SUPPLEMENT REVIEW: BEST WEIGHT GAINER SHAKE?
By Sean Nalewanyj
"Weight gainers" are a popular supplement for naturally skinny guys looking to build muscle and bulk up.
They provide a high calorie mix of proteins, carbs and fats to help you meet your daily macronutrient needs for supporting muscle growth.
This can come in handy for those who have a busy schedule or who don't have a large appetite for whole foods.
But are commercial weight gainers a good choice for your muscle building diet? If so, what is the best weight gainer?
First off, always keep the following in mind...
Any calories that you consume beyond your maximum muscle building needs for the day will simply be stored as body fat.
Yes, a calorie surplus is required for building muscle, but your body can only synthesize a limited amount of muscle in a given day.
If you go too far beyond the recommended surplus of around 15-20% above your maintenance level, all you'll be gaining are rolls of fat rather than inches of muscle.
Your goal each day should be to come as close to your total protein/carb/fat requirements as possible without going overboard.
Most popular weight gainers are, for the most part, a simple mix of whey protein and maltodextrin.
There's really nothing "special" at all about most weight gainer shakes you find on the market.
Go ahead and check the label on the weight gainer you're using and the first couple ingredients are probably maltodextrin (a basic processed sugar) and whey protein (or a mix of various protein sources) along with a bunch of additives and other ingredients you probably can't even pronounce.
Since these shakes are mainly just whey and sugar, they are low in fiber, low in healthy fats and lacking in overall micronutrient content.
Don't get me wrong... when consumed in calculated amounts that fit into your daily macronutrient totals, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Weight gainers CAN be used as long as they only make up a relatively small portion of your total daily nutritional intake.
However, a far superior option is simply this:
Make your own weight gainer shake by purchasing a pure whey protein powder and then blending in your own carbs/fats.
Going this route will provide you with a high fiber, micronutrient dense shake that tastes better and gives you a good dose of omega-3's as well.
It doesn't have to be complicated at all either. All it takes is a minute or two of extra preparation.
Here's the best weight gainer shake I've come up with so far that you can make right at home. It will give you all the calories/protein/carbs/fats of a typical commercial weight gainer but with far higher quality nutrition:
* 10 ounces skim milk
- Blend all ingredients for 20-30 seconds.
As you can see, this is a very simple recipe and with 804 total calories it can make hitting your daily nutritional needs a much easier task.
This recipe is not set in stone either. If you want to bump the calories up even further, you can add in some yogurt, berries, flaxseed oil or even a small scoop of ice cream.
Or, if you want fewer calories you can simply decrease the serving size.
So, what's the bottom line when it comes to the question of the best weight gainer shake?
If you're on the go and have no other option, a commercial weight gainer shake can be used as long as it fits into your daily macronutrient totals.
However, if you're willing to spend just a few extra minutes of preparation time, make your own weight gainer using whey protein + your own carbs/healthy fats. This shake will deliver all the muscle building protein you need along with fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats to optimize your health and overall results.
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