Nobody wants to be that skinny kid on the beach and many have tried many methods to gain weight and muscle. Weightlifting is the most popular way to gain muscle, but is it enough? Maybe, but to the surprise of many, protein mass is built around the kitchen instead of the gym. What we consume is one big factor when one considers gaining weight.
A successful program for gaining weight and building muscles will always involve a proper diet. There’s no exception to this. More poundage will involve consuming lots of calories. For one, to gain the desired weight, the intake of very nutritious foods high in caloric value is essential. Protein-rich foods should be part of the regular regimen.
Whole foods are essential and to make it ideal will be a supplement of protein powder to achieve the weight gain you desire. This is perhaps one of the finest components for weight gain and muscle build-up because the protein will help you build what you aspire for. Check out best unflavored whey protein isolate info here.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
When you read the label of this protein powder, the first ingredient you’ll see is whey protein isolates. This component is the most expensive and purest form of whey protein out there. By using this ingredient as the main source of protein, you’ll be getting the purest stuff which will help you build muscles while gaining weight.
The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder doesn’t contain any cholesterol, fat, lactose, and all other ingredients that you don’t actually need to gain the weight you desire. As a matter of fact, this product is considered as the standard by which all other whey proteins are typically measures.
This gluten-free protein powder can be made into a shake that’s best to consume before or after working out. It will help kick-start the recovery of muscles both for women and men. The protein powder even comes in more than 20 tasty flavors and different sizes for you to choose from.
- Helps kick-start the recovery of muscles for both men and women.
- The protein powder contains the essential amino acids which are important in the synthesis of muscle protein.
- Available in 20 tasty flavors and varying sizes.
- Some customers don’t appreciate the taste.
- Also, customers don’t like the fact that the original formulation changed.
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder
This is another great product for those who have some serious weight-gain goals. If you want to become bigger while still having a metabolism that’s highly-active, then this product is the perfect choice for you. The protein powder is also ideal for those who live an active lifestyle and are always on-the-go.
The Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder contains more than 1,000 calories for each serving, 50 grams of which is protein. This means that you really have a lot to gain from consuming this protein powder regularly. It also contains up to 25 minerals and vitamins, glutamine, and creatine too.
This product is easy to prepare. Blend the powder with peanut butter, frozen or fresh fruits, nuts, and other foods which are calorie-rich to boost your potential for gaining weight. It’s also very effective at helping you recover after working out. But you can also consume it at any time of the day, between your meals, after your workout or right before going to bed.
- Contains protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and more which are all essential for weight gain.
- Boosts the potential for weight gain when blended with healthy ingredients.
- Suitable to be taken right before bed, between meals, and after training.
- Some customers don’t like the taste.
- May cause skin irritations in some people.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder
This is another product from the same brand and it’s also one of the best protein powders out there. The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder is easy to digest, and it can help refuel your muscles to help with recovery after working out. This product will not only support muscle recovery, but it will also help you manage your weight better. It’s a slow-digesting protein powder that’s best to consume between your meals or right before going to bed.
- Supports muscle rebuilding as well as weight management.
- Serves as an excellent calcium source.
- It can provide BCAAs to help muscles recover for up to 8 hours.
- Doesn’t mix well.
- Has an artificial flavor.
Myotein Premium Protein Powder
This protein powder can help you grow lean muscles while decreasing your overall body fat. Because of this, the Myotein Premium Protein Powder is considered as the ultimate protein. This product contains 5 various protein types which will give you a continuous stream of protein to help nourish the muscles with all the needed nutrients. It can serve as a meal replacement when made into a shake to help you reach your fitness goals.
- Contains 6 different types of proteins to help improve protein absorption.
- Can serve as a meal replacement when trying to gain weight.
- Makes use of a concentrated protein form.
- Shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach.
- Has an aftertaste that a lot of customers don’t like.
Muscle Milk Gainer Protein Powder
This is another excellent product you can consider if you want to gain some weight. The Muscle Milk Gainer Protein Powder is specially designed for hard gainers. You can consume it before or after working out or at any time during the day. It has a great taste and you can even add it to different recipes aside from shakes and smoothies. This protein powder will help you refuel, rebuild your muscles, and maintain a positive balance of protein in the body.
- It’s specially-designed for those who want to gain weight fast.
- Can be taken before or after workouts or any time during the day.
- Helps with refueling the body and rebuilding the muscles.
- May cause palpitations in some people.
- You need to use 4 scoops in a single serving.
