T Nation

So-called Weight Gainers

Greetings all,

I’ve been a subscriber to this website for about a year now and am a huge fan of Biotest Surge (scoop before and after every non-cardio workout) and Biotest Low-Carb Grow. Couldn’t imagine what I’d do without 'em! Currently, I eat only whole foods and suck down a lot of chicken, turkey, fish products (canned salmon/tuna), protein shakes (usually three not including Surge), low-sat fat cheese, rye kernel breads, eggs, and a bunch of other stuff. Also try to eat fruits in the AM and eat as many veggies as possible. Drink a lot of water, too.

I’m currently around 8% body fat, 155 lbs at 5’8" or so. I am a huge fan of the Massive Eating diet, and the first time I did it I was able to bring my body weight up to about 161, which is unbelievable for me since my weight never seems to budge. Like any good T-Magger, I maintain a diet log and refer to it any time my diet changes. I was pretty pissed the other day when I realized although I should be getting 3450 calories to be “massive”, I was only doing 2700. I immediately threw in a serving of almonds (170 calories) and a larger lunch (another 200 calories). I’m taking in about 150 grams of carbs (I know–pretty low), 50 grams of fats (a decent mix of healthy sat, poly/mono unsat), and around 325 - 350 grams of protein.

I feel like I’m getting in enough solid food despite my reliance on about 700-800 calories in the form of protein shakes. I’m a consultant and am often on the run. I’d really like to buffer my diet with a good amount of healthy calories to make sure I hit my goal of around 3500 calories. Would something like ISS Gainer Matrix or EAS Mass Factor (basically Gainer with creatine) do me any good since it would force me to take in another 100 grams of low-sugar carbs along with 650 extra calories?

Clearly the recommendation would be to eat another whole food meal, but sometimes it’s just not possible. Let’s be realistic.

If you’re trying to gain lbm, 150 grams isn’t going to do it. One strategy is to pack in another quick-carb meal immediately following your workout. Only drinking surge for post-workout (pw) nutrition in the 2 hrs following your workout isn’t enough. This is where you need to eat as much as possible where you have the least chance of fat gain. Try another shake following the surge that has maltodextrin, bananas, etc. If I’m in the lbm gain mode, I’m doing you’re daily total of 150 grams of carbs the 2 hours following my workout. That’s one strategy.

Oh and forget about weight gain powders…just expensive crap in a jug.

I hear ya Randman.

Whats wrong with weight gainers?, I drunk a surge during and immediatly after workout, and then wait about and hour to drink a weight gainer(met rx, N large…) then continue for a total of about 4000-4300 cal a day

Sorry…I should have clarified when I consume my meals. I wake up and hit the gym in the early AM. I sip one serving of Surge while I workout then immediately post workout I slam down another. About an hour later I eat a large serving of oatmeal, rye kernel bread with non-fat cheese, and whey protein. That gives me about 60 grams of carbs and 50 grams of protein. Throughout the rest of the day, I eat meals every 2-3 hours. My real carb intake pretty much stops at lunch time (maybe I take in 25 carbs after lunch).

I’m trying to think of other high-quality, low GI carbs that’ll help me pack it on. Fruit sounds like a good idea though fructose is a pretty potent sugar. I try to stay away from breads but I’m sure I can find more healthy grains at my supermarket. Otherwise, what do you slam down after workouts?

Most weight gainers are loaded with fructose…which sucks.

Like ~x~, I use a weight gainer as part of my post workout nutrition while on a gaining phase. I drink half a serving of Surge mixed with 5g of creatine during my workout and the remaining half immediately after. Then, an hour later, I consume a weight gainer. The one I use is Prolab’s N-Large 2. It contains 600 kCal, 52g of Protein (whey), and 88g of Carbs (mostly maltodextrin). This seems to be working well so far.

I’d say if convenience is important, a weight gainer isn’t going to hurt you. Just drink it after your oatmeal/bread meal.

On off days, spread out the extra calories throughout the day; stick to fruit and whole grains. Also, the fructose content of a lot of fruit isn’t really all that high. I’m pretty sure that bananas and grapes are mainly glucose (dextrose.) I don’t know about others.

A lot of people like Prolab N-large; I’ve only used Champion Nutrition’s Super Heavyweight Gainer and GNC’s Gainer 1850. The former tasted awesome, but the nutritive quality probably wasn’t spectacular, the latter just sucked alltogether.

Another option is to go online to one of the bulk protein vendors (proteinfactory.com, proteincustomizer.com, and there are others,) and buy a few pounds of maltodextrin. Just add about 100 grams or so to 50 grams of LC GROW!, and you’d have an extra 600 quality calories. If you can’t hack the price of GROW!, you can get the malto mixed with whey isolate and casein. Opt for about 65% malto, 18% whey, 17% casein, and you’re good to go. It just won’t taste nearly as good as GROW!.

Eat big,
Ryan