The craziness over mass gainers is wild! Why? Because bulking up and making the muscles pop out occupy a larger concern for those training their bodies and mass gainers are exactly made to this in contrast with whey protein which focuses on overall protein and carbs requirements.

However, you need to thoroughly understand the concept behind how to use mass gainers properly and whether mass gainers are good or bad before purchasing any of them! 

The advertisement presenting mass gainer results seem way too promising than their purpose. Contrary to the popular belief that mass gainers will extraordinarily help the consumer put on lean muscle, there is a huge equation behind how to use mass gainers without getting fat. Yes! you may develop more fat tissue than lean muscles with mass gainers.

Whatever you put into your diet, contributes to your calorie count. Mass gainers are but a blend of nutrients in form of a shake that assists hard gainers in reaching their target calorie consumption for the day despite limited appetite.

Yes, you read that right- Hard gainers with a limited appetite! Without much ado- Let’s find out whether you need a mass gainer or not?

What Is A Mass Gainer Supplement? 

Mass gainers combine the key macronutrients in a big bag of powder which is typically rich in protein, way higher in carbohydrates, and low yo moderate in fat. The calorie count per serving may range anywhere between 500 to 1500. 

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy that you need to perform athletic activities. Excess carbs are stored as glycogen in your muscles- allowing them to work better and recover faster. Furthermore, glycogen makes you insulin sensitive so that you accumulate less fat in your body. 

While the concentration of various macronutrients varies from brand to brand of mass gainers, what remains constant is- they are high in calories! The protein in mass gainers may come from whey, egg white, casein, milk protein isolate, or other forms.

Should I Take A Mass Gainer?

If you’re trainer or gym instructor is insisting you on buying a mass gainer, specifically the one endorsed by them- take a step back and evaluate if you really need to incorporate a mass gainer into your dietary practices or is it only going to fill their pockets? 

Mass gainers are specifically for people who have either a small appetite, that does not help them in getting a calorie surplus for developing the muscle mass or those whose lifestyle deprives them of essential nutrients. 

As we have clarified in the previous section, mass gainers are rich in calories. If you are trying to bulk up, you would conditionally need to increase your calorie intake by 200-500 calories a day.

For most people, it is impossible given that they don’t feel hungry that often. Some of them too have a higher metabolism which promptly utilizes the nutrients they take in, sparing hardly a few calories to be employed in gaining muscle mass. 

So unless you have either of the following issues- don’t take a mass gainer!

  1. Hard gainer with higher metabolism and limited appetite
  2. Deficient in regular nutrition 
  3. Suffering from any illness that prevents you from putting on weight. 

How To Use Mass Gainer Without Getting Fat? 

1. Calculate Your Maintenance Calories 

The maintenance calorie for one person may not align with the needs of another. It typically represents a rough estimation of the calories that you need to consume for compensating for the energy lost in performing your daily bodily activities. 

According to healthine, Every day, our bodies burn somewhere between 1500-3500 calories, depending on our lifestyle. You can calculate your maintenance calorie using a TDEE calculator which stands for the Total Daily Energy Expenditure of your body. 

Consuming the exact amount of calories as your TDEE helps you maintain your body weight without a gain or a loss. 

2. Add A Modest Surplus To It And Work Your Daily Calorie Target For Bulking 

When you workout, or perform any activity that takes your heart rate up, your body utilizes more calories in providing you with energy.

Besides compensating for the loss of energy by meeting your TDEE estimation, you also need to consume more calories in order to bulk up. If you supply your body with calories more than it needs, that will get stored in your body for utilization in the future. 

To prevent yourself from gaining fat rather than the desired lean muscle, consult your dietician on the prescribed amount of calories you should take more than your maintenance TDEE value. You can also try it out by yourself using the hit-trial method.

Just raise your daily calorie target by 200-300 calories on the days you train your body. For serious bulking, you need rigorous training and a calorie surplus of 500-600 per day. Check the results after a few weeks and adjust your daily intake according to the results.

