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Bodybuilders often say “If you wanna get big, you gotta eat big.” But, if you’ve ever watched a “I Ate Like The Rock” YouTube videos, you know that consuming several thousand calories every day can be difficult. That’s why many trying to put on muscle mass prefer high-calorie mass gainers, as it’s much easier and quicker to get your carbohydrates, protein, and fats from a shake than from plate after plate of food. 

Don’t start chugging just yet, though. Our group of certified personal trainers, competitive weightlifters, and competitive triathletes tried more than a dozen of the best mass gainers on the market today to find the best for your fitness goals.

We also enlisted the help of Laila Ouldibbat, a New York City-based registered dietitian who’s pursuing a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, to give us an intricate understanding of how these supplements work.

Together, we look at supplements like the best pre-workout and mass gainers to give you in-depth and hands-on reviews by fitness experts who look at the following factors:

  • Caloric content: How many calories per serving?
  • Macros: What’s the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fats? Are they high-quality?
  • Solubility: How well does it mix in a blender or shaker?
  • Taste: Can you see yourself drinking this almost every day?
  • Price: Is it affordable? Are there discounts available?

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

RELATED: Best protein bars

Best Mass Gainers Over 1,000 Calories

MuscleTech Mass Tech Extreme 2000Dymatize Super Mass GainerNaked Nutrition MassOptimum Nutrition Serious MassNaked Nutrition Serious Mass
Total Calories2,1101,2801,2501,2501,230
Protein60g52g50g50g50g
Carbs456g245g252g252-254g (varies by flavor)248g
Fat6g10g2.5g(varies by flavor)4g

Best Mass Gainers Under 1,000 Calories

Transparent Labs Mass GainerRival Nutrition Clean GainerMutant MassBSN True MassCrazy Nutrition Mass GainerMuscle Milk Pro
Total Calories730560550700487310
Protein51g30g28g50g31g50g
Carbs106g97g96g85g45g17g
Fat12g4.5g6g18g8g5g

The 11 Best Mass Gainers 

Best Mass Gainer Overall: Transparent Labs Mass Gainer

Good for: Anyone who wants to know everything that’s in their mass gainer supplement 

Best Mass Gainer

Transparent Labs Mass Gainer

Product Highlights

  • 760 calories per serving
  • Each serving provides 53 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, and 109 grams of carbs
  • Formulated to support lean muscle mass 
  • Carbohydrates are derived from tapioca, oat, and sweet potato sources
  • Available in Sweet Vanilla and Chocolate Donut flavors
  • Sweetened with Stevia and monk fruit

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Contains creatine monohydrate
  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Derived from nature-based sources
  • No added sugar
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Completely transparent list of ingredients
  • Taste

Cons

  • High saturated fat count
  • Expensive
  • Shipping takes a long time
  • 1:2 ratio of protein to carb may not be enough for some

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs Mass Gainer is one of the more expensive mass gainer supplements, but it offers high-quality, naturally occurring, and clean ingredients that taste good.

Transparent Labs lives up to its name by not only letting you see everything that goes into its supplements, but how much of each ingredient goes into every product (unlike other companies that only list a “proprietary blend” of ingredients in undisclosed amounts). 

When it comes to Transparent Labs Mass Gainer, we like what we see. This supplement is made with natural, high-quality ingredients such as sweet potato, contains zero added sugar, and has 3 grams of creatine monohydrate, which has been shown to support strength and recovery1

Those with a sweet tooth will agree with us that this is a 5 out of 5 when it comes to flavor with Sweet Vanilla and Chocolate-Glazed Donut hitting it out of the park. “It tastes like an actual donut,” says certified personal trainer and GGR senior editor Nicole Davis.

GGR performance editor and certified personal trainer Anthony O’Reilly, who uses this mass gainer on days he doesn’t have time to cook, says it specifically reminded him of Entemann’s donuts.

An image of Transparent Labs Mass Gainer

The 1:2 protein-to-carb ratio means it has enough non-protein calories that can be used for energy expenditure, allowing the protein sources to be used for building muscle.

“When you do not have enough non-protein calories, such as carbohydrates, the protein sources can actually be used as energy and not for muscle mass,” says registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat.

There are also 3 grams of VitaFiber, a type of fiber made from plant starches that has been linked to digestive benefits2, Ouldibbat explains. Mass gainers can sometimes cause upset stomachs and other digestion issues because you’re consuming so many calories in a short amount of time.  

Those with heart issues should know this mass gainer has 140 milligrams of cholesterol per serving, which is very high. It’s also very low in vitamins and minerals, so be sure you get those nutrients from your other meals. 

We dive into deeper into this supplement in our full Transparent Labs Mass Gainer review.

