Mass gainers vs whey protein

Posted by admin 19/11/2017 0 Comment(s) Protein,Mass Gainers,

At OneProtein, we are often asked whether we sell mass gainers. The short answer is, no. Why? Let’s come back to that three-letter question at the end of this short blog. The main reasons relate to whey protein supplements – which we do sell. To explain the link, let’s briefly describe what is whey protein, what are mass gainers, and, more importantly, what are the differences.

Whey Protein

There are many sources of protein available to us, such as beef, egg, fish, milk, poultry and soy. Whey protein, which is derived from milk during cheese-making, is the best protein source around. Firstly, it is known as a ‘complete protein’ as it contains all the essential amino acids that our body needs but can’t produce – it is ‘essential’ that we get these amino acids from our diet. Secondly, it is rapidly digested and absorbed by our body.

As a food supplement, whey protein is available in three common forms: as a concentrate (defined as 70-80% whey protein by weight), as an isolate (90% whey protein), or as a blend. (See our blog – Which whey to go? – for more on the different types of whey protein, and their pros and cons.)

Mass Gainers

The objective of mass gainers is in the name – to help you gain mass. And the way to add mass is to put your body in a calorie surplus. In other words, consume more calories than you burn. Simple.

Mass gainers are a blend of carbohydrates and protein in a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 (or sometimes 4:1). Whereas 100 grams of a whey protein concentrate will contain around 80 grams of whey protein and 5 grams of carbs, 100 grams of mass gainer may contain less than 20 grams of protein and more than 60 grams of carbs.

The carbs-to-protein ratio alone doesn’t alter the calorie count – both carbs and protein contain 4 calories per gram. However, a typical serving of whey protein is 25 grams and contains around 100 calories. On the other hand, a serving of mass gainer can be 150 grams or more, with over 500 calories.

An obvious and a subtle difference

The obvious difference is the calorie count due to the different serving sizes that we mentioned. A less obvious difference is the protein source. Whey protein contains whey protein – and whey is the king of all protein. Most mass gainers use a protein blend that includes a lower quality, lower cost protein source, such as milk protein.

Which one to go for?

If your goal is to gain lean muscle or improve your athletic performance, then whey protein is the way to go. If your aim is to gain weight and bulk-up, then mass gainers may be helpful. However, the high carb and sugar content in mass gainers will lead to insulin spikes and may lead to unwanted fat accumulation.

Why don’t we sell mass gainers? Carbs are easily available and at relatively low cost – bread, oats, maize, potatoes, rice. Carbs in mass gainers represent extremely poor value for money. Whey protein, on the other hand, is a premium ingredient manufactured in North America and Europe. Our advice for cost-effective supplementation? Spend your money on a high-quality whey protein and buy locally-produced carbs separately.


We are a dedicated online store selling premium quality supplements and sports nutrition at affordable prices. We offer a free same-day delivery service in Nairobi, 7 days a week so you never have to wait for results!

Our whey protein is a premium quality, UK-manufactured protein powder sourced exclusively from the world-renowned Müller dairy in Germany: the world’s leading producer of whey protein. All milk used in the production of our whey protein products are sourced from free-range, grass-fed cows and is GM-free and hormone-free. Each 25g serving provides 20g of 100% whey protein, including 4.4g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and 3.3g of glutamine. All our whey protein products use 100% natural flavouring and are suitable for vegetarian, halal and kosher diets.

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