Weight Gain Supplements: Are they worth it?

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Weight Gain Supplements: Are they worth it?

Recently, I had a friend who went into a local supplement store in hopes of purchasing a supplement to help him pack on mass. Like many others, he did not believe in sticking solely to foods to attain his goals…it just didn’t feel “right”. That aura of actually having some powder makes everything so official and more attainable, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what we’ve been lead to believe by the supplement industry, so I can’t blame him or anyone else for feeling this way. Nonetheless, his quest for the best weight gain supplement ended when one of the employees at the store convinced him to get a certain popular weight gainer. I won’t mention which one it was because it doesn’t really matter for the point of this article. In reality, all these weight gain supplements are generally the same and pack a caloric-punch with a few scoops. Their biggest difference might be in the type of carbohydrates they offer (simple vs. complex), but outside of that they all accomplish the purpose of giving you a quick dose of calories. As a result, it is tough to suggest that there is one on the market that should be crowned the best weight gain supplement. Here’s why:

Many of these weight gainers promise extensive results in terms of muscle gain (and not weight gain in general). As if the powder you’re ingesting will fuel your body to act a specific way based on the fact you’re supplementing with that particular company’s product. None of this is true of course, and you can unveil the media-hyped cloak about all of this in our Benefits of Supplements article if you’re extra curious. In short summary, no supplement is magical but many can be used with great results if used correctly as a supplement to an already in-check diet and training routine. Buying one type of weight gainer over another will not spur your body to produce more muscle, it just doesn’t work that way.

Now when it comes to the best weight gain supplement, you have to break that term down to really understand what you’re indeed paying for. Outside of the aforementioned point about supplements not being magical, a weight gain supplement is simply a bunch of neatly separated calories (in terms of the three macronutrients – fats/protein/carbs). Many people seek these out for the wrong reasons, assuming they’re going to solely be responsible for helping them gain weight (muscle, I hope). Well, they won’t. They’re simply a bit of help for you to go past your maintenance calories. Once you are above your maintenance (and you train hard if you’re trying to gain muscle), over time you’ll be able to put on size. Whatever is advertised on the container is just that…an advertisement to lure you in. Therefore, practically speaking, the best weight gain supplement does not even exist because they all have the same function by aiding to provide you with calories. To the human body, calories are calories. If you put in more than you burn, over time it’ll add up and give you a plus on the scale. That plus that you need to put on plus pounds. That’s just how it works.

Of course, the question now becomes…do you even need to spend money on a weight gain supplement in the first place? Well, think of it this way. If we refer to our Clean Food Effects vs. Bad Food Effects article, we know that at the end of the day your body breaks down a calorie as a calorie no matter what the source is. Understanding this, since a weight gain supplement does nothing extraordinary outside of providing a caloric-punch, the only time I see it as a worthy purchase is when you clearly cannot stomach eating enough regular food to go over your maintenance for the day. Notice, however, that doesn’t mean it should be an easy cop out. Unless you are a complete health freak and stay away from “bad foods”, how could you really rationalize ingesting some powder in the form of a shake to get calories when you can eat clean for the majority of the day and then (if necessary) go over by eating anything you’d like? The world is filled with delicious goodies, enjoy the fact you can eat whatever you want and wind up with lean gains. Due to the struggle to get over maintenance in the first place, getting lean gains shouldn’t even be a problem. Therefore, the best weight gain supplement isn’t even a supplement, it’s whole food.

Now, if you really cannot eat enough because you excessively dislike many foods and are really picky, a weight gain supplement is a wise investment. Sometimes an individual just cannot stomach large meals and a small meal is all that is necessary for satiety to be reached. Other times an individual might have a killer combo of excessive physical activity (playing sports + gym) and a high metabolism, and they run into the problem of requiring so much to get above maintenance that it is quite hard when adding the fact that time is also not on their side. These are just a few instances, but they are certainly common. Under these circumstances, those extra calories from a weight gain supplement are more than welcome additions to the diet. Whole foods alone will not suffice to put that individual over maintenance, and packing a caloric-heavy dose through a weight gain supplement is an easy way to fix this problem.

Top 3 Rated Weight Gainers:

1) CytoSport Cyto Gainer

2) Optimum Serious Mass

3) Dymatize Elite Mass Gainer

At the end of the day, you have to decide what you can and can’t accomplish when it comes to meeting your caloric requirements for the day based on your lifestyle and your body. Under certain circumstances a weight gain supplement might be useful, but for most all that is required is a more dedicated initiative in the kitchen. Remember, these weight gainers aren’t going to give you results because they advertise they will. They’re simply going to give you calories. Good Luck!

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