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If you’re trying to gain weight, you’ll need to consume more calories than you burn on a daily basis.

For those who have trouble eating enough during the day, mass gainer supplements offer a convenient and effective way to boost calorie intake.

Unlike typical protein powders, mass gainers are rich not only in protein but also in carbs and sometimes in other ingredients, such as healthy fats.

To help you find a product that’s right for your health goals, we rounded up the 10 best protein powders to support weight gain.

Best mass gainers with under 1,000 calories per serving

Best mass gainers with over 1,000 calories per serving

Mass gainer protein powders are high calorie supplements designed to help people gain lean body mass.

Most mass gainers contain carbs in addition to protein. Some will also contain some calories from fat as well.

By providing a concentrated source of calories from high quality proteins and carbohydrates, mass gainers may help you gain lean body mass when paired with a regular resistance training regimen (1).

Mass gainers increase the amount of protein and calories you consume in a day. Consuming more calories and protein increases body weight over time, which, combined with proper resistance training, can help you gain muscle mass (1).

Research has shown that protein powders can help increase muscle protein synthesis, or the process of building muscle, when used alongside resistance training (2, 3).

While a mass gainer isn’t necessary to increase muscle mass, it may offer a convenient way to get extra calories and protein.

Some mass gainers are higher quality than others. The products listed below were handpicked by a registered dietitian based on the following criteria:

  • Ingredient quality: We included products that use high quality sources of protein, like whey, casein, egg, beef, pea, and brown rice.
  • Nutritional quality: We aimed to provide a variety of nutritional values across products, with varying amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein to meet different 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 they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards. You can read more about our vetting process.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product may be affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $3 per serving
  • $$ = $3–$5 per serving
  • $$$ = over $5 per serving

The prices below reflect the approximate price per serving based on the current market list price (MSRP). As a result, actual prices may vary depending on where you shop.

Best overall

Transparent Labs Mass Gainer

  • Approximate price per serving: $$$
  • Largest size available: 6.18 pounds (lb) or 2.8 kilograms (kg)
  • Protein source: whey
  • Flavors available: Chocolate Glaze Donut, Sweet Vanilla

Transparent Labs is a trusted brand in the supplement industry because all its products are third-party tested by Analytical Resource Laboratories.

Plus, Transparent Labs’ website includes a certificate of analysis for each product, allowing you to access third-party test results.

The company’s mass gainer is our overall best pick because it’s made from quality ingredients and is free of artificial preservatives and colors.

It’s also non-GMO verified and sweetened with stevia and monk fruit, both of which are derived from plants.

Depending on the flavor, one serving contains around 53 grams of 100% grass-fed whey protein, and carb sources include tapioca, oat, and sweet potato.

Here are the nutrition facts for each 2-scoop (196.8-gram) serving of Transparent Labs Mass Gainer Chocolate Glaze Donut (4):

  • Calories: 790
  • Protein: 53 grams
  • Carbs: 114 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams

Pros

  • third-party tested with COAs available
  • free from artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives
  • grass-fed whey protein

Cons

  • only available in two flavors
  • expensive

Best lower carb

True Athlete Natural Gainer

  • Approximate price per serving: $$
  • Largest size available: 4.78 lb (2.2 kg)
  • Protein source: whey
  • Flavors available: Chocolate, Vanilla

With just 70 grams of carbs and 510 calories per serving, True Athlete Natural Gainer is the lowest-carb option on our list. It’s also a good option if you want to add fewer calories to your day.

The product is free from artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Instead, it’s sweetened with stevia and monk fruit.

True Athlete is third-party tested by NSF Certified for Sport, meaning it doesn’t contain unsafe levels of contaminants, banned substances, or masking agents, and what’s listed on the label matches what’s actually in the final product.

