OK.. first up, some important announcements. Actually there is only one announcement. My TV Show is finally out. It airs on TV2 every Monday through Wednesday at 1pm. Yes, i know the timing is not the best, but hey, if you happen to be around the vicinity of a TV, please do check it out. OR if you are having lunch at a mamak which has a TV, ask them to tune in to TV2 for you. I still haven't caught it, but i am hoping to catch it tomorrow.
Anyway, lets move on with today's post. A friend of mine recently asked me if he should consider weight gainers as a supplement. He is finding it difficult to put on some serious muscle mass, and was wondering if he should invest in weight gainers. For me, if you have the extra money to spend, then yes, go right ahead. Is it essential to have? No, because you can easily make your own weight gainer at home.
Weight gainers have 2 main components that make it, well a weight gainer.
1) It is high in calories. The high amount of calories are necessary to keep your body anabolic - by providing your body more calories than it needs. If you are looking to gain muscle mass, you need to ensure that your caloric intake is higher than what you need. Your muscles grow after your workout, not during your workout. And for it to grow, you need to stay anabolic. Simple science.
2) It's high in protein - No guess work here. To build muscle you need protein. Protein is the building blocks of muscle. But in order for your body to fully utilize the protein, your body needs to stay anabolic, by having more calories in than necessary.
So when you combine these 2 elements, you get a good weight gainer. Now of course some will argue that some weight gainers have vitamins and minerals which are good for you and helps to increase absorption. No doubt these vitamins and minerals are good, but unless you plan to replace every single meal with your weight gainers, i wouldn't worry too much. Because you can easily get your vitamins and minerals from your food. So you don't need to dump every bit of goodness that nature has into your shake. I think most of these things are just gimmicks to make you feel like you can never achieve results without their wonderful product.
So how do you make a high calorie high protein shake? Well here are some ingredients that you can easily mix together to get a good shake. If you have a protein powder at hand, you can easily turn your protein powder into a weight gainer by just adding some simple household ingredients. This is why, if i had to spend my money, i would prefer to spend my money on a protein shake, because it is versatile. You can drink it as a protein shake, a weight gainer or even a meal replacement. All other stuff, has a very specific function.
Here are some suggestions to spike up the calories in your protein shake
1) Add flavoured milk like strawberry milk to your protein shake. Flavoured milk has sugar which immediately increases the calories in milk. Plus, the sugar in these milks are great especially when you take it after your workout. If you are looking to gain muscle mass, you need to have an insulin spike after your workout. Because insulin is a storage hormone, it will help in protein being absorbed into your muscles faster.
2) Add ice cream - Yup, you heard me. Ice cream is high in calories, and because it is made out of milk, its really a 2 in 1 deal. Now, don't go crazy with it. Just 1 or 2 scoops of ice cream into your protein shake, after your workout should suffice.
3) Peanut Butter - Peanut butter surprisingly has high content in protein as well as calories. So if you are a hard gainer, peanut butter is a great way to amp up the calories and protein.
4) Almonds - Almonds are a great source of protein. They usually have between 6 to 8 grams of protein per serving. A handful of almonds into your shake not only amps up the protein, but it ads great flaovour to it as well.
5) Sweetened Soy Milk - Because you want the calories, sweetened soy milk is excellent for this. It is high in protein (about 5grams per glass) and it has sugar which will help to give your body the insulin spike it needs after your workout.
6) Yogurt - Yogurt is a great source of protein, but do bare in mind that it is sour, so it may or may not go with the rest of your ingredients. So be careful when blending other stuff with yogurt. Yogurt usually goes well with berry flavoured stuff. Chocolate, hmmmm.... its a no for me, but it really is a personal choice.
So those are just some suggestions of what you can chuck into your blender and make a shake from. Below is one of my personal favourite weight gainer shakes that i have made. Try it, you will love it.
1 Scoop of vanilla ice cream
1 table spoon of Milo
2 table spoons of Peanut Butter
1/2 glass of sweetened soy milk
1 serving of plain flavoured protein powder - how many scoops will depend on which protein powder you use. My protein powder needs 2 scoops (or you can use your chocolate flavour and ditch the Milo and use the protein instead)
1 glass of Milk.
A little bit of water if its too thick.
Method - Chuck everything into your blender and blend it till its smooth. When it pours out, it will make 2 glassfuls.
Now, this recipe is only for those who:-
a) Lift like a warrior - if you lift like a wuss, please stay clear of this shake
b) Finding it extremely hard to gain weight, but want to bulk up like Thor
c) Should be taken right after your warrior workout.
For all other people, please stick to your usual protein blend or diet stuff.
Now on top of these weight gainer shakes, you also want to make sure you eat lots of complex carbs and lots of protein for your other meals. Its not what you take once after your workout, but the continuous nutrition that you keep feeding your body for the rest of the day, as your body grows. So meal times are important too.
So, do you really need a weight gainer? Personally for me, no. Like i mentioned earlier, i would prefer to spend my money on protein powders, because i an easily interchange it to suit my needs. But hey, if you have lots of money, then go right ahead. So do try out the recipe and as usual, look forward to hearing your comments. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments