Supplements

What’s The Best Weight Gainer?
Build Rock Solid Muscle Mass

Mass Gainer Supplements Cover Image
Written by Isaac Robertson

As you begin your muscle building journey, in your quest to make progress as quickly as possible, you may come across something called a ‘weight gainer’.

These, as their name suggests, are designed to help you gain weight by providing you with a higher calorie intake.

Weight gainers can range anywhere from 250 calories all the way up to 1000 calories or more. If you’re someone who struggles to take in enough calories, this might seem like the perfection solution.

But is it?

In this review, let’s go over some of the need-to-know facts about weight gainers so that you can make an informed buying decision that's right for you.

Our Top Weight Gainers (2019 updated)

Let’s give you a brief review of some of the best mass gainers you have to choose from.

Product

Supplement Facts

​Highlights

Transparent Labs Mass gainer
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#1 Transparent Labs
(Editor's Choice)

  • 650 calories per one-scoop serving
  • 53g Protein
  • 109g Carbs
  • 12g Fat
  • Well balanced weight gainer on the market today
  • 100% grass-fed whey protein
  • No artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives
  • Contains Creatine Monohydrate
  • Can be taken anytime within the day
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#2 ON: Pro Gainer

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  • 660 calories per one-scoop serving
  • 60g Protein
  • 85g Carbs
  • ​8g Fat
  • Most balanced weight gainer in the market today
  • Boosts strength to develop muscles during explosive workouts
  • Tastes great and is easily mixed in any liquid or shakes
  • Can be taken anytime within the day
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#3 ON: Serious Mass

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  • 1,250 calories per 2-scoop serving
  • 50g Protein
  • 252g Carbs
  • 4.5g Fat
  • Provides a whopping 1,250 calories per serving for maximum gains
  • Supports muscle recovery to prep you for the next workout
  • Best taken between meals, post-workout, or before bedtime
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#4 BSN: True-Mass

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  • 700 calories per 3-scoop serving
  • 50g Protein
  • 90g Carbs
  • 17g Fat
  • Helps you add quality mass with 700 calories per serving
  • Contains 2:1 ratio of carbs & protein
  • Best taken during post-workout recovery
cyto-gainer

#5 CystoSport CytoGainer

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  • 280 calories per 2-scoop serving
  • 27g Protein
  • 37g Carbs
  • 2.5g Fat
  • Helps you add quality mass with 700 calories per serving
  • Contains 2:1 ratio of carbs & protein
  • Best taken during post-workout recovery
Universal Nutrition Real Gains Weight Gainer

#6 Universal Nutrition Real Gains

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  • ​600 calories per ​3.5-scoop serving
  • ​52g Protein
  • ​87g Carbs
  • ​5g Fat
  • ​Extremely powerful supplement to build lean muscle mass
  • Fiber helps you in digesting all the nutrients for better results
  • ​Great-tasting and is easily mixed into any liquid
150x150-MuscleMeds Carnivore Mass

#7 MuscleMeds Carnivore Mass

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  • 700 calories per serving
  • 50g Protein
  • 119g Carbs
  • 3g Fat
  • Made from 100% beef protein
  • Promotes muscle growth without building fat
  • Best taken during post-workout
MuscleTech Mass Tech Pro Weight Gainer

#8 MuscleTech Mass Tech

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  • ​840 calories per serving
  • ​63g Protein
  • ​131g Carbs
  • ​8g Fat
  • ​Aids in building lean muscle and helps you recover for the next workout
  • ​Multi-phase protein system that ensures gains
  • ​Tastes great when mixed with skim milk

1. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer (Editor's Choice)

This is my personal favorite mass gainer and there are several reasons why.

With 750 calories, 53g Protein, 12g Fat, and 109g Carbohydrates per serving, it’s definitely one of the best mass gainers out there to help you build lean muscle mass and gain weight quickly and effectively.

You can use this mass gainer to make weight gainer protein shakes or even as a meal replacement to build muscle while still getting all the important nutrients you need.

Best of all, the ProteinSeries Mass Gainer is made from 100% grass-fed whey protein concentrate and contains no artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives!

