You’re never totally happy with your body. Either you want it to be more, or less. The former can require mass gainers. The plight of the naturally skinny guy isn’t always well understood or sympathized with by anyone in the latter category who believe you should just eat more! It’s not always that simple. You need the right balance of high-quality nutrients that don’t take hours to prep. Fortunately, mass gaining supplements can help get your calories up. These usually come in the gigantic buckets that demand solid biceps just to hold them. That can be where the intricacies around mass gainers begin because this is what you should watch out for when you’re supplementing for bulk.


Watch out for sugar and substitutes

Products that claim to have sugar are at least up front. Those which claim to have low sugars often have high levels of maltodextrin, which is code for a sugar like ingredient that is equally as harmful. This can often be listed on the label before protein, which means you’re getting more sugar than protein.


Check protein sources

If there is just one protein source listed, that’s fine. If you want a higher quality mass gainer look for multiple protein sources as these are digested at different rates and offer more opportunity for building muscle. These can be animal based, like whey and casein, or plant based, like pea protein. The more variety the better.


Trust every ingredient

Mass gainers can come with a vast number of ingredients so it’s wise to make sure you don’t inadvertently take a banned substance. To safeguard yourself, look for third party testing certificates such as the Certified Drug Free program from the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) who have decades of experience in anti-doping and sport drug testing. BSCG brings the Olympic standard in drug testing to your supplement certification. This is done through their analytical testing of finished product brands, ingredient suppliers and manufacturing facilities that help make sure sports teams and leagues, athletes and consumers can verify that the quality of ingredients meet expectations and are free of banned substances. This critical information helps ensure supplements, like your mass gainers, aren’t contaminated with any of the 505 drugs or other harmful agents on their testing menu which is now the world’s most comprehensive third-party testing certificate. This protects you against health concerns or a positive drug test. Look out for the BSCG seal to know you’re supplementing in the safest way possible thanks to their comprehensive testing approach.


Add to your mass gainer

You can easily make your own additions to your mass gainer to increase the range of benefits of the product. Adding cacao to chocolate mass builder will give you a bigger antioxidant kick and having it with full cream milk may even give you additional calories you can use to build. Feel free to add things like chai or flax seeds to up your fiber and omega 3 content.


Do the math

Work out how much each serving will cost you and whether you can give yourself a whole food meal for that price. Eating a whole food meal will often outperform a supplement, even if it’s faster to have a shake. Make sure to start with nutrition and proper diet to really make the gains you are seeking.


When taking supplements, make sure you have all the facts. That starts with reading what’s on the label, not what the marketing claims are shouting at you. Make informed decisions. Shop with a strategy that keeps you safe from the inside out by partnering with the right brands.