You might have heard the phrase that you can’t outwork bad nutrition. You’ve probably also heard that abs are made in the kitchen.
Both of these sayings highlight a very important fitness principle: No matter how good your workouts may be, solid nutrition is absolutely vital to getting results and reaching your fitness goals.
Depending on what those goals are, proper nutrition might mean different things for different people. But one thing that’s consistent across the board is the importance of getting enough protein every day.
Why Is Protein So Important?
Protein is made up of smaller functional units called amino acids, and these tiny amino acids are the primary building blocks of muscle.
But protein also has some other important jobs, such as:
- Helping you feel more full
- Supporting lean muscle mass
- Promoting recovery after your workout
- Playing a role in a ton of cellular processes within your body.
Basically, if you don’t get enough protein, you won’t be able to maximize the results of your hard work in the gym, plain and simple.
Whether you’re trying to burn fat, put on a few pounds of muscle, or embracing a full-on “dirty bulk”, getting enough protein is vital to reaching your goals.
But reaching your protein goal from your food alone can be tough. That’s where a protein supplement can really help.
There are a few options to choose from though.
Whey protein typically comes as a protein powder, and it’s become one of the most popular protein supplements in the fitness community.
Whey is derived from milk and is great for use as a post-workout protein source because it’s broken down and absorbed quickly. This allows it to get to your muscles faster than other protein sources that take longer to digest.
The faster you can get protein to your hungry muscles following a tough workout, the quicker your recovery can begin.
This is what makes whey the perfect post-workout protein source.
Are protein better with milk or water?
When mixing your whey protein, you should use either milk or water. It doesn’t really matter which, and you should use whichever you prefer. Using milk will result in a slightly more thick shake, which more people prefer, although it will add a few more calories. This isn’t really a big deal though, except for those who are strictly counting calories.
A mass gainer is a nutritional supplement that delivers protein, but it also packs a ton of calories in the form of carbs and fat. It’s primarily designed to help you put on weight when you’re trying to bulk up.
Most mass gainers deliver up to 1,000 calories or more per serving and are usually very high carb.
And since you’ll be working out a lot when you’re trying to bulk up, some mass gainers may even provide other ingredients like creatine or L-glutamine to promote a smoother post-workout recovery.
A supplement like this can be a useful tool when you want to bulk up, but it isn’t really very beneficial to those trying to add a small amount of lean muscle, and it definitely isn’t designed for those trying to lose weight or burn fat.
It’s also not great as a post-workout protein source. Although mass gainers do provide protein (it might even by whey protein), and usually a lot of it, it’s not the best protein for right after your workout. This is primarily because of the other ingredients in your mass gainer, such as fat.
Fat is broken down slowly, and having fat in your protein shake can slow down the rate at which your protein is digested and absorbed. This, in turn, will hinder the protein from getting to your muscles as quickly as possible, which is why a mass gainer is not the best option for a post-workout protein source.
Are mass gainer better with milk or water?
When mixing your mass gainer, you should use either milk or water. Milk is preferable since it makes for a slightly thicker consistency. Using milk also adds extra calories which are usually a positive thing for those trying to bulk up.
Which One Should You Take?
Are you wondering whether to use whey protein or a mass gainer?
The answer to this question depends on your current goals. If you’re working out and living an active lifestyle, you should definitely have a quality post-workout protein source on hand.
My recommendation is whey protein.
But for those trying to put on weight, a mass gainer might also come in handy. It can help you get the extra calories that your body needs to grow.
Even if you’re taking a mass gainer, I still suggest using whey protein as your post-workout protein source. A mass gainer is better for use at other times of the day, and shouldn’t be taken immediately before or after your workout.
Regardless of which supplements you decide to use, there’s no substitute for good nutrition. To build a strong, healthy body, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet.
When your nutrition is on point, a good supplement like whey protein or a mass gainer can help give you that added boost you need to reach your goals!