking the supplement.
First up on the list, is whey protein. Whey protein is typically taken in weight gain powder form and helps you increase your daily protein intake easily and conveniently which will help with muscle mass.
Whey is composed of amino acids, which are also sometimes referred to as “the building blocks of protein.” One study showed that whey is more beneficial than soy and other plant proteins when it comes to gaining lean mass.
You’re able to get the powder in a variety of delicious flavors and a lot of people use whey protein to feed their sweet tooth or satisfy a craving for a food they aren’t otherwise eating because they’re focused on health.
Branched chain amino acids, also referred to as BCAAs, are named for their molecular structure. There are three of them—valine, leucine, and isoleucine—and all play a role in muscle synthesis.
BCAA offers some of the same benefits as whey protein and, as a matter of fact, whey protein contains the three amino acids, but it’s recommended that if you’re working out, you take a separate BCAA before and then again after your workout because your muscles really need a supply of these amino acids during before activity and during recovery. At least one study showed a larger gain in mass for people taking BCAA than those taking whey protein alone.
Your next option for the best weight gain supplements for men is creatine. It’s one of the most popular types of supplements and it helps supply energy to the muscles. It’s usually taken in a powder form and can be used before or after a workout, as well as mixed with BCAA supplements.
A mix of a high-carb liquid and creatine makes for the best possible absorption and helps during high-intensity workouts. Creatine is naturally found in meat, but it would be difficult to eat enough to get the level of creatine you want for gains. This substance enables your body to produce higher levels of ATP (fuel for your muscles) so you’re able to workout for longer periods of time and avoid soreness and fatigue from tough workouts.
Creatine can be dehydrating, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water if you are supplementing with it. Otherwise, you’ll experience cramping and other unpleasant side effects associated with dehydration.
Finally, on the list of general gains supplements, is glutamine. Glutamine is naturally found in high-protein foods but, again, if you wanted to get the optimal results, you’d need to eat a lot of food to reach that level. Glutamine helps your cells with repair after a tough workout.
It also has an anti-catabolic effect, so it’s great for feeding your muscles after you’re overworked them. Another good time to take glutamine is right before bed because it protects your muscles during the night when your body turns to muscle when it runs out of energy from other sources. Glutamine can be mixed with creatine for a more complete supplement effect.
It’s important to remember that you are putting your body at risk every time you ingest something. It’s a fairly low risk when it comes to these supplements, but you still need to be aware and practice safe supplementation. There are no serious side effects associated with BCAAs or whey protein. However, it is possible to increase your risk for kidney stones if you overdo it with protein.
Some people have experienced upset stomach, cramping, and diarrhea after using creatine. If you experience these side effects, you should stop using the product. Chances are if this is how your body responds to the supplement it won’t produce the results you’re looking for anyway. There’s only a portion of creatine users (about 50 to 60%) who respond to creatine as intended.
There are thousands of options on the market for men looking for a supplement to help them achieve gains. And though many of these formulas have come a long way and can provide you with the results you need, some are just better than others.