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A gainer is a bodybuilding supplement usually composed of both high and low glycemic carbohydrates and protein (usually in the form of calcium caseinate, milk and whey protein) and often other nutrients such as certain vitamins and minerals.
Description and Use
Gainers(after workout supplements) are used by bodybuilding and strength athletes, both amateur and professional alike, as a weight gain supplement or recovery supplement. Gainers are designed(especially) for use after workout.
Pre and post workout supplements are probably the most important supplements to take, after vitamins and minerals.
When performing intensive exercise the stress can cause the release of hormones such as cortisol in order to quickly make available energy to the body. Cortisol forces breakdown of glycogen, protein (muscle) and fat deposits which are used in gluconeogenesis. Gainers seek to combat this effect after (and sometimes during) an exercise routine.
Most gainers use protein powders(whey protein extracts) and carbohydrates(dextrose, maltodextrine). More advanced gainers add to their recipes ingredients like: creatine, l-arginine, long chain amino-acids, enzymes(for better digestion), vitamins, minerals and plant extracts for adaptogen effect.
Higher glycemic carbohydrates will prompt a steep rise in blood glucose, forcing an equal release of insulin by the body to counter the long-term negative effects of high blood sugar, inhibiting the effects of cortisol. Some of the carbohydrates are immediately absorbed by the muscles without insulin. The rest is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.The insulin spike, given by carbohydrates, help other supplements(ex.: creatine, protein) to be absorbed better and faster.