How to take a gainer for muscle mass gain: when to drink, dosage + combination tips with other sports nutrition

Press Release

In recent years, the popularity of bodybuilding is only growing. Gyms are visited by completely different people: thin, full, aged and very young. But there is a category of athletes who have not just a lean physique, but also an incredibly fast metabolism. It is very difficult for such “bodybuilders” to gain muscle mass. Everything that they eat in a day burns out in the “furnace” of metabolism. It was for such people that special protein-carbohydrate mixtures – gainers – were developed. What are these supplements and how to take them, we suggest talking in an article.


What is a gainer?

A gainer is a sports supplement designed to increase the total calorie intake. The fact is that muscles grow only with a surplus of calorie. That is, the amount of calories consumed per day should exceed their expenditure. It is the low calorie menu that does not allow athletes with high metabolism to gain muscle mass. The gainer just helps to increase the total calorie content without the need to add additional meals of regular solid food to the diet.


In addition, weight gainers help bodybuilders train longer. The fact is that the muscles work on the energy reserves of the body – on glycogen (located in muscle fibers). As a rule, this substance is enough for 25-30 minutes of intensive training. After that, a person begins to feel tired. An additional intake of the gainer before training will increase the athlete’s energy “tanks”, which will help to conduct a full-fledged productive lesson.

Gainer composition

Geyner – protein-carbohydrate mixture. The main components of the supplement are protein and carbohydrates:

  • Protein. The most commonly used gainer is whey isolate. This type of protein powder has a high assimilation rate (35-40 minutes) and is considered to be a reference in terms of amino acid composition. The approximate amount of protein in a portion of a protein-carbohydrate shake is 20-25%;
  • Carbohydrates. A gainer may contain both “complex” and “simple” carbohydrates (sugar, maltodextrin). In the first case, the price of the additive will be higher. But this is offset by the duration of the action and the quality of the gained mass. If only “simple” carbohydrates are present in the gainer, the price of the supplement will be lower, but there is a risk of gaining not muscle but subcutaneous fat. The approximate carbohydrate content in a portion of a gainer is 70-75%.

Gainer Composition Example

Also, some manufacturers add other components to their protein-carbohydrate mixtures: BCAA, creatine, vitamins, fats. It is believed that such ingredients can increase the energy value of the product.

It is worth noting that the amount of additional ingredients in the mixture is so small that the athlete is unlikely to feel a serious increase in energy. But the cost of the additive additional components increase quite strongly.

How to drink a gainer?

Note! Uncontrolled intake of a gainer is not recommended, as this can lead to digestion or other side effects (for example, allergic reactions).

In addition, by replacing regular food with protein-carbohydrate shakes, an athlete runs the risk of losing important trace elements, fiber, and other substances necessary for life. Therefore, you should know the basic principles of taking these sports supplements.

Who needs protein-carbohydrate mixtures

First of all, weight gainers are necessary for athletes with an ectomorphic body type (minimum percentage of subcutaneous fat, long thin limbs, underdeveloped shoulder girdle, narrow chest). Such people, even with a well-designed training program, cannot gain “raw” muscle mass (with fat), not to mention “dry” muscles. In this case, a gainer will be preferable to a simple protein, as it has a higher calorie content due to carbohydrates.


Body types in men: 1-ectomorph, 2-mesomorph, 3-endomorph

There is a misconception that sports supplements and, in particular, weight gainers are able to build muscle even without physical exertion.

Important! Remember, sports nutrition is not anabolic steroids, but a dietary supplement that increases its nutritional value.

Therefore, simple people who are not involved in power loads, weight gainers will not help to increase muscle mass. Moreover, such high-calorie supplements can cause the accumulation of adipose tissue.

We note that there are situations when a person who does not engage in sports is prescribed medically-carbohydrate mixtures for medical reasons. This is most often associated with various diseases, for example, muscular dystrophy or anorexia. In addition, such supplements are “prescribed” to restore body weight after prolonged illnesses. But let’s say right away, in the presence of serious health problems, only the attending physician should decide the issues of nutrition and taking supplements.


Manufacturers indicate recommended consumption rates for all types of sports nutrition. As a rule, we advise you to adhere to the established dosages. But in the case of a gainer, it is better to move away from the recommendations.

For example, in Optimum Nutrition’s Serious Mass gainer, a serving is 334g (1250 kcal). At the same time, according to the assurances of the producers, one needs to consume three such servings per day, which is 1 kg of powder and 3750 kcal! Not every professional bodybuilder can fully absorb such a volume of nutrients. But you also need regular foods to eat.

Daily gainer rate for mass gain (weight is indicated in grams)

If you are a beginner athlete, take 100g of gainer per serving (2-3 times a day). If after a month there will be no weight gain, increase the dosage to 150 g per serving.

When to take

Protein-carbohydrate mixtures on the day of training take before training for 35-40 minutes. This allows you to get an additional source of energy for the muscles. In addition, the gainer is drunk immediately after class. The fact is that in the first 30-40 minutes after the end of the load, the so-called “carbohydrate window” opens. During this period, you can consume a large amount of carbohydrates. They are completely absorbed by the body and go to restore the energy spent on the lesson.


On rest days, it is also permissible to take protein-carbohydrate mixtures. This will maintain a high calorie diet, which is necessary to increase body weight and high-quality muscle recovery. You need to drink such cocktails between meals, for example, in the morning and in the evening.

Do not use gainers at night, as most of the carbohydrates during sleep will go into subcutaneous fat. If you want to maintain muscle at night, it’s better to get casein protein.

How to make a cocktail

The powder is diluted in a liquid. Best suited for this are water, fruit juice, milk. When stirring the gainer with water, you get only those calories that are in the powder itself. If you are preparing a cocktail based on milk or juice, be prepared for the fact that the calorie content of the portion will seriously increase.


By the way, many ectomorphs specifically use sweet juices for breeding gainers in order to gain total body weight faster. This technique is really justified.

Note! Frequent, excessive consumption of sugary protein-carbohydrate shakes can cause health problems (such as diabetes).

Combination of a gainer with another sports food

Protein-carbohydrate mixtures can be combined with the following additives:

  • Creatine. The substance is a nitric acid involved in energy exchange processes. In other words, creatine helps to quickly replenish the body’s energy reserves. In combination with a gainer, a powerful bunch is obtained, which allows the athlete to progress both in strength and in mass;
  • BCAA complex. It consists of three essential amino acids: valine, leucine, isoleucine. These organic compounds are involved in the formation of new muscle fibers. Therefore, adding a portion of BCAA to the protein-carbohydrate mixture, the athlete improves the anabolic and restorative properties of the cocktail;
  • Protein. Some inexpensive gainers contain very little protein. Because of this, their ability to maintain muscle from destruction is deteriorating. But if you add a portion of whey protein to the mixture, you get a high-energy protein shake that can both replenish energy and prevent catabolism.



At the end of the article we give the last recommendation: do not immediately take a large package of gainer. The additive contains protein, which is most often produced from dairy raw materials. Because of this, some athletes who are sensitive to lactose may experience allergic reactions. Therefore, it is better to buy Spironolactone and observe the reaction of the body within a few days of taking. If there are no negative consequences, then you can safely purchase protein-carbohydrate supplements from this manufacturer.

This post was originally published on Weekly News Times