2017's 10 Best
So you’re looking for a mass gainer, huh? Likely, that means you fall into one of two categories. Either you’re sold on the idea of a mass gainer and are ready to buy, or you’re looking to learn a little more about mass gainers and how you can make the best choice before pulling out your wallet.
If you’re looking for our picks for the best of the bunch, go ahead and jump straight to the best-products list. If not, stick around for a bit and see if we can’t give you a little know-how.
Why Take a Mass Gainer?
Mass gainers are designed with one purpose in mind- to help you put on muscle mass. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, yes and no.
A mass gainer won’t produce miracles, and first we want to help prepare you for reasonable goals. If you’re looking to gain muscle naturally, that is.
Here is the startling truth: The average male gym goer that is just starting to lift can expect to put on as much as 2 pounds of solid muscle every month, if they’re doing everything right.
This changes some, mostly in the negative direction, the longer you lift, but even long-term weightlifters can see, on average, natural muscle growth on the order of 5-6 pounds per year, depending on several factors. Women tend to see gains proportional to and about half that of men.
It is important to keep in mind that the above calculations are based on optimal nutrition, training, and age. Genetics, however, can add some variance into muscle gain for each person.
And as difficult as lifting weights can be, so often we forget that all of these efforts are mostly wasted without a proper diet. In order to build muscle, you have to be working on a surplus of calories. Muscle gains of 1 pound per month require, on average, a surplus of 3500 calories per month to attain.
While that may not sound like a lot of extra calories, people still miss the mark.
Using a mass gainer is an easy way to add those necessary calories to your diet and stay solidly within your macros for the day. And staying within your macros is important! Giving yourself too much of a surplus will only lead to putting on more fat-mass, and that’s not something anyone taking a mass gainer would want to do.
Tracking calories is the best way to make sure you’re eating enough to gain muscle mass. Plain and simple. A mass gainer is just a tool to help you not undershoot those macros. See the #1 Mass Gainer now
Who Benefits The Most From Mass Gainers?
You feel like your diet and training are on point. Yet you’re still struggling to make gains in the gym. If you’re sitting there asking yourself why you’re having a hard time putting on mass, here are a few reasons you might be falling short:
The biggest culprit in minimal muscle gain is under-eating. Even if you think you are eating at a reasonable caloric surplus, chances are you are you’re not.
For instance, if you eat a high -calorie meal, you may subconsciously reduce calories for the rest of the day. Appetite regulatory mechanisms kick in- and suppress your appetite after eating a lot of calories in one meal.
Just think about Thanksgiving. You pile up the food at one meal, and then are full and tired for the rest of the day. More food may be the furthest thing from your mind. Same concept.
While those who are “dirty bulking” or eating any high-calorie food for the sake of ingesting calories may already be meeting caloric needs, those who opt for a cleaner bulk may struggle to do the same.
So if you’re one of those trying to stick to a clean bodybuilding diet, including all your lean meats, veggies, and rice or sweet potato, it takes a lot of food to reach a good surplus. Even though you think you’re eating a lot, you can still be under-reaching.
In a similar vein, another reason you may struggle to put on enough muscle during your bulk is the fear they you’ll gain fat. This ties back into under-eating. You can’t partition calories to go towards just building muscle. I know. Sucks right? Still, getting past that fear, and making sure you get enough calories, is key to building that quality muscle mass. See the #1 Mass Gainer now
What about those who have a hard time gaining muscle no matter how much they seem to eat? We all know at least one of these people. These lucky, or not so lucky, individuals are known as “hard gainers”.
Some naturally lean individuals have high NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). This means that when they eat more calories than they need, their body burns it up quickly by doing non-exercise related tasks. Think fidgeting, pacing, etc. This creates a cycle of needing even more calories than the average lifter to build muscle.
Timing and finances could also be a huge factor as to why you may not be getting enough calories, but those are slightly easier to get a handle on.
Mass gainers are also an affordable option to ensure maximum calorie intake, instead of spending countless dollars and endless meal prepping on food for 6+ meals a day.
