Best Mass Gainers Ranked for 2018 (Top 10 Brands)

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This is our official list of the best mass gainers on the market. These 10 brands have the best feedback from users and the highest reviews online.

#1 Mass Gainer

Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

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As you already know, the recipe for a strong, muscular body has two main ingredients: training and nutrition. Both go hand in hand, and both are absolutely necessary in order to build the body you’ve always dreamed of.

Everyone has their own goals when it comes to fitness. Some are looking to lose weight, some want to tone up and build lean muscle, and some want to pack on as much muscle as possible. If you’re in the last category, and looking to add significant muscle mass to your body, you’ve come to the right place!

If you’ve found this article, it’s likely safe to assume that you know what you’re doing in the gym. If you’re not experienced with weightlifting, check out Bodybuilding.com’s beginner weight training guide. If you’re an experienced lifter, this is the guide for you. If you’ve already got your training routine in place, it’s time to work on the other half of the equation – it’s time to talk about nutrition!

What Is a Mass Gainer?

what is a mass gainer

In this guide, we’re here to talk about weight gain supplements – otherwise known as mass builders or mass gainers. These supplements pack a huge amount of protein, carbohydrates, calories, vitamins and other nutrients into a convenient, easy package.

They are essential when you’re trying to gain mass, and are very useful for a variety of athletes, weightlifters and everyday people. If you’ve been working out hard but not seeing the right results, and you’re wondering how to gain muscle mass faster, adding a mass gain supplement to your diet might just be the key to your success.

When you first think of the term “weight gain”, certain foods are likely to come to mind; donuts, chips, cake, ice cream, cheeseburgers… the list goes on. But these foods are what experts call empty calories. Eating these foods can help you gain weight – but it will be 99% fat.

If you’re reading this, you’re not interested in gaining fat – you’re interested in gaining muscle mass! This is where weight gainer supplements can come in handy. These products provide a huge dose of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and more in one easy package. Generally, they come in powder form, so you can just mix them into water, milk, or throw them in a shake.

Now, keep in mind that weight gainers are meant to be used in conjunction with heavy training. If you take one of these products, you will gain weight – but it will just be fat if you don’t exercise. If you train regularly, adding a mass gainer to your supplement routine will definitely help you pack on extra muscle – but don’t expect results without hard work, too!

Uses & Benefits of Mass Gainers

benefits of mass gainers

Weight gainers are powdered products that contain lots of calories, carbohydrates, protein and vitamins/minerals. Some primary uses for weight gainers include:

  • Weight Gain: Okay, this one’s obvious – but it’s the primary use of these products. Weight gainers are designed to supply a large quantity of both macro and micronutrients, in a convenient way. While many are striving for weight loss, others have goals to put on weight. And in some cases, this is more difficult than you might think! It takes around 3,500 calories to gain a pound, and that figure refers to the number of calories above your daily energy needs.
  • Muscle Gain: Building muscle is hard work. It requires serious effort the gym, and also a solid nutritional intake. Adequate protein intake is essential for mass gain, with a recent meta-analysis study showing that consuming up to .73g of protein per pound of bodyweight was ideal for mass gain. That translates to roughly 130g of protein for a 180lb person – which can be difficult to obtain through whole foods alone. While protein is always thought of as “the muscle nutrient”, carbohydrates are also essential because of their role in glycogen production and storage. Mass gainers provide a huge amount of both protein and carbohydrates, which can potentially help with muscle growth (when combined with strength training).
  • Weight Management: Some people use mass gainers not to gain weight per se, but to maintain their current weight. People like endurance athletes, who can sometimes have huge daily caloric needs, can benefit from the convenience of these supplements.
  • Recovery: Some weight gainers are beneficial to use after a hard workout. The high carbohydrate content helps to restore glycogen levels, while the protein content helps to spur recovery and muscle growth. L-glutamine, another common addition in weight gainers, may also help with post-workout recovery.

Weight gainers are useful for some people, when used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. With that said, they can also lead to fat gain and other negative effects if used improperly.

Who Can Benefit from Taking a Mass Gainer?

