In the United States, approximately 2.4 percent of women who are at least 20 years old are underweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1) When you want to gain weight, it is vital that you do it in a healthy way. One of the best places to start is by choosing the best weight gainer for women.
Before you go out and start looking at the best weight gainer supplements for women, it is important to get some basic information regarding them. This knowledge will help you to make the best choice.
Determine Your General Health
The first step is determining the status of your general health. Getting an annual physical by your doctor is the easiest way to do this. During this examination, consider the following, according to Harvard Health Publishing (2):
- Weight and height
- Blood pressure
- Bone density
- Blood sugar levels
- Cholesterol levels
- Eye and hearing evaluations
- Breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings
Once you have this information, it makes it easier to determine which supplements will help you to achieve your weight gaining goals. It also lets you know where you stand regarding wellness, allowing you to determine if other changes are necessary to promote better overall health.
Evaluating Your Nutritional Needs
Where you stand nutritionally is critical information for you to know. This is especially important if you are underweight due to a medical condition. Your doctor can run bloodwork to look at the levels of minerals and vitamins in your body.
If you are deficient in any specific nutrient, talk to your doctor about the diet changes or supplements that will help to bring your levels up. Since nutrients often work together to help you achieve and maintain optimal health, before you start adding supplements for weight gaining to the mix, you want to ensure that you are relatively healthy for the best results.
Determine Your Weight Gain Goals
You want to set reasonable weight gaining goals for yourself before you start the process. Aiming to gain a half pound to one pound a week is reasonable. Talk to your doctor before you gain weight to ensure that you are using the right methods.
Make note of your current weight and the weight you want to achieve. Keep a food diary to see how many calories you are consuming per day. You will likely need to increase your caloric intake.
The caloric increase necessary to gain weight is highly individualized. This is something that you will need to talk to your doctor about. On average, a pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories, according to the Mayo Clinic. (3) So, theoretically, increasing your caloric intake by 500 calories per day would result in gaining one pound a week.
Just remember that you do not want to gain too much body fat. Increasing your lean muscle mass is a healthier goal. Increasing lean muscle mass is something that weight gaining supplements can help you with.
Important Nutrients for Healthy Weight Gain
A diverse diet that covers all of the essential nutrients is imperative for healthy weight gain. However, there are five nutrients in particular that can aid you in achieving your weight gain goals.
Your muscles need protein to grow and work efficiently. Protein supplementation has been shown to help people gain more muscle when they combine it with an exercise program, according to research published in Sports Medicine. (4) When you gain muscle, this helps you to gain healthy weight.
It is recommended that up to 35 percent of the calories you eat per day come from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine. (5) This can be from a protein supplement and the foods that you eat.
Beta-alanine is a type of amino acid that your body naturally produces. When you are exercising, it helps your muscle to resist fatigue so that you do not burn out too quickly. When you use a beta-alanine supplement, this may help to increase exercise-related muscle gain, according to research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. (6)
Creatine is a sport’s supplement that has immense research backing it. It is a molecule that is naturally present in the cells of your body. When you use this nutrient in supplement form it helps to increase the creatine content in your muscles.
Using creatine supplements before strength training helps to enhance muscle growth and exercise performance, according to research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. (7)
There are several creatine supplement types on the market. Creatine monohydrate has shown the highest level of efficacy and safety, according to research published in Amino Acids. (8)
High-calorie supplements help you to increase your caloric intake more easily than eating more regular food. Once you determine the daily caloric increase necessary to help you gain weight, look for a high-caloric supplement that provides this amount or close to it.
These supplements are typically high in protein and carbohydrates. They are usually in a powder form. This allows you to create a shake or add the supplement to a beverage of your choice.
HMB is short for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate. When your body breaks down leucine, an amino acid, this results in the production of the HMB molecule. Research shows that an HMB supplement might help to reduce muscle protein breakdown following intense exercise, according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. (9)
Choosing a Quality Supplement Brand
The quality of the supplement you choose is imperative. You want to choose a brand with a reputation for testing their products. This helps to ensure that what the label states is what the supplement includes. Look for the following seals:
- NSF International
- Underwriters Laboratory
- US Pharmacopeia
- Consumer Lab
Do some research on the company to make sure that they are reputable. Consider the inactive ingredients in the supplement. You should also avoid supplements that come from a private label company.
