Can the Pro gainer vs Pro complex comparison help the thousands of people from all parts of the world struggling to gain weight? While most of us seem to struggle with weight loss (the weight loss market is very lucrative as a result), a good number of us have a never-ending struggle and an internal battle with weight gain.
So, this article is for us, all the people struggling to gain weight, for whichever reasons, the misfits as they may call us.
Today, we learn all about the best strategies for gaining weight. But most importantly, we determine which of the two most significant weight gainers is ideal for us. The market for weight gainers, with an increasing number of men (and women) looking for healthy ways of bulking up beside, or along with the gym.
To help you come to a safe and healthy conclusion with regards to the best weight gainers on the market, we’ll look at two of the most popular weight gainers by Optimum Nutrition – Pro Gainer and Pro Complex.
Weight gainers, also called mass gainers, are the best gifts to individuals struggling to build on lean muscle mass.
We can all agree that eating more than enough for us to gain extra lean mass even as we work out is challenging enough and that eating right is even more difficult. So, to help move things along and grow lean muscle, supplementation goes a long way.
In this comparison piece, we’ll take a look at the features of each weight gainer and also review how they differ from each other. But first things first…
What is a weight gainer?
The right weight/mass gainer is formulated with ingredients that make it easier for you to bulk up. Think of the gainers as the extra boost you need in your diet, aside from eating chicken and rice, all day, every day.
A weight gainer is a specific protein powder variety formulated with high caloric content. The gainer is also high in proteins but low in fats and sugars.
As a result of their formulation, the weight gainers can replace meals effectively, although you could use the protein powder along with your diet to introduce clean calories to the bulking diet you are already on.
The calorie content in the mass gainers is variable, and the serving sizes also vary depending on manufacturers. What this means is that some of the weight gainers you come across will have a low-calorie amount of 400kcal in each serving, but there are other with the significantly high-calorie content of up to 1250kcal/serving.
With these differences in mind, you should always read the weight gainer’s label before purchase or use.
Besides the recommended caloric serving, you also need to take into consideration your lifestyle and health status: are you lactose intolerant? Are you vegan, and is the weight gainer you are considering vegan?
Remember that if you are lactose intolerant, then you’ll want to find the vegan options because they are unlikely to have lactose.
You should also check the other ingredients in the weight gainer – for example, if you choose a weight gainer that has creatine and you are taking creatine monohydrate supplements, you’d have to stop taking the supplements.
This goes for BCAAs as well – you’d have to stop taking the BCAA tablets if the weight gainer has either glutamine or leucine.
Tips for taking weight gainers correctly
First thing first; track what you are eating now. Before you go ham on the protein powders for weight gain, evaluate your current eating habits. Take a few days to log what you eat.
The good news is that there are several food tracking apps for you to use, and these apps have a good number of food items that have been added to their libraries already.
Your only job would be to scan the barcode for a specific food item the mark the amount of food you consume. The app would, in return, calculate the number of macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) in percentages.
The app will also calculate all other important statistics such as the amount of fiber, salt, and sugar in the food while translating that data into the carbs, fats, or proteins. Now that you have these details on the app, you can start your search or use the gainers.
Essentially, the data collected above would help you figure out how much you’d need from the weight gainers in terms of proteins and carbs, and this information will help you determine how much you will be consuming from the weight gainers, to hit your target.
The other important factor to consider is the liquid to mix the weight gainer with. While most people use milk and milk substitutes, we recommend using plain water. Milk might work, but you need to bear in mind the extra 200 calories from the 500ml milk.
Pro Gainer vs. Pro Complex
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s look at two of the best and the most popular weight gainers and how they differ from each other.
Pro Gainer: Pro Gainer refers to a mass gaining protein supplement by Optimum Nutrition. Essentially, if you are not new to lifting, you should have heard of Optimum Nutrition, Pro Gainer is high in protein, it delivers just the right amount of calories, carbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins, which means that this supplement is an easy source of nutrition you could drink.
The formulation of the Pro Gainer has everything you could ask for – it is a protein blend with all the ingredients you could ask for in a weight gainer from whey protein isolates to peptides, which means that this formulation will allow you to easily build on your current diet plus the exercise routine you are on – ultimately making it easy for you to bulk up.
You could use the Pro Gainer as a post-workout shake or as a high-protein meal replacement.
Pro Complex Gainer: Another protein supplement by Optimum Nutrition, Pro Complex Gainer is Pro Gainer’s sister, but it features some subtle differences in that the Pro Gainer Complex comes loaded with Glutamine and the BCAAs, ingredients that are essential for your recovery, especially after a tough workout.
On ton Glutamine and the BCAAs, this complex is loaded with essential proteins, calories, and carb, which also help in speeding up your healing, but also enhance muscle growth.
It’s worth noting that muscle gains and muscle growth result from the healing, recovery, and the rejuvenation/ growth of muscle fibers and the Pro Complex Gainer is designed to enhance all these functions.
At the end of the day, this Pro Complex Gainer will help you bulk up faster.
How does the Pro Gainer Differ from the Pro Complex Gainer?
