FIVE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN A SMART GAINER:
1. A HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN SOURCE
A high-quality protein source is necessary for any mass-gainer, which is why protein comes in.
Essentially a byproduct of cheese production, whey used to be discarded in the past. But, once its nutritional value was discovered, manufacturers started to process it separately to become what is now referred to as “whey protein” — arguably the most common type of ingredient used in supplements consumed frequently by gym-goers and bodybuilders alike.
Most people looking to build mass get majority of their protein intake from whey protein, which is some 25-50 grams of protein, with the rest of their protein requirements being filled by their daily meals.
Another alternative to whey is casein, which is a slow-digesting protein that doesn’t stimulate muscle build-up as much as whey but can provide a steady source of amino acids during and after working out. Casein, compared to whey, is much more effective at helping reduce the amount of amino acids used by the human body to fuel the muscle breakdown process.
These are the two types of protein worth taking note of if you want to build muscle and gain mass. Science has proven time and time again that casein and whey are far superior to building muscle than any other protein out there, including vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
When looking for a smart gainer, you want efficiency above all else. That’s what you get when you go with high-quality proteins, such as casein and whey, as your supplement of choice.
2. A GOOD CHO:PRO RATIO
The CHO:PRO ratio, otherwise known as the carbohydrate-to-protein ratio, of a product is another important factor to consider when looking for a smart gainer to use on a daily basis, especially for your pre-workout.
Most people think negatively of carbohydrates. They think that carbohydrates = fat. But, that’s not exactly true. The truth is, carbohydrates play a key role in the muscle-building process. They give your body the necessary energy or fuel to push through your day-to-day routine, including your workouts. Not to mention, a carbohydrate imbalance in your body can result in poor recovery items.
Going to the gym and working out is a strenuous physical activity. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself low in muscle glycogen levels, which can severely slow down your body’s ability to build strength and gain muscle.
Even though both carbohydrates and protein play different roles in building muscle, they go hand-in-hand to make sure you get the most efficient gains possible. In fact, multiple studies have shown that pre and post-workout muscles paired with a healthy dose of carbohydrates and protein are great for building muscle and recovery as opposed to just consuming either one of the two.
Of course, everybody’s needs are a little bit different. You may not be as active as the next person, and vice versa. You may also have different body types. But, when it comes to smart gainers, a good CHO:PRO ratio to stick with is 2:1. But, if you need help keeping up with your daily carbohydrates needs, going 3:1 may be necessary.
Either of the two ratios are ideal and are backed by sound science. A 4:1 CHO:PRO ratio might also be necessary if you’re doing endurance-training for long-distance marathons.