With such a large percentage of the world’s population overweight or obese, a lot of people are on weight-loss diets or exercise for weight loss. However, for some, losing weight is the last thing on their minds. Instead, they want to GAIN weight, or, more specifically, gain muscle.
Eating enough food is part of what you need to do to gain weight, and strenuous weight training is crucial too. But using the best weight gaining supplements will help make the process that much easier.
Weight gaining supplements contain all the ingredients your body needs to build muscle faster, including protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Many are basically a meal in a glass, which is handy when you know you’re not going to be able to stop and eat – maybe because of work.
Combined with a smart workout program and the right diet, weight gainer shakes can really help you pack on the pounds.
Here are ten of the best weight gaining supplements – all tried and tested just for you.
Top-Rated Weight Gainer Supplements
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass
- Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D Provide Immune Support along with Vitamin E
- Packaging may vary – New look, with the same trusted Quality
- High Calorie Weight Gainer: 1,250 Calories per 2-Scoop Serving
- 50 Grams of Protein per Serving for fueling Intense Workouts
- Over 250 Grams of Carbohydrates per Serving
A lot of weight gainers contain only modest amounts of calories or carbs. That’s handy if you want to make lean gains or build muscle without accumulating too much fat. However, those types of products don’t tend to work very fast. Serious Mass by Optimum Nutrition provides a whopping 1250 calories per serving and will pack weight onto even the slenderest frame in double-quick time.
- 1250 calories per serving
- 50 grams of protein per serving
- 252 grams of carbs per serving
- 5 grams of fat per serving
- Contains creatine monohydrate and glutamine for faster recovery and more energy
- Contains 25 different vitamins and minerals
- Available in six flavors
- 16 servings per 12-pound bag
This high-calorie weight gainer should help you gain weight, even if you have a super-fast metabolism. High in carbs and low in fat, and with added creatine and glutamine, this product will also give you the energy you need to power through the toughest muscle-building workouts.
- Easy to mix weight gaining powder
- High in carbs, protein, and calories
- Six great-tasting flavors
- Contains muscle-building creatine and glutamine
- Low-fat formulation
- High in sugar
- Contains several potential allergens, including dairy, egg, corn, and wheat
Optimum Nutrition has an excellent reputation for making high-quality sports nutrition products. Their formulations aren’t the most advanced, but they do the basics very well. This no-frills weight gainer should help you put on mass quickly and easily, but at 1250 calories per serving, at least some of that weight will be fat.
Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer
- Vitamin C and Zinc Provides Immune Support along with Vitamin E
- 650 CALORIES – delivering calories that count to support your gains
- 60G PROTEIN BLEND – support your mass gaining goals with high-quality protein
- 85G CARBOHYDRATES – help restore energy levels
- 7g SUGAR (OR LESS)
Optimum Nutrition’s Pro Gainer is designed to help you gain muscle and not fat. With its high protein, modest carb, and low-fat content, this product will build muscle but shouldn’t lead to fat gain. This makes it ideal for people who want to shape up rather than bulk up.
- 650 calories per serving
- 60 grams of protein per serving
- 85 grams of carbs per serving
- 8 grams of fat per serving
- Available in four delicious flavors
- Very low in sugar
- Contains 31 different vitamins and minerals
Made for the lean gains market, this product won’t leave you bloated and gassy. Instead, it provides your body with precisely what it needs to build muscle without accumulating fat. Ideal for use between meals or after training, this sensibly formulated weight gainer should produce reliable results.
- Multi-ingredient protein blend to keep your muscles supplied with amino acid for hours at a time
- Low sugar, low-fat formulation
- Easy to mix – no need to use a blender
- Contains several potential allergens, including egg, wheat, and lactose
Easy to mix and enjoyable to drink, Pro Gainer by Optimum Nutrition is an excellent product. The blend of different proteins means it will keep your muscles supplied with muscle-building amino acids all day long, which will help with muscle building. Its low fat and low sugar formulation mean you’ll only gain muscle with this product and not useless body fat. It tastes good too!
