We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
People sometimes use supplements to help increase their muscle mass. This type of supplement is called a mass gainer. It helps people get the extra calories they need to build muscle.
- Best for natural ingredients: Chocolate Less Naked Mass
- Best for extra vitamins and minerals: Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass
- Best for natural complex carbohydrates: Transparent Labs Mass Gainer
- Best for vegans: Vegan Naked Mass
- Best for medium-chain triglycerides and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): True-Mass 1200
Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
Intense physical training often requires a person to consume more food so that they can get additional nutrients. Using a supplement that contains extra protein and carbohydrates is a convenient way to get more calories into the diet.
People often take mass gainers as a shake-style drink. Mass gainers contain varying amounts of macronutrients. They sometimes also contain other ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, and creatine.
People can choose products with fewer calories if their focus is on gaining lean muscle, rather than weight.
This article looks at different supplements for building muscle mass and their nutritional contents.
Many different mass gainers are available on the market. We look at five good options below:
Best for natural ingredients
Naked Nutrition mass gainers contain only five ingredients:
- grass-fed whey
- organic coconut sugar
- organic tapioca maltodextrin
- organic cacao powder
Naked Nutrition says that its processing involves neither acid nor bleach, and that the product contains no:
- artificial sweeteners
- artificial flavors and colors
- genetically modified ingredients
Customers observe that the product tastes less sweet than some other mass gainers due to the natural cacao and lack of sweeteners.
Per serving, which is 4 scoops, or 333 grams (g), the Less Naked Mass powder in chocolate contains:
- 1,360 calories
- 50 g protein and 11.6 g BCAAs
- 251 g total carbohydrates
The organic ingredients in Less Naked Mass may appeal to people who wish to avoid artificial ingredients or are sensitive to gluten.
However, anecdotal evidence suggests that many people trying to build muscle aim for a 1:2 or 1:4 ratio of protein to carbohydrates. As a result, this product may contain too many carbohydrates for some people.
Best for extra vitamins and minerals
This product may appeal to people who want to gain weight and add essential vitamins and minerals to their diets. The protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is 1:5, so it may not suit people who want more protein and fewer calories.
The nutritional profile per 2-scoop serving, which equates to 334 g, is as follows:
- 1,250 calories
- 50 g protein
- 250 g carbohydrates
- creatine, glutamine, and glutamic acid
- 25 vitamins and essential minerals
This product has a good range of vitamins and minerals, which add nutritional value. It is available in five flavors.
But as it contains egg, wheat, and soy, it may not be suitable for people with vegan diets or some intolerances.
Best for natural complex carbohydrates
The whey protein concentrate in this mass gainer is 100% grass-fed, and the carbohydrates include organic oats, tapioca, and sweet potato. The product also contains creatine monohydrate and natural sweeteners. It comes in two flavors.
Per 2-scoop serving, or 196.76 g, this product provides:
- 790 calories
- 53 g protein
- 114 g total carbohydrates
- 10% of the daily value of potassium and 30% of the daily value of calcium, based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet
Transparent Labs brands itself as being transparent about what goes into its products. Its supplements contain premium, chemical-free ingredients, and the slightly higher price reflects this quality, the company says.
Best for vegans
This product combines pea and rice protein with organic tapioca maltodextrin, so it may be suitable for people with plant-based diets.
- 1,230 calories
- 50 g protein
- 248 g total carbohydrates
- four essential minerals
This product is suitable for vegans looking to gain weight and muscle, and it compares well with other mass gainers on the market. It is also free from gluten, soy, and genetically modified organisms, better known as GMOs.
Best for medium chain triglycerides and BCAAs
True-Mass 1200 features a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein and also contains healthful fats.
Per 2-scoop serving, or 320 g, this supplement provides:
- 1,271 calories
- 53 g protein
- 216 g total carbohydrates
True-Mass 1200 is a popular product with good reviews, though some are concerned by the long list of added ingredients.
People who are intolerant to certain foods may find that mass gainers upset their stomachs. Anyone who is trying them for the first time should start with a smaller amount and increase it gradually.
If a person consumes mass gainer supplements without working out regularly, they are likely to gain fat, rather than muscle. Therefore, some people may benefit more from simply increasing the amount of lean protein in their diets.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate mass gainer products, so it can be difficult to tell whether a product actually contains what is on its label.
However, people who require extra protein and calories to build muscle during periods of intense training may find mass gainers helpful. A person may choose a product based on its ingredients, taste, and value for money.
Once a person has settled on a supplement, they can change the taste, texture, and nutritional content of their shake by adding ingredients such as nut butters, fruit, or oatmeal.