The best weight gainers are specifically created to offer that additional boost to help build muscle mass in a workout routine. These products are usually a combination of carbohydrates and protein which are both necessary in muscle building.
Most people’s biggest concern with bodybuilding is ‘getting too big.’ As anyone who has been lifting weights for a while will attest too, this is a far cry from the actual truth.
Fact of the matter is, getting big is HARD!
Which is precisely why weight gain supplements exist, and we’ve carefully put together a list for you of the highest rated and reviewed ones below.
10 Mass Gaining Supplements Reviewed
The best ones are proven in their assistance in building muscle tissue.
It is with these proven and tested gainers that we will begin our journey into the world of muscle building and review some of the best mass gainer supplements at your disposal.
The prices will vary depending on brand name, amount in container, and website where it is purchased, but a lot of good weight gainers can be purchased for about $50 or less.
#10 – Vitol Russian Bear 5000
- 370 Calories per Serving
- 19 grams of Protein
- 55 grams of Carbohydrates
- Complete Vitamin and Mineral Formula
- Three Ice Cream Inspired Flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla
Russian Bear 5000 is an ice cream flavored weight gainer that packs 370 calories in every 3-scoop serving. The first part of the blend contains vitamins and minerals that your body needs throughout the day. The proprietary blend in Russian Bear is called the Pro Growth Metabolic Formula, and it combines seven ingredients into a 570 mg blend.
Among these are Yohimbe which boosts metabolism and sex drive, Tribulus which is used as a testosterone booster, and medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) which provide quick energy without getting stored as fat cells. Russian Bear is designed to bulk you up while giving you the tools to enhance muscle.
Who Makes It?
The company behind Russian Bear 5000 is Vitol, and their website goes deep on the Russian Bear, sharing the story of how Val Vasilef made his way to the Olympics. His quest to avoid muscle loss led to the development of the powerful weight gainer, Russian Bear.
For a remarkable feat of weightlifting, check out the photo of Vasilef executing a 150.5 pound curl with one arm on a weight bench.
With a big name adding credibility and passion to the product’s origin, Russian Bear 5000 was created to serve muscle-bound men throughout the world. It’s got various potent ingredients that serve different functions, ultimately aimed at turning almost 400 calories into bulk and muscle.
#9 – CytoSport Monster Milk
- 280 Calories for 2-Scoops Serving
- 50g of Protein per Serving
- Amino Acids Included
- 3g of Creatine
- Six Flavors Including Banana, Cookies & Crème, and Peanut Butter Chocolate
With 100% of your daily dose of protein in each serving, Monster Milk is the aptly named weight gaining powder from CytoSport. It’s not just the amount of protein that matters, but the type, and with the combination of amino acids like L-leucine and glutamine, the high-quality protein in Muscle Milk is likely to show results.
If stomach issues keep you away from protein shakes, then this one might work better for you, because it includes 125mg of ProHydrolase Digestive Enzymes.
Who Makes It?
CytoSport offers a slew of products aimed at giving hardcore athletes the edge they need to compete at high levels. One such high-level athlete sponsored by Monster Milk is Chris Weidman, a UFC fighter and former Middleweight Champion. For an interesting challenge, try the workout routine Weidman did to prepare for his championship bout, which is detailed on an article on the CytoSport website.
Loaded with 50g of protein and enough amino acids to stimulate muscle growth, Monster Milk is a weight gainer of top-quality. Used by MMA fighters who have to make tough weigh-ins while maximizing muscle, Monster Milk is made to bulk you up and leave you as strong as possible.
#8 – MHP Up Your Mass
- 510 Calories and 11g of Fat Per Serving
- Gain 16 pounds of Mass in 5 Weeks w/ Diet and Exercise
- 46 grams of Protein
- MASS Load System for Carb Intake
- 6 Flavors Including Chocolate Coconut Macaroon
Up Your Mass is a highly-innovative weight gainer with a whopping 23 grams of branch chained amino acids (BCAA’s). If you’re intimidated by ingesting 58 grams of carbohydrates in one sitting, at least know that it’s part of their MASS Load System, an innovative collection of carbs and ingredients that allows them to take advantage of insulin and prevent fat stores.
