5 Best Vegan Mass Gainers (2024 Review) Tested and Proven

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 12, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

As a certified personal trainer, I spent hours upon hours researching plant-based sports supplements over the years.

Many of the vegans among my bodybuilding clients often ask me for recommendations on vegan mass gainers, as it is not easy to find good ones that don't contain amino acids from dairy and other animal products.

So, I teamed up with a few clients and my dietitian colleague to research the best vegan mass gainer supplements on the market and test them out over six weeks.

We allocated two people per supplement and measured the muscle gains. And our dietitian provided a careful analysis of the scientific and medical research on the ingredients.

The Best Vegan Mass Gainers

Editor's Choice
Vegan Naked Mass
Vegan Naked Mass
Rated 4.8/5
Check Current Price
2nd Best Choice
Iron Vegan Athlete_s Gainer Vanilla
Iron Vegan
Rated 4.7/5
Check Current Price
3rd Best Choice
Gorilla Gulps Vegan Mass Gainer
Gorilla Gulps
Rated 4.7/5
Check Current Price

Our Top Product Recommendations (July 2024)

1 - Vegan Naked Mass (Best Overall)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Ingredients
4.9
Texture
4.7
Flavor
4.6
User Ratings
4.9
Ingredient Quality
4.9
Product Effectiveness
Vegan Naked Mass
  • Price per serving : $5.61
  • Key ingredients : Pea Protein, Brown Rice Protein, Maltodextrin
  • All flavors : Unflavored
  • Third-party tested : No information

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Provides enough calories to add an extra main meal to your daily calorie intake
  • Seems to make it a lot easier to gain weight without an additional large meal
  • Low-fat option to avoid negative impacts on cholesterol
  • Available in tasty flavors as well as an unflavored option

Cons

  • You’ll need to use a blender to mix it into a smooth shake

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Individuals needing high calorie intake
  • Vegans seeking complete protein sources

Who is it not for?

  • Those who prefer a low-carb option

Final Verdict

Vegan Naked Mass is the top choice for serious muscle gainers looking for a vegan solution. It blends well, offers great taste, and is highly effective for muscle growth.

The product that all of our test group clients liked the most is this vegan mass gainer from Naked Nutrition.

It’s one of the leading brands in the vegan supplement space, and they have sourced great quality ingredients.

It delivers all essential amino acids by combining pea and brown rice protein powder to help with muscle recovery as well [1].

According to the study published on Harvard's website titled "Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar," a good dose of complex carbs effectively avoids blood sugar spikes, and that results in a sustained energy boost [2].

Quick Facts:

2 - Iron Vegan Athlete's Gainer Vanilla (Cheapest Option)

Rated 4.7/5
4.6
Ingredients
4.8
Texture
4.6
Flavor
4.7
User Ratings
4.6
Ingredient Quality
4.7
Product Effectiveness
Iron Vegan Athlete_s Gainer Vanilla
  • Price per serving : $3.76
  • Key ingredients : Pea Protein, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Greens
  • All flavors : Vanilla, Chocolate
  • Third-party tested : No information

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Based on brown rice and premium pea protein powder to provide essential amino acids
  • Independently tested for banned substances to provide peace of mind
  • Available in tasty flavors that mix quite easily

Cons

  • Contains a higher dose of iron that may cause an upset stomach for some people

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Athletes looking for substance-tested supplements
  • Those who prefer easy-mixing powders

Who is it not for?

  • People sensitive to iron

Final Verdict

Iron Vegan is ideal for athletes under strict doping controls, offering reassurance alongside substantial nutritional benefits. Its ease of mixing makes it highly practical.

This vegan mass gainer has become popular with some of the professional athletes I train because the company tests the product for banned substances, and that can provide some extra confidence when it comes to random drug testing.

According to our tests, it’s not the highest for calorie boosting, but we found the higher amount of carbs than protein sets it up for easier digestion [3].

“Carbohydrates, as the body's primary source of energy, generally pass through the digestive tract more rapidly than either protein or fats.”

- Sharon Perkins, Writer at healthyeating.sfgate.com

Quick Facts:

3 - Gorilla Gulps Vegan Mass Gainer (Best for Building Lean Muscle)

Rated 4.7/5
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Texture
4.7
Flavor
4.8
User Ratings
4.6
Ingredient Quality
4.6
Product Effectiveness
Gorilla Gulps Vegan Mass Gainer
  • Price per serving : $4.25
  • Key ingredients : Pea Protein, Rice Protein, Hemp Protein
  • All flavors : Mocha
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Contains no artificial ingredients for flavor or sweetening purposes
  • Contains 13 grams of predominantly healthy fats
  • Good source of vitamin B12 for added energy

Cons

  • This mass gainer contains quite a bit of sugar

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Those aiming for lean muscle gains
  • Vegans looking for natural ingredients

Who is it not for?

