If you are new to weight training and a typical "hardgainer"like me then you have probably at some time or another bought or are considering buying a Mass gainer. Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with them and each to their own but the name "mass gainer" can be misleading because if you are looking for muscle growth and quickly then you could be tempted to buy one of these (and there is lots of choice) thinking it will be a silver bullet in the shortcut to muscle growth, usually they are expensive and the number of servings you get is small compared to normal whey protein then they are usually thick and sometimes gloopy which makes them not pleasant to drink.
Let's break down what a mass gainer really is which essentially is the same as a protein shake but with more extras to increase the calorie count using things like Oats, Maltodextrin or other carb sources along with sweeteners and flavourings, the protein content can be higher in some but it's really just more calories and it's not going to give you a magic shortcut to gaining muscle. Where it can be useful is that it will give you the extra calories you need to maintain a calorie surplus which as we know that in order to gain muscle we need to be in a calorie surplus and a mass gainer will help to get the extra calories down in liquid form which can be useful if you have to hit a high number per day and feel like you really cannot eat any more food.
What is useful to know is that you can actually make your own mass gainer at home with everyday ingredients, this way you know exactly what's in it, it's cheaper and in this case contains just as many calories or more in some cases more compared to some you can buy, here are the details:
Dan's Homemade Mass Gainer shake:
500ml Semi Skimmed milk
50g porridge oats
1 tbsp Natural peanut butter
2 scoops of Vantage Chocolate Prowhey Protein
Add to a blender and mix up.
Now this is around 875 calories per serving with 77g of Protein and 91g of carbs, 25g of fat.
Try it and let me know what you think!
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If you don’t eat meat, it can take a bit more planning to get adequate protein for muscle building and sports training. Vegetarians must take extra care to avoid deficiencies of iron, zinc, and B12, which can hurt exercise and strength training performance.
The following tips will help vegetarians who want to get the most from strength training programs. Click the title to read more...