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My goal is to gain weight and muscle. I'm currently 55 kgs, 5"4. My workout routine consists of pushups, triceps dips, curls with a resistance band, and squats.

I am looking at some mass gainer and wondering if it's worth it to buy it. I can't tell if the good reviews are fake. How can I tell if mass gainer would be useful for my training?

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    Any advice that you are going to receive here is going to be opinion. If your question amounts to “Do I need it?” the answer is “Certainly not—a good diet can easily provide sufficient protein for your needs.” If your question is “Does this work?” the answer is probably yes, provided that your diet is otherwise inadequate. Most of the scientific literature suggests that protein supplements have limited or null benefit when the diet is otherwise adequate. – POD Jul 13 at 0:19
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    As for gaining mass, body-weight work is inherently limited in its ability to stimulate significant muscle growth. It can certainly build a shaped, athletic build, but further growth requires loads that the body simply cannot provide. So it is good for starters and general conditioning, but not for serious size development. And that is especially true if you are a naturally lighter (endurance-dominant) build. – POD Jul 13 at 0:24
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    I dunno guys. "When is it worth buying mass gainer?" is a great question for both the OP and the general audience. – Dave Liepmann Jul 14 at 8:33
  • I agree. But it was put on hold while that wasn't the actual question. Reopen votes can be cast now that it's been edited. – Alec Jul 14 at 9:06
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Protein requirement is a function of training workload. The literature suggests that optimal recovery and hypertrophy occur with dietary protein intake ranging from between about 1.2–2.0 grams per kilogram of body mass per day (g/kg/d), with serious endurance, strength, and power athletes requiring around 1.6 g/kg/d.

Based upon your description, we would expect the workload that you are performing to be at the lower end of that range, perhaps requiring 1.2–1.4 g/kg/d. For reference, this value is slightly lower than daily protein intake in the average American diet. Thus, the question really boils down to the adequacy and quality of your diet.

If you have a good, varied diet consisting of quality protein sources and a significant proportion of complex carbohydrates, it is probably already optimal for recovery with your current workload. You would not benefit in any way from a supplement, and it would simply contribute to your gaining fat mass. And of course if it is poor, it would be preferable to improve your diet first, for both recovery and general health. However, from a purely utilitarian point of view, if your diet is poor, and if for whatever reason it is impractical to improve it markedly, then yes, you certainly might benefit from taking a supplement.

There is seldom any reliable evidence to support the superiority of one specific supplement over another. Any research that might be conducted will surely be sponsored by the manufacturer, and therefore have questionable conclusions. And whilst there exists some general agreement as to what nutrient profile is ideal, the literature is equivocal. It may be prudent to compare reviews for specific products, but given the wild variation typically found in those, it is probably a matter of personal preference and experience.

I hope that is helpful.

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Honestly, the answer whether mass gainer would be a useful addition to your diet is the following.

Assuming you workout a few days a week, whether or not you should be using mass gainer has little to do with the intensity of the workouts. It has everything to do with time investment. Mass gainers are simply there for those who don't always have the time or option to eat an actual meal with real food.

If you're traveling for example, or if you have a job where you can't eat a meal every 2 hours. If you have the time to eat regular food instead of a shake it's always going to be better for your body and give you the same, if not better results than a shake.

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I was having mass gainer shakes a few years back when bulking up... the main reason I used them was because I have a fast metabolism and it was a convenient way to pack in a load of extra calories without filling myself up as much as I would have through eating nothing but whole foods.

So if your situation is similar to mine, then go for it. Just compare how many calories are in them (aswell as the cost) compared to the kinds of foods you eat... peoples' reviews don't really matter unless you're wondering what they taste like etc.

Maybe don't go too crazy on the shakes though unless you don't mind spending a lot of time on the toilet.

As a side note though you'd need to do a lot more training than what you've listed above if you were looking to bulk up. So best to look at some routines too.

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  • what would you add to my training? I don't have any equipment apart from resistance bands – nz_21 Jul 17 at 0:26
  • try a 4-day split e.g. 1) chest 2) back 3) shoulders 4) legs ... spend approx 1 hour on each. The gym would be ideal although of course not really possible at the minute due to COVID, but you could increase the intensity of your exercises with slow-tempo training (e.g. 6 seconds per rep) – RR88 Jul 23 at 18:15

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