Also notable is that Up Your Mass is designed to be easily mixable, so a few rattles in your favorite shaker should turn it into a smooth, drinkable, weight gaining shake.
Who Makes It?
MHP stands for Maximum Human Performance, and is a company dedicated to researching the latest ingredients that affect athletes. Among the useful info on their website is a detailed blog section that features recipes, advice, and articles from well-known athletes.
Up Your Mass is a top-quality weight gainer by MHP, and from the MASS Load System that ensures carbs work optimally, to the various muscle building components, its mission is to add mass and maximize your muscle. Appealing flavor options and a smooth, drinkable blend make Up Your Mass one of the most user-friendly weight gainers on the shelf.
#7 – Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass
- 465 Calories
- 71,500 mg Iron Mass Proprietary Blend
- Builds Muscle in 5-Ways
- 40 grams of Protein, with 24 grams of Ultra-microfiltered Whey
- Available in Chocolate Malt and Vanilla Malt
Iron Mass is the weight gaining supplement from the Arnold Series, and as expected, it exceeds all expectations. Using an innovative five stage mass-delivery system, Iron Mass strives to build you up using multiple approaches.
These include special blends like an Elite Complex Carbohydrate Matrix, High Performance Healthy Fats, and a Performance Growth and Muscle Volumizer. To help it all go down, Iron Mass also includes a Pro-Digest Blend, which uses enzymes to aid digestion and ensures that you can stay focused on your workout.
Who Makes It?
While a big name does not always ensure a quality product, in the case of the Arnold Series of supplements, it certainly does. Each product in the line of supplements endorsed by legendary bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is fully-loaded with premium ingredients and has the reputation to back it up.
From Iron Dream to Iron Cre3, numerous athletes trust the Arnold Series to give them the boosts they need to achieve their fitness goals.
From having tons of ingredients all with just two scoops per serving, to a five stage approach to stacking on mass, Iron Mass is yet another premium supplement to come from the Arnold Series. Anyone with a serious need to gain muscle mass and a big budget for supplements would be wise to invest in Arnold’s Iron Mass.
#6 – Nature’s Best Isopure Mass
- 600 Calories per 6-Scoop Serving
- 53g of Protein
- 86g of Carbohydrates
- Easy to Drink
- Available in Two Flavors: Dutch Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla
Featuring massive doses of carbs and protein for one sitting, Isopure Mass is a heavy duty weight gainer from Nature’s Best. One observation is that the dosage is huge, and results in getting 53 grams of protein, which is actually more than your body can use at one time.
If you want a more manageable amount of protein, say 30-40 grams that your body will be able to process, then just using three or four scoops will save you product and money. However, if your goal is pure weight gaining potential, then taking Isopure Mass by the 6-scoop doses recommended on the label is likely to bulk you up in no time.
Who Makes It?
Isopure Mass is one of the supplements developed by Nature’s Best in their Isopure product line. The quintessential aspect of Isopure products is their high-quality protein, specifically their 100% Whey Protein Isolate, which is devoid of impurities and extra fats. Visit the Isopure site for videos with workout circuits and to see who their featured trainer is.
Isopure Mass prides itself on using 100% Whey Protein Isolate and 11.5 grams of naturally occurring BCAA’s per serving. For any who have a solid workout and dietary plan to assist in their gaining of weight and muscle, Isopure Mass can make the weight gaining process quicker and more delicious.
#5 – BSN True Mass 1200
- 1248 Calories
- 12 Grams of BCAA’s
- 25 Grams of EAA’s
- Emphasizes Exercise Recovery
- Available in Three Flavors
With more amino acids than almost all other competitors on the shelf, True Mass 1200 is stacked with the stuff you need to grow muscle. This includes a remarkable 25 full grams of essential amino acids, and 12 grams of branched chain amino acids. That’s not the only way that True Mass 1200 is bigger than the rest.
Each serving contains a whopping 1200 calories, representing the lion’s share of the calories most people require in a single day. With a price a bit higher than a lot of other weight gainers, True Mass 1200 is also loaded with value for anyone who wants to see gains in muscle.
Who Makes It?
