Everything You Need to Know About Weight Gain Pills
The desire to gain weight may seem like a bad joke to some people but for many others it is a very real, daily struggle. While there have been thousands of weight loss fads and products in the US for years now, people who want to gain weight have only had the option of drinking grainy protein mixes and powdered drinks. A new alternative that is rapidly entering the marketplace takes the form of pills for gaining weight. But what are these different weight gain pills, how do they work, and are they actually safe to use?
What are weight gain pills?
Weight gain pills are exactly what they sound like - supplements or drugs that come in a pill, capsule, or tablet form with the claim that they can help you gain weight. Similar to products for weight loss, weight gain pills come in all kinds of different varieties. Some can be found over-the-counter (OTC) while others are only available with a prescription from your doctor. The ingredients, appearance, and even the way that they help you gain weight can all change from product to product. You may find that some products specialize in offering immediate calorie boosts but others have a focus on increasing appetite instead. Knowing which weight gain products to take and which to avoid comes from learning what your body needs in order to reach your weight gain goal.
Who needs weight gain pills?
There are many reasons why someone would want to gain weight; most people would be surprised at the different reasons people have for craving weight gain. Of course there are the men who want to bulk up in the gym or the women who want to round out their curves, but there are also men and women who have lived their lives as an ectomorph body type.
Aside from ectomorphs, there are also people who have lost weight from illnesses, injuries, eating disorders, or other causes and they just want to reach a healthy weight again. Just like being obese, being underweight can carry its own health risks. Reaching a healthier weight can help prevent these risks and give peace of mind.
Even people who are normally happy with their weight might find that the side effects of some prescription drugs or illnesses have cost them their appetite and their desire for food. These people are usually just looking for something to give them their appetite back so that they can maintain a healthy weight. Learning how to gain weight can be daunting when it feels like there aren’t many solutions. Weight gainer pills could be the answer, but are they safe to take?
Are weight gain pills safe?
In general there are two main ways to find pills for gaining weight: either over-the-counter or prescribed from a doctor. But which is actually safer for you? The truth is that they each have their own benefits to consider.
Before you can obtain and start using a prescription drug you will need to be evaluated by your doctor and have the product approved for your use. This is because the ingredients in these products may have serious adverse effects if misused, taken improperly, or taken for long periods of time. Think about some of the TV commercials you’ve probably seen where the long list of side effects for a drug includes things like “kidney failure, liver failure, or death.” Scary, right?
However, each of these prescription drugs is required to go through FDA (Food and Drug Administration) testing and approval as well as clinical trials before they can be given to patients. So you can at least be confident that the product works for its general audience, although it’s still possible that individual users could see limited results.
Meanwhile, weight gain supplements that are sold OTC (over-the-counter) can be purchased freely without a doctor’s prescription because they generally do not contain these riskier ingredients. In fact, many OTC supplements can be found that offer an all-natural, herbal solution for gaining weight. The trade-off is that since these are supplements and not drugs, they cannot be evaluated by the FDA which means that the product’s actual usefulness and efficiency could be questionable.
A common concern about OTC supplements is that because these products do not go through the same regulatory requirements as prescription drugs, companies that sell them can make wild claims with little evidence to support them. Dishonest companies could even be selling a placebo product that has no helpful ingredients in it at all. This is why regardless of if you are looking at prescription or OTC supplements, you will want to be aware of ingredients.
Pro Tip: Clinical trials are only required for prescription-strength drugs; OTC supplements can be sold freely without the need for testing. Some supplement companies will opt-in for this testing though since clinical trials can prove the legitimacy and safety of a product. Before purchasing an OTC product, ask if the product has been tested and evaluated in a clinical study.
How to tell the difference between useful and junkPrescription Weight Gainers
When it comes to prescription drugs for gaining weight, the most commonly prescribed products come in the form of steroids or growth hormones. For most people, the first thing they think about when they hear the word “steroids” is someone with huge, bulging muscles. This is because steroids are commonly known to actually work and be effective. Anabolic steroids and growth hormones can work in different ways but results may include increased testosterone, growth in muscle mass, and increased strength.
While these effects may sound great for people who struggle to put on weight, these pills are usually provided only for people who have lost a lot of weight after significant injuries, infections, surgeries, or diseases. After extensive testing by the FDA, these products are known to have their own risks and are not available OTC for the general public.
Side effects from these types of products could include:
- Enlarged heart
- Kidney damage or even failure
- Liver damage
- Mood swings
- And more
If you have suffered significant weight loss as a result of a medical condition or external cause, ask your doctor if a prescription-grade weight gain pill is right for you. Never consume prescription products without the consultation and approval of your physician.
Because of the potential risk associated with these prescription medications, many prefer OTC supplements made with natural, herbal ingredients.
Over the Counter Weight Gainers
Compared to weight gain pills provided to you by a doctor, one of the benefits to finding over-the-counter weight gainers is that there are many to choose from. This gives you plenty of options in choosing the right product for you and your needs but it can also make it more difficult to determine which ones can be trusted and which ones are junk. You’ll find that some products will make claims that seem too good to be true - from instant results to slowing down metabolism or even guaranteeing gains in certain body parts. With all of these incredible claims, how can you figure out what to believe?Again, it’s important to know your ingredients.
