Mass Gainer: Sources, Benefits, Dosage and Side Effects



Mass gainer supplements are becoming really popular among the bodybuilders to improve their athletic performances. The people who are skinny or underweight and want to look and feel more muscular also take mass gainer supplements.

To gain weight, you need to intake more calories than you burn on a daily basis. Mass gainer supplements are really useful for people who struggle to gain weight.

Mass gainers are rich in carbohydrates, protein, fats and also other ingredients like amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.

Here in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the mass gainers.

What is a Mass Gainer?

A mass gainer is a supplement that helps to add more muscle mass by providing an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, and possibly fats.

Generally, mass gainer is a high-calorie supplement powder and it increases the daily calorie intake and promotes weight gain. You should always take mass gainer supplements along with a healthy and a balanced diet.

However,  a mass gainer supplement definitely contains less protein than other protein supplements, but it contains a high level of carbohydrates and fats as well, which helps in gaining mass.

Why Should You Use A Mass Gainer?

There are many protein powders on the market. But why should you go for a mass gainer supplement?

1. If you are struggling to consume enough calories

If you want to put on mass, you need to intake more calories than you burn. Thus you need to consume at least 300-500 calories more per day than you burn through exercise or through your daily routine. if you are trying to add more mass but not gaining any weight, then you are not in a calorie surplus. An excess amount of calories are needed to gain mass. Mass gainers will add these extra calories to your diet.

2. If you don’t consume enough macronutrient

To gain weight you need to consume the right quality and quantity of macronutrients. As binge-eating fried chicken and coke may increase your calorie intake but it will only help you to gain fat and no mass. Mass gainer supplements usually contain a balanced level of micronutrients that is essential for you to gain mass.

3. If you consume macronutrient rich meal

Sometimes having a macronutrient rich meal can make you feel stuffy. Consuming a large meal before a workout can severely affect your ability to exercise. Though most of the time you feel hungry after a workout, having a large meal after any exercise can make you feel bloated. Consuming mass gainer supplements can make things easier at these times.

4. If you don’t consume a balanced diet

To gain mass you need to have a balanced diet with enough carbohydrates, protein, and fats. If you are struggling to have a balanced diet with the right amount of fruit and vegetable, you can definitely go for mass gainer supplements. Always remember, to gain muscle you have to intake more calories than you burn, you need to intake it in the right proportion.

What does a Mass Gainer do?

A good mass gainer usually provides 500 to 1200 calories per serving. As we have discussed before, protein concentration in a mass gainer is less than the whey protein. Therefore, the quantity of protein in any mass gainer powder varies from 15 to 65 grams per serving. Just remember gaining the muscle mass mainly depends on the kind of food you intake and the kind of exercises that you do.

Consuming a mass gainer supplement with regular food intake will build a significant amount of muscle mass. You can take mass gainer by blending it with water or preferred choice of milk before or after a workout or as directed by your doctor.

Also Read: Best Mass Gainer in India

Benefits of a Mass Gainer

If you want to know what exactly a mass gainer’s function is, then let’s check it’s benefits.

1. Mass Gainer is rich in carbohydrate

At the time of an intense workout, your body starts to breakdown the carbohydrates and uses it as the main energy source. This is the time when you need to input more carbohydrates in your daily diet. Most mass gainer supplements contain a rich amount of carbohydrates, which supplies the required energy to the body.

2. Mass Gainers contain high fiber

When you are trying to build muscle, another important thing your body needs is the fiber. The fiber helps in digestion and removes the toxic waste from the body. Thus the body gets to absorb the nutrition better from the food you usually have. Mass gainers are usually rich in fiber.

3. Mass Gainer gives the required calories

There are some of us who fall into the category of hard gainers, no matter how many calories you intake, your body wouldn’t gain any weight. Now if you want to gain muscle mass but you are a hard gainer then mass gainer can be your new best friend. These supplements will provide the required amount of calories to the body. A good mass gainer supplement usually provides 1200 calories per serving in one shake.

4. Mass Gainer aids in muscle growth and recovery

To get a perfect body, you need to get a good muscle recovery and muscle building process with your regular exercise. Mass gainer usually comes up with minerals that enhance muscle growth and recovery.

5. Mass Gainers contain essential Vitamins and Minerals

Mass gainers usually contain some essential vitamins and minerals. These are some important sources of nourishment that keep your body healthy and fit.

6. Mass Gainer is a source of good fat

Generally, mass gainer powder has an abundance of dietary fat. Dietary fats are the good fat that helps you to stay lean, while you are trying to gain mass. Always check that your mass gainer supplement has unsaturated fats more and as little saturated fat as possible.


Expert Speak on Mass Gainer

Dietitian Vinit Baptist in an exclusive conversation with Zotezo on the Importance of Mass Gainers

Buy The Best Mass Gainer on Amazon

When should you take a Mass Gainer?

The main aim of a mass gainer is to increase muscle mass. Usually, you can take mass gainer supplements in the morning and it will instantly boost your calorie intake. Therefore, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting enough calories throughout the day.

