If you're very determined to reach your strength and muscle-building goals, there's a very good chance that you've considered or are considering taking a weight gainer.
Before you do so, there are a few important things that you should be sure to think about so that you'll not only benefit most from the weight gainer you choose to take, but that you also see carryover benefits into your training sessions.
Here are some important things to know about weight gainers and why you should consider using one.
1. Meeting Extreme Calorie Requirements
The first really great thing about weight gainers is that they make meeting your calorie requirements much easier. If you're what's considered a 'hardgainer', someone who feels as though they have to eat and eat and eat in order to put on any muscle mass whatsoever, there's also a high chance that you're someone who feels as though if they have to look at another plate of food, you may just be viewing your last one shortly thereafter.
Meeting the extreme calorie requirements that many men have proves to be incredibly trying and a weight gainer makes this far easier. If you consider the fact that there are weight gainers available that pack in over a thousand calories per shake you can quickly see how much more effectively you could reach your 4000+ calorie needs per day.
2. Specially Formulated Fats Help You Stay Leaner
A second big benefit to using a weight gainer is that many come with a particular type of dietary fat that helps to keep you leaner while you go about the muscle-building process. Dietary fat is perhaps the greatest variable macronutrient in terms of what the implications are of the type you take in on the body, therefore it's critical that you're being sure to take in the correct from as often as possible.
You should always keep your eye out for a weight gainer that contains medium chain triglycerides and as little saturated fat as possible.
3. Post-Workout And Daily Varieties Available
Another great thing about weight gainers is you can find ones that are more formulated for using closer to your workout and others that are designed to be taken either as meal replacements or as an addition to the meals you're already eating to boost calorie levels up higher.
If you're hoping to use the weight gainer immediately before or after the workout period, look for one that contains as little fat as possible and that has a higher carbohydrate content. This is the prime time to feed your muscles fast acting carbohydrates so they can drive the insulin cycle and get the amino acids into the muscle cells quickly.
Don't fear taking in more calories during this time of the day because it's at this point your body will make best use of them. If you are going to add a higher calorie weight gainer shake, this is the time to do it, provided you are keeping fat intake lower.
Weider's Super Mega Mass 2000 is the perfect example of this containing 530 calories, 103 grams of carbohydrates, 25 grams of protein, and only 2 grams of fat. Taking this after a workout is a sure-fire strategy to get some serious growth happening.
4. Differing Calorie Levels
Again going back to the factor that you do only require so many calories to build muscle effectively, weight gainers come in a variety of different calorie levels, so be sure to match an appropriate one to your needs.
There is a big difference between a four hundred calorie weight gainer and a nine hundred calorie weight gainer when taken on a daily basis over the course of a week. If you overshoot the calorie intake of the weight gainer you may find that you do start putting on fat mass, which is something most guys do aim to limit.
Most guys should find they do well with a four hundred to six hundred calorie variety, and then those who really struggle to build mass can venture into the higher calorie formulas. Always error on the conservative side when first start out with a weight gainer as well so that you can be sure it reacts positively with your system.
Those who are quite susceptible to indigestion or taking in larger volumes of calories at once may struggle with the higher calorie powders so work your way up to the larger calorie levels.
5. Meet Your Creatine Needs More Effectively
Another great reason to consider adding a weight gainer to your supplement program is because it'll kill a few birds with one stone. Not only will you no longer need a straight protein powder (unless you also plan on using lower calorie protein shakes as well), but many weight gainers come complete with creatine as well, eliminating the need to buy this product separately.
Creatine is the perfect addition to most weight gainers because in order for creatine to work as effectively as possible, it's vital to take in a higher amount of quick acting carbs, which is what many weight gainers are made out of.
If you do notice some initial water weight gain when first starting a weight gainer, keep in mind this is from the high influx of carbohydrates (which carry extra water molecules into the body) as well as the creatine. Give it a week or two and you should see this water retention leave the body.
6. Recover Faster With L-Glutamine
Finally, the last reason why you should consider adding a weight gainer to your supplement mix is because of the enhanced recovery rates you'll have with it.
Being able to recover from workout to workout is just as important, if not more important, than what you're doing in the gym, so if you aren't taking in an optimal amount of calories, you won't be guaranteeing your recovery rates.
Further, like creatine, most weight gainers do double-duty and also pack in some l-glutamine, which is a particular amino acid that really plays a large role in a speedy recovery.
L-Glutamine will also work to support a healthy immune system, decreasing the risk that you have to miss out on your training sessions because of illness.
So be sure you keep these points in mind. When used properly weight gainers can give you the 'edge' you need to take your muscle building to a whole new level.