Can You Have a Mass Gainer For Breakfast?

A picture of Best Mass Gainer UK founder, personal trainer Andy Williams
Written By
Andy Williams
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Knowing when to take weight gainers helps you to get the most from your supplement because, by taking your mass gainer at strategic times during the day, your body can make optimal use of all the protein, carbs, and calories that you’re consuming.

With that in mind, should you have a mass gainer for breakfast?

Well, it depends on your overall calorie requirements as well as your lifestyle. For some people, a weight gainer can be a great way to start the day, but for others, it can become a crutch that they depend on far too much for meeting their calorie and macronutrient targets.

Can You Drink a Mass Gainer For Breakfast?

A weight gainer shake that I prepared for breakfast

You can definitely drink a mass gainer for breakfast if you want to gain weight because mass gainers are high in protein and dense in carbohydrates, which, collectively, will help you put on weight and muscle mass.

The better question is, should you take a mass gainer for breakfast?

There are three ways to take a weight gainer for breakfast: before breakfast, with your breakfast, and as a replacement for your usual breakfast.

Let’s take a look at each option in more detail because knowing how to take weight gainer is very important when you’re a hardgainer.

Drinking a Mass Gainer Before Breakfast

A mass gainer shake that I made for breakfast

Drinking a mass gainer before breakfast is useful for getting in those extra calories early in the day, meaning that you’re very likely to reach a calorie surplus by the end of the day.

Drinking a weight gainer before breakfast also saves you the potential trouble of cramming in calories later in the day to meet your calorie and macro targets.

By getting in a good portion of your calories early in the day, you can relax at work, school or wherever you are and be content in the knowledge that you’ve already taken care of a big part of your nutrition.

Yet, to get the most from this breakfast shake, you need to know precisely when to take it.

I wouldn’t drink your mass gainer an hour or 30 minutes before breakfast. Why? Because you’ll blunt the protein synthesis response of the protein that you consume with your breakfast.

Instead, have a mass gainer 2-3 hours before your breakfast so that muscle protein synthesis (MPS) levels have time to go back to baseline. This way, you’ll get two full MPS stimulations early on in the day, which helps to get your body in an anabolic state.

Taking a Weight Gainer With Your Breakfast

A picture of a typical weight gainer breakfast; a mass gainer shake, porridge, and a banana

Taking a weight gainer with your breakfast is my preferred option because it enables you to start the day with a sizeable serving of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

This option is especially useful for those who don’t have a massive appetite first thing in the morning because taking a mass gainer with your breakfast enables you to eat a smaller amount of food and still get in plenty of calories.

For example, you could have a bowl of porridge and/or yogurt with some fruit and a mass gainer. While the porridge might not be that calorie-dense on its own, the breakfast as a whole is high in calories (and protein & carbs) when you add in the weight gainer.

It’s easier to consume 500 calories of mass gainer than 500 calories of whole foods, which is why drinking liquid calories at breakfast time can be very beneficial, as not everyone is hungry when they first wake up.

Having a Mass Gainer Instead of Your Usual Breakfast

A man making a mass gainer shake in his kitchen

If you have a busy lifestyle and like to get ready as efficiently as possible in the morning, then it can make sense to have a mass gainer as your breakfast. In this case, you forgo the likes of porridge and yoghurt in exchange for the convenience of a high-calorie shake.

The trade-off is that you’ll miss out on nutrition because mass gainers are basically just a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and not much else.

If you’re having another 3+ whole meals throughout the day, then having some empty calories isn’t going to harm you. And sometimes, hardgainers actually need those empty calories to gain weight because they’re easier to consume than nutrient-dense foods.

However, the importance of getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet cannot be overstated. So, if you’re not confident that your subsequent meals will provide the necessary micronutrients, I urge you to mix your mass gainer in a blender with some fruits and other healthy ingredients.

Making a homemade mass gainer is still much more convenient than cooking your breakfast from scratch, and using an electric blender enables you to combine other nutritious and high-calorie ingredients with the actual weight-gain powder.

Related: Should you take mass gainer with water or milk?

Reasons Not To Drink a Mass Gainer For Breakfast

A mass gainer next to some oats and a banana

While having a mass gainer shake for breakfast definitely comes with its advantages, there are also some reasons why you might want to avoid having a weight gainer shake for breakfast.

First of all, you don’t want to rely on mass gainers (or any other supplement, for that matter) too much because, for reasons of health, most of your calories should come from wholefood sources.

If, for some reason, you can’t eat many wholefood meals, then you should look into specialist meal replacement shakes. 

These shakes often have a similar calorie value to mass gainers, except that they usually have more fats and comparatively less protein. However, the key difference is that meal replacement shakes have lots of added vitamins and minerals, whereas mass gainers generally do not.

The other reason why you might not want to have a weight gainer for breakfast is that mass gainers are often consumed after your workout because this is when your muscles are most in need of glycogen and amino acids.

Sure, you can have two mass gainers per day, depending on their calorie content, but many people only need one mass gainer each day to get their body in a calorie surplus.

On the other hand, you could have your mass gainer at breakfast and then have some ordinary whey protein after your workout.

You can also have a mass gainer before sleep so that your body has plenty of amino acids for the overnight fasting period.

How To Have a Weight Gainer For Breakfast

A man tipping a scoop of weight gainer into his porridge

While you can certainly just whip up your mass gainer in a shaker bottle with some water, you’ll be able to create a tastier, higher-calorie, and more nutrient-dense shake by being more creative with your weight gain powder.

For example, you could make weight gainer pancakes, or you could mix the powder into your porridge or yogurt to create an almost dessert-like breakfast.

Or, you could pour some milk into a blender, add your powder, put in some almond butter, and then boost the nutrition further still with a selection of berries.

Some people also like to mix spinach and other vegetables into their mass gainer when they use a blender. Doing this will sacrifice the taste, but the benefit is that you’ll get a mega-nutritious shake to start your day.

Personally, I mix my mass gainer with berries and then get my greens later in the day with my other meals.

You can also see my guide on how to make weight gainer taste better if you want a shake that’s enjoyable as well as effective for bulking up.

Conclusion: Is Having a Weight Gainer Shake For Breakfast a Good Idea?

A breakfast for gaining mass; a banana, porridge, and a weight gainer shake

While getting enough protein, carbs, calories, and fats is most important, there’s no harm in ticking off a good portion of your overall calorie and macronutrient intake at breakfast time.

Drinking a mass gainer for breakfast is a convenient way to obtain plenty of muscle-building protein and energizing carbohydrates to start the day.

As long as you’re still getting plenty of vitamins and minerals from your wholefood meals, you can probably get by with just a weight gainer for breakfast.

However, I prefer to either have my mass gainer with my usual breakfast or to mix my weight gainer with berries and other nutritious foods so that I don’t miss out on vital micronutrients.

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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