Are you planning to take some mass gainer to build your muscles fast? Then take the time to read this article as I list some possible mass gainer side effects that I think you should know.
Although you can can’t deny the fast muscle gain and weight gain results, it doesn’t mean it’s completely safe.
Mass gainers are bodybuilding supplements that usually comprise of protein, carbohydrates, and certain nutrients. They’re mostly used by athletes and bodybuilders to gain weight and to recover after a workout.
If you like to know mass gainers’ possible side effects, keep reading.
1. Unhealthy Weight Gain
The problem with many mass gainers is that they contain a high amount of sugar. Sugar is added to mass gainers for a pleasant taste. The sugar also serves as a carb source to fuel more energy to the body and to assist body weight gain.
However, too much sugar may result in unhealthy weight gain as it adds more calories to your diet.
According to the scientists of University of Reading, individuals who consume more sugar are more likely to develop obesity than those who consume less.
Previous research has not found the association of obesity with sugar because overweight people tend to underestimate the amount of sugar they consume than those who have a healthy weight.
Of course, some manufacturers will try to trick you by listing a complex carb ingredient, like maltodextrin, as a sugar substitute. The manufacturers do this to be able to label their products as “less sugar”.
However, maltodextrin can even be more harmful than sugar because it increases your insulin levels and blood sugar more rapidly.
2. Increase The Risk Of Diabetes
Not only can high amounts of sugar lead to unhealthy weight gain, but it can also put you at risk of diabetes. Sugar is indirectly associated with Type 2 diabetes due to the association between high sugar consumption and obesity.
According to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), high amounts of sugar lead to obesity, one of the major contributors to Type 2 diabetes.
Although prevailing theories show the indirect link of sugar to diabetes, Stanford Medicine discovers the direct association between the two factors.
In a study between diabetes rates and sugar supply, results show that diabetes rates surged with the increase of sugar supply in a population.
If you still like to try some mass gainers, read the label and select one that offers a great mix of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Some of these brands offer very high calories, so you should make modifications to the serving size so that you conform to your calorie requirements for weight increase. You must check your blood sugar weekly to determine any changes in your blood sugar levels.
3. Stomach Problems
Mass gainers cause some people to experience several adverse effects such as stomach cramps and bloating.
Other people may even experience stomach discomfort and flatulence for a couple of hours after consuming the powder. The stomach problems may be linked to food intolerance or food allergies.
In certain people, especially those with lactose intolerance, undigested lactose moves into the intestines through the stomach where fermentation happens. During this process, a significant amount of gas is created, causing bloating, flatulence, and stomach cramps.
Sometimes stomach problems may occur due to milk protein allergy. Casein and whey milk proteins can cause an inflammatory immune reaction in some people.
You should watch out for products that use whey protein concentrates because however hard they market them as a high-quality isolate, they still contain lactose.
If you consistently experience stomach problems to a particular mass gainer brand, consider switching it to another brand. It might be best to look for lactose-free brands.
If your symptoms persist, try using rice protein isolates because you might have an incompatibility to the milk protein itself.
4. Liver Damage
The protein found on mass gainers may damage your liver if taken in excess. According to a 2013 study published in International Scholarly Research Notices, consumption of protein above the recommended dietary allowance can cause damage to the liver function.
Extra protein won’t be used by the body efficiently and may even inflict a heavy metabolic load on the liver.
If you don’t know yet, toxins that are left behind during the metabolism of protein are sorted by the liver.
If the liver is working on too much protein consistently, it may cause impairment in the long run. The liver has to work harder to transform the synthesized protein into disposable amino acids and keep the balance of nitrogen in the body.
Another compound that may damage your liver is creatine. While creatine offers long-lasting energy, it can cause dehydration as your muscles tend to consume more water than what your body’s accustomed to.
According to Liver Support, you need to drink sufficient water, or else your liver will have a hard time detoxifying your body. So if you’re taking mass gainers with creatine, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
5. Kidney Damage
Nutritional supplements, like mass gainers, can be harmful if the kidneys are overburdened with too much protein.
If you’re suffering from kidney stones already, whey protein can make your condition worse. Those people that already at risk for developing kidney stones are more probably the ones who’ll get affected by taking mass gainers.
Creatine is also fatal to those with a pre-existing kidney problem. According to a 2004 study, healthy adults seem to be safe when taking creatine supplements at the recommended dosage of 20 grams per day for five days and maintenance consumption of not more than 3 grams per day.
However, creatine may be linked to a higher risk of renal dysfunction to people who have a history of renal disorders.
To make sure that you don’t develop kidney stone from consuming mass gainers, remember to take sufficient fiber and water in your diet. Sufficient amount of water and fiber will help prevent your body from developing any buildup of deposits that can result in kidney stones.
Also, look for a mass gainer supplement that’s well balanced and not only constitutes of straight protein. You can also balance your protein overload with adequate amounts of healthy fats and carbohydrates.
6. Breathing Problems
Many users reported some breathing problems like wheezing, coughing, and sneezing, after consuming the mass gainer for a few days.
These breathing problems often happen if you take mass gainer improperly. If you suffer from any breathing problem, then it may be wise to switch or avoid the mass gainer totally.
Sneezing, wheezing, and coughing are often related to whey allergy. After you ingest the whey protein powder, your eyes will probably begin to water, then may be followed by sneezing and coughing.
If your breathing problem worsens, it’s advisable to seek medical treatment or switch to another brand that uses a brown rice protein.
Sometimes an extra weight gain can cause difficulty in breathing. This is apparent if you pack on too much weight in your abdomen. In some cases, the extra weight can squeeze your lungs during an exercise, making it harder to breathe.
To avoid this problem, don’t forget to exercise regularly to burn those unwanted excess fats.
To some people, ingesting a mass gainer can cause nausea. Nausea is common to new users because your stomach may not be used to that high amount of protein. To make your body accustomed to the taste of mass gainer, drink half servings first until your body gets used to it.
Sometimes, this feeling of sickness may happen because you have consumed the product right after your body is exhausted from a workout.
According to senior nutrition research scientist Steve Hertzler, the mass gainer will remain in the stomach rather than being digested fast, and this hold up can cause a nausea reaction. After a tiring workout, wait 40 minutes to one hour before you drink a mass gainer.
Another reason why you get nauseated is that you drink the mass gainer too quick. Similar to how sick you feel after eating a solid food fast, the same thing applies when taking mass gainer. The best solution that you can do is to drink it slowly for about 20-40 minutes.
Are you scared of the possible mass gainer side effects that might happen to you? Don’t be, because you can prevent these side effects if you follow the proper dosage.
If you’re lactose intolerant, look for lactose-free products and if you’re allergic to whey protein, consider opting for rice protein isolates. Make sure you don’t drink mass gainers right after workouts and don’t chug it down quickly to avoid nausea.
What other side effects did you experience while taking mass gainers? Let’s share stories in the comments section! And don’t hesitate to share this article if you found it helpful!