T Nation

Weightgainers Bad Rap?


#1

Why is it that weightgainers have such a bad rap? I mean the new ones like cytogainer and procomplex gainer seem pretty decent for someone who is hitting hard in the gym and isnt gaining weight. Some people cant get in that much solid food content during the day..due to school or other reasons..so whats the big deal with slugging down 3 weightgainers a day to get in the calories? I dont take weightgainer myself...just wondering why they are SOOOOO BADDDDD? I mean to bulk you are supposed to eat tons of protein and carbs...thats basically whats in a wieghtgainer shake...so why is it bad? More calories the better right?


#2

I use Muscle Juice weightgainer, in addition to regular protein powder, to get enough calories. I usually am just not hungry enough to eat a solid meal or I don't have time. The ingredients seem pretty decent.

per 1000 calories (four scoops):
(17%) 18g fat (all saturated)
(61%) 152g carb (60g sugar)
(22%) 55g protein

The saturated fat comes from coconut (MCTs). The protein comes from whey concentrate, whey isolate, calcium caseinate, egg white albumin). The carbs come from maltodextrin and fructose.

I know these aren't the best, but for a quick 500 cals two to three times a day if necessary, it doesn't seem all that bad. I typically add in more protein anyway.


#3

Mostly because of massive amounts of sugar and the poor quality of protein in most of them. But really they're not the worst thing in the world for people who are naturally skinny and have trouble putting mass on and are still making sure to eat plenty of quality and nutritious food.


#4

I use Cytogainer, it's one of the best tasting shakes I have had and DeFranco recomended it as a good post PWO shake.


#5

I think part of the issue is that you are quite possibly paying a fair amount of money for the sugar in there.

Sugar is cheap. Buy a bag. Add it to whatever you want.


#6

I'm writing an article now on how to do a mass diet without ruining your health, developing bad nutritional habits, and resorting to junk foods, fast foods, and crappy weightgainers.

In it I list two healthy weightgainer shake recipes that - unlike most weightgainers out there - contain super high quality protein, no "bad" fats, and no excess sugar. Here's a sneak peek:

Clean Mass Shake #1: Low-Carb Peanut Butter Cup Bliss

Two scoops of chocolate Metabolic Drive
Two servings of natural peanut butter
2 Cups of Carb Countdown Milk

Totals:

Calories: about 700
Protein: about 72 grams

Clean Mass Shake #2: Low-Fat Fruit Smoothie

2 Scoops Metabolic Drive -- strawberry, orange cream or banana cream flavor
1 big banana
2 packets of instant, non-flavored oatmeal or Weight Control oatmeal
8 ounces of light yogurt
2 cups of skim milk

Totals:

Calories: about 940
Protein: about 80 grams

I just see very little reason to resort to junk calories -- except for ignorance and laziness. Full article coming soon (if TC likes it.)

And oh, before someone says, "Yeah, but the store bought weightgainers have 1000+ calories" remember the gainer wars of the 80's.

This was when the supplement companies went to war to see who could pack the most calories into their weightgainers. Basically, they tossed in more sugar and (get ready for this) simply made the scoops bigger!

"Now with 1500 calories!"

They usually just increased the serving size without changing the formula.

So you'd buy a giant can of 1200 calorie weightgainer and it would contain 8 lousy serving. The scoops looked like something used to scoop out laundry detergent. They were huge! As I recall, they tasted really good. Buckets of sugar tend to do that.

History lesson over.


#7

Chris, perhaps you could suggest (or add in your article) a recipe to make a powdered weight gainer. A lot of people, myself included, use them to get a shitload of calories in say a minute or two of preparation (add powder, add water/milk, shake, drink, all you're left with is a dirty shaker).

I'd appreciate if you could suggest a mix of protein powder, some powder form of carbs, and perhaps some fat that we could mix up in large amounts (like refill an empty protein bucket) so we wouldn't have to prepare it every time. Also, you think maybe oatmeal (or other healthy complex carb) could be powderized easily to put in a mixture like this?


#8

Sounds like you're looking for a
no-blender option. I'd still start with a quality base and not those buckets of floor-sweepings disguised as whey protein. (See TC's "Protein Insider" article for info.)

So start with Metabolic Drive, or Classic Grow! if you don't mind the carbs. Your best bet for adding calories and not using a blender is flax seed oil or Udo's.

And believe it or not, those Weight Control packets of instant oatmeal are quite drinkable just added to a shake. I just let them soften up a little, no blender required.

You can also go old school and add dense, heavy cream for the calories.

And since most weight gainers are just protein powders with malto added, you can look around and buy the malto in bulk yourself, then add it to a quality blend of proteins like Metabolic Drive.


#9

Carrying the tubs was a workout in itself.


#10

There was also this trend at one point to put everything in a weight gainer from creatine to radioactive isotopes and moon dust. Usually most of the 'sought after' nutrients like Creatine were in pretty small amounts way down on teh possible therapeutic 'dosage'.

Alledgedly one certain brand that was infamous for containing everything but the kitchen sink contained methyltestosterone and worked bloody well, funnily enough. Methyltest was not on the ingredients dec funnily enough, this might just be an urban myth too.


#11

Whats wrong with Real Gains from Universal? Only 5 grams of sugar per 3.5 scoops.

I don't work for them or anything, just asking.


#12

They'd have to be more specific in the amounts of each protein to give a better evaluation. Whey concentrate will be the main consituent (its greatest first dec) and the others, god knows what amounts they are in, the micellar casien and whey isolate. Whey protein concentrate is ok mind just not the best.


#13

1.Mmmmmmmmm, sounds tasty.
2.Hopefully TC likes it, I could use an article on this.
3. Ive been looking at gainers lately(Russian Bear 5000, Cyto..etc) and talk about a waste of money,IMO.

IMO, (if money was a factor) I would rather buy some cheap ass wallmart brand powder & a jug of quick oats. Dump both in a 5 gallon bucket with just enough milk or water(or 50/50) to make a pudding like effect and fill the rest with ice packs, put on lid and scoop out cups to slam throughout the day. (if money wasnt a factor) use T-Nations/Biotest products instead of wallmarts selection's of brew(quality is allways better).


#14

I've never used it but I have a buddy who's like 6'4 145lbs(no I'm not kidding he's 24 and has the muscle tone of an anorexic 13 year old girl) who's been using Cytogainer for quick calories along with his breakfast. Seems to be working pretty well for him.


#15

my buddy ryan boils down apple juice and/or orange juice and adds potato starch to it. makes this stuff that is pretty tasty bus has a funny consistency to it. kinda like apple sauce. but a bit more slimy. i have tried it and it's not bad. cheap to make. just not sure if i wanna scarf down that slimy stuff every day lol.