Mass Gainer and Weight Gainer Difference: Full Guide

If you are a “hard gainer”, you probably have trouble putting on extra pounds no matter how much you eat.

For this reason, you contemplate on adding a weight gain supplement to your daily regimen.

There are 2 kinds of supplements that you can choose from to help you gain weight – a mass gainer or a weight gainer.

In this article, I will make it easy for you to understand which one you need by showing you the mass gainer and weight gainer difference.

Mass Gainers

What is a Mass Gainer?

Simply put, mass gainers help you tailor your food intake better.

Typically, a mass gainer contains a better proportion of macros and essential nutrients, allowing you to improve your overall nutritional intake. This helps you keep track of your nutrition and, therefore, body composition better.

Mass gainers are a great supplement to replace small meals in your meal plan.

Since hard gainers have trouble eating copious amounts of food, utilizing a mass gainer helps to accomplish your macro goals for the day, minus a constantly bloated stomach.

If you looking to experience fast lean muscle growth and look jacked all year round, then it will be easier to track and hit your macros with mass gainer supplements.

Protein shakes and weight gainers

Weight Gainers

What is a Weight Gainer?

Weight gainers, on the other hand, are meant to help you gain weight quicker.

If you are not concerned about your how your physique will look or your body composition, then you can opt for a weight gainer supplement.

Weight gainers are super high-calorie drinks that are meant to help you gain weight as quickly as possible, without much emphasis on the macronutrients.

An upside is that they can have ingredients that boost appetite. So, they are made for undernourished and really skinny folks that have trouble eating adequately.

The focus of a weight gainer supplement is simple: to provide your body with extra calories needed for gaining weight.

Weight gainers usually have as many calories from fat as they have from simple carbs, this is why they have a higher amount of calories per serving.

One serving can have as much as 1000 calories; that’s like eating two meals already!

Who Needs a Weight Gainer?

For someone with a skinny body and looking to simply add extra weight in whichever form, muscle or fat, then weight gainers are a good choice.

Since they promote high calorie consumption, weight gainers can help you with gaining weight.

Weight gaining supplements tend to focus more on quantity (total calories) rather than quality (nutrition).

If your goal is to simply gain weight, then weight gainer supplements that are loaded with more calories will help you achieve that.

Who Needs a Mass Gainer?

If your goal is to build lean muscle mass faster, a mass gainer can help you hit your target.

A quality mass gainer usually has higher quality ingredients when compared to weight gain supplements.

These are used for a more specific and healthier goal, which is to build lean muscle mass fiber.

Most mass gainers have a good balance of macronutrients that are essential for muscle growth.

They are formulated to resemble a meal with their high protein quantity, moderate to high carbohydrates, and low fat content.

This is because they are meant for individuals who follow a proper workout regime, are looking to gain muscle mass, and achieve a lean physique.

Weight Gainer vs Mass Gainer (Weight Gainer or Mass Gainer)

Gaining body weight or mass requires a constant caloric surplus. Meaning that you need to consume more calories than you burn.

Keep this in mind, we add weight to our body in two ways: gaining muscle or gaining fat mass. Often, individuals gain both at the same time.

Both “gainers” come in powder form and are used as a convenient way to replace or supplement the food you eat.

What’s the main difference between the two? They differ in macronutrient profile.

Usually, mass gainers contain higher quality ingredients when compared to weight gainers.

These typically feature amino acids, healthy fats, and a good protein ratio.

In comparison, weight gain supplements are mainly made for helping you consume extra calories and help you increase body weight.

Mass Gainer vs Protein Supplement

Compared to mass gainers and weight gainers, a protein supplement focuses more in increasing your protein intake.

Protein supplements typically contain little amounts of carbs and fats, and are loaded with protein and amino acids.

Typical protein powder products contain a blend of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate, casein, beef, or egg proteins.

Adding a whey protein supplement to your regular diet can also help you build lean muscle, especially when taken in conjunction with weight training.

Whey protein supplements are quickly absorbed and digested by the body, making them a suitable drink to consume right after working out.

Whey protein mixes are great for building muscle since they contain all 9 essential amino acids, which are needed for achieving a muscular body.

Taking casein or whey protein powders may help spare lean muscle mass and supports faster muscle repair after exercise – these may also help you lose weight if you pair them with a good fitness program.

