If you're trying to add more muscle to your frame but are struggling to eat enough calories, you may be considering a weight-gain supplement. Mammoth 2500 is a high-calorie powder made by Interactive Nutrition that can boost caloric intake, but it's not a magical formula that packs on muscle without the hard work. As with any diet supplement, check with your doctor before adding Mammoth 2500 to your daily routine to discuss if it's appropriate and safe for you.
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What Is Mammoth 2500?
Mammoth 2500 is a calorie-dense weight-gain supplement marketed to people lifting weights to build muscle. It contains a mix of protein, fat and carbs but not any vitamins. The protein in the powder comes from dairy, including both whey and casein, as well as egg. The carbohydrate comes from maltodextrin -- which is a corn-based complex carb. And the fat is in the form of medium-chain triglycerides from coconut fat. One serving, which is equal to four scoops of powder, contains 920 calories, 152 grams of carbs and 50 grams of protein.
Mammoth 2500 and Weight Gain
According to the package directions, Mammoth 2500 is taken one to three times a day. Interactive Nutrition suggests drinking weight-gainers at breakfast, after workouts or as a midafternoon meal. The manufacturers suggest mixing the powder with 2 cups of water or about 2 cups of whole milk -- the package actually suggests 525 milliliters of milk, which is slightly more than 2 cups. The milk adds an extra 240 calories and 16 grams of protein to drink. When made with water and consumed twice a day, the weight-gainer provides 1,840 calories and 100 grams of protein. It's even higher when made with milk: two servings contain 2,520 calories and 136 grams of protein. This is more calories and protein than most people need in a whole day, in just two servings of the supplement. It's also 2 cups of liquid twice a day, which is a large volume to consume in addition to your regular food, and it may be difficult to take in if you have a small appetite.
A Closer Look at Calories and Protein
Getting more calories is essential for anyone trying to gain weight. The number of extra calories you need to make those gains varies and depends on your workout, genetics and health. Adding 250 to 500 calories a day to your usual intake may help you gain 1/2 to 1 pound a week. Mammoth 2500 provides a lot of calories, more than many people need in a whole day. For reference, calorie needs for adults who are very active range from 2,000 to 3,200 calories a day, and petite, inactive women may need even fewer. If you're adding the weight-gain drink to your current intake and you're not burning all the extra calories, it may turn into fat, not muscle.
Additionally, the drink may provide an excessive amount of protein. For overall health, you need 0.35 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and when working out, that goes up to 0.5 to 0.8 gram of protein per pound. So, for reference, protein needs for a 150-pound person who doesn't exercise is 53 grams a day and, for someone who does, 75 to 120 grams. Two servings of Mammoth 2500 will probably meet or exceed your entire day's protein needs. Consuming the supplement along with your regular diet may lead to a very high protein intake, which may overload your liver and kidneys, leading to elevated ammonia levels, nausea and diarrhea. To better manage calories and protein, reduce the serving size of the weight-gain drink to one or two scoops mixed in a smaller amount of liquid.
Add Calories With Real Food
Instead of a high-calorie, high-protein supplement, get the calories and protein you need from real food, plus the added nutritional benefits, such as fiber and phytonutrients. Mix 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of mixed nuts and 1/2 cup of raisins for a snack containing about 520 calories and 28 grams of protein. Or make your own high-calorie drink by blending 1 cup of 2-percent-fat milk with 4 tablespoons of nonfat dried milk powder, a medium banana and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for 520 calories and 26 grams of protein.