Gold Standard Gainer vs Serious Mass: Which Is Better For Muscle Growth?

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Andy Williams
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In this ON Gold standard Gainer vs Serious Mass comparison, you’ll find out why bigger isn’t always better in the world of weight gainers.

As many Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass reviews will tell you, Serious Mass is a good supplement, but it’s not necessarily the best option for everyone.

On the other hand, Gold Standard Gainer is marketed as a premium option for those seeking the highest quality ingredients, so let’s see if it lives up to the hype.

What’s the Difference Between Gold Standard Gainer and Serious Mass?

A side by side Gold Standard Gainer vs Serious Mass comparison showing the differences

Here are the main differences between Gold Standard Gainer and Serious Mass:

  • Gold Standard Gainer has 771 calories per 203-gram serving, whereas Serious Mass contains 1263 calories per 334g serving.
  • Gold Standard Gainer has 102g of carbs from potato starch, pea starch, oats, and maltodextrin, whereas Serious Mass has 251g of carbs, pretty much purely from maltodextrin.
  • Gold Standard Gainer, despite having 500 fewer calories, has 5 grams more protein than Serious Mass (55g vs 50g).
  • Gold Standard Gainer has 12g of fat, while Serious Mass has 5.5g of fat.
  • Gold Standard Gainer has 7.5g of fibre, whereas Serious Mass only has 3.2g.
  • Serious Mass has 3g of creatine per serving, whereas Gold Standard Gainer is creatine-free.
  • Serious Mass has added vitamins and minerals, whereas Gold Standard Gainer does not.
  • Gold Standard Gainer mixes easier and, in my opinion, tastes better than Serious Mass
  • Gold Standard Gainer is more expensive than Serious Mass.

Given these differences, I recommend going with ON Gold Standard gainer if you can afford it because it has more protein (despite having 500 fewer calories) and higher quality carbohydrates.

While you can certainly make great gains with Serious Mass (thousands of people have), I just think that Gold Standard Gainer offers that bit more quality for serious athletes looking for a top-quality product.

Gold Standard Gainer vs Serious Mass: Ingredients and Nutrition

A back view of Serious Mass and Gold Standard Gainer

Even though Serious Mass provides 25 different vitamins and minerals as well as 3 grams of creatine, I still think that Gold Standard Gainer has superior ingredients. Why?

Well, first off, you can buy a standalone creatine supplement for pennies these days. And besides, 3 grams of creatine per 334g of powder isn’t a lot. I’d much rather take a full 5-gram dose separately.

Also, you shouldn’t get the majority of your vitamins and minerals from liquid calories; you should get them from whole foods. But I do understand Optimum Nutrition’s thought process here: if you’re drinking 1200+ calories, it’s beneficial if there are some micronutrients floating around.

Where Gold Standard Gainer really leaps ahead is with the carbohydrates. Yes, it does use maltodextrin like Serious Mass, which is fine in sensible doses, but it also makes use of oats, pea starch, and potato starch, so you’re getting consistent energy as well as fast-fuel for post-workout glycogen replenishment.

Also, 250g of carbs is probably too much for most people, certainly in a single sitting.

The 2:1 carbs-to-protein ratio provided by Gold Standard Gainer is also superior (for gaining muscle) to the 5:1 carbs-to-protein ratio found in Serious Mass.

Now, if you’re a mega-hardgainer, then yes, maybe a 2:1 carb-to-protein isn’t ideal for you, but I’m not a fan of getting the majority of your calories from mass gainers and the like. Weight gainers should be a supplement to your wholefood meals, and that’s exactly what Gold Standard Gainer is.

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Gold Standard Gainer vs Serious Mass: Weight-Gaining Effectiveness

A frontal comparison of Gold Standard Gainer and Serious Mass

In terms of raw calories and weight gain potential, I obviously have to give the victory to Serious Mass. After all, Serious Mass has helped tens of thousands of people all over the world gain weight, so even though I think there are better options these days, it’s still a solid product for putting on weight and muscle mass.

Yet, as I said at the start of this Serious Mass vs Gold Standard Gainer comparison, bigger isn’t necessarily better—even in the world of bodybuilding supplements.

You see, more calories don’t lead to more muscle gain. If drinking Gold Standard Gainer already puts you in a sizeable calorie surplus, then the 500 extra calories provided by Serious Mass aren’t going to do you any favours and could even lead to unwanted fat gain and bloating.

Of course, many people have successfully used Serious Mass to gain muscle without piling on the fat. But that’s because their overall calorie surplus was kept in check, and a 1200-calorie shake isn’t suitable for everyone.

Serious Mass vs Gold Standard Gainer: Taste and Mixing

An overhead view of Gold Standard Gainer next to Serious Mass

Since Gold Standard Gainer has a much smaller serving size than Serious Mass, it naturally mixes much easier in the sense that you can mix it in a shaker bottle and don’t need to use as much liquid.

Serious Mass is certainly much more effortful to mix and drink, and you’re pretty much going to need either an electric blender or two shaker bottles to mix a full 334g serving.

I didn’t feel as lethargic after drinking Gold Standard Gainer, whereas Serious Mass did make me feel a bit sluggish. But then again, how can you not feel slightly sluggish after drinking 1263 calories and 251g of carbs?

In terms of taste, I’d definitely say that Gold Standard Gainer has the edge because it tastes more like a milkshake than a typical mass gainer.

On the other hand, Serious Mass does taste good, but it definitely tastes more like a mass gainer, which is to say thick and not as authentically chocolatey. You can certainly make it tastier by using milk, and you can use more liquid to make the consistency a bit thinner.

Serious Mass vs Gold Standard Gainer: Price and Value

A closeup comparison of Serious Mass and Gold Standard Gainer

As I said earlier in this Gold Standard Gainer vs Serious Mass comparison, Serious Mass is the cheaper of the two supplements, which makes it a good choice for bulking on a budget.

However, due to being far more protein-dense and having more quality carbohydrates, you could certainly make the case that Gold Standard Gainer is actually better value for money than Serious Mass.

I’m a fan of buying a few quality supplements rather than paying for loads of average-quality supplements. So while Serious Mass is still a good, reliable choice, I think that Gold Standard Gainer definitely has the edge in quality.

Now, if you just want loads of calories for a good price, then Serious Mass is the way to go. After all, some people just really need to smash the calories to gain any kind of weight, which is where a 1200-calorie shake like Serious Mass begins to flex its muscle.

Related Serious Mass Comparisons:

Should You Get Gold Standard Gainer or Serious Mass for Bulking?

Image showing the difference between Gold Standard Gainer and Serious Mass in terms of scoop size

So, should you buy Serious Mass or Gold Standard Gainer for bulking? My default recommendation is Gold Standard Gainer because it has more protein and higher-quality carbohydrates.

On the other hand, Serious Mass is cheaper, more calorie-dense, and includes creatine, vitamins, and minerals. If you just want a shake with loads of calories, Serious Mass is the way to go.

But if you want to be a bit more purposeful with your calorie intake and would prefer a 2:1 carbs-to-protein ratio rather than a 5:1 ratio, Gold Standard Gainer is the superior supplement.

With that said, I hope you found my Gold Standard Gainer vs Serious Mass comparison to be helpful. I’m a fan of both supplements, but I have to give the nod to Gold Standard Gainer this time.

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Andy Williams
Andy Williams is a UK-based personal trainer and bodybuilder who coaches gym-goers of all levels using proven evidence-based techniques in strength training, nutrition, and supplementation. He’s tested over 70 different mass gainers for their ingredient quality and muscle-building effectiveness and regularly shares his findings in his mass gainer reviews.
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