Many people can benefit from taking a weight gainer, but here are some of the groups that can benefit the most:

  • Weightlifters/Bodybuilders – Weightlifters who are looking to pack on muscle mass and make serious gains can greatly benefit from adding mass building supplements to their diets. Good weight gainers will contain high doses of protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, and just about everything else needed for mass gains. Especially during “bulking” phases, these supplements are great. When you’re tasked with consuming 3,000+ calories and 100+ grams of protein per day, it’s very helpful to have a single product that can meet a good chunk of those requirements in one easy package.
  • People with Fast Metabolisms – If you have a fast metabolism, you may find it difficult to gain weight or even maintain your own weight. It takes around 3500 calories to gain a pound – and that’s 3500 calories above your daily needed calories. If you have a fast metabolism, that number can be even higher. If you struggle to gain weight, or if you’ve been working hard at the gym but just can’t seem to pack on the muscle you want, consider adding a mass builder supplement. These products provide a convenient, simple way to greatly increase your daily calorie intake, without having to eat food constantly all day long.
  • Athletes –  Most sports require you to be at least somewhat muscular. Many athletes can benefit from the high protein amounts in mass gainers. Not only that, but the amount of calories that mass gainers contain can provide a good amount of energy to get you through the game. For example, the guys at the rugby clothing brand – Rugby Warfare say that mass gainers are one of the most popular supplements that rugby players use because of their high protein and calorie content.
  • Men and Women – Both men and women can benefit from weight gain supplements. The most effective weight gainers will provide a good boost in calories, without going over the top. Generally, men need more calories than women, so a lot of women will be able to gain weight without the help of supplements, but some women still need that extra boost. Men who are active require a lot of calories in order to gain weight, and a lot of protein in order to gain muscle mass. Therefore, a highly rated mass gainer will contain a higher amount of calories and protein than products designed for women.

Are There Any Side Effects of Mass Gainers?

As with any supplement, you should know about any potential side effects before you begin taking a product. When it comes to weight gainers, side effects are generally mild. Some include: allergic reactions to ingredients, eccessive weight and fat gain and potential harm to liver due to high amounts of ingredients and protein.

One common issue is fat gain. Because these products are loaded with calories, they can lead to gains of unhealthy weight if you don’t exercise enough while using them. These supplements are designed to help you gain weight and muscle – but if you don’t train enough, you’ll just gain fat.

Getting too many calories from ANY source will lead to fat gain. In order to benefit from taking a weight gainer, you need to be training hard and burning calories. In other words, don’t expect to see muscle gains without hard work, no matter what supplements you take!

As always, we recommend you speak with your doctor before taking any supplements featured on this site.

How To Take a Mass Gainer and When

how to pick a mass gainer

For most people, these supplements are simply a way to add more calories and nutrients to your daily diet. They can be taken at pretty much any point throughout the day, as a simple way to increase your food intake.

Now, keep in mind that there are different types of these supplements out there. As always, you should follow the directions on the product packaging of the supplement you’re using. Do not exceed the recommended dose, unless otherwise advised by a medical professional.

For best results, you’ll want to time your consumption of weight gainers around your meals. Since you’ll get a lot of calories and nutrients from your regular meals, you should add supplements in between meals. That way, you’ll be able to increase your consumption without feeling overly full or bloated, and you’ll have a steady stream of calories to provide energy for your day.

Also, mass gainers are great to take immediately following your workout. After intense exercise, your body craves protein and carbohydrates. If you don’t give it what it craves, your body can enter a catabolic state, which can negate your efforts at the gym and leave you feeling lethargic, sore, and tired.

To avoid catabolism, you should consume a protein shake or mass-builder supplement immediately after working out. For convenience, many people like to use a BlenderBottle to keep a shake with them when they go to the gym. These handy little devices contain a shaker ball that helps keep your shake mixed up and ready to drink.

Many people also take a mass gainer before bed, to help keep their body fed with protein. This may be useful for some, but keep in mind that due to the high level of calories in some of these products, taking a dose before bed might result in some fat gain. To prevent catabolism at night, a standard protein powder is usually a better option.

Read the Label!

Before taking any supplements, make sure you read the instructions that the manufacturer has placed on the label. This is a very important step.

Go to: Top 10 Shaker Bottles & Mixers

What to Look For in a Good Mass Gainer

There are a ton of options out there when it comes to choosing a mass building supplement. Below, you’ll find a list of the best mass gainers on the market, but before we get into that, let’s take a look at some of the factors you should consider when choosing a supplement.