Here’s the nutrition information for each 4-scoop (135.5-gram) serving of True Athlete Natural Gainer Chocolate (5):

  • Calories: 510
  • Protein: 35 grams
  • Carbs: 70 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams

Pros

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • lower in carbs than others on our list
  • free from artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners

Cons

  • only available in 2 flavors
  • can be more difficult to find

Most flavor options

Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer

  • Approximate price per serving: $$
  • Largest size available: 12 lb (5.4 kg)
  • Protein source: whey, casein
  • Flavors available: Chocolate Fudge, Soft Serve Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Toast Cereal, Campfire Smores

Like True Athlete, Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer is lower in calories and protein, with 560 and 30 grams per serving, respectively.

Of all the products on this list, this one has the most flavor options. Six flavors are available, all sweetened by stevia and sucralose — an artificial sweetener.

The supplement includes healthy fats from flaxseed, avocado, and sunflower powders.

This product carries the Informed Choice seal and is third-party tested by Nutrivo, LLC.

Here are the nutrition facts for each 2-scoop (145-gram) serving of Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer Campfire Smores (6):

  • Calories: 560
  • Protein: 30 grams
  • Carbs: 97 grams
  • Fat: 4.5 grams

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • six flavor options
  • affordable

Cons

  • contains sucralose, which some may prefer to avoid

Best affordable

Universal Real Gains Weight Gainer

  • Approximate price per serving: $
  • Largest size available: 10.6 lb (4.8 kg)
  • Protein source: whey, casein
  • Flavors available: Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream

Universal Nutrition has been producing muscle gainer supplements for years.

This product delivers more than 50 grams of high quality protein and 600 calories at just a little more than $2 per serving.

The gainer gets its sweetness from sucralose and acesulfame potassium, so if you prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners, this may not be the best choice.

It’s also important to note that the company doesn’t mention whether its products are third-party tested. However, the products are produced in a UL Solutions-certified facility.

Here’s the nutrition information for each 3.5-scoop (155-gram) serving of Universal Real Gains Weight Gainer Vanilla Ice Cream flavor (7):

  • Calories: 601
  • Protein: 52 grams
  • Carbs: 87 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams

Pros

  • manufactured in a UL Solutions-certified facility
  • affordable

Cons

  • contains artificial sweeteners
  • only available in two flavors
  • unclear if products are third-party tested

Customer favorite

Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

  • Approximate price per serving: $$
  • Largest size available: 10 lb (4.5 kg)
  • Protein source: whey, casein
  • Flavors available: Double Chocolate, Vanilla Custard

Optimum Nutrition produces an award-winning line of supplements that are highly rated by consumers.

Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer contains a whopping 60 grams of dairy-based protein.

However, like Universal Real Gains, it’s sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

Optimum Nutrition products are third-party tested. They carry the Informed Choice seal and are Certified for Sport by NSF International, which means they don’t contain any banned substances.

Here are the nutrition facts for each 1-scoop (165-gram) serving of Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer Double Chocolate (8):

  • Calories: 650
  • Protein: 60 grams
  • Carbs: 81 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams

Pros

  • Informed Choice Certified and Certified for Sport by NSF
  • high customer ratings
  • fortified with 20 vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • contains artificial sweeteners
  • only available in two flavors
  • may not be appropriate for people already taking a multivitamin

Best with creatine

MuscleMeds Carnivor Mass

  • Approximate price per serving: $
  • Largest size available: 10.7 lb (5.8 kg)
  • Protein source: beef
  • Flavors available: Vanilla Caramel, Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Cookies

While most protein supplements rely on dairy proteins such as whey and casein, MuscleMeds Carnivor Mass uses protein isolated from beef.

Not only is this product made with a unique protein source, but it also contains 5 grams of added creatine monohydrate.

Creatine is known as one of the most effective supplements for improving muscular strength and power (9).

While creatine supplements are relatively inexpensive on their own, those who want both a mass gainer and creatine may find a combined supplement like this one convenient.

MuscleMeds Carnivor Mass is third-party certified by Informed Choice.

