Grab your cheat sheet…
If you’re planning to bulk up and gain some serious muscle mass, you may as well do it properly.
Going in half-prepared isn’t going to give you the results you deserve. So, to increase muscle mass, having the best training plan and giving yourself decent recovery periods at each stage is essential. You’ll also need to get the proper nutrition to support the extreme demands placed on your body—that’s where supplements come in.
When it comes to supplements, choose a mass gainer that will help you recover quickly and give you the energy to keep going even through the most challenging of workouts.
A good mass gainer will ensure high-calorie intake while flooding your body with the healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein you need to succeed. If you want to gain weight, you'll need to take a mass gainer that will help you consume more calories than you're burning to help you gain weight steadily.
The best mass gainer will help you gain weight and achieve the best results.
Muscle building and building muscle mass is a serious business, after all…
Check out our mass gainer FAQs and find out all you need to know to make the right choice for your training needs.
What are mass gainers?
Mass gainer supplements are designed to provide additional nutrients to build muscle mass during heavy workouts, resulting in a caloric surplus, maximum muscle mass, and increased strength.
The best mass gainers usually contain a decent protein-to-carbohydrate ratio to help your system cope with the heavy demands of pushing past your limits while helping to build muscle mass.
Bigger gains mean you’ll need to pack more calories. Most mass gainers come in the form of a shake, and you can take them before or after exercise
Read: Mass gain vs. whey protein: Which one should you take? for more insider tips on workout supplements.
Should you take a weight gainer supplement?
You must get the proper nutrition to gain muscle mass and support muscle growth. A healthy diet is essential, but you sometimes need a helping hand when you're bulking up. It’s easy to go off-track and start eating something less healthy, especially when you’re expected to eat constantly to add weight.
With mass gainers, you can mix it up and be confident that you’re packing in all the necessary macros and calories.
Which are the best mass gainers?
There are plenty of mass gainers to choose from, but let’s have a close look at the three top brands to see which one comes out on top of our quality checklist. So, what are we looking for when it comes to the best mass gainers?
- Quality ingredients. Any good gainer should contain all of the nutritional requirements for healthily packing on weight without feeling sluggish and bloated—quality ingredients that will give you the maximum benefit and gains will be those made from natural, whole-food sources.
Low sugar, but a decent amount of healthy calories is a must. Good gainers are also packed with essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to promote muscle mass and ensure you put on some serious bulk.
- Taste. As you’ll be combining the gainer with a healthy, calorie-loaded diet, tantalizing those tastebuds is a must. A quality mass gainer shake should be seen as a treat and something to look forward to drinking—so flavor choosing one with a good flavor is important.
- Reviews. A mass gainer with plenty of positive testimonials and reviews is always a sign of quality.
The Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass gainer has a decent amount of carbs, but it is seriously low on protein compared to most other brands. Plus, it may not be great if you’re looking to maintain a more balanced protein-to-carb ratio.
There's also a lower calorie count than most mass gainers we've seen, meaning you'll need to look for those extra calories elsewhere. The carbohydrate source is maltodextrin, which tends to be the cheap filler for so many gainers on the marker.
Optimum Nutrition Serious mass contains egg whites, so it is unsuitable for vegans. And, its ingredients include soy and dairy allergens. The chocolate flavor is pretty tasty and will appeal if you like a power-packed taste to their gainer. It’s not cheap, but the site has a decent amount of positive reviews, meaning it does the trick. But, it’s not clear on their website whether it’s been tested for purity and potency.
Protein (per 100g) 15g
Carbs- (per 100g) 75g
Calories- (per 100g) 378kcal
Designed to promote muscle growth and boasting over 500 five-star reviews, Crazy Nutrition is making a big noise in the supplement world. Add to this the positive reviews in The Independent, Runner’s World, and Women’s Fitness, to name just a few— and it’s no surprise that these products are so popular.