Price per serving$5.13
Total calories 730
Protein, Carbs, Fat*51 g, 106 g, 12 g 
FlavorsSweet Vanilla and Chocolate-Glazed Donut

* Based on Sweet Vanilla flavor. Nutritional content varies by flavor

Best Mass Gainer for Bodybuilding: Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer

Good for: Bodybuilders who want to create a large, yet aesthetic physique 

Best Mass Gainer for Bodybuilding

Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer

Product Highlights

  • Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer combines all-natural, high-quality ingredients to provide a supplement that effectively aides lean muscle growth
  • Compared to other weight gainer, this one is low-calorie and low-fat
  • Available in six flavors sweetened with sucralose and Stevia
  • Each serving provides approximately 560 calories, 30 grams of protein, 99 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mixes well
  • Taste
  • Clean ingredients
  • Low-calorie compared to other weight gainers
  • Low-fat
  • Affordable
  • 6 flavors

Cons

  • Contains sucralose
  • Lower protein content

Bottom Line

Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer is an affordable mass-building supplement made from clean macronutrient sources with a lower calorie count than most weight gainers.

Nutrivo, Rival Nutrition’s parent company, has decades of experience in the sports nutrition industry, so it’s no surprise that Rival Nutrition’s Clean Gainer is our go-to choice for competitive bodybuilders. “Its claim to fame is the ‘clean’ sources for a more ideal muscle mass,” registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat says. In other words, this mass gainer is geared toward those looking to create a sizable, yet aesthetically pleasing physique. 

To be clear, Ouldibbat and we think this is best for bodybuilders who are in a “cutting” phase, or trying to lose excess fat while preserving and toning lean muscle mass. One reason for this is the omission of creatine, which is good for muscle strength and size but causes some to gain excess water weight, creating a puffier physique. 

There’s a 1:3.3 protein-to-carb ratio, which is good for those who don’t want an extreme caloric surplus. The fat blend is made of medium-chain triglycerides, often called the “good fats,” that may help with boosting energy levels3

Jacob Penner, USAW-L2 and owner of Endless Strength Weightlifting, says this is the only mass gainer he can stomach—literally. “I’ve never been able to do a whole tub of mass gainer because I’d have GI issues or just don’t like the taste — I don’t have any of those issues with this one,” he says, rating his overall experience a 5 out of 5 (You can read all about Jacob’s experience with this mass gainer in our Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer review).

The Chocolate Fudge flavor of Clean Gainer was a favorite of GGR senior editor and certified personal trainer Nicole Davis’ favorite-tasting mass gainers on our list—she said it reminded her of hot chocolate. It had a nice consistency and dissolved well with no clumps, too.

Jacob scored the Chocolate-Peanut Butter flavor a 5 out of 5. “It’s very true to its name,” he says. “It tastes like the brand wants people to enjoy drinking it.”

There aren’t many vitamins and minerals present in this mass gainer, and there are several artificial ingredients. On the bright side, the 4 grams of added sugar is on the lower end of what’s in most mass gainers. 

Price per serving$4.37
Total calories 560
Protein, Carbs, Fat30 g, 97 g, 4.5 g
FlavorsCampfire S’mores, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies & Cream, Cinnamon Toast Cereal, Chocolate Fudge, Soft Serve Vanilla

* Based on a 5-pound container of Campfire S’mores. Nutritional content and price will vary by size and price.

Best Mass Gainer for Smaller People: Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer

Good for: Skinny guys or women who want to put on some weight but don’t need 1,000-plus calories

“Best

Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer

Product Highlights

  • Protein powder designed to help increase size and bulk
  • Nearly 40 g of protein per serving
  • 488 calories and 55 g of carbohydrates
  • Low sugar content
  • Digezyme added to aid in digestion
  • Available in chocolate and vanilla

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Customers like the flavor
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Low sugar content
  • Digezyme to aid in digestion

Cons

  • 4 scoops per serving
  • Limited flavors
  • Expensive
  • Not third-party tested

Bottom Line

With natural ingredients and a low sugar content, Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer has a high amount of protein and carbs, without being overloaded on sugars. With this, Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer will get you the calories and protein you need while maximizing muscle gain over fat during your bulking phase. This protein powder also has Digezyme, which aids in digestion to prevent bloating or stomach issues.

Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer comes with 488 calories, with 55 grams of carbohydrates and 40 grams of protein per each four-scoop serving. We like this for smaller people because the caloric content is high enough that it can help athletes obtain the slight caloric surplus needed to put on muscle—the operative word there being “slight.”

Smaller people generally have a lower resting metabolic rate (RMR) than their larger counterparts, meaning they need fewer calories to survive, so a caloric surplus of 1,000 calories—which they might get with more traditional mass gainers—can speed up fat gain, not muscle gain. The general rule of thumb is to put yourself in a caloric surplus of 300-500 calories above your RMR.

Man Drinking Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer

Crazy Nutrition also packs digestive enzymes and several vitamins and minerals into their mass gainer, though the first may be canceled out by the fact that they use whey protein concentrate, which contains more lactose than whey protein isolate and may cause digestive issues for some users.

Destini Moody, a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in sports dietetics, gave Crazy Nutrition extra points for using clean carbs such as oat flour.

Our big beef with this mass gainer is its price, at nearly $5 a serving—that’s expensive, especially considering it has a similar protein content to some of the best protein powders.

Although our expert product testers liked the Vanilla flavor, GGR Head of Content and expert product tester Kate Meier says it’s incredibly thick and to use more liquid than recommended.

“It’s best used in an actual blender, not shaken up in a blender cup,” she says.

Read more in our Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer review.

