Guys and girls (mainly guys, since its you lot that keep asking which ones is best…
Mass gainers. Do they work?
They won’t work. Get ready for a bit of a read! Why? Its actually very simple. Mass gainers ALWAYS contain a lot of carbs. Most of them contain a lot of carbs that are either simple carbs, or act like them. However, even the over consumption of complex carbs will do the same.
What are carbs?
All carbs are sugar. All carbohydrates are saccharides. Saccharides is the greek word for (wait for it…) SUGAR.
Many mass gainers contain 150-200g carbs. That’s a HUGE amount of carbs to digest.
What does that mean to us and how we will digest them/use them? It means your body will release a LOT of insulin to deal with the carbs.
Insulin, is the bodies storage/nutrient shuttling hormone. It of course can positively help glycogen and amino’s (from the carbs and protein) into your muscle tissue.
However, it can also mean that when body has less energy requirements than is being given by the gainer, you will pile on fat due to excess calorie intake – the excess calories will be shuttled into the adipose tissue cells as fat, by insulin.
We know you will be over consuming, since most of you using will have no idea how much you need to eat. How do we know? The question “will this work?”. If you knew, you’d know how many calories/macros you need for the day, the question would not be asked.
Repeated over consumption of carbs, especially above and beyond your calorie needs, especially those acting like simple carbs, will reduce your bodies insulin sensitivity. This means your bodies cells need more insulin for them to open up and allow the energy in.
Why does this matter?
A lower insulin sensitivity means more and more insulin needs to be released for your cells to respond and open up to energy and so a large amount will be stored as fat rather than going into the muscle cell, due to the large amounts of insulin being
Why does getting fat matter when you are gaining muscle too?
Fat is estrogenic. What does this mean to you? A few things.
With increased body fat, though, comes increased levels of insulin, and this can desensitize muscle cells to insulin’s signaling effects.
If you decrease insulin sensitivity, your muscle won’t use glucose and amino acids as efficiently, and since it’s metabolically less expensive to store fat, your body will convert more of the excess calories into body fat.
Estrogen will make the body deposit fat around the female bodily positions that typically the body wishes to protect for reproductive purposes in women.
This means you will deposit fat where you don’t want it to be. Ever noticed obese men have man breasts? This is because of the increased estrogen levels, causing the body to store fat in female bodily positions.
Take home notes?
-Bulking up by increasing body fat when using gainers, will decrease insulin sensitivity and -impede muscle growth.
-The more fat you gain, the more you change your physiology to favor fat storage over muscle growth.
-Most people who bulk will store fat in just one or two main areas, like the belly or love handles, making it tougher and tougher to lean that area out.
-Bulk up too much and your muscles will get softer due to ectopic fat storage. The body will store excess calories, not just as adipose, but in muscle tissue as well (This is called intramuscular triglyceride storage).
-Repeatedly gaining fat in the off season and then having to lose it all will lead to stubborn fat storage.
-You need a caloric surplus to build muscle, but gaining five pounds of fat in order to gain one pound of muscle is a bad idea. Weight gain is not needed when muscle isn’t going on – that is just a bad idea and will not give you the results you want.
– The more overweight you are, the more you change your physiology to favor fat storage over muscle recovery and growth.
– When glucose levels are continuously high, and you have more than you need for just your muscles, all that excess glucose will be stored as fat. This is why hard and fast bulking using gainers rarely leads to large increases in muscle.