If you’re looking for products to help you gain pounds on the scales, you’ll have probably read about products such as ‘protein powders’, ‘mass gainers’, and ‘weight gainers’. This may lead to confusion about which is best for you. The main difference between them lies in their ingredients and their purposes. In this article we compare mass gainers, weight gainers, and protein powders and explain how to use them effectively.
These are powders that are often mixed with water or milk. They aim to supplement your daily protein intake which helps with muscle repair, building, and toning. Since they are packed with protein (hence the name), protein powders are generally used by those who need a larger protein intake due to strenuous exercise. They are not a substitute for getting protein from natural sources. Protein powders can also contain other vitamins and minerals necessary to ensure a healthy lifestyle, such as the high levels of vitamin B12 in our plant-based protein powders. Another use of protein powder is to make protein shakes for weight gain, but this is best consumed by those looking to increase their calorie count only slightly.
If you want to acquire lean muscle, then you should opt for supplements with less carbohydrates and higher amounts of protein, such as healthy protein powders. There are also many variants of protein powders on the market for those with specialized diets, such as vegan, plant-based, and organic powder options.
Weight gainers are full of calories coming from large amounts of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of fat. They may also be referred to as a weight gain protein powder. Weight gainers usually have less protein content than protein powders and are designed to help people quickly put on weight through fat. They are best for those who struggle to gain weight naturally. A weight gain powder is also less focused on performing as nutrient supplements. These powders most commonly contain whey protein for weight gain purposes and are mixed with dairy milk to increase calorie intake as much as possible, for example by creating weight gain shakes. However, variants do exist for those who would prefer to use a vegan or organic weight gainer.
If you need to gain fat quickly through supplements, then weight gainers will be the better option for you.
Mass gainers, on the other hand, are full of calories coming from a large amount of carbohydrates and proteins. These are best used by those wanting to gain weight through muscle and mass. For example, mass gainers are great for bodybuilders who want to gain muscle mass or for athletes who don’t want to burn more calories than they gain.
Just like protein powders, there are plenty of options available for those who prefer to adhere to specialized diets, such as by using a plant-based or vegan mass gainer. Although dairy-based products may seem the natural choice if you’re looking to pack on the pounds, plant-based mass gainers also contain high amounts of both protein and calories. Plant-based mass gainers commonly contain pea protein, which, unlike milk,
gradually releases the amino acids essential for muscle recovery and growth. This means that those who follow vegan and plant-based lifestyles are just as able to get the most out of gaining supplements as anyone else.
So, if you need to gain muscle and bulk as part of your fitness regime, then mass gainers are better suited to your aspirations than weight gainers or protein powders alone. These will encourage muscle gain thanks to their richness in both protein and carbs.
Pros and cons of mass and weight gainers:
Whilst protein powders are mostly straightforward to use, weight and mass gainers are a bit more complicated. To get the most out of them, you must be dedicated and understand that they won’t do all the work themselves. Here we’ve listed the pros and cons of using mass and weight gainers.
- The high carb and protein count in mass gainers are extremely helpful for those who have a rigorous fitness regime and are looking to bulk up. The high carb count in weight gainers is highly beneficial for those looking to gain fat.
- Because of their contents, they can be a lot more effective than regular protein powders at helping gain either muscle or fat.
- Mass gainers don’t make you feel as full as protein powders. This leaves you with an appetite and means you can still have room for a well-rounded, healthy diet.
- They are only so effective if consumed at the right time, such as just after you’ve woken up or just after a workout. This is because your body absorbs nutrition best at these times.
- They must be consumed in addition to a healthy diet as they are not a replacement for getting protein and carbs naturally and often do not contain many other nutrients. This ideally would be through a varied diet. However, if this isn’t feasible then a good way to get the right nutrients could be for you to take supplements.
- You must remember to count your calories vigorously each day to make sure you’re consuming more than you’re burning. For example, 1.4-2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day is recommended for those trying to build muscle fast.
- This is especially difficult as mass gainers don’t make you feel as full as food does, so it may be harder to know when to stop eating if you’re not counting your calories. Using mass gainers if you’re already hitting calorie targets with your diet could just lead to gaining unwanted fat, and not muscle.