Price per serving$4.49
Total calories 487
Protein, Carbs, Fat*31g, 45g, 8g
FlavorsChocolate, Vanilla

Best Lean Mass Gainer: BSN True Mass 

Good for: Anyone who wants a relatively low-calorie mass gainer compared to others

“Best

BSN True Mass

Product Highlights

  • Lower calorie weight gainer with a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein formulated to enhance lean muscle growth
  • Each serving provides 700 to 710 calories
  • Each serving has 85 to 90 grams of carbohydrates, 45-50 grams of protein, and 18-19 grams of fat
  • Blend of high-quality protein including pure isolate and hydrolyzed wheys with 10 grams of BCAAs
  • Available in Chocolate Milkshake, Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry, and Cookies and Cream flavors

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mixes well
  • Milkshake-like texture
  • Lower calorie count but solid protein count
  • Best suited for lean gains
  • High-quality protein blend

Cons

  • Higher fat content
  • Uses artificial ingredients and sweeteners

Bottom Line

BSN True Mass may be a great option for those seeking lean gains and do not mind artificial ingredients. True Mass is one of the better-tasting supplements that you will find.

If you’re looking to add size to your physique but don’t want to look like the bodybuilding mass monsters of the 1990s (*cough* Ronnie Coleman *cough*), go for BSN True Mass. There are 700 calories per serving, which is still a lot, but lower than most mass weight gainers.

This can still help you achieve a caloric surplus (when the amount of calories you consume is greater than what you expend in a day) without risking excess fat gain. Or, as registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat puts it, it “supports lean muscle mass growth and not just mass.” 

The protein-to-carb ratio is 1:2, which is on the lower end of what most mass gainers contain, but that’s what you want when your goal is lean muscle gains. 

Nicole Davis, certified personal trainer and GGR senior editor, tried the Chocolate Milkshake flavor and said it tasted OK, but the consistency is very thick if you follow the directions. You may need to add more liquid than indicated if you prefer a thinner consistency.

An image of BSN True Mass mass gainer

You get eight different high-quality protein sources (including casein and whey protein), all of which, Ouldibbat says, are not only easily digestible but also take longer to digest. This helps keep you fuller for longer, thereby making it easier to avoid extra calorie intake throughout the day.

There are a lot of artificial ingredients, which might matter to some, and its sugar content is the highest on our list: 15 grams. It contains few sources of vitamins and minerals. 

Price per serving$4.37
Total calories 700
Protein, Carbs, Fat*50 g, 85 g, 18 g
FlavorsVanilla Ice Cream, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Milkshake, Strawberry Milkshake 

* Based on a 16-serving container of Vanilla Ice Cream. Nutritional content and price vary by size and price. 

Best High-Carb Mass Gainer: MuscleTech Mass Tech Extreme 2000

Good for: People who just need a large amount of carbohydrates in their eating regimen

“Best

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000

Product Highlights

  • Each serving provides 2,110 calories
  • Each serving provides 6 g of fat, 456 g of carbs, and 60 g of protein 
  • 5-in1 mass gainer that includes 17.8 grams of BCAAs including 8.2 grams of L-leucine as well as 10 g of creatine monohydrate
  • Third party-tested for quality assurance
  • 100% whey protein

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low-fat
  • High-calorie
  • Includes BCAAs and creatine monohydrate
  • Lots of protein

Cons

  • Texture is very thick
  • High sugar content
  • Takes 6 big scoops to make one serving
  • Only 6 servings per 7-pound container

Bottom Line

MassTech Extreme 2000 is a calorie-dense weight gainer with impressive protein and carbohydrate counts. But, the serving size is really big creating a very thick drink.

If a high-carb diet is what your coach recommends, there’s no better choice than MuscleTech Mass Tech Extreme 2000. Close to or more than three-quarters of the total calories in this mass gainer come from carbs, depending on what flavor you get. The Triple Chocolate Brownie, for example, has 456 grams of carbs, which equates to 1,824 calories from carbs alone. With 60 grams of protein, this has the highest protein-to-carb ratio of any mass gainer on our list at 1:7.6.

GGR senior writer and certified personal trainer Nicole Davis tried this Triple Chocolate Brownie flavor of Mass Tech Extreme and said the consistency was indeed very hard to get over—you need so much liquid to fully dissolve one serving it’s hard to drink it all.

Colin, a fitness buff who’s used more than a dozen mass gainers, warns the texture can range from too thin to “wildly” thick depending on what liquid you use. “If you mix it with milk, it becomes very thick,” he says MuscleTech Mass Tech Extreme 2000 review. “It’s close to a pudding consistency.”

This is great for those who are looking to put weight on fast, as it can help you easily achieve a caloric surplus. The addition of five grams of creatine may also help those looking to increase muscle size and strength1. *

Registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat warns that only people with high energy expenditure (such as those with large amounts of lean muscle mass) should take this mass gainer. The high-calorie content is good for those who want to achieve a calorie surplus, but too high of a surplus will result in fat gain and not additional muscle mass.  

Oh, and the serving size is six heaping scoops (you read that right), which may make it difficult to thoroughly incorporate the powder into your water or milk. 

RELATED: Best protein powder for weight loss

On the bright side, you’ll be getting a large number of vitamins and minerals with this supplement, many of which are present in high amounts. 