- 700 CALORIES PER SERVING – help add the quality mass to your frame that you’ve been looking for post-workout or even between meals
- 2:1 RATIO OF CARBS & PROTEIN – provide your body a quality mix of carbs and protein the support your mass gaining goals
- 46G-50G PROTEIN FROM ULTRA-PREMIUM PROTEIN SOURCES –whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate, micellar casein, hydrolyzed whey protein, and egg whites
- MCT FATS – round out the nutritional value of each shake and complement the legendary great date from BSN
- 10G NATURALLY OCCURRING BCAAs PER SERVING – supports your recovery efforts from intense bouts of exercise
BSN True Mass is a high protein, higher carb weight gainer shake that also contains moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides, a particularly healthy type of fat. Low in sugar, this 700 calorie per serving weight gainer is good for exercisers who want to gain lean muscle without accumulating too much body fat.
- 700 calories per serving
- 46 grams of protein
- 87 grams of carbohydrates
- 18 grams of fat
- Protein blend for sustained release of amino acids
- Four great tasting flavors
- Easy to mix formulation
Designed to be mixed with water, this weight gainer makes a thick, smooth shake that tastes great. With 700 calories and plenty of protein and carbs, it’s ideal between meals or as a post-training snack.
- Easy to digest
- Tastes great
- Contains beneficial vitamins and minerals
- Low in sugar
- Contains several potentially allergens including egg, milk, and wheat
If you are looking for a basic, no-frills weigh gainer shake, True Mass from BSN is a solid choice. With no creatine or other muscle-building ingredients, it’s quite a simple formulation, but the extra calories, protein, and carbs are exactly what you need to gain weight and mass.
MuscleTech Mass Tech Pro
- Designed for the hard gainer
- Multi-phase protein system
- Build mass & strength
This MuscleTech mass gainer is a popular supplement. It contains protein, carbs, fat, and calories to deliver what can only be described as a complete meal in a glass. Mixed with water or, if you need even more calories, skim milk, this supplement should have you gaining weight in no time.
- 830 calories per serving
- 63 grams of protein per serving
- 132 grams of carbohydrate
- 6 grams of fat
- High in branched-chain amino acids
- 10 mg of creatine monohydrate per serving
- Available in four flavors
- Easy mix formulation
The combination of calories, protein, carbs, and creatine means that Mass-Tech contains all the ingredients you need to gain weight and build muscle. The high carb content means it’s especially useful for fuelling intense workouts and for speeding up recovery afterward. This product does contain a lot of calories, but you can always use half a dose if you are worried about gaining too much fat.
- Excellent flavors
- Very easy to mix
- Proven ingredients
- Low sugar formula
- Contains a mixture of fast and slower acting proteins and carbs
- Contains several potential allergens including milk, soy, eggs, and coconut
Mass-Tech is a BIG weight gainer. It contains lots of calories and carbs, which means it should help you pack on mass fast. There is also more than enough protein to fuel muscle growth and repair. The high creatine content will also have a fast and noticeable effect on your strength and gym performance. Creatine is one of the most well-researched sports supplements around.
- One 6 pound canister of CYTOSPORT CYTO GAINER – about 36 servings.
- SPECIALIZED HIGH-PROTEIN & CALORIE-DENSE MASS GAINER – 550 calories to increase your overall calorie intake and 54 grams of high-quality proteins to help facilitate muscle growth after training.
- 3.2 GRAMS OF CRETAINE MONOHYDRATE to help support muscle mass and strength.
- 6 GRAMS OF LEUCINE, a key amino acid that triggers muscle growth and helps prevent muscle protein breakdown.
- 73 GRAMS OF TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES to help replace muscle and liver glycogen stores, the muscle’s primary energy source.