MuscleTech NitroTech Protein Powder
This protein powder can help men and women with their muscle recovery. With the MuscleTech NitroTech Protein Powder, you can build lean muscles, improve your strength, and enhance your performance too. It contains whey protein isolate in its purest form as well as peptides as its major source of protein. The protein powder is available in 17 different flavors without the extra carbohydrates and sugars you might find in other products.
- It’s a powerful protein powder which contains high-quality ingredients.
- It’s considered as a scientifically-superior product.
- Available in 17 different flavors.
- Some customers don’t like its taste.
- It has an odd smell.
BSN TRUE-MASS Weight Gainer, Protein Powder
The BSN TRUE-MASS Weight Gainer, Protein Powder is a premium product which will help you gain lean mass. It’s designed to promote and support muscle recovery and growth for those who workout or train a lot. Also, it will provide your body with the nutrients it requires to continue building muscles even after your workout. It contains 6 high-quality sources of protein and it has a great taste and texture too.
- Made from 6 premium sources of protein.
- The protein powder is ideal for recovery after working out.
- Also, it can refuel the body effectively while training.
- Doesn’t blend too well.
- Has a chalky taste.
CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder
This protein powder is perfect for those who have trouble gaining lean weight or have trouble maintaining the size they’ve worked so hard to achieve. The CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder will provide you with huge portions of carbohydrates and protein without the unnecessary sugars and fats. It’s a high-quality product that’s specially made for hard gainers and it’s also designed to replenish liver glycogen and muscles after working out.
- Promotes protein synthesis because of the whey peptides which are glutamine-rich and partially-digested.
- Helps replenish liver and muscle glycogen after working out.
- Doesn’t contain sucrose, fructose or other simple sugars.
- Doesn’t mix too well.
- Some customers don’t really like the taste.
Genius Protein Powder
This protein powder contains both whey isolate and casein. This means that the Genius Protein Powder contains both fast and slow-release proteins which will support muscles building. It can serve as a meal replacement when made into a shake to help you gain lean body mass instead of excess fats. It’s a natural protein supplement which doesn’t contain dyes, fillers or artificial sweeteners and flavors.
- Contains fast and slow-release proteins for improved muscle building.
- Can serve as a meal replacement for those who want to gain weight.
- Doesn’t contain any dyes, filler, sweeteners, and artificial flavors.
- It doesn’t come in other flavors.
- Doesn’t break down well enough.
Quest Nutrition Protein Powder
Finally, we have this excellent product for you. The Quest Nutrition Protein Powder is great when you make it into a shake and drink it after working out. Or you can also use it as an ingredient to make your recipes richer in protein rather than carbohydrates. It has a great taste and will provide you with the nutrition you need. The protein powder contains whey isolates and casein as well as stevia for the sweet taste. It’s also free of added sugar, soy, and gluten.
- Can be used in shakes, desserts or other treats.
- Doesn’t contain any unhealthy or unnecessary ingredients.
- It’s free of soy, gluten, and added sugar.
- Some customers don’t like the texture.
- It doesn’t mix well, ends up lumpy.
Who Needs Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
Protein powders and other types of supplements aren’t absolute requirements for weight gain. But it should be, for those who are not getting enough proteins each day from the foods they consume. This is where protein powders come in. It will certainly make life easier and your dreams come to fruition.
You can also look at the economic side of this issue. When you think about it, protein powders and other similar products are cheaper than whole foods. Still, protein powders and shakes are considered supplements or additions to one’s diet. Whole foods, however, are still preferred than powders because they offer the whole nutrient spectrum that protein powders cannot provide.
Animal products are the main sources of our dietary protein. But getting all these proteins from whole foods becomes an inconvenience and impractical for those who need to eat six times or more each day to achieve the required intake. People who want to maximized muscle gains should limit food intake to three times per day or about 40% of their meals.
What are the Benefits of Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
Many aspire to get that perfect body with the right muscle mass and weight. Diets, of course, are essential and to supplement diets are protein powders that help to reach the protein mark to achieve the ideal body. But do protein powders really work? The answer is, of course, yes. Protein powders do work.
Basically, proteins are composed of amino acids and these are responsible for many bodily functions, specifically the building and maintenance of healthy muscles. Other protein benefits include supporting the production of red blood cells production and the health of the immune system, as well as the maintenance of hair, skin, and nail health.