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Top Weight Gain Supplements for Women Hardgainers
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder contains five protein sources, including whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate, egg albumin, whey protein isolate and micellar casein. Every serving provides 25 grams of protein, as well as BCAAs, digestive enzymes and glutamine. The proteins in this powder are a mixture of fast-digesting and slow-digesting proteins.
You can create a milkshake with this powder, or just mix it into the beverage that you prefer. It is important to stir thoroughly to reduce the risk of clumping which can happen in room temperature beverages.
Each dose is one scoop of this powder. You can take this powder before a strength training workout to promote muscle growth. You can also use it as a meal replacement or a snack.
- You can mix this powder into any liquid
- The sugar content is low
- This is an all-in-one protein powder
- This powder does not dissolve easily
- The flavor is unpleasant
NOW Sports Beta-Alanine comes in capsule form, making it convenient to use. This supplement does not contain any dairy, salt, sugar, nuts, gluten, wheat, shellfish, corn, preservatives, yeast, eggs or soy. This supplement is Informed Choice and Informed Sport certified.
Each dose of three capsules contains 2.25 grams of beta-alanine. When you take the capsules, you can experience the temporary warming and tingling that is common with beta-alanine supplements.
Dosing this supplement is easy since you only need to take the capsules. The supplement recommends that you take one to three capsules each time you use it but taking three capsules is necessary to get the full dose. The supplement recommends that you start with one capsule if you are new to taking beta-alanine. Drink approximately eight ounces of water with each dose. You can take these without or with food.
- This supplement causes an increase in energy
- The capsules are easy to swallow
- The capsules may cause a headache
BSN Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder provides five grams of this nutrient per serving. This supplement contains the monohydrate form of creatine which is shown to be the safest and most effective type. It has both artificial and natural flavors.
You can add this powder to the liquid of your choice. It does not take long to dissolve. Make sure that it fully dissolves before drinking it. For the best results, put it into four to six ounces of liquid. Each dose is one scoop of the powder, and the scoop comes with it. You can use it twice daily.
Since it does not contain any stimulants, you can use it at any time of the day. Drink it as a meal replacement or a snack, or as a pre-workout supplement.
- The powder comes in several flavors
- The powder dissolves easily in liquids
- The powder contains no caffeine
- Some flavors have a chemical aftertaste
Clean Gainer is a high-calorie weight gainer supplement. Every serving gives you 560 calories, eight carbohydrate sources, essential fats and 30 grams of protein. The protein in this supplement is full-spectrum. It contains whey isolate, whey concentrate, milk isolate and micellar casein.
Every serving only has eight grams of sugar, making this supplement ideal for women who need to keep their sugar intake low. The carbohydrate sources are the complex type, so this supplement will not cause a blood sugar spike.
Each serving is two scoops of this powder. You should add it to approximately 12 to 16 ounces of liquid. Ideally, the liquid you mix the powder into will be cold. Then, shake or stir the mixture until mixing is complete.
- This supplement is low in sugar
- It doubles as a protein supplement
- The powder does not clump after you mix it or in the container
- The flavor is unpleasant
BulkSupplements HMB Powder contains is pure and clean, meaning that the ingredients are high in quality. The purity of this product is guaranteed via a lab that tests the powder for verification.
This powder comes in a foil zipper pouch. This helps to keep it fresh and prevent spills. The recommendation is that you take approximately 0.5 teaspoons of this product per dose. This provides approximately 1,000 milligrams of HMB. You should take this powder with food about 30 minutes before you exercise. Mix the powder into a liquid and stir until it fully dissolves.
You can take this powder one to three times a day. In addition to HMB, this supplement has 14 percent of the calcium that you need each day per dose.
- You can mix it with any liquid
- This powder dissolves quickly and thoroughly
- Noticeable difference in workout recovery time
- A measuring scoop is not included
- The taste is unpleasant
Our choice is MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder. It contains a blend of five sources of protein, ensuring that your body has what it needs for working out or simply fueling your muscles for everyday activity.
The blend includes both fast-digesting and slow-digesting proteins. The sugar content is low making this a viable option for women who need to be mindful of their blood sugar levels.
This protein powder is easy to measure, ensuring an accurate dosage every time you use it. It is a tested product that has the Informed-Choice logo. This means that it is high in quality and contains exactly what the label states.