While a protein shake provides a good deal of protein and not much else, nutritionally speaking, weight gainers are supercharged protein powders, with significant helpings of carbohydrates, fat and frequently modest amounts of vitamins and minerals . Unlike protein powders that are typically based on one type of protein, weight gainers are usually formulated from a blend of proteins. This is often a combination of whey and casein protein (dairy-based), and some manufacturers will also add egg protein and amino acids . Other ingredients will vary in their amounts, flavors and combinations, depending on the brand.
While protein needs differ between individuals, the consensus is that exercising individuals consume between – 2g/ kg/day. For those participating in resistance exercise this figure should lean towards the higher end to ensure positive nitrogen balance and to sustain an anabolic environment. Extra protein should also be ingested pre- and post- workout for maximum muscular gains. Not meeting these protein requirements can severely hinder your ability to gain muscle mass and to repair damage to the muscles from exercise. Aside from proteins effects on muscles, it may have additional benefits in terms of aiding weight loss. High protein meals are often more satisfying, making you feel fuller for longer and preventing binges throughout the day. Protein unlike carbohydrates does not create fluctuations in blood glucose which is one key drive for hunger response. Those consuming increased protein often have favourable fat mass/fat free mass ratios. That is, people who have higher protein diets have more muscle and less fat.