BSN is one of the heavy weights in the supplement industry, selling a slew of innovative products for fitness gurus and athletes of all types. These include the extremely popular pre-workout, N.O.-Xplode, and the Syntha-6 line of protein products. Their page of featured athletes is no joke, and features bios and profiles for legends ranging from two time Mr. Olympia, Flex Lewis, to the Notorious himself, Conor McGregor.
Emphasizing essential and branch chained amino acids in potent dosages, True Mass 1200 has everything it takes to grow your muscles to new levels. Containing over 1200 calories, 215g of complex carbs, and 50g of protein, True Mass 1200 will get you bulked up in just two scoops per serving.
#4 – Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass
- 1250 Calories per Dose
- 50g Blended Protein
- More than 250g of Carbs
- No Added Sugar
- Five Flavors Including Strawberry and Banana
Boasting a huge amount of calories, carbs, and protein, Serious Mass is Optimum Nutrition’s weight gaining supplement. Although each serving packs 250g of carbohydrates, you can rest assured that there is no additional sugar.
Furthermore, Serious Mass includes serious vitamins, and includes a blend of 25 vitamins and minerals to keep your body running properly while you grow muscle. With all the calories, luckily Serious Mass only contains 4.5 grams of fat in each dose, which is remarkably less than most other brands.
Who Makes It?
Optimum Nutrition develops supplements that enhance protein, shred fat, and provide nutrients to keep you as healthy as possible. Each of their items fit into color-coded categories, and include detailed products like Egg Protein, and CLA Softgells for cutting fat.
Optimum Nutrition also sells a nice variety of merchandise, like track pants, protein shaker bottles, and workout shirts for men and women.
Taken before workout or in between meals, Serious Mass is Optimum Nutrition’s answer to your weight gaining problem. Packing 1250 calories, 250 carbs, and no sugar, Serious Mass is going to make you bigger in all the right places, but only when combined with a workout regimen that pushes you to the limit.
#3 – Dymatize Super Mass Gainer
- 1300 Calories for Every 2-Scoop Serving
- 52g of Protein
- 17g of BCAA’s
- 252g of Carbohydrate
- 7 Flavors Including Sugar Cookie and Chocolate Cake Batter
Featuring interesting flavors not seen by other companies and more calories per serving than any other weight gainer on this list, Super Mass Gainer is a highly potent weight gainer from Dymatize.
While all weight gainers on the top ten are fully loaded, Super Mass Gainer simply exceeds most of them by loading up with 1300 Calories within every two scoops.
Throw in the fact that you’re also getting essential vitamins, and that the mix tastes a lot better than average, and you’re left with a top notch supplement for anyone who wants to rapidly put on the pounds.
Who Makes It?
Dymatize is a supplement company led by people who know science, and use their knowledge to enhance athletic performance. Their site shows detailed pics of their behind the scenes operation, from scientists conducting research, to some of their world class training and testing methods.
A section called Fit Life bridges the gap between customers and pro athletes, and lists recipes, fitness advice, and more tips for getting in shape.
At 1300 calories per two scoops, Super Mass Gainer by Dymatize packs more of a weight gaining punch than any of the other supplements on this list. Combined with an intense workout plan, the science behind it will help insure that those calories go your muscles rather than your gut. Try flavors like Sugar Cookie for a unique and great tasting protein shake experience.
#2 – Universal Nutrition Real Gains
- 600 Calories per Serving
- 52g of Protein
- Contains Whey, Micellar casein, healthy fats and fiber
- Low in Sugar and Designed to Mix Easily
- Six Ice Cream Inspired Flavors Like Banana Ice Cream
Real Gains is a potent yet sensible weight gainer from Universal Nutrition. It’s potent because of 52g of protein and 87g of complex carbohydrates. While protein and carbs are in high levels, calories stay at a reasonable 600, rather than exceeding 1200 like several of its competitors.
Furthermore, the flavors are among the most unique on the shelf, and are all based on popular types of ice cream. Finally, the price is better than a lot of other brands as well, adding even more value to an already incredible weight gainer.
Who Makes It?
Universal Nutrition serves as an industry expert on bodybuilding supplements, although their involvement in the fitness community goes a bit deeper. Offering tons of info involving workouts, nutrition, and lifestyle, the Universal Nutrition website has something to learn for even the most hardcore lifters. Check out their articles and videos for cutting edge workout ideas from top athletes.
