Perhaps you’re wondering if mass gainer is bad for you based on how you feel after drinking it. Or maybe you’ve been scared by friends and family telling you to “just eat natural foods,” and that mass gainers will cause health problems. But is this true?
Mass gainer is not bad for you. However, if you take very high-calorie mass gainer and gain weight quickly, you may increase your risk of health complications if you keep the weight gain long term.
How does this happen, and what are some side effects associated with mass gainers?
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Is Mass Gainer Bad For You?
As with all food, the poison is in the dose. A serving of mass gainer daily likely isn’t bad for you unless you consume well over your caloric maintenance. Weight gain supplements are designed to help you gain mass.
They do this by providing a calorie bomb in powder form that’s easy to ingest and digest. However, some mass gainers go overboard, providing well over 1000 calories in a single serving. Do this daily while eating your regular diet, and you’ll see rapid weight gain.
This is how mass gainer can be bad for you. Rapid weight gain means you are predominantly adding fat mass. Add too much fat mass, and you become obese, increasing many health risk factors relating to mortality and disease.
But by being sensible and choosing a mass gainer that’s constructed to provide a small bump in calories and uses natural ingredients, you can avoid these problems. Crazy Nutrition’s Mass Gainer is what I recommend and use.
Mass Gainer Side Effects
Some people report side effects when using mass gainers. Here’s a couple I’ve heard and experienced myself.
Bloating tends only to be an issue for cheap mass gainers. They load them with cheap filler ingredients at high-calorie serving sizes leading to bloating and gas. Often it’s not so much the ingredients but the massive serving size. Ingesting that many calories in a short period cause these issues.
Along with bloating comes digestion issues. You can feel full for hours which isn’t productive for gaining weight since you need to continue getting enough calories to exceed your maintenance. To alleviate these issues, mass gainers with smaller serving sizes and whole food ingredients make the best options.
Common natural food ingredients are oats, sweet potato, peas, and flaxseeds. Some companies will even use animal protein sources instead of whey protein, but that is only relevant if you have dairy intolerances.
Is Mass Gainer Bad For Your Heart?
Mass gainer is not directly bad for your heart when used appropriately. The problem arises when rapid weight gain occurs and maintain long-term. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of health complications, including heart issues.
But this isn’t a mass gainer problem. It’s a too many calories too quickly issue and not correcting it. Therefore, when taking a mass gainer, find one that isn’t going to have you blow past your caloric maintenance.
Is Mass Gainer Bad For Your Liver?
Mass gainer is not bad for your liver. But you must buy products from reputable companies. There have been horror stories surrounding Herbalife, with 50 reported cases of liver damage associated with their supplements .
Avoid companies that are known as pyramid schemes. If you want to be completely safe, some companies share third-party testing data of their supplements. But they are few and far between, and the price reflects the extra cost incurred.
Mass gainer can get a bad rap from mainstream media, as many sports supplements do. But do your due diligence on mass gainer products to ensure you fit your caloric needs. Further, mass gainer doesn’t have to be used to gain weight. They also serve as meal replacements when you’re on a busy schedule.
1. Jurčić, D., Gabrić, M., Troskot Perić, R., Liberati Pršo, A. M., Mirat, J., Včev, A., … & Ebling, B. (2019). Herbalife® Associated Severe Hepatotoxicity in a Previously Healthy Woman. Acta Clinica Croatica, 58(4.), 771-776.