“Will, my mass gainer make me fat?”
We see a hell lot of people running after mass-building supplements to build muscles. However, they are also afraid of getting fat at the same time!
We thought we would put the nail on the coffin for once and all. In this post, we will find out if mass gainers really make you fat. But before that let’s clear one thing-
A mass gainer and a weight gainer are not the same. We have a whole blog post dedicated to the topic that you should give a read. Here, we will only talk about mass gainers and their effects. Although, we may use the reference of weight gainers a few times to make things clear.
First, we will see how a mass-gaining supplement works. Then we will find out if they make you gain fat.
Can Mass Gainers Make Me Fat?
Mass-building supplements are not formulated to make you fat.
On the contrary, they help you add lean mass that you can convert to muscles through exercise.
The mass-gaining supplements combine protein, carbs, and fats to increase your caloric intake. The idea is to provide you with enough calories to create an anabolic environment-
The carbs help increase glycogen stores in your muscles and builds insulin sensitivity. As a result, you are less likely to accumulate fat in your muscles. The carbs also help in muscle recovery after a hard workout.
As you can see, mass-building supplements are not designed to make you fat. The objective of mass gainers is to create a caloric surplus for muscle mass growth. However, there is an important thing to consider.
Caloric Surplus and Fat Gain
National Health Service (UK) recommends an intake of 2,500 calories for men and 2,000 calories for women. This is the common standard, and individual requirements may vary.
To gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Now, athletes and bodybuilders have higher caloric needs than an average person as they burn more calories every day. For such a person, getting fat from mass-building supplements is almost impossible.
The idea here is to create a caloric surplus, not a caloric overload.
A serving of mass gainer comes with anything from 500 – 1,500 calories. It has high amounts of protein, higher amounts of carbs, and very low fats.
The ratios are scientifically formulated to develop lean mass, and not to contribute towards fat gain.
Here it’s important to mention weight gainers. Weight-gaining supplements create a caloric overload to help you gain weight, which includes both fat and lean mass.
So, your concerns about getting fat should be with weight gainers, and not mass gainers.
When Can Mass Gainers Make You Fat
A mass gainer is meant to be used in a certain way. As long as you stick to that, you are not going to get fat. But if you make the mistake of doing a few things, you may end up gaining fat. Let’s explore a few situations where mass-gaining supplements can make you fat-
1. You Don’t Exercise
Please don’t blame it on your supplement! You need to follow a regular exercise routine to put on muscles. Otherwise, no supplement in the world is going to help you build muscles.
And of course, you will get fat by sitting idle!
2. You Eat a Lot of Junk Food
Again, don’t blame it on this supplement!
You can’t expect to get fat when you keep eating those French fries and burgers all the time. It’s crucial to follow a proper diet that is rich in both macro and micronutrients.
Here’s a great nutrition guide by the Washington State University you can check out for more information.
3. You Consume Excessive Calories
The mass-building supplements help you create a caloric excess. However, too many calories can be counterproductive, as we discussed above.
When you take a mass gainer, be sure to track your caloric intake. Eating too many carbs, fast food, or sugary items can create a caloric overload instead of a surplus. In that case, you might get fat!
If you are unaware of your caloric needs, you should consult with a dietician or your trainer.
Note: Taking excessive calories may be necessary if you are following a bulking phase.
Well, that’s about our discussion. You won’t get fat from mass gainers if you use them the right way. That part is sure. Now, we will see how to select a mass-building supplement correctly to rule out any remaining possibilities of gaining fat!
How to Choose the Best Fat-Free Mass Gainer
The ingredients in mass-gaining supplements can make a difference to your fitness goals. That’s why it’s important to read the label and research the ingredients.
Certain items in mass gainers may be a problem for a few people. We will give you a few examples to make things clear.
You know mass-gaining supplements contain a high amount of carbs. Now, where the manufacturer sources the carbs can affect your muscle-building goals. Carbs derived from dairy or animal sources might have a higher content of fat.
On the other hand, carbs sourced from plant sources are less in fat. Many supplements use maltodextrin that extracts carbs from rice, wheat, and corn.
So, look for mass gainers that use plant sources of carbs to eliminates any possibilities of getting fat!
Apart from that, you should also check the sugar content in your supplement. Sugar can come in the form of sweeteners or even from carbs. Here too, plant sources of carbs are better as they contain less sugar.
A mass gainer will never make you fat if you use it properly.
The trick lies in judiciousness and controlled use of mass-gaining supplements coupled with exercise.
Never go overboard and gulp down calories to build muscles- that may make you fat instead! Also, keep a check on your caloric intake and eat a nutritious diet.
In the end, study the ingredients and choose the right mass gainer. You will never need to worry about getting fat, ever!