Many teenagers and young adults are interested in mass gainer to help them bulk up.
But one concern some people have with mass gainer is that they’re scared it could stunt their growth.
Here’s whether mass gainer stunts your growth:
There’s no evidence to suggest that mass gainer stunts your growth. In fact, some ingredients in mass gainer like whey protein and BCAAs may even help you grow.
In this article, we look at the scientific literature around 6 common ingredients of mass gainer and stunted growth. We’ll also look at common causes of stunted growth.
Does Whey Protein Stunt Your Growth?
Whey protein is one of the main ingredients in mass gainer, and with good reason. It’s an excellent source of clean protein, and it’s been proven to promote muscle growth.
At the time of publishing this post, there’s no evidence which suggests that whey protein can stunt your growth.
Whey protein is in fact a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. Since amino acids are responsible for growth and repair, whey protein may even help you grow more.
(Just to be clear, it’s unlikely that whey protein will make you any taller, as this is mainly determined by your genetics.)
Does Maltodextrin Stunt Your Growth?
Maltodextrin is a type of refined carbohydrate that comes in the form of a white powder. It’s commonly added to mass gainer as it’s a good source of calories, so it helps with weight gain. It also helps increase your energy levels.
Currently, there’s no evidence which implies that maltodextrin stunts your growth.
Does Creatine Stunt Your Growth?
Creatine is a natural substance that’s found in red meat and fish. Most brands of mass gainer include it in their powder as it’s proven to help with muscle growth.
At the time of writing this article, there’s no evidence to suggest that creatine can stunt your growth.
Some research suggests that creatine lowers levels of myostatin – a molecule which can stunt muscle growth. So, by taking creatine, you’re less likely to experience stunted growth.
Do BCAAs Stunt Your Growth?
BCAAs are the amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine. They’re classed as essential amino acids as your body can’t produce them, so they must be obtained from dietary sources.
Many mass gainers include BCAAs as they help improve muscle recovery and reduce fatigue.
At the time of publishing this article, there’s no evidence to suggest that BCAAs can stunt your growth. In fact, research suggests that a deficiency of BCAAs can lead to stunted growth.
In a study of 313 kids, those who had significantly lower levels of BCAAs in their blood were more likely to have stunting.
Does Vitamin B12 Stunt Your Growth?
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, like eggs, fish, meat, and dairy, so vegans are advised to supplement with it to avoid deficiency.
Some popular mass gainers like Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass include Vitamin B12, as it helps your body metabolise fats and proteins.
At the time of writing, there’s no evidence to suggests that Vitamin B12 stunts your growth. Interestingly, the evidence suggests that it’s vital for growth.
For example, one study of 1000 children had them take either Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 + Folic Acid, or a placebo.
The results showed that those who took Vitamin B12 increased their average weight-for-age scores significantly. As a result, the authors concluded that low levels of Vitamin B12 can result in stunted growth.
Do Artificial Sweeteners Stunt Your Growth?
Most mass gainers include artificial sweeteners such as Sucralose and Acesulfame K to help improve the bitter taste.
At the time of publishing, there’s no evidence which suggests that artificial sweeteners can stunt your growth.
However, a review of the literature of artificial sweetener consumption in children concluded:
“In order to recommend consuming or avoiding artificially sweetened products as a weight control strategy, more studies evaluating the effect of artificially sweeteners on hormonal and metabolic response and on sweet craving must be conducted in children.”
5 Most Common Causes Of Stunted Growth
Stunting can have various causes. Here are some of the most common causes.
Kids who are deficient in essential amino acids, like BCAAs, often experience stunted growth. So, it’s important for kids to eat sufficient protein for normal, healthy growth.
Turner syndrome is a rare disease which affects females who are missing an X chromosome. It causes your body to misuse growth hormone, which can stunt your growth.
Hypothyroidism is the term given if you have an underactive thyroid. In healthy individuals, the thyroid releases hormones which contribute to normal growth, but those with an underactive thyroid often have lower levels of hormones which can cause stunting.
Growth Hormone Deficiency
Most kids have sufficient growth hormone levels which helps the growth of bone and tissue. But those with a growth hormone deficiency may experience stunted growth.
If your parents are small, then you’re more likely to be small too.
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- Why Is Mass Gainer So Expensive? (Explained!)