If you’re striving to gain weight, you may benefit tremendously by indulging on weight gain shakes. Before you do so, check out these 9 helpful facts.
Keyword(s): weight gain shakes
When you need to bulk up, you know that weight gain shakes can help you get there.
But you can maximize your results by understanding how they work and how best you can incorporate them into your routine.
Let’s explore nine helpful facts about weight gain shakes.
1) The Source Matters
Those new to weight gain shakes may be a little surprised when they see the label. Shakes are often high in calories. And they may have saturated fat — and sometimes sugar.
Your first reaction may be, I could get all that from a hamburger and fries. Why am I drinking weight gain shakes?
But the source matters. A weight loss shake is designed to meet your complex nutritional needs. It draws from quality sources to provides you with greater weight gain potential.
For years, nutritionists and doctors alike told us to fear saturated fat, as if all saturated fat was equal. But now we’re discovering that just like we have saturated and unsaturated fat, there is also “good” saturated fat and “bad” saturated fat.
As Walter C. Willett MD of the Harvard School of Public Health points out, saturated fat can be divided based upon the number of carbon chains it contains. Some chain lengths are healthier than others — like the saturated fat found in coconut oil, which has been found to improve HDL (good cholesterol). In addition, the saturated fat in nuts has been shown to reduce fat mass.
The similar applies to sugar which can either come from either whole food vitamin-packed sources like fruit or processed sugar devoid of much nutritional value. The source matters. Quality weight gain shakes only use quality sources.
2) They Help You Meet High Calorie Requirements
You religiously spend your time at the gym. You’re constantly on the move. Or you’re training for an event. You can’t seem to consume enough calories to meet your body’s extreme needs.
Maybe you’re getting sick of the typical high calorie foods that are heavy and greasy. You’re concerned about the bad stuff you may be consuming along with the good, in an effort to gain weight.
If you’re not meeting your body’s calorie demand, then your body doesn’t have the energy that it needs to meet basic bodily needs like pumping blood. If basic needs aren’t being met, then secondary needs like building muscle definitely won’t be met.
That’s why some people can’t build and retain muscle. And it’s where weight gain shakes enter the room. They’re a reliable, healthy source of calories that will help you create that strong foundation on which muscle build becomes easier.
3) Do the Math to Get Results
To get the most out of your weight gain shakes, you’ll need to do some basic math to determine your requirements for daily:
You can then easily adjust your weight gain shake intake to meet your unique needs.
This is your body’s energy source. Calories are a measure of how much energy you get out of something you eat or drink.
As you probably know you get more energy out of protein and fat. But the energy release is slow and steady, so you need calories from quick-release energy sources like simple sugars too.
For men, you need about 16 calories per pound for basic daily functions like breathing and walking.
For women, you need about 13 calories per pound.
Start by getting your base calorie need. Multiply your weight by 16 or 13, depending on your gender.
The next part, however, if a mix of science and experimentation. Now you know how many calories you need as a minimum. From here, you’ll need to slowly increase your intake until you start seeing results.
Increase your intake by about 10% every two weeks until you hit your “sweet spot”.
For a man, you need about 1 gram of protein per pound. For a woman, .8-1 gram per pound. If you’re active and working to build muscle, however, you’ll need to add about 50% more.
If you’re reading the CDC’s recommendation of 46-65 grams per day, you may be scratching your head. But consider the average sedentary American.
That’s not you.
You need a lot more because you’re actually breaking down, rebuilding and building muscle on a daily basis.
But don’t think more is always better, going over around 1.5 per pound for a female and 2 for a male hasn’t been found to be that effective, even if you do take workouts to the extreme.
If you eat too much your body will just excrete it, but because the kidneys have to process the excess, this can worsen existing kidney problems.
Carbs & Fat
Next, we’ll figure out how many carbs and fat grams you need.
Start by figuring out how many calories you got from your protein. Protein provide 4 calories per gram. Multiply the number grams of protein you need by 4.
However many calories that you didn’t get from protein, you should get from carbs and fat
The minimum for carbs is 100 grams. Women should consume a minimum of 130 grams. How much you go over this will depend on your caloric needs as we discussed above.
This will keep your body out of ketosis, when the body runs out of energy and must absorb it from the body itself.
Fat is an essential part of your diet. Without it, your hormones will be out of whack. This could lead to mood swings, depression, memory loss — and surprisingly — fat gain.
As a bodybuilder, you’ll probably be more focused on the fact that testosterone is a hormone.
Without fat, you won’t have enough of it to build muscle.
4) They’re Specially Formulated To Keep You Lean
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not trying to gain fat as part of your weight gain plan. You want muscle and lots of it.
Weight gain shakes contain those healthy fats we’ve been talking about that help promote healthy fat loss to further define that muscle you’ve worked so hard for.
You want shakes with ample good fats, omega-3s and healthy saturated fats like those from nuts, coconut, and meat.
5) They’re Not for Sedentary People
We probably don’t have to tell you this. But weight gain shakes won’t have the same effect on people who aren’t committed to a solid workout routine. So keep them out of the reach of admiring children or significant others who aren’t putting in the work.
If they’re not working out, then weight gain shakes will turn to body fat after they drink them.
How can this be?
When they drink weight gain shakes, they’re consuming additional calories from protein, carbs, and fats that their body isn’t burning.
These three are broken down into simpler forms and stored in fat cells. As they continue to consume more of these than they need, their fat cells will expand, leading to obesity or other health issues.
6) Weight Gain Shakes Have Varying Purposes
Some weight gainers are intended for right before the workout. Some are meal replacement shakes. Others are post workout. And others are more about boosting your nutrition.
No, they aren’t just trying to sell you more shakes. But we’re glad to be connecting with a smart consumer.
Certain shakes will be most impactful if consumed at certain times throughout your day and week. So make note of the shakes purpose and plan accordingly.
Otherwise, you could end up feeling heavy during a workout, overdoing your calorie intake or even gaining fat mass.
7) Creatine Can Give You A Major Boost
One of the great things about weight gain shakes is that they tend to have creatine added in a complex blend of protein, carbs, and fat.
Creatine is a science-backed supplement that helps you:
- Push yourself harder
- Improve muscle contraction and reaction
- Build mass faster
- Increase your metabolic rate
To be most effective in your body, creatine must be consumed with simple carbs.
Creatine is a substance that naturally occurs in the muscle tissue, so it’s not like you’re injecting a foreign substance.
It’s approved by both the Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletics Association(NCAA), as well as professional sports.
But you should be aware of potential side effects of too much creatine, which would be:
- Stomach cramps
8) L-Glutamine Can Help You Recover Faster
Many weight gain shakes also include L-glutamine. As a bodybuilder, you understand the importance of reducing recovery time.
Glutamine is an amino acid found naturally in the body. It affects the nitrogen balance and amino acid metabolism in your muscles. It also boosts the immune system so you don’t miss your workouts due to colds.
It’s an important building block in the muscle recovery process. Glutamine also helps produce and regulate human growth hormone (HGH), which spurs muscle growth in adults.
While HGH injections may be restricted by the FDA, without a prescription, L-glutamine is completely legal and accepted in the US as the most common bodybuilding supplement.
9) You Can Reduce Other Supplements
Read the labels to make sure you’re not overdoing it on supplements. Weight gain shakes include much of what you need. So if you’re taking other supplements, you may be wasting money.
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