If you like 600 calorie protein shakes that taste a lot like ice cream, then Real Gains is the real deal. Jam packed with vitamins, fiber, and lots of amino acids, Real Gains will bulk you up in the most delicious way possible. Also notable is that the price is a little better than a lot of comparable brands.
#1 – Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer
- 650 Calories
- 60g of Protein from Seven Sources
- 85g of Carbohydrates
- Blends Smoothly
- Five Flavors Like Double Chocolate and Strawberry Cream
Pro Gainer is known as a “Lean Gainer”, meaning it focuses on only getting you the nutrients you need to grow lean muscle. In addition to 26 vitamins and minerals that will help your body function and process fats, Pro Gainer has medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are energy dense lipids.
The protein in Pro Gainer is not only of high quality, but it is a combination of seven different types. Additions like 4g of fiber and digestive enzymes to aid stomach health make Pro Gainer a user friendly weight gaining supplement that should go down smoothly.
Who Makes It?
Optimum Nutrition (ON) is well known in the supplements industry, but is actually owned by another company that specializes in cheese and nutrition known as Glanbia.
With facilities in Florida, South Carolina, and Illinois, Optimum Nutrition has been striving to create the most revolutionary fitness supplements since 1986. Among ON’s most famous products is there Gold Standard 100% Whey, which is the best-selling whey protein in the world.
A premium weight gainer that is priced towards the top of the market, Pro Gainer is a solid product that is perfect for anyone wanting to gain lean muscle while also working out hard on a regular basis. Do not mistake this, or any of the weight gainers for a quick fix, because 85g of carbohydrates will turn to fat if not accompanied by a workout.
That said, getting the right amino acids, fats, and nutrients in one powerful shake is priceless for those who are actively trying to build muscle.
Beginners Guide to Weight Gainers
With the rattling shaker bottles and big tubs of flavorful powder, protein shakes are the quintessential fitness supplement. Providing smart ratios of protein, calories, and carbs, they allow you to pack on the nutrients you need to build muscle.
Weight gainer shakes have huge amounts of protein, but are also supplemented with large doses of carbohydrates and calories as well, all with the intention of bulking you up as quickly and safely as possible.
Since they include vitamins and other benefits in addition to muscle enhancing proteins, what better way to get all of the calories and protein of a meat-laden feast, than a few scoops of powder mixed with your favorite beverage?
With massive variety in brands, flavors, and combinations of nutrients, odds are there is a weight gaining protein supplement that can help your muscles meet their full potential.
What Are Weight Gainers?
Weight gainers are products that provide large doses of the nutrients you need to gain muscle, typically within two scoops of powder mixed with your favorite beverage. You’ll notice a lot of flavor variety among weight gainers, with a lot of companies trying to make their options more appealing than their competitors.
Since a single weight gaining shake can have the calories and carbs of multiple meals in a single sitting, it’s pretty much vital to maintain a challenging workout routine while taking a weight gainer. If not accompanied by a lot of exercise, then all of those excess calories are likely to turn to fat instead of muscle.
Those who pay attention to their diet and continue to stick to their workouts can see a lot of lean muscle gain from taking a supplementary weight gainer.
How to Use Them
Nutrition is fairly complex, and gaining weight is not as simple as scarfing down everything in sight. At least not unless you want to develop weight issues of a different kind. For putting on muscle, what you put in your body matters, and it even goes beyond lots of protein.
For example, if you’re lacking in vitamins, then your fat cells won’t be as soluble, and fat storage in your body will be more difficult to get rid of. To gain weight in a healthy manner, it’s important to get all of your micro-nutrients, in addition to the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body running effectively.
What’s In a Weight Gainer?
Weight gaining shakes are all fairly similar, each providing a mix of complex carbs, protein, vitamins, and a lot of calories to facilitate weight gain. The biggest differences in the formulas has to do with the ratio of each ingredients used, and the types of protein and amino acids they consist of.
From vitamins to proteins, these are the most common ingredients included in weight gainer shakes.
Vitamins & Minerals
While a good tasting shake with lots of protein would probably sell pretty well, supplement companies opt to include a lot of healthy vitamins and minerals to add value to their products. Considering that vitamins like Vitamin K are used in breaking down fat cells, then they are vital to the process of gaining lean muscle.
