Gaining weight can be as much of a struggle as losing weight if you have a high metabolism and a genetic tendency toward slenderness. Weight-gain supplements can help you add body mass by contributing protein, carbohydrates and fats to your regular diet of whole foods, but they also carry risks. Check with your health care provider before including these supplements in your meal plan to rule out any medical conditions that might be responsible for your difficulty in gaining weight.
When your fitness goal is to gain weight despite a high metabolism, the quality of your diet matters; you want to gain both muscle and a healthy amount of fat rather than adding weight strictly as fat tissue. Weight-gain supplements can deliver high-quality proteins, energy-dense carbohydrates and healthy fats, or any combination of these macronutrients, to your diet to supply you with the components you need to fuel activities and provide the building blocks for tissue growth. They also might provide a variety of vitamins and minerals to support your health.
In addition to the high-quality nutrients they provide, weight-gain supplements are convenient. Available as pre-formulated shakes or bars, or as a powder you can add to smoothies, shakes or other foods, they require little or no preparation time or effort. You easily can transport them to school, work or the gym for an on-the-go, between-meals snack. A general rule when gaining weight is to add 500 extra calories daily to increase your body weight by 1 pound each week, according to the American Council on Exercise. Weight-gain supplements can help you track your macronutrient intake to ensure you meet your daily calorie consumption goal.
Supplements designed to help you gain weight can be more expensive than the equivalent macronutrients found in whole foods. Additionally, relying extensively on nutritional supplements to the exclusion of whole foods could deny you vital nutrients the supplements lack. As with all over-the-counter dietary supplements, those formulated to increase your weight undergo less stringent regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration than do drugs or whole foods. Therefore, weight-gain supplements might contain impurities that could harm your health.
When you have a high metabolism, nutrition alone can add pounds to your frame but might not result in the body composition you would like unless you incorporate a strength-training program as well. Lifting weights, for example, results in a gain in muscle mass when your nutritional supplements provide you with sufficient dietary protein to build new muscle fibers. Although you might want to avoid excessive exercise that burns calories, a muscle-building fitness regimen helps you add lean muscle mass instead of fat tissue from the weight-gain supplements you consume.