Modern athlete training is impossible to imagine without the sports nutrition. And sportspit use everything: both professional athletes, and most fans who want to quickly gain muscle mass. One of the most popular products of sports nutrition is the gainer. So, if you drive Google  “Gainer tips for use”, you will get more than 55 thousand requests, which means that today’s talk is not only about one of the most popular products of sports nutrition, but also about one of the most difficult to use goods. And most importantly, we’ll find out why a gainer is needed.

  1. What is a gainer?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Riddle of one carbohydrate
  4. When to use?
  5. Gainer tips for use
  6. How to choose the right gainer?
  7. Conclusion

What is a gainer?

The standard definition says that a gainer is a protein-carbohydrate cocktail that is effective in typing muscle mass.

However, we allow ourselves a little to correct this formulation, making a protein-carbohydrate, carbohydrate-protein cocktail. The fact is that the producers at one time sacrificed the correctness of the formulation for the sake of better sound. In reality, for the most part, it is made up of carbohydrates, not proteins.


Usually it is about 60-80% carbohydrates and about 20% protein. There are specimens from 50% carbohydrates, however, such a product can hardly be called a gainer if there is a lot of protein in it, or simply not worth buying, if the remaining 50% of the composition is incomprehensible.

We recommend the article: What is ZMA?

In addition, it is worth noting that the definition of “gainer” is rather vague, so you should better understand what you are buying. The fact is that different carbohydrate-protein cocktails have different carbohydrate composition. So, more often, on the shelves you can find a gainer, consisting of processed starch. Therefore, I advise you to buy in trusted stores.

The glycemic index of the carbohydrate, which is in colorful packaging, is extremely high. In this case, an additive from another manufacturer can consist of carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index. Accordingly, the result at the output is quite different. I also advise you to read the article about arginine.

Heiner is called a nutritional supplement for athletes, which at times adds strength after taking. Still a player is called a power engineer. This supplement consists mainly of carbohydrates and whey proteins. There are also variants of a gainer with several kinds of proteins. In general, they are intended for athletes who prefer strength training.

Nutritional Facts of Gainer
Nutritional Facts of Gainer

The composition of this drug, in addition to carbohydrates and proteins, also includes substances such as:

  • vitamins,
  • microelements,
  • amino acids,
  • keratin,
  • useful fats in small quantities.

The main purpose of the supplement is to accelerate the growth of muscle mass and add strength to exercise.

All the gainers are divided into two types – carbohydrate and protein. Those where the protein is more, are intended for powerlifters and bodybuilders. And carbohydrates are better for athletes, who need a lot of energy, these are boxers, football players, runners.

If you decide to purchase sports nutrition, then it is advisable to study this topic well in order to choose the right product for yourself. Also it is advisable to buy an additive from proven well-known manufacturers, that they do not stumble upon charlatans and do not buy fakes.

When it is not necessary to take gainer

In general, the drug has almost no contraindications and side effects, since it consists of components, as in ordinary food. An exception may be the individual intolerance of one of the elements of the composition or the inadequacy of enzymes for digestion. But such a disease is very rare, with it in general you can not accept sports nutrition and you must sit on a special diet. For most people it is very useful.

How does it work?

How does it work?
How does it work?

As we have already said, the gainer is a mixture of a large number of carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. It should be noted that the protein in the cocktail plays a very small role, in connection with which the main attention should be paid to the carbohydrate composition.

But before we talk about why the product from one manufacturer works, while the cocktail of another supplier does not allow you to type a gram of muscle, it’s worth talking about the basic principle of the work of the gainer. If you answer the question “What is a gainer?”, In a word, you can say – it’s calories. A huge number of calories drunk in one sitting. So, the average portion contains about 1000 calories. This is really a lot, considering that an adult person engaged in the gym, depending on the body weight, needs 2500 to 4000 calories a day.

This means that one serving of the carbohydrate-protein cocktail covers one-third of the energy needs per day. Theoretically, you can drink 3 servings a day and build muscle. It is due to the high calorie content that the gainer is in great demand among beginners and people experiencing problems with mass recruitment.

