We all dream of finding a magic weight gain pill that could solve our issues in a jiffy. In the realm of weight gain, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could swallow a capsule and see our weight increase as desired?
However, reality, as it often is, is more complex. That’s not to say we’re without supplements to aid our weight gain journey—quite the contrary.
I’m going to be diving into the world of weight gain supplements, both non-prescribed and prescribed, which could help those struggling to gain weight.
These aren’t overnight magic bullets, but they do carry potential benefits. Firstly, knowing how weight gain works scientifically is essential before delving further.
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Understanding How Weight Gain Works
Weight gain is a balance between the calories you consume and the calories your body burns.
The idea is simple: if you eat more calories than your body needs for daily activities and bodily functions, the extra calories are stored, and over time, you gain weight.
Now, where does the weight go? It could be stored as fat, or if you’re doing exercises like weight training, it could turn into muscle.
Now since weight gain comes from a calorie surplus, how does a weight gain supplement work?
A weight gain pill or supplement works by increasing your appetite or by altering your hormones like a steroid.
I much prefer the latter of increased appetite as this has been proven to have the safest option and has the best longevity.
The Role of Appetite in Weight Gain
Appetite is significant in weight gain. Having to eat without an appetite is very quickly demotivating and what stops most people from attaining their weight gain goals.
When your appetite is strong, you’re going to want to eat and are much more likely to consume those extra calories needed for a calorie surplus.
Even though appetite is a complex system influenced by many factors including stress levels, the amount of sleep you get, your hormones and the vitamins and minerals in your body.
Scientific peer-reviewed studies have shown that certain supplements can increase it.
5 Weight Gain Pills
Now let’s turn out attention to various non-prescribed and prescribed pills for more serious cases. Each supplement or pill has been linked to a study showing positive results of increased appetite or reduced fullness.
For any prescribed pill, it’s important to discuss with your doctor before taking them, as they can have a risk of more serious side effects.
You can easily source these pills in the pharmacy or online. It’s important to use high-quality supplements as they tend to absorb more efficiently or have less chance of contamination with other supplements.
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in numerous physiological functions, including growth and immune function.
A zinc deficiency can lead to problems such as low energy, altered taste sensation, and hypogonadism. Interestingly, a significant aspect of zinc deficiency includes the onset of a lack of appetite.
Studies conducted during the initial phase of zinc deficiency have revealed that consuming zinc orally can promptly stimulate the desire to eat. This effect is carried out through certain appetite-inducing substances known as “orexigenic peptides.”
These substances work in conjunction with the afferent vagus nerve, a crucial part of our nervous system that tells our brain when we’re full or hungry.
Thiamine or Vitamin B1 is a key nutrient our bodies use to help convert food into energy. It’s essential for maintaining healthy body functions, and a deficiency can lead to health issues, including a decrease in appetite.
According to a study involving elderly patients, a significant connection was found between thiamine deficiency and appetite loss.
Patients who reported a loss of appetite the week before hospital admission were far more likely to have a deficiency in Vitamin B1.
These results emphasize the role of thiamine in supporting a healthy appetite, particularly in older individuals.
Fish oil supplements, rich in marine n-3 fatty acids, are often associated with various health benefits, including heart health and mental well-being. Interestingly, recent research indicates that these supplements might also impact appetite.
A study involving explored the effects of fish oil on appetite. The participants were given either fish oil or soybean oil for three weeks, with a break of one week in between. Appetite was measured before and after a standardized breakfast at the end of each period.
The study found no significant difference in pre-breakfast appetite between the fish oil and soybean oil groups. However, participants reported a slightly lower feeling of fullness after breakfast during the fish oil supplement period.
Additionally, an interesting interaction was observed between the type of supplement and gender on the “desire to eat more”. Specifically, women reported a slightly increased desire to eat more after the fish oil supplementation period.
While these changes were relatively small, the study’s findings suggest that marine n-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may increase appetite, a beneficial effect particularly for individuals struggling with low appetite or compromised nutritional status.
Certain medications have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used for stimulating appetite. These medications include:
Dronabinol is synthetic THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis. THC is known to stimulate the appetite (*), and by replicating this compound, Dronabinol can help boost the appetite of people who have a poor appetite or those who have lost weight due to medical conditions.
The drug functions by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors present in the brain, which play a significant role in regulating appetite. By activating these receptors, Dronabinol (*) can effectively stimulate the desire to eat.
However, it is important to note that Dronabinol can have several side effects, including dizziness, confusion, or even feelings of euphoria. It may also lead to physical dependency with long-term use. This is why its use is carefully controlled and is available only via prescription.
Oxandrolone is a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from testosterone. It’s usually prescribed to help individuals regain weight lost after surgery, chronic infection, or severe trauma.
Oxandrolone assists in muscle building and strength (*), which can increase overall body mass. Additionally, it can stimulate appetite.
However, it’s important to note that oxandrolone can have serious side effects, including liver problems and mood changes. Its use should be limited to prescription under careful medical supervision.
Understanding Safety Measures and Possible Side Effects
Taking any medication, whether it’s non-prescribed or prescribed, is not without its risks. While these pills can increase your appetite and aid in weight gain, it’s essential to be aware of their potential side effects and always prioritize safety.
For non-prescribed supplements such as Zinc, Thiamine, and Fish Oil, common side effects can include mild upset stomach or acid reflux. However, an overdose can lead to more severe reactions, so it’s crucial to follow the recommended dosages.
Prescribed medications like Dronabinol and Oxandrolone carry stronger potential side effects. These can range from mood changes and dizziness to more serious effects such as difficulty breathing. It’s also essential to remember that these medications should only be taken under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.
Before starting any new supplement or medication, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider. They can help assess your individual needs and risks, guiding you toward the safest and most effective options for your health goals.
The Crucial Role of a Balanced Diet and Regular Exercise
While weight gain pills can certainly help boost your appetite, they don’t work as magic bullets.
They function best when they’re part of a broader strategy for healthy weight gain, which should include a nutrient-rich, calorie-dense diet and regular exercise.
A balanced diet is paramount for healthy weight gain. It’s important to consume high-calorie foods that also provide essential nutrients.
Weight gain protein shakes present another excellent opportunity to introduce more calories and nutrients into your daily intake. And if you’re someone who’s often on the move, high-calorie frozen meals can provide a convenient, nutritious alternative.
At the end of the day, the journey of healthy weight gain is a personal one. Even though it all boils down to hitting a calorie surplus, each person has unique challenges to hit it.
And for people recovering from more serious weight loss, for example, from a medical condition, it’s worth speaking to your doctor or healthcare provider to see their available options.