Are you tired of trying to gain weight and muscle mass? If so, our Max’s Challenge team knows exactly how you feel, and we have helped countless people on just that journey.
It’s true that while many people struggle with weight loss, others struggle with weight gain. Though regular food and exercise are the main prerequisites for weight gain, adding supplements to your diet can be a better way to add calories. With more energy from those calories, you get to work out harder and build mass.
Some reasons for aiming for weight gain are to improve digestion or to prevent unintended weight loss. But if you are here, it’s most likely because you are looking to build more muscle mass and enhance athleticism. As you already work out and are looking for ways to increase weight, keep in mind that your main aim should be to gain muscle mass and not fat.
What are Weight Gain Supplements and When to Use them?
As the term suggests, weight gain supplements like protein powder, creatine or weight gainers are typically used to provide extra calories to your body. Supplements for weight gain are taken in addition to regular meals.
The main nutrient that is required to build muscle is protein. If you are used to intense workouts, it is important to increase the amount of dietary protein so that you can build up your muscles. When you are not able to meet your protein requirements through natural foods, supplementing is a great option for weight gain.
However, it’s important that you don’t ignore your natural diet or nutrition or try to depend entirely on supplements.
Before deciding to take a supplement, we suggest that you look at your diet for any deficiencies. Have you been doing any of the following?
- Skipping meals
- Going long hours without eating
- Eating unbalanced meals
- Not eating enough calories
Supplements for Weight Gain: The Different Types
Supplements are widely available, and athletes, body-builders, and gym-goers use them to enhance exercise and build mass and muscle. Listed below are the most popular supplements that you can choose from:
- Protein - Protein is at the top of the list when it comes to weight gain and increasing muscle. If you can consume the daily recommended amount of protein from natural food sources, you need not depend on protein supplements, but as a gym-goer, you will agree that it is always easier to snack on a protein bar or protein shake to get the required amount of protein. The most common types of protein powders are:
- Whey protein
- Soy protein
- Casein protein
- Hemp protein
You can also buy ready-made protein drinks. Protein drinks are widely available in different brands and may vary depending on calorie content, protein content and flavour. Energy bars and protein cookies are also easy and convenient snacks.
Research has shown that adults who exercise and consume protein supplements have had more muscle gain than those who did not. The recommended daily intake of protein is 0.6 to 0.9 grams per pound or 1.4 to 2 grams per kg of body weight to increase muscle growth in adults who train and exercise.
But keep in mind that even if you eat a high-protein diet, you will not gain weight if you do not consume enough calories. On the contrary, research shows that those who consume a higher protein diet can lose fat instead because it makes you feel fuller after eating. This decreases the total amount that you eat.
- Creatine - Creatine is produced naturally in the body by the kidneys and liver. It can also be obtained by eating red meat, poultry and seafood. The main function of creatine is to increase energy production. Creatine is one of the best go-to supplements to increase lean muscle mass. Research supports that creatine supplements improve exercise performance and muscle gain with time.
There are different types of creatine in the market, and we always advise that creatine monohydrate is considered to be the most effective and safe. Start taking it as a supplement, approximately 20 grams per day, and split it into four batches. Take this amount for five days or up to a week. After this, you can consume 3 to 5 grams per day for an indefinite period. But it is always better to consult a professional trainer so that you take the correct amount according to your body type. Studies show that when creatine supplements are combined with resistance training, lean muscle mass, upper and lower body strength, as well as physical performance, is enhanced.
- Weight gainers - In order to gain weight, you will need to consume much more calories than your body uses for normal day-to-day functioning. But how much extra you need to consume will depend on your body type and physical activity. You can consume weight gainers, which are essentially high-calorie supplements, in order to gain mass. Weight gainers, also known as mass gainers, are widely available as weight gainer shakes and have a high percentage of protein and carbohydrates. Weight gainers are one of the best supplements because they are high in calories and give almost instant nutrition. The benefits of weight gainers are:
- They help to increase calorie intake
- They contain plenty of protein and carbohydrates
- Help to build muscle and recovery
- Contain good quality macro-nutrients
Keep in mind that though weight gainers are a good way to add weight and calories to your diet, they may have an unpleasant taste and consistency.
- Multi-vitamins - If your main focus is to build mass, you will obviously be eating foods that give you the most calories and macronutrients. But this may lead to a deficiency in vitamins and minerals that are micronutrients and an essential part of body functioning. This deficiency can come in the way of the proper growth and functioning of your body. Minerals are used for transporting nutrients, building up bones and other cellular actions, while vitamins help in digesting food and providing enzymes. In order for your body to function properly, consider taking your vitamin and mineral supplements as a part of your diet. Though there are plenty of multivitamins out there, choose to take a supplement that contains almost all vitamins and minerals.
Supplements That Can Enhance Exercise
There are a few supplements that lead to weight gain and muscle gain if you exercise harder. These are listed below:
- Citrulline - This is essentially an amino acid that is found in natural foods and is also produced by the body. One of its main functions is to increase blood flow to the body’s tissues. If you take this supplement, the amount of exercise that you can perform in a single session may increase significantly, and you will be able to gain muscle in that respect.
- Caffeine - Many gym-goers consume caffeine, especially for exercise, to enhance their performance. It helps the body to quickly produce a force, which is important for exercises like cycling, sprinting and weight training.
- HMB - HMB, or beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate, is a supplement that is popularly used for muscle building. It is derived from leucine, an essential amino acid. Research suggests that when HMB is taken as a supplement, it helps to increase muscles, especially after resistance exercise. It also helps to increase lean body mass while at the same time decreasing fat mass. However, more research needs to be done to ascertain its true effects.
- Beta -Alanine - Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is also produced naturally in the body and helps the muscles to fight fatigue when exercising. It helps to increase performance that is done in 1–4 minute spans.
Is Taking Supplements or Weightlifting Better For Gaining Mass?
If you want to increase muscle mass and gain weight, it is important to do the right workouts consistently rather than depending on supplements only. In other words, if you increase resistance training along with dietary support and recovery time, you will get faster and quicker results than if you were to only take supplements and you do not change your gym routine.
Don’t be under the misconception that if you take more protein, you will gain body mass quickly. Doubling your intake of supplements could instead just lead to an excess amount of protein and calories that don’t have any positive impact. It is always better to choose natural food sources first and then opt for supplements. For instance, try a protein shake to fill in the gaps. In other words, you can most definitely take supplements, but you need to balance the intensity of your workouts and nutrition as well to see results.If you want to gain mass and weight, and need guidance regarding which supplement is best for your body type, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! At Max’s, we have a team of experienced and trained professionals who will be happy to assist you.