For anyone who has a hard time putting on weight, there's nothing like an elite quality mass gainer. Loaded with the protein for muscle building and excess calories for mass, these supplements can make a huge difference for hard gainers.
Let's take a look at two of the best mass gainers in the industry, Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Gainer and Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer to see which one is worth the buy.
Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer
Where can I buy it?
- Here's where you can buy Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer
Pros of Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer
Pro Gainer has been a fan favourite for years and it's not hard to see why. At 650 calories per serving, this is one supplement that is serious about helping you gain the mass you want.
Every serving of Pro Gainer delivers 60 grams of protein along with 85 grams of carbohydrates, making it ideal as a muscle building supplement post-workout. We were really impressed by the protein blend that Optimum Nutrition uses which includes Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate, Egg Albumin, Hydrolyzed Whey Peptides, and Glutamine Peptides. With the varying rates of digestion for each type of protein, you can rest assured you'll have plenty of muscle building amino acids for hours.
When used as directed, Pro Gainer may support muscle recovery, promote muscle growth, and trigger protein synthesis. (1-6)
Cons of Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer
Two concerns we have with Pro Gainer:
First is with the vitamin and mineral blend. If you are taking a multi-vitamin, then you may want to take half of the dose since Pro Gainer delivers up to 50% of what you'll need on a daily basis.
Second is with the maltodextrin as the front and centre ingredient. Maltodextrin is a simple carbohydrate source used in many mass gainers. Since it's a simple carbohydrate, it may spike insulin levels like a quick carb food would. With that said, it's best to use this product first thing in the morning or immediately following a workout.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
Where can I buy it?
- Here's where you can buy Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
Pros of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
The Gold Standard series of supplements from Optimum Nutrition has been one of the best in the industry. From the pre-workout to the protein, Gold Standard has set itself high above other supplement brands. The Gold Standard Gainer is no different. Packed with 760 calories from quality ingredients per serving, Gold Standard Gainer is ready to help you accomplish your size goals.
Gold Standard Gainer gives you 55 grams of protein and 110 grams of carbohydrates. The amazing thing about the carbohydrate blend is that it is primarily from oat, pea and potato. Yes, you'll find maltodextrin in there as well but the bulk is coming from a complex carb source.
The one area where Gold Standard surpasses its ON relative is with its unique fat blend including 11 grams of healthy fats from flaxseed, chia, and MCTs. Healthy fats are extremely important for overall health. When it comes to bulking up, healthy fats like MCT oil can actually keep the amount of fat you gain in check. This is critical when your goal is muscle, not fat mass. (7)
Cons of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
Aside from the usual use of artificial sweeteners and flavouring, there isn't much you can argue against when it comes to Gold Standard Gainer. The only 'issue' is that the protein blend is primarily made of Whey Isolate, which means fast digesting amino acids. You can use it during any point in the day but especially following a workout.
Which One Should You Buy?
What you have here is two great mass gaining products. There is no denying that Gold Standard Gainer has the superior quality of the two products; however, it also has the bigger price tag. We would say that the extra money is well worth it but if you need to watch your spending this month, Pro Gainer is an excellent mass gaining choice.
- Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
- Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
- Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
- Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
- Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
- De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
- St-Onge MP, Bosarge A. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):621-6.