A lot of weight gainers contain huge amounts of calories – 1000 or more per serving. While using that type of product will invariably lead to weight gain, a lot of that weight will be fat. CytoSport’s Cyto Gainer takes a different approach. It’s much lower in calories, and that means it should result in lean mass gains without too much body fat. This is a good weight gainer for women.
- 280 calories per serving
- 27 grams of protein per serving
- 37 grams of carbohydrate per serving
- 5 grams of fat per serving
- 20 different vitamins and minerals
- 6 grams of creatine per serving
- Contains the amino acids glutamine and leucine
- Available in two flavors
This is a very versatile product. Take two scoops and use it as a lean mass gainer or take four scoops to double your nutrient and calorie intake to gain weight faster. Of course, doubling up means you’ll only get 18 servings instead of 36 per tub, but this product is sufficiently well-priced that this shouldn’t be prohibitive.
- Contains slow and fast-acting proteins and carbs
- Low sugar formulation
- Can be used as a lean mass gainer or a hardcore weight gainer
- Ideal for use after training to speed up recovery
- Gluten and soy-free
- Only available in two flavors
If you want to gain weight but would prefer that weight to be muscle and not fat, this product could help. With far fewer calories than many weight gainer shakes, Cyto Gainer is ideal for users looking to build quality muscle, and not just bulk up.
- 600+ calories per serving makes the perfect mass gainer supplement for athletes looking to pack mass on to make weight, or bulk for the off season.
- Easily digestible formula made with fiber and inulin to make the most of every Real Gains mass gainer shake.
- Delicious flavor in every serving will leave you craving your next weight gainer Real Gains shake. Easily mixable in water or any beverage of your choice.
- Provides both fast and slow digesting carbs and proteins to feed your muscles and keep your body growing.
- Real Gains provides healthy fats from MCTs and EFAs for a very nutrient dense shake.
Universal Nutrition is one of the longest-running supplement companies around. That longevity is down to one thing – they make products that work. Their Real Gains weight gainer is an excellent product for anyone who wants to build muscle and get stronger while recovering faster from their workouts.
- 602 calories per serving
- 53 grams of protein per serving
- 84 grams of carbohydrate per serving
- 6 grams of fat per serving
- Low sugar formulation
- Available in seven flavors
- Contains all the amino acids necessary for muscle growth
- Protein and carb matrix containing slow and fast-acting ingredients
Where many weight gainers also contain added ingredients designed to increase muscle mass, such as creatine, Real Gains by Universal Nutrition focuses more on the food aspect of gaining weight and muscle size. It’s basically a meal in powder form that you can consume almost anywhere and anytime. If you struggle to eat enough food, this product can help.
- Easy to digest
- Tasty flavors
- Easy to mix
- Low in sugar
- Contains fiber and healthy fats
- Some users report that this product is overly sweet
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, but don’t want to consume a whole lot of unhealthy sugar, this weight gainer could be the one for you. It uses natural sweeteners and flavors to make one of the best tasting shakes you can get. It might not have a whole lot of sophisticated ingredients, but this is food in liquid form, and that makes it a handy product for building mass.
- Hydrolyzed beef protein isolate
- 50g of protein per serving
- High impact reactive carbs
- Loaded with creatine and BCAAs
Most weight gainers use dairy, egg, and soy protein, and while there is nothing wrong with these ingredients, they can cause allergies for some users. Carnivore Mass is different and contains beef isolate instead. So, while this isn’t a vegan mass gainer, and it doesn’t taste of meat, it does provide a real alternative to whey.
- 710 calories per serving
- 50 grams of protein per serving
- 125 grams carbohydrate per serving
- 2 grams of fat per serving
- Contains creatine and branched-chain amino acids
- Sugar and lactose-free
- Available in four flavors
Carnivore Mass is a unique weight gainer. It’s made from meat and not from dairy, which is unusual for this type of product. But despite this, it only contains 50 grams of protein per serving, where many other weight gainers contain 60 grams or more. It’s also surprisingly high in carbs. That’s fine if used after training to speed up recovery, but less useful during the day, especially if you are mostly sedentary.
