A man pouring a scoop of protein powder into a shaker filled with water.

Your guide to bulking powders

Bulking powders are BIG business within the world of bodybuilding, as they’re essentially used to help people ‘bulk’ up their muscle mass.1

Also known as protein powders, bulking powders aren’t just for bodybuilders, they’re used far and wide by people who want to achieve their fitness goals and individual growth plans.

Some people may use them multiple times a day, especially if they really want to bulk up, as they’d have to eat a huge amount of calories to fuel their growth. Meanwhile, others may use them less frequently; the ‘rules’ associated with using them are as varied as all of the different bulking protein powders that are on the market.

What are bulk powders?

Are what they say on the tin. They are used by people to bulk up and support their training and fitness regimes. They range from whey protein powders, casein protein powders and egg white protein powders, to collagen protein powders, hemp powder, plant-based protein powders, and more…2 These bulking powders can be taken in all sorts of different ways. You can:3

  • Mix them into drinks

  • Create a protein powder drink by mixing some scoops with water

  • Blend them with other ingredients to make a smoothie

  • Stir them into yoghurt, oatmeal or dips

  • Add them to soups

  • Blend them into baking recipes

  • Incorporate them into your diet in the way that works best for you!

When to take bulking protein powders4

It depends on what you are using them to achieve. For instance, depending on your fitness/bulking plans, you may have just one large serving or lots of smaller portions a day.

And if your goal is to lose some weight, then you may also want to bump up your diet with some high protein foods, such as poultry, cheese, yoghurt, milk, beans, peas and lentils and eggs5 ,  throughout the day too.

You can use bulking powders:

  • Before exercise/workouts
  • After exercise/workouts
  • Two hours after working out
  • During the day in small quantities
  • Before you go to sleep

5 of the best protein powder for bulking – our top picks

Everybody’s bulking goals are different so it’s difficult to say one particular protein powder is better than all the rest. Plus the fact, bulking powders work differently on different people, people’s metabolisms are different, some people’s workouts may be more difficult than others, etc, etc…

With that in mind, here are our top picks, based on customer ratings, to help you find the best protein powder for bulking:

  1. Bulk Powders Informed Whey Double Chocolate 900g

 A bag of Bulk Powders Informed Whey Double Chocolate.

 H&B customer rating: 5 stars

About this bulk powder: Informed Whey uses protein and amino acids, and combines them with gourmet taste and rigorous independent banned substance testing. It delivers 24g protein per serving via its mTOR Whey Complex. Protein contributes to growth in muscle mass.

Flavours: Double chocolate or strawberries & cream.

Ingredients (Double chocolate): mTOR Whey Complex (Whey Protein Isolate (Milk), Whey Protein Concentrate (Milk), Leucine), Glutamine Peptides (Gluten), Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Flavouring, Instantising Agent (Soya Lecithin), Thickener (Xanthan Gum), DigeZyme Enzyme Complex (Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase), Sweetener (Sucralose), LactoSpore (Bacillus Cogaulans).

How to use it: Mix 1 level scoop (30g) with 200ml of water or skimmed milk and shake well in a shaker bottle. Consume 2 to 3 servings per day, one of which should be immediately after training or exercise.

  1. Optimium Nutrition Serious Mass Chocolate Peanut Powder 2730g

A container of Optimium Nutrition Serious Mass Chocolate Peanut Powder.

H&B customer rating: 4.5 stars

About this bulk powder: Optimum Nutrition's Serious Mass is the ultimate weight gain formula. Each delicious shake delivers an incredible 1,250 calories, but no added sugar. This includes 50g of blended protein to support muscle growth and 252g of carbohydrates.

Flavours: Chocolate peanut, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, banana, cookies & cream.

Ingredients (Chocolate peanut): Maltodextrin, Whey Protein Concentrate (milk), Calcium Caseinate (milk) (Emulsifier: Soy Lecithin), Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder (2.3%), Flavouring, Minerals (Sodium Chloride, Dipotassium Phosphate, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Zinc Oxide, Cupric Gluconate, Manganese Sulphate, Chromium III Chloride Hexahydrate, Potassium Iodide), EGG Albumen, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Creatine Monohydrate, Choline Bitartrate, L-Glutamine, Glutamine Peptides [Wheat], Whey Powder (milk), Inositol, Vitamin Blend (L-Ascorbic Acid, Nicotinamide, DL-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Retinyl Acetate, Pteroylmonoglutamic Acid, D-Biotin, Cholecalciferol, Cyanocobalamin), Sweetener (Sucralose).

How to use it: Add 2 heaped scoops (330g) of Serious Mass to a blender filled with 710 ml of water. Blend for 45 to 60 seconds. Then add a few ice cubes and, if desired, other calorie-contributing ingredients and blend for an additional 30 to 45 seconds. 

  1. USN Diet Fuel Powder Vanilla 1kg

 A container of USN Diet Fuel Powder Vanilla.