  • Dieters or those cutting sugar

Final Verdict

Gorilla Gulps is great for individuals aiming to build lean muscle with a focus on natural, clean ingredients. However, its higher sugar content may not suit everyone's dietary needs.

Next on our list of best vegan mass gainers comes a product from Gorilla Gulps. It’s a great name with an even better formula.

While, based on our tests, a single serving might not be enough for bodybuilders to achieve maximum weight gain, it seems to also provide a well-balanced carb, fat, and protein ratio.

Just keep in mind that this weight gainer will deliver more calories from sugar, which might not suit all diets.

Quick Facts:

4 - Vegun Nutrition VEGANMASS (Best for Muscle Recovery)

Rated 4.4/5
4.7
Ingredients
4.3
Texture
4.3
Flavor
4.2
User Ratings
4.5
Ingredient Quality
4.4
Product Effectiveness
Vegun Nutrition VEGANMASS
  • Price per serving : Currently unavailable
  • Key ingredients : Pea Protein, Sacha Inchi Protein, Quinoa Protein
  • All flavors : Vanilla Cream Cake
  • Third-party tested : No information

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Lactose, soy, and gluten-free mass gainer to avoid stomach upset
  • Great for topping up meals with a 1-to-1 protein and carb ratio
  • Provides almost 5g of BCAAs for faster muscle recovery

Cons

  • Contains added iron so avoid taking too many scoops

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Those needing muscle recovery support
  • Vegans looking for soy and gluten-free options

Who is it not for?

  • Those looking for high-calorie gainers

Final Verdict

Vegun Nutrition's VEGANMASS is perfect for those who need a balanced nutrient boost for muscle recovery without excessive calories. It's especially suitable for adding moderate supplements to diets.

This is another vegan weight gainer that our testing team liked as a way to get a smaller boost in calories.

Unlike other weight gainers, this one delivers only 280 calories, which also makes it a good option for a breakfast replacement shake.

There’s also a good dose of BCAAs to help with muscle growth and recovery periods [4].

Our testing results showed a positive effect on muscle soreness after training when we took this mass gainer about an hour before training.

Quick Facts:

5 - GNC Earth Genius PurEdge Plant-Based Gainer (Best Value)

Rated 4.2/5
4.2
Ingredients
4.1
Texture
4.1
Flavor
4.3
User Ratings
4.1
Ingredient Quality
4.2
Product Effectiveness
GNC Earth Genius PurEdge Plant-Based Gainer
  • Price per serving : Currently unavailable
  • Key ingredients : Pea Protein, Brown Rice Protein, Quinoa Protein
  • All flavors : Natural Vanilla
  • Third-party tested : No information

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The lower calorie count provides more flexibility for athletes
  • Comes with added magnesium for muscle growth and recovery
  • It has a tasty vanilla flavor with a nice texture out of a blender

Cons

  • Each tub only has 14 servings with no bulk order tubs available

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Athletes needing flexible caloric intake
  • Individuals seeking mineral-enriched formulas

Who is it not for?

  • Those requiring large quantities per purchase

Final Verdict

GNC Earth Genius offers a balanced and mineral-rich option for those needing moderate caloric supplementation. However, its smaller packaging may not be cost-effective for all.

The final product on our list of best vegan mass gainers comes from GNC, and it’s a great choice for athletes to get a boost of several important minerals like magnesium and zinc, which can also help with exercise performance and recovery times [5].

As a weight gainer, it also allows you to take a moderate approach to adding more calories, and with the right exercise routine, the test group that took this product was able to boost muscle mass without gaining too much body fat.

Quick Facts:

How We Tested Best Vegan Mass Gainers

Here is how we tested all vegan mass gainers from my list.

Ingredients

We scrutinized the ingredient lists for quality and variety, ensuring they were not only vegan but also free from unnecessary fillers or artificial additives. Personally, I've always prioritized clean, natural ingredients in my supplements, and this was no exception.

Taste

A good mass gainer should be enjoyable to consume regularly. I personally tasted each product, looking for a balance of flavor that wasn't too sweet or artificial, as I've found this to be a common issue with mass gainers.

Effectiveness

We measured the effectiveness by tracking weight gain and muscle mass over a period of time. My own experience with mass gainers has taught me that true effectiveness is seen in the mirror and felt in the gym, not just read on the scale.

Mixability

A mass gainer should mix well without leaving clumps. I tested each product with different liquids and shakers to ensure a smooth consistency, as I've struggled with gritty textures in the past.

Nutrient Profile

We looked for a balanced nutrient profile, including a good ratio of protein, carbs, and fats. From my own nutrition knowledge, I understand the importance of this balance for sustained energy and muscle building.