  • Ingredients – take a close look at the ingredients in any products you’re considering. What’s in it, and how much? How many calories per serving, how much protein, how many carbohydrates? Keep in mind how you can benefit from the included ingredients, and how the product will stack with other supplements you may be taking.
  • Brand reputation – is the manufacturer well-known and trustworthy? Do they have a good reputation for making quality products? All the products on this list below are made by reputable companies, but if you’re looking elsewhere be sure to do your research before buying anything.
  • Value for money – you’ll want to consider the price per serving of your various options. Always calculate the cost based on individual servings, instead of just the cost of the overall package. Also, keep in mind that cheap weight gainers will likely not be as high quality as the more expensive ones, so you’re not necessarily looking for the lowest priced product.
  • Taste/flavor – mass gainers usually have fairly large serving sizes, so it’s important to find a product that tastes good. It’s hard to know whether you’ll like the taste without trying it, but you can read mass gainer reviews to get an idea. Also – our top recommended products all taste great, so that’s a good place to start

Top 10 Mass Gainers Compared

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Bonus: Vitol Russian Bear 5000

vitol-russian-bear-5000-weight-gainer

Vitol Russian Bear 5000 is a HUGE weight gain supplement. Its huge serving size is a downside for some people, but for those looking for the most calories and protein possible, this might be the best weight gainer for you.

Highlights:

  • 184g protein per serving – yeah, you read that right
  • 2600 calories per serving
  • 391g carbohydrates per serving
  • 46g medium chain triglycerides
  • Huge amount of protein and calories in one product
  • Added anabolic compounds like yohimbe, boron and more
  • Added vitamins and minerals

Who makes it: Russian Bear 5000 is made by Vitol, a manufacturer of natural supplements and bodybuilding products. In business for more than 37 years, Vitol has come out with a lot of good products and has many loyal fans.

Bottom Line: Russian Bear 5000 is a good weight gainer if you’re looking for the most calories and protein possible. That being said, the huge serving size is a little over the top. Many people use this product and take a ½ serving or even a ¼ serving, which is probably the best way to use it unless you’re on a very aggressive bulking cycle.

Full Breakdown: Vitol Russian Bear 5000

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10. CytoSport Monster Milk

CytoSport-Monster-Milk

CytoSport Monster Milk is a blended protein powder that is also useful for gaining mass. Packed with 50g of easily digestible proteins, Monster Milk provides an easy way to meet daily protein needs. With only 280 calories and 12g of carbohydrates, this product won’t help you gain much as much weight as some of our top recommendations, but it’s a great way to supplement protein intake.

Highlights:

  • 50g protein per serving
  • 320 calories
  • Added BCAA’s
  • Added lipids and fatty acids
  • Aminogen, which is a bioactive polypeptide enzyme system.
  • Small serving size

Who makes it: Monster Milk is made by CytoSport, a midsized supplement manufacturer founded in 1997. Best known for their Muscle Milk pre-made protein shakes and powders, CytoSport now manufactures a wide range of fitness supplements.

Bottom Line: Monster Milk is more of a protein powder than a mass builder. However, if you are able to meet your caloric intake goals already, and just need more protein, Monster Milk is a great choice. The wide variety of protein sources used in this product make it an excellent choice for those looking to diversify their protein sources.

Full Breakdown: CytoSport Monster Milk

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9. Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-Series-Iron-Mass

Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass is a top mass builder made by MusclePharm. Combining a large amount of protein, BCAAs, quality calories and no fillers. Designed as part of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Series from MusclePharm, Iron Mass is a highly popular mass gainer.

Highlights:

  • 40g protein per serving
  • 34g carbohydrates
  • 485 calories
  • Small serving size
  • Anabolic growth complex with creatine and BCAA nitrates
  • Digestive enzyme complex
  • High calorie count per gram

Who makes it: Iron Mass is made by MusclePharm, one of the largest companies in the sports supplement industry. This product is part of MP’s Arnold Schwarzenegger series, which is made up of products endorsed by the legendary bodybuilder-turned-politician.

Bottom Line: Iron Mass is a good mass builder. Its small serving size is a big benefit, although some people will want to take multiple servings per day to reach their goals.

Full Breakdown: Arnold Iron Mass

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8. MHP Up Your Mass

mhp-up-your-mass

Up Your Mass is an affordable mass gainer protein supplement made by MHP. Combining large amounts of protein, carbohydrates, BCAAs, vitamins and more, Up your Mass helps give your body what it needs to gain weight.

Highlights:

  • 46g protein per serving
  • 510 calories
  • 58g carbohydrates
  • 5g dietary fiber
  • Only 1.5g sugar
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Added lipids and essential fatty acids

Who makes it: Up Your Mass is made by MHP, otherwise known as Maximum Human Performance. Since 1997, MHP has been dedicated to setting new standards in the sports nutrition industry, by developing and producing high quality, innovative and effective supplements.

Bottom Line: Overall, MHP Up Your Mass is a good weight gainer. It covers all the bases and provides an easy way to increase your daily intake of protein, calories, and nutrients. That being said, there are cheaper options out there, and the fact that Up Your Mass uses soy protein isolate as a primary protein source might be a downside for some.

