If you are trying to bulk up your muscles, to sculpt your body or build your strength, it is not just about going to the gym and lifting heavy.
You also need to be eating the right things in order to build up your mass and equip your body with the nutrients and fuel it needs to make muscles.
If you are looking to transform your body, you need to eat a lot of protein. It can be difficult to do this from just three square meals a day. When you are also trying to bulk up significantly, you also need to up your calorie and carbohydrate intake, which adds yet another challenge when arranging what exactly you are going to put on your plate.
This is where mass gainer powders can help. These are very similar to protein powders, but they contain more calories and carbohydrates. This helps you maintain a calorie surplus, which is essential when it comes to bulking up.
In this article, we will take a quick look at what to look for in a mass gainer, and then share our list of the ten best mass gain powders that you can buy today.
Finally, we’ll have a look at the best ways to use mass gainer supplements to build a muscular physique without developing fat.
What to look for in the Best Weight Gainers
Mass gainers are a lot like protein powders, in that they give you an easy way to drink down the nutrients that you need, without having to spend the whole day eating.
Good mass gainer supplements contain a big boost of high-quality proteins. But while protein powders aim to be low in carbohydrates and low in calories, mass gainers will give you a big boost in both.
This is important, as just as you need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight, you need to create a calorie surplus to gain weight.
You will want about 40 percent of those calories to come from carbohydrates. This is essential to give your body fuel to burn. This leaves protein available for muscle building, and also stops your body from needing to burn muscle for fat.
A lot of modern mass gainers also include added vitamins and minerals, and will often include a boost of creatine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which should all boost how well your body can convert protein to build muscle.
Mass gainers actually vary significantly in terms of how many calories and carbohydrates they offer. Which one is right for you depends on what you are trying to achieve.
If you are someone who struggles to gain weight in general, is looking to bulk up significantly, or is looking for fast progress, you will want a higher-hitting powder. This might deliver 1500 calories per serving, with 60 grams of protein and 200 grams of carbohydrates.
If you are looking to bulk up but you are happy to take more time to build a lean physique, you will want a recipe that is lower in calories and carbohydrates and has more of a focus on protein.
The majority of weight gainers are based on whey and casein protein, often combined with egg protein. But there are also vegan options available, which usually use a mixture of pea and brown rice proteins.
You will see that a lot of powders include maltodextrin to provide the carbohydrates that are needed. It is often derived from gluten-free sources such as ultra-fine oats and tapioca.
This source of carbohydrates is less than 20 percent sugar, which makes it a safe way to boost your daily intake.
10 Best Mass Gainers
Reflex Nutritional Instant Mass Heavyweight
We think that this mass gainer option from Reflex Nutrition is one of the best options on the market for building lean muscle, as it prioritizes protein over calories.
A standard 300 grams serving delivers just over 1,000 calories with 60 grams of protein, which means that you are getting more of the good proteins that you need per calorie.
Protein is derived from whey, casein, and eggs, which means that it is very rich in all of the essential amino acids and creatine, which means that your body has the tools that it needs to build muscles and not just gain weight.
The recipe also has an added 18 vitamins and minerals, to help ensure that you are maintaining your overall health while transforming your body. These include vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, iron, copper, and chromium.
Choose from chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, cookies and cream, and choc peanut butter flavours.
- Serving size 300 grams
- 1089 calories
- 60 grams of protein
- 195 grams of carbohydrate
- 5.7 grams of fat
Naked Mass All-Natural Weight Gainer
This is a clean recipe that only contains a few essential ingredients, without the added extras that can make planning your diet complicated.
Expect whey protein, casein protein, maltodextrin carbohydrate, coconut sugar, and vanilla for flavour. This does mean that you don’t get flavour choices with this brand.
The brand uses proteins from grass-fed cows to ensure a healthy range of amino acids, and you can expect 11.5 grams of branched-chain amino acids per serving to ensure you put on muscle, and no just mass.
The maltodextrins in this mix are derived from tapioca rather than wheat, which means that this is also a gluten-free solution.
