Mass Gainer vs Whey Protein

Mass Gainer vs. Whey Protein: Which should you take?

5 min read

|

28 Feb 2023

Craig Harris

By the time you are on day 3 of your new gym membership, we are sure that some well-meaning gym bro has wandered over to advise on which protein shake or pre-workout you should be taking. 

Sure, this whey protein powder they are raving about seems to be working well for them, but does that mean it’s the right choice for you?

Mass gainers and whey protein powders are two of the products you’ve likely had touted to you during a tough set. Both can help you train harder and improve your results, but there are important differences in their composition. 

Good nutrition isn’t the same for everyone and in order to get the right product, you need to have an understanding of their nutritional profiles.

So let’s compare mass gainer and whey protein; which should you take?

What is whey protein?

Protein powder can come from a range of sources, but whey protein powder is regarded as the highest quality protein source, which can have the fastest impact on muscle growth. 


Whey protein powder is a milk-based protein that can be shaken up with water or milk and added to baking, smoothies, pancakes, oats etc.- it’s pretty versatile! 

You can also buy energy bars that contain whey protein. However, these often have a high sugar content. Whey protein shakes usually only contain just over 100 calories per serving.

  • Related content: What is whey protein powder (and should you take it)?

  • The different types of whey protein supplements

    There are three forms of whey protein - whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed whey protein and whey protein isolate. 

    All have different benefits and vary in price. 

    Whey protein isolate powder is the most concentrated, with the highest percentage of protein content (90-95%), but it is also pretty expensive. 

    Whey protein concentrate is the cheapest form, with a protein concentration of around 70-80%. This lower concentration isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the other 20-30% contains lots of healthy, energy-boosting nutrients which ensure we perform at our best. 

    Hydrolyzed whey protein is a happy medium; it has gone through some processing to increase the protein concentration, but not as much as whey protein isolate, so it comes in the middle price-wise.

    The other thing worth knowing about the three types of whey protein powder is that they are absorbed by our bodies at different rates, meaning they release energy to our muscles at different times. 

  • Related content: Whey protein concentrate vs whey isolate: what is the difference?

  • Which is the best whey protein powder for you?

    So, which one should you choose? 

    We recommend a protein powder that contains a mixture of all three. That way you will benefit from a more sustained flow of protein to your muscles during your workout or during your recovery period (depending on whether you drink your protein shake pre or post-workout). It is also a cost-effective way to ensure you are getting a high concentration of protein. 

    Check out our TRI-PROTEIN formula which contains 6 different whey proteins, maximizing your body’s ability to absorb the protein.


    What are mass gainers?

    Mass gainers, as you might have guessed from the name, contain everything you need to gain weight and increase muscle mass when combined with a resistance-based workout schedule. 


    It contains protein (this can be whey or another form), but it also contains plenty of carbohydrates and some fat. Usually, their formula contains two to three parts carbohydrates to one part protein. 


    But carbs are bad, right? 

    Wrong! 

    Carbohydrates are absolutely essential for giving us the energy we need to undertake both cardio and strength training. We also need carbohydrates to help our body recover from our workouts and continue to build muscle.


    How to choose a great mass gainer supplement

    When choosing a mass gainer product, look out for high-quality ingredients. The product information should give plenty of detail on the protein used and there should be a mix of low GI (glycemic index) and high GI carbohydrates to give your body everything it needs to build muscle.

    Some mass gainers, unfortunately, include filler substances which add calories but don’t have great nutritional benefits. 

    Crazy Nutrition’s MASS GAINER contains zero fillers; just our high-quality whey protein powder, a range of clean carbohydrate sources and we have added further workout supplements such as creatine monohydrate.

    Mass gainer vs whey protein: What are the differences?

    Both whey protein powders and mass gainers contain the high levels of protein required to support sustained muscle growth. 

    Mass gainer, however, contains a higher proportion of other macronutrients making it more akin to a fitness focussed meal replacement.


    Whey vs. Mass: Nutritional Profile

    Mass Gainer contains significantly more calories, carbohydrates and sometimes more protein than a whey protein powder. 

    The table below gives a comparison of Crazy Nutrition TRI-PROTEIN formula vs. our MASS GAINER.

     

    Crazy Nutrition TRI-PROTEIN formula

    Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer

    Serving Size 

    (base powder)

    200g / 6 scoops

    30g / 2 scoops

    Calories

    695 kcal / 3066 kJ

    110 kcal /447 kJ

    Protein Content

    52g

    23g

    Carbohydrate Content

    100g

    2g

    Fat Content

    8.8g

    1g

    DigeZyme® Enzyme Complex (Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase)

    98g

    6mg

    Creatine Monohydrate

    6g

    0g

    ASTRAGIN® (Astragalus membranaceus & Panax notoginseng (Root Extracts))

    100g

    0g

    SENACTIV® (Panax notoginseng (root) & Rosa roxburghii (fruit) extracts)

    100g

    0g


    Should I use whey protein or mass gainer?

    Choosing to use mass gainers, whey protein supplements or both, all depends on your specific health goals. 

    Whey protein powders

    • A great product for anyone looking to facilitate increased muscle protein synthesis and increase lean muscle mass
    • Aids post-workout recovery allowing you to train again sooner and train harder
    • Low in calories, so won’t lead to major weight gain, and more useful for getting lean/body recomposition (losing fat while building muscle)
    • Great for those who don’t want to eat more, but want to improve their daily protein intake
    • Can be used every day
    • Can help with weight loss by curbing cravings and increasing satiety

    Mass gainers

    • Can be used as a nutritious, convenient meal replacement 
    • A great product for anyone looking to gain weight and increase muscle mass 
    • Aids post-workout recovery allowing you to train again sooner and train harder
    • Ideal for those who are struggling to bulk up despite a dedicated workout schedule
    • Not recommended for people trying to lose weight 
    • Gives you more energy for your workout 
    • Recommended for use on training days

    Whey protein powders and mass gainers are perfectly safe to take together. If you are struggling to put on muscle weight, adding both into your dietary plan will enable you to see massively increased results from your workouts. If you are combining the two, drink your mass gainer 1 hour prior to your workout and drink your whey protein around 30 minutes after your workout for the best results.

    If you are looking for some mass gainers or whey protein to take then check out our Crazy Nutrition blend here. 

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    Craig Harris

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