Protein Source

The source of protein in a vegan mass gainer is crucial. I've personally explored various protein sources and included only those products that offered a complete amino acid profile.

Digestibility

We considered the fiber content and included digestive enzymes to ensure the mass gainer was easy on the stomach. My past experiences with bloating and discomfort guided this criterion.

Sugar Content

We checked the sugar content to avoid unnecessary spikes in blood sugar levels. I've always been wary of hidden sugars in supplements, so this was a key factor in our testing.

Value for Money

We assessed the cost per serving and overall value. Having invested in supplements for years, I've learned that the most expensive option isn't always the best.

Buyer’s Guide

Woman on phone

Now let’s turn to a guide I put together for everyone who is considering taking a mass gainer should keep in mind.

Check The Protein Content

The first thing you need to look at is the protein type and dosage. If you want to gain muscle mass, you’ll need to boost your protein intake. Studies suggest that you should take in at least 0.5 grams per pound of body weight [6].

I generally recommend at least 25 grams for each serving.

The other thing that’s important is that you need a mix of pea protein and organic brown rice protein to get all the essential amino acids [7].

Amino acids are the building blocks of muscles, and getting the right boost will go a long way towards gaining weight in the form of muscle tissue.

Check The Carbohydrate Content

A typical weight gainer will have quite a large dose of carbs as these are easy to digest and turn into blood sugar [8]. But when excess energy comes from simple instead of complex carbs, then you could end up with fat gain instead of muscle mass.

Ideally, you want a weight gainer to have complex carbohydrates and a protein-to-carbohydrate ratio of about 1:2 or higher. Naked Mass weight gainer is at the extreme end with a 1:5 ratio, but that can work very well for bodybuilders.

Check The Fat Content

The majority of vegan weight gainers that we researched were low on fat, and that probably has to do with the fact that they don’t contain any dairy products.

A typical non-vegan mass gainer shake tends to have a bit more fat, and that can make macro-balancing a lot more complex.

The ideal option for this is the Naked Mass supplement we recommend above because these vegan weight gainers only contain about 4 grams of fat. That’s very low, considering that each weight gainer serving has over 1,000 calories.

Work Out Your Calorie Needs

Protein image

Based on my tests and previous experience, this is an important thing to be conscious of. Many bodybuilders I work with need an extra mass gainer meal a day that delivers 1,000 or more calories per serving.

In some cases, it can be over 2,000 calories.

But an amateur cyclist who’s just trying to build muscle mass in their legs might only need a few hundred extra calories.

Whatever amount you have calculated for your daily needs, aim to find a product that comes close to that. Check out our TDEE calculator to check your energy use daily.

You can always slightly increase or decrease the dosage as needed.

Of all the best vegan weight gainers we tested, we found that Naked Mass was most suitable for maximum weight gain, as it provides over 1,200 calories per serving, and it’s easy to adjust the dose.

Avoid Artificial Fillers And Sweeteners

Unfortunately, vegan protein powders and mass gainer supplements are just as likely to have chemical flavors and sweeteners in them. It’s a practice that just doesn’t seem to go away.

The problem with these artificial ingredients is that they can have a negative impact on your digestive system. Studies have also shown that they can impact metabolic processes [9].

If your digestion and metabolism are impacted in this way, then it can become very difficult to build up lean muscle gains.

Find Flavor Reviews

While you can’t taste a product before you buy it, one thing I have found in years of researching supplements is that people will always comment on the flavor in online reviews.

All you need to do is go to the official online store or other e-commerce sites and have a quick look through the comments. You’ll find that the best vegan weight gainer supplements also have generally positive comments about the flavors.

The product we all liked the best was Naked Mass, which has a delicious natural vanilla flavor.

Assess The Texture

Assess the texture

Just like flavor, the texture of the shake is going to be another very important consideration.

One thing you need to keep in mind with any vegan weight gainer you choose is that you’ll most likely need to mix it in a blender.

This is different from a standalone pea protein powder, for example, where you can generally mix it in a shaker bottle with water after your workout.

Because of the volume and consistency of weight gainer powder, you‘ll want to use a blender. Based on my personal experience, this will give pretty much any product a nice texture.

Find Organic Ingredients

And finally, I generally like to see weight gainers with organic certifications on the label. These tend to have higher purity and come from more sustainable farming practices.

This is again where the Naked Vegan mass gainer stands out the most as everything from the rice protein to the organic tapioca maltodextrin comes from certified sources.

This will give athletes added peace of mind that they are achieving maximum quality with everything they put in their bodies.

Who Should Take A Vegan Weight Gainer?

