A Product Review Of Popular Weight Gainers & Whey!
The first series of reviews will cover protein. Learn more from this descriptive review about great products such as ON Whey, N-Large 2, Champion Nutrition Heavyweight Gainer and Universal Real Gains!
Optimum 100% Whey Protein
While I personally do think that supplements are effective, I think that the most important thing anyone can do to achieve their physique goals is to eat a proper healthy diet and exercise. As for what it means to eat a healthy diet - we all know that.
Some things like white bread and subs made with sandwich meats may appear to be healthy and not actually be so, but in general, I would say that almost everyone has a basic idea of what it means to eat a healthy diet. As for exercise - the basics are the basics.
90% of bodybuilding is eating a healthy diet and training properly and with intensity as far as I'm concerned. That having been said, there is one supplement that I always consistently use and that is the basic whey protein powder.
To me, it is food - only sometimes things can get busy and there isn't a lot of time to eat meal after meal that is suitable for bodybuilding, but something basic like a banana and protein shake is simple and easy to prepare.
- Serving Size (scoop) 1
- Servings Per 80
- Calories 110
- Fat Calories 15
- Total Fat (g) 1.5
- Sat. Fat (g) 1.0
- Cholesterol (mg) 25
- Sodium (mg) 55
- Potassium (mg) 220
- Total Carbs (g) 2.5
- Sugars (g) 1.0
- Proteins (g) 23
- Calcium (mg) 168
Each serving of Optimum 100% Whey was 130 calories per 32 gram scoop. Only 15 of these calories were from fat or the equivalent of under two grams of fat per serving. Each serving was 24 grams of protein and 4 grams of carbohydrates. This is a nice ratio in favour of protein which is what everyone is obviously looking for in a protein powder.
Mixing the protein powder with milk would add in some extra calories, as would eating a piece of fruit with it, to make one small but complete bodybuilding meal.
Pretty well any flavor in the Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey line tastes great. I have yet to find one that my tastebuds have disagreed with. For the longest time, I would always use the extreme milk chocolate, chocolate mint, or double rich chocolate flavors.
Recently, I had mistaken a bucket of my friend's ON protein as my own and mixed it, only to learn that it was the cookies and cream flavor which became my new favourite. The taste is great and there is no aftertaste to speak of. It is definitely formulated properly in the flavor department.
I drank Optimum 100% whey in milk, but sometimes in water. Generally I use skim milk, or any other type of milk depending on what is available. To date, I don't remember ever mixing ON whey with homogenized milk. When I mix it with water, it is not as richly flavored and I think it is most suitable with milk, but it is ok with water. My preference is still with milk though.
Usually I would drink my shake with a piece of fruit, sometimes post-workout, or just at any point in the day when I needed to get some calories in. In bodybuilding, fast food is a shake with a banana! That is a far cry from the fast food which is common to most of the population. It's all good and it's all for you, so why not do it?
It is really hard to gauge the exact result of a protein powder since the purpose of a protein supplement is to get extra calories in your diet, and not to elicit an anabolic effect like some creatine products. I do think that a protein powder or weight gain powder, consumed either post-workout or at any point during the day as an extra meal will give you a boost in overall calories which will contribute to sustaining an anabolic environment.
Some may want to get these extra calories or protein in through other food items like tuna fish, but for me, the convenience of protein shakes cannot be beaten. I will always include them in my diet. I don't necessarily consume them every day, but on a weekly basis, they are always a part of my bodybuilding diet and always will be.
I have been using Optimum Nutrition whey for some time now and it has never let me down. Optimum whey is also generally inexpensive for a "Name brand" protein powder. It is a winner in every area, ranging from nutritional value to mixability to taste.
If you are looking for a boost of extra calories, ON 100% Whey is for you. While I have only tried the chocolate and cookies and cream flavors, I'm pretty confident that all of the ON line flavors would be worth a try. Next time I place my order, I will pick a new flavor out. I think I will try rocky road next.
Any bodybuilder that has ever done the tiniest amount of research into their passion knows that one of keys to muscle gain is proper nutrition. Whether you're cutting or bulking, nutrition and diet is at the forefront for these goals. However, with today's busy lifestyles and the growing cost of whole foods, getting enough dietary nutrients to meet your goals can be difficult.
This is where the role of proper supplementation comes into play. Quality protein supplements have become a mainstay of the modern bodybuilder. Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey Protein powder has quickly become one of the most popular and effective supplements of its kind and not without good reason.
Mixability, taste, nutritional content, and most importantly cost are all areas where this product excels. Not only does this product offer an excellent source of quality protein, it is also loaded with a host of BCAA's and glutamine; important nutrients to the muscle building process.
It is no wonder this product was voted Protein Powder of the Year and Supplement of the Year. It mixes easily and the taste is far superior to the powders I have tried in the past. My favorite means of preparing this product also happens to be the easiest; inside a glass with a spoon.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Overall Supplement Of The Year:
Optimum 100% Whey.
