While there could be many reasons for comparing mass gainer vs whey protein supplements, the most common is that that you wish to gain weight or build muscle and aren’t sure which supplement to go with. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. While both whey protein and mass gainer are a great supplements to help you achieve your fitness goals faster, it is important to be aware about each supplement’s benefits, side effects and specific use cases.
Not every athlete should be taking a mass gainer, and not everybody with a weight gain goal in mind should be taking whey protein. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything about Whey Protein and Mass Gainer supplements, how they work for specific goals and which one to choose for your body type and fitness goal.
Before we move on to a discussion on supplements and compare mass gainer vs protein, it is important that you realize the importance of nutrition in achieving your fitness goals, and why supplements alone will never help you achieve them faster.
When we workout in the gym(or any other physical training), we’re basically creating micro tears in our body that need to be repaired and recovered outside the gym in order for them to grow. Once these tissues are fed with the right nutrition and given adequate time to recover, they eventually grow better and stronger. An important thing to note here is that merely going to the gym will not help you lose weight or build muscle. Its a combination of good workout, right nutrition and adequate rest that will form the tripod for your fitness goals.
Now that you’re aware about the importance of nutrition in achieving your fitness goals, the next thing to be aware of is the importance of quality whole foods over supplements. There is a reason why supplements are called so, and its because they’re only there to supplement your diet which you are, due to some reason, unable to fulfill using whole foods. The fresh food that is available to us contains nutrients necessary for optimum health, including calcium, magnesium, vitamins and minerals. This means that the food we eat is not only rich in specific macro-nutrient, but contains many other nutrients required by our body to function properly.
If your diet isn’t good, supplements alone aren’t going to give you the results you want. Focus as much as you can on quality foods and fill in the left gaps using supplements like mass gainer protein.
Now that we know the importance of nutrition, lets compare mass gainer vs whey protein supplements in details.
What is Whey Protein
Whey protein is basically a collection of proteins isolated from milk. The liquid part separated from milk during cheese production is called whey. This liquid is further processed in factories into powder from, which is what whey protein supplements are. When considering biological value of different types of proteins which is the measure of proportion of absorbed protein from a food, Whey protein ranks the higher with value 100-150 followed by Whey Concentrate with value 104 followed by Whole Egg with value 100 which was used as a medium to evaluate all other protein sources. In short, whey protein is the highest quality protein that is available for muscle building and weight loss. How? Read on!
When we workout, we create tiny micro tears in our body due to intense exercise and movements. These micro-tears need to be fed and repaired in order for them to repair and grow stronger. But why only protein? Because all tissues and cells in our body contain protein, which is why protein is essential for growth and repair of muscles. Apart from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen just like carbs, proteins also contain nitrogen. Again, the important point here is to remember than whey protein is the fundamental macro nutrient for recovery and muscle building. So is true for the opposite, inadequate protein in diet may result in muscle loss and may take you away from your fitness goals. Need to make a decision between whey protein vs mass gainer? Let us discuss about the importance of whey protein first.
Why is Whey Protein Important?
As we’ve discussed above, protein is the fundamental macro nutrient that helps build muscle by repairing muscle tissues and tears caused while training. While their are different types of proteins available,whey protein was found to be the best among all due to its highest absorption rate. Conclusion? If building muscle or losing weight is your goal, it is as important to focus on your protein intake as it is to workout regularly. Workout out in the gym and not consuming enough protein is what most people struggle with, which in turns delays your fitness goals. Before we move on to the difference between mass gainer and whey protein, let us closely examine the benefits of taking a whey protein supplement.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Most people believe that whey protein supplements are only taken by serious gym goers. While a part of it is true, whey protein in fact can be taken by everyone who indulges in a physical activity, irrespective of the intensity. Whey protein offers a lot of general benefits which can prove to be beneficial for any type of athlete.
Their are numerous reasons to eat a well balanced diet with protein rich food, but here are some of the benefits for protein for gym goers:
- Promotes Muscle Growth: Whey protein is the key macro-nutrient for helping muscle tissues in repairing and recovering from workout. These tissues when fed with enough protein grow stronger and better, thus promoting muscle growth.
- Aids in Weight Loss: Whey protein is the macro-nutrient that helps in reducing hunger and giving you a feeling of feeling full. Since you’d be consuming a lot less calories this way, it’ll help you lose weight.
- Helps reduce hunger: As already discussed above, whey protein is seen to have been shown the highest reduction in hunger among all three macro-nutrients.
- Helps improve body composition: Whey protein is the best quality protein available in terms of digestion. Because of its repair and recovery functions in the muscle tissues, enough protein in a diet will lead to lean mass gains which ultimately helps you improve your body composition.
Who should take Whey Protein?
