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Best Mass Gainer & Weight Gainer Supplements 2021 Compared

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Updated June 30, 2021

Tons of guys have that body type that just doesn’t allow them to gain weight no matter what they do. Frustrating isn’t it? If you’re wondering whether or not mass gainers are the answer, you’re in the right place. In this article, we discuss the best mass gainer supplements on the market and explain how they work. Weight gainers can be very effective, but you need to make sure you pick a clean and effective option…learn more below!

Mass & weight gainer comparison chart (top 10 highest rated products)

Product

TSR Tested? (Y/N)

Best for

Rating

Pricing

Transparent Labs

Yes

Muscle mass, weight gain, clean bulking

5.0/5.0

Rule 1 Gain

No

Muscle mass, weight gain

4.0/5.0

Naked Mass

No

Muscle mass, weight gain

3.9/5.0

ON Pro Gainer

No

Muscle mass, clean bulk

3.9/5.0

Rivalus Clean Gainer

No

Clean bulking, weight gain

3.8/5.0

Serious Mass

No

Dirty bulking, weight gain

3.7/5.0

   BSN True Mass

No

Dirty bulking, muscle gain

3.7/5.0

Real Gains

No

Bulking, muscle mass

3.6/5.0

Mass Tech

No

Bulking, budget

3.4/5.0

Mutant Mass

No

Bulking, budget

3.3/5.0

What’s the difference between mass gainer and weight gainer?

Generally in sports nutrition, these two terms can be used interchangeably. However, weight gainers can have dirty blends and cause fat gain, whereas mass gainers are cleaner and strictly aimed at helping users gain muscle. In other words, weight gainers are for gaining weight in general; mass gainers are for gaining muscle specifically.

What is weight gainer and what does it do?

Weight gainer is designed to help you build muscle mass as quickly as possible. The problem with many weight gainers is that that are “dirty,” meaning that they can cause you to gain both fat and muscle. Ideally, you want to gain muscle, not fat. Therefore, a nice clean weight gainer is what you need.

What is weight gainer good for?

Weight gainer is good for people who really struggle to build muscle or put on any weight. Many people have a difficult time building muscle mass because of their high metabolism, genetics, or whatever the issue may be. If that’s you, don’t lose hope. Weight gainer is exactly what you need.

How to use weight gainer

It’s simple really. If you are trying to gain weight, you need to be eating as often as possible, and you also should be lifting heavy weights at low intensity. After each weight lifting routine, take a serving of your weight gainer.

It’s that simple. If you really want to pack on mass fast, take a serving after your workout and another one before bed. Some people just have a hard time getting enough calories in to gain weight. Mass gainers are great for this type of person. They provide a ton of carbs, protein, and calories all in one simple shake.

When to take weight gainer

You should take a serving of your weight gainer immediately after your workout. Post workout, your muscles are really hungry for nutrients – specifically protein, carbs, and amino acids. Weight gainers provide these exact nutrients in spades, which makes them ideal to use post workout.

You should not take a weight gainer before your workout as this will certainly slow you down and decrease your performance in the gym. The only times you should take weight gainer are after a workout and/or before bed to keep your body and muscles nourished throughout the night.

How much mass gainer should I take a day?

If you’re just looking to build muscle mass quickly, one serving of your mass gainer immediately post workout should do the trick as long as you stay consistent with it. However, if you really want to gain a lot of weight in a short period of time, you can take another serving at night.

What is mass gainer & what does it do?

Mass gainers are meant to help you build lean muscle mass quickly. The only difference between a mass gainer and a weight gainer, like I mentioned before, is that some weight gainers are not focused on muscle specifically. Mass gainers are focused on helping you gain muscle specifically.

Protein powders and other standard supplements just don’t get the job done for some people because they don’t contain enough nutrients. If you have a particularly high metabolism, you’re going to need a lot more carbs and calories than you would get in a standard protein powder in order to gain weight – that’s where mass gainers come in.

What is mass gainer good for?

Mass gainer is good for people who want to pack on clean, lean muscle mass in a short period of time. They contain tons of protein, carbs, calories, and branched chain amino acids. Mass gainers are formulated to stimulate enhanced muscle growth, improve recovery, and increase calorie intake.