Price per serving$6.66
Total calories 2,110
Protein, Carbs, Fat*60 g, 456 g, 6 g
FlavorsTriple Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla Milkshake

* Based on a 7-pound container of Triple Chocolate Brownie. Nutritional content and price will vary by flavor and size.

Best High-Calorie Mass Gainer: Dymatize Super Mass Gainer

Good for: Anyone looking for a high-calorie mass gainer that’s still good quality 

“Best

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer

Product Highlights

  • Formulated with fast- and slow-absorbing, high-quality protein blends
  • Each serving provides 1,200-1,310 calories (depending on flavor)
  • Each serving contains 52 g of protein, 245 g of carbs, and 14 vitamins and minerals
  • Can be used to bake with
  • Banned substance-tested
  • Formulated to gain mass quickly
  • Available in two flavors: Rich Chocolate and Gourmet Vanilla

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Banned substance-tested
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Fast- and slow-absorbing protein blends
  • Tastes good
  • Includes BCAAs

Cons

  • Requires 2.5 cups of powder for one serving
  • Thick
  • High sugar content
  • Contains sucralose

Bottom Line

High in calories, carbohydrates, and protein, Dymatize Super Mass Gainer could be a choice for those who do not mind large servings or artificial ingredients.

Although we would’ve liked to see Dymatize Super Mass Gainer available in the nostalgic flavors found in their protein powder lineup, the Gourmet Vanilla and Rich Chocolate are some of the best-tasting mass gainers we tried in our testing.

GGR Senior Editor and product tester Nicole Davis went with Gourmet Vanilla and said it was not too sweet, unlike other mass gainers that are packed with added sugars.

Colin, an avid lifter who frequently uses mass gainers, went with the Rich Chocolate flavor and scored it a 4.8 out of 5. “Very chocolate-y and not too sweet,” he says in our Dymatize Super Mass Gainer review. He adds that the consistency was closer to a smoothie than a milkshake, which is what you expect with mass gainers.

When it comes to helping with muscle growth and recovery, individuals in a bulking block will appreciate the absolutely whopping 1,300 calories per serving in this mass gainer. When we said high-calorie, we meant it. Its calories come from 52 grams of protein, nearly 250 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of fat.

This mass gainer also has 10.7 grams of BCAAs, 5.2 of which come from leucine (which has been linked to6 supporting muscle size). There is only 1 gram of creatine, which is less than half the recommended dose.

The vitamin and mineral content is subpar, so anyone taking it should make sure to get those nutrients from other meals. 

Price per serving$4.80
Total calories 1,280
Protein, Carbs, Fat*52 g, 245 g, 10 g
FlavorsGourmet Vanilla, Rich Chocolate 

* Based on a 6-pound container of Gourmet Vanilla. Nutritional content and price will vary by flavor and size. 

Best Budget Mass Gainer: Mutant Mass

Good for: Those looking for a mass gainer with a lower cost-per-serving 

Best Budget Mass Gainer

Mutant Mass

Product Highlights

  • High-calorie and nutrient-dense weight gainer
  • According to reviews, has a superior taste
  • Two scoops has 1,100 calories
  • One serving contains 56 g of protein, 192 g of clean carbs, and 12 g of fat
  • Each serving features 26.1 g of EAAs and 12.2 g of BCAAs
  • Features a premium blend of proteins including whey protein concentrate, casein, and milk proteins
  • Made from whole foods including barley, sweet potato, rolled oats, avocado, coconut oil, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, and sunflower oil

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great taste
  • Six variety of flavors
  • High protein count
  • Derived from whole foods
  • High-quality plant-based fat sources

Cons

  • Higher fat content so not ideal for a post-workout drink
  • 18 grams of sugar per serving
  • Not suitable for anyone who is lactose-intolerant

Bottom Line

As one of the better-tasting weight gainers on the market and featuring an impressive macro count, Mutant Mass may be a great choice for anyone looking to gain some serious mass.

Many of the mass gainers on our list cost about $3-$5 per serving, and that can add up over time. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly alternative, go for Mutant Mass. Depending on what size bag you order, a one-scoop serving comes out to around $2.50-$3.25. 

That’s much cheaper than other options on our list, which are closer to $4.50 per serving. We should note that many customers stated in online reviews that their bag didn’t come with the advertised number of servings. 

Mutant Mass has a mix of whole food sources and artificial ingredients, and also contains several thickeners. Thickeners are common in cheaper supplements because they’re a low-cost ingredient that adds bulk to a product, and may make it more difficult to mix the powder with your liquid of choice (just think of it as an extra forearm workout). 

Nicole Davis, GGR senior writer and certified personal trainer, agreed the solubility of this mass gainer was not great, but, she said she didn’t mind the flavor (Cookies and Cream). It tasted a bit artificial, but she could get over it. 

Matt Dustin, GGR staff writer and a precision nutrition coach, tried the Triple Chocolate and rated it a 4.5 out of 5 on taste in his full Mutant Mass review. “It was somewhere between a chocolate milkshake and brownie batter, certainly not overpowering or over-sweetened,” he says.

Looking down on a hand holding a scoop of Mutant Mass in the opening of the bag.

Registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat points out that the powder also contains lactase4 and protease5 enzymes, which can aid in the breakdown and digestion of lactose and protein, respectively. This may lead to better absorption of nutrients, specifically protein.   

Customers love the flavor options, which include Coconut Cream and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and most are in agreement that they all taste really good, despite the few lumps left after mixing.  

Price per serving$2.56
Total calories 550
Protein, Carbs, Fat*28 g, 96 g, 6 g
FlavorsChocolate Fudge, Coconut Cream, Cookies and Cream, Strawberry-Banana, Triple Chocolate, Vanilla Cream

* Based on a 5-pound bag of Triple Chocolate. Nutritional content and price will vary by flavor and size.

Best Natural Mass Gainer: Naked Nutrition Mass

Good for: Those who are looking to gain weight or need more calories in their diet

Best High-Calorie Mass Gainer

Naked Nutrition Mass

Product Highlights

  • 1,250 calories per serving
  • 252 g carb, 2.5 g fat, 50 g protein in every serving
  • Just 3 ingredients
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 5:1 carb-to-protein ratio
  • Just 3 ingredients: whey, casein, organic maltodextrin
  • No artificial additives
  • No growth hormones
  • No added sugars
  • Soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO
  • Vegan option available

Cons

  • $6.36/serving is expensive
  • Does not contain creatine

Bottom Line

Naked Nutrition Mass is a three-ingredient mass gainer suitable for those seeking a high carb-to-protein ratio. There are no artificial ingredients. There is also no creatine, so you will have to add your own.

While Naked Nutrition Mass may not have the highest total calorie amount of all the mass gainers available, it still contains an impressive 1,250 total calories made from high-quality ingredients and a good macronutrient profile if you choose the unflavored version. The Chocolate flavor contains about 100 additional calories, though we should warn you those come in the form of fat.

The main source of calories is carbohydrates in most flavors—252 grams to be exact, giving you a 1:5 protein-to-carb ratio to help with replenishing glycogen stores3 and ensuring that all protein goes to building muscle.

An image of Naked Nutrition Naked Mass mass gainer

Naked Nutrition also bucks the trend of mass gainers containing a massive amount of ingredients. There are only three in the unflavored version: organic tapioca maltodextrin, whey protein concentrate, and micellar casein.

The first ingredient is used to prevent clumping, and the second ingredient you’re probably familiar with—for those who aren’t, whey protein concentrate is a rich source of protein and the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth7. Micellar casein is a type of protein that digests slower than whey protein8, meaning it’ll keep you fuller for longer. For these reasons, we score it a 5 out of 5 when it comes to ingredients and formulation due to its minimal ingredient list and research-backed doses.

GGR Senior Editor and product tester Nicole Davis said the unflavored option tasted truly neutral, and was thinner than the other mass gainers she tried. Our other tester, USAW-L2 and owner of Endless Strength Weightlifting Jacob Penner, said it wouldn’t be his first choice for a mass gainer, simply because he doesn’t like it unless it’s blended into a smoothie. He said, however, that when mixed with a banana, milk, peanut butter, and cocoa powder, that it was absolutely amazing. Read more about his experience in our Naked Nutrition Naked Mass review.

Editor’s note: The animal-based and plant-based versions of this mass gainer are on the same page, so double-check you’re ordering the correct one before checking out.

Price per serving$6.36
Total calories 1,250
Protein, Carbs, Fat*50 g, 252 g, 2.5 g*
FlavorsUnflavored, Chocolate, Vanilla

* For unflavored version

Best Mass Gainer with Creatine: Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

Good for: Those looking for a weight gainer supplement that contains a proven strength-building supplement

Best Mass Gainer With Creatine

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

Product Highlights

  • High-calorie supplement formulated with a 1:5 protein to carbohydrate ratio
  • Each serving contains 1,250 calories
  • Each serving contains 50 grams of protein, 253 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat,
  • Available in Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry, and Vanilla 
  • Recommended to use 2 scoops per 24 ounces of fluid taken post-workout or in between meals

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Taste
  • High carb to protein ratio
  • Includes creatine monohydrate
  • Low fat
  • Users report it works quickly

Cons

  • Does not mix well without a blender
  • Contains sucralose
  • 20 grams of sugar

Bottom Line

If you do not mind artificial ingredients, Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass is a good-tasting weight gainer with an impressive 1:5 protein to carbohydrate ratio.

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass has a long ingredient list, but we’re mostly interested in one: creatine monohydrate, the most-researched training supplement that has continually been linked with improved strength and muscle size.1

When added to a mass gainer, creatine can help users ensure the muscle mass they’re putting on is what’s known as “quality size,” meaning it’s not just extra fat. You get 5 grams of it in this mass gainer, which is at the higher end of the clinically-recommended dose. The formulation gets a 5 out of 5 from our team of certified nutrition coaches.

A person dumps a huge scoop of Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass into a shaker cup

This is a great option for anyone who has a sweet tooth, which shouldn’t be too surprising since it has 9 grams of added sugar. Optimum Nutrition also makes one of the best-tasting protein powders we’ve ever tried, though GGR Performance Editor and product tester Anthony O’Reilly felt this was a little too sweet for his tastebuds.

“It took me nearly an hour to finish this shake because of how sweet it was,” Anthony says.

