Finding products to lose weight isn't hard, they're everywhere. But what happens when you want to gain weight? Maybe it's for health reasons, maybe you simply want to build more muscle. The simple calories in-calories out equation will only get you so far and simply chowing down on the donuts isn't a healthy (or appealing) option. This is why weight gain supplements for women may be a good choice for you.
Most people don't realize there's a significant population of women who want to gain weight. Skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming, but it's far less recognized. Whether it's for health reasons or for aesthetic reasons you want a supplement that can help you put on a few pounds.
There are many risks to being underweight, and you've probably heard them hundreds of times. To gain weight fast you have to understand how your body works. Genetically you've been blessed with a metabolism that can change the calories in food into energy for your body. There's two reasons why you may be thin – you're not eating enough calories or you have a metabolism that is overly efficient at this.
Before taking any supplements you should look at your BMR (basal metabolic rate), this will give you the minimum number of calories you need to survive at your current weight if you were to do nothing all day. To gain 1lb of body weight over this you need to eat 3500 calories above this number, since most people burn on average around 2000 calories a day you need to eat between 5000-6000 to do this.
A healthy amount of weight gain is about 2lb per week and you want that calorie increase to be good food and not just junk or you may affect other body systems. If you've tried and tried with your food though and still need supplements here are a few that can help.
|Universal Nutrition Real Gains||Blends well||3.8 Pounds||4.4/5|
|Fitness Labs German||2 in 1||2.2 Pounds||4.9/5|
|Carbo Gain||Dextrose 100%||10 Pounds||4.7/5|
|Ultra Weight Gainer||All natural||80 Capsules||2.9/5|
|Nature's Way Maca Root||For Vegans||100 Capsules||3.9/5|
Universal Nutrition Real Gains
Anyone who has ever done strength training knows you need a surplus of protein and calories to build muscle. Protein mixes use a selection of ingredients designed to help the body do just that, but they're also very high in calories.
This uses whey isolates (waste from milk production) which is high in calories and protein to give the body a surplus of both and create the ideal environment for muscle growth. If you're not planning on growing muscles it can also provide a good calorie boost to your diet and weight gain.
At 600 calories or more per serving you don't need a lot to reach that extra 600 calories and it mixes easily into baking and shakes.
- Multiple Flavors
- 600 Calories per serving (4 scoops)
The dextrose casein mix is ideal for improving your weight without costing a lot of money. This is a really cheap supplement and it tastes good too. Most people find they gain weight almost immediately using it.
This flavor has actual chunks of cookie in it which make it taste like a real milkshake but it's much better for you nutritionally. Many protein powders taste gritty or chalky but this isn't one of them and the taste is definitely a selling point. Mix it with milk or cream for added calories.
Whey protein will make you rather gassy and that can be embarrassing. If you are in any way sensitive to dairy you'll want to avoid many protein mixes as whey and casein are both bi-products of the dairy industry. This is partly why some people experience digestive issues when taking it. Another issue with whey supplements is that they are absolutely loaded down with sugars and additives which can cause negative effects on your health long term.
Fitness Labs German Creatine & L-Glutamine
Creatine works in a similar way to whey and casein. The issue with creatine is that a lot of the weight gained is water weight rather than true weight. It causes your muscle cells to retain water, rather like bloating (bloating is subcutaneous rather than intercellular).
This causes your muscles to swell up which will make them look bigger and rounder. It's used by fitness muscle enthusiasts to improve muscle definition. It doesn't work on body fat at all so you'll look more muscular and weigh more simply because of the water retention.
This isn't really a long term solution but it works for minimal quick weight gain.
- Muscle weight gain only
- Less side effects
This is a good supplement since it doesn't have a lot of additives or junk in it. It can be mixed with cream, milk or yogurt for a calorie boost or even added to a whey shake.
Creatine is often the ‘gritty” component that people complain about in a protein shake but this is so fine you can't taste it. Most people mix it with dextrose for added calories.
If you have a naturally high metabolism this may make it work even better, causing you to lose weight! Glutamine acts as muscle fuel and helps to convert dietary protein into solid muscle. Its pure fuel basically which means your body might love it too much.
The temporary nature of the creatine effect also means it's a poor substitute for real weight gain.
There's long been a link between carbohydrates and this supplement is a form of pure carbohydrates. Carbs are often high in calories, but most high carb foods are also junk which is why they're a poor form of nutrition.
By adding this to your diet you can increase your intake of high-calorie carbs without ingesting the sugar and other rubbish that comes from junk food. This is pure maltodexterin, a form of sugar that is ideal for mixing with dextrose or creatine.
