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Weight Gainers Vs. Whey Protein

author image Brian Willett
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for and He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.
Weight Gainers Vs. Whey Protein
Weight gainers and whey protein are intended to assist in muscle gain when combined with an exercise program. Photo Credit: kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

Whey protein supplements and weight gainer supplements are considered useful for weight lifting and other athletic pursuits due to their protein content. However, the two supplements have significantly different nutritional profiles, which makes them useful for different goals. While weight gainers and whey protein may aid in your fitness goals, you should consult a doctor before using these or other supplements.

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Calorie Content

Weight gainers and whey protein differ significantly in calorie content. As their name indicates, weight gainers are intended to aid in weight gain, so they are high in calories. Weight gainers may have between 500 and 2,600 calories per serving. Meanwhile, a typical whey protein powder contains about 120 calories.

Protein Content

Weight gainers are typically higher in protein than whey protein supplements. However, the protein content comprises a significantly larger percentage of whey protein supplements than weight gainers. A lower-calorie weight gainer may contain 35 grams of protein, while a higher-calorie weight gainer may supply 100 grams of protein. However, given calorie amounts of 620 and 1,860, the protein comprises just 22.5 and 21.5 percent of the calories in these gainers. Meanwhile, a whey protein powder with 120 calories typically contains 24 grams of protein, meaning protein comprises 80 percent of the calories.

Fat Content

Fat is high in calories, so it is included in weight gainer supplements; a weight gainer may have between 4 and 29 grams of fat. Although fat is sometimes avoided on diets, fat is vital for proper health, as it helps your body absorb nutrients and encourages proper growth. Whey protein supplements typically contain very little fat, about 1 gram per serving.

Carbohydrate Content

Because whey protein is intended to be a source of protein and little else, such supplements contain very little carbohydrates, about 3 grams per serving. Weight gainers contain high levels of carbohydrates, as this helps increase the calorie content. A weight gainer may contain between 58 grams and 391 grams of carbohydrates per serving. In addition to providing calories, carbohydrates provide your body with energy. Not all carbohydrates are beneficial, and you should limit your sugar intake. Limit added sugars to between 6 and 10 percent of your total calorie intake.

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