View More Pics From The 2006 Supplement Awards Here.
I found that by mixing by blender the mixture was more of a milkshake, not the consistency I favor. I must admit, I only consumed this product mixed with milk, never water. Whether it was skim, 1% or 2% it tasted great, 1% being my favorite.
When mixed with a spoon with 1% milk it had a surprisingly similar taste to chocolate milk. I had no digestive problems with this product. When mixed with 8 ounces of milk the nutritional yield was; 250 calories, 33g of protein and 16g of carbohydrates (estimate).
There are many schools of thought as to when one should consume their protein supplements. Some suggest before one's workout, some say after one's workout, some saying before one goes to bed. With this product it is easy (on your digestive system and your wallet) to consume it multiple times throughout the day.
I consumed this product at the aforementioned times. A fourth serving was also often consumed during breakfast. Oatmeal, fruit salad and toast or polenta are good sources of quality carbohydrates and nutrients to start the day but, they are not the greatest source of protein.
These are the types of breakfast meals that benefited from an Optimum Nutrition protein boost. Experts agree that consuming between 1-2 grams of quality protein per pound of bodyweight is needed for muscle growth and to sustain current muscle mass; an Optimum Nutrition protein shake goes a long way in meeting these protein needs.
N-Large 2 by Prolab
N-Large 2 by Prolab is definitely one of the most popular weight gain powders around. It's a fan favourite all over! Stacked with whey protein powder and creatine, you can definitely pack on the mass and strength fairly quickly with N-Large 2.
For the natural bodybuilder this makes the ideal supplement to whole foods. N-Large 2 also tastes great. Unlike a lot of other weight gain powders which don't taste very good and are only taken because they do the job, N-Large 2 does both: provides the athlete with a delicious tasting shake on top of being a very effective one. There are three flavors for N-Large 2: Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. All of them are delicious in my opinion.
Every serving of N-large 2 has a HUGE 52 grams of protein! As well, there are 89 grams of carbs and a total of 620 calories. If you mix with water, those are the numbers you are looking at. Mixed with whole or skim milk, and you will have an even more calorie dense shake!
You will want to drink as much N-large 2 as you can handle. Some people can take shakes in larger quantities, while others have difficulty doing that and prefer drinking several smaller shakes throughout the day (me for example!). You could take partial servings of N-large 2 depending on what you feel works best for you. N-large 2 is a great mass building formula!
Let's check out the nutrition facts:
- Serving Size (g) 152
- Servings Per 27
- Calories in H2O 620
- Fat Calories 55
- Total Fat (g) 6
- Sat. Fat (g) 4
- Cholesterol (mg) 100
- Sodium (mg) 150
- Total Carbs (g) 89
- Dietary Fiber (g) 2
- Sugars (g) 28
- Proteins (g) 52
Amino Acid profile of 18 amino acids. Maltodextrin, cross-flow micro-filtered cold processed ion exchanged whey, fructose, natural flavoring.
Champion Nutrition Heavyweight Gainer
Bodybuilding is a highly individual activity which is different for every person depending on their genetics and physique goals. In truth, the basics are almost everything in bodybuilding and everyone should start with the basics, and gradually see what works and what doesn't and go from there.
Like a lot of other young men, I started out looking not so much to lose body fat, but to gain muscle mass. The way I did that over the years was by sticking with the basics - hard and heavy exercises in the gym with dumbbells and barbells, and a basic healthy diet high in calories broken down into multiple small meals over the course of the day.
One way which I found was easy to get a lot of extra calories in was by using various supplement powders to go with my whole food meals. I know one bodybuilder who ate no less than one dog food sized bag of weight gain powder each week as he progressed in his bodybuilding journey!
I have personally found that protein powders and weight gain powders make great small meals when coupled with a piece of fruit, and can be taken either post-workout or at any other time during the day.
- Serving Size (g) 154g
- Servings Per 21
- Calories 630
- Fat Calories 90
- Total Fat (g) 9.5
- Sat. Fat (g) 1
- Cholesterol (mg) 20
- Sodium (mg) 590
- Potassium (mg) 1500
- Total Carbs (g) 101
- Dietary Fiber (g) 5
- Sugars (g) 42
- Proteins (g) 35
Metacarb-III (proprietary carbohydrate blend which contains: maltodextrin and modified food starches), Peptol-III (proprietary protein blend which contains: beef protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate and egg albumen), whey, fructose, lowfat Dutch cocoa, medium chain triglycerides, natural and artificial flavoring, Metavite-III (proprietary vitamin mineral blend containing: dicalcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, potassium citrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin E acetate, niacinamide), etc.
Use 3 times daily: 45 minutes before training, immediately after training and 1 hour before bedtime.
These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to cure, treat, diagnose or prevent any disease.
