Core Nutritionals GROW: Whole Food Based Mass Gainer

CORE Nutritionals has had some fun recently with their Fun Sweets collab, which yielded some delicious flavors with the brand that made cotton candy a festival staple. Core HYDRATE Fun Sweets came next, and true to Core form, the end result was delicious.

Core Nutritionals GROW

Now it’s time for another chapter of what Core arguably does better than anyone in the business: formulation. The newest Core offering will be a mass-gainer, and it’s called – suitably – GROW.

Core GROW: A Mass-Gainer for Champions

For the majority of people, losing weight is priority number one – such is the state of the world. For some though – hard-gainers – they have the opposite problem: they can’t gain weight. In order to help them out during bulking season, Core GROW is here with a densely-packed formula delivering 880 calories and 50 grams of protein per serving, without being too dirty. And to boost its efficacy, we have a full 2 gram dose of Velositol from Nutrition21 to drive the protein (and carbs) home, thanks to its insulin-supporting chromium complex!

Doing better protein powders… again

This one’s right in line with the brand’s Core competency: If you remember talking to Doug Miller in Episode #050 of the PricePlow Podcast, Doug Miller started the brand seeking a better meal replacement protein, and that’s where Core MRP was born. Well, the situation’s the same for weight gainers as well, and once again, Doug and his team are solving the industry’s problem of low-quality protein-based supplements.

We’re going to dive into how Core GROW works, but first, let’s check the PricePlow for good Core deals, and check out our video review of the new formula:

Core Nutritionals GROW – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Without further ado, let’s get into the macros and then head into the key ingredients.

Core GROW 2023

Core GROW is back in 2023! The long-awaited return of a high-quality food-based weight gainer is finally here!

Core GROW – Nutrition Facts

Each 4 scoop (231.9g) serving of GROW contains the following:

  • Calories: 880

  • Total Fat: 17g

    • Saturated Fat: 8g

    • Trans Fat: 0g

  • Total Carbohydrate: 136g

    • Dietary Fiber: 17g

    • Total Sugars: 36g

  • Protein: 50g

Now, that’s a mass-gainer.

Core GROW – Ingredients

Here’s an image of the ingredients (and a greatly-appreciated amino acid profile) in GROW, with a rundown to follow:

Core Nutritionals GROW Ingredients

  • Oat Flour – 120 g

    For the bulk of the carbs, Core has opted to utilize oat flour. It is one of the cleaner sources of carbohydrates, and provides a nutrient-dense and slower-digesting method of getting calories in. This slower digestion results in more sustained energy and insulin curves, helping to avoid spikes and crashes.

    Oats and Oat Flour

    May your carb sources also be protein and fiber sources. Oats are the best for this situation!

    In addition, oats are dense, nutritionally. They are replete with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help smooth the digestive runway. They also help reduce LDL cholesterol due to the metabolism-charging β-glucans.[1,2] This signifies oats’ health-protective effect, making them a far cry from empty calories.

    Realize that with a whopping total of 120 grams, you get a solid amount of protein from this ingredient alone — 16 grams! In general, you can calculate a touch less than 10% of your oat flour to provide protein. We’re also getting some highly-needed fiber to help your GI tract bind to and remove toxins.

  • Whey Protein Concentrate (30g yielding 24g)

    Whey protein concentrate, the primary ingredient in many weight gainers worldwide, is a dairy-based protein filtered for higher protein content. It’s well-supported by studies for improving strength and body composition when combined with the right diet [3-6].

    We prefer whey concentrate for weight gainers because it retains more bioactive compounds, like immunoglobulins and lactoferrin, and tastes better. With standard protein powders, it is best practice to make it as close to pure protein as possible, for the sake of dieters and easy, clean protein intake. With mass gainers, we aren’t afraid of a few carbs and fat – the more, the merrier.

    Core Nutritionals GROW

    In addition to its taste and profile, whey concentrate has an excellent amino acid spectrum, including high leucine levels that promote muscle protein synthesis [7-10].

  • Milk Protein Isolate (9.44g yielding 8.5g)

    Milk protein isolate is produced before separating the whey and casein from cow’s milk, and is therefore a combination of both. Casein has actually been shown to be superior to whey protein for supplementation before sleep – in a 2018 study, randomized participants consumed either whey or casein prior to sleep. Researchers tracked each group’s resistance exercise (RE) volume and resting metabolic rate (RMR). In this study, only the high-dose casein group displayed an increase in RE and RMR.[11]

    In addition, casein is slower-digesting[12] than whey and spikes insulin less.[13] This suggests that casein is an excellent addition to a mass gainer, which is best consumed after a workout or prior to sleep.

  • Organic Cane Sugar

    Core chose to balance the slower energy and gradual insulin release from the oat flour with organic cane sugar to boost sweetness and taste. As a result, you’ll get a slightly quicker insulin spike,[14] which helps boost protein absorption following a workout.

    When you’re not worried about weight gain, there’s not nearly as much risk to consuming sugar as long as it is balanced by other macronutrients.

  • Velositol (Amylopectin Chromium Complex) – 2g

    So we’ve got quality carbs and protein, what next? Drive them home by focusing on insulin signaling (this ingredient) and digestion (the next ingredient).


    Made by Nutrition 21, the experts in Chromium and Insulin management, Velositol can boost Muscle Protein Synthesis by using chromium and a ‘tickle’ of insulin-spike from amylopectin!

