When you’re trying to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. Therefore, it only makes sense that when you’re trying to gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn- right? If you’re like some people, you have a hard time eating enough during the day. You stay so busy, you don’t have time to stop and eat a full meal. If this is you, there’s nothing to worry about- mass gainer supplements can help you increase your caloric intake.
According to the experts, there are three types of supplements you can add to your daily routine to gain weight:
- Carbohydrate supplements
Of course, it’s important to note that you can’t just go grab these products off the shelf. You need to understand that there is lots of competition and some are higher-quality than others. Your decision must be based on research- but you don’t have to do it all yourself. That is where we come in.
In this article, we’ll discuss each of the above supplements: we’ll explain what they are, the benefits and potential side effects associated with each, and will tell you what we believe are the top 2 in each category.
Here are the criteria we used to choose:
- Ingredient/nutritional quality: we chose products that had ingredients that have been clinically proven to be safe and effective.
- Customer reviews: we chose products that have been well-received by consumers and that have gotten positive reviews.
- Third-party testing: since supplements are regulated as food, not drugs, by the FDA, there are gaps in the regulations. Therefore, we chose products that have been third-party tested for quality, purity, and potency.
Top Supplements for Weight Gain
As mentioned, if you want to gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Supplements can help you with that. Once again, the three main types are:
Let’s dive in and take a closer look at each one of these.
What is protein?
The first type of supplement for weight gain we’re going to look at is protein. When you start looking at protein, you’ll find that there are lots of options. Based on your goals (which in this case is weight gain) and your lifestyle, you can choose from the following:
- Egg white
Chances are you will find yourself overwhelmed with the choices. The most important thing to remember is that you need a product that is high in calories.
Though there are many options, whey is the most common. It is a water-soluble milk protein and is labeled as a “complete” protein because it contains the 9 essential amino acids. Casein is also a dairy-based protein and so is milk protein. The others are vegan-friendly. Soy is the most popular of the vegan options- but it’s important to understand that the flavor usually is not pleasant, and it will not dissolve well in water.
You can find protein in a variety of price points- whether you can only spend a few dollars or you can spend hundreds, you can find one to fit your budget. The benefits are the same, whether you choose a budget-friendly or an expensive option.
In times of high protein need, such as trying to gain weight, working out, or a dietary deficiency, protein powders can be helpful.
Protein Powder Benefits
Research has indicated that protein powder does have many benefits. Some of those benefits are:
- Helps with weight gain
- Helps with weight loss
- Improves immune response in people with asthma
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduces weight loss in patients with HIV
- Lowers cholesterol
Of course, you must keep in mind that everyone is different. Therefore, results are going to vary. You may or may not have the same results that your best friend does. Additionally, more research is needed to confirm a few of these purported benefits, and possibly to discover more.
Potential Protein Powder Side Effects
Protein powder does have many benefits. However, it also has some potential side effects as well:
- Liver/kidney problems
- Reduced appetite
- Stomach pain/cramping
Also, if you have a milk allergy, whey is the likely culprit. In most cases, moderate doses will be fine, and you won’t have a reaction. However, you may be better off trying one of the other protein powder options- especially if you plan to consume a lot of it.
Top Protein for Weight Gain
Now that you know a little something about protein in general, including benefits and side effects, we’re going to review the top 2 protein powders for weight gain.
XWERKS is well-established and respected in the supplement world. They have been around for some time and are known for not bringing BS products to the market. You can trust that they have done the research and know what works and what does not.
Their protein powder, Grow is 100% whey protein isolate, sourced from grass-fed cows in New Zealand. Whey isolate is the purest type of protein because it has been through an additional filtration process which removes the carbs, lactose, and fat. Once that is removed, you are left with a supplement that is basically pure protein.
We stand behind this product because of the quality. It’s much easier on your stomach and digestive system since it’s a whey isolate. You don’t have to be concerned about your day being interrupted by gas or bloating. Also, Grow is gluten-free and soy-free. Since it is whey, it is not vegan-friendly.
Each serving of XWERKS Grow contains:
- 25 grams protein
- Almost no carbs or fat
- 6 grams BCAAs
You have four flavor options:
- Peanut butter
Transparent Labs 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate is our second pick for best protein for weight gain. It is also sourced from grass-fed cows, but this time from the USA. It is a whey protein isolate, and the ratio is 88% protein by weight. This means every 32-gram scoop has 28 grams of protein.
