Choices: Mass Gainers, Protein Shakes & Meal Replacements

mass gainers

Shakespeare said it first when he wrote “A rose by any name would smell as sweet.”

Mass gainers, meal replacements and protein shakes are all nutrient dense supplements but are the different names for these supplements really warranted or are they superficial. If you’re putting together a shopping list of supplements you’ll want to know so you can avoid buying supplements that do the same thing, and get the supplements that work best for your specific health and fitness goals. Read on to discover the differences (and possible similarities) between these three classes of supplements.

What is a protein shake?

If you’ve ever stepped foot in a gym or even considered doing so, you have probably heard the term . These days protein shakes and weights seem to go hand-in-hand. Protein shakes are supplements that come in powder form and consist of considerable protein content. The shake is then mixed with either water or milk for consumption. The protein itself can be derived from a number of different substances these days including:

  • Soy
  • Milk
  • Casein
  • Plants
  • Whey

Why you should consider taking a protein shake

Whether you are female or male, protein shakes are a great way to ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet. They require less time and effort to prepare than cooking numerous meals each and every day. What’s more, while you can meet your protein requirements from normal food this isn’t always possible depending on your lifestyle. Finally, protein shakes can enhance protein synthesis and improve muscle recovery, ultimately helping you build muscle mass and shed off some body fat. If you’re looking to improve your body composition then protein shakes can help make sure you are well on your whey.

Benefits of protein shakes

  • Easy preparation
  • Fast absorption
  • Convenient
  • Cost-effective way to meet your protein requirements
  • Muscle growth, development and recovery
  • Satiety

Important note: Protein shakes are not designed to replace meals; they are designed to supplement an already balanced diet to help increase protein consumption in line with your fitness goals and alongside a structured training program.

What is a mass gainer?

Much like protein powders, mass gainers are supplements in a powder form that offer a significant amount of protein. The difference between them, however, is that mass gainers offer more calories than your normal protein powders. This is because unlike protein powders which are low in fats and carbs, mass gainers also contain large amounts of fats and carbohydrates as a means of improving your overall caloric intake.

Mass gainers are designed to help you put on muscle mass and bulk effectively.

Why you should consider mass gainers

In previous blogs, we have extensively covered the need to enter a caloric surplus to put on mass. These means consuming more calories than you are burning on a daily basis, and it is usually an excess of approximately 500 calories. If you are entering a bulking phase, struggle to put on weight or simply want to add muscle then mass gainers will be an effective supplement choice for you. They are also a convenient means of eating enough calories and avoiding the hassle of preparing and eating a number of calorie dense meals throughout your day.


  • Convenience
  • Easy preparation
  • Helps avoid bloating from excessive eating
  • Easy management of bulking phase
  • More efficient means of maintaining the right macros and calories for mass building
  • Efficient source of quality macronutrients

What is a meal replacement?

Unlike the other supplements, meal replacements come in a few different forms including bars and powders. They are intended to meet the nutritional requirements of a balanced meal in the correct portions. This means that they will consist of an adequate amount of both macronutrients and micronutrients whereas the other two supplements make macronutrients their priority.

Why you should consider taking a meal replacement

Meal replacement supplements are a great way to manage how much food you take in a controlled manner. While meal replacements should not be the only source of nutrition for your diet, they are a great way to help you manage your overall intake and consumption. This is why they are often taken by individuals looking to lose weight.  What’s more, if you keep a really busy schedule or are on the move the majority of the time meal replacements will help make sure you are getting your daily requirement of nutrients.


  • Convenience
  • Easy preparation
  • Balanced macro and micronutrient profile
  • High in fibre which helps manage hunger
  • Can help improve weight loss

Powerhouse is your dedicated partner in reaching your fitness goals. Our staff are well versed in everything to do with fitness, from supplements to exercise and dieting. For professional advice on nutrition and what supplements are best for you, get in touch today and reach your goals.

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