 H&B customer rating: 4.4 stars

About this bulk powder: USN Diet Fuel Ultralean Nutrition is a high protein and high fibre meal replacement shake formula, which can be consumed as a convenient yet nutritious meal on the go.

This unique meal replacement formula contains nutrients like L-Carnitine, Chromium Picolinate, HCA (calcium hydroxycitrate), Boron and Selenium to ensure that high levels of micro-nutrients are maintained when on a strenuous exercise programme.

 Flavours: Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

 Ingredients (Vanilla): Whey protein blend (Milk) (Whey protein concentrate (Milk), Whey protein isolate(Milk)), Soy protein isolate, Calcium caseinate (Milk), Micellar casein (Milk), Maltodextrin, Fructose, Polydextrose, Fructoligosaccharides, Stabiliser: Cellulose gum, Flavourant, Anti-caking agent, Calcium phosphate, Sodium chloride, Magnesium oxide, MCT oil, Vitamin premix, Potassium chloride, Non-nutritive sweetener: Sulcralose, ZymatechTM Lactazyme Blend, Colourant: E124, Chromium picolinate.

How to use it: Add 2 rounded 55g scoops to 200 to 300ml of cold water (or skimmed milk). Mix thoroughly in a blender or shaker for 30 seconds for a smooth and tasty shake. Have 1 to 3 servings daily.

  1. PhD Diet Whey Powder Belgian Chocolate 1000g

 A bag of PhD Diet Whey Powder Belgian Chocolate flavour.

 H&B customer rating: 4.3 stars

 About this bulk powder: Support your goals with PhD Diet Whey Protein Powder. Packed with premium protein goodness, low sugar, this PhD protein could be the product you’ve been searching for.

 Flavours: Chocolate, white chocolate, strawberry, chocolate orange, vanilla, banana, Cherry Bakewell, chocolate mint, chocolate & peanut and birthday cake.

 Ingredients: PhD Lean Body Slow Release Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate (Milk)(27%), Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate), Enduragrain(TM) Long Chain Waxy Barley Starch, Golden Brown Flaxseed Powder, Dietary Fibres (Acacia Gum, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum), Flavouring, CLA Powder (contains milk protein, Lecithin, Vitamin E anti-oxidants), Citric Acid, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Natural Colour:- Beetroot Red, Green Tea Extract, Sodium Chloride, Sweetener:- Sucralose.

 How to use it: Use 2 to 3 servings of Diet Whey daily.

For Men: Add 2 scoops of Diet Whey to 350ml of ice cold water and shake for 10 seconds.

For Women: Add 1 or 2 scoops (depending upon preference and requirements) of Diet Whey to 175ml (if 1 scoop used) or 350ml (if 2 scoops used) of ice cold water and shake for 10 seconds.

  1. Precision Engineered Whey Protein Powder Cookies & Cream 908g


 A container of Precision Engineered Whey Protein Powder Cookies & Cream.

H&B customer rating: 4.2 stars

 About this bulk powder: Precision Engineered Whey Protein Delicious comes with three forms of premium grade protein (isolate, hydrolysed and concentrate) as well as a comprehensive amino acid profile. Derived from milk, precision engineered whey protein is a natural and complete source of protein and is ideal for individuals with an active lifestyle or those who want to increase their protein intake.

 Flavours: Cookies & cream, sticky toffee, salted caramel, natural, birthday cake, Belgian chocolate and banana.

 Ingredients (Cookies & cream): Protein Blend (Whey (Milk) Protein Concentrate (WPC80), Hydrolysed Whey (Milk) Protein, Whey (Milk) Protein Isolate), Cocoa Powder (Sulphites), Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, Acacia Gum), Bulking Agent (Xanthan Gum), Maltodextrin, Sweetener (Sucralose), Cream Flavouring, Triacetin, Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Sucrose, Vegetable Oil, Biscuit Flavouring, Lactoperoxidase (Milk), Vitamin C (as Sodium Ascorbate), Vitamin E (as dl-Alpha Tocopherol), Colour (Beta Carotene).

 How to use it: Blend one level scoop with 125ml (half a cup) of water, juice, milk or yoghurt. For best results, use an electric blender and drink within 20 minutes. Drink Precision Engineered Whey Protein any time during the day as needed or 1 to 3 times per day to add extra high quality protein to your daily kilocalorie intake. Ensure adequate hydration during and after training.

Now that you’re here, you may want to check out this article too, ’14 of the best protein bars and snacks.’ Shop Sports Nutrition

Last Updated: 5th January 2021

1 https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/top-10-supplements-for-bulking.html 2 https://www.healthline.com/health/best-protein-powder#our-picks 3 https://www.healthline.com/health/best-protein-powder#how-to-use 4 https://www.healthline.com/health/best-protein-powder#how-to-use 5 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/food-and-drinks-for-sport/
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