What is a gainer?
Geyner is a carbohydrate-protein sports supplement for quick muscle gain and weight gain. Most often, a gainer consists of a mixture of whey protein and digestible carbohydrates, in some cases creatine, as well as vitamins and minerals can be added to its composition. The word gainer refers to the English verb to gain , meaning in this context mass gain .
Typically, a weight gainer is needed by naturally thin athletes ( ectomorphs ), who have difficulty with increasing body weight and gaining weight - it helps better than protein. The key role of this supplement in muscle growth is both to increase the total calorie intake, and to more efficiently transport nutrients to the muscles by increasing insulin levels in the blood.
At the same time, it is recommended to drink a carbohydrate cocktail exclusively during weight training - when training for drying, pure protein is preferable. Otherwise, a set of unwanted fat mass is possible. For beginner athletes (especially girls), a weight gainer is usually not needed - in their case, normal food should be a source of carbohydrates.
Gainer or protein?
The main difference between a gainer and protein is the carbohydrate content. If a good sports protein is a practical, pure protein, then more than half the weight of a gainer can be attributed exclusively to carbohydrates. Most often, their source is maltodextrin - a carbohydrate with a high glycemic index, which is broken down during digestion to glucose.
If a portion of pure whey protein contains about 100 kcal (and 20-25 g of protein), then a gainer may contain about 1000 kcal - however, measuring spoons and the recommended serving size also differ significantly. That is why it is necessary to compare the nutrient content per 100 g. In addition, creatine may be contained in the gainer - it also helps in weight gain.
|Content per 100 g||Whey Protein||Gainer|
|Calorie content||450 kcal||370-400 kcal|
|Squirrels||70-80 g||15-20 g|
|Fats||5-6 g||5-6 g|
|Carbohydrates||20-25 g||70-80 g|
Despite the fact that the main sports nutrition for gaining muscle mass is protein , its calories are often not enough for thin people - in this case, you need a gainer. In fact, the supplement is intended to completely replace the meal, while protein is only an addition to the usual diet (or a way to make up for the need for protein after exercise).
The use of a gainer (in fact, a mixture of fast carbohydrates and easily digestible proteins) is both an additional source of calories for the body and increases the level of insulin - a hormone that opens up the possibility for the absorption of nutrients by the muscles. In addition, the gainer taken immediately after training reduces the level of cortisol, stopping catabolic processes and helping muscle growth.
What is the difference between a gainer and a protein:
- the presence of a large amount of carbohydrates
- higher calorie per serving
What is a gainer for?
Recall that the main source of energy when performing strength training is glycogen - the reserves of carbohydrates in the muscles. These reserves are formed as a result of digestion of carbohydrate foods consumed in food. Carbohydrates in a gainer directly affect the replenishment of glycogen reserves - which helps to train more efficiently and gain weight faster.
In total, about 500-600 g of glycogen obtained from carbohydrates is stored in the athlete's body. Lack of carbohydrates in the diet does not allow the body to replenish glycogen reserves after training, negatively affecting strength and muscle growth. Unfortunately, most skinny beginners simply cannot force themselves to consume so many carbohydrate - containing foods - in this case they need a gainer.
How to drink a gainer?
It is necessary to drink a gainer either immediately after strength training in one portion, or a third of a portion before training and two thirds after the training. In the latter case (taking the gainer before and after the training) you will provide the muscles with quick additional energy, which will lead to an increase in strength indicators - especially if you train at the end of the working day.
A typical recommendation for the amount of gainer to increase muscle mass is a portion containing 20-30 g of protein and 40-60 g of carbohydrates - most often this is one measured spoon of the finished product (about 80-100 g). Dry powder is poured into a shaker, then 250-300 ml of water or skim milk are added, after which the cocktail is thoroughly shaken and drunk.
Do I need to take a gainer during the day?
Accepting additional servings of the gainer during the day (especially on days off from weight training) is permissible exclusively for extremely thin teen ectomorphs or with a significant shortage of the ratio of BJU for muscle growth . In all other cases, it is recommended either to get energy from ordinary food, or to drink whey protein without additional carbohydrates.
Otherwise, there is a risk of rapid fat gain. The reason is that the main part of the gainer carbohydrates belongs to sugars and has a rather high glycemic index - taking such a high-calorie mixture in isolation from strength training can lead to obesity. Moreover, fat will increase in the most problematic area - on the stomach.
Which is better - protein or gainer?
Once again, we note that a weight gainer is needed first of all by athletes who are naturally thin and who have serious problems with weight gain and muscle growth. In their case, a normal whey protein with a minimum of simple carbohydrates will be much less effective than a high-calorie mixture of fast proteins and a large amount of carbohydrates.
At the same time, for athletes who are prone to gain weight, taking a weight gainer can easily affect the increase in body fat and the growth of fat on the stomach. That is why a weight gainer is often used only when a quick gain in total body weight is needed - without emphasis on whether dry muscles are increasing or weight gain was achieved due to a certain amount of fat.
Harm and cons of a gainer:
- Higher cost of protein in the composition
- The presence of a significant amount of carbohydrates
- High glycemic index
How to cook a home weight gainer?
A way to save on sports nutrition is to make a weight gainer at home - that is, mix whey protein with carbohydrates and creatine. In this case, you will not overpay for carbohydrates, which are more than half in the gainer - in fact, they are much cheaper than the much more expensive whey protein.
Maltodextrin (it is sold in its pure form), fruits or even juice can become a source of carbohydrates for a home weight gainer. You need to drink such a carbohydrate shake immediately after a workout. Note that there are no advantages of a gainer compared to a “manual” mixture of whey protein with carbohydrate sources - it is only about ease of use.
Geyner is a protein-carbohydrate sports nutrition with a high absorption rate, which is an important tool for weight gain and muscle growth in naturally thin ectomorphs. However, taking a weight gainer by people who are overweight will quickly cause an increase in fat mass and an increase in belly fat. In their case, it is preferable to drink regular whey protein.