mass gainers

5 Mass Gainer Side Effects You Should Be Wary Of

Unhealthy Weight Gain
Increases The Risk Of Diabetes
Issues With Digestion
Liver Damage
Kidney Damage

A mass gainer is a nutritional supplement that is designed to gradually increase the muscle mass count in your body by supplying it with the required amounts of essential food groups such as lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and fats. It is primarily available in the form of a powder and works by increasing the caloric intake of the body to the point that you begin putting on extra weight. A lot of medical practitioners recommend consuming mass gainer in combination with a healthy balanced diet and a fixed exercise regimen in order to get the maximum amount of health benefits and to avoid any mass gainer side effects.

What we need to keep in mind, however, is that these supplements are not manufactured for the purpose of bridging your nutritional gap by providing essential macronutrients, they are simply a source of meeting more than the required amount of calories that will help you put on some weight. Consuming them in excess can lead to a lot of mass gainer side effects that can manifest into serious health complications. 

Given below are a few mass gainer side effects that you can experience by consuming excess mass gainers:

1. Unhealthy Weight Gain

One of the most problematic things about mass gainers that can lead to mass gainer side effects is their sugar content. A lot of companies incorporate a lot of sugar into their product as a cost-cutting way of introducing weight gaining properties into their supplement, as well as enhancing the flavour profile of the product. 

The issue with this is the fact that sugars can be an excessive source of calories and carbs, leading to mass gainer side effects such as the storing of fat and causing random spikes in the insulin levels of the body. A lot of manufacturers also try to trick you into thinking their supplements are free from sugars by listing added sugar under different names such as maltodextrin or corn syrup. 

These substituted sugar components can lead to further mass gainer side effects such as fluctuations in blood pressure, unhealthy weight gain, and increasing LDL cholesterol levels. 

2. Increases The Risk Of Diabetes

The extremely high sugar content found in most gainers can not only lead to unhealthy weight gain but also lead to other side effects of gainer such as increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is primarily because obesity and cholesterol have been identified as two of the most prominent markers for diabetes. 

Other side effects of gainer include interfering with the regulation of glucose levels in the body, which can cause a drop in your energy levels throughout the day. In case you want to still consume mass gainer supplements without being at too much of a risk for the side effects of gainer, you need to make sure that you pick a product that incorporates the perfect ratio of macronutrients such as lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. 

A good habit to develop would be to check the back of your product label for any ingredients that you do not recognise and googling them to find out what effect they may have on your body. 

3. Issues With Digestion

Excessive consumption of mass gainer supplements can often lead to weight gainer side effects such as cramps and bloating. One of the primary reasons as to why this happens is because your body is not accustomed to consuming so many calories, mostly sugar in a single go. 

This can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, especially in the small intestine. These particular weight gainer side effects are more exaggerated in the case of people who have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance since most mass gainers have been formulated using milk sources. 

This can lead to serious weight gainer side effects such as flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation. In case you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, you can try swapping out casein-based mass gainer supplements for some supplements that are completely dairy-free and derived from plant-based sources such as rice, hemp, pea and soy protein. 

4. Liver Damage

Mass gainers are infused with a fair amount of protein as well in order to boost their weight enhancing properties. Consuming excessive mass gainers can also increase the concentration of protein in your body to the point that it cannot be processed properly by the liver. 

Exceeding the recommended daily allowance of protein can cause gainer side effects such as hindering the absorption of nutrients and interfering with the metabolic activity of the body. The presence of excessive creatine in these mass gainer supplements can also lead to gainer side effects such as excessive dehydration. 

The reduced amount of water in the body causes an increased amount of friction among internal organs, especially the liver. One of the most important things to keep in mind while supplementing your diet with mass gainer supplements is to drink enough water to avoid gainer side effects caused by creatine. 

5. Kidney Damage

Nutritional supplements such as weight gainers can have a deteriorating effect on your health when consumed in excess, especially ones that have been incorporated with too much protein. This can lead to mass gainer effects such as the formation of kidney stones within the body. 

In case you still need to consume mass gainers, you can make sure to avoid these mass gainer effects by including a lot of fibre rich foods in your diet and drinking a lot of water. Mass gainers also have a lot of caffeine which can have a negative impact on your sleep by disrupting your REM cycle. 

In the long run, this can lead to the development of mass gainer effects such as insomnia or even certain mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. 


The best way to avoid most of these mass gainer side effects would be to get your nutrition from natural and whole sources of foods with minerals such as fruits and vegetables. You need to include all the essential kinds of micro and macronutrients as well to make sure your nutrition is balanced and healthy. Always make sure to consult with a medical health practitioner before supplementing your nutritional intake with health supplements such as mass gainers in order to avoid any potential side effects of gainer

Understanding The Nutritional Differences Between Whey Protein And Mass Gainers

Whey protein is a supplement that is typically extracted from milk by separating it into two layers of milk solids and a whey filled transparent liquid. This process separates the fatty content of the milk from the actual protein-filled substance. The milky white liquid is then processed into a fine powder by dehydrating it. 