Taking it in stimulates your body to produce glycogen – the energy we need to survive. Your body uses glycogen for everything including breathing and thinking but if your body has enough energy from food it will then store the excess glycogen away as bod fat. It can also be used to create muscle if you are using it as a workout supplement.
- High Calorie
Unlike creatine and whey, maltodextrose has absolutely no flavor which means you can mix it into anything. It does have a thickening effect so it's not suggested for water but juice or any other beverage will work fine.
Since the majority of your diet should also come from carbohydrates this is a good way to balance out extra protein from creatine and whey if you're using both of those to create a more balanced supplement mix. Ironically if you look at most of the research behind maltodexterin it's negative because it causes people to gain fat, which makes it perfect if you're trying to gain weight.
Since this is essentially sugar it's going to make your body gain fat first if you're not using it as a workout supplement. This means your weigh around your waist or high fat areas like breasts will likely increase first. Maltodextrin isn't a particularly healthy choice of supplement as it's nothing but pure sugar it can negatively affect your insulin levels in the long term
Ultra Weight Gainer
Unlike the others here this is a tablet supplement that you can simple add in to your daily routine. It contains a selection of products including goji berries, jujube, radix, and cordyceps. This is based off of Chinese medicine theory and uses this specific blend of herbs to improve energy production. This is much the same as what the maltodexterose aims to do for weight gain.
- Natural berries
- more energy
This will do wonders for your appetite. It's essentially a stimulant to make you hungry and it does that perfectly! If part of your weight issue is that you can't get enthusiastic about meals this will guarantee you eat. As they are a herbal supplement the effect is not the same on everyone.
Goji berries are a superfruit that contains high levels of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes which make this one of the healthiest choices overall. The recommended dose of this is 15g and you can also choose to buy the berries separately if you prefer.
This is another temporary supplement. If you're not changing anything else in your diet or routine as soon as you stop taking these you will lose any weight gained. These also have a side effect of making you very drowsy and hungry (not necessarily a problem since both will help with weight gain) which can be a problem if you need to drive. These also should not be used long term as there can be side effects like nausea and stomach pain.
Nature's Way Maca Root
This is a difficult supplement to balance, on the one hand it can cause weight loss, on the other hand it's been touted as a fat gainer for boobs and butts without actually making you “fat”. As a popular supplement it's only been around 5 years or so. Maca comes from a plant in South America and is used for healing purposes to deal with fatigue and sexual dysfunction. It's also linked to hormone balance. If your weight loss is a hormonal issue this is a good supplement to choose. Traditionally women's higher level of estrogen causes them to have a greater amount of body fat. Maca works by stimulating the production or balance of estrogen in the body (meaning it's perfect for women) which in turn will cause you to gain fat in “womanly” areas.
- Hormone Balance
- Boob/Butt weight gain preference
This is what you want to take if your weight gain needs are centered around getting curves. It's not going to simply make you get fat. While it's also only going to give you minimal results overall it is ideal for that girly boost to fit in with fashion or to make your clothes fit better. If you've struggled with a boyish body then there's a good chance it's hormonal and this can correct it.
Playing with your hormones is risky, and this can affect periods and reproductive capabilities. As with any herbal supplements it's all dependent on your body and you may see absolutely no results from this too.
Buying weight gain supplements for women really depends on what you want to gain weight for. If you're a fitness fanatic looking to bulk up and pack on more muscle then a supplement to give you a bigger booty is going to be useless. Similarly, if you have concerns or family history with insulin resistance then you'll want to stay away from pure sugar mixes.
Ideally when searching for a supplement you want something that doesn't have a lot of additives and doesn't cost the earth. The priority with picking any supplement however has to be the what and how you plan to gain weight.
Creating a weight gain plan based around your actions (e.g eating more to gain weight and need an appetite booster) as well as your health needs will give you the best supplement since most of them are pretty cost friendly. There's no substitute for good diet however, and you'll want to address your BMR first before adding in anything.
Choosing weight gain supplements is far harder than choosing weight loss supplements. The top weight gain supplements for women really depend on how you plan on gaining that weight. Not all weight is created equal.
Before you consider supplements make sure you understand your BMR and where your diet should be as simply relying on supplements is often not a long term choice.
If your doctor believes you need to gain weight they may also be able to prescribe you supplements or suggest you add nutritional shakes like Ensure. Hopefully, you've got a better understanding of the choices out there for weight gain supplements for women now, no matter how you are trying to gain weight.