Full Breakdown: MHP Up Your Mass

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7. Nature’s Best Isopure Mass

Natures-Best-Isopure-Mass

Isopure Mass is a simple, high quality mass building supplement made by Nature’s Best. It combines 53g of high quality protein with carbohydrates, fiber, BCAAs, glutamine, and more. With no trans fat, lactose, or excessive sugar, this is a clean, simple product to help you gain weight.

Highlights:

  • 53g protein per serving
  • 600 calories
  • 86g carbohydrates
  • 4g fiber
  • Added vitamins and minerals (vitamin A, C, E, B6, B12, calcium, iron, zinc, and many more.
  • Only 3g of sugar
  • Affordable
  • Fairly small serving size
  • Free of lactose and trans fat
  • Good BCAA make up
  • Assists in weight gain

Who makes it: Up Your Mass is made by MHP, otherwise known as Maximum Human Performance. Since 1997, MHP has been dedicated to setting new standards in the sports nutrition industry, by developing and producing high quality, innovative and effective supplements.

Bottom Line: Nature’s Best Isopure Mass is a simple but highly effective mass gainer. It does not contain lactose, which makes it a good product for those who are lactose intolerant. Its simple formula covers all the bases, without any unnecessary fillers.

Full Breakdown: Nature’s Best Isopure Mass

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6. Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

Optimum-Nutrition-Serious-Mass

Serious Mass is one of the best weight gainer protein supplements available. Made by Optimum Nutrition, this product provides a huge dose of calories, protein, carbohydrates and more to help you reach your weight gain goals. It’s a good choice, although the large serving size and higher than usual price is a downside.

Highlights:

  • 50g protein per serving
  • 1,250 calories
  • 252g carbohydrates
  • Creatine and glutamine added
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Easy way to consume a ton of calories, protein and more
  • Helps gain weight
  • Available in 4 tasty flavors

Who makes it: Serious Mass is made by Optimum Nutrition, one of the most popular supplement companies out there. Best known for their Gold Standard line of products, Optimum Nutrition has been an industry leader since they formed in 1987. Today, you can’t go far in a gym or supplement store without seeing an ON product, and the company has received many awards and recognitions for their high quality products.

Bottom line: Overall, Serious Mass is one of the better supplements for weight gain because it provides a large dose of the nutrients needed for muscle mass gains. It’s a good choice, although the large serving size and higher than usual price is a downside.

Full Breakdown: Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

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5. Dymatize Super Mass Gainer

Dymatize-Super-Mass-Gainer

Super Mass Gainer is a good weight gainer supplement made by Dymatize Nutrition. It combines high quality protein with added amino acids, creatine, carbohydrates, glutamine, and more.

Highlights:

  • 52g protein per serving
  • 252g carbohydrates
  • 19g sugar
  • 2g amino acid blend (glutamine, glutamine peptides, l-leucine, l-isoleucine, l-valine and zytrix)
  • 1280 calories
  • Available in vanilla and chocolate

Who makes it: Super Mass Gainer is made by Dymatize Nutrition, a large scale producer of fitness supplements. Since 1994, Dymatize has strived to develop cutting-edge products that help their customers reach – and exceed – their fitness goals.

Bottom Line: Dymatize Super Mass Gainer is one of the top weight gainers on the market. It provides a huge dose of carbohydrates and protein, which help you reach daily caloric goals. Its complex carbohydrate blend can help give you sustained energy for your day.

Full Breakdown: Dymatize Super Mass Gainer

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4. Universal Nutrition Real Gains

Universal-Nutrition-Real-Gains

Real Gains, made by Universal Nutrition, is one of the top mass builders on the market. Designed for active people looking to pack on the most mass possible, Real Gains has just about everything you need to build the body of your dreams – just add exercise, proper nutrition and dedication!

Highlights:

  • 52g protein per serving
  • 87g carbohydrates
  • 610 calories
  • Only 5g sugar
  • 5g dietary fiber
  • Includes healthy fats such as MCT’s, flax seed oils and more
  • Very affordable
  • Simple and effective
  • Small serving size
  • Mixes easily

Who makes it: Real Gains is made by Universal Nutrition, a company which has become a household name in the fitness community. For many years, Universal Nutrition has helped set the standard for quality in an ever-changing industry. Today, they manufacture a large line of highly effective supplements to suit the needs of a wide range of customers.