Depending on the concentration of the protein present in this mixture, whey protein is available in 3 primary forms – whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey protein blend. 

A mass gainer is typically consumed by aspiring bodybuilders and gym-goers as a way to put on some healthy body weight and support their prolonged physical exertion. It is very dense in nutrients and contains a lot of calories which can help you put on weight. 

Mass gainers usually have a ratio of protein to carbs as 3:1, which means that you get about 40 grams of carbohydrates for every 20 grams of protein that you consume. Most of the calories that you absorb from these gainers come in the form of glucose and maltose. 

There are several essential components that set apart the whey protein from mass gainers, starting right from the ingredients. For example, mass gainers have a lot of added ingredients such as protein blends and carbohydrates as a way to increase their nutritional values. 

Best whey protein supplements on the other hand are just isolated forms of protein from various sources. However, there may be a few exceptions wherein protein is incorporated with more sources such as milk isolates, casein blends, etc. 

Let us understand the key differences between whey protein supplements and mass gainers and what impact they can have on your body:

Who Should Consume What : Mass Gainer or Whey Protein

Whey protein supplements

Whey protein has been used for quite some years by several bodybuilders as a way to support their muscles and help them get through a lot of physical exertion. They are beneficial in increasing the strength and endurance of the body. 

Whey protein supplements are also a universally essential form of food group, which means that it can also be used as a nutritional supplement for normal people and does not necessarily have to be consumed only by bodybuilders. 

Mass gainer supplements have more of a primary focus to help your body put on some weight. It consists of calories that provide you with the required energy to engage in some physical activity but do not really have a significant effect on boosting the effectiveness of your muscles. While a single serving of protein can get you up to 150 calories, mass gainers usually offer up to ten times the number of calories in a single-serve.

Fitness Goals and Nutritional Supplements

benefits of mass gainers
  • Bodybuilding: When it comes to actual bodybuilding, all mass gainers are going to do is provide you with a very brief surge of energy that will go down within a few minutes and potentially leave you with an insulin spike due to the number of sugars present in it. Whereas one of the benefits of whey protein is that it can actually help target your muscles and reduce lactic acid build-up while boosting its healing process. This is why bodybuilders in specific are recommended to opt for whey protein rather than mass gainers. Don’t go overboard with the consumption as the side effects of whey protein can disrupt your kidneys as well. 
  • Athletic/Lean Physique: If you are someone who is working towards fitness for strictly aesthetic purposes and does not want to indulge in heavy lifting as such, it is best that you stay away from the mass gainers. They can cause a lot of changes to your body and can potentially disrupt your entire fitness journey by randomly increasing your body fat. You can opt for whey protein instead and cut down on your carbs and fats intake to get a leaner and meaner appearance. 
  • Improve Sports Performance: Athletes, in general, need to be at the top of their fitness levels at all times to keep up with the increased physical exertion levels that they go through on a day to day basis. Consuming the best mass gainers can disrupt their body’s metabolic activity and even potentially their performance in the field since they make a lot of changes to the body. It is always recommended that sportspersons consume a lot of protein as it can help with practical situations such as increasing stamina and endurance, automatically leading to better performance on the field. 
  • Weight Gain/Bulk: If you are someone who is simply looking to put on some weight, then the one benefit of mass gainers is definitely going to come in handy for you. It is important to consume only healthy sources of food and avoid consuming too many processed items since they can have a bad effect on your health, even if they help you put on a lot of weight. Make sure not to go too overboard with the mass gainers though, as the side effects of mass gainers can potentially damage your kidney and liver due to all the nutrients present inside them.

Given below is a table that represents the nutritional information of a typical mass gainer supplements and a whey protein substance: 

ComponentGeneric Whey ProteinGeneric Mass Gainer
Energy (kcal)125200
Added Sugar0g3g
Percent Whey Isolate80%Zero
Disclosure of all IngredientsYesNo

It is easily discernible from this information that when it comes to overall health and maintenance, it is always a good idea to opt for whey protein powder supplements over mass gainer supplements since they have a better source of nutrients and do not tend to disrupt your bodily processes. Unless and until you have the very specific purpose of exclusively gaining weight, do stay away from mass gainers.

Irrespective of whether you end up choosing whey protein or mass gainer, always make sure to follow a healthy and balanced diet plan in combination with a rigid exercise schedule that can help you stay at your peak fitness levels at all times.