The mass gainer’s nutrition content allows you to have your chocolate peanut butter shake and drink it, too. It’s one of the few mass gainers on this list with a long and varied list of vitamins and minerals, many of which are more than the daily required amounts. The protein-to-carb ratio is 1:5, which is great for those looking to fuel up or replenish their glycogen stores9. *

If you’re serious about finding the best organic protein powders and all-natural supplements, this isn’t for you. Optimum Nutrition uses synthetic sweeteners and soy-based emulsifiers (which is used to help with taste and prolong shelf life). There’s nothing inherently bad about these ingredients, but it might matter to some people.  

Read more about this product in our Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass review.

Price per serving$6.12
Total calories 1,250
Protein, Carbs, Fat*50 g, 253 g, 4 g
FlavorsChocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Vanilla

* Based on a 6-pound bag of chocolate peanut butter. Nutritional content and price will vary by order 

Best Vegan Mass Gainer: Naked Nutrition Vegan Naked Mass

Good for: Plant-based eaters or those who look for gainers with minimal ingredients 

Best Vegan Mass Gainer

Naked Nutrition Vegan Naked Mass

Product Highlights

  • Formulated from just three ingredients
  • Provides a blend of proteins and complex carbohydrates that promote muscle growth and enhance weight gain
  • Key ingredients include yellow pea protein and organic brown rice protein 
  • Each serving contains 1,230 calories 
  • Each serving includes 50 grams of protein, 248 grams of complex carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, and 10.3 grams of BCAAs
  • Third party-tested by Informed Choice

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tastes good
  • Low fat
  • Mixes well
  • No artificial additives
  • Formulated from only 3 ingredients
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-, GMO- and soy-free

Cons

  • Big serving size (4 scoops)
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

If you are looking to gain weight without artificial ingredients, Vegan Naked Mass fits the bill as it is formulated from only three clean ingredients.

Omnivores tend to have the most options in the supplement aisle, while plant-based people often struggle to find products that mesh with their lifestyles. Enter: Naked Nutrition’s Vegan Naked Mass, . 

Plant-based protein often lacks all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein that must be obtained through your diet) needed for muscle growth7, but you’ll find every one in this mass gainer.

It does have some branched-chain amino acids, registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat says, which are vital for protein synthesis in the body10, but not as much as our other options (a BCAA supplement may help you get the daily dose you need).

It can also work for people with other food restrictions, as it’s free of dairy (duh), gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and soy. There are also minimal ingredients used in all flavors (there is six total), with some only containing three. 

There’s a 1:5 protein-to-carb ratio, which takes care of your macronutrient needs. When it comes to micronutrients, however, you should know this only contains a handful and not in high amounts. 

While it’s not the most expensive mass gainer on the market, the $5.90 per serving cost is on the higher end of our list. Plus, you’re only getting 11 servings per container, so this won’t last you quite as long as our other options.  

We haven’t yet tried this mass gainer supplement for ourselves.

Editor’s note: The animal-based and plant-based versions of this mass gainer are on the same page, so double-check you’re ordering the correct one before checking out.

Price per serving$5.90
Total calories 1,230
Protein, Carbs, Fat*50 g, 248 g, 4 g
FlavorsUnflavored, Chocolate, Vanilla

* Based on unflavored weight gainer. Nutritional content and price varies by flavor 

Best Mass Gainer Protein Powder: Muscle Milk Pro

Good for: Those who want a protein powder with a few extra calories to help with putting on size

“Best

Muscle Milk Pro Series Protein Powder

Product Highlights

  • 50 grams of protein per serving
  • Mix of fast- and slow-releasing proteins
  • NSF Certified for Sport: No banned substances and product matches what is on the label 
  • Available in 3 flavors

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 50 grams of protein per serving
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • 3 different flavors available
  • Available at wide variety of stores

Cons

  • Large serving size at 2 scoops/82 grams
  • Mixed reviews on taste
  • Contains sucralose
  • Low servings per container

Bottom Line

Muscle Milk Pro Series Protein Powder has a high protein content with 50 grams of protein per serving to help promote muscle growth and recovery.

We know what you’re thinking: What the heck is a mass gainer protein powder? A mass gainer protein powder, such as Muscle Milk Pro, is a protein powder that contains more calories than you typically see in a protein supplement that can be used by someone who’s looking to ingest a few extra calories.

Muscle Milk Pro gives you 310 total calories, with 50 grams coming from protein. The 17 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fat help bulk up this protein powder. That’s far too few calories to use this as a “mass gainer,” though we could see people using it as a meal replacement shake. A serving size is also two scoops, meaning you can stretch its shelf life a bit while still getting 25 grams of protein per scoop (that’s a huge plus in this economy).

muscle milk scooping

We haven’t tried this version of Muscle Milk, though the GGR team has had their hands on just about every other Muscle Milk product under the sun. GGR Head of Content and product tester Kate Meier calls Muscle Milk her “treat” protein shake, and GGR Performance Editor and product tester Anthony O’Reilly keeps a case of their premade protein shakes in his fridge at all times. We’re sure this powder tastes just as good.

RELATED: Mass gainer vs. whey protein

Price per serving$2.23
Total calories 310
Protein, Carbs, Fat*50 g, 17 g, 5 g
FlavorsChocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla

Should I Take A Mass Gainer? 

