Is Whey Protein Good For Weight Gain?

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Andy Williams
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Is whey protein good for weight gain? Yes, whey protein powder is good for weight gain because protein helps you to gain muscle mass, which leads to an increase in body weight.

Most protein powders have between 115 and 150 calories per serving, so if you have a couple of servings a day, that can quickly increase your calorie intake and help you gain weight.

However, as you're about to learn, using whey for weight gain isn’t the most efficient way to gain weight and muscle mass for most people.

Should You Use Whey Protein Powder For Weight Gain?

A tub of whey protein with a scooper next to it that's used for weight gain

If you want to lean bulk and gain a modest amount of weight, then using whey protein powder for weight gain is ideal because the extra protein will help you to develop muscle mass, which, in turn, will likely increase your body weight.

On the other hand, if you want to gain weight quicker and do it as efficiently as possible, then you’re better off taking a mass gainer rather than whey protein because weight gainers are way more calorie-dense than protein powders.

You can see my article on the difference between mass gainer and whey protein for more information.

That said, you can always mix your whey protein powder with other foods to increase the calorie content. Protein porridge is a popular (and tasty) option in this regard because you’re getting loads of carbs and protein in one convenient and nutritious meal.

Similarly, you can add whey protein to smoothies with ingredients like oats, milk, and peanut butter, which enables you to make an even higher-calorie drink than a regular protein shake.

How And When To Take Whey Protein For Weight Gain

A man drinking a protein shake outside

You can use whey protein at any time of the day as a convenient protein source. While timing becomes more important as you get more advanced, your overall daily protein intake is by far the most important factor.

That said, the best time to take whey protein for weight gain is probably after your workout because your muscles are very sensitive to amino acids after training. This is why almost every athlete and bodybuilder has some kind of post-workout shake as soon as they’ve finished training.

Also, you can use whey protein to boost the calorie and protein content of your meal. In this way, you can drink a protein shake as an accompaniment or as a liquid dessert. This method is especially useful if you’re only having a few meals per day and need to get in extra protein.

On the other hand, if you’re already getting plenty of protein per meal, then you could use your whey for weight gain by having a protein shake away from your meal times.

This enables you to spike muscle protein synthesis more frequently, which, over time, may well lead to more muscle growth. So, if you’re having three meals per day, you could have an extra protein shake between meals/and or some time before going to bed.

Who Should Use Whey For Weight Gain?

A scoop of chocolate whey protein for gaining weight and muscle

If you want to gain muscle mass but don’t need to gain loads of weight, then using whey for weight gain makes perfect sense because you’re getting extra protein and calories without the carbohydrate bulk of a mass gainer.

Also, if you want to gain a significant amount of weight but have a good appetite, then you can use whey for extra protein and get the calories, carbohydrates, and fats from your wholefood meals.

Using whey powder for weight gain makes sense for those who are lean bulking and/or those who already get enough calories from their regular diet.

However, if you have a really fast metabolism or struggle to consume enough calories from wholefood sources, then using whey protein for weight gain probably isn’t the best idea.

Who Shouldn’t Use Whey Protein Shakes For Weight Gain?

A tub of whey protein that's often used for gaining weight

Even though a scoop of whey protein contains 100+ calories, that’s unlikely to be enough for a hardgainer to see results. Sure, a hardgainer could just eat more food, but some people lack the time and appetite to do this.

Enter mass gainers.

Weight gainers are basically like high-calorie protein powders because they have plenty of whey protein of their own, but they also have lots of carbohydrates so that hardgainers can put on muscle mass and increase their body weight as efficiently as possible.

Also, if you don’t tolerate lactose very well, then using whey protein shakes for weight gain isn’t advised because they might upset your stomach.

See Also: Can you drink whey protein and mass gainer in the same day?

The Verdict On Using Whey Protein For Weight Gain

Closeup of a weight gainer scooper

It’s definitely possible to use whey protein for weight gain, especially if you’re already getting a good amount of calories from your wholefood meals. But is using whey for weight gain ideal for everyone?

No, I wouldn’t say so.

While gaining weight often comes down to just eating more, this isn’t possible for those who don’t have the appetite or the time to make lots of wholefood meals.

This is where weight gainers can come in handy due to their impressive caloric density. 

You can always use whey protein powder for weight gain by making your own high-calorie smoothies or by mixing your whey into some porridge to create a delicious, protein-packed meal.

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.
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