Unlike mass gainers or fat loss pills which are required by a particular set of audience, whey protein is something that everyone who trains should be consuming, be it any kind of activity that you train in. At some point of time we’ve all faced tiredness and extreme fatigue after workouts, even after taking proper rest. This may be a sign that you’re not taking enough protein. Try increasing your protein servings and see if everything goes back to normal, and consult medical help if it doesn’t.
If you fall under these categories, you can definitely include whey protein supplement in your diet for better results:
- People with high metabolism looking to gain muscle
- Regular gym-goers
- People looking to reduce weight
- General athletes
- Regular population who have protein deficiencies
Best Sources of Protein
While there are articles specifically for this topic, here are some of the best sources of Whey Protein that you can add to your diet:
- Whey Protein Supplements
- Protein Bars
Checkout: Foods that contain Whey Protein.
Is Whey Protein Supplement safe?
It is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any nutrition supplement including Whey Protein. While a whey protein supplement is used by every bodybuilder and athlete in the gym, it may bring in a lot of side effects for your body if you’re allergic to a specific ingredient. Hence always get a check up done with doctor before starting with whey protein supplement.
It is always advised to drink plenty of water while taking supplements. Drinking adequate water ensures that the toxins and waste are driven out of your body. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water in a day while supplementing with whey protein. No matter using mass gainer or whey protein, always follow the above guidelines for your best.
Checkout: Possible Side Effects of Whey Protein
Best Whey Protein for Weight Gain
This topic may not be for you, but since you are looking for a comparison between mass gainer vs whey protein, chances are your fitness goal is inclined toward building muscle and gaining weight. If you’re looking for a short answer, here it is: whey protein is one of the best supplements you can take for gaining weight. Being inexpensive, high quality and highly effective, whey protein if taken in conjunction with the right diet can do wonders to your body.
An important point to note here is that it’s not the whey protein alone that helps you gain weight, but a combination of good workout, calorie surplus, adequate sleep and good quality whey protein supplement, all done over a period of time that yields the result.
Hence, crediting whey protein supplement alone or any other supplement for that matter is not the right move. Calculate the amount of calories you need in a day to gain weight, and then prepare your diet plan including supplements such as mass gainer or whey protein to get going with your goals!
I’ve discussed this topic in detail, where I talk about why whey protein is needed to gain weight and how you can use whey protein to gain weight faster. Check it out: How to Use Whey Protein for Weight Gain
What is a Mass Gainer?
Coming over to mass gainers, this is not something that every person in the gym needs to take. Mass Gainers are basically powders loaded with carbohydrates, proteins and fats. For extreme ectomorphs or hard-gainers, it becomes difficult to consume enough calories to maintain a calorie surplus everyday in order to gain weight. This is where mass gainers come into play. They may not have an advantage over whey protein supplements in terms or price, but if we look at effectiveness, which is the amount of results a product delivers( healthy weight gain in this case), mass gainers do have an edge over other supplements.
Don’t get me wrong, but why mass gainers have an edge over whey protein supplements in this particular case has a reason. Unlike whey protein, mass gainers are specially packaged in a way that they offer a ton of calories, which is exactly what a person with extremely high metabolism needs. While some mass gainers may have high sugar content as compared to other macro nutrients, the ultimate goal of providing extra calories is met even then. The final result? Hard-gainers start to see progress!
Unfortunately, for some people, even taking mass gainer protein might not help. Not because the mass gainer isn’t effective, but because you depended on a supplement too much. Be it any fitness goal, the highest priority should always be given to calorie dense, high quality whole foods. For weight and muscle gain, I recommend going over these 32 weight gain foods that will help you put on weight in no time. Once you feel you’re taking enough calories through whole foods and still missing a portion of your caloric requirement, its time to consider a mass gainer.
Why are Mass Gainers Important?
Mass gainers, as the name suggests, are made specially keeping the caloric needs of skinny guys in mind. Loaded with carbohydrates and fats, mass gainers are important because they help meet extra caloric requirements which may be hard or impossible to achieve with food only diet, especially for people with busy schedules or jobs.
Since mass gainer proteins are rich in carbohydrates, they help supply your body with the necessary energy helpful for a strenuous workout. Whey Protein, which is another essential ingredient in mass gainers helps you recover from workout and helps you built stronger and better muscles. Mass gainer proteins are important supplement for those who have a comparatively higher metabolism rate, and do not gain weight easily. Even for people who find it difficult to consume necessary calorie surplus because of a busy schedule or time constrains, mass gainers can prove to be a beneficial supplement. Still curious about the fight between mass gainer vs protein powder? The winner will be disclosed in a moment. But first, lets check the benefits of using mass gainers.
Benefits of Mass Gainers
Here’s are some of the benefits of mass gainers:
1) Help in building muscle faster: This is one of the best reasons to include a whey protein gainer in your diet. Since the protein and carbohydrate ratio is higher in mass gainers as compared with whey protein supplements, mass gainers perform better in terms of building muscle if compared at the same servings. Also, higher protein content helps increase protein synthesis and aids in better recovery of muscle tissues, ultimately helping you build muscle fast.