Not everyone should be reaching for the mass gainer tub during their next supplement store trip. Here’s who should consider taking one, and who shouldn’t. If you’re still not sure whether a mass gainer is right for you, ask a physician or nutritionist. 

Who Should Take a Mass Gainer  

Mass gainers are typically used by bodybuilders, powerlifters, or other competitive athletes who need to increase their weight or size. These athletes may do this to reach a certain weight class, or increase their frame for aesthetic reasons, and is typically used by people who are known as “hard gainers,” or those who struggle with putting on weight. 

RELATED: Best protein chips

Mass gainers are also sometimes used by people who need to gain weight for health reasons. 

Who Shouldn’t Take a Mass Gainer

The excess calories and macronutrients in mass gainers may cause issues for people with certain health issues, registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat says, including those with organ dysfunction or gastrointestinal problems.  

RELATED: Mass gainer pros and cons

How We Chose and Tested the Best Mass Gainer 

With countless options on the market, here is the supplement testing methodology we used to find the 11 best mass gainers. 

A group of different mass gainers

Mixability

One of the first things we looked for with each mass gainer was how mixable they were—or how well all the powder was incorporated into the water or milk. For each, we poured one serving along with the recommended amount of liquid and shook for about 15-20 seconds, and then checked to see if there were any clumps.

Taste

While we were primarily concerned with the mass gainers’ nutritional information, it’s important that each one tasted good—or at least edible. There are many bodybuilding supplements that, quite frankly, don’t taste very good and we tried our best to avoid recommending any of them.

Calorie to Macronutrient Ratio

When looking for a mass gainer, you want to make sure it has enough calories to help you achieve a caloric surplus. You’ll also want to see what the macronutrient ratio looks like, or how much protein, carbohydrates, and fat it has. For example, the best protein powder for men may differ from the best protein powder for women due to the macronutrient profile.

As Laila Ouldibbat, a registered dietitian explained, you want enough non-protein calories to allow for the protein sources to be used for preserving and building lean muscle mass, and not energy. So, unlike the best protein shakes, you’ll actually want something with lots of carbs. 

You’ll also want to make sure the macronutrients fit into any eating regimen provided by a nutritionist or bodybuilding coach. 

Protein Content 

We wanted to make sure each supplement had enough protein, at least 25 grams, to support muscle growth and recovery. 

Flavor 

Taste is subjective at times, but we wanted to let you know our honest thoughts on how these tasted. 

Price Per Serving

We tried to provide a wide range of options that could fit anyone’s budget. Some products may be cheaper on Amazon than on the company’s website, or you can check out our Black Friday Supplement Sales page.

What to Consider Before Buying a Mass Gainer 

Here’s a quick guide on everything to consider before purchasing a mass gainer. 

Proper Nutrition

Mass gainers are a supplement, which means they’re used in addition to your regular nutritional routine. You still need to make sure you’re getting the right amount of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) and vitamins and minerals from all the food you ingest throughout the day, and that includes the mass gainer you may take.

Micronutrients

Bodybuilders and other athletes who often use supplements may lack certain vitamins and minerals, according to research11, which can lead to health issues such as anemia and scurvy. 

If you’re not getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals from your other meals and they’re not present in your mass gainer, you may need to take additional supplements to avoid any issues.  

Training Intensity 

“The healthiest and safest way to utilize a mass gainer is in conjunction with exercise,” registered dietitian Laila Ouldibbat says. “An immediate excess of calories, protein, fat could be harmful to some of our organs, and should be a means of supporting mass gain alongside increased energy expenditure.”

Sleep 

Sleep is vital to human function and can aid with things like protein synthesis, muscle recovery, and hormone regulation. All these, in conjunction with mass gainers, may help improve your performance and your physique. 

Calories 

To gain mass, you need to be in a caloric surplus (when the number of calories you consume is greater than what you expend in a day). Your nutritionist or coach will work with you to find the surplus that works best for you, which will tell you how many calories you need from your mass gainer. 

Protein 

Make sure your mass gainer has enough protein to support muscle building and recovery. You’ll also want to look at what types of protein are used. Whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate are some of the most popular forms used, and both have research-backed benefits.   

RELATED: Best protein powder for women

Carbs

Carbs are not only your body’s preferred energy source, but they also replenish your glycogen stores to help make your muscles look fuller and perform better in the gym. 

The increased energy stores may also help put your body in an anabolic state, which is best for those looking to increase their muscle mass. 

Benefits of Mass Gainers 

A certified personal trainer explains why mass gainers may be beneficial to your muscle-building or physique goals.

  • Convenient: The biggest benefit of mass gainers is that it allows you to eat a large amount of calories in a quick and more easily digestible fashion. Preparing and drinking a 1,200-calorie shake is much easier than cooking and eating a plate with the same amount of calories. 
  • Price: A mass gainer’s per-serving cost is often less expensive than traditional food.
  • Lasts a Long Time: Mass gainers can’t last forever, but due to the lack of moisture they can last much longer than meats or vegetables.

It’s important to note that mass gainers should be used along with traditional food and should never be a replacement for whole food sources. Mass gainers often lack vital vitamins and minerals.

