For many people, the idea of actually deliberately trying to gain weight might seem bizarre, but this is a very real challenge for some people, especially older adults. We've published guides previously about mass gainers, but often those types of products are aimed at people who are trying to build muscle, and not everyone who wants to gain weight is trying to build muscle.
Complan is a product which is designed to help people gain weight in a controlled manner. It's a powder drink which is high in calories, but also high in vitamins and minerals. We wanted to see how effective Complan is for controlled weight gain, so we tried it for a period of time to see the effect it had on us. Let's get into it:
What's in Complan?
We tried the Original variety of Complan, which doesn't contain as many ingredients as the flavoured varieties. We have tried the Chocolate Complan before, and it actually tastes really good.
The main ingredient in Original Complan is Skimmed Cow's Milk, which explains why this product is so high in certain nutrients (more on that later in the article). It also explains the slightly milky taste of Complan Original, because even though it's technically unflavoured, it still has a milky taste. The next ingredient is Maltodextrin, which is a source of the carbs that you find in Complan. After that, it's a variety of vegetable oils, including sunflower oil, which provide healthy fats and a lot of calories. And then after that, it's a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Riboflavin. When you look at the ingredients of Complan you can understand why it's so good for weight gain, because many of the main ingredients are a great source of calories, carbs, and healthy fats.
What are the nutritional statistics of Complan?
The main reason that Complan can help you to gain weight is because of how high in calories it is - per 100g you'll find well over 400 calories in the Original variety of Complan, so per 10g (1 tablespoon) you're getting 44 calories. If you're able to find a way to get just 10g of Complan into your diet per day, you could easily consume an extra 300 calories per week from Complan with very little effort. Complan is also 15% protein, which we found really impressive. It means that each tablespoon of this powder contains 1.5g of protein, so adding a tablespoon of Complan to your meals and drinks could help you to get more protein into your diet too.
Complan Original also contains 62g of carbohydrates per 100g, another factor which makes this product very good for weight because a high intake of carbohydrates is well documented to cause an increase in weight.
But we think that what really separates Complan from other mass gainers and meal replacement shakes is the amount of vitamins and minerals you get from Complan. Per 100g, you get 546µg of Vitamin A in Complan Original, as well as 7.8µg of Vitamin A (which is 156% of your RDA). You also get a lot of other minerals such as Zinc, Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium. These don't necessarily help with weight gain directly, but they do make Complan a healthier choice compared to other weight gain products.
If we had a criticism of Complan, we'd say that we think it's a little high in sugar, with 26g of sugar per 100g.
The best ways to use Complan for weight gain
I've been using Complan in the following ways to help with weight gain:
Mix Complan into protein shakes
The easiest way that I've found to consume Complan is to put 2 scoops (10g) into a protein shake. I just keep the Complan next to the protein powder so I don't forget to add it
Mix Complan into cereal
If you eat cereal then putting a scoop or 2 of the Original Complan into your cereal is a great way to get it into your diet. Complan mixes really well in milk and because the Original variety tastes milky already, you can barely taste it.
Mix Complan into savoury dishes
This is best done with the Original variety of Complan, we mixed Complan into a chilli and couldn't taste it at all, but managed to get some extra calories into our diet.
So I did manage to gain some extra weight with Complan, and we think it's one of the best products to use if you want to gain weight in a healthy way. It's high in calories and carbs but also packed with vitamins and minerals. It also has a good amount of protein.
If we had to give a criticism of Complan, we'd say that it's quite high in sugar.
Have you tried gaining weight with Complan? If you have, let us know about your experience in the comments?