This whey protein comes from dairy cows that are fed a 100% natural grass diet. They are not given hormones, and Transparent Labs never adds sweeteners or artificial flavors to their protein powders. When you use this one, you can be sure that you’re fueling your body with a healthy protein supplement.
Each scoop of Transparent Labs 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate contains the following:
- 28 grams of protein
- Less than 1 gram of sugars
- 1 gram of carbs
- 120 calories (maximum, depending on flavor)
The best part is this protein powder has an unbelievable price. This proves that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a great protein supplement.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a chemical that is naturally produced in your body and stored in your muscles as phosphocreatine. It is a tripeptide, which is an amino acid made up of three amino acids bonded together: glycine, arginine, methionine. Creatine helps with energy production during heavy lifting, HIIT workouts, and any other time you need extra energy. Serious athletes and bodybuilders who want to enhance their strength, improve their workout performance, and gain muscle often use creatine supplements.
There are several factors that affect creatine stores in your body:
- The amount of exercise you get
- Hormone levels, such as testosterone and IGF-1
- The amount of meat you eat
- The amount of muscle mass you have
According to experts, approximately 95% of the creatine in your body is stored in your muscles and the remaining 5% is stored in your brain, kidneys, and liver. When you use a creatine supplement, you increase the amount of creatine in your body. The more creatine in your body, the more ATP you can produce. ATP is a high-energy molecule, often referred to as “energy currency”. The higher your ATP levels, the better your athletic performance. Research also indicates that creatine can alter cellular processes within the body related to muscle mass development, strength, and recovery.
Creatine builds muscle by:
- Improving your workload
- Improving cell signaling
- Increasing anabolic hormones
- Increasing hydration to muscle cells
- Decreasing protein breakdown
- Decreasing myostatin levels
Additionally, using a creatine supplement has proven to increase phosphocreatine in the brain, which can improve the health of your brain and also prevent neurological conditions.
Creatine is well-studied and has been proven to be effective. Also, many organizations support creatine as being safe and effective for increasing energy and muscle growth. Some of the health benefits of creatine supplementation include:
- Increase in body mass
- Improvement in athletic performance
- Increase in phosphocreatine levels = increase in ATP
- Decrease in post-workout recovery times
In addition, there has been some research indicating that creatine can help with:
- Neurodegenerative conditions, including Huntington’s, ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Cardiovascular disease
Potential Creatine Side Effects
Many studies have proven creatine to be safe and effective- even for long-term use. That being said, you still need to be cautious when using it, as some users have reported gastrointestinal effects, including bloating, diarrhea, and gas with higher dosages. Additionally, creatine will interact with some prescription medications. Therefore, if you are taking anything that your physician prescribed, you’ll want to check with them before using creatine.
One of the most common reported side effects is weight gain. This weight gain is typically due to the fact that creatine pulls water into your cells. However, creatine also causes increased muscle mass- and muscle weighs more than fat, so the numbers on the scale will go up.
Other potential side effects include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Allergic reaction
You should avoid using creatine if the following apply to you- primarily due to the lack of studies involving these populations:
- Under age 18
- Taking prescription medications
- Blood pressure issues
- Problems with kidneys or liver
Top Creatine for Weight Gain
Now that you know about creatine, including the benefits and potential side effects, we’re going to review what we feel are the top 2 creatine for weight gain on the market today.
We know XWERKS has an amazing reputation for bringing quality fitness supplements to the market and their creatine formula does not disappoint. This is absolutely everything you would expect in a good creatine product. First, it’s pure, micronized creatine. Second, it is affordable- only $49.00. Of course, if you like it, you can save 5% by subscribing to auto-deliveries, which brings the price to $46.55. Third, each package contains 80 servings, which makes it a great value!
As we mentioned, science has named creatine monohydrate the superior form of creatine. XWERKS knows this, so they did not try to improve on a good thing. They went with it and created a great product. Each serving of Lift provides 5 grams of creatine monohydrate. This is one of the highest doses you will find. Most people mix their creatine powder with water, but since Lift is unflavored, you can even add it to your pre-workout smoothie, shake, or whatever your beverage of choice is.
XWERKS Lift is one of the best deals on the market due to the cost versus dosage. As we mentioned, XWERKS has built a great reputation, so you can be sure that you are getting a high-quality supplement to help you on your fitness journey.
Crazy Nutrition CRN-5
Crazy Nutrition is also well-established in the industry. They have also proven themselves to bring high quality fitness supplements to the market. Their products include formulas to build muscle mass, lose weight, gain weight, and so much more. In fact, their creatine formula, CRN-5 is one of the most well-known in the industry. There are 30 servings in each container of CRN-5. It costs $39.99- but they also have an auto-delivery subscription service that saves you 40%, which drops the price to $23.99. While you don’t get as many servings as with some brands, the price is budget-friendly.