RELATED: Best protein chips

When Should I Take a Mass Gainer? 

Mass gainers can be taken as a pre-workout shake to help fuel your workouts (especially if they contain slow-digesting complex carbs), or as a post-workout meal replacement. If you’re planning to drink it before your workout, be sure to ingest it 60 to 90 minutes beforehand to prevent possible GI distress.

RELATED: Best pre-workout for women

Best Mass Gainer FAQs

Which mass gainer is best?

It’s going to depend on your training goal. Here are our 11 top picks based on different people’s needs. 

Best Mass Gainer Overall: Transparent Labs Mass Gainer 
Best Mass Gainer for Bodybuilding: Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer
Best Mass Gainer for Smaller People: Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer
Best Lean Mass Gainer: BSN True Mass
Best High-Carb Mass Gainer: MuscleTech Mass Tech Extreme 2000
Best High-Calorie Mass Gainer: Dymatize Super Mass Gainer
Best Budget Mass Gainer: Mutant Mass
Best High-Calorie Mass Gainer: Naked Nutrition Mass
Best Mass Gainer With Creatine: Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass
Best Vegan Mass Gainer: Naked Nutrition Vegan Naked Mass
Best Mass Gainer Protein Powder: Muscle Milk Pro

Do mass gainers actually work? 

Mass gainers can help people put on weight, so long as the rest of their diet and training routine is on par. You’ll need to make sure you’re in a caloric surplus, or eating more calories than you’re expending, and training in a way that allows you to best utilize the calories and macronutrients in a mass gainer. 

Should skinny guys take mass gainer?

Anyone, regardless of their weight or size, should consult a nutritionist or physician before beginning a supplement regimen.

Is it ok to take a mass gainer every day?

Mass gainers should only be taken on a daily basis if prescribed by a nutritionist or coach, and if done so under their supervision.

What is the difference between mass gainer and protein powder?

Mass gainers contain hundreds if not thousands of calories that help people consume many calories to gain weight. Protein powders typically contain anywhere from 100-300 calories and contain mostly protein, whereas mass gainers may contain large quantities of fats and carbohydrates.

* 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.

References 

  1. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jul 20;9(1):33. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33. PMID: 22817979; PMCID: PMC3407788.
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. The Dietary Effects of VitaSugar/VitaFiber-IMO in Healthy Adults. ClinicalTrials.gov. Oct. 31, 2011
  3. St-Onge MP, Ross R, Parsons WD, Jones PJ. Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. Obes Res. 2003 Mar;11(3):395-402. doi: 10.1038/oby.2003.53. PMID: 12634436.
  4. Forsgård RA. Lactose digestion in humans: intestinal lactase appears to be constitutive whereas the colonic microbiome is adaptable. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Aug 1;110(2):273-279. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz104. PMID: 31175813; PMCID: PMC6669050.
  5. Rebecchi KR, Go EP, Xu L, Woodin CL, Mure M, Desaire H. A general protease digestion procedure for optimal protein sequence coverage and post-translational modifications analysis of recombinant glycoproteins: application to the characterization of human lysyl oxidase-like 2 glycosylation. Anal Chem. 2011 Nov 15;83(22):8484-91. doi: 10.1021/ac2017037. Epub 2011 Oct 27. PMID: 21954900; PMCID: PMC3358347.
  6. Ham DJ, Caldow MK, Lynch GS, Koopman R. Leucine as a treatment for muscle wasting: a critical review. Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec;33(6):937-45. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.09.016. PMID: 25444557.
  7. Church DD, Hirsch KR, Park S, Kim IY, Gwin JA, Pasiakos SM, Wolfe RR, Ferrando AA. Essential Amino Acids and Protein Synthesis: Insights into Maximizing the Muscle and Whole-Body Response to Feeding. Nutrients. 2020 Dec 2;12(12):3717. doi: 10.3390/nu12123717. PMID: 33276485; PMCID: PMC7760188.
  8. Snijders, T., Trommelen, J., Kouw, I. W. K., Holwerda, A. M., Verdijk, L. B., & van Loon, L. J. C. (2019). The Impact of Pre-sleep Protein Ingestion on the Skeletal Muscle Adaptive Response to Exercise in Humans: An Update. In Frontiers in Nutrition (Vol. 6). Frontiers Media SA. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2019.00017
  9. Margolis LM, Allen JT, Hatch-McChesney A, Pasiakos SM. Coingestion of Carbohydrate and Protein on Muscle Glycogen Synthesis after Exercise: A Meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021 Feb 1;53(2):384-393. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002476. PMID: 32826640; PMCID: PMC7803445.
  10. Arroyo-Cerezo A, Cerrillo I, Ortega Á, Fernández-Pachón MS. Intake of branched chain amino acids favors post-exercise muscle recovery and may improve muscle function: optimal dosage regimens and consumption conditions. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2021 Nov;61(11):1478-1489. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.11843-2. Epub 2021 Feb 15. PMID: 33586928.
  11. Iraki J, Fitschen P, Espinar S, Helms E. Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review. Sports (Basel). 2019 Jun 26;7(7):154. doi: 10.3390/sports7070154. PMID: 31247944; PMCID: PMC6680710.

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