Do you have trouble gaining weight? Is it hard for you to fit in extra calories throughout the day to get into a caloric surplus? Well I’ve got an old-school technique for you to try. It’s called GOMAD, which stands for gallon of milk a day. This is one of the tried-and-true methods to put on weight quickly, no matter how much of a “hardgainer” you think you are. If you follow the protocol below you should be able to gain a solid 20-30 lbs in 1 month.
I did GOMAD back in the summer of 2012. At the time I couldn’t find a lot of information online about it. There were plenty of articles, but they were mostly written by people who had never tried it themselves.
So today I’m going to set the record straight and share my experience with GOMAD. Let me be the first to tell you that it is not fun. The easiest way to tell that someone is lying when they talk about GOMAD is they say “oh it wasn’t that bad” and “you don’t gain any fat” – bullshit.
So without any suspense I’ll tell you that yes it works for gaining size and strength and no it isn’t fun. I’ll let you decide if it’s right for you.
Also, I want to mention that prior to doing GOMAD I was lactose intolerant. I’ll cover that aspect in detail later in the article.
Why Would Someone Drink a Gallon of Milk a Day?
Some people really struggle to gain weight.
Lucky them, right?
Well, they’d tell you otherwise. What most skinny guys can’t get through their head is that they aren’t consuming enough calories.
Unless you have a very serious (and it would be noticeable) health condition where you aren’t able to digest food, then it’s impossible to not gain weight from being in a caloric surplus.
Here are some benefits you can expect from GOMAD:
- You will gain weight
- You will gain strength
- Milk is a cheap, natural source of ~2400 calories (128g of fat, 176g of carbs and 128g of protein)
- Your appetite will increase
- You might cure lactose intolerance (not sure if this is true, but it worked for me)
For those keeping score at home, yes that means we are talking about whole milk. 2% or 1% won’t get you the results, you need those saturated fats (which are healthy by the way) to boost your testosterone and aid in muscle gain. Low fat milk won’t do the trick and it tastes much worse than whole milk and has significantly less calories.
Of course, we know nothing in life is free, so there are some potential risks. Here are the side-effects and risks of GOMAD:
- You will gain some fat
- You might get acne (didn’t experience this)
- Digestive issues such as farting, constipation and painful poops (I avoided this and I’ll share how)
Those might sound bad, but the effects of GOMAD are well-documented and it is relatively safe. Most mammals wouldn’t feed babies milk if it wasn’t beneficial.
There are myths about kidney stones and cholesterol issues, but those are just myths.
How I Prepared
Like I mentioned before, I was actually lactose intolerant at the time. So the first thing I did was order was a bunch of lactase enzyme pills.
We are all lactose intolerant to an extent. There is only so much lactose the human body can digest in a given time period. In fact, it’s impossible to chug a gallon of milk without puking.
What makes someone more or less tolerant to lactose is the amount of lactase their body produces. Lactase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose.
I had this stainless steel shaker cup I used to break down the gallon into 5 servings. I also added a packet of Carnation instant breakfast to each serving for flavor. The extra calories didn’t hurt either.
Not only was I lactose intolerant, but I have never liked the taste of milk at all.
- One shaker full of milk and instant breakfast upon waking
- Another mid-morning
- Another mid-afternoon
- Another post-workout
- Final serving before bed
For the first week I took 2 lactase pills with each serving.
Then the next week I took 1 lactase pill with each serving.
The next week I took 1 lactase pill every other serving.
After that week I no longer needed lactase pills with any dairy food.
My idea was to get my body comfortable with all of that lactose being in my body at one point, while having lots of lactase to aid digestion. I also theorized that my body would recognize all of the lactase present as well. Then I tapered down the lactase while continuing GOMAD and hoped my body would compensate for the lack of lactase pills. It appeared to do so.
I’m not a scientist, so I can’t confirm what was really going on. I’m just being honest about what I did and why I did it. To this day I have no more issues digesting dairy, which plagued me my entire life up to that point.
When I was reading about GOMAD at the time, most people suggested starting with a small amount and working your way up to a full gallon a day. I don’t like pussyfooting around, so I went straight to the full gallon from day 1.
It’s very tough at first to drink a full gallon of milk a day, in addition to your normal eating. Just like anything, you have to make it a habit. That’s why I broke it down into 5 servings and I just made sure to get those in religiously. There’s nothing worse than 5 pm rolling around and you’ve still got 3 servings left and dinner.
My Experience and Results
In that month I gained 22 lbs and increased my strength significantly while following the Stronglifts 5×5 routine. I did put on some noticeable fat, but it really wasn’t that bad surprisingly. The strength gains were well worth it.
However, looking back I would say GOMAD wasn’t worth the trouble. Now that I track my macros, I can easily manipulate my weight without all the torture.
If you really want to do GOMAD still, I’ll show you what to expect.
The first day is the toughest. I remember being up late struggling to finish serving number 5 and trying not to puke. I was so miserable that day. The bloating is instant and dramatic. In fact, I’d say I didn’t even know what the term bloated could really mean until I did GOMAD. I felt like there was this invisible bubble around my entire body. I felt way more bloated than I looked at least.
The first week is pretty tough, but that first day is the worst. After a couple of weeks you start to get used to it because your appetite is through the roof at that point. You actually start to crave the calories. This is probably the best benefit for skinny guys who can’t eat enough. That appetite takes a while to go away, even after discontinuing GOMAD.
One of the tough parts is obviously finding time to stop what you’re doing and go drink 1/5th a gallon of milk. At the time I was doing some contract work in this remote town and living out of a hotel. So luckily I could just take a 2 minute drive from the courthouse I was working in to my hotel. I would generally be back to work in less than 15 minutes.
For most people, you’re going to have to take this milk to work with you. That brings me to another aspect of GOMAD, people will think you’re crazy.
Most of my friends and family didn’t believe me that I was actually drinking an entire gallon of whole milk a day until they saw it firsthand. They would say “that can’t be healthy” or “why are you doing that to yourself?”. So get ready for that.
Also, you will feel tired and sluggish for big chunks of the day. The body requires a lot of energy to digest all those calories. I hated that feeling.
I didn’t experience any acne problems and the lactase pills seemed to prevent any digestive issues. I ate an otherwise healthy diet with adequate fiber, so that helped as well.
There you go. Does GOMAD work? Yes it works for nearly everyone, every time. Do I recommend it? No I don’t. I have gained more weight since then and have never had to feel that bloated and uncomfortable, so I don’t think it’s necessary. However, if you’re looking for a cheap and simple solution to gain weight – GOMAD will always be available to you now.
What do you think of GOMAD? Share your thoughts or experience in the comments below.
Until Next Time,
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