Mass Gainer Or Whey Protein – Which One To Choose For Athletes?


he world of fitness is brimming with fitness regimes, supplements, and what not! The overwhelming range and increased availability of sports supplements present an ongoing challenge among individuals to decide on the right supplement. The latest prevailing confusion is among the athletes, whether they should go for Whey Protein or Mass Gainer.

Knowing The Supplement Better Will Ease Your Choice

Any supplement for that matter, you must always choose it based on what it is meant for and whether or not it suits your fitness goal. So, shall we go ahead with mass gainer first?

Mass Gainers are supplements filled with a 1:3 ratio of protein to carbohydrates. The carbohydrate content of mass gainer is thrice the content of protein. The heavy amount of carbs increase the calorie count taken by the body. This clearly demonstrates that mass gainers are the supplements you should go for if you have difficulty increasing your calorie intake for bulking up. Since increasing endurance is the goal for athletes, mass gainer won’t serve the purpose.

Fine then, let’s move on to our next option which is protein. Before we discuss whether Whey supplement benefits your goal or not, we need to understand the importance of protein in general.

Protein Replenishment Is Paramount

Dietary protein is a key nutritional component to humans irrespective of whether they play a sport or not. The role protein has to play is vast and starts from the most basic sub-units right up to the most complex structures in the human body. Protein can build tissues, transport cellular information, and can communicate within the body. Protein is a structural key element of muscle, bone, ligaments, and tendons while also plays a role in a wide range of metabolic interaction such as promoting a healthy immune system.

Muscle Tissue Breakdown Is More Among Athletes & Hence Protein Demand Persists

Every sport involves your muscle activity and so is the muscle breakdown associated with it. Athletes have a high dynamic demand, their endurance event involves both the aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways.

Although it is true that endurance events come with an inherent demand for both simple and complex carbohydrates in order to maintain glycogen stores for energy, most athletes fail to acknowledge that the exercise puts a strain on their muscles and protein is the fuel the muscles need in order to repair and regrow.

This means a regular supply of protein is required to minimize the catabolic side effect of training. Protein is required to repair and remodel muscle proteins to support and improve strength and endurance capacity.

In fact, serious endurance athletes need a little more than the normal recommended daily allotment of protein because maintenance, repair, and growth of lean muscle mass, immune health all depend on protein. The low protein intake lengthens the recovery time, causes muscle weakness, and suppresses the immune system.

While carbohydrates are indeed the body’s preferred source of fuel, protein plays an important role in energy production too. After about 90 minutes of exercise, your muscle glycogen stores become nearly depleted and the body will look for an alternative fuel source. This time, your muscle tissue becomes a target for gluconeogenesis, which is the synthesis of glucose from the fatty and amino acids of lean muscle tissue. Adding protein will help to provide amino acids and reduce tissue breakdown.

Some Athletes Fear That Whey Protein May Bulk Up…Is It True?

Sports enthusiasts and athletes tend to be very reserved and cautious about their weight as it can directly hamper their performance on the field. Some athletes have a fear of supplementing with Whey Protein thinking that it may make the bulk. How far is this true? Let’s learn below:

  • The type of training you engage in determines whether you bulk or not. Athletes who undergo high volume endurance training do not bulk, regardless of the protein intake, whereas those who do relatively low volumes of strength training will gain mass.

  • Additionally, it is the volume of calories you consume-be it carbohydrates, protein, or fat that is the primary factor that determines weight gain. Since the athlete’s activity involves more calorie burn during endurance exercise, a low-carb, moderate calorie Whey supplement that offers 80-90% protein per 100g will not necessarily cause overall bulk unless you resistance train by lifting heavyweights.

  • Moreover, endurance athletes and bodybuilders in some respects, although they have similar protein requirements, the way in which the body uses the protein differs. Bodybuilders mainly implement protein to increase muscle tissue, whereas, endurance athletes need protein primarily to repair existing muscle tissue that is undergoing a constant breakdown from day to day training.

5 Reasons To Prove How Whey Protein Is An Effective Tool For Athletes

  • Whey Protein has the highest biological value compared to other protein sources, meaning it is absorbed more readily than other forms of protein. We have known through research that, a liquid source of protein is preferable after exercise, this is because it’s absorbed faster and more readily compared to solid food sources. The convenience of Whey Protein powder is that it can be carried in your bag and consumed right after training.

  • Whey Protein is loaded with all 9 essential amino acids. It is particularly high in BCAA leucine, which is known to be the most effective amino acid when it comes to promoting muscle growth. Besides, Whey Protein also has a high amount of cysteine, which helps boost levels of the cellular antioxidant glutathione.

  • Whey Protein contains the amino acid tryptophan, which plays a crucial role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Lower levels of serotonin lead to feelings of depression and restlessness.

  • Whey Protein helps maintain a healthy weight since it promotes fat loss while building lean muscle mass.

  • Whey Protein helps promote strength and lean muscle gains and increases physical endurance. It helps speed up the repair of damaged muscles after high-intensity exercise.

In the end, it is Whey Protein and not the mass gainer, which can give athletes an edge!

After all, it is the lean body with strong muscles that is what you want for athletic performance and this can be achieved with Whey Protein…

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