2) Help in improving workout performance: A study at “International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism” confirmed that the addition of protein on a carbohydrate supplement enhances the aerobic endurance performance as compared to carbohydrate alone. Since mass gainers are excellent products with a combination of high quality protein and carbohydrates, they can help you improve your performance in the gym. Looking at the evidence if you’re a hard-gainers, including a mass gainer in your diet can definitely improve your performance in the gym which in turn will help you put on weight faster. Look for a mass gainer with additional creatine to help you even better with performance.
3) Help in repairing and recovering from intense workouts: Muscle glycogen, which is an important fuel for strenuous workouts, gets depleted after you’re done with the workout. Since glycogen synthesis is a slow process, increasing the rate at which muscle glycogen levels are recovered after a workout can help you gain muscle faster. Since mass gainer protein supplements are loaded with protein and carbohydrates, they help in glycogen recovery after workout which is exactly what you want from a supplement.
Not sure which mass gainer to choose? Checkout: 27 Best Mass Gainers Around the World
Mass Gainer vs Whey Protein: Battle of Supplements
Coming to the main part, its hard to decide between mass gainer vs whey protein because of the fact that you may not be sure about your body type or the kind of body you’re trying to achieve. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there too. The best way to decide between a whey protein and mass gainer is to first have a clear understanding of your body type, and then deciding the exact fitness goal that you wish to accomplish. Now that you’ve decided your goals, here are some of the reasons why you should prefer mass gainer or protein based on the specific goals:
- Goal – Bulking or Gaining Weight: If you’re a hard-gainer, skinny guy or someone with a high metabolism who just wants to gain weight, irrespective of muscle or fat, then mass gainer should be number one on your list. Mass gainers, as we already discussed, are specially packaged with high calories and macro-nutrient ratio to help people like you get the extra calories in without feeling full or spending too much time preparing.
A simple powdered form supplement, you can easily mix a mass gainer with milk, yogurt, water or any other drink to make a thick, delicious weight gainer shake. My advice? Always try to focus on gaining healthy weight and not unnecessary fat. Keep track of your calories and consume mass gainers based on your specific calorie requirements instead of going with the usual servings.
- Goal – Lean Muscle Gain: If you’re goal is to build lean muscle and gain muscle mass, using a mass/weight gainer may not deliver the quality of results that you wish to achieve. Since mass gainers are loaded with calories, chances are you’re going to gain some unwanted fat along the process of building muscle, and you’ll then have to lose this fat in order to achieve the kind of physique you want. Whey protein, on the other hand, is a perfect solution here.
Whey protein isolates contain only high quality protein and have minimal carbohydrates and fats, hence reducing the calorie count in each serving. Protein, also being the building block of muscle, helps you gain only lean muscle and avoid unwanted fat. If gaining lean muscle and building a lean body is what you desire, try to stay away from weight gainers and try to incorporate whey protein isolates in your diet.
- Goal – Bodybuilding: Both mass gainer and whey protein can help you reach your bodybuilding goals, but depending on the kind of results you wish to see can help you decide better. While mass gainers can help you put on weight and gain muscle faster, a part of it will always be unnecessary fat that you will have to lose after your bulking phase.
However, a whey protein supplement will ensure that the gains you see are slow, but you only gain lean muscle instead of plain fat. If you’re bodybuilding goal is to put on quality muscle and are not short of time, whey protein would work the best for you.
- Goal: Athletic/Sports Performance: If agility, speed or endurance is your goal, you need to stay clear of any type of weight/mass gainers. The high amount of carbohydrates and fats in a gainer is not something that should be a part of your diet. Since athletes need recovery from the physical workout and need to focus on endurance and increasing performance, whey protein supplement is a must. This will make sure that your muscle tissues are always recovered and grow better than before, helping you with better performance.
- Goal – General/Overall Health: While none of the two supplements is necessary to maintain good health, whey protein supplement is something that you may want to consider in your diet, considering its benefits. Some of them include preventing cancer, keeping blood pressure in check and supporting a healthy heart.
Mass Gainer or Whey Protein: Who’s the Real Winner?
While I don’t have the intentions of letting you down, the final verdict says there is not a clear winner in the fight between mass gainer vs whey protein. While whey protein supplement caters to a lot more target audience, mass gainers are packaged specially for people who’re looking to put on weight. The first step from here should be to decide your fitness goal first, based on your body type and body requirements and then weigh pros and cons of both the supplements in order to find the best option for you.
Did you know? You can build your own home-made mass gainer shake using whey protein and other food products that are both inexpensive and effective. Checkout the article here to know how.
Still need an answer? Okay, whey protein does have an upper hand over mass gainers because of the unwanted sugars and fats. But if you’re a hard gainer and are looking for something that helps you put on weight fast, don’t shy away from mass gainers.
Have a point to make on the topic mass gainer vs protein? See you in the comment section below!