Protein powders really are healthy in the sense that they do contribute to weight gain and building muscle mass. Unfortunately, though, some of the powders available have been laden with troublesome ingredients. It’s best to look for those powders only with all-natural ingredients and avoid those that contain chemicals to make them sweet or those that will not create a conducive environment for fat burning and muscle growth.
Once you introduce refined, low-quality, or processed carbs to the body, you will be compromising your health. So, avoid using these ingredients when making your protein powder shakes. Also, make sure that the company that manufactures your protein powders are committed to their customer’s health. Unfortunately, not all the producers have such dedication to optimal health and will produce inferior products just, so they can sell something.
The criteria for choosing the best protein powder varies. Some prefer one brand because it tastes great and mixes easily. Others would sacrifice great taste for a more healthy and safer product. You can’t really blame producers for adding sweeteners to their products because without them, the protein powder will be left tasteless and at times, even gross.
What are Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
The sound of a rattling shaker bottle is now as much as a part of a gym atmosphere as the clanging of weights. Protein powders, protein shakes, and other kinds of supplements have indeed become ingrained in the workout culture. Those who are bent on achieving the perfect form will always have such supplements as part of their workout. Protein powder can be purchased not only in health shops but even in grocery stores now.
Professional athletes or just the weekend gym buff will always have a keg of protein powder supply stored somewhere in the pantry. If not, it’s pretty safe to assume that at one point, they must have downed a protein powder smoothie or shake. But do these people really know what is contained in protein powders? Do they even know how to get optimum results from the powder? To answer the questions on how, why, and when to use protein powder, let’s talk about this product.
For those eager beavers who aspire for weight gain and muscle mass, they will have the impulse to buy powder protein giving no thought of whether they have bought the right one or if they even need it. The ultimate goal of the powder as a supplement is to attain the required protein intake for each day.
It may come as a surprise to these people that the product isn’t absolutely needed so long as the protein needs coming from whole foods is met. Protein from quality whole foods taken three times each day and based on body weight is enough. You may not even require supplementation. But under time constraints, supplements can provide that needed protein.
You can go through the labels of various kinds of protein powders and you will find that the common ingredient is protein, whether it comes from whey, peas or soy. You may encounter fancy words like “cutting edge” and “hydrolyzed” too. Some products claim that they’re “faster and better to digest” while others push for ” cold-filtered whey or grass-fed whey.”
Be wary of advertisements. Some companies tend to become frivolous when advertising their products to make them gain appeal with the intent to command higher prices. Having such slogans perhaps could promote their products more but how much is still debatable.
Higher prices don’t necessarily mean better products. If such is the case, what then should you look out for when visiting their health store? First, look for a dependable company with a good reputation on manufacturing practices. Such companies usually advertise this on their labels. Second, vet out products that use third-party certifying brands.
Certifying companies actually buy products off the shelves like normal customers do. Then they would run a test to certify that the purchased product really contains everything the labels advertise. Your choices for what protein powder brand will soon be narrowed down to just a few. Now it is time to check on their nutritional values. Simply stated, it all boils down to choosing a powder that’s low in fats and carbohydrates.
When and How do You Use Protein Powders?
After your research on brands, you’re finally homeward bound with the protein powder of your choice. What’s next? Figuring out when is the best time to take supplements can prove difficult. Consider these common uses of protein powder and the applications too.
When pressed for time, especially during mornings, those usual breakfasts are skipped. This is where protein powder shakes would prove to be handy. To make a more nutritious drink, add some vegetables and a serving of a fruit or two. For weight gainers, use it as a supplement to the regular meal.
Although protein supplements are often perceived as a male-dominated business, protein powders can also be as beneficial for women. But the nutritional needs of the “fair sex” are different from those of men as they require less protein for each pound of body weight. It’s initially recommended that they use less of the powder. Adjustments for both sexes on the number of shakes and amount of powder could later be made, depending on their needs.
If these powders are as nutrient-dense as they claim to be, why then shouldn’t one just consume them for every meal and get rid of preparing meals for good? Good question. Protein powder shakes and smoothies are great, undoubtedly. Unfortunately, they cannot provide all the necessary nutrients that whole foods can.
There are inherent nutrients in whole foods than there’ll ever be in powder. Furthermore, there are lots of nutritional values that are lost when one resorts to drinking their food rather than eating them. For such reason, it is highly recommended to take two shakes each day and depend on whole foods for meals.
For the greatest benefits, take your protein powder shake break after working out. This window has become a necessity for gym enthusiasts. Not drinking a shake post-workout would compromise the body’s time for recovery and thus putting to waste the benefits that could have been reaped from the workout.