    Nutrition21’s Velositol is a patented ingredient complex of chromium and amylopectin starch.[15,16] This combination can help improve the body’s insulin signaling, subsequently optimizing its anabolic response. The amylopectin part boosts insulin secretion and the chromium part helps make muscle cells more sensitive to said insulin.[17] A pro-anabolic one-two punch!

    Velositol is studied alongside protein, showing efficacy in boosting MPS (muscle protein synthesis) and strength. MPS is a major component of muscle growth, adding lean mass gains and supporting muscle recovery.

    With the chromium complex inside, Velositol enhances insulinogenic functions. Taking it post-workout alongside protein can boost the amino acid uptake, especially for muscles undergoing recovery. This enables you to get more out of your protein.

    Velositol research

    In 2017, researchers published a study showing that Velositol and whey protein combined stimulated muscle protein synthesis better than just whey alone. Four hours post-ingestion, the Velositol + whey group had significantly improved FSR (fractional synthesis rate) compared to the whey-only group.[19]

    Even more impressive, Velositol had enough power to optimize the insulin spike, but it kept blood sugar levels normal:

    Velositol: Insulin and Blood Glucose Curves

    Insulin and Blood Glucose curves after post-workout Velositol + Whey Protein administration. Insulin is boosted yet blood glucose remains steady.[19]

    It is, however, worth noting that this study used just 6 grams of protein — a “sub-optimal dose” — which is obviously way less than we’re getting in Core GROW. Still, further research shows that there’s still a great deal of efficacy with more ‘standard’ doses of protein, as we’ll see.

    Velositol Amino Acids

    Nutrition21 provided an image showing that Velositol can improve the uptake of all kinds of proteins!

    To test Velositol with larger protein doses, in 2021 researcheres published data with actual athletic results. There were three different treatment groups:[89]

    1. 15g whey protein + 2g of Velositol (V15P)
    2. 15g whey protein alone (15P)
    3. 30g whey protein alone (30P)

    After 8 weeks of supplementation and a resistance training protein, the V15P group significantly outperformed the 15P group, which most of us would expect knowing how chromium works. Even better, though, the V15P group also significantly outperformed the 30P group![89]


    We’ve gone on the record saying that Velositol in a weight gainer is a slam dunk, and we’ll repeat it again here — Core GROW’s use of Velositol makes total sense. And we can do even more to boost absorption and uptake, next with digestive enzymes:

  • DigeSEB Enzymes

    Your body may need a bit of help digesting and utilizing all of these calories, carbs, and protein, and that’s where DigeSEB digestive enzymes come in. DigeSEB is a blend of the following enzymes, following by the purpose they serve:

    Core Nutritionals GROW

    • Protease: helps break down protein
    • Lactase: helps break down lactose (milk sugar)
    • Amylase: helps break down carbs
    • Lipase: helps break down lipids / fats.
    • Cellulase: helps break down plant fiber

    Core is a big fan of DigeSEB, and it can be found in many of its formulas, like Core GUT. We tend to agree with their discernment, as digestive enzymes can help “grease the gears” for your digestive system.

  • The rest

    Rounding out the Core GROW formula, we have the following ingredients:

    • Sweet Potato Powder
    • Coconut Oil
    • Peanut Flour
    • Sunflower Lecithin
    • Sodium Chloride
    • Sucralose

    All told, we have a mass gainer shake packed with a hefty 880 calories and a respectable 50 grams of protein. That’s certainly a nice boost for all the hard-gainers out there.

Core Nutritionals GROW

All Core GROW flavors

GROW is launching in three flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cookies N Cream. Check out our up-to-date list of GROW flavors below:

    Another hardcore tool in the box

    Core Nutritionals Bolic V2

    Take your gains even further with the recently released BOLIC muscle builder.

    If you’re having a difficult time shoving down enough calories to effectively put on muscle, standard protein powder is not going to cut it. You need to bring in the big guns.

    Core GROW is a howitzer. With three rich flavors to choose from – chocolate, vanilla, and cookies n cream – you will be able to throw down calories like nobody’s business. As we head into the cold winter, there has never been a better time to start putting on muscle, even if it comes with a little bit of fat.

    And since it’s Core, you can rest easy knowing that GROW contains the best, highest-quality ingredients that money can buy. Even though it’s bulking season, your body still deserves immaculate treatment.

    Core Nutritionals GROW – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

    Get Price Alerts

    No spam, no scams.

    Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

    Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

    About the Author: PricePlow Staff

    PricePlow Staff

    PricePlow is a team of supplement industry veterans that include medical students, competitive strength athletes, and scientific researchers who all became involved with dieting and supplements out of personal need.

    The team's collective experiences and research target athletic performance and body composition goals, relying on low-toxicity meat-based diets.

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    2. Sang, S. and Chu Y.; “Whole grain oats, more than just a fiber: Role of unique phytochemicals;” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Jul;61(7).;
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    4. Naclerio, Fernando, and Eneko Larumbe-Zabala. “Effects of Whey Protein Alone or as Part of a Multi-Ingredient Formulation on Strength, Fat-Free Mass, or Lean Body Mass in Resistance-Trained Individuals: A Meta-Analysis.” Sports Medicine, vol. 46, no. 1, 24 Sept. 2015, pp. 125–137, 10.1007/s40279-015-0403-y;
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