How to use mass gainer

Mass gainer is meant to be used immediately post workout to flood nutrients into your hungry, nutrient-deprived muscles, thereby inducing muscle growth. Lifting weights can only help you can mass if you give your muscles what they need after the workout – BCCAs, carbs, & protein.

When to take mass gainer

It has been proven that mass gainer is most effective when taken within 30 minutes after lifting weights. Usually, I take my mass gainer with me to the gym so that I can get my serving in immediately after I’m done with my routine. I’d recommend doing the same.

How much mass gainer should I take a day?

Mass gainer is really only meant to be taken once per day. Drink one mass gainer shake after your exercise routine, and you’ll start building muscle in a matter of weeks. You could double down and take two servings daily, but this isn’t necessary and may be excessive in some cases.

What are the best mass gainer ingredients?

Mass gainers are superior to weight gainers because the ingredients lead to muscle gain, not fat gain. You don’t want to gain weight in general – rather, you want to gain muscle. That’s where the ingredients become very important. Let’s break them down.

1. Whey protein

The core ingredient of any mass gainer is whey protein. Lower quality mass gainers will contain inferior forms of whey protein, but what you really want is whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrate. Usually mass gainers will have 40-50 grams of whey protein.

2. Casein

Casein is a type of protein that is very slow digesting and is slowly absorbed over the course of a few hours. This may sound like a bad thing, but if you are trying to gain weight, you want your muscles to continue being fed hours after your workout. That’s where casein can sometimes be helpful.

3. Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is essentially pure carbs. Protein helps build muscle, but carbs are what help you gain mass. If you want to gain weight, what you need is more carbs. Supplementing with maltodextrin is a clean way of adding more carbs to your diet without sacrificing your health.

4. Creatine

Creatine is often added to mass gainer formulas because it can help your body hold more water weight. More importantly, it is one of the most effective ingredients for building muscle in all of sports nutrition. Supplementing with creatine daily can very positively impact muscular development.

Weight gainer ingredients to avoid

The thing to watch out for here is the whey protein blend itself. What type of protein is being used? That’s the most important question. If it is anything other than whey protein isolate, concentrate, or hydrolysate, that’s bad. Avoid all other sources of whey protein.

What are the best mass gainers & weight gainers? Here’s our 2021 top 10 list:

We generally do not recommend weight gainers because they cause fat gain, which is why this list is going to consist primarily of mass gainers. The best mass gainer is the first one by a long shot. Once you get outside the top two or three, you are significantly stepping down in class.

1. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer (best mass gainer supplement overall)

Transparent labs mass gainer jarTransparent Labs makes the best mass gainer for a lot of reasons. The first of which is the carb to protein ratio. If you want to gain muscle mass (and not fat), one of the most critical components of the formula to evaluate is the carb to protein ratio. You ideally want the ratio to be 2:1 (carbs to protein).

The carb to protein ratio here is almost exactly 2:1 with 53 grams of protein and 109 grams of carbohydrates per serving. That’s about as close to perfect as it gets gentlemen. Plus, the protein in use is super high quality grass-fed whey protein concentrate. There’s no BS in this formula…you get 50+ grams of grass-fed whey protein and carbs.

Don’t forget about the cherry on top – creatine monohydrate. Monohydrate is the purest form of creatine, and as I mentioned before, creatine supplementation can drastically enhance the muscle growth and recovery process. This is easily the cleanest, most effective mass gainer formula on the market.

Ingredients:

  • Grass-fed whey protein concentrate
  • Maltodextrin
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)

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2. Rule 1 Gain (good for lean muscle mass)

rule one gain jarRule 1 Gain is another great mass gainer, and we say it’s good for lean muscle mass because it doesn’t contain a lot of carbs. In fact, the reason we don’t recommend it more highly is because it really doesn’t contain enough carbs if you are serious about gaining mass.

The carb to protein ratio is 1.5:1, which is significantly less carbs than our top ranked mass gainer. Again, it’s extremely important to take in a lot of carbs if you want to gain mass, and we just don’t see enough carbs here at only 75 grams per serving. The protein dosage is excellent though at 50 grams per serving.

This is a great mass gainer, but it’s low on carbs and does not contain any creatine either.