Remember that proteins help in building and repairing body tissues. Protein powder, therefore, after workouts will definitely help the body to recover and will potentially help in increasing strength and muscle gain. But don’t rush things. Basically, it’s not really damaging if you miss taking your shake after your workout. So, don’t fret about missing your shake, you can have it later.
How post-workout protein powder shakes can fit into one’s nutrition is a matter of personal preference. It has been thought previously that protein shakes can provide nutrition for muscle and weight building because they are digested faster. Such action would hasten recovery of the muscles. But recent studies have shown this isn’t the case.
Protein shakes and whole foods can provide nutrition at the same speed. Because of this, choosing what to take, either a shake or whole foods, become a matter of convenience. Shake or whole foods? Either one is okay. Stomach sensitivity can also be a factor in choice. Many have difficulty consuming food after working out. A shake, in such case, is the best substitute for that quick protein dose.
Protein powders, together with high-tech gear seem to be the “in” thing for many fitness buffs so much so that they have become necessities. But bear in mind that protein powders are still NOT the best option for the essential vital nutrients. They’re convenient as well as healthy but the best sources of nutrients are still whole foods. The ideal combo should be based on whole foods with protein powders as supplements.
What’s the Difference Between Protein Powders and Weight Gainers?
For those who aim at building muscles, supplemental proteins should be included in their intakes, especially after workouts. But on its own, protein powder is not enough to create that ideal body of muscles and posture. The shakes should be combined with exercise, a healthy diet, hydration and enough sleep. But there are people who have difficulty gaining weight despite all those gym sessions. In such case, a weight gainer might be required.
The body, after some rigorous activities, will be ready to absorb some amino acids to replenish what was lost due to exercise. Protein supplements are broken down into amino acids, the simplest form of protein that can be absorbed by the body. This is one main reason why protein supplements are important for muscle growth after working out.
Protein powders can come in different varieties, depending on their source. A favorite among bodybuilders, recreational trainers, and athletes is whey protein. This is sourced from milk and is easy to digest. Then we have plant-based proteins. These are other types of protein powders which contain slightly different make-ups of amino acids. Basically, protein powders are made of pure protein.
Compared to protein powder, weight gainers also feature protein contents but this time with fats and carbohydrates to supply more calories. Weight gainers are generally a mixture of sugars like glucose and maltodextrin. A weight gainer can have as much as 650 calories for each serving and will even add supplements like amino acids in their regimen.
Weight gainers are typically marketed towards “hard gainers.” This refers to people who train hard on weights to build muscles but don’t see any measurable improvements even after a month or so of hard training. They need to consume a huge number of calories after their workouts to replace the glycogen that has been burned in their workouts. If your aim, however, is to build muscle and stay lean, taking protein powders is sufficient. Weight gainers will result in fat gain since you would be consuming more calories than what your body requires.
Important Factors To Keep In Mind
Kinds of Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
It’s important to know these important factors as they will give you the basics of the product and what to look for, considering that there are thousands of various protein powder products out there.
First of all, there’s whey protein. About 20% of milk protein is whey and this is the best protein for its exceptional profile of amino acids. It has a high cysteine content, it’s easily-digested and contains a combination of peptides. Because it can be easily digested, one can drink it before, during and immediately after workouts. It is also recommended to drink it early in the morning, as that is the best time you would be needing it the most because the body is in an anabolic state.
Casein protein makes up about 80% of total milk protein. Like whey, it’s also known for its excellent profile of amino acids and also contains a blend of peptides. Digestion of casein is slow and is therefore not recommended for drinking during and after workouts. Drink instead, a protein that gets absorbed quickly, like whey.
Protein blends, on the other hand, are basically a mixture of varying types of proteins. Ingredients can include whey protein isolates, whey protein concentrates, egg protein, soy protein, and casein protein. When you drink protein blends, you will be able to receive all the types of proteins that have different absorption rates from the various proteins.
This is because of all the ingredients. Whey will generate an anabolic environment while casein will create an environment that’s anti-catabolic. Drink protein blends whenever you can during the day but definitely not before, during or after workouts.
Whey Hydrolysates are more commonly called as hydrolyzed whey proteins or peptides. They are potent proteins that get absorbed easily, more than other forms of protein. The body actually prefers peptides rather than whole proteins because of this property. To produce hydrolysates, you will need low acid, subtle processes of enzymatic filtration, and very low heat. Potentially, hydrolysates are the most anabolic for protein synthesis that’s short-term and are the best for before and after workouts.
