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Weight gain protein powders help you add calories and build muscle mass. Our nutritionists chose the best mass gainers based on ingredient quality and more.

Mass gainer protein powders, also called weight gain protein powders, are specifically formulated for athletes and weightlifters looking to pack on pounds — particularly lean muscle mass.

Unlike standard protein powders, they provide a concentrated source of calories from high quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, making it easier to increase daily calorie intake without having to consume large volumes of food. Meanwhile, the balance of carbs and protein helps optimize energy levels, ensuring efficient fuel for both performance and recovery.

Here are the seven best mass gainer protein powders, according to our dietitians.

Pricing guide

Mass gainer protein powders generally cost $35–$79 for a 5- or 6-pound (lb) container, depending where you shop. For the products on our list, this translates to price ranges per serving of:

  • $ = under $3 per serving
  • $$ = $3–$5 per serving
  • $$$ = over $5 per serving
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Price rangeProtein source Third-party testedCalories per servingCarbs per serving (g)Protein per serving (g)
Transparent Labs Mass Gainer$$$wheyyes73010651
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass$$$• whey
• casein
• egg
yes1,25025150
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pro Gainer$$• whey
• casein
• egg
yes6508160
Dymatize Super Mass Gainer$$$• whey
• casein
yes1,28024552
Iron Vegan Athlete’s Gainer$$• pea
• brown rice
yes72012042
Naked Mass Vegan Protein Powder$$$• pea
• brown rice
yes1,23024850
Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer$• whey
• casein
yes5609930
  • Ingredient quality: We included products that use high quality sources of protein such as whey, casein, egg, beef, pea, and brown rice.
  • Transparency: All products adhere to health claims and labeling requirements per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and are manufactured in facilities that adhere to the current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA.
  • Credibility: The products we chose are made by medically credible companies that follow ethical, legal, and industry best standards.
  • Nutritional quality: We chose products with varying amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein to meet different nutritional needs.
  • Customer reviews: All the products included have mostly favorable reviews.
  • Third-party testing: Most of the supplements listed below are third-party tested for purity and quality.
  • Vetting results: All the products included here have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards. You can read more about our vetting process.
  • Is it third-party tested? For the best quality, choose a product that has been third-party tested. Some well-known testing organizations are NSF International, Informed Choice, Eurofins Scientific, and Analytical Resource Laboratories. If a product is not third-party tested, look for one made in a reputable facility, such as a CGMP- or UL-certified facility.
  • How many extra calories do you need? Make sure to talk with a registered dietitian or another healthcare professional to determine how many additional calories you need per day to reach your weight goals.
  • What is the serving size? While some powders are more concentrated, others require adding up to four scoops per serving. Consider what volume is realistic for you to consume on a regular basis.
  • How is it sweetened? If having a natural product is important to you, you may want to opt for one that is sweetened with stevia or regular sugar rather than artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
  • What is the protein source? High quality sources of protein include whey, casein, egg, beef, pea, or brown rice. If you prefer to avoid dairy or animal products, opt for a vegan protein powder.
  • What is the nutrient profile? Mass gainers vary in the amounts of protein, carbs, and fat they contain. Consider your dietary needs and choose a product that best fits those needs.
  • What other ingredients does it contain? Some products contain artificial colors, additives, and preservatives, which some people prefer to avoid. Others contain added vitamins and minerals.

Weight gain protein powders contribute a large number of calories on their own. However, it can be helpful to mix the powder with milk or blend it into a smoothie with ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, or nut butter for extra calories and nutrients.

Consuming more than one serving per day could contribute to unwanted side effects, such as bloating, and lower the quality of your diet by replacing whole foods, which are rich in important nutrients.

As for timing, the best time to take a mass gainer for weight gain is when it’s most convenient for you. However, if you’re looking to build muscle, some research suggests that it’s most beneficial to consume protein shortly after completing a strength training workout.

Transparent Labs Mass Gainer is our top choice in protein powder for weight gain. But any of the protein powders on our list can help you achieve your weight gain goals.

Mass gainer protein powders specifically are designed for athletes and weightlifters looking to increase lean muscle mass, so they are excellent for gaining weight. They offer a high calorie blend of proteins and carbohydrates, making them more calorie-dense than standard protein powders.

 

Protein powder is generally considered safe. However, if you have an allergy to an ingredient in the powder, such as lactose, it may cause a reaction. So, it’s important to read the label of any protein powder you’re considering.

If you consume more than the recommended amount of protein powder, it’s possible to experience digestive issues.

If you’re having trouble gaining weight, you may not be consuming enough calories. While it’s possible to meet your calorie needs through food alone, athletes and weightlifters seeking to gain lean muscle mass might find mass gainer supplements particularly beneficial because they offer a convenient way to consume a caloric surplus.

To find the product that’s right for you, you might want to consider nutritional quality, serving size, available flavors, and third-party testing. We also recommend talking with a qualified healthcare professional before adding a new supplement to your daily routine.