Is Taking Mass Gainer Before Bed a Good Idea?

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Written By
Andy Williams
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You probably already know how to use mass gainer and make up your shake. But do you actually know the best time of day to take weight gainer?

Many people are curious if taking a mass gainer before bed is a good idea or not. After all, when we sleep, our muscles attempt to grow and repair, so it makes sense to have plenty of nutrients available for them.

So, on paper, it seems like taking a weight gainer before bed is a must-do bodybuilding activity if you’re trying to bulk up. However, as I’ll explain, there are some crucial points to consider when drinking a mass gainer before bed.

Why Take Mass Gainer Before Bed?

A mass gainer positioned on a bed

There are a few good reasons to take a mass gainer before bed if you’re trying to gain weight and build muscle mass. First off, taking a weight gainer before bed is simply another way to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and get in an extra protein and calorie feeding.

Drinking a weight gainer before bed after your evening meal increases the number of times that you’re stimulating muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Why is this important?

Because in addition to the training and your calorie surplus—which mass gainers help with tremendously—it’s these MPS stimulations that actually lead to hypertrophy. So, within reason, the more times during a day you can stimulate MPS, the more optimal you’re being with regard to building muscle.

Another reason why many bodybuilders drink a mass gainer at night is to give their body plenty of nutrients for the long period of overnight fasting that it’s about to endure.

What’s good about mass gainers is that some of them use slow-digesting protein as well as whey protein, meaning that your body receives a steady supply of amino acids, which is exactly what you want during the night.

Now, to be fair, if you have a large evening meal with enough fats and protein, then your food will probably still be digesting well into the night. And honestly, you can still make great gains without taking a mass gainer before sleep.

However, if you want to do everything in your power to build muscle mass, then taking some kind of shake that contains slow-digesting protein sometime before bed is an excellent idea.

You can also have a weight gainer for breakfast if you want to get your calories in during the first part of the day so that you’re not trying to cram them in before you go to sleep.

Reasons To Avoid Taking Mass Gainer Before Sleep

A muscular man sleeping in his bed

While drinking a weight gainer before sleep definitely has its benefits, there are also a few reasons why having a mass gainer before sleeping might not be the best idea.

First off, if having an extra mass gainer before bed causes your body to fall into an excessive calorie surplus, then this isn't a good thing because you’ll gain too much body fat. 

This is one reason why I generally recommend having a simple casein shake before bed as opposed to a big mass gainer serving. A protein shake has fewer calories and yet gives your body all the amino acids it needs for the overnight fasting period.

Also, if you have a weight gainer that contains 500+ calories right before going to bed, then the shake may sit heavy on your stomach and make it hard to get to sleep. 

Similarly, if you drink lots of liquid before bed, you might have to get up for the toilet during the night, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but it’s something to keep in mind if you like a completely undisturbed sleep.

For these reasons, I always advise having your nighttime shake around 1-2 hours before getting into bed. 

How To Take a Mass Gainer At Night

A man making a mass gainer shake in his kitchen

You could have your mass gainer/protein shake right after your final meal of the day to boost its protein and calorie content. On the one hand, you could literally drink the shake with or after your meal by making your mass gainer with water or milk.

Alternatively, you could use it as a dessert by mixing it into yoghurt or porridge. 

By taking your mass gainer or protein shake with your evening meal rather than directly before bed, your body will have plenty of protein for the overnight fasting period, and yet, you won’t risk the shake sitting too heavy on your stomach and making it difficult to sleep.

Of course, the closer you drink your shake to bedtime, the longer the amino acids will last you into the night. But honestly, a few hours of fasting will likely make zero difference to your actual muscle growth. And if anything, a bit of fasting may actually help your body.

So, with that in mind, don’t stress over the exact timing of your mass gainer. The most important thing is getting enough overall protein and calories to support your training.

See Also: How to make mass gainer taste better

The Verdict On Drinking a Weight Gainer Before Bed

A weight gainer on the bed so that I can take my mass gainer before sleep

Ultimately, taking a mass gainer before bed does have its benefits, such as enabling you to stimulate muscle protein synthesis more frequently and giving your body some amino acids before its overnight fast.

However, you don’t want to lose sight of more important nutritional goals. What you should really focus on is consistently getting enough protein, carbs, calories, and fats to build muscle.

Also, you don’t literally need to drink your mass gainer before getting into bed to put your body in an anabolic state during the night. If you take it with or just after your final meal, you’ll still have plenty of amino acids to last your body well into the night, especially if your weight gainer utilises a slow-digesting protein like casein or calcium caseinate.

A picture of Best Mass Gainer UK founder, personal trainer Andy Williams
Andy Williams
Andy Williams is a UK-based personal trainer and bodybuilder who coaches gym-goers of all levels using proven evidence-based techniques in strength training, nutrition, and supplementation. He’s tested over 70 different mass gainers for their ingredient quality and muscle-building effectiveness and regularly shares his findings in his mass gainer reviews.
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