Not to mention that they’re important for properly functioning organs, healthy hair, and generating new skin. Whether or not you get enough vitamins by other means, most weight gaining products will help you get your daily dose.
According to WebMD, we need approximately .36g of protein for every pound of body weight, or 61g of protein for a 170 pound male, for example. Since many of the featured weight gainers have protein levels that exceed 50 grams per serving, you’ll never have a protein deficiency while taking weight gaining shakes.
What poses a far greater chance of sabotaging your fitness gains is ingesting more protein than you can use, so it’s important to ensure that your workout is taking advantage of huge protein intake.
Huge Amount of Calories
Like we all learned in health class, calories are how we measure units of energy, and to gain weight, we need lots of them. An average person eats around 2000 calories per day, but to put on weight, you’ll probably have to exceed that.
Weight gaining products pack 300-1300 calories in a single protein shake, so they’re definitely an easy way to get those calories in your body as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, weight gaining shakes often have an emphasis on including the optimal kinds of carbohydrates with minimal sugar, so in most cases, there is an effort to make those calories as lean as possible.
Lots of Complex Carbs
Quality of carbohydrates is an important and often misunderstood concept for supplement users. A lot of nutritionists disagree on the importance of calories, and the main reason for this is that 1000 calories of sugar and 1000 calories from broccoli will have drastically different effects on your body.
That means that what those calories are made of matters a lot, and for your weight gaining endeavor to result in a shredded physique, it’s complex carbohydrates that you’re going to want, not sugar. To learn more about the difference between healthy complex carbohydrates versus simple carbs such as sugar, check out this dietician’s explanation from FitDay.com.
Since most people choose to just mix their favorite weight gaining powder with water or milk, the flavor of the powder will be pretty dominant. That’s why taste is actually a huge deciding factor in which weight gaining shake to choose.
Luckily, this is not a secret to the supplement companies, who develop creative flavors like Chocolate Coconut Macaroon and Banana Ice Cream. While each individual will have their own taste preferences, products that are notoriously good or bad tasting will usually have dozens of reviews to back it up.
Key Functions of Their Ingredients
When reading the labels of a lot of popular weight gainers, you’ll see that some list their ratio of macronutrients as a selling point. One of the most debated issues in the fitness community is which combination of carbs, fats, and protein is optimal, and this difference in approaches extends to different weight gainers.
While protein gets the most credit for building muscle, none of the supplements on this list are pure protein, but rather a combination of significant amounts of protein, fats, and carbs.
Knowing the three macronutrients, why they are vital, and how they affect your weight gaining process is a key part of making successful fitness decisions. For one example of a recommended ratio of macronutrients for muscle gain, check out this explanation from RelentlessGains.com.
Purpose of Fats
Anyone who has tried the Paleo diet or read up on modern nutrition knows that fats have gotten an underserved, bad reputation. The most important thing to know about fats is that saturated fats and trans fats are the bad ones, while poly and monounsaturated fats are not only good, but vital to a healthy body.
Nuts are a common source of the good types of fat, but you’ll notice a lot of the weight gainers having different types of fat included as well. As you peruse the weight gaining supplements, keep an eye out for how much total fat in each one is comprised of bad, saturated fats, and how much contains good poly and mono fats.
Purpose of Carbs
Like fats, not all carbs serve the same purpose. Long story short, simple carbs are the kind to avoid for the most part, as they include sugar and its many variations.
Complex carbs on the other hand are the kind found in vegetables and natural sources, and most weight gainers will mention that they use complex carbs if they do. One tip for seeing how much of the carbs in a product are comprised of sugar is to compare the two sections on the label.
If it contains like 80 carbs like some weight gainers on the list do, but the sugars are a low amount, then you can be confident that complex carbs were used in the supplement.
One other note regarding carbohydrates is that they are the main cause of obesity, and excessive carbohydrates will turn to fat on your body if unused. This further cements the importance of working out regularly while taking a weight gainer.
Purpose of Protein
Also a commonly misunderstood macronutrient, protein is required for every cell in the body. Although it’s most famous for its role as a prominent muscle builder, hair, nails, and skin tissue all require protein to regenerate.