Transparent Labs Mass gainer
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PROS

  • 750 calories per serving
  • Cookies and Cream flavor - OMG
  • ​Easily mixed with water, shakes and smoothies
  • No artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives

​CONS

  • Only comes in only one flavor

2. Optimum Nutrition: Pro Gainer

​Optimum Nutrition (ON) is a brand that many people know and trust, so it should come as no surprise that their mass gainer ranks up as our number one recommended product. 

Pro Gainer will give you 650 calories per one scoop serving, 8 grams of dietary fat, 85 grams of carbs with 7 of those coming from sugar, and 60 grams of protein total.

This makes it a very balanced weight gainer that can be used at any point during the day. You’ll also take in 5 grams of dietary fiber, which will help give you maximum blood glucose control.

Optimum Nutrition: Pro Gainer
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This product also contains a nice blend of whey, casein, as well as egg protein, so this will be a good option for those who tend to struggle with having too much whey (lactose intolerant people) in their diet plan.

This product also contains medium chain triglycerides, which are a type of fat that serves as an excellent energy source in the body and can help with maintaining optimal body composition and prevent obesity, as noted by a study. [1]

PROS

  • ​Packed with ​650 calories per serving to support weight gain
  • ​Boosts energy for high-explosive workouts
  • ​Easily mixed with water, shakes and smoothies

​CONS

  • ​The unflavored variant does not taste good

3. OPTIMUM NUTRITION Serious Mass

Optimum Nutrition created another high-quality protein powder for those who want to gain weight.

Worried about how you can increase your caloric intake? Well, one serving of Serious Mass will give you 1,250 calories and 50 grams of protein. This supplement will provide you the nutrients needed to gain weight without forcing yourself to overeat. 

It also speeds up muscle recovery after workout sessions to get you ready for the next gym day. Packed with 25 vitamins and minerals, Serious Mass keeps you energized while adding gains.

You can take this supplement between meals, during post-workout, or before going to bed.

OPTIMUM NUTRITION
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​Pro tip: If you wanna gain some serious size, mix this with whole milk.

PROS

  • ​Another high-quality weight gainer from ON
  • ​Contains 1,250 calories per 2-scoop serving for better gains
  • ​Speeds up muscle recovery after workouts

​CONS

  • ​Texture is not really good when mixed with water

4. BSN: True-Mass

BSN is well-known for their great tasting powders with their meal replacement product Syntha-6 being a bit hit for many. Now, you can get the mass gainer version of Syntha-6 with True Mass.

This product contains 700 calories per 3-scoop serving and provides you with 17 grams of dietary fat, 90 grams of carbohydrates - 15 of those from sugar and 6 grams from fiber, as well as 50 grams of protein.

This is a higher fat product, so a great option later on in the day. Use it at a time other than the post-workout period.

It also contains 12 grams of BCAA’s, which studies suggest are powerful in supporting anabolism and muscle recovery in the body.

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PROS

  • ​Contains 710 calories per serving to support weight gain
  • ​​Provides 2:1 ratio of carbs and protein
  • ​Tastes great in shakes and smoothies

​CONS

  • ​Not advisable to take during post-workout

5. CystoSport CytoGainer

Cystosport is a name that’s been around for a while and is a company who makes protein powders as well as weight gainers. Their Cytogainer is a mass gainer that contains a lower overall calorie level at just 280 calories per two scoop serving.

Do keep in mind, however, that this product has two scoops per serving, whereas most products have 4, therefore you are taking less product per serving.

You’ll take in 2.5 grams of fat per serving, 37 grams of carbs, 5 of which are sugar, and 27 grams of protein.

It’s a good option for those who want something a little lighter and who are more concerned about body fat gain.

CystoSport CytoGainer
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PROS

  • ​Recommended for those who want to take lighter supplements
  • ​​Promotes muscle recovery after high-energy workouts
  • Tastes good with whole milk

​CONS

  • ​We find it hard to mix with other liquid

6. Universal Nutrition Real Gains

Real Gains Weight Gainer makes no bones about the fact that it’s high in carbs.

