A common question when someone starts lifting weights or exercising more heavily is whether they should drink whey gainer.
Or just straightforward whey protein powder?
The best way of approaching this question is by firstly looking at your existing situation.
What does your current diet consist of?
Are you getting enough protein and/or calories already?
Are you getting too many calories?
What is your body like now, in comparison to how you want it to be?
How much of an impact will your new workout program have on the balance of nutrition that you need?
After you have considered these questions…
These are fairly simple questions and you probably know the answers already. On average most people consume too many calories and too little protein.
If you are planning to lift weights then you need more protein. If you are carrying extra body fat then you need to decide whether the extra physical exertion and new muscle mass will be sufficient to burn the fat.
Usually when someone goes to buy some protein powder they fall into one of 4 categories:
- They are skinny and want to work out in order to improve their physique.
- They are fat and want to lose fat and gain muscle.
- They are already fit, toned, ripped or closer to their goals, and they already know what to buy. If they are athletes then perhaps whey gainer will give them the extra energy and protein boost to sustain their punishing regimes. If they are focusing on body sculpting and muscle definition then they will just want extra protein.
- They want to get into beast mode as soon as possible, perhaps they want to be a wrestler or a nightclub bouncer. They wont mind some extra fat as long as they get huge!
Now, for the skinny guy, the athlete or the person wanting to tap into beast mode then whey gainer makes a lot of sense. It is an easy way of taking on plenty of calories and protein to fuel some serious workouts.
Whey mass gainer usually has carbs and protein in a ratio of 2:1. If you just take on extra protein, it might be hard for you to pack on muscle mass because protein is harder for the body to turn into energy than carbs. Many people lose weight on diets that are relatively low carb such as the Atkins diet or the Paleo diet. It is hard to pack on weight without taking on extra carbs.
In fact if you are a skinny person who wants to bulk up, an athlete, or someone who wants to tap into beast mode then upping the carbs will get fast results. Then the protein percentage helps you build that lean muscle mass.
Make sure that your exercise regime will burn the whey gainer!
Of course, if you are planning to start adding a whey gainer to your diet, then you need to up the physical aspect of your program. If you are not working out hard enough then drinking a gainer shake will just make you fat.
All of the top whey gainer proteins have been designed for bulking up. Over the years, the science behind the formulation has really improved. You will find that the whey proteins are pre-digested which enhances easy absorption.
Attention is also made to having good quality carbs as ingredients. When you are taking on up to 1000 extra calories in a single serving you do not want hydrolyzed fats or simple carbohydrates. You want complex carbohydrates such as pre-digested glucose polymers.
It is important not to overdo it with whey gainers, one serving 30 minutes before a workout, and then another one an hour after will be plenty.
Obviously, look at the rest of your diet and decide if you even need two servings either side. You might want to just have half a serving at a time.
Then on your non training days take one serving mid morning and one mid afternoon. Space them out as much as possible so that your body has a constant stream of protein throughout the day. (As opposed to washing down your lunch with a whey gainer shake).
If you are a beginner to weight training, body building or intense exercise, perhaps avoid any gainer shakes for a few months and focus on general nutrition and perhaps some low-calorie whey protein.
The reason for this is that you do not want to make your health situation worse if you are not burning these extra calories. Even if you are skinny, being fat is not a better alternative, the grass is not greener on the other side of that fence.
Your goal should always be on increasing your levels of health and fitness, not just your weight.
If in doubt, drink less and monitor. Another alternative might be to use 100% whey protein the add some healthy fats to increase your calorie consumption. You could add peanut butter, extra virgin coconut oil or butter to your protein shake. This is another sensible alternative.
Some people prefer to make their own protein gainer shake. They start with whey protein, then add ice cream, bananas, oats, chocolate and sop on. You can get creative and make your own, especially if you are at home.
Deciding whether you need to supplement, then assessing the correct supplementation plan will be individual to you depending on your situation already. Do not be afraid to go slow, monitor then
And also bear in mind that extra vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients is always a good idea!