- Serving size 323 grams
- 1260 calories
- 50 grams of protein
- 251 grams of carbohydrate
- 2.5 grams of fat
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Protein Powder
This is a heavy-duty mass gainer for anyone trying to seriously boost their calorie intake to develop their muscular physique.
It is based on dairy proteins using both whey and casein, and maltodextrin as the principal source of carbohydrates.
The gainer has no added sugars to contend with, but is reinforced with 24 vitamins and minerals to support your overall health while transforming your body. This includes zinc calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, D-biotin, chromium, selenite, and much more.
It is also enriched with three grams of creatine per serving, which encourages the body to develop lean muscle and assists with muscle recovery.
This mass gainer is available in a variety of flavours including banana, chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, and more. Something for every taste.
- Serving size 334 grams
- 1263 calories
- 50 grams of protein
- 250 grams of carbohydrate
- 2.4 grams of fat
Bulk Mass Gainer
If you are looking for a looking for a lighter mass gainer, which provides more protein and less calories for leaner muscle development, then try this high-quality and affordable powder from the Bulk range.
It uses a mix of whey, casein, and egg for protein, and ultra-fine Scottish oats as its source of carbohydrates – so be warned the recipe does contain gluten.
The resulting recipe contains an impressive five grams of Leucine per serving, which is one of the most important essential amino acids when it comes to protein synthesis and muscle development.
Choose from a range of flavours including chocolate, banana, and strawberry as an easy way to start boosting your gains.
- Serving size 135 grams
- 538 calories
- 40 grams of protein
- 66 grams of carbohydrates
- 8 grams of fat
Time 4 Mass Gain Protein Powder
If what you are looking for is really a protein powder with a little bit of an extra boost for gaining mass, then you will like this low-calorie, high-protein option from Time 4.
It uses a mix of whey and casein protein to make a slow-release formula that drip feeds the muscle in a way that maximizes growth and recovery.
The main way that it differs from a standard protein powder is that it has a good carbohydrate boost as well. This means that your body has plenty of carbohydrates for energy, and can focus on using proteins for muscle development.
You will find four types of creatine within the recipe, as well as added probiotics, for the best possible performance and digestion.
This recipe is available in chocolate peanut butter, creamy toffee pudding, raspberry ripple, and vanilla coconut milk. Users tend to agree that it is one of the tastiest options on the market.
- Serving size 50 grams
- 382 calories
- 36 grams of protein
- 50 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of fat
Naked Vegan Mass
Vegan bodybuilders will be pleased to see that Naked Mass also makes a vegan recipe that uses pea and brown rice protein as an alternative source.
It is another clean recipe that matches these two protein sources with tapioca-based maltodextrins, which means that it is gluten-free.
- Serving size 315 grams
- 1,230 calories
- 50 grams of protein
- 248 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of fat
Vegan Mass Gainer
This is another great vegan option that uses a mixture of soy, brown rice, and pea protein, with fine Scottish oats, to create a high protein and high carbohydrate recipe that is low in fat and calories, and therefore perfect for building lean muscle.
It doesn’t include a lot of extra ingredients, so you don’t need to be worried about what you are inadvertently consuming when downing one of these shakes.
Get yours in chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla, and start gaining healthy, vegan weight.
- Serving size 125 grams
- 450 calories
- 32 grams of protein
- 75 grams of carbohydrates
- 3.5 grams of fat
Bulk Vegan Mass Gainer
Bulk also makes a Vegan recipe based on pea, brown rice, and pumpkin seed protein, which gives a great amino acid blend.
The recipe also delivers carbohydrates without gluten using ultra-fine oats, flaxseed, and quinoa.
There is also some goMCT Vegan Medium Chain Triglyceride Powder added to the mix to ensure that your body is able to make the most of this muscle-building fuel.
Choose from a variety of tasty flavours, and get a feel-good kick from the compostable packaging.
- Serving size 100 grams
- 367 calories
- 30.9 grams of protein
- 43.6 grams of carbohydrate
- 5.8 grams of fat
USN Hyperbolic Mass All-In-One Gainer
This is called an “all-in-one” gainer, because each serving contains 5400 mg of creatine, plus a mix of other BCAAs, for the best possible performance.
