Many of my nutrition clients who are on a mission to gain weight and put on muscle take mass gainers, so I’m often asked if this supplement is something that they should take every day to maximize their results.
Mass gainer supplements are safe to be taken daily; however, it is unnecessary to take a mass gainer every day if you can get enough calories through whole foods with ease. Therefore, a daily mass gainer should only be taken by those who struggle to get enough calories or put on weight.
It is important to remember that taking a mass gainer on a daily basis is not something that everyone will benefit from, and can easily lead to excess consumption of calories and unnecessary fat gain if misused.
- Tracking your calorie and macronutrient intakes are important when using a mass gainer every day in order to encourage more muscle gain than fat gain.
- Those taking mass gainers every day should also engage in a consistent strength training routine.
- Choosing a high-quality mass gainer is key to reducing digestive discomfort if consumed daily.
Taking Mass Gainer Every Day: 8 Rules to Follow
There are 8 key things to consider if you are planning on taking a mass gainer supplement on a daily basis, such as:
1. Determine If You Need To Take A Mass Gainer Every Day
The most important step with daily use of mass gainer is determining whether you actually need to take mass gainer every day to achieve your goal.
Many people jump on the “mass gainer bandwagon” without actually needing to do so and then end up with far more fat than they were intending on gaining.
That said, some individuals genuinely need to take mass gainer every day to reach their goals. Generally, these individuals are those who have a hard time consuming enough calories per day from whole foods to meet their daily calorie goal.
This could be related to busy schedules, faster metabolisms, or filling up too quickly on whole foods.
2. Choose A Trusted High-Quality Brand Of Mass Gainer
If you’re going to take mass gainer every day then it’s important to choose a brand that uses high-quality ingredients.
You should avoid products that use cheap fillers to cut costs or ingredients that are known to cause digestive issues (more on these ingredients later on).
I also recommend reading the reviews of a mass gainer before buying because if the reviews say that the mass gainer tastes absolutely horrendous then even if it has the best ingredients, it is probably not worth taking.
- Related Article: How To Make Your Own Healthy Mass Gainer (Step-By-Step)
3. Start With One Serving Of Mass Gainer Per Day
When you start taking mass gainers daily, I recommend only having one serving per day.
Mass gainers are very high in calories so it’s easy to overdo it and put on more fat mass than you want. For this reason, it’s best to start with one serving (generally 1 scoop) to see how your body responds to taking it every day, before increasing your intake further.
Being consistent with one serving per day for at least 3-4 weeks will give you the feedback you need for whether you need more or less mass gainer each day to reach your goal.
If after a 3 to 4-week period you find you are not gaining as much weight as you’d like, then you can increase your intake further by having additional servings of mass gainer or adding more calories from whole foods.
Conversely, if you are gaining weight too rapidly, then you might need ½ a serving per day instead, or perhaps you don’t need it on a daily basis at all.
- Related Article: How To Use Mass Gainer Effectively (Tips From Nutritionist)
4. Consume The Remainder Of Your Calories From Whole Foods
When you are consuming a large number of your calories from a mass gainer, it is extremely important to ensure that the rest of your calories are coming from whole foods.
Whole foods contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for your overall health, which you cannot get from a mass gainer.
Additionally, mass gainers are less likely to keep you as full and satisfied as a balanced meal would, which may cause you to consume additional calories and overeat.
“Food form influences food choice, energy intake, and possibly body weight. Expectations and sensory properties related to food form alter behavioral and physiological responses in consumers. Beverages hold weaker appetitive effects and elicit compensatory dietary responses than solid foods.”Researchers from Purdue University
5. Ensure That You Are Keeping Macronutrients Balanced
A typical mass gainer supplement normally consists of a large number of carbohydrates, followed by a generous amount of protein, and a minimal amount of fat.
If you are taking a daily mass gainer, then you want to make sure you are still hitting your protein, carb, and fat targets the rest of the day (ideally from whole foods).
I recommend aiming for a balanced macronutrient of 30% of your calories from protein, 40% from carbohydrates, and 30% from fat.
For someone who is consuming 4000 calories, this would equate to around 300 grams of protein, 400 grams of carbs, and 133 grams of fat.
If this individual were to drink a mass gainer that contains 695 calories, 52 grams of protein, 100 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of fat, this would mean that their calories and macros for the rest of the day would be 3305 calories, 248 grams of protein, 300 grams of carbs and 124 grams of fat.