Protein’s importance doesn’t end there, as it also is a vital part of creating hormones, bones, cartilage, and blood, which are all critical parts of survival. The typical amount of protein you’ll find in the average weight gainer ranges from 20-60, with various meats, nuts, and beans also potent in this powerful macronutrient.
Which Weight Gainer is Ideal for You?
Factors such as budget, flavor preferences, and amount of calories will be important issues for a lot of people, but there are a lot of reasons you might click with a particular weight gainer.
Considering that some offer around 400 calories, while more intense weight gaining shakes provide three times that amount, your first decision will probably be whether you want to start small or go all out.
Also, the amount of protein, stimulants, and extra benefits will differentiate certain brands from others. Ultimately, so long as you’re clear on your fitness goals and are maintaining a healthy workout and diet plan while drinking them, then weight gainers are products that can change your life for the better.
How to Pick a Good One
To make a decision about which of the many weight gainers is worthy of your hard earned dollar, the first step is to know what you prioritize. For some, budget has to be the top concern, and so getting the most bang for their buck will be crucial.
Others find flavor to be the most important aspect, and there are weight gainers that cater to those who prize taste above all else. Finally, people with a hardcore need to put on pounds are going to prefer the strongest weight gainers out there with the most protein and calories.
If any of these are priorities for you, than the following product suggestions will probably suit your needs.
For the best deal on a high-quality weight gainer, look to numbers ten and eight on the list. Number ten is Russian Bear 5000 by Vitol, and at $28.49 for 20 servings from the same retailer, it’s the least expensive option on this top ten list.
The second best deal is Up Your Mass by MHP, which offers their potent weight gaining blend for just $28.48 for 17 servings. One thing to note when buying a weight gainer is that they’re not designed to be taken forever, so even if you’re dropping money on an expensive product, it may be the only time you need it if you gain the weight you wanted.
Most Unique Flavors
For exceptionally unique and varied flavors, number three and two from the list deserve special mention. Dymatize Super Mass Gainer features seven different flavors, and they include rare creations like sugar cookie and chocolate cake batter. If a half-dozen flavor options that are all based on ice cream sounds good, then Real Gains by Universal Nutrition may be your top pick for a weight gainer.
A certain percentage of people who use weight gainers are going to want to simply gain the most bulk with every shake they chug down. For those who want to get the most potent, high-density weight gainers around, then numbers five, four, and three on the list each provide over 1200 calories. Among these heavy hitters are blends like True Mass 1200 by BSN and Serious Mass by Optimum Nutrition.
How to Take Your Weight Gainer
The main concerns for the beverage you choose for mixing with your weight gainer include taste, solubility, and calories. Water or skim milk are the most commonly recommended mixers, but your favorite juice might be an excellent candidate as well.
Obviously flavors like vanilla or strawberry will mix with fruity juices better than flavors like cookies and cream or peanut butter, but opinions will vary on the best shake and mixer combinations. Solubility matters as well, so picking a mixer that is relatively thin and mixable will avoid annoying powder clumps in your shake.
Finally, you don’t want to undo the progress you’re making with unnecessary sugar, so beverages like soda should be avoided as mixers.
As we can see, there are so many products on the market that are both viable and proven in the building lean muscle mass. When looking for the right product there are many considerations such as: does it taste good? Is it high in protein and low in bad fat? It is always best to look up reviews online when finding a new weight gainer supplemental because it gives an overview to help find the best product for your money.
It is in the product reviews and in talking with someone from a supplemental and nutrition store that you can find the best fit for yourself. It may also help to make a list of what benefits you want to achieve and then try to match the products to your specifications. This will also help in searches to determine which product is the best fit for your desired results. This may take some time and research, but it is definitely worth it.
These products give the opportunity to create an entire new body and a life that we may have once not thought possible. It helps to boost nature and to create a lean sculpt figure full of healthy lean muscle mass and, with a constant workout routine.
We can all have the dream body that we want and these products can help to achieve it. Good luck with the hunt for the best weight gainer product for you. It is definitely a worthwhile investment when it comes to mass building fitness goals.
What to read next: 10 Best Protein Powders (Handy Buyers Guide)
Update Log Activity
- Updated on March 28, 2019 by Ada Lane