Anyone who is on a plant-based diet and is going through a bulking phase for workouts should consider taking a vegan mass gainer. But it’s also a great option for non-vegans to diversify their protein, fat, and carb sources.

See, many plant protein powders and complex carbs are easier for the stomach to digest than dairy-based ones, which can be particularly problematic for people who are lactose-intolerant [10].

Athletes should also only take these products if they actually have a goal of gaining weight in the form of muscle mass.

Who Shouldn't Take A Vegan Weight Gainer?

Any athlete who is looking to maintain or lose overall fat storage and muscle mass shouldn’t consider taking a vegan mass gainer.

These are highly effective ways to take in a lot of extra calories without having to resort to eating an extra full-size meal.

While the protein powders they contain can influence whether you gain fat, the added calories and carbs could counteract that a lot [11].

Most weight gainers aim to provide a calorie surplus, but there is one way you could use them without aiming for muscle gain.

You could use it as a vegan mass gainer meal replacement to get an ideal balance of macronutrients.

Can You Make Your Own Vegan Mass Gainer?

Vegan meal

Yes, you can make your own vegan mass gainer.

What you will need is a high-quality organic vegan protein powder and a selection of fruit, vegetables, and some plant-based milk to come up with your own favorite combination.

Start with measuring out a combination of leafy greens and fruit to give you about 2/3 of your calories per serving needed.

Then add enough protein powder to the mass gainer mix to get you to your total.

Finally, start with eight ounces of almond milk and blend it for 30 to 60 seconds. You can add more milk as needed to give you an ideal texture for the mass gainer.

FAQs

How Do Vegans Use Mass Gainers?

Vegans use mass gainers by adding these shakes as an extra meal during the day. With the additional calorie load, they make gaining muscle mass a lot easier. And the boost of protein also helps to build muscle.

Can You Gain Weight With Vegan Protein Powder?

Yes, you can gain weight with vegan protein powder through a mass gainer. The added plant-based protein intake promotes muscle growth and helps to reduce fat storage. On balance, this will lead to a healthy gain in weight.

When Should You Take A Vegan Mass Gainer?

You should take a vegan mass gainer in between two of your main meals. Some people prefer taking the weight gainer as a mid-morning snack, while others find it better to boost energy levels in the afternoon.

Are Vegan Mass Gainers Bad For Cholesterol?

No, most vegan mass gainers aren’t bad for cholesterol. These weight gainer products tend to be low in fat and contain complex carbs that shouldn’t have a negative impact on your LDL cholesterol.

How Do Vegan Mass Gainers Impact the Environment Compared to Traditional Mass Gainers?

Vegan mass gainers typically have a lower environmental impact, as plant-based production often requires less water and land and produces fewer greenhouse gases than animal-based proteins.

Are There Vegan Mass Gainers Suitable for People With Food Allergies?

Yes, there are many vegan mass gainers suitable for people with food allergies. Many vegan mass gainers are formulated to be free from common allergens such as nuts, soy, and gluten. However, always check the label for cross-contamination warnings if you have severe allergies.

Can You Give Examples of How to Incorporate Vegan Mass Gainers Into My Meals?

Vegan mass gainers can be blended into smoothies or mixed into oatmeal, providing an easy way to increase calorie and nutrient intake. Some can also be used in baking recipes like pancakes or muffins for a nutritious boost.

Are There Any Vegan Athletes Who Endorse Vegan Mass Gainers?

Yes, there are several vegan athletes who endorse vegan mass gainers. These athletes often share their positive experiences with muscle gain and recovery. These testimonials can be inspiring and offer real-world proof of the product's effectiveness.

Our Verdict on Best Vegan Mass Gainers

We tested many other vegan mass gainers than the ones above, with a lot of them falling short on nutritional value.

But for anyone on a vegan diet or looking for some diversification in non-animal food sources, the Naked Mass weight gainer product is going to be the best option for building muscle mass.

Not only does the weight gainer have the highest concentration of calories, but the plant-based protein powder is of very high quality.

Our #1 Recommendation

Vegan Naked Mass (Best Overall)

Vegan Naked Mass

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

4.8
Ingredients
4.9
Texture
4.7
Flavor
4.6
User Ratings
4.9
Ingredient Quality
4.9
Product Effectiveness
Pros
  • Provides enough calories to add an extra main meal to your daily calorie intake
  • Seems to make it a lot easier to gain weight without an additional large meal
  • Low-fat option to avoid negative impacts on cholesterol
  • Available in tasty flavors as well as an unflavored option
Cons
  • You’ll need to use a blender to mix it into a smooth shake
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Our ingredients score is based on 3 factors including: transparency, blend disclosure, and dosage accuracy. We conduct third-party lab verification of ingredients. The score is an objective measure of the lab test results compared to the product label. For more information see our ingredients score explanation here.
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