No matter which category you may fall into, the bottom line is: getting enough calories is critical. This is where a quality mass gainer comes into play. See the #1 Mass Gainer now
What’s In A Mass Gainer?
A mass gainer is a ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats that result in a high calorie count. Basically a high-calorie protein powder. With many top tier mass gainers out there boasting 700-1200 calories per shake, it helps take the guesswork out of calorie counting.
The protein can be from a variety of sources, like whey concentrate, isolate, or a combination of different protein types. Just like your typical protein shake. Except a mass gainer has upwards of 50 grams of protein per serving. Nearly twice that of your typical protein shake.
Added carbohydrates can also come from varying sources, including maltodextrin, sugar, tapioca, oats, and more. Carbohydrates make up the bulk of mass gainers, and contain around 100 grams per serving.
Fats are the smallest constituent of a mass gainer, and can come from ingredients like coconut milk, medium-chain triglycerides, and other lipid complexes. Good fats they should be though. Most products range from 5-20 grams of fat per serving.
Most mass gainers also include additional muscle building ingredients like BCAAs, creatine, glutamine, extra fiber, digestive enzymes, and more. This approach guarantees that you are not depriving your body of any nutrient that is required for maximum muscle building.
This allows your primary focus to be pushing it to the next level every time you step foot in the gym, instead of worrying about macro and micro nutrients.
How To Take A Mass Gainer
The majority of lifters typically divide their training into two seasons: cutting and bulking.
Cutting focuses on fat loss, while bulking focuses on gaining muscle. Those who compete, or need to stay lean all year round may choose a series of mini cuts and bulks to achieve their goals.
No matter your method, at the end of the day you just need enough calories during your bulking phase.
You take a mass gainer in the same manner you would take a protein shake. It is meant to supplement your existing diet, and is not targeted as a meal replacement. While a mass gainer is an incredibly useful tool to get extra calories in, getting calories from food is still the higher priority. See the #1 Mass Gainer now
Whether you take a mass gainer once, twice, or more during the day depends on your everyday diet. Tracking your calories will help assess how much or how often you may need to take a mass gainer.
However, the most popular way to consume a mass gainer is in the mornings after waking up, and post workout to replenish lost nutrients and help fuel muscle growth. This is especially helpful if you find yourself experiencing side effects and want to minimize them.
Mass Gainer Side Effects
Some individuals may find mass gainers to be hard on their digestive system, and may create bloating or indigestion. Gurgle-gurgle. Pardon me. The cause for these digestive issues is dependent on the source of carbohydrate, or the source of or protein.
Finding a mass gainer that agrees best with your body may take some trial and error, but those made with clean, high quality ingredients are your best bet.
Another tip to offset digestive upset is to split the serving size of the mass gainer to be into multiple shakes throughout the day. You will still receive the same amount of calories, but it will be easier on your digestive system. This method will also ensure a steady flow of amino acids, which can be beneficial when trying to build muscle. See the #1 Mass Gainer now
Aside from digestive side effects, those who are pre-diabetic or diabetic may also need to take extra caution. Due to the high carbohydrate count of most mass gainers, each serving will contribute to higher blood sugar levels.
Questions To Ask When Choosing A Mass Gainer
Now that you know all about mass gainers, how do you know which one is the best to choose? Here are some questions you may want to address when trying to pick the right one:
Q. How Many Calories Do I Need?
A. Make sure the total calorie count aligns with your caloric needs. While most brands target between 700-1000 calories, each product offers a different amount. Knowing how many calories you eat in a typical day can help point you in the right direction.
Q. What Kind Of Protein Does It Contain?
A. The most affordable mass gainers will generally use whey concentrate. Others may use an isolate, or a blend of various protein types. Most mass gainers will offer upwards of 50 grams of protein per serving.
Q. What Are The Carbohydrate Sources?
A. Some mass gainers will use fructose, maltodextrins, and sugars to enhance carbohydrate count at an affordable cost. Others may use ‘cleaner’ sources like powdered tapioca, sweet potato, or oats. This may be an important distinction for you, since most mass gainers consist of around 100 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
Q. What Are The Additional Ingredients I Might Want in a Mass Gainer?
A. Many mass gainers add BCAAs, Creatine, or other vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for an all-in-one supplement, this can be beneficial. If you rely on other supplementation throughout the day, you may want a more simple and straightforward formula.
