Are you struggling to put on weight no matter how hard you try? This can feel like a lonely problem, as only 3-5% of adults have a BMI under 18.5, which is considered underweight.
Fortunately, there are options available to help. There's a reason they tell you not to drink your calories on a weight-loss diet, and that's because it's so effective at helping you gain weight!
Let's talk about using nutritional drinks for weight gain and how to find the right products for your needs!
Are Nutritional Drinks For Weight Gain Safe?
Depending on the brand and its ingredients, weight gain supplements can offer various health benefits. This is especially true if you find drinks with the right nutritional quality and minimal fillers.
In some cases, it's a lot safer to drink them than to not. If you're struggling to maintain your weight or add more, this is likely the case. You just need to look at the nutritional drink ingredients, which we will discuss later.
Overall, incorporating nutritional drinks into your diet can be perfectly safe and sustainable in your diet and weight gain strategy. So, are they right for you?
Who Needs Weight Gain Drinks?
Everybody needs a certain amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and calories for survival. Calories are the most important.
Still, everybody has different needs. A 5'2" female may only need 1800 calories to maintain their body weight, whereas a 6'4" male may need 3000. This is known as your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.
You can use a TDEE calculator to find a rough estimate of your daily caloric needs. You may need to play around with it to find your exact needs, as everybody is different.
Also, some people may have different needs based on their lifestyle, health, goals, and more. In these cases, weight gain drinks may be exactly what they need. Here are some common examples of who may use weight gain drinks in their diets!
Bodybuilders and Other Athletes
When we think of weight gainers, we typically think of bodybuilders. Some other sports may have an advantage for a heavier weight class, including wrestling, powerlifting, and other sports. For many others, excess weight is the last thing athletes want.
However, when bodybuilders are "bulking" or trying to build muscle, calories are calories, and protein is protein. Some bodybuilders practice a "see-food diet" (see food, eat it), often known as a "dirty bulk". This is when bodybuilders rely heavily on nutritional supplements, calorie-dense foods, and even processed foods to up their calorie intakes.
Even bodybuilders practicing a "clean bulk" will still typically use supplements to some extent. Either way, the right weight gain supplements can help bodybuilders and other athletes achieve their goals.
People Recovering From Illness
If you've recently recovered from an illness, you may have lost more weight than you were anticipating. This can potentially suppress your immune system further if left unaddressed.
Covid-19, the common cold, the stomach flu, and other diseases have caused severe weight loss in certain patients. Even mental illnesses like depression or anxiety can result in dramatic weight loss. More serious illnesses (and their treatments) such as cancer can also lead to severe weight loss, especially when prolonged.
In most of these cases, bringing your weight back up to a healthy level is recommended. This may be during treatment (if you can eat) or after recovery.
When we reach a certain age, it's not only okay to gain a little weight, it's encouraged! Some people begin to lose weight unintentionally as they age, as their appetite may decrease over time.
While exercise and a healthy diet are essential, losing too much weight as we age can leave us more susceptible to certain illnesses. In some cases, losing too much weight can even suppress our immune systems.
People Who Suffered Injuries
Some unfortunate accidents and injuries lead to an inability to eat solid foods. In this case, people may need to get their calories in with nutritional drinks.
Broken teeth, fractured jaws, throat issues, and more can lead to a temporary fluid-based diet. Well, you still need to get your calories in, so nutritional drinks are the way to go!
What to Look For in a Weight Gain Drink
Not all weight gain drinks are created equally. If you need high-calorie drinks to help you gain weight, you don't want to just go with the first one you see without reading the label. Some are simply junk calories.
For example, you could technically call a 2-liter cola soft drink with 220 grams of sugar and 790 calories a "weight gain drink". Of course, that isn't nutritional at all, and it won't help you achieve your health goals whatsoever.
Instead, look for a quality weight gain drink that can help you achieve optimal health benefits. Here's what to look for.
Protein is essential for healthy weight gain. It helps us feel satiated throughout the day, helps our body make necessary repairs, and facilitates the growth of lean body mass.
Remember that you don't just want to gain weight necessarily. Rather, aim for quality weight. Calories are important, and so is price, but also your protein.
Also, don't pay attention to the myths around protein. Plant protein is just as good as animal protein, even if it is "incomplete". The only advantage of whey protein is that it absorbs faster and a little more efficiently, but the difference is not as dramatic as they say.
Therefore, if you want to follow a vegan diet or use the weight gain supplement that you like the best, don't let this deter you. Protein is protein.
The average person should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight for maintenance. However, if you are trying to gain weight, you should incorporate 0.8 grams of protein per kg of your target body weight. If you are a bodybuilder, you may go as high as 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Calories and Price
Calorie-to-price ratio is important if you're serious about gaining weight and you want to save money. This is especially true if you have to rely heavily on these drinks for your weight gain strategy.
Our best tip would be to order straight from the manufacturer. If you go to the convenience store every time, you could end up paying 3x the price for significantly less quality. Order in bulk to save money and find the drinks that suit your calorie needs!
More important than anything above is the taste. If you need to use weight gainers, you're unlikely to use them if they taste bad.
For this reason, we strongly recommend trying multiple options and seeing which one you like the best. If you find a few that you love, you can buy more of them later on! Check out our full store to see which flavors you want to try first!
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
Reading the ingredients on your nutritional drink is essential. Some may come loaded with low-quality fats or simple sugars. While these are okay to use in moderation when trying to build weight, you still need high-quality ingredients.
Generally speaking, if the first few ingredients are whole foods and you see a reasonable protein-fat-sugar ratio, then it's probably a fairly safe product. Just ensure you aren't allergic to any ingredients and that there are minimal low-quality fillers.
Now, we don't want to scare you away from fats, especially if you are trying to gain weight. Everybody needs fats in their diet, but it needs to be a healthy mix of saturated and unsaturated fats, as well as omega-6s and omega-3 fatty acids.
Also, some people may have plant-based preferences, celiac disease, and so much more. If you have any dietary restrictions, take a look at the nutritional drink ingredients and make sure that it fits your needs.
For example, you may need to find a diabetes-friendly nutritional drink or something similar. All of our drinks are gluten-free, and you can read our ingredient labels to see which fits into your diet the best!
Search Through the Best Options For Nutrition Drinks
Now that you know more about using nutritional drinks for weight gain put these tips to use today and find the drinks that are right for your needs. Everybody is different, including our bodies and preferences, but if you try some new products, you may find exactly what you're looking for!
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