3. Calculate The Calories You Can Ingest From Food 

Tabulate the foods you eat in a day. From every candy to milk- chart it out religiously. Using an app or website such as MyFitnessPal or HealthifyMe, calculate the amounts of calories you get from your regular diet. Check if that meets your daily calorie target 

Quick reminder: Daily Calorie Target= TDEE + Calorie surplus

If you are failing to meet your Daily Calorie Target on the days you workout, try to incorporate more calorie-dense foods like dry fruits, nuts, or nut butter in your meals. Try to reach the closest you could get to fulfill your daily calorie needs without stuffing yourself inconveniently.

4. Adjust The Serving Size Of The Mass Gainer To Aptly Fill The Gap 

If you are falling behind your nutritional goal within your convenience, it’s time you may rely on a mass gainer. While purchasing a mass gainer, check the label thoroughly for its ingredients and nutrients information. Keeping per serving size in mind, calculate the exact size of serving that fills the void in your nutrition. 

Quick Calculation: Serving size (in calories)= Supposed Daily Calorie Intake- your current daily calorie consumption 

If you’re mixing the mass gainer in milk- calculate the amount present in milk and the added fruits or dry fruits you add in it too. Make sure the overall calorie consumption should meet your Daily calorie target without any violation.

Caution: Mindlessly Taking A Mass Gainer WILL Make You Fat!

Certified nutritionists and experienced professionals in the field of fitness and health agree that muscle gain is barely measurable.

Whether it is the case with mass gainers or any verified supplements, muscle gain remains quite indiscernible in short-term mass gain. Therefore, in case you wish to gain weight- that’s not an issue, but if you are aiming at gaining lean muscles from mass gainer- that could be the wrong direction. 

Most natural athletes gain 0.2 to 0.6 pounds of muscle per week which may depend on multiple factors from genetics, lifestyle, training patterns to nutrition balance. Eating more calories than you spend can assist in gaining lean muscles but does not guarantee that you won’t gain fat tissues.

What you may do in this situation is stay focused and keep finding your balance. Jumping into the pool of mass gainers with an unrealistic expectation may work in reverse. 

When To Take Weight Gainer? 

When To Take Weight Gainer? 

That is not a deciding factor if you see the impact in the longer run. It is just an additional source- say a supplementation that helps fill the void in your nutritional need. You can adjust the intake timing at your convenience to fit your schedule and workout timings. 

To suggest you a direction: consider if you have not had a meal any time closer to your workout timing, you can turn to a serving of your chosen mass gainer shake, say prior to an hour of hitting the gym or training spot. This can also help in boosting your energy levels as more carbohydrates improve athletic performance. 

If you want to drink the mass gainer after the training session, that should also be beneficial in helping you recover faster.

Make sure that your mass gainer consuming time should be at least an hour before you warm-up or an hour after you’ve fully cooled down. But note carefully that despite any added amino acid content in mass gainers, you shouldn’t take it as an alternative to a post-workout protein shake.

Verdict | Mass gainers: Good or Bad? 

To put it in simple words, you may hardly tell if the mass you’re gaining through any weight gain powder is genuinely coming from lean muscle or fat. Certified professionals suggest that “Gaining muscle without gaining much of fat may prove to be an extraordinarily difficult game- say 3-D chess and guesswork. These things demand the athletes to keep dialing in through trial and error”.

If your focus is to put on weight, a mass gainer may help you get more calories in your limited appetite. They are a handy tool to conveniently hit the daily calorie surplus or even the macro thresholds. However, if taken without caution and awareness, Mass gainer may make you fat and spoil all your effort in getting that desired body.


Maintaining a balanced and varied diet is important to ensure adequate nutrient intake even when you’re taking mass gainers. Mass gainers should be used to supplement a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Mass gainers can be used with other supplements, such as creatine or pre-workout supplements. Following recommended serving sizes and monitoring your progress while consuming it is important.

There are mass gainers available that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. These supplements typically contain plant-based protein sources such as pea, rice, or soy protein.

Women can use mass gainers. But, it’s important to choose a mass gainer specifically formulated for women, as they may have different nutrient needs than men.

Mass gainers can be used for as long as needed to meet weight and muscle gain goals. Monitoring progress and adjusting the number of mass gainers used as needed is important.

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