Here are the nutrition facts for each 4-scoop (196-gram) serving of MuscleMeds Carnivor Mass Chocolate Peanut Butter (10):

  • Calories: 710
  • Protein: 50 grams
  • Carbs: 125 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams

Pros

  • Informed Choice Certified
  • contains creatine monohydrate
  • affordable
  • available in multiple flavors
  • suitable for those who don’t tolerate dairy well

Cons

  • contains artificial sweeteners
  • not suitable for vegan or vegetarian diets

Best vegan

Iron Vegan Athlete’s Gainer

  • Approximate price per serving: $
  • Largest size available: 10 lb (4.5 kg)
  • Protein source: pea, brown rice
  • Flavors available: Chocolate, Vanilla

Iron Vegan is a Canadian company that offers vegan sports nutrition products, including their Athlete’s Gainer.

The powder is sweetened with stevia and formulated with pea and brown rice protein, in addition to greens, fruit concentrates, plant oils, and sprouted grains and seeds.

This product is also gluten-free, non-GMO, and Informed Sport Certified.

Here are the nutrition facts for each 2-scoop (190-gram) serving of Iron Vegan Athlete’s Gainer Vanilla (11):

  • Calories: 720
  • Protein: 42 grams
  • Carbs: 120 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams

Pros

  • Informed Sport Certified
  • vegan-friendly
  • affordable
  • naturally sweetened

Cons

  • only available in two flavors
  • mixed reviews on the taste

If you have a tough time gaining weight and are considering a mass gainer supplement, you might want a higher calorie option.

Here are the top 3 mass gainers that boast more than 1,000 calories per serving.

Best for competitive athletes

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

  • Approximate price per serving: $$
  • Largest size available: 12 lb (5.4 kg)
  • Protein source: whey, casein, egg
  • Flavors available: Chocolate, Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Vanilla

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass has almost twice as many calories per serving as its lower-calorie counterpart.

As with nearly all other mass gainers, the calories in this one come primarily from carbs — and this product has more than 250 grams of carbs per serving.

There are four flavors to choose from, all of which are sweetened with acesulfame potassium and sucralose.

Here’s the nutrition information for each 2-scoop (336-gram) serving of Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Chocolate (12):

  • Calories: 1,250
  • Protein: 50 grams
  • Carbs: 252 grams
  • Fat: 4.5 grams

Pros

  • four flavor options
  • fortified with 25 vitamins and minerals
  • manufactured in Informed Choice and Informed Sport registered facilities

Cons

  • contains two artificial sweeteners
  • may not be appropriate for people already taking a multivitamin
  • unclear if this product is third-party tested

Best vegan

Naked Nutrition Naked Mass

  • Approximate price per serving: $$$
  • Largest size available: 8 lb (3.63 kg)
  • Protein source: pea, brown rice
  • Flavors available: Vegan Unflavored, Chocolate Vegan, Vanilla Vegan

Naked Nutrition is known for producing high quality products with short ingredient lists.

All the company’s supplements are third-party tested by Eurofins Scientific and manufactured in CGMP-certified facilities.

Additionally, all the flavors of this mass gainer are certified vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free, and soy-free.

One of the standout features of this product is the option to buy both vegan and unflavored powders, all of which contain a blend of pea and brown rice protein.

Plus, unlike others on this list, the flavored varieties of this product are sweetened sugar (in the form of coconut sugar). As a result, this supplement is a good option for people who dislike the aftertaste of sugar alternatives.

This product contains 50 grams of protein and more than 1,000 calories per serving.

Here are the nutrition facts for each 4-scoop (315-gram) serving of Naked Nutrition Naked Mass Vegan Unflavored (13):

  • Calories: 1,230
  • Protein: 50 grams
  • Carbs: 248 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • unflavored and flavored options
  • limited ingredients
  • certified vegan and gluten-free

Cons

  • expensive

Customer favorite

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer

  • Approximate price per serving: $$
  • Largest size available: 12 lb (5.4 kg)
  • Protein source: whey, casein
  • Flavors available: Gourmet Vanilla, Rich Chocolate

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer has more than 5,000 5-star reviews online and is third-party tested by Informed Choice to ensure quality and purity.

While it contains 1 gram of creatine monohydrate per serving, this dose may be lower than needed for maximum benefits, so you may want to consider an additional creatine supplement.

