Pro Gainer vs Gold Standard Gainer Comparison

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Written By
Andy Williams
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Welcome to my Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer vs Gold Standard Gainer comparison. This supplement showdown will pit two of Optimum Nutrition’s most popular products against each other to see which is best for gaining weight and muscle mass.

I’ve used both supplements on multiple occasions, so I’m really excited to give my thoughts on them, as I did in my Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer review.

UPDATE: Pro Gainer has been discontinued and replaced with Gold Standard Gainer in the UK and Gold Standard Pro Gainer in the US.

Pro Gainer vs Gold Standard Gainer: What’s the Difference?

A frontal Pro Gainer vs Gold Standard Gainer comparison

In this section, I’ve tried to outline the differences between Pro Gainer and Gold Standard Gainer as succinctly as possible so you can quickly see which one is right for you.

  • Pro Gainer has 650 calories per serving, and Gold Standard Gainer has 771 calories per shake.
  • Pro Gainer has 85g of carbs from maltodextrin, whereas Gold Standard Gainer has 102g of carbs from pea starch, potato starch, oat flour, and maltodextrin.
  • Pro Gainer has 60g of protein from whey concentrate, whey peptides, whey isolate, egg whites, and calcium caseinate, while Gold Standard Gainer has 55g of protein from whey concentrate, whey isolate, hydrolysed whey, and milk protein.
  • Pro Gainer has 8g of fat and 4g of sugar, while Gold Standard Gainer has 12g of fat and 12g of sugar.
  • Pro Gainer has 4g of fibre, whereas Gold Standard Gainer has 7.5g of fibre.

Overall, given the optimal 2:1 carbs-to-protein ratio and superior carbohydrates, I’d say that ON Gold Standard Gainer is the better choice for those seeking a quality mass gainer that they can rely on.

Pro Gainer vs Gold Standard Gainer: Ingredient Quality

A tub of Gold Standard Gainer positioned next to Pro Gainer

As I just mentioned, Gold Standard Gainer has higher-quality carbohydrates than Pro Gainer because it contains oat flour, potato starch, and pea starch in addition to maltodextrin, whereas Pro Gainer appears to use maltodextrin as its sole carb source.

Since the protein quality is virtually identical, the inclusion of quality carbohydrates is enough to make me choose Gold Standard Gainer over Pro Gainer every time.

Both supplements use a mixture of fast-release and slow-digesting protein so that your muscles receive essential amino acids over a prolonged period of time, helping them to stay in an anabolic state—where they can grow and repair—for longer.

I actually like the fact that Gold Standard Gainer has a bit more fat than Pro Gainer (12g vs 8g) because fats, far from being the enemy, are actually very important for gaining muscle because they promote healthy hormone production. 

Plus, at 9 calories per gram, fats are also more than twice as calorie-dense as protein and carbs, making them ideal for increasing your body weight.

So, while I definitely prefer Gold Standard Gainer, some people might want to go with Pro Gainer for the lower carb content and slightly higher amount of protein. 

But honestly, the extra carbs and calories really aren’t going to do you any harm, even if you’re lean bulking. If anything, you’re better off having extra carbs from quality sources than fewer carbs from inferior sources.

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Gold Standard Gainer vs Pro Gainer: Taste and Mixability

Image showing the differences between Pro Gainer and Gold Standard Gainer

Considering how similar these two mass gainers are nutritionally, it’s no surprise that the taste and mixability are about the same as well.

I will say that for whatever reason, Gold Standard Gainer does seem to taste that bit better and mix slightly easier than Pro Gainer, which makes sense given that Gold Standard Gainer is Optimum Nutrition’s premium formula.

What I really like about both gainers is that they mix well in a standard shaker bottle with either water or milk. 

So unlike some other mass gainers, you won’t need to break out the blender just to make your shake, meaning that you can easily bring the powder with you to work or to the gym and then just add liquid.

For the record, I got the Double Chocolate flavour for Pro Gainer and the Colossal Chocolate flavour for Gold Standard Gainer, and I have no complaints about either, although, as I said earlier in my Pro Gainer vs Gold Standard Gainer comparison, I think that Gold Standard Gainer is that bit tastier and has a more pleasant texture (like a milkshake).

Gold Standard Gainer vs Pro Gainer: Price

Gold Standard Gainer is more expensive than Pro Gainer, but I do think that the extra cost is justified because you definitely get what you pay for.

While I’m not against maltodextrin, I don’t like the fact that it’s the sole carbohydrate source in Pro Gainer.

Conversely, Gold Standard Gainer utilises other carbohydrates like oat flour and potato starch as well as maltodextrin so that you get both fast-acting carbs and slow-digesting carbohydrates for rapid yet consistent energy.

Optimum Nutrition products are usually more expensive than average, and these two weight gainers are no exception. But if you have the funds available, then I definitely think Gold Standard Gainer is worth getting.

Related vs Comparisons:

Should You Buy Pro Gainer or Gold Standard Gainer?

Since both supplements have a very similar amount of protein, carbs, and calories, they’re quite hard to separate. That is, until you inspect the ingredients.

While Pro Gainer is by no means a low-quality product, it does rely too heavily on maltodextrin, in my opinion.

On the other hand, Gold Standard Gainer has pea starch, potato starch, and oat flour, as well as maltodextrin, so you’re less likely to get an energy crash after drinking it.

While Pro Gainer has fantastic macros for lean gaining, I still prefer the 2:1 carbs-to-protein ratio offered by Gold Standard Gainer because it’s compatible with both lean bulking and higher-calorie, more aggressive bulking.

So that’s the end of my Gold Standard Gainer vs Pro Gainer comparison. Both supplements are good for putting on muscle mass, but I’d have to give the victory to Gold Standard Gainer because of the higher-quality carbohydrates and carb-to-protein ratio.

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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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