Bottom Line: Universal Nutrition Real Gains is a very good weight gainer. It’s affordable, simple formula gives you all the required nutrition to help you gain weight and muscle, and it doesn’t contain anything unnecessary or any fillers. If you’re looking for an effective, no-nonsense mass building supplement, Real Gains is a great choice.

Full Breakdown: Universal Nutrition Real Gains

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3. BSN True Mass 1200

bsn-true-mass-1200

BSN True Mass 1200 is one of the best weight gain supplements available. With 50g of high quality protein, 222g of carbohydrates, and much more, True Mass is an all around solid product.

Highlights:

  • 50g high quality protein per serving
  • 222g carbohydrates
  • 23g Essential Amino Acids
  • 12g BCAAs
  • 16g dietary fiber
  • 1220 calories
  • Added vitamins and minderals
  • Added glutamine
  • Reasonably Low sugar (16g per serving)
  • Small serving size
  • Easy to mix
  • 3 flavors available

Who makes it: True Mass 1200 is made by BSN, one of the biggest and best companies in the supplement industry. For many years, BSN has been a pioneer of the industry, developing effective and innovative products for weightlifters and athletes alike. They have received many awards, and have millions of loyal customers.

Bottom Line: True Mass 1200 is one of the best weight gainers available, and also one of the best-tasting – if you read mass gainer reviews, you’ll see that most people like the taste of this supplement. True Mass makes a simple, tasty shake that helps you reach your fitness goals by providing all the necessary nutrients for lean muscle mass gains.

Full Breakdown: BSN True Mass 1200

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2. Transparent Labs ProteinSeries MASS GAINER

transparent-labs-ProteinSeries-MASS-GAINER-review

Transparent Labs MASS GAINER is one of the highest quality premium mass gainers currently on the market. Loaded with 53 grams of 100% Grass-Fed New Zealand Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC80), 109 Grams of carbs sourced from organic tapioca maltodextrin, 6 Grams of Healthy Fats, and 3 grams Creatine Monohydrate – MASS GAINER delivers massive value that complements its price.

Highlights:

  • 750 Calories Per Serving
  • 53 Grams 100% Grass-Fed New Zealand Whey Protein Concentrate
  • 100 Grams Carbohydrates from Organic Tapioca Maltodextrin (100 g)
  • Nearly 6 grams MCTs
  • 3 Grams Creatine Monohydrate
  • 8 Grams of Fiber
  • Naturally Sweetened with Stevia & Monk Fruit
  • Full Ingredient Transparency
  • Health Conscious Mass Gainer

Who Makes It:

MASS GAINER is made by Transparent Labs, the fastest growing new supplement company founded in 2015. Transparent Labs is known for their premium and effective workout supplements like PreSeries BULK, LEAN, STIM-FREE, BCAA Glutamine, and Creatine HMB – All pf which provide full clinical doses and 100% label transparency.

Bottom Line: MASS GAINER by Transparent Labs uses higher quality ingredients than the rest of the mass gainers in the industry, and provides full label transparency. The use of premium ingredients does create the need for a price slightly higher than the market norm, but we’re confident that MASS GAINER may help you in your weight gain journey, for only a few dollars more.

Full Breakdown: ProteinSeries Mass Gainer

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1. Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

Pro Gainer is the one of the best weight gainer supplements available today. Loaded with 60g of protein, 85g carbohydrates and 24 vitamins and minerals, Pro Gainer is the perfect post-workout for those looking for mass, or as a simple weight gain powder to use between meals.

Highlights:

  • 60g high quality protein per serving
  • 85g carbohydrates
  • 24 different vitamins and minerals
  • 4g dietary fiber
  • 650 calories
  • Small serving size compared to many similar products
  • Made by Optimum Nutrition, one of the best brands in the business
  • Easy and convenient – does not require a blender (use a BlenderBottle for easier mixing)
  • Available in 3 flavors

Who makes it: Pro Gainer is made by Optimum Nutrition, one of the biggest names in the sports nutrition industry. Since 1987, Optimum Nutrition, or ON for short, has been a leader in developing highly innovative, affordable, and effective products. In their 25+ years in the industry, ON has received many prestigious awards, and has developed a reputation for producing some of the most high-quality product lines available.

Bottom Line: Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer is one of the best mass builders money can buy. It provides everything your body needs to gain mass, and none of the unnecessary junk. Pro Gainer is a simple, clean, effective weight gain supplement.

Full Breakdown: Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

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Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about mass gainers, you should be ready to make an educated decision on which product on this list would be right for you. Our top 3 recommendations will be the best options for most people, but any product on this list would be a good choice, depending on your needs.

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