Q. What About Taste?
A. Taste should not be underestimated, and a good tasting mass gainer can make or break your muscle-building routine. It’s hard to stick to taking something when you don’t enjoy taking it. Reviews and recommendations are helpful in determining which might be the best one for you.Best Mass Gainers
Our top 10 list of Best Mass Gainers is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All ten of or top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high quality supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our top ten list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping to ensure that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final shake.
The Standout: Comprehensive Formula
As the #1 recommended weight gaining supplement, XPI's MyoBulk is formulated with a blend of 5 slow and fast releasing protein, totaling 700 calories with 50 grams of protein in each serving. With an added carbo mass complex containing 6 grams of fiber, this comprehensive nutrient formula can help fuel your gains, enhance recovery, and support the continued building of lean muscle.
- 50 Grams Protein Per Serving
- 90 Grams Carbs Per Serving
- 700 Total Calories Per Serving
- 13 Servings Per Bottle
- Maximize Muscle Growth
MyoBulk features an advanced blend of five high-quality proteins that all digest at different rates, keeping the anabolic window for muscle growth open for a longer period of time. MyoBulk delivers just the right ratio of protein to carbohydrates to increase muscle glycogen stores and muscle hypertrophy following resistance exercise.
Each scoop activates protein synthesis and other key muscle building processes since it is fortified with amino acids like L-Glycine and the essential BCAAs L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine. Everything you need to enhance lean muscle mass building and accelerate mTOR pathways, for insane muscle gains.
Myobulk uses the tried and tested 25/50/25 macro ratio to make sure you are putting on the right kind of weight, lean muscle. And did we mention it is one of the best tasting protein formulas on the market?Keep Reading »
The Standout: A Heaping Of Clean Calories
Transparent Labs jumps on the bandwagon of top mass gainers with their ProteinSeries Mass Gainer. With 750 clean calories in every serving, Transparent Labs maintains its transparency with the use of 100% grass-fed whey concentrate and organic tapioca carbohydrates for an effective mass gaining formula.
- 53 Grams Protein Per Serving
- 109 Grams Carbs Per Serving
- 750 Calories Per Serving
- Zero Artificial Sweeteners
Whey protein from 100% grass fed Whey Concentrate means you can be sure you will supply the nutrients needed for size and strength growth, while organic tapioca, sweet potato, and oats provide the carbohydrates needed to fuel and replenish muscle glycogen stores.
You can also forget artificial sweeteners, each scoop is sweetened with Stevia & Monk Fruit. Another added bonus: you don’t have to worry about added pesticides, hormones, or other unsavory additives. Just pure, clean, nutrition.
If you've been looking for the ideal meal replacement or weight gainer protein shake to supplement your workout and nutrition regimens, Mass Gainer is the perfect solution.Keep Reading »
The Standout: Crowd Favorite
Supplementing workouts with Optimum Nutrition's Serious Mass makes for the ultimate gains in weight and mass with 50 grams of protein and 1250 calories in every serving. Rid of sugar and containing over 250 grams of carbohydrates, this complex formula is also packed with 25 essential vitamins and minerals.
- 50 Grams Protein Per Serving
- 250 Grams Carbohydrates
- 1250 Total Calories Per Serving
- Added Vitamins And Minerals
Serious Mass contains a protein-rich formula packed with whey protein and casein, totaling a whopping 50 grams of protein per serving. Serious mass utilizes whey protein concentrate, a protein source known to increase phenylalanine uptake for a significant increase in muscle protein synthesis and size.
Serious Mass also features an incredible 1000 mg of creatine monohydrate, a nitrogenous organic acid that supplies muscles with essential fuel. Creatine monohydrate supplementation has been found to significantly increase muscle mass and muscle area.
Lastly, Serious Mass provides over 250 grams of Carbohydrates to fuel intense workouts and replenish glycogen stores. With 1250 Total Calories, Serious Mass can help you build muscle mass for insane gains.Keep Reading »
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