Being underweight can put you at risk for serous health problems such as cancer and digestive disorders. To eliminate these risks some people turn to weight gainers such as nutritional supplements and performance-enhancing steroids, but these include medical risks such as tumors, infections and diseases as well. The healthiest way to gain weight is to increase your food intake and follow an exercise plan that involves strength training.
Women choose to gain weight to improve their appearance, performance or health. Some women are self conscious because they feel too thin or unfeminine due to their lack of curves. Other women are looking to improve their athletic ability by increasing their size. Some women are simply underweight and need to gain weight in order to be healthy.
The first type of weight gainer is an anabolic-androgenic steroid, which increases muscle size by giving your body extra testosterone. This also can lead to manly characteristics such as facial hair and a deep voice in women. Popular anabolic-androgenics include methyltesterone, oxandrolone and oxymetholone. Another type of weight gainer includes nutritional supplements, which come as powder or pills. Popular brands of weight gainers for women are CytoGainer, GNC Pro Performance and Body Fortress. These powders all contain protein and are supposed to help you gain weight and build muscle. However, you can reach the same results by taking in your daily protein needs, which are 15 to 20 percent of your daily calories, according to AceFitness.
The healthy way to gain weight is to eat more calories than you burn, according to MayoClinic.com. To gain a pound in a week, you should eat 500 calories more than you burn each day. You can also gain weight by lifting weights and increasing your muscle mass.
There are risks to being underweight, including respiratory disease, tuberculosis, digestive disorders, cancer and trouble becoming pregnant or giving birth for women. There are also risks associated with taking performance-enhancing drugs and nutritional supplements. Besides adopting male characteristics, you may also experience severe acne, liver abnormalities and tumors, increased bad cholesterol, decreased good cholesterol, rage, depression, infections or diseases, stomach and muscle cramps, nausea and diarrhea.
Ace Fitness advises you to be patient while trying to gain weight. It may take awhile to put the weight on, but it is much healthier to gain weight slowly and steadily than rapidly. Katherine Zeratsky, Mayo Clinic dietitian, suggests eating more frequently and eating nutrient-rich foods and calorie-dense snacks. Cut out drinks such as diet sodas, which have little nutritional value but still fill you up, Zeratsky says. Try strength training because it will build muscles and add bulk to your body, she adds.