This is old-school bulk building that focuses on producing large, powerful muscles and leaves any arguments over which diet is better for another day.

The bad news is that it has a few artificial ingredients along with sugar and salt (presumably to aid in the taste), but the good news is that it works like nobody’s business.

If the kind of bulk that raises eyebrows is what you’re after Real Gains will provide it for you. Your job then is to get into the weight room and sculpt that bulk into the body you want.

Universal Nutrition Real Gains Weight Gainer
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PROS

  • Healthy fats you need to build muscle, not blubber
  • With regular workouts you’ll see real gains in bulk and strength
  • Plenty of calcium to help build a stronger skeleton

​CONS

  • Fairly high in sodium and cholesterol.

7. MuscleMeds Carnivore Mass

If you are really watching your sugar and carb count in your quest for lean muscle mass, you’ll want to consider Carnivor Mass by MuscleMeds.

This protein powder is not made from whey, but instead, from beef, so is free of lactose and is overall, a very pure product.

With 0 grams of sugar, it’s one that will keep insulin levels stable, preventing unwanted body fat gain.

This one is also lighter in calories at 690 calories per serving, providing 50 grams of protein and 119 grams of carbs.

With only 3 grams of fat, it’s also one that’s a good choice following a workout session.

MuscleMeds Carnivore Mass
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PROS

  • ​Made with 100% beef protein isolate
  • Builds lean muscle mass
  • ​Good for those with sensitive stomachs

​CONS

  • ​Not vegan-friendly

8. MuscleTech Mass Tech 

Mix a single serving of MuscleTech Mass Tech with a couple of cups of skim milk and you'll get 1,000 calories and an astonishing 80 grams of protein to do with as you wish. ​

Mass Tech is loaded with the branched chain amino acids you need to stimulate new muscle growth and shorten recovery times.

MuscleTech doesn't stop there, however. They go all-in on muscle growth by providing 10 grams of creatine per serving as well. Something you'll be hard pressed to find in other protein powders.

With Mass Tech you're going to spend less time nursing sore muscles and more time in the gym.

MuscleTech Mass Tech Pro Weight Gainer
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PROS

  • A very generous 17 grams of BCAAs per serving.
  • One of the few protein powders to include muscle building creatine.
  • A well-balanced combination of slow and fast digesting proteins.
  • 80 grams of protein per serving is among the best in class.

​CONS

  • Like most protein powders the taste is only so-so.

Reasons to take A Weight Gainer?

The main reason people drink these calorie dense drinks is because of two reasons:

  • They struggle to hit their daily calorie intake because of their busy lifestyle 
  • They're a Ectomorph or "hardgainer"

Weight gainers are a product designed to help you gain weight. Think supercharged protein powder, more or less. [2]

Guy drinking weight gainer in the gym

​Weight gain powders are helpful for increasing calories when you can't increase your calories from food alone."

​Susan Kleiner & Maggie Greenwood-Robinson (Human Kinetics)

​What to Look for in a Mass Gainer

  • Calorie requirements - Piling up calories must be challenging just by eating. As an alternative, you can opt for weight gainers to bulk up and meet your daily calorie requirements. Look for a meal replacement that can supply more than 450 calories in one serving to maximize your gains.
  • Quality protein (whey or casein) - One of the most important things to consider in finding the best mass gainer is the quality of protein used. Both whey and casein are considered as the best types of protein for muscle growth. The only difference between both is the rate of digestion where whey is more quickly absorbed by the body compared to casein.
  • Ingredients - Knowing how to read the food label gives an assurance that you get what you pay for. It also protects you from consuming ingredients that are not healthy for the body. Understanding the macronutrients (and micronutrients) on your favorite supplement is beneficial when planning your diet.

Studies have shown that ingesting casein and whey protein (which most weight gainers have) results in net anabolism and muscle growth following exercise (read more).

​Which Weight Gainer Should I Drink?

Woman counting calories on a mobile app while eating

Generally speaking, one serving of a weight gainer will be enough for most people. This will, however, depend on the calorie content of the drink and how fast your individual metabolism is. [3]

What you should aim to do is match the weight gainer to your metabolic level. If you are a pure ectomorph and really struggling to gain weight, you’ll want to look for a product that has 500+ calories per serving.