The Pro Gainer
The biggest difference between these weight gainers lies in their ingredients – even though there are similarities too. For example, The Pro Gainer features a protein to carbohydrate ratio of 1.4:1 (grams).
This ratio is regarded as the ideal ratio necessary for the development of lean muscle mass. This ratio is also effective in that it prevents overconsumption of carbs, and that means very minimal fat storage. The Pro Complex Gainer has a similar ratio formulation.
There are some major differences in the ingredients, though. The main ingredients of this gainer include a protein blend with some of the best ingredients you need to bulk up.
The ingredients that make up this protein blend include whey protein concentrates, whey protein isolates, calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed whey peptides, egg albumin, and glutamine peptides, among other ingredients.
The protein content in this gainer is 60g, it has 85g of carbs, and 8g of fat. All these ingredients and the concentration of the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates make this an excellent protein blend for gaining lean muscle. If you choose to use the gainer, each serving will give you 650 calories.
Breakdown of ingredients
Pro Complex Gainer
In addition to 85g of carbs per serving, 7g sugar, and 60g of the protein blend, this gainer also comes with 32 minerals and vitamins, which enhance the overall function of the gainer, as well as cellular activity.
Then you have the Pro Complex Gainer, which is, for the most part, a lot like the Pro Gainer, especially because its formulation follows the 1.4:1 ratio seen in the Pro Gainer –this ratio is the result of the 85:60 ratio of the protein and the carbohydrates per serving (in grams).
Although this ratio means that you have more than 10g of carbohydrates that is largely unnecessary, this formulation is still pretty good if you are looking to build up your lean mass.
The similarities between these two weight gainers aside, the biggest difference between them is that in addition to the protein blend made of whey protein isolates, concentrates, egg albumin, glutamine peptides, calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed whey peptides, and glutamine peptides, this Pro Complex Gainer also comes with L-Glutamine and BCAAs.
These two are the powerhouse of the Pro Complex Gainer because they enhance the functions of this weight gainer by offering additional benefits that make the gainer the perfect post-workout protein gainer. First, L-Glutamine and the BCAAs enhance muscle recovery, which means that you will get back to weightlifting in no time.
The other advantage of these ingredients is that they will boost your muscle mass because you will have more amino acids doing the muscle-building job for you.
Note that the proteins incorporated in the Pro Complex are rapidly digesting proteins, hence their effectiveness in muscle recovery. This Pro Complex gainer comes with 15.5g of BCAAs and the 10.5g glutamate.
The other difference is in the calories you will get from the Pro Complex Gainer. Contrary to expectations, this gainer only gives you 650 calories per serving, but you get the same amount of protein as the Pro Gainer. As a result of its calorie content, the Pro Complex is the best gainer for anyone looking for the best lean gainer, rather than individuals looking to gain mass.
For you to gain one pound of muscle, you need to consume about 3500 calories, above and beyond the number of calories that you would normally consume through beverages, foods, supplements, etc. Since each serving of this gainer gives you about 660 calories, you will be on your way to an increased lean mass within a week if you take the gainer consistently.
Pro Complex Gainer – Ingredients’ Breakdown
High-quality proteins – the Pro Complex Gainer is made up of high-value proteins that are not only crucial for muscle growth but also bio-available, and they reach all the important cells fast. Each serving of this gainer gives you 60g of protein designed to build muscle. All these proteins are derived from 7 unique protein sources.
Complex and healthy carbohydrates and Lipids are also high in this gainer because you need them for energy sustenance – the carbohydrates and the fats will be burned as fuel. Each serving of the gainer gives you 85g of carbs, 4 or 5 grams of fiber, but only 5g of sugar. The fats are made of some of the healthiest fats, the medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, among other energy-dense lipids.
Micronutrients – This gainer is formulated with essential minerals and vitamins necessary for the growth process of your muscles. The micronutrients are needed by the body, and without them, your body wouldn’t be able to process carbohydrates, fats, or proteins. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, this gainer has 26 vitamins, as well as essential minerals.
If you are buying the Pro Complex Gainer, it’s also worth noting that this weight gain supplement has a high whey protein isolate content – it’s its primary source of protein.
Usage: Pro Gainer vs Pro Complex Gainer
Pro Gainer: Unlike most of the weight gainers on the market, gainers that will provide as much as 1000 calories or more, the Pro Gainer will only give you 650 calories per serving.
At 650 calories, this weight gainer meets the threshold necessary for supplying your body with all the important muscle-building proteins/amino acids, healthy fats, as well as the glycogen-restoring carbs.
At the end of the day, the Pro Gainer gives you everything you need to build muscle and to recover. The calorie content of this gainer also makes it a good lean gainer, rather than a mass gainer.
Unfortunately, the Pro Gainer is imperfect. This gainer has artificial sweeteners, as well as synthetic minerals and vitamins. So, if you are taking vitamin or mineral supplements, you may want to discontinue their use if you will be using the gainer.
Pro Complex Gainer: Thanks to the fast-digesting peptides, isolates, and the hydrolyzed proteins, the Pro Complex Gainer is a fast-digesting lean gainer that works as the perfect post-workout recovery/ growth supplement.
