Muscle gain doesn’t automatically happen just by spending hours in the gym. It requires the consumption of optimum calories to support muscle repair and growth. And although most individuals are able to put in the requisite hours of training, it is the calorie intake that they falter at, ultimately leading to disappointment in terms of results.
Gainers are an easy way to add extra calories to your existing diet and are therefore, go-to supplements for those who struggle to gain lean muscle mass. These are a combination of energizing carbohydrates and muscle building protein, accompanied with essential fats. These three macronutrients contribute to the total calorie count.
Based on their Protein: Carbohydrate ratio and the calories they contain, gainers are classified as below:
Usually provide 1200 calories or more per serving. They contain a 1:5 ratio of protein to carbohydrate and are ideal for ectomorphs who have higher metabolic rate.
These contain a 1:3 ratio of protein to carbohydrates which has been seen to be optimum for lean mass gains for most individuals. They provide calories within a range of 800-1000kcals per serving.
These contain lesser amounts of carbs and have a higher protein content for those who already have an optimum metabolism but still want to gain size. The protein to carbohydrate ratio generally ranges between 1:1.5 to 1:2 with calories not going beyond 700kcals per serving.
Carb ratio can be helpful to decide the right type of gainer for your body type. There are three general categories of body type.
Since a majority of individuals are a combination of either Ectomorph-Mesomorph or Endomorph-Mesomorph body type, a 1:3 Protein: Carb ratio serves as an ideal ratio for optimum lean mass gains.
While the right macronutrient ratio is required for ensuring proper lean mass gains, their type and quality is also an important factor. Low GI carbohydrates, high BV proteins and quick-digesting fat sources are desirable forms of macronutrients to be included.
Apart from meeting energy and macronutrient requirements, muscle gain also requires an additional intake of anabolic and anti-catabolic amino acids to speed growth and recovery, ergogenic aids such as creatine to boost strength, and testosterone optimizers to optimize lean mass gains.
A gainer formulation that provides all of these muscle gain requirements can provide all-round support to ensure lean muscle gains.