Like many other mass gainers on the market, this product gets its sweetness from acesulfame potassium and sucralose.

Here’s the nutrition information for each 2.5-cup (333-gram) serving of Dymatize Super Mass Gainer Gourmet Vanilla (14):

  • Calories: 1,280
  • Protein: 52 grams
  • Carbs: 246 grams
  • Fat: 10 grams

Pros

  • Informed Choice Certified
  • over 5,000 5-star reviews
  • fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • available in only two flavors
  • contains artificial sweeteners
  • may not be appropriate for people taking a multivitamin

Here is a quick look at how our top picks compare:

Price rangeProtein sourceThird-party testedCalories per servingCarbs per serving (grams)Protein per serving (grams)
Transparent Labs Mass Gainer$$$wheyyes79011453
True Athlete Natural Gainer$$wheyyes5107035
Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer$$• whey
• casein
yes5609730
Universal Real Gains Weight Gainer$• whey
• casein
no6018753
Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer$$• whey
• casein
yes6508160
MuscleMeds Carnivor Mass$beefyes71012550
Iron Vegan Athlete’s Gainer$• pea
• brown • rice
yes72012042
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass$$• whey
• casein
• egg
yes1,25025250
Naked Nutrition Naked Mass$$$• pea
• brown rice
yes1,23024850
Dymatize Super Mass Gainer$$• whey
• casein
yes1,28024652

When purchasing a mass gainer protein powder to support your weight gain efforts, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Is it third-party tested? It’s best to choose a product that has been third-party tested to ensure you’re getting the best quality. Some well known third-party testing organizations include NSF International, Informed Choice, Eurofins Scientific, and Analytical Resource Laboratories.
  • 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 help reach your weight goals.
  • What is the serving size? While some powders are more concentrated, others require adding up to 4 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? Be sure to choose a product that uses a high quality source of protein like whey, casein, egg, beef, pea, or brown rice, as well as one that will meet your needs and preferences. For example, if you prefer to avoid dairy or animal products, opt for a vegan-friendly product.
  • What is the nutrient profile? Mass gainers vary in the amount of protein, carbs, and fat they contain. Consider what your dietary needs are 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. Also, consider whether you want a product that contains added vitamins and minerals.

You can mix mass gainer protein powders with water or your liquid of choice, though each product will include specific instructions for preparing and consuming it.

Mass gainers contribute a large number of calories on their own. However, it can also be helpful to mix the powder with milk or blend it into a smoothie with ingredients like fruits, vegetables, or nut butters for extra calories and nutrients.

Unless recommended otherwise by a healthcare professional, it’s best to stick with just one serving of protein powder per day.

Not only could consuming more than one serving contribute to unwanted side effects, like bloating, but it could also 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 powder shortly after completing a strength training workout (1, 2, 3).

Below are some commonly asked questions when it comes to mass gainers.

How much mass gainer should you take daily to gain muscle mass?

There’s no blanket recommendation for the amount of mass gainer to take each day to gain muscle mass. However, research suggests increasing calories and protein will help promote muscle gain (1).

Depending on your current intake and the number of calories and protein you’re aiming to consume, you’ll be able to determine how much mass gainer might be best for you.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the individual product for the best results.

What’s the difference between a mass gainer and protein powder?

Protein powders are designed to provide a convenient source of protein. Mass gainers provide protein and a lot of calories, often from carbs and fat, to promote weight gain.

What are mass gainer side effects?

There is currently no specific research on the side effects of mass gainers. However, they are often very high in calories. If you are not used to that, you could experience an upset stomach.

It might be a good idea to slowly increase the use of a mass gainer supplement to let your stomach adjust to the increase in calories.

Why you should trust us

Every brand and product on our list has been vetted to ensure it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:

  • adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
  • is manufactured in facilities that adhere to the current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA
  • is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
  • is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs

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, some people find mass gainer supplements helpful for achieving their weight goals.

To find the product that’s right for you, you’ll want to consider a variety of factors, including nutritional quality, serving size, available flavors, and third-party testing.

We also recommend talking with a healthcare professional before adding a new supplement to your daily routine.