Expect big boosts of leucine, isoleucine, and valine to boost performance. It claims to be one of the fastest-acting options on the market and especially effective for those who struggle to gain weight. Users tend to agree, giving the product excellent ratings.
- Serving size 300 grams
- 1,190 calories
- 60 grams of protein
- 200 grams of carbohydrates
- 22 grams of fat
Health Hack Mass Gainer
This innovative recipe uses a combination of casein, whey, egg white, and hydrolysed wheat protein to give a nice protein boost, with added L-Leucine powder for the best possible protein absorption.
It combines this with low GI carbohydrates which contain very little sugar, which helps keep body fat levels low.
Choose between chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavours to start bulking up.
- Serving size 135 grams
- 483 calories
- 47 grams of protein
- 70 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of fat
How To Gain Weight With Mass Gainer Supplements
For most people, mass gainers aren’t really necessary. If you want to gain a little bit of weight, adding an extra 200-300 calories to your diet each day with some healthy food should be easy, and also the healthiest and most effective way to gain weight.
However, this is not true for everyone.
Just as it can be very difficult for some people to lose weight, it can be very difficult for some people to gain weight.
is because the body tends to have a certain weight “set point” where it is comfortable. If you are looking to make significant changes to your set weight, it is going to be challenging.
When you just eat more calories, you will start to gain weight at first. But for most people, your body will become accustomed to the increased calorie intake, your metabolism will increase, and you will stop gaining weight.
If you are also working out to build muscle mass, your metabolism is increasing from that as well. This makes it even more difficult to get all the calories that you need to reach your goals.
This is when a mass gainer can be a useful tool.
How much mass gainer do you need?
Exactly how you should use mass gainers depends on what exactly you want to achieve.
First, you should calculate your maintenance level calorie intake required just to keep you where you are. This depends on a lot of factors, and the best thing you can do is speak to a sports nutritionist to determine yours with accuracy.
However, as a starting point, if you are doing hard exercise three to five days a week you should multiple your BMR (basal metabolic rate) by 1.55.
A set of smart scales can help you determine your BMR and other body measurements.
If you are trying to build lean body muscle, gaining muscle while losing weight, you will want to add an extra 200 to 300 calories to your diet on the days that you are working out.
However, if you are trying to bulk up significantly, you might want to add an extra 600 calories each day.
Tips for using mass gainer
Take your mass gainer within an hour of completing your workout in order to give your body the nutrients it needs to build and repair itself.
If you work out in the morning, if you are still looking for a few extra calories, you can take some more mass gainer in the evening around two hours before bed. This will also help ensure that the body has enough fuel overnight and doesn’t start burning your hard-earned muscles for energy.
When you do start taking mass gainers, do it gradually so that your digestive system has a chance to get used to the new diet. Otherwise, it can be quite unpleasant.
No one says that you have to have a full serving at a time. Break it up in a way that works for you.
If you are also using protein shakes, try not to overlap too much in the ingredients that you are ingesting. You don’t want to be having a whey protein shake in the morning and then a whey weight gain shake in the evening. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to diet.
Will mass gainers make you fat?
Yes, mass gainers can make your fat as they significantly boost your calorie intake. You need to match your mass gainer with work at the gym in order to ensure that the mass you are gaining takes the form of muscle.
Do mass gainers make you feel full?
Unlike protein shakes, which are designed to make your feel full, mass gainers are not designed to suppress appetite. This is because you need to eat to maintain your calorie surplus. But this does mean that it can be easy to go overboard with mass gainers, and quickly start eating significantly more calories than you need. This is when gains can become fat.
You need to work hard to transform your body. But what you choose to eat has just as big an impact on how successful you are likely to be as does how much you lift.
If you are trying to bulk up your muscles, you are going to need to create a calorie surplus of the right nutrients, giving your body what it needs to grow while eliminating fat.
Mass gainers are an effective way to take control of your calorific intake and make sure that your body is getting exactly what it needs.
- Is Maltodextrin Bad for Me? – Healthline
- Best Mass Gainer – Fitness Brain
- The real pros and cons of mass gainers – BarBend
Last update on 2021-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API