Champion Nutrition HeavyWeight Gainer 900 tastes good, but is very sweet! In fact, the first time I prepared a shake mixing it with milk I thought that it was TOO sweet. It kind of turned me off to begin with, but at the same time, the solution for that is to simply mix less powder with the same amount of milk to make for a less strong tasting shake.
When mixed in the blender with other things like fruit or juice, the taste will also change drastically. My advice would be not to mix a lot of powder with not a lot of milk, or else you will have one very strong shake. I can recommend specific quantities to mix, but it really depends on how much you would like to consume at one given point.
Pour as much milk or water as you would like and add the powder until you get the desired taste. That is exactly what I would do and how much powder I would use would be dependent on how many calories I was wishing to eat at that particular moment.
Champion HeavyWeight Gainer mixed well. It was a little thick when I first made a shake, before I realized how much was needed to make a shake of the consistency I wanted. I would recommend pouring the milk in first and the powder next. Also, using a blender is always a good idea, and from my experience even the hardest to mix protein and weight gain powders have always mixed well when I did so.
When I first got an interest in bodybuilding I started buying various protein and weight gain powders. I think it was about 6-12 months after beginning when I bought my first weight gain powder whereas before that I was using various protein powders.
At the time, the extra calories did help me to gain weight, some of which definitely was muscle! I will say right now though that you have to be weary of how many calories you take in, regardless of quality or source. Your body can only synthesize so much protein, especially if you are training steroid free.
Be sure to not go overboard on protein or weight gain powders or you run the risk of gaining fat. If you are conscious of this and use the supplement powders in moderation and responsibly, you are sure to get an extra boost in your program to help you gain some added muscle mass.
My only qualm with Champion Nutrition's HeavyWeight gainer would be the sweetness. Personally, I would rather drink plain shakes than flavored shakes because my goal is UTILITY and not TASTE. I eat and live bodybuilding to achieve my goals, and I am not particularly concerned whether or not every supplement I take tastes like candy.
That said, this, HeavyWeight Gainer is a nice and convenient way to get some extra calories and I highly recommend it for bulking purposes as long as you don't forget to eat a healthy diet and train hard too!
Supplements are just that - goodies to supplement an already strong bodybuilding regiment. Champion Nutrition HeavyWeight gainer costs only $29.79 for seven pounds, so it is pretty reasonably priced too.
Universal Real Gains
- Container Size: 3.8 lbs
- Serving Size: 3.5 Scoops (155g)
- Servings Per Container: 11
- Container Size: 6.85 lbs
- Serving Size: 3.5 Scoops (155g)
- Servings Per Container: 21
- Calories 610
- Calories from Fat 53
- Total Fat 6g 9%
- Saturated Fat 3g 14%
- Cholesterol 97mg 32%
- Total Carbohydrates 87g 29%
- Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
- Sugars 5g
- Protein 52g 104%
- Calcium 316mg 32%
- Iron 2mg 11%
- Sodium 168mg 7%
- Potassium 503mg 14%
What's In It?
Amount Per Serving:
Maltodextrin, Real Gains protein complex (ultra filtered whey concentrate, micellar casein, whey protein isolate), dutch processed cocoa, inulin, flaxseed oil, mct, calcium caseinate, chocolate flavor, natural and artificial flavors, sodium chloride, sucralose, acesulfame potassium.
Use one serving between meals and at bedtime. Due to potency, you may want to take half the recommended dosage.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Universal Real Gains Review:
While I consume protein powders more regularly than any other type of supplement powder, high calorie weight gain powders are excellent products in general which contain a lot of calories and usually have a nutritious breakdown.
While it is sometimes difficult to eat calories, drinking them is easier and a weight gain powder is a great idea for a number of reasons - mainly convience, low cost, and nutrition. Each serving size is 3.5 scoops and contains a total of 610 calories. 53 of those calories are from fat, with 87 grams from carbohydrates and 52 grams from protein! It is a calorie rich blend which will give you the nutrition you need to grow.
I mix the Universal Real Gains weight gain powder with milk and it makes a great shake. You can mix it with any type of milk, or water if you wish. Another possibility is mixing it in a blender with other food items of your choice, such as fruit or yogurt. I have no complaints about the taste and it is not too sweet like some other weight gain powders on the market.
I would recommend mixing the powder in a shaker bottle for ease of mixing. It will not mix as well in a glass, but will mix well when blended. Personally I don't mind a poorly mixed, clumpy shake, but some of you reading this will definitely disagree and want to avoid that if possible.
The Universal Real Gains weight gain powder is a great value because you get a lot of calories for your buck! The taste is good and the it mixes well so I would recommend it.
I would emphasize the cost of the product above all else since you can get a 3.8 pound tub for $16.79 and a 6.85 pound tub for $27.89. To me that is well worth the price since it is cheap even compared to whole foods, and a lot more convenient and easy to drink.