It’s one thing when you need to eat a bucket of buckwheat to collect the necessary 3000 calories, and quite another, when to get this thousand calories you just need to drink about 1.5-2 liters of liquid, pre-mixing them with a delicious, flavored powder from a beautiful jar.

Riddle of one carbohydrate

However, as we said above, the gainer is different. And the point here is often not in an unscrupulous producer who does not follow the quality of his product, but in the glycemic index of carbohydrates in the package.

A well-known fact: the higher the glycemic index of a product, the easier it is to gain weight by eating such a food.

Simply put, the glycemic index of a single gainer may be significantly lower than that of an additive from another manufacturer. It depends on the carbohydrates that are in the package. Most often it is a split starch, the glycemic index of which, after all industrial frauds, jumps to 105-130 units. For comparison, the GI is 100 units. At the same time, another carbohydrate can be a part of another product, having received which the body releases much less insulin than in the first case.

When to use?

Carbohydrates are the source of our energy.

There are three points where our body needs energy:

  1. After waking up.
  2. Before training.
  3. After training.

1. During breakfast, it is better to give preference to natural carbohydrate products. But unfortunately, a modern person does not always have enough time for three or four servings of breakfast, in this regard, after a bowl of oatmeal, you can drink half a liter of gainer, mixed in milk, water or juice.

When to use Gainer?
When to use Gainer?

2. Most often we have to train after a hard working day, when the energy is already running out. Therefore, it is worthwhile to drink at least part of the portion of the cocktail before training, so as not to fall asleep during the bench press, dropping the bar on yourself.

3. After training, catabolic processes begin in our body, which need to be covered with a protein-carbohydrate mixture. To use a gainer is the best way to do this.

Gainer tips for use

Carbohydrate-protein cocktail should be consumed solely for the purpose of gaining muscle mass. It should be noted immediately that if the required dosage is exceeded, the quality of the kilograms gained will make you seriously disappointed.

Let’s say you eat 3000 calories every day. To increase muscle mass, you need to consume 3,500 calories a day. However, admiring muscular uncle on the package, you decided to become as soon as possible Mr. Olympia, and began to consume 2 servings of cocktail per day. As a result, the daily caloric content jumped as high as 5,000 units.

Necessary 500 calories really went for muscle building. Another 200-300 calories you spent on the processes of life, which, in conditions of caloric balance, the body did not want to start. The remaining 1200-1300 calories were spent on building fat mass.

As a result, a funny situation turns out: beginners are happy with the collected 10 kilograms per month, forgetting that only a fifth of this figure is muscle. The rest is solid fat, which you absolutely do not need in the future.

Also it is not recommended to take a gainer for people who are overweight or who are trying to lose weight. For you, the ideal solution will be a protein cocktail Wei, and which we’ll talk about in the next articles.

How to choose the right gainer?

It is best to choose a gainer, consisting of maltodextrin – split starch. It is a fast carbohydrate with a high GI. Since it is the high GI based work of this sports supplement, it is worth giving preference to this type of cocktail. To be frank, there is no difference between the genders of different producers, except for the glycemic index of the main carbohydrate. The number of proteins and carbohydrates from well-known manufacturers is almost always the same.

How to choose the right gainer?
How to choose the right gainer?

It is worthwhile concentrating on the fact that manufacturers without a name can pour ordinary sugar into the package and try to sell it at the price of a gainer. However, speaking frankly, you will not notice a difference in muscle growth. Answering the question “What is a gainer?”, We de facto made all the producers equal. Therefore, choosing a gainer, it is worth paying attention to the composition of the product, as well as your own feelings in terms of the work of the digestive tract and the taste of the additive.

By the way, the taste of the additive is also an important criterion of choice, albeit a non-core one. Because, on my personal experience, I know, it’s incredibly difficult to drink an unpleasant cocktail.


  • Gainer is a carbohydrate product for weight gain.
  • Use the supplement in the morning, as well as before and after the workout.
  • Use only at the stage of gaining muscle mass.
  • Do not abuse the additive, otherwise you will gain a lot of excess fat.
  • Choose based on the composition, tolerability, and also on your taste sensations.