Ensuring that your macronutrients are balanced while you are in a growth phase will help to maximize your body composition, since consuming a diet composed of the proper balance of protein, carbs and fat will help you gain more mass from muscle rather than from fat.
6. Make Sure You Are Pairing Your Mass Gainer With A Consistent Workout Routine
A harmful misconception about mass gainers is that they will contribute to gains in muscle mass without a consistent workout routine. However, if you are taking mass gainers without engaging in a consistent strength training routine, you are more likely to see fat gain than you are muscle gain.
If your goal is to gain muscle mass then I recommend sticking to a consistent weight training routine that challenges your large muscle groups (hamstrings, glutes, quads, back, chest) and smaller muscle groups (shoulders, biceps, triceps, and calves).
I recommend a frequency of 4 to 6 training sessions a week to help increase your muscle-building potential while taking mass gainer every day.
7. Take Your Mass Gainer When You Need The Most Fuel (usually pre or post-workout)
Since mass gainers typically contain higher quantities of fast-digesting carbohydrates, the ideal time to take this supplement is when your body can best utilize this energy for fuel or recovery, like right before or right after your workout.
Taking your mass gainer before working out will help provide you with energy to fuel your workout.
Taking your mass gainer supplement after your workout is another great option because your body can use the extra carbs to restore glycogen (your body’s form of usable energy) that’s been depleted from your muscles while training.
The protein in mass gainer in conjunction with carbs is also beneficial post-workout because protein helps to build and repair muscle.
If you are wondering whether you should still take your mass gainer on a rest day, the answer is yes, because your body repairs and builds muscle while at rest.
On a rest day, I recommend taking your mass gainer in the morning, since this will allow you to utilize the energy it provides throughout the day. With that said, as long as you are adhering to your daily calorie and macro targets, you can consume your daily mass gainer at any time of the day that suits you the best.
8. Adjust Your Mass Gainer Intake As Your Body Composition, Goals, Or Training Changes
An important consideration for long-term success when taking mass gainer every day is that you will eventually need to adjust your intake based on how your body is responding, or if your goals or training change.
For example, if you suddenly become injured during your bulking phase and have to completely stop training to allow your injury to heal, then you are going to be burning significantly fewer calories throughout the day and it may no longer be necessary to take a mass gainer supplement.
In addition to this, if your body composition goals shift from weight gain to weight loss, then you are going to have to switch from a calorie surplus to a calorie deficit. This is a great example of when a mass gainer may no longer be beneficial to your goals.
Or perhaps you’ve simply achieved your goal of adding mass with a mass gainer by taking it every day and now you need more of a maintenance dose (a smaller serving size) to maintain the mass you’ve gained, rather than continuing to gain mass.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Taking Mass Gainer Every Day
Benefits of Taking Mass Gainer Every Day
1. Can Help Meet A Higher Calorie Requirement
The most obvious benefit of taking a mass gainer every day is that it provides a significant number of calories in a convenient form.
Its high-calorie content makes it a favorite among individuals who have an extremely difficult time eating enough calories to meet their higher-calorie requirement, especially through whole foods alone.
2. Contains Protein That Can Help With Muscle Growth And Recovery
Mass gainers can be particularly helpful when you have a goal of building muscle because they typically contain essential amino acids (from protein) that are necessary for muscle repair and muscle growth.
Mass gainers go beyond protein powders for muscle gain because they provide you with more calories that your body can use to put toward the muscle-building process.
Taking a mass gainer every single day (even on rest days) could be the difference between building muscle or not, because if you don’t consume enough calories or protein then you won’t build muscle.
3. Convenient Enough To Fit Into A Busy Schedule
Another major benefit of mass gainers is that they require little to no prep so you can use them even when you’re short on time to ensure you’re getting enough calories and protein to retain or gain muscle mass.
For this reason, a mass gainer is a great option when you don’t have time to eat or when you are traveling and have limited access to cooking your regular meals.
Drawbacks of Taking Mass Gainer Every Day
1. Could Create An Unnecessarily High Calorie Surplus Resulting In Excess Fat Gain
One potential drawback to taking mass gainer every day is that it could cause you to reach a higher calorie surplus than is needed to gain muscle. Consuming too many calories per day will cause excessive fat gain with limited muscle gain.
If you are not mindful of the number of calories you’re consuming per day then you could easily overdo your calorie intake and add more fat mass than you want.
Generally, this happens because people forget to factor in the calories from their mass gainer with the calories they’re eating from whole foods.
For example, it typically only takes a surplus of around 250-500 calories to see results. If you are consuming a mass gainer that contains upwards of 1000 calories on top of your maintenance calories (the number of calories you need to maintain weight), this could result in rapid weight gain.