As mentioned, creatine monohydrate is the superior form of creatine, which is why many of the brands use it. However, CRN-5 actually contains five forms of creatine:
- Creatine monohydrate
- Creatine ethyl ester
- Creatine HCL
- Tri-creatine malate
- Creatine citrate pyruvate
Crazy Nutrition has also added electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, and sodium) to their formula to help you rehydrate following an intense workout. Experts do recommend that you drink plenty of water when using creatine. Since there are five forms of creatine in CRN-5, it is considered one of the best creatine supplements you will find.
What are carbohydrate supplements?
Chances are, you haven’t heard much about carbohydrate supplements. However, these are the third best supplement for weight gain. A carbohydrate supplement is carbs that have been turned into a supplement to help you restore glycogen levels following intense workouts. The benefits are best achieved when combined with a workout and there are different formulas available that can be taken prior to, during, and following your workout.
There are several different types of carbohydrate supplements available. The four most common are:
- Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD)
- Waxy Maize
There are other types of carbohydrate supplements, including Trehalose and Karbolyn- but the above four are the most common.
Carbohydrate Supplement Benefits
When it comes to the benefits associated with carbohydrate supplementation, since there are different types, they obviously offer different benefits. However, in general, benefits of using carbohydrate supplements include:
- Improved absorption of necessary nutrients
- Increased endurance
- Replenished glycogen levels
- Increased energy
- Enhanced gains for athletes
While many people go on low- or no carb diets, the truth is that carbs are essential macronutrients. They can improve your overall health when used properly. Your body needs carbs to produce ATP, which is needed for energy and there’s not much you can do without energy.
The following groups of people benefit most from carbohydrate supplementation:
- People who want to gain weight
- People who want to improve energy
Potential Carbohydrate Supplement Side Effects
When used correctly based on your personal goals, there are typically no adverse effects associated with carbohydrate supplementation. However, if used improperly, you may experience:
- Unstable blood glucose
- Unwanted weight gain
More specifically, HBCD has been known to cause diarrhea when consumed in high concentrations and HBCD and Waxy Maize may cause bloating or cramping.
Top Carbohydrate Supplement for Weight Gain
We’ve explained a bit about carbohydrate supplementation, including benefits and potential side effects. Now, we’re going to review what we believe are the top 2 best carbohydrate supplements for weight gain.
Once again, we know that XWERKS has a stellar reputation. Their carbohydrate supplement, Motion, is one of the best on the market, supporting that reputation. This is a powdered BCAA supplement with the perfect 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. According to the website, you should sip on this during and following your workout.
In addition, Motion contains sodium, magnesium, and calcium for hydration. Of course, carbs are included for energy. It is only available in two flavors:
- Raspberry lemonade
If you are an athlete that wants a separate BCAA supplement or prefer to drink your BCAAs during and after your workouts, XWERKS Motion is the ideal carbohydrate supplement for weight gain for you. Also, if you want electrolytes to help with hydration during and following your workouts, this is perfect.
On the other hand, if you want more than two flavor options or you are on a budget, this may not be a good solution. Motion is a bit more expensive, but definitely worth it, if you can afford it.
Transparent Labs Carb Powder
Transparent Labs Carb Powder contains 25 grams of complex carbs, 100 calories, and zero sugar. This supplement promises to replenish glycogen levels in your muscles, enhance protein synthesis, and increase ATP production. Carb Powder from Transparent Labs dissolves easily in liquids and you only need one scoop for 12 to 20 ounces of water. There are three options for flavors:
- Blue raspberry
- Tropical punch
The pricing is mid-range, so anyone on a budget should be able to afford it.
If you want a carb supplement that doesn’t have any unnecessary additives, Transparent Labs Carb Powder is a great option for you. Also, if you want both flavored and unflavored options, this one has it.
On the other hand, if you want more ingredients in your carb powder or you’re on a strict budget, this one may not be the most ideal. There are other products out there that have more ingredients and there are options that are cheaper.
If you are trying to gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Unfortunately, with our fast-paced society, it’s often difficult to get enough to eat during the day. This is where supplementation can help. By adding protein, creatine, and carbohydrate supplements to your daily routine, you’ll find that you’ll be gaining weight before you know it. Of course, as always, don’t start any type of supplementation before speaking with your physician- especially if you have medical conditions or are on prescription medications.
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