If you try to examine the labels of protein powders in your local grocery, you will find out that most contain whey concentrate with a mixture of some whey isolate. Value wise, whey isolates are more expensive because they are of higher quality and an elevated biological value.
Whey isolate will provide the highest amount of protein found in milk. It’s also the easiest one to absorb into the system because of its chemical composition.
Per serving, whey isolate contains more protein and less fat and lactose. Because of its high protein concentration, whey isolate should be the clearer choice rather than the concentrate. The decision is up to the consumer. Preferring whey isolate will be more expensive of course, but there really is no guarantee it can help build muscles as one would expect. The added concentration may, in the long run, not rationalize its cost.
Quality of the Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
Quality usually will trump quantity, and this applies as well to protein powders where the product’s quality is more significant than the quantity. Be advised to read the product’s labels. Choose one which has less than 7 ingredients, has more ingredients which are natural, and doesn’t have fancy-named ingredients in it. If you come across such products with hard-to-pronounce ingredients, drop it and search for another.
Don’t be fooled by advertisements as well. Those phrases like “added ingredients to promote muscle growth” are just come-ons for intended buyers. Supplement producers will always have some dirty trick on their ads. They may advertise a product with a “super” ingredient in their products that could really bolster muscle gain.
These claims are partly true, of course, but the amount of the extra ingredients added is not even enough to make a considerable difference. What would really hurt more is that they would jack up the price of their product which in reality is not even worth considering.
Avoiding the “Hype” of Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
We’ve heard this all and still, we as consumers never learn. There is the propensity of manufacturers to make claims and promises about their products. The hype they create could even drive prices up. Don’t fall under this trick. Perhaps the products are good and could be effective as they claim, but is it worth the money you have to pay for them?
Again, find time to research on ingredients and on the track records of the company. Never allow the “hype” to get the better of you. You can even consider getting your protein powder from generic companies. Their packaging is a lot simpler and they don’t have too many marketing tactics for product promotion. These features alone will surely drive their prices down. Furthermore, the ingredients used will surely be of superior quality.
Taste of the Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
Depending on what ingredients are used and the protein source, each protein product will have its own unique taste. On its own, protein powders don’t taste very good. Flavor enhancers are required to make it more appealing. Food scientists in most companies have designed fillers and flavor enhancers to create flavors that go beyond the usual flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
Milk or milk alternatives can also be used to improve the taste of protein shakes. Or you can create your own flavors by mixing up the shake with some healthy foods like fruits and peanut butter.
Why You Need the Protein Powders for Weight Gain?
Deciding on the best protein powder will be based on the results you will be striving for. If you want to build muscles, a protein powder that has an elevated biological value is what you will need. Biological value refers to a measure of how well your body will be able to absorb and use the protein. Whey proteins and isolates are the best choices for this goal.
If you want to lose some weight, select a powder that will not contain sugars or sweeteners which are made from starch. Also, avoid those that have branched-chain amino acids because these will help promote weight gain and muscle growth.
For those who prefer to stay vegan or vegetarian, stay away from products that are animal-based like whey and milk proteins. The obvious choice will be 100% plant-based proteins. For diabetics, powders with sugars will be out of the equation. Protein powders for diabetics should be sugar-free. Also, take note of the product’s carbohydrate contents. It should have no more than 5 grams for each serving.
Limit the consumption of protein powders for those who suffer from kidney disease. They usually cannot tolerate too much protein at a time. Read the labels and find a product that has a low protein content. There are also available protein powders for people who have irritable bowel syndromes or are lactose intolerant. These powders do not have artificial sweeteners, lactose sugars, dextrins or maltodextrins. Also, avoid powders that contain gluten.
As an additional note, stay within your budget. The best way to save some money on protein powders and shakes is to buy them in tubs. Protein powder shakes which are ready-to-drink are convenient but are more expensive.
Most of us aspire for a physique with muscle mass and would often times go to extremes to achieve this. Weightlifting is not the only factor to make this happen. We need much more. Since muscle tissue is made up mostly of protein, we shall need protein to build muscle. We can derive the protein from the whole foods we eat but at times, it may not be sufficient.
This is the main reason for protein powders, to supplement the protein deficiency we get from food. But bear in mind that there is no substitute for whole foods. They are more nutrition-laden than other foods, even supplements. A successful plan to gain weight and muscle mass will be a combination of consuming whole foods with protein powder shakes as a supplement.