Also known as post-workout supplements are after workout supplements used by pro and amateur bodybuilders, and athletes as a weight gain supplement or recovery supplement. The primary reason athletes use gainers is for recovery and growth; hence the term gainer.
Purpose of Gainer Supplements
Intense exercise can cause the release of hormones, namely cortisol, in order to supply quick energy to the body. Cortisol ignites the breakdown of glycogen stores, protein (muscle) and fat deposits which are used in gluconeogenesis. Post workout supplements, a.k.a. Gainers, are designed to fight this breakdown after your workout, and sometime during workout.
What's in Post-Workout Gainers?
Whey Protein powder extracts and carbs (dextrose, maltodextrine) are the most common ingredients in post workout supplements.
Some gainers have a more complex ingredient list by including enzymes (aid digestion), creatine, l-arginine, long chain amino-acids, plant extracts (for adaptogen effect), vitamins, and minerals. These types of supplements are designed to be multi-purpose supplements, combining several functions into one product.
The Famous Insulin Spike
High glycemic carbs promotes a rise in blood glucose, which creates an insulin spike to counter the longterm negative effects of high blood sugar. This restrains the effects of cortisol (the annoying/unwanted steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland).
Some of the carbohydrates are absorbed instantly by the muscles without insulin, and the rest gets stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. The famous insulin spike, jolted by carbs, assist supplements such as protein and creatine to become absorbed more efficiently, and faster.