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There are two main reasons why someone would want to gain mass: if they are underweight or if they want to build muscle.
If you are very slender or even clinically underweight, you may have been advised by a doctor or nutritionist to gain weight.
One way of doing this is to focus on healthy foods that are also high in calories, such as full-fat dairy products, wholegrain oats, avocados, tahini and nut butters.
However, if your diet alone is still not helping you gain weight, it might be worth trying a weight gain supplement, also known as a weight gainer or mass gainer.
Most weight gain shakes and powders rely on protein. This helps to ensure that you build lean muscle mass instead of excess fat.
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass provides calorie-rich whey protein that is also packed with vitamins, minerals and other great nutrients like fibre.
It also comes in amazing flavours such as cookies & cream and chocolate peanut!
When trying to gain weight, it is important that you work in weight gain supplements slowly, adding them in as extra nutrition between meals.
And it is also important that you keep up or else start regular exercise, otherwise the calories will be stored in your body as fat.
Our article, “Workout plan for gaining weight” on the Health Hub might help with ideas.
If, rather than being underweight, you would like to build big muscle fast or just to subtly gain muscle to look your best, you might also like to try a mass gainer supplement.
This is because protein is the most important nutrient for building muscles.
For anyone serious about sculpting their body and gaining muscle, it is key to take a look at your diet and nutrition in general.
Pizzas and pints will have to take a back seat, especially while you are getting started.
But as well as making your body your temple and cutting out unhealthy foods, you will also need to up your game in terms of how much protein you are consuming.
Once you start your new exercise regime, you will probably need to change how often you eat – splitting three large meals into six smaller ones is often recommended by experts.
Then, make sure you are adding in protein to every one of those meals. Some experts recommend up to 20g per meal.
One of our most popular bodybuilding protein powders is USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic which calls itself the “all-in-one muscle mass catalyst”.
Each portion or shake contains a whopping 53g of protein. If that wasn’t enough, it also contains key vitamins and the nutrient creatine, which is another workout-supporting natural compound that helps give muscles bursts of energy.
USN Muscle Fuel also comes in several great flavours, including strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and caramel peanut.
The best mass gainer for you really depends on your preferences and needs.
Here are some key things to consider:
If you are making it into standard shakes, you might want to look for a brand with lots of flavours so you do not get bored.
USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic Variety Pack has four different flavours for just this reason.
Some brands, such as Applied Nutrition, have branched out from the simple flavours into things like white chocolate raspberry.
Holland & Barrett makes this simple as we put all the ingredients and nutritional info on each product page.
A quick comparison of two of our most popular mass gainers shows just how different they can be.
For example: Applied Nutrition Critical Mass contains 42g protein and 5g creatine, with 566 kcal, 74g carbs, 2.1g saturated fat; meanwhile, Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass contains 50g protein and 1g creatine, with 1250 kcal, 250g carbs, 2g saturated fat.
If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, most of the branded mass gainers are probably not right for you as they usually contain whey powder, which is a form of dairy.
However, don’t worry! We have a whole page for Vegan Protein just for you.