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People sometimes use supplements to help them increase their muscle mass. This type of supplement is called a “mass gainer.” Mass gainers help people get the extra calories they need to build muscle.
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 content.
Please note that the author of this article has not tried these products.
Many different mass gainers are available on the market. We look at five good options below:
Pros: Only contains natural ingredients, which may appeal to some people.
Naked Nutrition mass gainers contain only five ingredients:
- grass-fed whey
- organic coconut sugar
- organic tapioca maltodextrin
- organic cacao powder
Naked Nutrition say that the processing of these products uses neither acid nor bleach. They are also free from the following ingredients:
- artificial sweeteners
- artificial flavors and colors
- genetically-modified ingredients
Users comment 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 includes:
- 1,360 calories
- 50 g protein and 11.6 g branched chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- 251 g total carbohydrates
The natural, 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.
Pros: Better value than some other products and contains a range of added vitamins and minerals.
This product may appeal to people who want to gain weight and add essential vitamins and minerals to their diet. The protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is 1:5, so it may not suit people who want more protein and fewer calories.
The nutrition 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 to it. It is available in five different flavors.
As it contains egg, wheat, and soy, it may not be suitable for those with intolerances.
Pros: Has a 1:2 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio and natural complex carbohydrates.
The whey protein concentrate in this mass gainer is 100% grass-fed, and the carbohydrates include organic oat, tapioca, and sweet potato. It also contains creatine monohydrate and natural sweeteners. It comes in two flavors.
Per 2-scoop serving, or 196.76 g, this product provides the following nutrients:
- 790 calories
- 53 g protein
- 114 g total carbohydrate
- 10% of the daily value of potassium and 30% of the daily value of calcium (based on 2,000 calories per day)
Transparent Labs brand themselves as being transparent about what goes into their products. Their supplements contain premium, chemical-free ingredients, and the slightly higher price reflects this quality.
Pros: Suitable for vegans.
This product combines pea and rice protein with organic tapioca maltodextrin, so people who follow a plant-based diet can use it.
- 1,230 calories
- 50 g protein
- 248 g total carbohydrates
- four essential minerals
This product is beneficial for vegans who wish to gain weight and muscle, and it compares well with other mass gainers on the market. It is also free of gluten, soy, and genetically modified organisms (GMO).
Pros: Contains 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 the following nutrients:
- 1,271 calories
- 53 g protein
- 216 g total carbohydrates
True-Mass 1200 is a popular product that has good reviews. Some people may not like the long list of added ingredients, though.
People who are intolerant to certain foods may find that mass gainers upset their stomach. Anyone who is trying them for the first time should start on a lower dose and increase it gradually.
If a person consumes mass gainer supplements without working out regularly, they are likely to gain fat rather than muscle. Some people may, therefore, benefit more from increasing the amount of lean protein in their diet instead.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate mass gainer products, so it can be difficult for a person to tell whether they fulfill the manufacturer’s claims.
However, people who require extra protein and calories to build muscle during periods of intense training may find mass gainers helpful. They can choose a product based on its ingredients, taste, and value for money.
Once someone has found the right product for them, they can vary the taste, texture, and nutritional content of their shake by adding extra ingredients, such as nut butters, fruit, or oatmeal.