- Free from lactose and gluten
- Excellent flavors
- High in muscle-building BCAAs and creatine
- Low fat, sugar-free formulation
- Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans
- Some users report that this product does not mix easily
Don’t let the fact that this product is made from beef put you off – it doesn’t taste meaty at all. Instead, it tastes just as good if not better than almost every other whey-based weight gainer you can buy. If you have a dairy intolerance and aren’t a vegetarian, this product is an excellent option.
- Contains one (1) 5 pound cannister (about 14 servings) of Muscle Milk Pro Series Gainer Protein Powder Supplement. Packaging may vary. Shaker bottle sold separately.
- HELPS SUPPORT MUSCLE RECOVERY AND MASS++ – Muscle Milk Pro Series Gainer supplies your body with high quality protein to support muscle maintenance, recovery and growth while delivering calories to support gains after exercise. ++
- KEY FEATURES – Based on 1 serving, Muscle Milk Pro Series Gainer contains 32g high-quality protein, 109g carbs, 650 calories, 2g MCTs, and an excellent source of 20 vitamins and minerals.
- VERSATILE AND EASY-TO-MIX – Muscle Milk Pro Series Gainer dissolves easily in water; just mix 4 scoops into 10-16 fluid ounces of water using a shaker bottle. Shaker bottle sold separately. ++
- SCIENCE BEHIND PROTEIN – Provides a blend of high-quality slow releasing and fast releasing proteins to help increase amino acid levels. These essential amino acids play a role in muscle growth and maintenance of muscle mass. ++
Muscle Milk is a well-known supplement company. They have a range of products designed to help exercisers get more protein. This product is their flagship weight gainer, and it contains both protein and carbs to help even very skinny people gain weight and muscle size.
- 650 calories per serving
- 32 grams of protein per serving
- 109 grams of carbohydrate per serving
- 9 grams of fat per serving
- Contains 21 different vitamins and minerals
- Contains a blend of slow and fast-acting proteins
- Available in three flavors
Providing a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein, this product is lower in protein and higher in carbs than most of the other products on review. If you are serious about building muscle, 32 grams of protein per serving may be too low for your needs. But, if you want a weight gainer that’s more carbs than protein, and useful for speeding up your recovery after training, this one should meet your needs.
- Great taste
- Easy to mix
- Slow and fast-acting proteins
- High in vitamins and minerals
- Very respected manufacturer
- Contains several potential allergens, including dairy, soy, and gluten
- Lower in protein than many of its competitors
If you want to increase your protein intake, this is not the best supplement for you. But, if you need more carbs for energy, as well as modest amounts of additional dietary protein, this popular, tasty, and easy to use product could be the one for you.
- Increase Endurance & Energy: Build XT is a powerful daily muscle builder supplement for men and women and quite literally the first muscle building & recovery supplement using this unique combination of science-backed bodybuilding ingredients. Build XT helps fuel lean muscle growth, strength increases, power output, and endurance in the gym with just two capsules per day pre workout.
- Muscle & Strength Builder: By supplementing with Build XT, you effectively give your body scientifically proven ingredients that enhance your strength, stamina, oxygen uptake, and blood flow. This means no more mediocre workouts, just peak performance and P.R’s.
- Clinically Studied Ingredients: Build XT is quite simply the best natural anabolic muscle builder on the market. This premium pre workout muscle builder contains PeakO2, ElevATP, and Astragin – three revolutionary clinically effective ingredients. The synergistic ingredient stack works to significantly improve muscle growth, strength, power, and endurance. Experience results you can actually feel from the very first dose.
