Two guys enter a health store. One is skinny and longing to bulk up while adding some muscle mass. The second one is obese and wants to lose fat without losing muscle. Now, both the guys are staring at the containers labeled mass gainers and whey protein. Both claim to help with muscle growth. Which one to choose? I am sure many of you are in the place of either guy number one or guy number two. Confused eh? Don’t worry. We will clear this confusion now and help you understand the difference between a mass gainer and whey protein so that you choose right.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey is the liquid that gets separated from milk during the cheese-making process. It is dried through a simple method to obtain whey protein which is known as whey protein concentrate. It typically contains more than 50 percent protein, few fats and carbohydrates rich in nutrients, and trace amounts of lactose. When this is further processed to isolate the carbohydrates and fats and remove the lactose, we get whey protein isolate. Isolate is suitable for people who are on a diet seeking to restrict carbohydrates and those who are lactose intolerant. Both types of whey contain BCCAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids). When these proteins are processed to break them into smaller segments, they become pre-digested protein called whey protein hydrolysate. Hydrolysate is even more easily absorbed in the body than concentrate and isolate. All three whey protein forms are easy to digest and rich in nutrients, promote protein synthesis, muscle building, and repair.
A mass gainer is a high-calorie supplement powder that consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to help add muscle mass. Simply put, a mass gainer is whey protein plus carbs and fats. Carbs and protein are in the ratio of 2:1 or 3:1. Carbs help in replenishing the glycogen in the muscles. Some mass gainers supplements have additional ingredients like enzymes, fibres, creatine, etc. added to them. Mass gainers are appropriate for skinny people who are struggling to consume enough calories and gain weight. They also help bodybuilders who want to bulk up and then cut. Without being calorie-surplus, it is not possible to gain muscle mass. But, use muscle gainers only if you are going to work out. Otherwise, you will gain fat and not muscle. Please do not use them indefinitely.
Whey Protein vs Mass Gainer
Mass gainers and whey proteins contain protein. But mass gainers contain more carbs and fat than whey proteins with more protein and minimal or no fat and carbohydrates.
Muscle gainer typically provides 1250 – 1500 calories per serving while whey protein gives around 100 – 150 calories per serving.
Mass gainers help skinny individuals gain weight, provide the energy required to work out, and build muscle after working out. Whey proteins help build muscle, lose weight and provide energy.
If you are struggling to gain weight and build muscle, go for a mass gainer. If you want to gain muscle and lose weight, go for whey protein.