Are Weight Gainers Bad For You?

This is post by NoBull Author, Mike Boyle

When used correctly a weight gainer can be a very effective way to put on weight.  Weight gainers will provide you with the protein, carbohydrates and fats needed to gain weight.  Gaining weight requires many things.  One of the big ones is calories in vs. calories out.  There’s more to gaining weight though then just eating a large amount of food.  You need to supply your body with the right amount of quality protein, carbohydrates and fats.

A weight gainer is a easier way to supplement your calorie intake to meet your daily needs.  Weight gainers should be used as no more then a meal replacement.  When choosing a weight gainer supplement, you should be looking for something within you per meal needs.  Now we have all been intrigued by the 2000 calorie per serving weight gainer supplements.  These are not the weight gainers you should be looking for.  A lot of these are loaded with sugar and can do more harm then good.  Eating in excess of your daily needs could actually have the opposite effect your looking for.  Instead of muscle mass you could end up adding more fat mass.

Make sure you check the protein/carb ratio, you want to make sure your choosing a weight gainer to fit your needs.  If your having a problem meeting your daily protein needs, you should be looking for something higher in protein.  If carbs are you problem, look for something a little lower in protein and higher in carbs.

Why Use a Weight Gainer:

Eating and preparing 6-8 meals a day can be a little inconvenient.  Its a lot easier to drink a weight gainer shake then cook and prepare a whole meal.  To gain weight you should be eating small frequent meals about every 3 hrs.  For most of us, eating that often can become almost impossible.  This is where a quality weight gainer can be very helpful. Weight gainers are usually loaded with calories, protein and carbs.  They are a great way to get in your daily macros on those hectic days.  They can be used as a meal replacement or in-between meals as extra calories.  If your having a hard time meeting your daily calorie needs, a weight gainer can be very beneficial for you.

If you are what they call a “Hard-Gainer” or if you have fast metabolism and have a difficult time gaining weight, a weight gainer would provide you with the extra calories need to grow.  When it comes to gaining weight, quality carbs are just as important as quality protein.  Weight gainers are a great way to incorporate complex and simple carbs into your diet.

If your looking to gain weight and overall muscle mass, a good quality weight gainer is just what you need.  When it comes to gaining weight, you have to consume more calories than you burn.  A solid approach is to add in a couple weight gainer shakes per day, as meal replacements or as in-between meals for some extra calories.  This will help maximize your weight gain.

When To Use A Weight Gainer:

Weight gainers are very versatile. You can take them anytime of the day.

Morning:  Your body is in a fasting condition upon waking from sleeping 8 hrs or so.  This means your body has not eaten protein and carbohydrates in sometime.  You need both protein and carbs to keep your body anabolic.  A weight gainer is a great way to feed your muscles first thing in the morning.

In-Between Meals:  A high calorie liquid drink can be taken in-between meals, they are easy to prepare and to consume.  Weight gainers are a great way to get in extra calories between meal and a great way to gain weight.

Post Workout:  The main mission post workout is to speed up recovery as fast as possible.  A protein/carb shake works slightly better for a post-workout meal as opposed to whole food sources.  This is the time when you want to feed your body with fast acting carbs and get amino acids into the muscle quickly.  Post workout is a prime time to use a weight gainer.

What To Look For In A Weight Gainer:

Calorie Level:  Pick a weight gainer that fits your calorie needs.  Make sure their are plenty of good calories, protein and carbs.  A good rule of thumb is: if your pre-meal calories are around 400-600, then select a weight gainer that offers that to you.  There’s no need to go overboard and start stuffing down some 1500 calorie weight gainer.

Price:  Unfortunately ,a lot of weight gainer are designed just to make supplement companies money.  When it comes to selecting a weight gainer, you don’t necessarily want to buy the cheapest.  But at the same time, you don’t want to waste a ton of money on one.  You want to do your homework here.  Find a  reputable supplement company, that fits into your means.

Protein:  Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocsk to building muscle.  Make sure the weight gainer you select has at least 40 grams of quality protein.

Protein-to-Carb Ratio:  Along with a quality protein, you should get a good amount of quality carbs.  This is where most people go wrong with weight gainers.  Like I have stated before, weight gainers are not much different then a meal replacement.  A good carb-to-protein ratio is 2-1 per serving.

Fats and Sugar:  Most of us get plenty of fat and sugar in our everyday diet.  There’s no real need to supplement more then needed.  Try to select a weight gainer with no simple sugars, no fructose, and no sucrose.  Also look for a weight gainer that keeps saturated fat to a minimum.

Pro’s vs. Con’s of A Weight Gainer:


  • Can allow bodybuilders to get the calories they need without eating tons of food
  • Higher amount of calories and protein than a standard protein powder
  • Can encourage faster muscle and weight gain
  • Can be less expensive then most whole foods
  • Very convenient


  • Taking a to high of a calorie weight gainer should result in fat gain
  • Could be high in sugars, fructose, sucrose
  • Most taste terrible
  • Serving size to big
  • Saturated fats to high

Weight gainer supplements are no different then any other supplement.  They don’t have super powers, they are just calories.  When it comes to gaining weight you have to consume more food than you burn off.  This does not happen over night.  It takes years to build large amounts of muscle.  If your looking to help speed up your weight gain and muscle mass a bit,  a good quality weight gainer is just what you need.

NoBull Author Mike Boyle

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