- USA Manufactured in a cGMP Facility: Effective muscle building supplements seem to be a thing of the past. We formulated Build XT to be the best muscle-building supplement on the market by including only proven ingredients in clinical doses. Best of all, every Jacked Factory product is manufactured in the USA in a state-of-the-art cGMP facility.
Most weight gainers are basically food supplements; they provide your body with extra calories, carbs, and protein to fuel muscle growth. Invariably, this means gaining some fat along with your muscle. Build XT Muscle Builder takes a different approach to weight gain and is designed to increase your energy and maximize anabolism for faster muscle growth.
- Contains a range of calorie-free energy-boosting ingredients
- High in antioxidants
- Designed to increase ATP levels – chemical energy within your muscles
- Contains absorbency-increasing ingredients
- Easy to swallow vegetarian capsules
- Each bottle contains a one-month supply
While not a weight gainer in the traditional sense, this product may make your workouts more productive by increasing your energy and stamina. Designed to be used shortly before training, this product is a low-stim pre-workout energizer. The harder and longer you work out, the more muscle you’ll gain.
- Easy to swallow capsules
- Vegetarian-friendly formulation
- Contains no calories, sugar, or caffeine
- May help speed up recovery after exercise
- Contains stress-lowering adaptogens
- Not a weight gainer in the traditional sense
- Contains no protein or carbohydrate
- Users may still need a protein supplement or weight gainer
While Build XT Muscle Builder may help you gain weight, it’s not going to do it by providing your body with extra calories, protein, or carbs. It may give you the energy you need to train harder and longer than usual, but unless you eat plenty of food, that won’t lead to weight gain. Build XT Muscle Builder does contain muscle-building ingredients, but without stacks of real food, it won’t produce much in the way of increased body weight.
10. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer
Transparent Labs Mass Gainer
A lot of weight gainer supplements are nothing more than empty calories. They’re loaded with sugar and cheap protein. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer is different and has everything your body needs to gain lean muscle and not fat.
- 53 grams of protein per serving
- 12 grams of healthy fats per serving
- 109 grams of complex carbs per serving
- 790 calories per serving
- Contains MCTs and creatine monohydrate
- No artificial sweeteners, colours, or harmful additives
- Available in two flavours – cookies ‘n’ cream, and milk chocolate
- Discount for buying two or more tubs
Transparent Labs Mass Gainer is a very clean product that contains no harmful additives and is very low in sugar or fat. This makes it ideal for users who want to gain lean muscle, and don’t just want to bulk up.
- Mixes very easily
- Great tasting flavours
- No added sugar
- Contains healthy fats and muscle building creatine
- Just 15 servings per tub
- Only two flavours available
With only 15 servings per tub, you will need to buy this product in bulk if you want to use it for more than a week or two. Needless to say, if you are very underweight, you’ll definitely need more than a 14-day supply. That said, and providing you like the two no-frills flavours, this product has everything you need to gain weight and build muscle.
Key Information about Weight Gainer Supplements
When to use a Muscle Gainer?
Most muscle gainers are basically high-calorie meals in powder form. That means you can use them whenever you like. They are especially useful when you don’t have time to eat but still need to provide your body with a hefty dose of calories and nutrients. That said, there are a few specific times when a mass gainer will be especially useful.
- First thing in the morning – no time for breakfast? Don’t allow lack of time derail your weight gaining efforts! A muscle gainer shake is ready to drink in seconds, and you can consume it on your way to work.
- Between meals – most snack foods are nothing more than sugar. A serving of your favourite muscle gainer is an excellent alternative to less healthy snacks and will provide your body with the protein, carbs, and calories it needs to grow.
- After training – intense exercise takes a lot out of your body. Restock your energy levels and kickstart the recovery process by consuming fast-acting carbs and protein. A weight gainer is a convenient source of both energy and nutrients.
- With meals – feeling full, but know that you need to eat more to gain weight? Skip your usual dessert and have a weight gainer shake instead. Not as filling as solids, this is an excellent way to increase your calorie intake and gain weight fast.