So what of the mass gainer? Well, it certainly passes stipulation number one with its whole food-sourced ingredients and a whopping 31 grams of protein. It also contains unique ingredients like DigeZyme® to help digest without stomach upset or bloating, help reduce sugar spikes and improve nutrient absorption (which is a huge bonus). It also contains essential vitamins and minerals to help support the demands of your workouts. All in all, it could be the best-tasting mass gainer.
The chocolate and vanilla flavors taste amazing and are as good as we’ve tried. It has a high number of calories per serving, and it’s suitable for vegetarians too. It's available at a competitive price, especially if you take up the subscription option.
Protein (per 100g) 31grams
Carbs- (per 100g) 45 grams
Calories- (per 100g) 390kcal
The BSN formula goes heavy on fat rather than carbs to get the calorie count high.The carb count is one of the lowest currently on the market, so if you’re looking for a more balanced gainer, you may be disappointed.
On the plus side, it’s packed full of top-quality branched-chain amino acids to help fast-track muscle repair and growth, so with mass gain will come muscle mass gains. Plus, it has added minerals, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
This gainer also contains plenty of artificial colorings and sweeteners. The formula seems to have been designed for a quicker weight gain due to the high-fat content—but those looking to go the healthier route might not see this as a plus.
It certainly passes the taste test and there are four flavors up for grabs. The customer reviews seem very positive, so it does the job to some extent. But please note that it’s not suitable for people with dietary allergies as it contains eggs, milk, soy, and wheat.
Protein (per 100g) 17grams
Carbs- (per 100g) 68 grams
Calories- (per 100g) 397kcal
Myprotein Impact Weight Gainer has a balanced ratio of protein, carbs, and calories. It’s especially great if you’re looking to aid muscle protein synthesis and add lean muscle mass. It's suitable for vegetarians and passes the taste test, although for us, it wasn't as palatable as some other mass gainers on the market.
That said, it does contain easily digestible proteins thanks to the whey protein concentrate, which is slow-release and perfect for both before and after workouts. There's a decent amount of carbs and calories per serving, too. There are some decent enough reviews, and the negative ones tend to be about the taste and the price (it's one of the most expensive mass gainers on the market).
Protein (per100g) 31g
Carbs (per100g) 50g
Calories (per100g) 388kcal
Okay, so the first thing we're going to make clear is the cost. It's certainly one of the most expensive mass gainers on the market, but is it really value for money?
With regards to the ingredients, you're getting all of the gainer essentials, but not any more than you are for other decent products on the market. 65% of the protein is whey protein isolate, which is a bonus, and the carbs come from fine Scottish oats which have a low glycemic index value.
The flavors aren't too bad either, with double chocolate and strawberries & cream being the choices (yum). Like the My protein mass gainer, a lot of the negative reviews tend to surround the price, and it's hard to get away from that. You really have to ask yourself what it is that you're actually paying the extra money for with this gainer.
Protein (per 100 g) 30g
Carbs (per 100 g) 50g
Calories (per100g) 377kcal
Which is the best mass gainer supplement?
If you're looking for a gainer that will help you add some serious body weight and get the essential vitamins and minerals you need to help you gain muscle mass quickly, plenty of mass gainers are on offer.
All the gainers mentioned above basically do what they say on the tin. But we’re giving the victory to Crazy Nutrition’s Mass Gainer, mainly because of its incredible flavor and epic formula.
If you want to bulk up consistently over time, concentrate on more natural ingredients and ditch the industry-standard maltodextrin (which most mass gainers seem to include) in a bold move that has seen Crazy Nutrition’s fan base increase rapidly.
This mighty mass gainer ticks all the boxes for nutrition and has an excellent protein-to-carb-to-calorie ratio. It doesn’t go overboard on the fat content, making it a super mass gainer for both clean and dirty bulkers. Those looking to gain mass will find this a perfect and healthy way to gain muscle mass quickly. Enjoy.
We hope you’ve found our mass gainer guide helpful, and for more insider tips on getting bigger, read our guide to bulking without getting fat.