It’s something that many people ask, “Why Does Mass Gainer Make Me Poop?”
You’re working out hard in the gym and you know you need to up your calorie intake in order to pack on muscle.
So, you initially try to eat clean, but typically struggle to hit your daily calorie count.
This is why you’ve probably turned to using a mass gainer.
However, you now find that as quickly as mass gainer goes into the body, it seems to leave twice as fast.
Oh yes, one gulp of mass gainer and you’re soon running to the bathroom.
Allow me to explain what’s going on here.
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Why Does Mass Gainer Make Me Poop?
There are various reasons why mass gainer makes you poop. Depending on the brand you could be taking in a huge number of calories per serving and your body simply isn’t used to this. Most mass gainers are also full of artificial sweeteners, which aren’t particularly great for gut health. Plus, you may be lactose intolerant. Furthermore, be wary of inexpensive mass gainers, as a low price often means low quality.
1. You’re Consuming a Huge Number of Calories
I think the first place to look if your mass gainer is making you poop is simply the amount of calories you’re consuming in one sitting.
If you’ve previously been eating clean in an attempt to bulk up you’re probably consuming anywhere from 600-800 calories per meal.
Even a massive serving of the bodybuilding staple of chicken, broccoli, and rice won’t be much more than 650 calories.
However, depending on the brand of mass gainer you take you could almost be doubling this amount in one serving.
Okay, admittedly not all mass gainers are so calorie-intensive, but one of the more famous brands boasts 1,250 calories per serving.
Now, that’s a huge number of calories to take on in one hit.
And if you’ve suddenly switched from eating whole foods to a mass gainer supplement your body’s simply not going to be used to it.
So, it’s not surprising that you feel the urgent need for the bathroom soon after.
2. Mass Gainer is Full of Sweeteners
You’ll find that the vast majority of mass gainers are loaded with sugars and artificial sweeteners.
And these are likely to upset your stomach.
Once again, these are ingredients that your body isn’t particularly used to, and realistically they’re not that great for you either.
One of the main ingredients in most mass gainers is maltodextrin.
Maltodextrin is basically extracted from various starchy foods including potato starch, corn, rice, and wheat.
It doesn’t really have any nutritional value and is made up of sugar molecules.
So, in essence, you’re taking a huge hit of highly processed sweeteners and carbohydrates simply to put on weight.
If you were looking to maintain or lose weight then maltodextrin is definitely an ingredient you would look to avoid.
Plus, this massive intake of processed sugars is likely to have an impact on your gut.
For some people this isn’t an issue, but for many others it can be a big digestive nightmare.
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3. You’re Lactose Intolerant
You’ll typically find that many protein-based supplements are lactose heavy.
As an example, whey protein obviously contains the ingredient whey.
This is actually the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds during the cheese-making process.
Additionally, most mass gainers will provide a big hit of protein per serving.
This is often as much as 50-60g and there will be various lactose-based ingredients as well.
It is estimated that up to 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose.
In fact, most of us are fine with it during infancy, but the digestive difficulties seem to kick in soon afterwards.
And even if you’re someone who isn’t lactose intolerant, if you regularly take lactose-based products it could soon become an issue.
Lactose-Free Bodybuilding Diet
4. You’re Using a Low Quality Mass Gainer
I guess we all know that supplements are exactly the cheapest of products.
And this is generally why we always end up looking for a great deal.
However, cheap or inexpensive can often equate to nasty, especially when it comes to supplements.
So, if you’re purchasing a tub of mass gainer and it’s only costing you in the $20-30 range you can bet your bottom dollar it’s full of crap.
And unfortunately, if you put crap into the body there’s only ever going to be one place it’s going to end up.
I’m sure you don’t need me to spell it out for you.
I’ll admit that you can get great deals on Mass Gainers, and this is especially true if you buy in bulk.
With that being said, I would always be wary if a supplement was excessively cheap.
5. Try More Fluids
Have you ever noticed that your mass gainer comes out really thick?
This is simply due to the ingredients in the supplement and a process known as osmolality.
Osmolality simply refers to the concentration of nutrient particles in your chosen liquid.
Therefore, high osmolality means that the concentration of nutrient particles to liquid is very high, thus making your shake extremely thick.
And it just so happens the thickness, osmolality, concentration, whatever you want to call it, can have an impact on digestion.
Basically, the thicker your shake, the quicker the fluids are transferred to your stomach and intestines.
In many cases, depending on your tolerance levels, this can cause bloating and discomfort.
And unfortunately for some of you this chemical reaction inside your gut is going to make you poop.
The solution could be as simple as watering down your mass gainer before you consume it.
6. Are You Wasting Your Gains?
Once you eat, or consume nutrients by way of a mass gainer, it will typically take 6-8 hours to pass through your stomach and small intestine.
However, food then enters your large intestine (colon) to be digested further.
This process also involves water absorption before the undigested is eliminated from your colon.
And this could take up to 36 hours, and longer in some cases.
In effect, you are probably not pooping food you ate today until sometime tomorrow, or even the day after.
So, if you find that your need to poop is almost instantaneous after consuming your mass gainer then you’re pretty much wasting it.
In fact, you are literally getting no benefit from it whatsoever.
If this is the case you have a couple of options.
Firstly, I’d recommend that you cut down on the amount of mass gainer you’re taking.
Remember I’ve mentioned that your body isn’t typically used to this number of calories consumed as quickly and in one serving.
So, it probably makes sense to start small, allow your body to adapt, and then build up to a higher intake from there.
There’s no shame in starting out with half a scoop.
However, if you’re still having bathroom issues once you’ve cut down it may be time for you to ditch the mass gainer altogether.
Basically, it’s not providing any benefit, and it’s probably robbing you of precious energy too.
7. Make Your Own Mass Gainer
I understand that it can be difficult to consume the required number of daily calories if you’re bulking or trying to put on weight.
However, you can certainly make your own mass gainer from any number of “real” foods.
Admittedly, it’s a good idea to also have a quality protein powder to hand too.
Something as simple as oats, protein powder, peanut butter, fruits and nuts, and some milk (whichever variety you prefer) will work just as well.
In fact, it will not only provide some much-needed additional calories, it’ll also be far healthier for you too.
Homemade Mass Gainer
So, hopefully you have a better idea of why mass gainer makes you poop.
As you can see there are a variety of reasons for this.
Firstly, it could be that your body simply isn’t used to taking on this number of calories in such a short space of time.
Plus, don’t forget that most mass gainers are full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and lactose.
Furthermore, a cheap price can often mean poor quality.
You can also try adding more liquid to the powder, which should help to aid digestion.
Finally, you can of course make your own homemade mass gainer without many of the gut-disturbing ingredients.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.