Mass gaining supplements stimulate growth of muscle mass during heavy training periods or for those who have a hard time gaining weight.
In order to build muscle mass you need to be consuming more calories that you burn, every day. Just to maintain your bodyweight you need at least 15 calories per pound to maintain your weight, so a 170lb male needs 15 x 170 =2550 calories per day just to stay the same weight.
If you want to gain muscle, up the calories to 18 x 170 = 3060 calories per day, or about 500 more EVERY DAY. 500 calories extra per day, for a week equals an additional 3500 calories. 3500 extra calories roughly equals an additional pound of weight.
Basically you have to eat like a pig, every day, just to gain an additional pound of body weight!
Weight gaining protein shakes consists mainly of whey proteins (mostly concentrate with some isolate as well). Some also include other proteins such as milk proteins and/or egg. These products have a high carbohydrate content; typically in the form of maltodextrin (a high glycemic complex carb) and fructose (simple sugar originating from fruits). For gaining weight they are very useful since they help you get in the amount of quality calories required to gain muscle.
Weight gain supplements are also popular with skinny guys or those that who have a high metabolism and are often called hard gainers. Hard gainers are also referred to as "under eaters."
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