Since protein supplements do not usually have enough calories, these are probably not the best choice for skinny people who just want to gain weight.

Which Supplement Should You Choose?

If you are looking to build muscle, a mass gainer that has complete proteins, amino acids, healthy carb and fat sources, and an optimal ratio of macros should be your pick.

If your goal is to simply gain weight, weight gainer supplements can help you achieve that.

Overall, mass gainers are best. A mass gainer provides you with a quality protein blend, plus just the right amount of carbs and fats to supplement a weight training and nutrition protocol.

Remember, they are called “supplements” for a reason, they serve as an additional tool to your muscle-building toolbox.

Benefits and Risks of Mass Gainers

Mass gainers have a good balance of macronutrients.

Since the mass gainers market is getting more competitive and consumers are starting to care more about the ingredients than the brand, manufacturers are more likely to disclose what their specific sources are. Waxy maize, sweet potato, oats, and maltodextrin are great carb sources to look for.

Of course, too much of a good thing can be bad. Excessive consumption of a mass gainer can lead to stomach cramps, bloating, or indigestion.

Some mass gainers may also contain too much sugar, which is detrimental to your physique-refining goals.

Benefits and Risks of Weight Gainers

We already know that we need to go beyond our baseline calorie needs to gain weight.

However, there is a right way of adding mass to your physique without jeopardizing your body composition, blood sugar levels, and even lipid profile.

Weight gainers can have as much as 1000 calories per serving! They are simply stuffed with macros. To contain that many calories in a single-serve, they are mostly filled with a mix of complete and incomplete proteins, simple sugars, and undisclosed fat sources.

What happens is that manufacturers mark the ingredients list a “proprietary blend” as a regulatory loophole. This hides the macro sources from you, the consumer.

Simple sugars are not inherently bad. However, consuming them in large amounts, especially on a daily basis, can mess with your energy and insulin levels.

Concerning fats, the best way to get them is from natural sources such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados, especially when consumed in large amounts. Too much fat in your diet can lead to health complications.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Are mass gainers good for skinny guys?

If you are a skinny guy who plans to build muscle, mass gainers can help. A mass gainer, however, needs to be paired with regular workouts and a healthy lifestyle in order to maximize muscle gain.

For a skinny guy who simply wants to gain weight by adding extra calories to their diet, a weight gainer is a good choice.

Which is best for weight gain?

If your goal is to simply pack on extra pounds, whether in the form of fat or muscle, a weight gainer supplement is probably the ideal choice.

Unlike mass gainers, these products usually contain more carbs and are meant to help increase your calorie intake.

Is a mass gainer bad for you?

A mass gainer is meant to supplement your diet, and not to be your sole source of nutrition.

For someone who is looking to gain weight and build serious mass, a mass gainer can help you achieve your goals.

In choosing mass gaining supplements, it would be good to choose one that doesn’t contain excessively high amounts of sugar to help minimize fat gain.

If you are planning to consume mass gainers for building muscle, make sure to pair them with regular workouts, eating whole foods, and living a healthy lifestyle.

What are the best mass gainers for beginners?

Quality muscle gainers should have a good protein profile. You might want to choose one that contains complete protein sources, such as whey, casein, beef, or egg protein.

You might also want to pick a mass gainer that contains a good amount of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and dietary fiber.

Can I just take a protein supplement to gain weight and lose fat?

Taking a whey protein powder can help you build a lean physique, especially when paired with weight training.

Whey proteins are packed with amino acids, which are needed for building, repairing, and maintaining lean muscle tissue.

Protein powder supplements, however, usually do not contain high amounts of calories, which your body also needs for packing on weight.

If your overall goal is to increase your scale weight, a weight gainer will make a better oral nutritional formula for you to take.


Since they sound rather similar, it can be quite confusing to spot the mass gainer and weight gainer difference.

If you want to just load your body with calories and gain weight, a calorie-rich weight gainer supplement is probably the better choice.

But if you want to create a lean and ripped physique, a mass gainer with balanced macros is the one for you.

Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments so I can add it to the article right away!

Imad Deryan

My name is Imad, and I struggled to gain mass in the past due to my metabolism and being very skinny. In this blog, I share the best reviews and advice when it comes to gaining weight and mass, for all the people that are struggling like I was.

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