Weight gainer supplements are an interesting subgroup in the realm of protein powders.
On the surface, it should be a pretty straightforward thing; if you want to gain weight, all need is something that will give you tons of calories, right?
Not quite, no. Things are just a little more complicated than that. Or, at least, they should be.
Here are a few things to look for when choosing the best weight gainer supplement for your goals.
Quality, Complete Protein
When trying to gain weight, it's important that it’s the right kind of weight – namely, muscle. To do that, you're going to need plenty of complete proteins.
This means that your protein source needs to provide you will all of the essential amino acids that your body is unable to synthesize itself. If your protein also comes bundled with the nonessential amino acids, even better.
Of course, it's important that you exercise to provide that stimulus that your body needs to use that protein appropriately.
Without the microscopic tears in your muscles caused by exercise, your body won't realize that the protein is needed anywhere and it will just get packed away as fat. And we don't want that.
Multiple Protein Sources
In addition to having slightly different nutritional profiles, proteins also tend to acts differently in your body.
Interestingly, the two milk proteins – casein and whey – make a perfect team in this respect.
Whey is rapidly absorbed, giving your body exactly what it needs in that moment. Casein, however, tends to clot up and form a big ol' ball of protein in your stomach, slowly releasing nutrients over the course of several hours.
By combining these two protein sources, you can be sure that your body will always have plenty of fuel.
While carbohydrates often get picked up, this macronutrient is your body's primary source of fuel and is vital to supporting quality workouts.
A slow-digesting carbohydrate will also help you gain lean weight by causing an increase in levels of insulin. This hormone, in turn, will make sure that all that protein gets to your muscles and is properly absorbed.
Calories and Flavor
Of course, if you want to gain weight, it's vital that your weight gainer supplement contains plenty of calories.
It's also important that the supplement is easily digestible and tastes good; you'll be eating plenty of it. The best weight gainer supplement for you then, is one that you will take.
The supplement industry is notorious for its use of unnecessary ingredients and potentially harmful additives. Avoid that as best as you can.
Select a weight gain supplement that has only quality protein from multiple source and slow carbs. If the ingredients list includes artificial flavors, dyes and preservatives, skip it.
Several of these additives have been linked to all manner of health problems including behavioral issues and certain types of cancer.
It's also worth noting that artificial sweeteners specifically have been shown to change the bacteria that naturally inhabits your gut in such a way that encourages body fat. And that's bad.