Mass Gainer vs Weight Gainer: Are There Any Differences?

A picture of Best Mass Gainer UK founder, personal trainer Andy Williams
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Andy Williams
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Aren’t mass gainers and weight gainers the same thing? Well, kind of. It depends on what exactly you mean when you talk about a weight gainer.

As you can see already, the whole mass gainer vs weight gainer debate can get quite confusing.

So, in this important article, I decided to set the record straight and outline the differences between these two supplements.

Are Mass Gainers and Weight Gainers the Same?

A bag of mass gainer next to a bag of weight gainer

To some people, yes, mass gainers and weight gainers are interchangeable terms that refer to the exact same supplement. I personally use the terms interchangeably to refer to any supplement that’s expressly designed to help people gain weight.

After all, muscle mass is a type of weight that you can gain, so a mass gainer is a weight gainer.

However, in different contexts, weight gainers and mass gainers are not the exact same supplement.

Mass gainers are designed for people who lift weights and want to build muscle mass.

On the other hand, there are weight gainers that are designed for people who want to increase their body weight but who don’t necessarily want to be big and muscular.

This is where the two products start to diverge.

What Is The Difference Between a Mass Gainer and a Weight Gainer?

A tub of mass gainer positioned next to a bag of weight gainer to show the differences

Mass gainers are a type of muscle-building supplement used by bodybuilders and athletes, whereas weight gainers are nutritional supplements that aren’t necessarily used by weight lifting enthusiasts.

However, this difference is made more confusing by the fact that many bodybuilders use the terms mass gainer and weight gainer interchangeably.

So, if we take mass gainer to mean a bodybuilding supplement and weight gainer to mean a general health supplement, then we begin to see some distinct differences.

Mass gainers have much more protein per serving than weight gainers because mass gainers are aimed at building muscle, whereas weight gainers are designed to increase a person’s body weight in general.

Mass gainers almost always have more carbohydrates and calories than than weight gainers because those who consume them are often very active in the gym or with their chosen physical pursuit, meaning that they have a higher calorie requirement than the general population, for whom weight gainers are designed.

Weight gainers often have more balanced macros than mass gainers and are thus closer to a meal replacement shake. Mass gainers usually have a low fat content, whereas weight gainers, despite having fewer calories than mass gainers, usually have more fat than mass gainers.

Weight gainers are often designed with overall nutritional value in mind, whereas a mass gainer is simply a protein-dense, carb-heavy liquid calorie source that helps hardgainers meet their calorie requirements as efficiently as possible.

Who Should Take Mass Gainers?

Mass gainer tubs and bags

Those who lift weights and want to build significant amounts of muscle mass should take mass gainers because these bodybuilding supplements have more protein, carbs, and calories than weight gainers.

As I said earlier in this weight gainer vs mass gainer comparison, mass gainers are usually lower in fat than weight gainers. Although fat is very important for both health and bodybuilding, you don’t drink mass gainers for healthy fats; you drink them because they’re a convenient source of carbs and protein that helps you gain weight.

Skinny people are those for whom mass gainers will have the best effects. However, anyone who wants to get in extra muscle-building nutrients can benefit from taking mass gainers, whether they be recreational gym-goers or elite bodybuilders.

Even though mass gainers are a more niche supplement than weight gainers, they still have a wide range of appeal due to their mass-building potential.

See Also: Can You Take Creatine With Mass Gainer?

Who Should Use Weight Gainers?

My collection of weight gainers

If you just want to gain weight in general so that you’re not underweight, then a weight gainer is a good option because these supplements have a more balanced macronutrient profile than mass gainers, which tend to be carb-dominant and protein-heavy.

Although weight gainers often still contain a lot of carbohydrates, they usually have more fat and less protein than mass gainers, making them more like a balanced meal rather than a high-calorie muscle-gaining supplement.

Of course, unless your weight gainer has an abundance of vitamins and minerals, you shouldn’t actually use it as a meal replacement. Weight gainers are an additional calorie source that you should consume in addition to your regular meals if you want to increase your body weight.

Related Supplement Comparisons:

Weight Gainer vs Mass Gainer: The Verdict

A tub of mass gainer next to a bag of weight gainer

As I said at the start of this mass gainer vs weight gainer comparison, many people use the terms mass gainer and weight gainer interchangeably.

But for others, mass gainers and weight gainers are two very different supplements.

On the one hand, mass gainers are designed for bodybuilders and athletes because they have a higher protein, carb, and calorie content than basic weight gainers.

Conversely, weight gainers are usually lower in calories, carbs, and protein than mass gainers, but they often have more fat, which gives them a more balanced, meal-like macronutrient profile.

Ultimately, the right choice comes down to your goals. Do you want to build muscle? If so, go with a mass gainer.

Do you just want to gain some weight and aren’t too bothered about packing on muscle mass? In this case, go with a weight gainer.

I hope this weight gainer vs mass gainer comparison helped you to understand the differences between these two supplements. As we’ve learned, the terms are either completely interchangeable or very different, depending on your point of view.

A picture of Best Mass Gainer UK founder, personal trainer Andy Williams
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.
the logo for Best Mass Gainer UK showing a tub of weight gainer protein powder
We test and review every mass gainer and weight gainer on the UK market so that British fitness enthusiasts can make informed supplementation decisions.
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