However, you need to beware of the low carbohydrates content in this gainer and the fact that you may have to eat enough carbohydrates for the restoration of your glycogen levels and for the reduction of your blood cortisol levels. The Pro Complex Gainer has 5g of carbs, only which means that it would be an excellent idea to pair this gainer with a bowl of oat-based cereals, post-workout. But if you choose to take the gainer at any other time, take it alone as it is.
How to use the lean mass gainer/ protein powder
To use either the Pro Gainer or the Pro Complex Gainer, add one heap-full scoop of your mass gainer into a 16oz glass/ bottle of cold water then shake this mixture thoroughly, and drink
As mentioned above, adding the gainer to milk wouldn’t be such a great idea because milk will introduce additional calories, and this means that you could miss hitting your goals, especially if you don’t reduce your caloric intake in meals.
You could, however, stack up your shake with creatine or any other supplements for weight gain, especially if the supplements’ minerals or vitamins are not included in the weight gainer.
So, in as much as the vegan or cow milk alternatives, peanut butter, cherries, and some chocolate ice cream promise to make your protein shake ridiculously tasty, you need to be ready for a thicker waistline – well, unless you go ham at the gym the next day.
Both supplements are an excellent source of calcium, they taste great, and they mix well with water.
Both weight gainers are also available in different flavors, which makes the gainers easy to take. Whether you choose the Pro Gainer of the Pro Complex Gainer, your options will include the banana cream pie, strawberry cream, vanilla custard, and the double rich chocolate flavors. The sizes are variable as well, and you’d get to choose either the 5lbs or the 10lbs option.
Choosing the Best Lean Mass Gainer
Abs are made at the gym but revealed in the kitchen. Well, this statement that gets passed around the gym world a lot is very true, and we’d only add that this statement doesn’t apply to abs only, muscles count too.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you will get those abs and muscles after a day in the gym. Generally, you’d have to put in a lot of time at the gym, and you’d also need to eat the right proteins to gain those muscles. Your lean muscle is made of protein, the gym, eating right after the gym, and rest.
To allow your body to build lean mass, you’d have to stack up on the best protein sources, including nuts, salmon, eggs, seeds, lean steak, chicken breast, etc. The catch, however, is that these are not enough, and you’d have to supplement your diet with the best lean mass gainer, especially if you are struggling to bulk up.
How much protein do you need to bulk up?
The professionals might argue, but the general consensus is that you will need between 1.8g and 2.2g of protein for every kg of your weight, especially if you train rigorously.
Best protein sources/ Ingredients – Whey/ Casein
Casein and whey are the most common types of protein for lean muscle/ mass gains, and casein is the slow-release protein, which is why it’s recommended that you take casein supplements after your workout and before bed to enhance the body’s healing, repair, and for muscle building.
Whey proteins, on the other hand, are fast-release proteins, but they also work well as post-workout proteins, although you could also use the whey protein supplements as pre-workout supplements. The beauty of the whey protein supplements, therefore, is that you could take the supplement at pretty much any time of the day.
You need calories to add mass, but adding too many calories would mean putting up fat rather than muscle. Therefore, you have to be careful about the calories in the weight gainer.
Essentially, a protein supplement is regarded as a lean mass gainer if it has 400 calories per serving, and that means that a gainer with 600-1000 calories would be an excellent option for you to get started.
The mass gainer you settle on must have the right ratio of carbs: proteins. There are different thoughts about this ratio, but a 1.2-1.8:1 ratio is a good start.
The best of these gainers have a low-fat content, and the best thing you need to know is that the fats in the gainer must be the healthiest of fats.
Ingredients to avoid
Although some of these lean mass gainers are regarded as safe and all-natural, it’s important for you to consider the actual ingredients in the supplement. Avoid the gainer with added sugars, chemical sweeteners, and emulsifiers, among other nasty ingredients.
Don’t use too much protein gainers
Though tempting, you should not use too much of the gainer because the additional protein ingredients from the gainer would strain your liver and the kidneys, making the hard work you’ve put in over the years a waste of your money and time. So, like everything else, the key is moderation.
Put in enough gym hours
Just because you can buy a lean mass gainer, it doesn’t mean that you get to laze around the gym. You have to lift those weights, do the squats, pushups, and other strength, weightlifting, core, and cardio exercises to strengthen your body. So, investing in some workout gear wouldn’t hurt one bit.
Neither the Pro Gainer or the Pro Complex Gainer will cause any negative effect to healthy adults, but you should avoid both supplements if you are allergic to milk, eggs, wheat, or soy.
The Pro Gainer and the Pro Complex Gainer are both excellent lean mass gainers, and you’d do well with either. With the biggest differences between these two being very subtle – the BCAAs and leucine amino acids in the Pro Complex Gainer, you will not miss out on much from the Complex Gainer.
Both are made of whey protein isolate – a fast-digesting protein, and you could enjoy the gainers at any time of the day. They are both good post-workout protein powders, easy to use, and they come with just the right calorie content for you to build up your lean mass weight, the healthy way.