Weight gainer protein shakes are marketed towards gym goers as an essential supplement for those looking to bulk up, add size and strength. Weight gainers pack in hundreds of calories in a few scoops providing protein, carbohydrates and fat to help give your body the required macronutrients it needs in order to grow.
Whilst they certainly do as advertised are they as effective as possible for both gains and on your wallet?
Mass gainers are a combination of a protein source, such as whey protein, and a cheap source of carbohydrates such as maltodextrin. Whilst whey protein is a fantastic source of protein that contains the best amino acid profile as well as the highest bio-availability out of every single protein source, what about maltodextrin?
Maltodextrin is technically a complex carbohydrate but it has the ability to spike blood sugar and insulin levels even faster and higher than sugar does, it lacks any real nutritional value. It is used by supplement companies as it packs in the calories whilst being cheap and long lasting and also allows them to list less sugar (or even no sugar) on the nutrition label.
Many mass gainers you find on the shelves contain up to 100g of maltodextrin in every serving and are the only source of carbohydrates in the entire shake. Drinking this several times a day could prove very unhealthy particularly if they contain fructose.
If you sacrifice a few extra seconds of convenience you can go about making your own homemade mass gainer shake that is more micronutrient friendly, includes flexible and better tasting ingredients whilst also saving a bit of money and still provides the same amount of gains. It requires that you purchase a whey protein powder, which you probably already have, and then blend it with your own choice of carbohydrate and healthy fat sources.
Ingredients You Can Use in Your Personal Mass Gainer
You can choose between a number of carbohydrate sources such as fruit (banana, strawberry, blueberry etc) and oats or even some honey.
When it comes to finding a great source of healthy fats you can use a natural nut butter such as peanut, almond, walnut etc or oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil etc.
Depending on just how many calories you want your shake to contain you can use skimmed or whole milk, almond milk, coconut milk and even add in some extra yoghurt, cream or ice cream for that extra boost in calories.
As added extras you can add kale, spinach or other greens to further pack in vitamins and minerals into your shake.
Making your own customized weight gainer is going to provide a quality source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and EFAs (essential fatty acids).
Homemade Weight Gainer Recipe
Here is a basic recipe that you can use. Just throw all the ingredients into a blender and go! It’s up to you which protein powder you use but of course it will change the macros slightly.
|50g/2 scoops Myprotein Impact Whey Protein (chocolate, strawberry or any flavour you like)|
|25g Peanut Butter|
|200ml Whole Milk|
|Ice/Water (Add as needed to achieve desired thickness)|
1.Blend oats separately until they form a fine powder
2.Add the pre-blended oats, milk, ice and water and blend until smooth
3.Add your whey protein powder and banana and blend until smooth.
4.Add peanut butter and blend until smooth.
The cost, excluding milk, so that you can make a comparison with branded weight gainers is £0.89. This breaks down as protein £0.47, banana £0.07, oats £0.20 and peanut butter £0.15 (milk would be an extra £0.07).
Prices are based on buying the largest sizes (5kg for the protein powders and oats) although if you use our Myprotein discount codes you should be able to buy them slightly cheaper.
Calories:811 Carbohydrates: 97.2g Fat: 22.5g Protein: 59.5g
Calories: 941 Carbohydrates: 104.4g Fat: 29.7g Protein: 66.3g
Your finished mass gainer can be stored in the fridge and consumed all at once or broken down into smaller shakes to accompany meals, whatever suits your needs.
Mass Gainer Price Comparison
|Product||MyProtein Hard Gainer Extreme 5KG||The Protein Works Protein Mass Matrix 5KG||Bulk Powders Total Mass 5KG|
|Price/Price Per Serving||£44.99/£0.90||£49.99/£1.16||£39.99/£1.08|
|Energy||Per Serving/Per 100g
|Per Serving/Per 100g
|Per Serving/Per 100g
of which saturates
of which sugars
Our homemade weight gainer works out to be the cheapest at £0.89 per serving. A difference of £0.01 certainly doesn’t seem like alot but when you compare the nutrition facts there is a huge difference. You are getting almost double the number of calories, carbohydrates, protein and fats for your money and from whole food sources.
Give making your own mass gainer a try and see whether you like it or not. It’s super easy to modify the recipe to suit your taste buds and/or to suit your macros. If you are serious about your gains and are on a lean bulk phase then don’t buy another weight gainer and start making your own healthier versions.