If you’re new to supplementation and the benefits of whey protein, there’s a common question you might have in mind: can you gain weight with whey protein?
Today, we’re discussing this question so you know how to get the most from your weight gain diet, as well as offering a comprehensive discussion of the most important questions around whey protein and its role in a muscle-building diet.
Is Whey Protein Useful For Weight Gain?
Yes. Whey protein is one of the best supplements for weight gain quality – it helps you build more muscle mass and reduces fat gain. It also supports session-to-session recovery and development of muscles, while supporting joint tissues and 100s of other tissues in the body (1).
It’s just one way of increasing your protein intake (others being dietary sources like fish, meat, dairy, and some plant foods like beans).
You will still need to get into a calorie surplus, however, where you’re eating more energy than you’re using.
Protein from whey protein powder does provide around 2.5-4 calories per gram, but most of your calories in your diet should come from carbs and fats.
Protein is the building block for muscle, however, and ensures that you gain high-quality, healthy weight.
Why Do People Take Whey For Weight Gain?
Weight gain with whey protein is easier because you’re going to be taking in more calories when you keep the rest of your diet the same and add a whey protein shake.
You can also use whey protein shakes as the basis for homemade protein shakes by simply blending them with common household food items.
This makes whey protein an even more potent weight gain supplement and muscle-building shake.
When Should You Use Whey Protein?
You can get even more out of your whey protein shake after workouts because it’s a super fast-absorbing protein source. This is perfect after exercise when muscles are in need of nutrients to kickstart recovery and growth processes (2).
You should take a whey shake after a workout to build more muscle mass. You can also combine it with a carb source of your choosing to get better combined results.
This is a great time to add a sweet carb source to both support weight gain and find space for your favorite “unhealthy” foods in a healthy weight gain diet!
Can You Gain Weight with Whey Protein?
Yes – you can gain weight with whey protein. It’s an easy, low-satiety protein source to support muscle growth and help you add easy calories without taking up all of your appetite.
Whey protein’s benefits are directly improving weight gain quality, where it improves muscle gain and reduces fat mass gain. It also improves your weight gain indirectly, where it adds a small amount of calories and can be mixed into smoothies and homemade mass gainer shakes for better results.
The point is simple: whey is good for every goal, and with weight gain it’s primarily a way of improving the quality of what you’re gaining – shifting towards muscle rather than fat.
How Fast Can You Gain Weight With Whey Protein?
You can gain around 0.5lbs per week with a good diet and whey protein use, which will be mostly muscle and very little fat.
You can gain more weight than this if you’re a bigger person to start with, or if you’re really eating a ridiculous amount of protein. The more calories you eat, the more likely you are to store extra calorie-energy as fat, rather than muscle mass.
You can offset this by just eating even more protein.
Super high-protein diets are very hard to achieve, but they can reduce fat mass gains even when eating at a large calorie surplus.
Typically, it’s just easier to go slower and maximize muscle gains while reducing fat gains.
What’s The Best Whey Protein For Weight Gain?
The best whey protein for weight gain is BSN Syntha-6 – because it isn’t really a protein source, but a mixture of protein with other ingredients. This increases the calorie-per-serving content and makes it more of a “lean mass gainer” with a high protein content.
It’s also one of the best mixing and easiest digesting whey protein sources, as well as one of the best tasting on the market.
If you want a super-pure protein powder, you can use any alternative to get more protein per gram, and save yourself the effort of using multiple scoops.
What’s The Difference Between Protein Powders?
Protein powders are usually distinguished by their absorption speed.
- Whey protein is super-fast absorbing which makes it perfect for after workouts.
- Casein is super-slow absorbing to provide the best pre-sleep protein powder for muscle gain.
- Milk protein blends whey and casein and is one of the best all-purpose protein sources for daily use.
- Plant proteins are somewhere in the middle and offer a sustainable release, vegan protein source.
These are all good choices and what matters most is fitting the right protein source to your needs.
You can also buy super-premium protein powders like beef protein and salmon protein but these are very hard to find at a good price and you may be better off using a simple protein shake and just eating the salmon or beef!
Conclusion: Our Final Thoughts
You can gain weight with whey protein, but it will rarely be just because of the whey protein. Most whey proteins are too lean and low-calorie to make a huge dent – though exceptions do exist, like BSN’s Syntha-6 Protein powder.
Whey and other protein powders are there to support better weight gain quality and reduce fat mass gains.
It can be a great choice for better overall muscle gains, but not specifically weight gain – you’ll typically have around 100-150 calories per scoop of protein powder, if that.
Whey protein is a great choice for quality, as well as being one of the best ingredients in a homemade mass gainer or milkshake for weight gain.
It has some great applications, and is a wonderful choice for recovery, but isn’t going to cause weight gain by itself.
Protein powders have great direct and indirect benefits, but for weight gain they’re just a way of making sure that you’re gaining the right thing!
You Might Like:
- Can I Take Whey Protein and Weight Gainer Together?
- What Type Of Whey Protein is Best For Weight Gain?
- How Often to Drink Protein Shakes to Gain Weight?
- Will Mass Gainer Make You Fat?
- Mass Gainer Vs Meal Replacement for Weight Gain
Rohan Arora is a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist and has been actively involved in sports and fitness for over 8 years. He now leads the team of fitness specialists and personal trainers who help people around the world with personalized workout and nutrition plans, along with providing the right information on sports supplements.