What is better if you’re a skinny guy looking to gain muscle fast? Mass gainer or whey protein?
- Why would a skinny guy take mass gainer or whey protein?
- Whole Food Reigns Supreme
- My Experience With Mass Gainers & Whey Shakes
- The Downsides of Mass Gainer Supplements And Whey Protein
- Try Real Food And Measure Your Results
Why would a skinny guy take mass gainer or whey protein?
A skinny guy looking to pack on lots of muscle knows that he needs to eat a lot of calories and get a lot of protein.
A mass gainer will help to increase calories.
A whey protein supplement will help boost protein amounts.
Taking a supplement in powder form will make it easier, faster, and cheaper to hit those calorie and protein targets.
But is it a good idea?
Mass Gainer Or Whey Protein?
Is this the right question? What about this question—
“Mass gainer VS whey protein VS real food?”
I’m about to argue that skinny guys should not take mass gainer or whey protein powders.
They should instead rely on real, whole, unprocessed foods that they cook themselves.
Whole Food Reigns Supreme
Whole foods will help you gain muscle and do it quickly without getting fatter. Foods like:
- lean meats
- bone broth
- raw honey
Why are whole foods better? They contain the entire food matrix. Food has quantum mechanics, where each compound inside of it interacts with the others.
This is why supplements do not work very well because they are, by nature, horribly unbalanced.
My Experience With Mass Gainers & Whey Shakes
I have been lifting for over 11 years now, and a lot of that time was spent in frustration because I was trying to follow macros and calories and protein guidelines. So I would have giant whey shakes every day to reach my protein goals, and I wouldn’t get stronger or bigger.
Then I would try and increase calories and use mass gainers, and while the scale-up, it was all from fat gain. Now I had to go through periods of “cutting” with a low-calorie diet, which is not very fun and is very tedious. It takes a lot out of you.
Ever since I switched to eating real food, even if my protein levels are lower, I am getting way better results.
With real food, I recover faster, my muscles grow bigger, and I’ve been staying leaner, especially at the belly.
Why is this? Because food comes packaged with supporting nutrients.
For example, when you eat a grass-fed steak, you aren’t just getting protein. You are also getting things like:
- Iron/Zinc/Copper/Selenium in perfect balance
- Vitamins (A, B’s, E, K2, etc.)
- Essential Fats
- Phytonutrients (2021 study)
A mass gainer or whey protein shake, which is isolated and heavily processed, will never compare to real food when it comes to minerals, vitamins, and balance that are needed to build the body.
The Downsides of Mass Gainer Supplements And Whey Protein
Pasteurized And Heavily Processed Dairy
It seems like pasteurized dairy is often inflammatory. You’ll see many bodybuilders and athletes mention that their puffiness and bodyfat levels dropped once they stopped eating pasteurized dairy. (I have a hunch that raw dairy is not inflammatory, but it is illegal where I live, so I cannot test this idea.)
Even worse, these supplements process the dairy even more so. Now you’re not getting any of the fat-soluble vitamins that give dairy its power, like vitamin A, vitamin K2, etc. There are over 400 fatty acids in the fats of milk that would be lost.
Many people have awful digestion issues with whey—they get acne, stubborn fat, etc.
Thickeners And Additives
Research has shown that people who eat processed foods have higher rates of heart disease and diabetes, and gut issues. They’re still trying to figure out why. One contributor is the additives in processed foods. In a 2019 review on additives in foods, researchers proposed why additives may be so bad for our health. When consumed daily at low levels, thee additives cause:
- alterations to the gut microbiota
- disrupt the intestinal mucosal barrier
- contribute to increased permeability of the intestinal layer
- promote the increased translocation of bacteria from the gut to the bloodstream.
Those four mechanisms give us low-grade chronic inflammation. This inflammation causes blood sugar issues and an increased risk for all sorts of issues, like reduced muscle gain and stubborn fat build-up.
Try Real Food And Measure Your Results
I know it’s difficult to eat more food and to reach your protein goals. But you will get better results with less “objective” protein as long as the food you’re eating is real.
What do you think will provide better results from these two scenarios when it comes to gaining muscle?
- Option 1: 175g of protein from a steak, a fillet of salmon and some bone broth
- Option 2: 250g from whey protein isolate
You already know the answer.
One has more protein but you instinctly know that there are other factors that influence building muscle.
Real food is much more powerful. It’s not that hard to learn how to cook. You’re very capable. You just need to learn how, practice, and then you’ll have that skill for the rest of your life.