Mass gainer protein shakes are a top selling bodybuilding product for those looking to bulk up and gain overall size and strength.

They deliver a calorie-dense combination of protein, carbs and fats to help you meet your daily nutritional needs for supporting muscular recovery and growth.

But are these commercial “weight gain shakes” a smart investment?

What is the best mass gainer protein for packing on muscle as effectively as possible?

The problem with most of the weight gainers you’ll find at your local supplement store is simple…

All they really are is a simple combination of whey protein and maltodextrin. The whey provides the protein source, and the maltodextrin provides the carbs.

Now, whey protein is great. It has the best amino acid profile and the highest bio-availability of any protein source on the planet and is ideal for maximizing protein synthesis and bottom line gains.

But what about maltodextrin?

For those of you who don’t know, maltodextrin is really nothing more than a basic sugar that is almost completely devoid of any real nutritional value. But it’s cheap, lasts on the shelf and keeps the shake tasting sweet, which is why it’s included in virtually every single weight gainer out there.

Most commercial mass gainer protein drinks contain 60, 80 or 100 grams+ of this stuff in every single serving, and it makes up nearly 100% of the carbohydrate content for the entire shake.

When selecting carbohydrates for your bodybuilding diet, you want to get the majority from sources that are minimally refined, high in fiber and micronutrient dense. This will provide you with the energy your muscles and brain require along with the additional nutrients you need for optimal performance.

Maltodextrin provides virtually the complete opposite of this.

If you’re using a traditional mass gainer protein shake once in a while as a matter of convenience, that’s fine.

However, a way better approach is to simply purchase a pure whey protein powder on its own and then blend it with your own carbohydrate and healthy fat sources.

For the carbohydrates, some awesome choices include fruit (banana, strawberry, blueberry etc.), oats and yogurt. If you really want to boost the calories up then a little bit of ice cream is even okay.

For the healthy fats, you can throw in some natural nut butter (peanut, almond, walnut etc.) or healthy oils, such as olive oil or flaxseed oil.

This is a far superior route for your mass gainer protein shake as it will provide you with all the calories you need along with maximum quality protein and carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

Not only that, but a homemade weight gainer will also taste way better than the commercial stuff when prepared properly.

In terms of convenience, almost nothing changes either as a homemade shake only takes a couple minutes of extra preparation time.

There are an endless number of different recipes you could try, but here’s one that I really like that will provide you with 804 calories, 77 grams of protein, 79 grams of carbs and 20 grams of fat…

Homemade Mass Gainer Protein Shake

* 10 ounces skim milk
* 2 scoops whey protein (chocolate, strawberry or any flavor you like)
* 1/2 cup oatmeal (pre-blend separately first, then add to the shake and blend in again)
* 1 large banana
* 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
* Pinch of cinnamon
* 3-4 Ice cubes

Give that a try and see what you think. The recipe is not set in stone either and can modified in a lot of different ways. Play around with it to find a combination that you like the best.

If you’re serious about your progress and want to make lean, quality muscle gains, toss those commercial weight gainers down the drain and start preparing them on your own.

– Sean

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