Simply put, there is no such thing as a “magic pill” that will only help you gain weight in specific parts of your body. However, some weight gain pills make use of natural ingredients that help you gain weight normally based off your genetics and sex. For example, a woman might gain more weight in their buttocks, hips or chest while a man might gain more weight in his arms, shoulders and legs. It’s important to recognize that it is always possible for you to gain weight in other locations but with the right training program it can be a simple process to keep the weight restricted to the areas you want.
Similarly, products that claim instant and immediate results shouldn’t be trusted either. It is possible to gain weight quickly using the right products and programs but any pill that claims to provide you with overnight weight gain is probably making use of ingredients that forces your body to retain an excess amount of water weight. Water weight is not the same thing as real body mass and it tends to go away rapidly over time, giving the false impression of weight without the actual results. Just like weight loss, proper weight gain results will take time and even some effort on your end.
Which ingredients can be trusted (and which ones can’t)
By now we’ve mentioned a few times that the best way to determine which products are right for you is to be aware of the ingredients and how they can affect you. While there are a large variety of different ingredients found in pills for weight gain, we’ve reviewed a few of the most popular for you to be aware of.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that your body produces naturally. It performs several different functions but the one we’re interested in is its ability to help your muscles during exercise. Some independent studies have shown that taking beta-alanine prior to working out can keep your muscles from getting tired too quickly, lengthening your workout and allowing you to build more muscle naturally. Beta-alanine is a popular supplement for hardgainers and it can be found in pill and capsule form as well as a powdered form. Products containing beta-alanine can be a solid option if you are a regular gym-goer but without a consistent workout routine, you might not see the results you want.
Who’d have thought your cup of morning joe could help you gain weight? More specifically, concentrated caffeine pills are another popular option for right before a workout. Some studies have shown that the increased energy from these caffeine sources can improve your body’s energy output, allowing for extra force to lift heavy weights or bursts of speed for cardio activities. This can improve your overall exercise performance and potentially help you build more muscle over time.
It’s important to remember though that caffeine addiction and dependency is a real thing and, just like drinking a cup of coffee or an energy drink, caffeine can result in some mild side effects like irritability or restlessness.
If you’ve ever looked at weight gain supplements before, you’ve probably heard of creatine. Creatine is a naturally occurring acid found in your muscle tissue that assists in recycling energy in your muscles. The more creatine your muscles have, the more energy they can exert which results in better exercise performance.
Creatine monohydrate is currently one of the most popular and widely researched supplements for gaining weight. It can be found in both pills and powders and is generally considered safe to take even for long-term usage. Since creatine is specifically used for improving your muscle performance though, taking creatine and not working out has been proven to be less effective. If you only casually work out or worry about becoming too muscular in certain body parts, creatine may not be the best solution for you.
Echinacea is the name of a group of herbs in the daisy family that contain several species commonly used in medicinal treatment. Its use for weight gain comes from a special substance found in certain Echinacea roots called alkylamides. These alkylamides interact with the cannabinoid receptors in your body that control your appetite.
Products that contain Echinacea or an Echinacea extract often make use of these alkylamides and other isobutylamides to boost your appetite, delay the feeling of fullness, and even slow down the body’s metabolism. These effects are great for anyone trying to gain weight and can be especially helpful for people that don’t go to the gym very often.
Weight gain products that use Echinacea often come in a pill containing an herbal blend. Depending on the quality of the Echinacea used, some of these products might not be potent enough to actually help you see results. Our recommendation is to see if the company that sells them offers some sort of guarantee so that you can try the product and make sure it works for you.
A new product on the market that seems to be sold primarily through distributors, Apetamin comes in syrup or pill form and claims to help men and women that want to gain weight. Apetamin is commonly featured on social media alongside beauty and fitness tutorials. In fact, searching for “Apetamin” online shows that most of the companies selling these products are located outside the US. With its growing popularity, you may wonder why there aren’t many direct retailers for Apetamin within the States.
This is because Apetamin products actually contain a pharmaceutical prescription-grade ingredient known as cyproheptadine. Cyproheptadine is an ingredient that is only able to be used in a product after it has gone through FDA approval and clinical testing. Unfortunately Apetamin is not FDA-approved which means that the sale of it within the US could be met with legal action and fines. Even worse, the lack of FDA testing on this product means that the amount of cyproheptadine used in Apetamin is unregulated and could exceed safe limits. As is the case with all pharmaceutical drugs, misuse or overdose of these ingredients could have unwanted and potentially harmful side effects. Until Apetamin is tested by the FDA and cleared as being safe for consumption, this is one that we definitely recommend avoiding.
Are weight gain pills right for YOU?
If you are someone who struggles to gain weight or even if you just need a little help reaching your weight goal, weight gain pills can help you get there. Whether you choose to get a prescription from your doctor or decide to try an OTC supplement, there are many options available for helping you gain weight.
Just keep in mind that even successful weight gain pills won’t help you gain weight all by themselves. Instead, they are meant to supplement the actions you are already taking to gain weight. Do your research on a product’s ingredients before consuming it and look for proof that the product works, such as clinical testing or a money back guarantee. The key to gaining weight is all about taking in more calories than your body burns and with the right supplement you can achieve the weight you want.
Want to learn more about how to gain weight? Check out the CB-1 Weight Gainer Blog for more great advice!