Supplements for weight gain do not come in a large variety to choose from. This can actually be a good thing since there are fewer products you need to purchase. Weight gain is generally going to be desired as primarily deriving from muscle production. A “hard gainer” normally just wants to see any type of weight increase on the scale, but minimizing fat development should be considered.
Different Types Of Weight Gain Supplements
As mentioned, many weight gain supplements available focus on muscle development. However, there is one type that focuses solely on weight called a mass gainer protein. This is a high-calorie weight gain product with all three macros -i.e., carbs, protein, and fats. Typically there are 800-1,400 calories per serving.
The other supplements you will want to consider purchasing are:
- Whey Protein
- Casein Protein
- Beta Alanine
Although mass gainers are protein supplements, the amount of full servings you receive is 8-10 per bottle. This can be very expensive for long term use, which is why whey and casein proteins come in handy for their cost-effectiveness.
Whey comes from cows’ milk and makes up 80% of the protein found within. Through a heated filtering process, you get the whey separated from the rest of the milk in powdered form. Whey is fast digesting and does not take long to absorb for use. There are many whey products available on the market, such as Spartan Whey and Ghost Whey Protein.
This type of protein can be classified as concentrate, isolate, or peptides. Usually, you will find a blend of all three, or concentrate with isolate. This makes the product have quality and still be affordable.
The difference is that concentrate is the first process of filtering whey, which leaves some dextrose and fats behind. Not necessarily bad to have the extra calories for weight gain. Isolate is whey purified further to be almost all calories from protein.
Peptides are added to protein products because they are longer whole amino strands, which are ready to absorb quickly after ingestion.
Casein is another great protein supplement for weight gain, and should be added to your stack alongside whey. This protein is the other 20% found within milk that slowly digests and absorbs. The concept behind using casein is as a snack before bed to slowly release protein calories while your body is at rest.
Your metabolism is hard at work to recover and repair damaged muscles after training, and as a result, this leads to muscle gain. Casein supports this process by ensuring protein is present during muscle synthesis.
Creatine is one of the top researched ingredients known to be safe for most with proven effectiveness. This ingredient is naturally found within your muscle cells, and can be received through consuming red meats.
However, the amount of red meat needed to meet daily recommended amounts is nearly impossible to obtain. Creatine supplements make it easy for you to get the amount needed from one or two servings daily.
Creatine has been shown to increase strength, power, and muscular endurance. This results in lean muscle production to assist with weight gain through exercises. These products are affordable to find for long term use, and studies show you do not need to cycle off this unless you choose.
You would want 5-8 grams of creatine loaded daily for your muscles to store for the next training day.
Normally you find this amino is only a pre-workout supplement, but it’s actually effective if you consume it daily for at least 6-8 weeks with 4-6 grams consumed. You do not have to consume all this at once. People who consume over 2g in one serving experience skin tingles that cause itchiness for several minutes.
This is safe, and the tingles should not be any concern. Studies show beta alanine supports muscle power output and endurance, which makes your training more effective for weight gain through muscle development.
BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids, and EAA is essential amino acids. BCAA are 3 of the 9 essential amino acids, so if you see a product with EAA present, they are stating you get all 9 together.
Protein supplements must contain all EAA to be considered a whole protein product, and this is the only way your body can use them for muscle repair and growth. EAA and BCAA have been shown to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, which assists with preparing for the next training day also.
Who Needs Weight Gain Supplements?
Anybody seeking to gain muscle mass, or looking to add weight due to a high metabolism would want to consider these products. As mentioned, you should not desire fat as a source for your weight gain unless medically needed.
Excessive weight gain through fat and water can cause problems with your heart, blood pressure, and other various conditions. You will be able to gain weight through a healthy means when developing muscle mass.
The results are slower than what many would want, but weight fluctuates, and the scale cannot always be trusted that something is working. Developing muscle shows proof of progress and that the weight is going to stay.
Best Weight Gain Supplements
Below are the best weight gain supplements to consider for each type of product. You want to see both quality and affordability when choosing your supplements. They are to be used long term since weight takes longer to put on for those with a high metabolism.
Dymatize Nutrition Super Mass Gainer
Stay away from caring about power words such as “super,” and focus more on the product ingredients. Although they do use this cool phrase, the product mass gainer product from Dymatize is still highly reviewed and works great for weight gain.
Each serving has 1,280 calories, mainly from quality protein and maltodextrin(carb). There are only 8 servings per container, but if your diet does not need this many extra calories supplemented daily, then you can half the amount and get 16 servings instead.
Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein
This brand produces trustworthy supplements for several decades now, and consumers frequently rate this whey product 5 stars. The taste and mix are perfect, and you get 120 calories per serving from mainly protein.
The protein is a blend or concentrate, isolate, and peptides, which gives you a variety of protein to absorb. This type of blend makes it affordable and easy on the digestive system.
MuscleTech Platinum Creatine
MuscleTech is a direct competitor with Optimum and Dymatize brands, and presents good products that have been rated as trustworthy also. In addition to their Platinum Creatine product, MuscleTech also makes Clear Muscle and Clear Muscle Next Gen. In Platinum Creatine, you get 80 servings of micronized creatine monohydrate for under $10. The taste is flavorless, which is good to mix with any drink or protein shake.
Each serving is the daily recommended amount of 5g, and this can be stacked with pre-workout supplements that contain only 2-3 grams of creatine.
Evlution Beta Alanine
Beta alanine is a daily use supplement like creatine loading, so you want an affordable, unflavored product to easily consume with a drink. This ingredient works well when consumed with creatine, and can be mixed together if you want.
This tub has over 120 servings of 1.6 dosages, so you will want to use it 2-3 times daily for benefits to be seen. Still an affordable product with plenty of servings.
NutraBio Alpha EAA
NutraBio is one of the top quality supplement manufacturers available. They provide a yearly certification for quality on their products, and consumers report their effectiveness being high as well.
This product has 6g of BCAA and 2.2g of the other 6 EAA. A very well-rounded amino product, it is to be consumed during a workout to help breakdown protein during recovery. There are 30 servings in each container, costing around $35.
Slightly more than a dollar per serving, but knowing the amino acids are of higher quality makes it slightly more desirable.