You can also consume mass gainer when you feel hungry after an intense workout. Mass gainers usually provide a high content of protein, which will help to repair the muscle and their growth.

Mass gainers are rich in carbohydrates that act as the main energy source of our body, thus you can intake a mass gainer shake just before your exercise session.

Side effects of Mass Gainer supplements

Taking mass gainer is a common and popular thing among the people who are underweight and skinny. But is a mass gainer supplement good for you? Mass gainer supplements are just not right for everyone and sometimes consuming mass gainer can make you fat, rather than increasing muscle mass. There are some side effects of mass gainer supplements.

1. Unhealthy weight gain

Most of the mass gainer supplements brands add a high amount of sugar in their product to sweeten it. They add it to hide the bitter taste of these supplements, also it works as the carbohydrate source that is essential for weight gain. Though sugar acts as the fuel of our body, artificial sugar is packed with calories only without the necessary fibers. This artificial sugar can increase the fat level rather than the muscle mass.

To regulate this weight gain, do exercise regularly. As the right exercise is essential for increasing muscle mass.

2. Increased diabetes risk

High sugar intake can increase the risk of diabetes and it is the most terrible side effect of mass gainer supplements. Excessive intake of carbohydrates induces the pancreas to release more insulin than necessary and that can cause chronic insulin resistance. Chronic insulin resistance can increase the risk of heart diseases, obesity as well as diabetes. Most of the mass gainers contain a high amount of carbohydrates that can make you more insulin resistant.

Always check the nutrition list first and the percentage of calories coming from sugar before taking the mass gainer supplements.

3. Stomach upset and allergy problems

To some people, mass gainer supplements can cause stomach pain and bloat. Generally, these types of stomach cramps are often linked to food intolerance and food allergies. If any lactose-intolerant people take mass gainer with milk, they usually suffer from this type of stomach problems.

If you are lactose intolerant then carefully check the ingredient lists before taking the mass gainer supplements. If you are having any allergic reaction then stop taking the mass gainer and immediately consult a doctor.

4. Increased creatinine levels

Most of the mass gainer supplements that are available in the market contain a high amount of creatinine as creatinine can boost the muscle building process. Usually, by the dialysis process in the kidney, creatinine is removed from the body. Consuming creatinine over the recommended level can disturb the normal kidney functions.

People who are suffering from any kidney problem should definitely check the ingredients list before taking any mass gainer supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mass Gainers

We tried to tell you everything about the mass gainer supplements. We know that a few questions are still lingering in your mind. We tried to answer some of them.

1. What is the difference between Whey Protein and Mass Gainer?

Whey protein generally contains more than 60% protein and a very little amount of carbohydrates and fats. Whereas mass gainer contains more carbohydrates and fat than protein to boost your calorie intake. We usually consume whey protein to lose weight, but we intake mass gainer to gain muscle mass.

2. Is it good to take Mass Gainer?

For people who struggle to gain weight, can intake mass gainer supplements. Unlike protein supplements, mass gainer supplements do not only contain protein but also rich in carbohydrates and fats.

3. Does Mass Gainer have side effects?

High doses of mass gainer can cause some side effects such as stomach problems, nausea, bloating, thirst, cramps, fatigue, and headache.

4. How many scoops of Mass Gainer should I take?

If you want to gain weight really fast, then take 2 heaped scoops of mass gainer with 16 oz of cold water or skim milk.

5. How many times a day should you take Mass Gainer?

You can take mass gainer supplements two times a day. Drink 1-2 scoops of mass gainer shake at the time of breakfast, and another serving about 40-60 minutes before bed.

5. Mass Gainers contain essential vitamins and minerals

Mass gainers usually contain some essential vitamins and minerals. These are some important sources of nourishment that keep your body healthy and fit.

6. Can I take Mass Gainer and Whey Protein together?

NO! As mass gainer is rich in carbohydrates and we intake it to gain weight but we consume whey protein to lose weight. Consumption of two supplements together wouldn’t do anything good to your body.

Also Read : Best Whey Protein in India


You don’t need to intake mass gainer supplements if you get enough calories from your food, as a balanced diet is always better than any supplements.

When you are choosing a mass gainer supplement, remember to consider a few things first. The price per serving, the presence of other ingredients like vitamins, minerals, flavors, etc.

We tried to tell you everything we know about mass gainer supplements. Did we miss anything? Should we add anything more? Do you find this article helpful? Don’t forget to tell us in the comment section below.

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Sraya is Health & Nutrition Content Writer at Zotezo since 2019. Her master's in Zoology has helped her to pull out critical scientific aspects of health and nutrition into user-friendly and easy to understand language for the readers. You can find her articles on medium and wordpress!
Photo of Sraya Samaddar
Dr. Swaroop Y Choudhari is an MBBS, MD in General Medicine. The doctor holds an experience of 8 years, and has extensive knowledge in his respective field of medicine.

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