With that said, as long as you are mindful of your daily calorie intake including the calories that you consume from your mass gainer, and stay within a reasonable surplus, then you are much less likely to gain excess fat when taking mass gainer every day.
2. Can Cause Undesirable Digestive Symptoms
Taking a mass gainer daily could potentially cause increased digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation, and even diarrhea. This can happen because it is difficult for your body to digest a large number of calories at once.
Additionally, many mass gainer supplements contain ingredients that can contribute to gut disturbances such as maltodextrin and artificial sweeteners.
If you have a sensitive digestive system, you should look for mass gainers without these ingredients or make your own 1000-calorie protein shakes.
3. Mass Gainers Do Not Provide Essential Nutrients Found In Whole foods
If you are relying on mass gainer shakes as your main source of calories, then you are likely missing out on a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can only be found in whole foods.
Consistently consuming calories from sources that lack these essential nutrients could eventually lead to nutrient deficiencies that would negatively affect your health. For this reason, you must consume a variety of whole foods in addition to daily mass gainer shakes.
Who Should (and Should Not) Take Mass Gainer Every Day
Certain individuals would benefit from taking a mass gainer every day, but some should probably avoid it.
Who Should Take Mass Gainer Every Day
- “Hard gainers” who have a difficult time putting on weight. Mass gainer supplements can be a super helpful tool for those who naturally have a slender build, a fast metabolism, and a difficult time putting on weight despite eating large amounts of food (otherwise known as “hard gainers”).
- Those with a lot of muscle who require more calories to maintain or gain weight. The more muscle mass that you have, the more calories your body will burn in a day, and the higher your daily calorie requirement will be. For this reason, athletes who have high calorie requirements may want the convenience of taking mass gainers every day.
Who Should Not Take Mass Gainer Every Day?
- Anyone with a low-calorie requirement who tends to put on weight easily. Individuals who easily put on weight are better off filling their calories using whole foods that are lower in calories and high in fiber since this will help them to feel full on fewer calories,
- Those with pre-existing health conditions such as insulin resistance or diabetes. If you struggle with pre-existing metabolic conditions such as diabetes or insulin resistance, then the large bolus of high glycemic, fast-digesting carbs that are found in a mass gainer might exacerbate these conditions.
- Anyone who is overweight or trying to lose weight. Mass gainers help you to gain weight, so if you are an overweight individual or have the desire to lose weight, a mass gainer is likely the last thing that you would want to take, especially on a daily basis.
Which Mass Gainer is Best to Take Every Day?
If you are planning on taking a mass gainer daily, then you need to find one that contains high-quality ingredients rather than cheap fillers that are hard to digest.
For example, a commonly used ingredient in many mass gainer supplements is maltodextrin, which is included to increase the carbohydrate content of the mass gainer.
However, maltodextrin has been shown to negatively affect gut bacteria, increasing the likelihood of indigestion and chronic gut issues like irritable bowel disease if it is consumed in large amounts.
Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer is a good choice because it uses gluten-free oat flour and sweet potato flour in place of maltodextrin, and it also contains digestive enzymes that make it easier for your body to absorb.
1 serving of Crazy Nutrition’s Mass Gainer “is packed with 488 calories, 40 grams of protein, and 55 grams of clean carbs to help pack on gains fast without causing erratic blood sugar spikes, gas, or bloating”.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Safe to Take Mass Gainer Every Day?
Mass gainers are safe to take daily and can be an efficient way of meeting your daily calorie goal. However, if you are taking a mass gainer every day, ensure that you are still consuming a good portion of your calories (around 80-85%) from whole foods to provide your body with a variety of nutrients.
Should You Take Mass Gainer Multiple Times Per Day?
While mass gainer supplements can be taken multiple times a day, it is not recommended because it would be difficult for you to get enough calories from whole food sources, leading to nutrient deficiencies, a lack of satiety, and potential digestive issues.
Should You Take Mass Gainer on Rest Days?
If your goal is to gain weight and add muscle then taking a mass gainer on both workout days and rest days helps ensure that you remain in a calorie surplus, which is required to achieve your goal. Taking mass gainers on rest days is just as important as workout days because it helps to facilitate muscle recovery.
About The Author
Colby Roy is a holistic health and nutrition coach. She is certified through Precision Nutrition and has a passion for all things nutrition and healing the body. More specifically, Colby likes to work with clients who want to optimize their gut health and energy levels.