If you are someone who is simply active, burning a lot of energy, but who can gain fat if they aren’t careful, then a weight gainer in the 250-400 calorie range is more appropriate.

MAss gainer Side Effects

Generally speaking, as weight gainer is quite similar to whey protein powder, you won’t be at risk for any extra symptoms over and beyond what you would with the standard protein powder.

  • Bloating and/or digestive issue - Some people may experience bloating and/or gas when using mass gainer, in part due to the lactose (if not having lactose free weight gainer), as well as simply due to the sheer calorie count. To avoid this, consider working your way up. Try a mass gainer that has around 250-300 calories, then 450 calories, then the 600 calorie level and beyond..
  • Fat gain - Remember, your body can only build so much muscle at once. Any excess calories beyond this point will be converted into body fat. This is why more is not always better and why you shouldn’t go out and find the weight gainer with the highest calorie value thinking it will yield optimal results. 

​Mass gainers can cause body fat gain. Many people taking mass gainers tend to assume that all the excess calories will automatically turn into muscle. But they will also turn into adipose tissue (unless the person taking it is burning more calories than they are consuming).

​Peter Tzemis, Nutritionalist

FAQ Before Buying

1. Who Should Drink Weight Gainers?

Weight gainers are for people that struggle to gain any weight - people who are naturally thin and who have the ectomorph body type. Weight gainers may also be used by athletes who are expending a very high amount of energy on a day to day basis and need the extra calorie support.

A good rule of thumb is that if your daily calorie needs are higher than 3000 per day, looking into a weight gainer is a smart move. Eating more than 3000 calories per day from whole food sources can be hard to stomach, which is where the weight gainer comes in helpful.

Guy showing his muscle back on dark background

2. When Should I Drink My Mass Gainer?

You drink your mass gainer during post-workout so your muscles can soak up all the nutrients and aid in your recovery. However, you can always drink it for breakfast, between meals (as a snack), and before going to bed. You can mix mass gainers in water within your shaker or if you want to add more calories, you can add milk. If the texture is too thick, you can use a blender to mix it better.

3. Can I Use A Mass Gainer Before My Workout Session?

You can drink mass gainers before a workout but you may notice you feel bloated and/or sluggish during the workout if you use the weight gainer prior to hitting the gym. For best results, try using it after the workout or at another point during the day.

4. Should I Take My Weight Gainer With Food?

While you can do this, do remember that weight gainers are very calorie dense and taking it with food may cause even more bloating to occur. Your best bet is to take it at a different time than when you are having your meal.

5. Can I Take It On Days I Don't Train In The Gym?

You can if it helps you reach your calorie intake needs. Remember that your calorie intake may not be as high on non-training days, so adjust your intake accordingly. You may decide to only take half the serving size on non-training days as an easy way to achieve better calorie control.

The Best Mass Gainer?

When buying a mass gainer, you not only want one that helps you gain weight and lean muscle mass, but you also want one that is healthy and contains the nutrients you need. And that’s exactly what you get with the ProteinSeries Mass Gainer from Transparent Labs.

This mass gainer will maximize your results, helping you gain weight and muscle before your very eyes.

Since it comes from 100% grass-fed whey protein concentrate, you would be assured that the calories you are consuming are good ones.

Use it as a protein shake or a meal replacement. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the ProteinSeries Mass Gainer when you are looking for big results!

Transparent Labs Mass gainer
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Transparent Labs : Mass Gainer
Our #1 Weight Gainer Supplement

  • Well balanced weight gainer on the market today
  • 650 calories per serving to support your gains
  • 53g of high-quality protein
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    109 g of carbs to help restore energy levels
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    100% grass-fed whey protein
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    No artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives
  • Great price this May

About the author

Isaac Robertson

I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits. You can read more about me here​.

  • Thanks for this awesome weight gain supplements review! I followed your recommendation by buying ON Pro Gainer here and so far, I have gained a few pounds by drinking this mass gainer. I know I’m on the right track with this product. Cheers!

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