Mass Gainer vs. Whey Protein: Don't Pick the Wrong Supplement

With so many protein powders available on the market, it can be hard to decide which is the right one for you. Two of the most common protein powders available are whey protein and mass gainer. 

Both protein supplements are usually made from milk protein, but they suit different purposes for different goals. 

Keep reading to learn about the difference between mass gainer and whey protein to decide which one is the right one for you. 

Whey Protein vs. Mass Gainer: What's the Difference?

The main difference between whey protein and mass gainer is the nutrient makeup. Whey protein contains one ingredient – whey protein. Mass gainer includes whey protein, casein protein, and maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate. 

Whey protein is made from cow’s milk. It is a good source of bioavailable protein, and it’s relatively low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories. 

Mass gainer is available in dairy-containing and vegan varieties. Mass gainer is higher in calories, fat, and carbohydrates than whey protein. Mass gainer is intended for weight gain. 

One serving of Naked Whey protein has 25 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fat, and 120 calories. 

Naked Mass protein powder contains both whey and casein proteins. It provides 50 grams of protein, 252 grams of carbs, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1250 calories per serving.

Depending on your goals, one may be better than the other. 

Who Should Take Whey Protein?

Whey protein is often used by bodybuilders, athletes, and people who want to increase their protein intake from their diet. Whey protein has a very high nutritional value and is one of the best dietary sources of high-quality protein. 

Whey protein can be helpful for those who are trying to build muscle. Studies have shown whey protein to be effective at increasing muscle mass when taken right before, after, or during a workout. 

Muscle protein synthesis is usually maximized in the time period after training. However, other studies show that total daily protein intake is more important than the timing of protein consumption. 

In addition to helping build muscle, taking whey protein may also increase weight loss. Protein is one of the most satiating macronutrients, which can help decrease calorie intake. 

Research shows that replacing part of the diet with whey protein when done in conjunction with weight lifting, can cause weight loss of about 8 pounds while increasing lean muscle mass. 

If your goal is to lose body fat and build muscle, you will need to be in a slight caloric deficit or energy balance. Meaning you need to consume slightly fewer calories than you burn, or you need to consume the same amount of calories that you burn. 

Whey protein is low in calories compared to a mass gainer. That’s why if your goal is to lose weight or to gain muscle without increasing body weight significantly, whey protein is the supplement for you. Whey protein can help you decrease body fat while still holding onto your hard-earned muscle. 

How Much Whey Protein Per Day is Best?

A protein supplement is meant to supplement what isn’t consumed in the diet, so it shouldn’t replace other sources of protein like meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. If already eat a lot of protein, adding whey protein in addition to your current intake may be unnecessary.

A commonly recommended dose of whey protein is 1-2 scoops daily (25-50 grams), usually after a workout. The best way to figure out the appropriate dose for you is to determine how much protein you need per day for your goals. 

A high-protein diet, one that provides 30% of daily calories, has been shown to be effective at promoting weight loss. If your current diet does not provide this much protein, you can supplement using whey protein. 

Consuming too much whey protein may cause digestive symptoms including nausea, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. People with a whey allergy should not take whey protein. 

Whey protein is generally considered safe and most people can take it without problems.

Who Should Take Mass Gainer?

People who are trying to gain significant muscle mass and are training with high intensity may want to use a mass gainer. A mass gainer is intended to cause muscle gain along with weight gain. It is often used by those who have difficulty consuming enough calories from their diet to gain weight. 

Mass gainer contains a high amount of protein, calories, and carbohydrates. The carbohydrate source in mass gainers is often maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate that will increase your calorie intake and boost your energy for tough workouts. 

Mass gainer can also be good for someone who needs to gain weight for health reasons but has difficulty consuming enough calories from food. 

Will a Mass Gainer Make Me Gain Unwanted Weight?

Mass gainers are intended to cause weight gain. They should be used by people who want to significantly increase calorie intake, muscle mass, and weight gain. 

You can use a mass gainer to help you consume more calories if you have difficulty eating enough from food alone. Once you’ve achieved your desired weight, you should stop taking the mass gainer to prevent continued weight gain. 

If your goal is not to gain weight, a whey protein powder might be more appropriate for you. 

Whey Protein vs Mass Gainer: Which One Should I Pick?

Both whey protein and mass gainer serve different purposes and the one you should pick depends on your goals. 

If your goal is to build muscle while losing or maintaining your weight, you should choose whey protein. If your goal is to put on significant size and mass, or you need help gaining weight, you should choose a mass gainer.