Ingredients:

  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Maltodextrin

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3. Naked Mass (good natural grass-fed option)

Naked Mass jarIf you care about whether or not your whey protein comes from grass-fed cows, Naked Mass is one of the top options the market has to offer. Transparent Labs’ product is grass-fed and higher quality, but this one certainly comes close.

The carbohydrate to protein ratio is where Naked Mass sort of lost us. There’s a bit too many carbs in here, which means it could ultimately cause you to gain fat instead of muscle over the long term. It has a carb to protein ratio of 5:1, which is simply out of control.

However, outside of that, this is a great product with a clean formula. You’ve got high quality grass-fed whey protein concentrate, and no other BS fillers.

Ingredients:

  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Casein
  • Maltodextrin

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4. Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer (top mass gainer made by ON)

pro gainer jarOptimum Nutrition is one of the oldest and most trustworthy brands in this space. As a result of how large the brand is, they have multiple options when it comes to mass gainers. Pro Gainer is for sure their best mass gainer, and we’re going to explain why.

The carbohydrate to protein ratio is about 1.5:1 with 60 grams of protein and 85 grams of carbohydrates per serving. This is not as good of ratio as our top ranked option, which has a perfect 2:1 ratio.

With that said, it’s still a very good supplement. The only other problem we have with it is that the protein blend is a little dirty. It contains about 5 protein sources instead of just using concentrate or isolate, which is bad news.

Ingredients:

  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Egg whites
  • Whey peptides
  • Maltodextrin

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5. Rivalus Clean Gainer (decent option for skinny guys)

Rivalus clean gainer jarRivalus Clean Gainer is not going to be at the top of this list any time soon for a lot of reasons, but it’s at least a solid option for skinny guys because it contains extra carbohydrates. Again, the ideal ratio is still 2:1 – and that’s still the ideal ratio even for skinny guys.

Rivalus Clean Gainer has a 3:1 ratio, which means it has a little extra carbs at 90 grams per serving and 30 grams of protein per serving. Now, is the carb count being high the end of the world? No, but the worse news lies in the protein blend.

It has milk protein isolate and micellar casein in the blend, which is not ideal. This is going to lead to indigestion issues and a less effective gainer overall.

Ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Milk protein isolate
  • Micellar casein

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6. Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass (Good for dirty bulking)

Serious Mass jarSerious Mass by Optimum Nutrition is a prime example of a weight gainer as opposed to a mass gainer. As I said earlier in the article, mass gainers are for people who strictly want to gain muscle and grow their muscles faster, whereas weight gainers are for people who are okay with gaining fat.

If you want a clean bulk and lean muscle mass, Serious Mass is not for you. Serious Mass is only for you if you want to gain a ton of weight and don’t care whether that weight is fat or muscle.

Remember that ideal carb to protein ratio we talked about? Yea, 2:1. Well, Serious Mass has a 5:1 ratio with 250 grams of carbs and 50 grams of protein per serving. It also contains a TON of calories, fat, and sodium. This stuff is not healthy by any means…but it will certainly make you gain weight.

Ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Egg whites
  • MCTs
  • Lecithin
  • Sucralose

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7. BSN True Mass (Decent weight gainer but very overrated)

BSN True Mass jarTrue Mass by BSN at first appears to be an ideal mass gainer. As always, we examine the carb to protein ratio first and foremost. In this case, it’s almost exactly 2:1, which is ideal. It looks as if it’s going to be a clean gainer, and then things take a turn for the worse…

In every serving, there are 18 grams of fat, 14 grams of sugar, and 260 grams of sodium. These are huge numbers, and these elements are going to cause you to gain a lot of fat. That’s not all…it get’s worse.

The BSN True Mass formula includes Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, and even Corn Syrup. Xanthan and Cellulose are fillers that make the consistency of the shake better, but they wreak havoc on your digestive system and are very bad for you. And corn syrup? I mean come on, there’s just no place for that in a mass gainer or weight gainer formula.

Ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Cellulose Gum
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sucralose

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8. Real Gains by Universal Nutrition (Good option for sensitive stomachs)

Real Gains bagUniversal Nutrition’s mass gainer, Real Gains, is a pretty solid produce overall. The ingredient list is short and sweet, which means it doesn’t contain a lot of BS. That’s why I say it’s a solid option for people who have sensitive stomachs. With that said, the top options on this list are still significantly better and have formulas that are even cleaner.

Real Gains is very close to a 2:1 carb to protein ratio, falling just short of the mark in terms of carbs. However, there’s nearly 300 milligrams of sodium in every serving, 7 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of fat. These numbers are too high if you are trying to be careful about avoiding fat gain.

The protein blend is pretty clean, using primarily ultra filtered whey concentrate as well as whey protein isolate. It’s a solid product overall, but contains too many potential fat gaining ingredients for us to recommend it any higher than this.

Ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Ultra filtered whey concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • MCTs
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Cocoa
  • Flaxseed powder
  • Sucralose

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9. Mass Tech by MuscleTech (Good for BCAAs)

Mass Tech by muscle tech jarMuscleTech has a relatively new mass gainer called Mass Tech, which is a pretty decent supplement. However, it has some significant cons, which is why it’s at the bottom of this list instead of the top. Let’s get into it.

Each serving provides 135 grams of carbs and 63 grams of protein, which just about nails that ideal 2:1 carb to protein ratio. Well done, MuscleTech. I’ll tell you what’s not well done though…just about everything else.

We’re talking about very high sodium levels, lots of fat and sugar, xanthan and cellulose gum fillers, and unclean protein blends. It’s pretty much bad news all around aside from the perfect carb to protein ratio.

Ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Egg albumen
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Whey protein hydrolysate
  • Xanthan gum
  • Cellulose gum

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10. Mutant Mass (honorable mention)

Mutant Mass bagMutant Mass is a product that has been progressively improved over the years in terms of the formula, but it’s still not quite there. However, we give them an A for effort. They’ve got a decent product here that is worth mentioning.

The carb to protein ratio is almost exactly 3:1, meaning it’s a little too heavy on the carbs, but nothing crazy. What’s crazy is 400 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of fat per serving…yikes. It also contains fillers and thickeners like Guar Gum, which are very bad for your stomach.

Another place where they went wrong is the protein blend. If they would have just stuck to whey protein sources, it’d be great, but instead they had to add milk protein sources…unfortunate.

Ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Milk protein isolate
  • Milk protein concentrate
  • Guar gum
  • Flax seed
  • Pumpkin seed

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What mass gainer or weight gainer is best for me? Our conclusion

The Transparent Labs mass gainer is the best option on the market without question. It has an ideal carb to protein ratio for lean muscle gain, utilizes super clean grass fed whey protein sources, and adds in Creatine Monohydrate for maximum muscle growth.

Equally as important as what’s in it is what’s NOT in it…it has extremely low counts of sodium, sugar, and fat, which is going to help prevent fat gain and ensure you only gain muscle. It also does not contain any fillers or gums that are going to hurt your stomach or negatively effect digestion and absorption. It simply doesn’t get any better than this!

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FAQs

Which is best, weight gainer or mass gainer?

Mass gainer is significantly better. Weight gainers cause fat gain and contain unhealthy nutrients such as fillers, gums, excessive fats and sugars, etc. Mass gainers cause clean, lean muscle gain and do not cause fat gain.

Are weight gainers healthy?

Weight gainers are often not healthy because they contain a ton of garbage like fillers and gums (E.g. xanthan gum, cellulose gum, guar gum). These fillers mess up your gastrointestinal system and can cause excess fat gain. Stick to mass gainers.

What is the healthiest weight gainer?

This is a trick question because the healthiest weight gainer is a mass gainer – Transparent Labs mass gainer. There is no such thing as a “healthy” weight gainer because they use all sorts of unhealthy tricks to cause weight gain (and usually fat gain, not muscle).

What makes a good mass gainer?

A good mass gainer has an ideal carb to protein ratio of 2:1, a clean protein blend using only whey protein concentrate or isolate, no fillers or gums, and low fat/sugar/sodium counts.

Should I use mass gainer or weight gainer for bulking?

Mass gainer is the answer. You want to gain lean muscle mass. You do NOT want to gain fat and mess up your digestive tract, which is what weight gainers do. Stick with mass gainers.