- Before bed – eating before bed is one of the best ways to gain weight and build muscle. But, eating too much could leave you feeling full and bloated. A weight gainer shake is ideal for bedtime use as it provides your body with everything it needs to grow and recover while you sleep but shouldn’t keep you awake.
Features and Ingredients to look for in a weight gainer
How can you tell a good weight gainer from a bad one? Here’s how! Just look for these ingredients and features.
- High in calories – most weight gainers contain between 500-1000 calories per serving. If you want to gain muscle but no fat, go for the lower end of this scale. But, if you have a hard time gaining weight, a higher-calorie product may be best.
- High protein content – look for products that contain 50 grams or more of protein per serving. Your body needs protein for muscle repair and growth.
- Time-release protein blend – a matrix of several proteins that digest at different speeds will ensure your muscles get a constant supply of the nutrients needed for growth.
- Plenty of carbohydrates – your body uses carbs for energy during high-intensity, muscle-building workouts. Look for a 1:2 to 1:3 ratio of protein to carbs, which is ideal for both energy and recovery after exercise.
- Low in fat – while fat is an integral part of a weight gaining diet, it’s not a good ingredient for weight gainer supplements. Too much fat may hinder nutrient absorption, reducing the effectiveness of your chosen product. 5-10 grams of fat per serving should be your limit.
- Flavors you enjoy – to gain weight, you’ll need to chug down a shake 1-2 times per day, possibly for months at a time. This will be a real chore if you don’t like the taste of your chosen muscle builder. Seek out flavors you actually look forward to using rather than dread.
- Added extras – while you don’t need things like creatine, BCAAs, MCTs, and other exotic additives, they can make gaining muscle and weight a little easier. If you want more from your muscle builder than just a convenient supply of calories, look for products that contain these added extras.
Ingredients to avoid
Get the best results while avoiding any potential health risks by steering clear of the following ingredients.
- Sugar – sugar is high in calories, but it’s also quickly converted to fat and is unhealthy too. Avoid products with more than 5-10 grams of sugar per serving.
- Artificial additives – avoid products that contain a lot of artificial colours, preservatives, and sweeteners. These substances can be unhealthy when consumed in large amounts.
- Potential allergens – do you have a nut allergy? Does lactose upset your stomach? Does soy bring you out in a rash? Make sure you choose products that are allergen-free. Read the ingredients label carefully to avoid any unwanted reactions.
- Trans fats – most weight gainers are low in fat, but some still contain hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats. Avoid products that contain either of these very unhealthy ingredients. They’ll be listed on the nutrition panel.
Are there any Side Effects?
Weight gainers don’t usually have many side effects, but some sensitive users may experience the following:
- Stomach upsets
- Loss of appetite
If you experience any of these side effects, reduce the size of your serving, limit your use to once per day, and also check the ingredients label for potential allergens. You may need to try an alternative product.
Using a weight gainer shake takes the stress out of eating for muscle gain. Each shake contains everything you need to build muscle and gain weight. But, instead of taking hours to prepare, they’re ready in minutes.
Weight gainers often work out cheaper than eating “real” meals, too; they are a cost-effective way to increase your calorie and nutrient intake.
If weight gainers have a downside, it is that some of them are a little too good. They contain so many calories that, instead of just building muscle, you end up gaining a whole lot of fat too. If you are worried about gaining too much fat, seek out products that contain 400-600 calories per serving, and leave the 1000-1250 calorie weight gainers alone.
Weight gainer shakes work best when combined with regular strength training. Without exercise, you will gain more fat than muscle. But, if you want to increase muscle size and strength, but can’t find the time to prepare and eat enough natural food, one of these products will help.
Head the to Fitness Equipment Reviews homepage for all your workout & supplement needs.
Choosing the best weight gainer supplement is easy with our detailed reviews & ratings.